featured Uncategorized

Understanding Panic Attacks & How to Manage Them

Panic attacks are difficult and often scary experiences. For those who struggle with this symptom of anxiety, there is hope for addressing it skillfully. The first step in addressing panic attacks is understanding what they are, how they look, and what causes them. If you can anticipate the phases of the attack, you have the power to move through it using a variety of coping strategies. Our team of Chico mental health professionals at Therapeutic Solutions wants to support you in finding safe, healthy ways to cope with the experience of panic and anxiety as you work toward mental wellness.

Contact our team at (530) 899-3150.

The Phases of a Panic Attack

There are typically 7 phases to a panic attack, but not all attacks are the same. Some may vary in order and some may skip a phase. The key is to pay attention to your own attacks to see if you experience symptoms in a particular pattern. By tracking your symptoms, you will be better equipped to recognize and respond to them early.

If you are triggered by discussion of panic attacks, consider reading this blog with a loved one who can work with you as you read through it.

The Phases of a Panic Attack include:

  1. Onset of the attack: You may be sitting at your desk at work, or walking through the park, and suddenly despite it being a normal day, things start to shift. It’s almost as if you are struck with sadness and despair, and you may have no specific reason for it. That said, a difficult or stressful experience can also trigger these symptoms.
  2. Desire to escape: If you search for a way out, or a distraction, right after the attack begins, this is the second stage of anxiety. People in this phase often feel that they must hide, such as climbing into bed or going outside to breath. While the urgency to “flee” may be strong, it does not often lead to relief of symptoms.
  3. Discomfort with no relief: No matter what you do, there is no respite from the feeling of distress. You can’t seem to get to the root of it to be able to stop it. You may be physically restless or searching for release, and quite often you are not sure how to vocalize this feeling. Dissociation from reality may occur, causing you to feel like you are not fully in your body or in control of the experience.
  4. Physical symptoms: The physical response to your brain’s distress may include sweating, stuttering, heavy or rapid breathing, increased heart rate, nausea and dizziness. Your vision may be blurred, or you may find that you are blinking at a faster pace than normal. You may also experience a dry mouth or become tearful. Sometimes, your extremities stiffen and cramp up, inhibiting movement. These physiological responses are the result of the fear center of the brain being activated. While they do not match the actual danger or threat of a situation, they are powerful responses that influence our perceived danger or threat.
  5. Fear that there will be no end: At this point, you wonder if you need to go to the hospital or if the feelings will ever go away. You are desperate for help, escape or relief. This symptom often escalates the panic to a sense of dread, worry, and irrational thoughts about what may happen. Some people experience overwhelming fear that they may die, though panic attacks are not actually life-threatening.
  6. The tipping point: This may be the time that you start attempting every coping mechanism that you can, from slowing your breath to curling into a ball to taking a walk to distracting yourself. For short-term relief, some individuals may attempt to cope using substances. However, this often escalates symptoms over time and does not address the root of the attack or the internal resources possessed to deal with it.
  7. The end: You finally begin to feel “normal” again and your heart rate lowers. Your breathing slows, and your mind can focus on your external reality with more clarity. You may begin to feel calm or relieved, and able to engage in everyday tasks with more ease. While concern about the experience may still exist, the overwhelming symptoms have ended.

The Physical Symptoms of a Panic Attack

Not all panic attacks are mental in nature. You may not even be thinking of a stressful experience or feeling mentally overwhelmed. Some people experience strictly physical panic attacks while others experience a combination of physical and mental symptoms.

A panic attack may feel like:

  • Chest pain, tightness and heaviness
  • Sweating
  • Feeling hyper or filled with energy
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or cramping in hands, feet and limbs
  • Feeling like you need to use the restroom
  • Upset stomach
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Hot and cold flashes

What Causes Panic Attacks?

There are 3 root causes to panic attacks that have individual factors: genetic predisposition, anxiety stemming from childhood, and response to the challenges of adulthood. These factors all have one thing in common and it is: They are not your fault. The root causes of panic attacks are also clues as to what may trigger an attack now. For example, attacks that stem from childhood may be triggered by encounters with family members who caused harm in your early years, or from situations that remind you of things that happened. Panic attacks that stem from specific challenges associated with adulthood can be anticipated or avoided if you employ the right coping tools and can predict the triggers.

