Aspire Counseling Services has implemented an integrated behavioral healthcare program that has proven to be extremely effective. We had a conversation with Yessica Avancena, Divisional CEO at Aspire Behavioral Health in Fresno and Bakersfield. Yessica is a Licensed Married and Family Therapist, has her MBA, and is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher. It is the Mindfulness concept that is setting Aspire’s behavioral healthcare program apart from most others and is making the difference in the success of their program.
Mindfulness refers to a therapeutic technique that helps patients achieve a positive mental state by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Aspire incorporates the mindfulness process throughout everything they do, for their clients and their staff. By incorporating mindfulness into their IOP/PHP programs with yoga, art therapy, pet therapy, group therapy, drumming circle, and numerous other techniques, they have achieved an increased level of success for their clients and staff.
We asked Yessica how Aspire has been so successful with their integrated behavioral healthcare workflow. Yessica stated that the key is having a champion at the worksite that embodies the practices that you hope to infuse into the program. That person then gets help from other members of the team to continue to build the mindfulness concept so that every employee embodies the programs that they are teaching their clients. Staff are offered continual training and can participate in active practice, such as weekly yoga and other programs.
Aspire has developed an evidence-based integrated behavioral healthcare program. Clients are evaluated during intake and scores are applied to their depression, anxiety, and overall wellness levels. Clients are then evaluated again midway through their program, and again upon exiting the program, to measure their improvement upon graduation. With an average of 20 sessions, regular attendees are seeing a median 50% reduction in their symptoms. When clients stay longer, are more consistent with their treatment, and don’t miss sessions, they are seeing even higher benefits.
Satisfaction of clients and employees is also measured to ensure the program is continuing to thrive. By implementing regular client and employee evaluations, Aspire can assess what they like and what they don’t like. Aspire can then adjust their programs accordingly to ensure better outcomes and satisfaction for their clients. As Yessica noted, the medical industry isn’t typically noted for their customer service, but Aspire’s goal is to ensure their clients satisfaction and success. Clients have many choices for their health care needs, and Aspire’s integrated mindfulness-type program offers them more options than the average treatment programs.
Aspire also partners with a teaching organization to train therapists, and these new students enjoy learning and practicing the mindfulness craft. Aspire knows that when it comes to behavioral healthcare, hiring the right people, with the right fit and passion for what they do, is key to the organization’s success. With open communication, new and innovative ideas are coming in from employees every day that helps Aspire to grow and develop more techniques. The more opportunities that are offered to both clients and employees, the more able they are to find something they can relate to and embrace.
When asked what challenges Aspire faces with their integrated program, Yessica stated their largest challenge was clients who have never been introduced to mindfulness-type techniques and who believe they cannot do it. However, Aspire counselors excel at educating their clients and encouraging them to try techniques that they can relate to, and to relax and let the process work. Usually, in less than two weeks they start to see benefits and begin to embrace the program. The most surprising result with these clients is they typically see the highest benefits and decrease in symptoms. They learn lifelong skills that will help them meet future challenges.
Genesis Medical Management thanks Yessica Avancena for sharing Aspire Counseling Centers’ secrets to success. Their unique integrated behavioral healthcare program has been effective in helping their clients to achieve success and their employees to love and embrace the work they do. Organizations must find ways to help them stand out from all the other choices that people have when seeking healthcare and Aspire has definitely found their key to success.
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