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Programs & Education

Programs & Education

Welcome to Benchmark Behavioral Health

Since 1986, Benchmark Behavioral Health has treated those with various forms of mental illness. Today, our programs are designed for adolescent males ages 13–17 with a variety of psychiatric and behavioral disorders. Some of the conditions we treat include conduct disorder, sexual disorders/sexual misconduct issues, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, developmental disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and substance abuse issues.

Benchmark Behavioral Health’s chief concern is the youth we serve. By providing cognitive behavioral therapy, psycho-educational interventions and a wide array of therapeutic services, we are committed to developing youth who can return to their communities more prepared to lead pro-social, productive lives.

Our Programs

Behavioral Misconduct

In our residential Behavioral Misconduct program, we provide 24-hour supervision for teen males between the ages of 13–17. The youth in our Behavioral Misconduct program have various psychiatric issues such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, reactive attachment, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant, depression or other problem areas that have resulted in their dismissal from other outpatient services or other treatment facilities.

Sexual Misconduct

This residential program is designed for adolescent males with sexualized behavior issues (may be adjudicated for sexual offenses). The youth in the Sexual Misconduct programs are teens ages 13–17 who often have a myriad of psychiatric issues. These may include impulse control, history of sexual abuse, anxiety, bipolar disorder, reactive attachment, depression, or other problem areas that resulted in their failure in outpatient services or other treatment facilities.


Benchmark Behavioral Health offers education for the youth in our care. The Benchmark School is designed to provide a positive learning environment, differentiated instructional strategies and quality instruction to help students become lifelong learners.

Recreation Therapy and Vocational Training

In addition to our residential programs, we offer recreation therapy, a daily recreation therapy group, community reintegration activities, a fitness program, and a community outreach program. Each of these services is designed to help residents enhance their health, their functional abilities and their quality of life.

Through our Recreational Therapy program, Benchmark gives residents the opportunity to experience and learn life skills like completing a job application, going through an interview, clocking in and out, receiving a paycheck and employee evaluations. Resident employees are mentored by our on-site job coach, who encourage and instruct our youth.

Our Approach

Our program is based on evidence-based practices that emphasize and magnify relationship based treatment processes. The program is centered on the Transtheoretical Model of the Stages of Change. We meet the residents where they are at in these stages and view our role as helping them through each stage and respond in like manner.

We use these Stages of Change to identify where each resident is at and provide the level of support and supervision that is requisite to help them advance through this stage and into the next. We consider everyone in our building and associated with the resident at home as part of the treatment team. As residents complete work in treatment and on the unit their behaviors start to change, as they feel ready to advance to the next phase of their treatment the team will meet and determine if the resident is ready to advance. The level of support and limits are adjusted and decreased as they advance through the phases. We emphasize positive interactions at all levels to help support and bring about change in the individual, and each aspect of the program is aimed at this endeavor. Residents cannot “lose a level” or have one of their “phases dropped” due to negative behaviors. We simply process the natural consequences of their choices as much as possible, encourage their advancement and emphasize changes that may need to be made in order to progress through the phases.

We view the challenge of changing behaviors much like setting out to climb a steep and treacherous mountain. Initially, it can be overwhelming and challenging, but by doing so you feel a great sense of accomplishment once you reach the peak and can view the full scope of changes they have made and can see how your life is and will be different moving forward. Our Phases of treatment reflect this analogy and we use the same terminology to describe the phases of treatment.

Our Clinical Approach

At Benchmark, we recognize the uniqueness of each individual and tailor treatment plans specifically for each youth. Our focus is on relationship-based models, which we believe are essential for our students and families. Additionally, we understand the increasing impact of trauma on individuals, and our approach to trauma revolves around two key aspects: “trauma-informed care” and “post-traumatic growth.”