Working Through Your Panic Attack: Coping Skills

In addition to recognizing the stages of a panic attack you experience, we recommend employing one or more of the skills below to address your symptoms. These skills can be practiced in a safe environment with a clinical professional, or in the privacy of your own home.

  • Use the senses method. Think of three things you can see, three you can feel, three you can hear and three you can smell. By focusing on the present and the stimulation around you, you can bring yourself back to “reality” and out of your head. Drinking a sip of cool water can enhance your sensations and may support the senses method.
  • Ground yourself: Picture your feet rooting into the ground. Close your eyes and sink into the earth, feeling a solid foundation below your feet and allowing the earth to hold you. If possible, lay down or sit down so more of your body is grounded. Feel your body touching the surfaces it is in contact with – the backs of your legs, your knees, your hands, or whatever body part is connected with the earth.
  • Tense and Relax your muscles: Starting from your toes, tense and release each muscle group in your body. Move from your feet, to your calves, to your thighs, up through your torso and all the way to your facial muscle. If you are in public, you can even do this without moving, as the conscious thought of doing it has the same effect as physically doing it.

As you learn about anxiety disorders and their causes, you can begin take back your power and learn what works for you. If you need more in-depth support, the team at Therapeutic Solutions is here for you. We understand how scary and stressful anxiety can be and that the desire to escape it may be strong. However, learning to move through the experience is key to long-term wellness.

Contact our team for more healthy coping skills at (530) 899-3150.


Daily Gratitude Practices to Promote Mental Health

The benefits of practicing and living in gratitude are well-documented. People who are living in a state of gratitude are likely to experience increased positive emotions, sleep better, feel more alive and have stronger immune symptoms. It might take work and a shift in perspective at first, but the more we practice gratitude through daily exercises, the easier it will be for it to come naturally. Plus, gratitude tends to be contagious, so you may even help those around you through your shift in perspective.

Other benefits to practicing gratitude include:

  • Easier time making friends: Thanking new acquaintances makes them more likely to seek out a lasting relationship with you. Positive, meaningful relationships are a great source of gratitude.
  • Improved physical health: People who practice gratitude tend to have fewer aches and pains, are compelled to exercise more often and have better overall health.
  • Enhanced empathy: People who are thankful are less likely to show aggression, less likely to hold onto anger and are more likely to show empathy towards others.
  • Increase in mental strength and self-esteem: Gratitude allows people to have over-all higher self-esteem, mental strength, and resilience to rebound from stressful situations.

With so many positive effects, it is worth it to give daily gratitude practices a try; even a tiny change in perspective can make a big difference! If these ideas are overwhelming, let our Chico behavioral health professionals at Therapeutic Solutions support you in making a plan of action to increase your wellness.

Ways to Practice Gratitude Daily

Below are 5 ways to incorporate gratitude practices into your daily routine. Choose the options that feel most interesting or relatable to you, or think of your own ways to incorporate a deliberate mindset of gratitude daily.

