Palm View Retreat is a transitional facility with the goal of preparing our clients to step-down to the lowest level of care that is appropriate for their unique needs. We strive to provide a homelike environment where the client, family members, friends and supportive staff are able to interact with clients in a recovery-oriented milieu. Palm View Retreat staff provide structure, skill-building opportunities, and support to promote stabilization and foster recovery.

Assessment & Client Service Plan

Palm View’s philosophical approach to care is to provide a person-centered, strength-based framework that is designed to promote mental health stabilization through evidence-based practices. Using a person-centered approach, we focus on client’s innate strengths and resources to develop a treatment plan responsive to the unique needs of each individual. A very important part of our program is the collaboration between the client and the program staff. Initially, the resident and the Clinical Services Director work collaboratively on developing a treatment plan that is focused on goals that are self-articulated by the client. We strive to empower our clients, encourage self-determination, and aid them in building a positive self-image.

Program Overview

Palm View Retreat utilizes a four-prong approach utilizing therapeutic methodologies to address co-occurring or dual diagnosis issues (mental health and substance use/abuse together), the “On my Own Program” which addresses life skills, mindfulness-based practices, and relapse prevention. The heart of our program is incentive based. Clients have a “Weekly Responsibility Sheet” where they chart their program participation and progress for the week. Clients earn points in a variety of ways to include core groups, recreational activities, independent living skills, personal health and self-care, mindfulness, peer support, and participation in extra-curricular activities. Through program participation clients self-determine their pace, and as they move through the program they earn greater community integration through achieving program levels 1 through 5. Program levels 1 through 4 are primarily therapeutic and skill-based, where Level 5 “Pathfinders” are for those clients who have been consistently successful in all program areas and are preparing for step-down. Pathfinders are involved in peer support, co-leading groups, preparing for potential educational or employment opportunities, hold jobs within the facility, receive incentives, and participate in special outings.

Regular groups are run daily and focus on three main areas of psychiatric and social rehabilitation:

  1. Coping Skills/Emotional Regulation Skills
  2. Life Skills/Independent Living Skills “On my Own”
  3. Relapse prevention (both psychiatric and substance relapse)

Palm View takes a four-prong approach to care that incorporates Therapeutic Methodologies, the ‘On my Own Program’, addresses Dual Diagnosis (Substance Abuse Treatment where appropriate) and Mindfulness Skills. These four program cornerstones are delivered from a strength-based, person-centered approach. Our goal is to treat each person individually based on their skills sets and goals while always being mindful that the end goal is placement at the lowest level of care that is safe for each individual client.

Therapeutic interventions are influenced by:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy,
  • WRAP classes (Wellness & Recovery Action Plans),
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy,
  • Art Therapy,
  • Dual Diagnosis for Substance Abuse,
  • Narrative Therapy,
  • and Mindfulness practices.

For those clients who have experienced unresolved Trauma we take a trauma-informed approach and try to aid the client in understanding the perception of the trauma as opposed to reliving the trauma. We do this first through rapport building and developing a safe space in which the client feels supported during this process. Then we build coping skills so that when the trauma-focused work begins the client has the appropriate skills to keep themselves from becoming overwhelmed. This provides a safe foundation for working through the trauma, thus removing it as a barrier to success and well-being.

Palm View Clinical Staff has developed a program “On My Own” that focuses on necessary life skills to be successfully integrated back into the community with the knowledge of how to care for oneself, do basic housekeeping and laundry, good nutrition, basics of budgeting and money management, using good interpersonal and social skills to build and maintain a support network, maintain psychiatric stabilization through the awareness of triggers and mastery of coping skills, medication management skills, how to reach out for support, utilize community resources, including public transportation, and how to be their own best advocate.

The ‘On my Own’ program is a 24-week program designed to build consecutively on skills learned. By focusing on a particular component for the entire week the program allows clients to learn, apply, and practice sills learned. Repetition is a key component to developing learned skills or building habits. The following components are covered through rehabilitative group therapy, activities and opportunities to practice the skills:


  • Personal Hygiene
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Client’s own health
  • How to make and keep Doctor Appointments
  • Medication Education
  • Independent Medication Management
  • Nutrition
  • Basic Budgeting and Financial Skills
  • Cost-Conscious Shopping
  • Self-Care Activities
  • Safe Sex & Birth Control options
  • Relationship and Interpersonal Skills
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Cultural Awareness & Sensitivity
  • Responding to Racism & Stigma
  • Exploring Spiritual Support options
  • Educational Opportunities & Interest Assessments
  • Volunteer Opportunities (Peer Support)
  • College or Vocational Programs
  • Employment Preparation
  • Learning the Public Transit System
  • Utilizing Community Resources
  • Develop a Personalized Wellness Recovery Action Plan to take with them upon discharge.


For those clients who come to us with a history of self-medicating or a substance use disorder we provide Dual Diagnosis process groups. Due to the high number of clients we serve that have co-occurring disorders (at any given time 70% to 90% of our population) we emphasize treatment in this area. It is often one of the foremost barriers to success that we deal with. This is an alcohol and drug free campus; this includes the use of marijuana. Despite the legalization of marijuana there is significant evidence showing that mild-altering substances interfere with our “feeling good” hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. In addition, substances in all forms are primarily unsafe to use in conjunction with psychiatric medications. Palm View has recently partnered with the Hospitals and Institutions Division of Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Weekly meetings are now held within the facility by NA facilitators. Staff also encourages our clients to attend local AA and/or NA groups that we have identified in the area.

The scope of our Dual Diagnosis approach is to encourage abstinence but to also address harm reduction strategies because we understand the challenges our clients face in dealing with both mental health issues and addiction.  We incorporate addiction education, how alcohol and drugs impact the brain and moods, how they can conflict with other medications, and identify successful coping skills to forestall cravings. Through mindfulness practices we aid clients in finding alternative activities to regulate their emotions.

 This is a smoking campus (in designated areas only), but for those wanting to quit using tobacco products we work with their primary care physicians to obtain nicotine patches or gum to support them in their efforts. 

Mindfulness practices have been found by research to be very effective in battling depression, and especially in preventing both psychiatric and substance abuse relapse. Since mindfulness has entered the mainstream extensive research has supported the fact that mindfulness is also very effective in treating other types of mental health disorders such as anxiety, panic attacks, and in overall stress reduction which can mitigate psychotic episodes. We incorporate mindfulness practices into our group and exercise activities as well as closing each evening with mindful meditation to aid clients with their sleep habits.

Program Outcomes

By active involvement in the core groups, the WRAP program, ‘On my Own’ program, and various community engagement activities each client will develop a binder of skills and resources unique to their diagnosis and personal needs. It is the goal of the program for every client to be prepared to become as independent as possible while enjoying an active and supported quality of life. Individual treatment plans focus on addressing barriers to success through psychoeducation rehabilitative and therapeutic interventions. Clients will leave Palm View Retreat with an understanding of their diagnosis, any individual health challenges, medication awareness, trigger awareness, a variety of corresponding coping skills, an understanding of community resources, options for school and/or employment where appropriate, a recovery plan for substance abuse where applicable, and a mental health relapse prevention plan.