The Center for Emotion and Behavior Integration provides intensive, time-limited outpatient treatment for adolescents and young adults (17-45 years of age) suffering from complex behavioral problems. The Center encompasses a variety of treatment approaches based upon the most up-to-date neurocognitive and psychosocial understanding of the causes for these problems. Specific services that are available include comprehensive prescreening testing, diagnostic evaluation, individual psychotherapies, group therapies, family consultation, and medication management. The specific treatment package is tailored to the needs of the individual patient.
Complex behavioral problems are maladaptive sets of behaviors that are used to cope with negative emotions and interpersonal stresses. Patients who suffer from self-harm, eating disorders, addictions, recurrent suicide attempts, and/or borderline personality disorder may be eligible for treatment at the Center. Because of the affected brain regions involved in these conditions, they often are accompanied by anxiety, depression, mood instability, and poor interpersonal functioning.
Recent neuroscience research is pointing the way toward a better understanding of complex behavioral problems. Neuroimaging studies suggest that individuals who suffer from these behaviors react to emotional stress in a different way from most other people. There is a relative deactivation of certain prefrontal regions of the brain, which are responsible for helping us to be aware of our emotional experiences and adaptively manage them. On the other hand, there is relative hyper-activation of certain other brain regions (amygdala and ventral striatum), which can account for much of the mood reactivity, anxiety, and distress that patients with complex behavior problems suffer from. The ventral striatum triggers pleasure seeking behaviors (such as drug addiction, bingeing, compulsive gambling), as well as attachment seeking behaviors, which can contribute to rejection sensitivity.
YES! Multiple neuroimaging studies suggest that specific kinds of psychotherapy and medication interventions can remediate the neural networks in the brain to normalize activity of the various regions. This is not an easy process, but with the right combination of treatment and with hard work and determination on the part of the patient, success can be achieved!