  1. Start a gratitude journal: Journaling is a proven way to improve mental health, so a gratitude journal has multiple benefits. Start by writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for each day. Don’t worry about structure, complete sentences or how it looks. As you ease into this practice, you can expand on your thoughts if you would like. It helps to choose a time each day and make writing in your journal a priority. Setting a reminder on your phone or calendar can help establish a routine.
  2. Carry a gratitude rock or memento: The idea of a gratitude rock or memento is to have a physical reminder of a mental “task” that can help you to live in a state of gratitude throughout the day. Each time you feel the item in your hand or pocket, think of one thing you are thankful for at that moment. When you take it out of your pocket or put it down for the night before bed, reflect on all the things you were grateful for throughout the day.
  3. Go for a gratitude walk: Walking has benefits all on its own, but if you incorporate thoughts of gratitude into your physical activity, it takes on a whole new meaning. As you walk, observe the world around you and think about the things you are grateful for. Examples can be “I am thankful for the sky above, the feet that are carrying me, the air I am breathing, the wind in the trees.” Become aware of everything around you from the trees, to the feeling of air on your face, from the smell of the flowers you pass by to the sounds of the city around you. Multiply the effect by sharing this walk with a friend.
  4. Meditate on gratitude: There are many ways to meditate, either with music, silence or with a guided message. It is easy to find gratitude meditations online if you prefer some direction or facilitation. If you do not have access to a guided meditation, you can create one yourself. Sit or lay down in a quiet, comfortable place, close your eyes and focus on the things you are grateful for as you slow your breath and remain still. Calming your actions and your senses while zeroing in on gratitude creates a mindfulness exercise that has major mood-boosting effects.
  5. Send a message of gratitude: Take a moment each day to send a friend, family member or loved one a message of gratitude. It can be a phone call, email, text message, social media message or even a handwritten letter. This will spread the joy and help you to stay in the mindset of being grateful for the things and people that make your life better.

Chico Mental Health Services

At Therapeutic Solutions, we approach behavioral care with a personal and comprehensive touch because we know that a “one size fits all” approach does not address each patient’s needs and goals. Our team understands that your mental health concerns are unique to your personality, your history and your behavioral tendencies. We will work with you to find treatment options that will best fit your timeline for recovery and the struggles you are facing. Let our team of Chico behavioral health professionals help you to see a brighter future.

Contact our team to discuss how we can help you today at (530) 899-3150.


Family Mealtime & Disordered Eating

When family mealtimes are a source of stress and anxiety for someone suffering from an eating disorder, it creates tension and discomfort for those involved, including family members. If your loved one is suffering from disordered eating, it is critical to be aware of the behaviors that may present themselves, as well as ways to make family meals comfortable and healing.

Creating Comfort, Support and Encouragement

Disordered eating may present itself at family meals in the following ways:

  • Emotional response to eating specific foods, including increased anxiety, dissociation, sadness or rage
  • Food rituals such as excessive cutting of food, pushing food around the plate, or counting food items
  • Avoiding or restricting specific foods; hiding food
  • Binging on a large amount of food in a short period of time
  • Disappearing or spending an excessive amount of time in the restroom after eating
  • Eating only when alone or eating very little during family meals

It is important to understand that there are a range of factors that contribute to disordered eating, and that family members play a pivotal role in healing and recovery. Implement the following practices to create a space of comfort and peace for your loved one:

Allow your loved one to have some control: Offer to involve your loved one in food choices, meal planning, and prepping for the meal if he or she is interested.

Understand the root causes of the disordered eating: Eating disorders are not about food or calories. Symptoms often stem from a complex group of factors including anxiety, depression, trauma, body dysmorphia, etc. Understanding the root of the problem is helpful in supporting your loved one, so that they do not feel judged or blamed for the ways they cope. Acceptance, support, and compassion can help someone to recognize unhealthy behaviors and work toward healing them.

Create a schedule, stick to it, and cultivate calm: Create a calm ambiance by sticking to a schedule, making sure that the meal is not rushed or frantic, and allowing everyone to bring the stress of the day to the table and release it through talking or having a moment of silence together. Focus on talking and sharing positives and negatives of the day, rather than on the food itself. Mealtime rituals can be a source of connection and belonging, which may ease tension and anxiety.

Learn which foods are triggering for your loved one: By learning which foods are high sources of anxiety and avoiding bringing them to mealtime, or by providing alternatives, you can help make the family meal more enjoyable for everyone. Offer healthy, well balanced, nutrient rich meal options. If possible, eliminate unhealthy food choices all together, especially binge triggering foods.

Talk about it: Shame and denial are two factors that perpetuate behavioral health issues. It is important to approach your loved one with empathy, state that you can see they are struggling, and ask them how you can help them heal. While these conversations are not always comfortable, they allow your loved one to know they are seen, valued, and not alone. What’s more: they reinforce that your loved on has options.

Support in Healing from Mental Health Professionals

Disordered eating is a form of control; a way to manage a compartmentalized portion of an often overwhelming and stressful life. By controlling one aspect through either restricting or binging, those who suffer may feel a sense of power and reduction in helplessness.

