[Skip to Content]

Phases of Treatment

Phases of Treatment

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.

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 you 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.


When a resident arrives at Benchmark they typically are in the Pre-contemplative or Contemplative stage of change which suggests they are not even thinking that they have a problem, or they are unaware of how their behaviors affect themselves and others, or they are just beginning to think about or recognize some of their issues. At Benchmark this phase is titled the APPROACH Phase. Additionally for the first two weeks residents are watched very closely and problem areas are further identified, this first two weeks is referred to as “Base Camp.”

Expectations for completion of the APPROACH Phase include:

  • Display an understanding of the program.
  • Should begin to show compliance/respect and trust of staff.
  • Able to identify problem behaviors and voice a desire for change.
  • Ability to regulate emotions to the point of decreasing severity of unsafe/risky behaviors.
  • Complete the treatment assignments that correspond to this phase.


The second phase of treatment at Benchmark reflects the Planning and Action stages of change. A resident is now aware of the behaviors or issues that have caused them to require this level of care and are considering plans or ways to address and change these behaviors and are moving towards putting those plans into action. At Benchmark this second phase is titled ELEVATE.

Expectations for completion of the ELEVATE Phase include:

  • Willingness to accept feedback and coaching from others.
  • Little to no arguing with others.
  • Can identify weaknesses in self.
  • Ability to regulate emotions consistently/displaying control over impulses.
  • Ability to function as a team and work with others/becoming pro-social.
  • Complete the treatment assignments that correspond to this phase.


The third phase of treatment at Benchmark reflects the Maintenance stage of Change. A resident has started making changes and has put his plan into action and has shown that he can exhibit healthy choices and behaviors for a brief amount of time. Often people can make changes for short amounts of time but a major hurdle for lasting change is maintaining those changes and “forming new habits.” These are often referred to as lifestyle changes, as they are what is required to “maintain” the changes they have started. At Benchmark this third phase is titled ASCEND.

Expectations for completion of the ASCEND Phase include:

  • Showing ability to work with others.
  • Showing more internal coping skills vs. external coping skills.
  • Handle setbacks with little to no disruption to daily living.
  • Behaviors are consistent.
  • Relationships with others are expanding and healthy.
  • Moving towards self-governing.
  • Complete the treatment assignments that correspond to this phase.


The fourth and final phase of treatment at Benchmark reflects the relapse stage of change. Research suggests that relapse will happen and that it is essential to plan for. During this phase the resident is focused on moving towards reintegration back into the community. What happens after Benchmark looks very different for everyone based on their unique circumstances and needs. Often it makes sense for them to return to their home and family and receive out-patient services while living with their family. Often it may be warranted that they move into a “step-down” type setting where there are more safety nets in place. The planning for this next step will begin at admission and can change based on level of progress as well as the conditions and progress made with their support system. During this phase these conditions will need to be set and in focus so that the relapse prevention plan can be tailor made to each individual’s needs. At Benchmark we call this final phase of treatment SUMMIT. Often treatment gains are not sustained, and residents view their work as completed once they “leave Benchmark.” Like climbing a very steep and treacherous mountain, once you summit (complete the program), the journey is not over, you need to safely make your way back down the mountain. Often this is when injuries take place because the way down is often steep, and you are moving at a quicker pace.

Expectations for completion of the SUMMIT Phase include:

  • Require little to no support from staff.
  • Self-governing.
  • Model appropriate behaviors for others.
  • Becoming “Guides” themselves.
  • Display empathy and concern for others = they want to give back to others/service.
  • Willing to do whatever is asked of them as they have identified healthy influences and built trust with support team.
  • Understand that they need to continue to regain trust as they re-enter the community.
  • Have a clear and detailed Relapse Prevention Plan.
  • Complete the treatment assignments that correspond to this phase.

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.