FRN Research Report November 2011: Improving Patient Mental Health Outcomes Up to One Year Post-Treatment at Michael’s House Treatment Center


Michael’s House Treatment Center is part of Foundations Recovery Network (FRN), a nationally-recognized network of licensed treatment programs. Michael’s House offers a number of treatment programs designed to help each patient receive targeted specialty care that treats co-occurring disorders of mental illness and substance addiction. Michael’s House offers treatment in a world-class facility that is nestled among the scenic San Jacinto Mountains in Palm Springs, California. Michael’s House treats individuals of all backgrounds who are age 18 and older.

All Foundations Recovery Network treatment facilities specialize in treating co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. All FRN rehab programs work together to help improve dual diagnosis treatment with a combination of medically supervised detox, a low staff-to-patient ratio, ongoing research in the field of addiction treatment and expert mental healthcare. Foundations Recovery Network seeks to build a treatment program around each individual patient that also helps improve the outcomes for future and present patients alike.

Patients and families seek out Michael’s House for their all-inclusive treatment that welcomes families from all backgrounds, ages and sexual orientations. Because Michael’s House was one of the original integrated treatment rehabs in the country, they are proud to offer a high standard of patient care and ongoing support and wellness.

Some of the treatment options you can expect at Michael’s House include:

  • Medically Supervised Detox
  • Family and Couples Therapy
  • Experiential Therapy, including Equine Therapy, Challenge Therapy and Fun Outings
  • Extended Care Options
  • Specialty Emotional Trauma Treatment
  • Individual and Group Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • PTSD Treatment
  • Alumni and Family Programs

Foundations Recovery Network makes a concentrated effort to understand more about and learn from patient outcomes. Our research is compiled as part of an ongoing program to develop better treatment outcomes for all dually diagnosed patients and their families. Our research is conducted on a voluntary and completely confidential basis with full patient permission.

Our Findings

After patients complete prescribed 30, 60 or 90-day rehab treatment, they are encouraged to become part of our longitudinal studies. All participation in research studies is confidential and voluntary, and the results you find in this paper were documented between the years of 2009-2011.

This month, we studied the mental health and mental wellness outcomes of former Michael’s House patients. When former patients completed questions about drug use before, during and after treatment, they were also asked about their mental health symptoms and emotional wellness. We seek to understand what encourages increased mental wellness and health during the 12-month period after treatment. Research was conducted through phone interviews, questionnaires and personal interviews.

Patient Mental Health after Integrated Treatment

Integrated treatment seeks to treat each patient on a case-by-case basis with a combination of proven treatment methods and individual treatment planning. Integrated treatment at Michael’s House includes a number of targeted services for each person. These services may include individual therapy, individual consultation with a licensed psychiatrist, group therapy or specialty therapy such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing treatment for trauma, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Our studies revealed that mental health outcomes show continual improvement in the year after treatment following rehab at Michael’s House. Our data shows that mental health gains improve both short-term and long-term after the completion of treatment. In all mental health issues analyzed – including serious depression, serious anxiety, the ability to control violent behavior and thoughts of suicide – the percentage of clients reporting these mental health issues improved dramatically from baseline to one month post-discharge by an average of 53% (see graphs below).

Of particular note, the percentage of clients reporting trouble controlling their anger was cut by more than half — 19% to 5%. Similarly, those reporting serious thoughts of suicide fell by two-thirds from 21% to 7%. This improvement in suicide contemplation may be tied to new found sobriety (as it correlates with an improved addiction severity score for both alcohol and drugs.)

Interestingly, while drug and ASI scores rebound slightly the further a client gets from inpatient treatment (relapse), mental health measures show continued improvement: an average of 59% improvement from baseline compared to a 53% improvement between baseline and one month post discharge. Note that both the percentage of clients reporting serious depression and serious anxiety improved by 13% and 16%, respectively between one month and 12 months post discharge. This suggests that clients are able to absorb and apply the mental health lessons gleaned from treatment even one year post-discharge, reducing the need for readmission to a mental health facility.