It is important to understand that Therapeutic Solutions does not provide treatment for eating disorders as a primary behavioral health concern, but we often see symptoms of eating disorders as an extension of other behavioral health issues. Our Chico behavioral health professionals are dedicated to helping our patients find healthy tools to cope with distress and take steps toward wellness. We offer outpatient treatment options, and we are happy to discuss them with you or your loved one to determine the best treatment approach.

Contact our team today at (530) 899-3150.


Balancing Mental Health and Family Obligations

When Family Obligations Are a Source of Stress and Toxicity

The family systems we are raised in have significant impacts on our development and ability to cope with life’s struggles. Many individuals who struggle with mental health issues grew up in unhealthy or abusive families, making family life even more complicated and triggering for them.

If you are suffering from trauma, mental health issues, are recovering from a substance use disorder, or have anxiety and depression triggered by family dynamics, it is important to support your mental health when family issues arise. Even in the midst of feeling obligated to participate in family engagements, there are a series of steps you can take to practice self-care.

Prioritizing Your Mental Health Over Family Obligations

Learning to prioritize yourself over others is something many people have yet to master, especially in a society that encourages and applauds overextending ourselves at the expense of personal self-care. For those who struggle with mental and emotional health, feeling obligated to interact with triggering or toxic family members may present additional overwhelm and stress.

There are ways to minimize stress and focus on your own wellbeing in these situations, including:

Take Time to Evaluate: If you are “supposed to” go to a family event, ask who will be attending, what the expectations are, and the time frame for being there. Will there be people present who have harmed you or caused trauma in your past? Are there certain family members who tend to create drama? Is this an event that you can avoid, or can you stay for a short time? Will there be individuals there that you trust and feel safe with? Considering these questions and planning for how to manage family interaction gives you a sense of personal power and choice in an environment that may otherwise feel helpless.

Keep It Simple: Don’t try to fit visits to multiple houses or events into one day, knowing that with each one comes with its own complicated emotions and experiences. Schedule time to relax and revive between obligations so that your mind can rest and reset before re-engaging with difficult people.

Avoid Toxic People: If you have a family member who caused specific, significant pain as a child (such as abuse), it is your right to decide not to see them. You do not have to converse with or be around a person who caused you harm, and you do not have to explain yourself to those who do not understand. In addition, if a person who exhibits behaviors (such as drug use or heavy drinking) that you are specifically avoiding for your own health is going to attend, you can choose to avoid the event.

Plan Time for Yourself: Some family events are more important than others and avoiding them would cause pain for you and people that you love. If you can’t avoid a gathering, set aside time throughout the event, even 10 minutes, to step outside or to a quiet room to center and get grounded. Whether it is to take a walk or to meditate, give yourself the space to step away.

One of the biggest things to remember is that with age comes the right to choose. You have the right to choose who you associate with, who is good for your mental and emotional health, who supports and encourages you, and who doesn’t. Keep in mind that friends are the family we choose, and if your biological family is unhealthy for you, do what you need to do to take care of your own wellbeing and surround yourself with people who lift you up.

Chico Mental Health Services: Helping You to Find Peace

It is human nature to desire connection with your family of origin, and it is normal to maintain links with people who may not be healthy. It is also imperative to remember that it is okay to step back if toxicity or unhealthy behaviors exist within your family and are taking a personal toll on your mental health. Our team of compassionate and skillful Chico mental health professionals can work with you to understand and heal from family trauma, learn to set healthy boundaries, and practice self-care.

Contact our team to discuss coping skills and treatment at (530) 899-3150.


5 Ways to Prioritize Wellness in the New Year

At the start of a new year, many people create a list of resolutions or intentions. These can vary from making travel plans, to learning new skills, to going to the gym. However, often when we make these lists, we set lofty goals that can become overwhelming as the months pass. The key to building new habits is not to manage a set of unwieldy expectations, but to start with small, intentional, and tangible shifts that lead to even larger transformations.