Given the widespread prevalence of trauma exposure in our society, our treatment program assumes that everyone within our system—students, families, and employees—experience some level of trauma-related stress. Due to this belief, our approach is one of building relationships with our residents through a trauma-focused approach built on The Three Pillars of Trauma-Informed Care of SAFETY, CONNECTIONS and MANAGING EMOTIONS. Our aim is to guide each resident and their family towards peace and healing, moving away from the mindset associated with past traumatic events. We refer to this process as post-traumatic growth, as we have witnessed that not only can we recover from trauma, but we can also develop increased empathy, compassion, and emotional resilience throughout the healing journey.

Relationship-Based Therapy

Relationship-based treatment is the use of the client-provider relationship to inspire, motivate and facilitate healthy adaptation in the life of a client. Our philosophy is rooted in the belief that relationships play a crucial role in therapy.

Learn more about Relationship-Based Therapy >

Phases of Treatment

To fully complete the Benchmark Treatment Program successfully a Resident must complete all four phases of treatment. These phases were created to reflect the Transtheoretical Stages of Change Model. For a Resident to advance through a phase they need to be showing the behaviors that reflect where they are in that stage of change. For a resident to advance from one phase to the next they will need to exhibit these behaviors and tasks and gain approval from their treatment team.

Learn more about the Phases of Treatment >

Our Staff

The Benchmark program utilizes a multidisciplinary treatment approach to assist residents in accomplishing their treatment goals.

Clinical Staff/Therapists
Every Benchmark resident is assigned an individual therapist at the time of admission into the program. All primary therapists hold a Master’s degree and are state licensed in their respective fields. The resident’s therapist will be responsible for overseeing the treatment plan, for holding weekly individual therapy sessions, and for providing family therapy, psychodynamic group treatment and crisis management therapy (when necessary). The therapist is also be the link between the guardians and Benchmark Behavioral Health.

Department of Psychology
A full-time staff psychologist works closely with therapists and administration to meet the individual needs of each resident through targeted psychological assessment. Our psychologist provides consultation services consisting of psychological, neuropsychological and psychosexual testing as appropriate. Risk assessments can be conducted by Benchmark’s psychologist. Full intellectual, adaptive ability and competency evaluation are also available. Testing to determine qualifications consistent with Federal, State and agency funding is completed when requested. Insurance, agency, court-ordered and educational testing is completed when required. Testing consistent with career guidance is available.

Benchmark employs full-time psychiatrists that complete all psychiatric evaluations and updates. In order to provide youth with the best care, psychiatrists participate monthly multidisciplinary staff meetings and regularly interact with all levels of staff to evaluate and treat each Benchmark resident.

Benchmark residents are cared for around the clock by a staff of caring, competent nurses who have chosen to work in behavioral health. They have additional training in psychiatric/mental health and pediatrics. Our nurses assist on the units with milieu management and often lead groups with the residents on topics specific to adolescent and adult health. This talented staff are experts not only in nursing assessment and medication management, but also in acute care and community health. They are instrumental in the holistic treatment of our residents and are valuable not only in their medical knowledge, but also in their critical thinking and problem solving to assist in promoting total wellness and the best outcomes for our residents.

Education/Special Education
Benchmark School education is offered through our accredited on-campus facility. We offer a low teacher to student ratio of 1:12. Our educators include Special Education certified teachers who can address IEP needs and accommodations specific to our setting.

Recreational Therapy
A recreation therapy department works in conjunction with our school and is also available after hours and on weekends to provide activities for healthier living.

Milieu Treatment Team
At Benchmark the milieu, or whole living environment, is considered one of the primary avenues in facilitating a lasting change. The therapeutic communities strive to generate an environment that exerts a therapeutic influence on the resident. The therapeutic community is run by trained staff workers who are a minimum of 21 years of age. All staff complete training specific to verbal de-escalation and trauma informed care.

We Change Lives

Call 801-299-5383 to learn about admissions to Benchmark Behavioral Health. Our referral staff is available to answer your questions and guide you through the admissions process. If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.