The Embark Difference: A Healing Treatment Approach

At Embark Behavioral Health, its healing treatment approach provides an evidence-supported therapeutic structure that creates effective growth, learning, and healing for youths, young adults, and their families across the United States. Based on human development research and literature, the approach allows Embark treatment teams to best identify and understand each client and family’s emotional, relational, and psychological challenges.  

“Every person along the lifespan is in the process of development, and that’s what allows us to treat not only the client but also the parents and that entire family system that they’re a part of,” said Embark’s vice president of clinical development and training, Dr. Rob Gent, who has a doctorate in psychology.   

The Healing Treatment Approach: 6 Key Concepts

According to Gent, the Embark treatment approach provides a solid, reliable, valid foundation for outpatient and residential program treatment teams to create healthy therapeutic change and, more importantly, therapeutic relationships. 

The approach focuses on six key concepts: the developmental lens, the CASA Developmental Framework, the systemic approach, the experiential approach, outcomes-driven treatment, and therapeutic relationships. 

  • The developmental lens: The developmental lens is the foundation of the Embark treatment approach. Understanding and being aware of where a person and their family are developmentally is the key to grasping how growth throughout the lifespan relies on interpersonal relationships. These relationships are essential for healthy physical, emotional, and relational development.  
  • The CASA Developmental Framework: The CASA Developmental Framework is a roadmap for implementing safe, healthy, nurturing relationships between clients and caregivers — and strengthening a family’s emotional, physical, and relational health — by creating joy through warm and responsive interactions. CASA stands for commitment, acceptance, security, and attunement, also known as empathy in action. 
  • The systemic approach: The systemic approach honors the entire family’s experiences, as they significantly impact development, emotions, behaviors, relationships, and functioning. It promotes healthier family interactions and communication, which fosters connection and healing.  
  • The experiential approach: Experiential therapy engages a person’s body and senses, helping them develop a capacity and willingness to experience their emotions. While it’s often positioned as approaches like equine or canine therapy, even individual and family therapy are experiential, as they help clients connect with their feelings during treatment. 
  • Outcomes-driven treatment: Embark uses outcomes surveys to better understand a client’s level of distress and functioning. The company gathers data across more than 13 areas of client and family health, allowing it to personalize care and make adjustments if needed during the treatment process. Embark is one of the few behavioral health companies that collects outcomes data for up to two years after discharge.  
  • Therapeutic relationships: Embark recognizes the importance of clients having therapeutic relationships with their providers and family members. These relationships provide the opportunity for clients to experience acceptance, be challenged, and integrate all parts of themselves. The Embark approach is structured so that every aspect of treatment sequentially builds toward therapeutic development and healing.  

The Healing Treatment Approach in Action: One Family’s Story  

The Embark treatment approach was just what Lisa’s family needed. Her 14-year-old, Axel, was treated for severe depression and anxiety at Embark Behavioral Health in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. The outpatient center’s treatment team not only helped Axel heal but also gave the entire family the tools and space needed to better understand how to support Axel.  

“The treatment approach gave us Axel back,” Lisa said. “It gave Axel a safe place to start to really process their feelings and their struggles.”  

Lisa explained that the approach and program provided trusted, capable therapists who could support Axel and peers they could identify with. She noted the staff were intentional, thoughtful, and very aware of what each child needed to heal. 

Axel participated in individual, group, and family therapy. Lisa said the various types of therapy addressed all the family’s needs, producing a positive result for everyone involved.  

Lisa said she’d recommend Embark and its healing treatment approach to other families who need help addressing mental health challenges. 

“I come back to that holistic approach,” she said. “The holistic approach works, and you have to trust the process.”

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Embark Behavioral Health

Embark Behavioral Health

Embark Behavioral Health is a leading network of outpatient centers and residential programs offering premier mental health treatment for preteens, teens, and young adults. Dedicated to its big mission of reversing the trends of teen and young adult anxiety, depression, and suicide by 2028, Embark offers a robust continuum of care with different levels of service and programming; has a deep legacy of over 25 years serving youths; works with families to adjust treatment in real time to improve results; treats the entire family using an evidence-supported approach; and offers the highest levels of quality care and safety standards. For more information about Embark or its treatment programs, including virtual services, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), therapeutic day treatment programs, also known as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), residential treatment, and outdoor therapy, visit