This year, Therapeutic Solutions and our team of Chico mental health professionals encourages you to set intentions that place your mental, physical, and emotional health front and center. When wellness is a priority, we are better able to cope with difficult circumstances in our lives. Developing habits that promote wellness has benefits that will last for years to come, which is why we are offering a handful of tips to support your mental health in the new year.

5 Ways to Prioritize Wellness In The New Year

  1. Step Back from Stimulation: Make a commitment to putting down your phone, taking breaks from social media, and allowing yourself to feel and take in the world around you. Being present has a range of mental and emotional health benefits, but it is easy to be overstimulated by technology, media, and advertising. This stimulation can become unhealthy if you do not build in mindful moments to your daily routine. Think about ways to unplug throughout the week, even if it is just for an hour per day.
  2. Schedule Therapy Like a Business Meeting: If you are currently attending therapy sessions or planning to schedule your first one, prioritize making it to your appointments. Treat your mental health appointments like you would your most important business meetings. Add them to your physical or digital calendar and remind yourself that attending therapy is an investment in your long-term wellness. The simple act of honoring your commitment to yourself is an act of self-love and self-care, which is already a step toward improved mental health.
  3. Build in Opportunities to Move Your Body: Whether it is getting outside for a walk, doing yoga or hitting the gym, some amount of physical activity should be a part of your mental health regimen. Exercise boosts feel-good chemicals in your brain, increases brain function and helps to release tension. However, physical health is one new year goal that many set and struggle to honor. Start small and consider how to build in movement to existing routines. Have a walking meeting with a colleague. Pack gym clothes in your car. Stretch on your breaks. Join a gym that’s near your home or workplace. Most of all, invest in a physical activity that you can find enjoyment in, so exercise does not just feel like a chore.
  4. Nurture Meaningful Relationships: Friends and family who support you and encourage you to grow mentally, spiritually and emotionally are key to your mental health. Make a list of all the people who have made a positive impact on your life and reach out to them in the new year. Tell the people who matter to you why you are grateful for them. Small acts of connection and kindness have lasting impacts on the bonds in our lives and help us feel a sense of belonging.
  5. Find Your Purpose: A sense of purpose keeps us connected to our values and helps guide us forward, but many of us struggle to find a path that feels fully aligned with our goals. This year, try committing to breaking your routine and doing something new. This can include volunteering at an animal shelter or soup kitchen, joining a club or organization, or taking a class you’ve never taken. Discovering your purpose and being excited about your contributions to the world will take you outside of yourself and help you see the bigger picture.

Call for a Free Assessment: (530) 899-3150

If you are struggling with mental health and wellbeing, and you don’t know where to start, let our team help. We are prepared to work with you to gain balance in your life and have a variety of treatment options for your mental health care needs. Our professional and caring Chico mental health professionals can help you determine the best course of treatment to help you move forward. Let us help you find happiness and clarity, so that you can live your best life this year and in years to come.


Self-Care During the Holidays

Protecting Your Sobriety and Preventing Relapse

The holiday season comes with unique stressors and schedule disruptions that other seasons don’t often bring. With holiday get togethers, travel, and managing relationships, sticking to a program or established self-care practice becomes more taxing and less convenient. Additionally, the holidays can be a triggering time for individuals who have experienced difficulties in their family life or upbringing. For those in recovery from a substance use disorder, this is a critical time to take extra steps to ensure that sobriety remains a priority.

Self-Care Tips for Sobriety

Practicing self-care is one of the most effective ways to stabilize your energy and mood, especially during the holidays. Working through emotions, stressors, and daily life requires a lot of effort, so making sure you take care of yourself is key in protecting sobriety. Here are some tips to help you get in the self-care mindset:

