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Youth Programs
Mental Health
Substance Use
Youth Programs
Mental Health
Substance Use

ICTP – Frequently Asked Questions About Co-Occurring Disorders

young girl with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders

What are co-occurring disorders?

The term co-occurring disorder applies when someone has both a mental health and a substance use disorder. This is also known as dual diagnosis or dual disorder. For example, an individual with anxiety who is also struggling with alcohol use. For more information visit:

How is the Integrated Cognitive Therapies Program (ICTP) different from other programs?

Often youth with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders see multiple providers, one who specializes in each area. Integrated treatment means that one therapist provides both mental health and substance use treatment at the same time. In ICTP, youth also have access to psychiatric services if needed. Integrated treatment reduces stress on families since they don’t have to coordinate multiple appointments. It can also help reduce costs. In addition, fewer appointments means that youth have more time for positive activities like sports or after school clubs. As a result, they are able to spend more time with peers who don’t use drugs.

How does ICTP treat co-occurring disorders?

The first step is an assessment to determine whether co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders are present. Then the therapist helps the youth set goals and begin weekly therapy, usually for a total of 16 sessions. ICTP therapists are trained to address both mental health and substance use disorders. They use proven, evidenced-based approaches like Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Contingency Management. Treatment is individualized to each youth and his or her own goals. Sessions focus on developing skills to manage urges to use substances and cope with difficult emotions. Therapists also teach other skills that promote healthy decision-making.

How common are co-occurring disorders in youth?

It’s hard to say how many youth have co-occurring disorders because many have not been diagnosed. According to SAMHSA’s data from 2014, 1 in 10 youth ages 12-17 had a major depressive episode that year. These youth were twice as likely to try alcohol or other drugs compared to their peers. Youth with mental health disorders are at a greater risk for developing a substance use disorder than other youth.

How do I know if my youth has co-occurring disorders?

You don’t have to know! If it seems like your youth is struggling with emotional problems or drugs/alcohol, give us a call. We can help you determine if you should schedule an assessment. Some signs can include:

  • Frequently missing school or getting in trouble at school (especially if related to using drugs or alcohol at school)
  • Sudden changes in sleep patterns
  • Sudden changes in friend group or avoiding friends completely
  • Losing interest in activities that used to be fun
  • Angry outbursts
  • Talking about suicide or attempting suicide
  • Sudden changes in weight
  • Finding drugs/alcohol or paraphernalia (pipes, empty bottles, pills that were not prescribed, etc.) in your home/youth’s room
  • Unexplained cash or especially expensive items (or money going missing)
  • Arrests/legal problems

What if a youth needs medication?

Youth in ICTP can receive psychiatric services and medication management appointments with a psychiatric practitioner when indicated.

What about family therapy or other support for parents?

ICTP staff understand that parenting a teen with co-occurring disorders is difficult. ICTP offers the option for parents or caregivers to participate in family coaching. You can participate in individual sessions or in a group with other families.

Who is eligible for ICTP and where are services located?

In the Greater Seattle area:

Youth age 13-26 can come to our Youth and Family Services Branch on Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. in Seattle. This location accepts private insurance and Medicaid. Contact the ICTP Administrative Program Manager at 206-322-7676 ext. 6248 for questions or to request an appointment.

In South Snohomish County:

Our South Snohomish County Program serves youth age 13-19 who either: – – Live in South Snohomish County and are involved in the juvenile justice system (Diversion Agreement, Probation, or At-Risk Youth programs)
– Attend school in the Edmonds School District

Youth in the Edmonds School District may be able to have sessions at school during the day or after school. Student Support Advocates at the schools can help you set up an appointment. Youth involved in the juvenile justice system should ask their Juvenile Probation Counselor or other court staff for a referral. Sessions take place at the Verdant Community Wellness Center in Lynnwood. A grant from the Verdant Health Commission helps cover the cost of services.

For more information, please call 206-322-7676 extension 6248 or visit the ICTP Program page.

Fill Out Our Get Help Form To Request An Assessment Or More Information

THS is proud to announce our 2017 Mental Health and Substance Use Program Outcomes

For both youth and adult clients, we track progress every 90 days on a number of general measures of improvement towards treatment goals. For the Substance Use program, we track measures of improvement such as basic medical care received, alleviation of chronic symptoms and reduction in use of alcohol and drugs. For Mental Health, we track the development of self-management skills, improvements in mood and behavior, and client ability to engage positively with family.

You can view the full outcome report for adult clients here and the youth report here.

How does social worker and Little League coach Aaron Parker teach his team to make good choices on and off the field? By using evidence-based principles from UW School of Social Work’s Communities in Action initiative. Your support makes it possible to help more youth adopt healthy behaviors for life.

You can watch a video of THS Branch Manager Aaron Parker in action with his Little League team here.

Click here to learn more about the University of Washington School of Social Work and the Communities that Care program.

On Tuesday, December 12, THS was honored to host King County Executive Dow Constantine to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Youth & Family Homelessness Prevention Initiative. One year ago, we began our partnership with Best Starts For Kids to provide solutions to young people and families facing homelessness. We’re proud to announce that together, we prevented more than 3,000 people from becoming homeless in 2017. Click here to see how we did it.

Check out the Facebook Live Video of the press conference and the full press release from King County.

You can also watch coverage of the press conference from Q13 Fox News featuring THS’s own Tanya Robertson-Brooks.

Check out our new THS Adult and Youth Program brochures.

To view or download a copy:

Click HERE for the Adult Programs Brochure.

Click HERE for the Youth Programs brochure.

Announcing the 2015 Therapeutic Health Services Investigative Summary and Juvenile Justice Directory!

Therapeutic Health Services (THS) is one of the oldest alcohol and substance abuse multi-service nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest. It has assisted residents of both King and Snohomish Counties, and offered one of the first mental health and youth service bureaus for Black youth. For over forty years, THS has provided a comprehensive mental health, alcohol and substance abuse service-approach to meeting the challenges affecting Black youth, their parents and extended families.

Over the course of nearly three years, research was conducted into what drives this over-representation of Black youth in the criminal justice pipeline. The question that we focused on throughout the research process was “what’s missing in terms of reducing this travesty?” Fifty-five individuals representing eleven sectors were randomly selected and interviewed. These included: law enforcement, court officials, youth advocates, nonprofit service providers, faith-based community leaders and educators, juvenile justice administration, and businesses. We also included local public high school student voices.

The participants were interviewed over a period of two years by a local researcher behalf of Therapeutic Health Services. This cumulative project is a question to the community; “What’s Your Responsibility for reducing the Incarceration of Black Youth?” It examines what was learned from that inquiry, and aims to move us forward with resolve to make a difference in the world around us.

The Juvenile Justice Resource Directory is a companion piece to the Investigative Summary and was inspired by interviewees who insisted our city and communities cross this state can do more. Both are public service publications highlighting the completion of our juvenile justice project.

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