Mental Health Treatment in Rehab: What Works and What Does Not Work

Mental health treatment has been constantly developed, refined and redeveloped since structured medical treatment began. Recent studies in mental health treatment have further refined our methods of treatment and, in particular, mental health treatment as it relates to substance abuse and addiction rehab. The programs at Michael’s House and other Foundations Recovery Network facilities aim to keep on top of new research and development in order to provide quality patient care.

There are some key areas that we seek to promote and grow as our integrated treatment programs continue to expand. While substance abuse rehab is a primary objective in all integrated treatment programs, there are some particular areas of mental health treatment that show proven results.

A Full Continuum of Care

While Michael’s House does offer an intensive outpatient treatment program, our IOP programs are encouraged as a wonderful way to continue treatment after medically supervised detox and intensive inpatient rehab. Treatment that includes detox, inpatient rehab and outpatient care is considered “full continuum care” and has been shown to result in greater improvements in psychiatric severity, alcohol and drug addiction, and overall success in employment, wellness, and relapse avoidance in the year after treatment.

Family and Couples Counseling During Rehab

Anyone in recovery or undergoing mental health treatment understands that family and spousal support can aid wellness in the long-term. Studies show that marital therapy and family counseling can help create a healing environment for both the addicted person and his or her family once inpatient treatment is complete. All FRN facilities offer family weekends, family support and family counseling to help each patient recover at home and as a member of a family unit.

Family Aftercare

Continuing care consists of targeted aftercare programs and ongoing patient support. Through a network of referral programs and available patient support and activities, FRN seeks to stay in touch with patients and their families in order to offer support and resources to continue sobriety and mental health wellness. While not all former patients elect to engage in continuing care, studies show that patients who participate in ongoing support have a greater chance at long-term recovery.

A New Model for Sustained Recovery Management

Study after study shows that addiction relapse can be chronic, especially among patients with both substance abuse and mental health issues.4 Instead of reactive treatment that helps each patient only after relapse, Michael’s House is working to more fully embrace a system of sustained recovery that keeps each patient actively involved in his or her own recovery. Counseling is designed to help each patient understand his or her triggers for relapse, as well as areas of weakness and strength through support networks and personal growth. By developing a plan for long-term recovery that includes ongoing support, activities and treatment outreach, each patient should have a direct connection to the recovery community and the original treatment facility.

Multiple Check-Ins and Follow-Ups with Patients

Patients who choose to be included in all FRN research are provided with completely confidential and scheduled contact through telephone surveys and outreach that allows for greater follow-up. Studies show that patients who receive contact from the inpatient facility they attended also return positive outcomes in mental wellness and relapse prevention. All patients who attend Michael’s House are provided with alumni outreach services, outreach and follow-up. Patients who participate in research receive more contact and therefore more access to ongoing phone support.

Continuing Care that Reaches the Patient

Newer studies show that many former rehab patients simply do not embrace continuing care. Studies show that patient involvement can be improved when treatment programs offer a variety of outreach programs that include and engage patients, families, and recovery supporters in new, fun ways.

Community Support Groups and Referrals

Studies also show that patients who engage in community outreach and local Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings return higher rates of abstinence and mental wellness overall. All patients who attend Michael’s House and other FRN programs are connected with sober living resources, local counseling resources and local AA and NA meetings in their home area before discharge. Community connections and involvement allow for greater local support, sponsorship and overall success.


In conclusion, integrated treatment is a continually developing model. As research continues, we seek to develop better outcomes and programs to aid patient development and long-term wellness. Michael’s House strives to meet wellness goals for every patient and every employee.

Our integrated model has provided positive outcomes for many patients but it is important to continue to develop further research with the input and participation of former patients and their families on an ongoing basis. If you would like to speak with a recovery professional today or if you would like to learn more about our research methods and programs, please visit us online at, or call us directly at 615-490-9376.

Go to Top