  • Take time to reflect on how you are feeling. Check in with yourself and consider journaling, freewriting, or drawing to express your feelings. Doing something that gets feelings and persistent thoughts out of your head and onto paper helps to release them and allows you to clear your mind.
  • Give back to the community. It may not sound like self-care, but the feel-good chemicals released in the brain from giving to those less fortunate are truly transformative. Additionally, giving to others allows us to see our larger place in the world, and to understand the positive impact we can make on others.
  • Share gratitude for the people and things that make your life better. Gratitude practices. support wellness on multiple levels, and remind us of why we have made the commitment to sobriety. Make a physical or mental list of things you’re grateful for. Come back to it when things feel overwhelming.
  • Make plans with friends who support your recovery. There are sober celebrations for every holiday, though sometimes you have to seek them out or create them yourself! Invite friends over to cook and eat holiday dishes, play games, sing karaoke or even go caroling. Laughter and connection with people who care is strong medicine. If you have plans or obligations that might be difficult to cope with, such as a family event, go to a meeting before or set up plans to attend one after the event, giving yourself an extra boost in stability and support.
  • Get outside. Exercising in the crisp air, or at a gym, is a great way to boost your mood, gain energy, and release any anger or resentment you are feeling. Sometimes a simple walk is enough to regain a sense of calm and stability. Whatever activity you choose, moving your body has both physical and psychological benefits.

Whatever your self-care routine looks like, think of things that make you feel at peace, and do them. Whether it’s taking 15 minutes to meditate, getting outside to exercise, or volunteering at a local food bank, take care of yourself so you are set up for success in your sobriety this holiday season.

Self-Care Resource for Chico and Northern California

If you are struggling with getting through the holidays and need some additional support, our professional team of behavioral health care providers can help. We offer compassionate outpatient care and can work with you to set up a plan for success. Whatever level of care you need, we want to help you feel confident in your sobriety this holiday season.

For more information about behavioral health services and resources for self-care in Chico, call (530) 899-3150 or contact us here.


5 Ways to Navigate Grief During the Holidays

Coping with Loss During the Holiday Season

The holidays can be an incredibly difficult time to navigate grief and loss. While many are overjoyed to see the holiday season in full effect, it is not uncommon for those who are grieving to enter this time with an accompanying sense of fear or dread. They may be concerned as to how they will get through holiday parties, shopping, and workplace festivities while navigating the pain that comes with grief. Remember: Every grieving process is personal, and each unique experience is deserving of attention and respect. There is no time limit on grief, and there should be no expectation to “get over it” or to ignore it.

Here’s What You Can Do

If you are wondering how to handle your grief during this emotionally charged season, you are not alone. The most important thing you can do is allow your process to unfold and take care of yourself as you move through it.

Here are 5 tips to consider when you are grieving during the holidays:

  1. Trust that grief is part of healing and accept that the holidays may be different for you as you navigate your pain. Allowing yourself to feel and experience the emotions that come with grief, rather than trying to hide or escape them, helps you to heal. Working with pain instead of against it is less damaging in the long run, and this is an important ongoing reminder. Remember: Alcohol is a depressant, so even if it sounds like a good idea and subdues pain at first, it can often exacerbate it long term.
  2. Practice self-care through setting boundaries and making time for yourself to reset your energy. This may look like scheduling time to exercise, taking a walk if an environment is overwhelming, taking a hot bath or shower after an event, or sitting down with a journal to write out your feelings. Remember: You can say no to a social gathering if you do not want to go. Your mental health is your priority right now.
  3. Help others by volunteering, feeding the homeless, creating gifts for children who are in the hospital or even walking dogs at a local shelter. Giving back in a time of sadness can lift your spirits, and you can honor your loss by giving compassionately. Remember: The best way to feel love is to offer it, and it is okay to experience the joy of giving in a time of grief.
  4. Focus on what you can control so that you are not overwhelmed. Although you will be subjected to the holiday hustle and bustle, you do not have to participate. If you do not want to put up decorations or listen to music, that is okay. Surround yourself with what you want and what you can handle. Remember: Creating a safe space to grieve is your right.
  5. Ask for help from your family and friends, such as food preparation, decorating help, company on the day-of, or clearing out triggering things from your environment. Your family and friends are here to help you get through the holidays, if you let them. If you feel you need more specialized and focused support, seeking professional mental health care might be beneficial to you. Remember: Help is available, and you deserve it.

