The early psychosis treatment program at UC San Diego Health is designed for adolescents and young adults who are experiencing changes in their thoughts, behavior or emotions that might be associated with serious mental health issues. We offer these young people and their families a wide range of help, treatment options and support.
Our comprehensive program is meant to enhance daily functioning while allowing young adults to keep up with school, work, and their personal and professional responsibilities. By providing early identification of psychosis, our goal is to decrease the development of mental illness, as well as reduce its severity and associated disability.
Assessing and Treating Early Psychosis
Kristin Cadenhead, MD, our multidisciplinary team includes psychiatrists, psychologists and specialized therapists who are skilled in assessing and treating young people with psychotic illness. Our treatments are supported by evidenced-based research and aim to reduce the effects of emerging psychosis. We collaborate with you, your family, and existing primary providers, when present, to develop a treatment plan that best addresses your therapeutic needs.
During your first visit, our team will conduct a complete initial diagnostic evaluation. This evaluation is performed by a psychiatrist or psychologist to help understand your symptoms and diagnosis.
Our evaluation services include:
- Clinical consultation
- Comprehensive diagnostic assessment
- Neuropsychological assessment
Based on these results, we develop treatment recommendations to address an individual’s unique needs.
Early Psychosis Treatment
Our treatment approaches include a variety of techniques, including psychoeducation, lifestyle counseling, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), social skills for psychosis and cognitive remediation. Treatment options are comprehensive and supported by evidence-based research. They include:
Did You Know?
Results from a major
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) initiative demonstrate that
coordinated specialty care can improve outcomes for young adults with a single episode of psychosis. Coordinated specialty care involves working with a team of specialists to create a personal treatment plan that combines recovery-oriented psychotherapy, low-dose medication management, family education and support, case management, and work or education support.
- Pharmacologic management, including alternative/complementary medicine
- Individual psychotherapy
- Group psychotherapy for teens, college readiness, adult support and multi-family support
- Family therapy
- Supported employment/education services
- Referrals to UC San Diego Health inpatient care
Recovery and Follow-Up Care
Our experts understand that recovery processes can look different for each person, which is one of the reasons we emphasize follow-up care. Once our team has helped you and your family sufficiently manage your symptoms, our specialists can provide continued support, monitor progress and assist you in developing a lifestyle that supports mental wellness.