Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Woman With Dual Diagnosis

Addiction often is the result of the patient self-medicating deeper mental health concerns. These could be:

  • Mood disorders such as major depression and anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • PTSD and complex trauma
  • Grief and bereavement
  • Disorders related to poor impulse management and compulsions (e.g., gambling, sex, or internet addiction)
  • Character disorders

Dual diagnosis, also known as “co-occurring disorders,” is a clinical term utilized for individuals that require treatment for an addiction and an underlying mental health disorder. There appears to be a large gap in recovery because many treatment centers fail to address the dual diagnosis client with appropriate interventions and treatment planning. Seasons in Malibu recognizes the specific nuances in symptoms of dual diagnosis and is an industry leader when it comes to integrating competent and cutting edge care.

Often with dual diagnosis clients, the use of a substance can be the symptom of the underlying issue. By taking careful consideration of the individual needs, our Malibu drug rehab center facilitates a strong foundation for clients requiring emotional management and behavioral self-regulation. In other words, a client gains a better understanding of why they do what they do, how they can help themselves to improve their functioning, and where they can go to get the ongoing resources to maintain success for the long-term.

Team Treatment

As a client, you can expect the Seasons’ highly educated treatment team to provide a comprehensive assessment, solution, and application of new coping skills when addressing dual diagnosis. Some underlying disorders can present as highly complex, requiring the integration of additional interventions, such as EMDR, DBT, or brain spotting. In some occasions, the client is also invited to sit with the entire treatment team to discuss their ongoing progress.

Focused Psycho-Pharmacology


Psychiatry and medication management can be an efficient way to support the dual diagnosis client. Research suggests that clients who utilize medication with therapy typically have a 50% higher chance of improving symptoms within a shorter amount of time. At Seasons in Malibu, we utilize a variety of assessment tools, including metabolic testing to ensure that any medication that is assigned will have the most efficient impact on a client’s individual system. Sometimes, medication is beneficial for short-term stabilization so that a client can feel some added comfort when working through difficult issues while in treatment.

We understand that medication use may not work for everyone and respect the client’s right to choose. That is why offering a comprehensive holistic adjunct to our program allows an opportunity for med-resistant or non-med-reliant clients to address their symptoms in an alternative way. Clients can expect a comprehensive overview of their medication plan, a clear understanding of why a medication is prescribed, and complete comfort in having the Medical Doctor available to them when needed to address needs.

Professional Case Management

Individuals entering treatment with dual diagnosis require specific responses in treatment resources and specialty therapists. At Seasons, each client is assigned an individual case manager. Their sole purpose is to ensure that your ongoing treatment plan is being integrated in an efficient way. Additionally, case managers can be an ally to a client’s physical and emotional recovery by linking their family, partners, and loved ones to resources, education, and opportunities to participate in a client’s treatment.

Patient-Focused Assessment and Referral

Every Seasons client receives a comprehensive assessment at our Malibu addiction center. This allows the professional treatment team to determine not only the specific emotional and behavioral needs of the client, but make considerations for alternative higher level treatment if necessary. In other words, if we are not an appropriate setting for the level of care required, we will ensure that the priority becomes the welfare of the client’s outcome, not our necessity to fill beds. That is why we count on our Medical Doctors to be the foremost experts in ensuring the competency of care provided. This is both our ethical and professional responsibility for every individual.

The Systemic Approach to Addiction Treatment

The systemic treatment approach we utilize takes into account the entire “system” for the client. The co-occurring client can experience an amalgam of risk factors and impulses that cannot be treated the same way as everyone else. Additionally, every family member or loved one participating in treatment requires some level of participation so that the client is not the only individual responsible for creating change. Seasons in Malibu takes great pride in investing in the client system. Whether it is through education, intensive therapeutic work or regular contact, the family and loved ones will not feel ill-equipped to manage in the home environment. They too will be tasked with the expectation of contributing to healing the system that has been affected.

This approach to client care, especially when it comes to dual diagnosis disorders, has contributed to improving outcomes and creating additional relief for all involved.

In closing, if you hear another treatment center say they deal with dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders, ask them what they mean by that – what that treatment is. You might be surprised at the lack of substance to most treatment in this area.

At Seasons in Malibu you will get focused, team-based, intelligent treatment specific to the diagnosis. Unlike other treatment centers, our Malibu recovery center specializes in dual diagnosis cases and co-occurring disorders. We have a wealth of experience dealing with patients who struggle with addiction and with a variety of mental conditions, from mood disorders such as depression to bipolar disorders. Our highly trained staff are equipped to spot the signs and symptoms of a diverse set of afflictions that can underlie or occur alongside of substance abuse problems, conditions that can complicate the recovery process if not diagnosed correctly.

In addition to drug addiction, we also treat alcohol abuse. Our alcohol rehab center utilizes a non 12-step rehab system that boasts one of the highest success rates in the industry – a full 85 percent.

From detox to aftercare, we provide highly effective, systemic treatment methods. Both of our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs take a comprehensive approach to recovery. From the individual level to the neurobiological level to the social and familial level, we aim to treat all of the complex causes that lead to addiction. Every day, we learn more about how to better help patients who suffer from dependency issues.


If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and co-occurring disorders, please call our Malibu drug treatment center to have a free, no-obligation and confidential conversation with one of our caring admissions counselors about how Seasons in Malibu can help.

Call 866-780-8539

Seasons In Malibu

Drug Rehab & Addiction Treatment Center
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