Mental Health Services in Northern California

If you are struggling with the grieving process and feel worried that you cannot move through your loss in a healthy way, we can help. We understand that not all grief is managed the same, and sometimes you need the support from therapists, psychologists or possibly inpatient treatment providers in order to find balance. Our compassionate team is available to help you learn ways to handle the hard days and push through the holiday season toward a

Contact our office at (530) 899-3150 to speak with one of our team members today.


Key Differences Between Inpatient & Outpatient Substance Treatment

When most people hear the word “rehabilitation,” they often think of a live-in facility where people reside for months at a time. However, not all forms of rehabilitation/substance treatment require participants to move into a residential facility. Receiving intensive personal care and attention doesn’t have to mean taking a long hiatus from work, school, relationships, and other obligations.

Important Distinctions Between Inpatient and Outpatient Substance Treatment

In addition to the residential aspect of some substance treatments, there are a few important distinctions between inpatient and outpatient treatment that one should consider before enrolling in either:

  • Disruption v. Continuity: Sometimes inpatient or residential treatment is essential for people who are overcoming addictions or other serious mental health challenges. However, leaving behind school, work, and other obligations isn’t always an option for participants who have families and other major commitments. Outpatient substance programs, on the other hand, provide participants with the freedom to continue working, earning an income, and providing for loved ones during the recovery process. This allows them to access the treatment they need at a reduced personal cost.
  • Delayed v. Immediate Application: Inpatient substance treatment provides participants with an opportunity to take a deep dive into their understanding of themselves, their addictions, their triggers, etc., and it allows them to learn about a variety of strategies for achieving sobriety, better mental health, and greater control overall. Outpatient treatment facilitates this same self-reflection, but also allows participants to immediately begin relying on their personal support system and applying strategies learned in treatment, which can increase the chances that they will continue to do so after graduating from their program.
  • Covered vs. Out-of-Pocket Costs: Due to the immense cost of inpatient substance treatment, insurance companies do not often provide full coverage for participants. However, outpatient care is covered under most health insurance policies, making care more accessible for those who need it.

Inpatient treatment is an effective and important step for individuals who are working to stop using substances and may need ongoing support in this process. After they have successfully overcome symptoms of withdrawal and are ready to transition in to long-term recovery, an outpatient treatment program may be the appropriate next step.

Intensive Outpatient Substance Use Program in Butte County

At Therapeutic Solutions, we provide a variety of programs for people in need of behavioral health care in Chico and throughout Northern California. Through our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), we provide outpatient care for people who have been hospitalized and will be transitioning into aftercare.

Our dual diagnosis Substance Use Program supports long-term recovery through skill-building, compassionate therapy, and developing network of support that can sustain itself long after treatment has ended. Additionally, we provide psychiatric services like suboxone to help our patients struggling with substance use safely transition to recovery.

Participants in all of our programs also enjoy a few additional supportive services, including:

  • transportation
  • Ability to continue living at home
  • More personalized care and attention than other programs
  • Consistent interaction with highly trained staff and regular psychiatric consultations (if applicable)

If you or someone you love may benefit from outpatient substance treatment in Chico, please call Therapeutic Solutions at (530) 899-3150 and request your program assessment.


How to Talk to Loved Ones About Substance Use

When we are concerned about the people we care about, starting a conversation may be necessary – but that doesn’t make it easy. It is normal to feel anxiety about addressing a sensitive topic that may not be well-received. It is also important to remember that for many, hearing the concerns and worries of people they know and trust is often the first step toward recovery. It takes courage to bring up difficult topics, and we are here to support you in starting a productive conversation.

3 Tips for Talking with Your Loved One About Their Substance Use Disorder

  1. Talk to other family members and friends before approaching your loved one about their substance use problem. It is almost always a good idea for people struggling with substance use disorders or dependence to hear from multiple people who care about them and know them well. Consulting with other people may make any efforts to intervene more productive and helpful for your loved one.
  2. Pick a convenient time to engage in what could become an emotional, open-ended conversation. Trying to bring up your loved one’s struggle with drugs or alcohol may end poorly if you attempt to bring it up at a social gathering or at a time when they may not be able to engage or listen to your concerns. If other family members are going to be involved in the conversation, it may be wise to speak to your loved one together in the comfort and privacy of a home, where all parties can speak freely and distractions are minimal.
  3. Decide in advance what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Nothing can derail a conversation on a touchy subject quite like an accidentally hurtful comment or unintentionally offensive explanation. On the other hand, people are much more likely to accept “tough love” in situations where they feel others accept, listen to, and care for them. Be sure to use empathetic, gentle body language and use a soft, gentle tone of voice. Also decide ahead of time how you plan to confront your loved one, so as to avoid being misunderstood or giving them an opportunity to disregard your input based on inaccurate or unfair statements.

