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portrait of tere snodgrass, the director of admissions and referral experience at The Dorm

What I’ve Learned in My First 6 Months at The Dorm: Part I – A Robust Clinical Approach

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Posted Under: Company, Insights

Clinically Reviewed by: Amanda Fialk, PhD, LCSW, LICSW

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By Tere Snodgrass, Director of Admissions & Referral Experience

Six months ago I began a new chapter at The Dorm as the Director of Admissions and Referral Experience. For a long time I was inspired by The Dorm’s mission of guiding clients on their journey to independence, however nothing prepared me for seeing the community in-person and in-action as I have the last few months. Now, with several months under my belt, I’m excited to launch the first of a four-part series sharing my personal takeaways.

Treating a Multi-diagnostic Client Profile

In today’s world, there are a number of young adults navigating various mental health concerns. What differentiates The Dorm is their ability to support young people with not just clinical sophistication but incredible flexibility and personalization. I’ve lost count of the number of individuals who struggled to find a good clinical fit in other outpatient settings but found the support they needed here. I believe that this is not only because the program is truly multi-diagnostic, with an ability to treat clients with many presenting diagnoses, but also because of their ability to adaptively deliver care in a way that makes sense for young people. In the chart below, you can see the full breadth of clinical diagnoses we support, and the breadth of evidence-based treatment modalities on offer to support care.

The 360° Intake

All clients begin their journey at The Dorm with a robust intake process that leaves no stone left unturned.

While most have joined from a higher level of treatment, clinicians review all past assessments, paperwork and intake documentation. New bio/psycho/socials take place alongside nutritional, academic and wellbeing assessments for a wrap-around overview. Our comprehensive team,  including Dr. David Rowe, Consulting Neuropsychologist, and Dr. Seth Mandel, Consulting Psychiatrist, is available to review former testing and conduct assessments during the client’s admission process.

Clinical Tier Structure

Unique to The Dorm is its progressive tier structure which ensures that clients always get the support they require at their own pace. 

Most clients begin at Tier 1 with up to 30 hours of structured care per week, but as they stabilize, grow their skills, and integrate more into the community, they tier down. It’s a beautiful progression: a step down in tiers represents clients’ growing engagement and independence in life. 

Importantly, clients always experience continuity of care on this journey, remaining with the same clinical team and peer community as they move through treatment.  

Integrative Clinical Services

The Dorm’s approach blends eight evidence-based and integrative elements of care that ensure that no two treatment plans are identical. 

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This holistic approach is particularly effective given the breadth of clinical diagnoses treated, ensuring all areas of an individual are addressed and cared for. You can discover more about the full range of  treatment modalities the team offers here, from DBT and CBT to Cognitive Remediation Therapy. 

Young Adult Specialization 

Last but not least, I have remarked on the young adult specialization of the team, with each clinician understanding the unique developmental phase of the emerging adult with specific expertise.  This carries through to the types of programming and groups that are on offer such as The Dorm U, a simulated college class program for students seeking a safe, supported, and structured place to gain skills and confidence. 

I look forward to sharing more insights soon, including a deep-dive into the Community Clubhouse model and The Dorm’s Research Outcomes. I’m always available to answer questions or provide more information about our community – please contact me at tsnodgrass@thedorm.com

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