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Treatment Programs

Residential Mental Health Treatment

Alter offers the full continuum of mental health care, from residential treatment to outpatient care, so our clients can gradually and successfully transition back to their day to day lives.


Want more information? Contact our admissions team for a free consultation or to get more details about any of Alter’s programs.

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Readiness for Mental Health Treatment


Is there a “right” time for a person to enter residential psychiatric treatment? For many families, the choice to pursue residential treatment is difficult from both an emotional and a financial standpoint. It can awaken feelings of guilt if the family is ready for placement yet the individual is resisting. There are several points to keep in mind regarding readiness.

Recognizing the Need

Often, the family is the first to recognize the need for mental health treatment. The family sees the need to set limits on an adult family member’s behavior and lifestyle, and may express their realization as, “This can’t go on.”

Role of the Individual

Sometimes a mentally ill individual also recognizes that their own efforts haven’t worked and that they can’t seem to improve their mental health on their own. But sometimes the individual does not see or admit this, and the family needs to take action anyway. In some cases, the family may make further support contingent on the person’s agreeing to get treatment for his or her mental illness. All of these scenarios can be the driving force for positive change.

Feelings About Residential Care

Spending time in a mental health treatment facility is never part of a person’s vision of their own future. Even when an adult with mental illness recognizes the need for psychiatric help, they often have mixed feelings about entering a residential treatment community.

People in need of care often experience ambivalence, which can express itself as push-pull behavior: the person agrees to go to a residential treatment program, then pulls back from the decision. However, mixed feelings should not be a reason to avoid residential placement. Though it may seem, at the time, insensitive to overrule their ambivalence, it is often in the person’s best interests, and can result in the restoration of their mental health.

What is Residential Treatment?

Residential treatment (RTC) is 24-hour care provided by state-licensed treatment centers with licensed healthcare professionals in a residential neighborhood. Residential treatment provides greater structure for patients, which allows them to fully focus on their recovery without the external stressors of life back home. Once patients are ready to begin practicing the skills they are learning in a “real world” setting, they will step down to a lower level of care that’s a combination of days in treatment and nights at home.

Our residential facilities are located in Southern California and generally do not appear to be any type of treatment center from the outside. In other words, they look like normal housing. They are beautiful, serene spaces specifically designed for healing and comfort. We are renowned for our comfortable furnishings, tranquil backyards, and relaxing locations.

Your Mental Health Team

The team around you matters in your success, so we’ve packed it with deep experience and a variety of specialties. Our clinical team contains industry-renowned leadership and a diverse lineup of master’s level therapists with expertise in anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, trauma, bipolar, and more.

Why Residential Treatment Programs Are So Effective for People with Mental Illness​

While varying in style, residential psychiatric facilities share the following core characteristics, each of which promotes improved, and sustained, mental health. Taken together and working synergistically, these characteristics create a powerful therapeutic community – a healing environment that exists only in a residential setting.

Behavioral health facility

Mission Viejo

Behavioral health facility


Respect for the Individual

In residential treatment programs, each resident is seen as a unique individual with their own strengths and weaknesses. Residents are accepted and appreciated for who they are, rather than being viewed as a “case” or a “patient.”

Individualized Therapeutic Treatment Goals

All treatment is targeted to the unique mental health, social, and physical needs of the resident. A major goal of all residential facilities is to develop a wide range of habits of self-care, from personal hygiene and taking psychiatric medication to resting and asking for help.

Supportive Structures and Routines

To recover from a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or anxiety disorder, residents need a structure that provides consistent support. Residential treatment centers have professional caregivers to provide that help establish normal, stabilizing routines.

Higher Quality of Life

Meaningful activity, the development of nurturing relationships, the acquisition of new work and self-care skills, and the homelike atmosphere of the residential treatment community provide residents with a higher quality of life than they would in an alternative mental health settings.

Personal Responsibility

As a member of a residential mental health community, residents learn to take responsibility for their own actions and behavior and how it may affects others. And they also learn to respect the needs of other community members as well.

Contribution to the Community

Residents build self-esteem and learn new social skills by contributing in some way to the residential community and/or to the community outside the residence. This might include working or volunteering with businesses and community organizations.

Peer-to-Peer Support

In residential treatment, people share space with peers who are experiencing similar challenges while also working toward recovery. Supportive relationships formed in a residential mental health facility often carry over into the community at large.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

We work with most PPO insurance’s out-of-network benefits. Our team is happy to help you verify benefits.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Insurance benefits vary greatly depending on the policy you have, so we obtain a detailed quote of your coverate. It usually takes between sixty to ninety minutes depending on how fast we can connect with your insurance company and the time of day.

Insurance Verification Information Please complete the following information for the person seeking treatment. We will check your insurance coverage and benefits to see if you’re covered. This insurance verification is entirely free and no obligation.

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