Behavioral Health Treatment & Addiction Recovery Programs in Chico

At Therapeutic Solutions, we are here to help you care for your loved ones by offering compassionate, attentive, relational support throughout their recovery. We may be able to help you connect your loved one to the resources they need to achieve lasting sobriety, stability, and holistic wellness through our behavioral health programs in Chico. Connect with a member of our team as soon as possible to learn how we can help you support your loved one as they seek to overcome substance use issues.

Call (530) 899-3150 today to speak to a member of our team or send us a message to tell us how we can help.


Healing from Trauma After a Natural Disaster

In recent weeks, Butte County has seen what natural disasters can do to the lives, livelihood, and well-being of entire communities. The Camp Fire has devastated human lives, homes, and businesses, and is the deadliest wildland fire in the history of California. We at Therapeutic Solutions have been saddened to witness the impacts this disaster has had on members of our community.

Given the heavy and multifaceted toll this catastrophic fire has taken on people in Chico, Paradise, and other communities in the Sierra Nevada foothills, there are likely to be lingering mental health consequences for survivors and those who support them. Persons affected by the fire (as well as those who are closely connected to the damage) may begin to experience post-traumatic stress and other mental and emotional reactions to trauma in the days, weeks, and months to come. In times like these, reaching out for mental health support may be an important step toward long-term recovery.

Symptoms of Mental and Emotional Trauma

If you or someone you love has been affected by a natural disaster like the recent wildfires in Butte County or the surrounding areas, watch out for the following potential signs of post-traumatic stress:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Changes in personality
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Depression
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Flashbacks that involve vivid memories and physical distress, including quickened heartbeat, shaking, sweating, etc.
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Intense, unpredictable mood swings
  • New aches and pains
  • Nightmares
  • Social withdrawal

People who are involved in traumatizing events such as wildfires might not begin to recognize the above symptoms right away. Sometimes it can take weeks for symptoms to set in or produce negative, notable consequences in the lives of affected persons. It is important to remember that these symptoms are legitimate responses to traumatic experiences that require compassionate and supportive intervention.

What Causes Mental and Emotional Trauma After Natural Disasters

Many people are traumatized by natural disasters due to the major life changes they endure through the devastation of property and human and animal life. Many throughout North State have lost loved ones in the recent Camp Fire. Others have permanently lost their homes and livelihoods, forcing them into new life conditions they did not want or anticipate. A large number of those affected will feel the direct short and long-term emotional impacts of these changes, which may include grief, anger, regret, and other overwhelming emotions.

In addition to the direct impacts of grief and loss, people who have survived the recent fires in Northern California may also experience mental and emotional trauma related to the following, even if they have not lost property or loved ones:

  • A sense of helplessness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Conflict regarding worldview and shifts in existential perspective
  • Denial or numbness
  • Survivor’s guilt

Trauma Therapy & Mental Health Care in Chico & Butte County

At Therapeutic Solutions, we can provide compassionate guidance and mental health care for people who have been affected by crises such as the Camp Fire. We treat adults and adolescents who experience varying kinds of emotional trauma, including depression, anxiety, grief, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and more. We provide high-quality care in a comfortable, safe environment, and all of our programs are focused on helping people like you achieve whole-person wellness and stability. If you or someone you love is experiencing a behavioral health crisis in the aftermath of the recent wildfires or other natural disasters, we are prepared to provide empathetic and effective mental health care.

Our hearts are with our North State community members and neighbors who have suffered as a result of the Camp Fire. We are with you, and we are here to help.

Call (530) 899-3150 today to speak to a member of our team and request an assessment.