Albert Road Clinic
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Adolescent Service

The Adolescent Service provides specialist inpatient and community programs for adolescents and young adults aged 13-22 years who are experiencing difficulties which prevent them from achieving their potential.

As these problems may be expressed in many ways, our programs involve the whole family, not just the patient, because a young person’s problems cannot be effectively treated in isolation.

The emphasis of the program is on personal growth, connectedness, emotional health and overall wellbeing.

The Inpatient and Day Programs include:

  • Group programs
  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy (as required)
  • Weekly parent and sibling support groups
  • Liaison with school and other relevant work and community services

The Adolescent Service has an admission process which can take 2-6 weeks and is therefore not designed for emergency admissions.

Group programs are informed by a number of evidence based therapies which aim to increase resilience, independence and emotional wellbeing by addressing general life adjustments, self-concept, self-management and lifestyle.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) teaches a structured approach to help the young person understand the interplay between our thoughts, emotions and behaviour patterns.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) teaches a methodical approach to developing balance between acceptance and change through learning to observe the states of mind and respond effectively. The four modules of DBT are mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

Mindfulness training helps the young person develop their attention and awareness as a pathway to adopting a more conscious approach to experience.

Supportive Psychotherapy sessions offer young people a space to address interpersonal relationships within the group and in everyday life, and where healthy and adaptive patterns of thoughts and behaviours are reinforced.

Health Education and Psycho-education explores healthy approaches to lifestyle.

Expressive Therapy using creative means such as art, music, poetry and storytelling are employed as a way of using the young person’s imagination to explore the body, feelings and thought processes.

The Adolescent Inpatient Unit is for adolescents and young adults 13-22 years who may present with a range of mental health problems including depression, anxiety, psychosis, school refusal, obsessive compulsive disorder and social and behavioural problems.

An inpatient stay is typically of three to four weeks duration and attendance at group programs is compulsory.

ARCH (incorporating DBT and Life Skills):

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

When: Tuesday Time: 10.00am to 3.15pm

This program is based on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) as developed by Dr Marsha Linehan. It is designed to help individuals with difficulty around unstable moods, self-harm, interpersonal relationships, self-image and impulsive behaviour.

The program aims to teach young people the skills required to tolerate distress, improve interpersonal effectiveness, reduce labile emotions and moods, reduce impulsivity, and improve understanding of oneself, ones mood and behavioural patterns.

Life Skills

When: Wednesday Time: 10.00am to 3.15pm

This program is designed to provide on-going support to for those young people who are struggling to engage effectively in their lives. Life Skills is a holistic, flexible and supportive group therapy option. The focus is on enhancing and maintaining recovery, addressing underlying difficulties, exploring their own change process and learning coping tools.

Life Skills uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), mindfulness, supportive psychotherapy, psychoeducation, expressive and creative therapies, wellness and resilience theory.


When: Friday Time: 10.00am to 3.15pm

LEAF is designed for young people who present with a range of mental health problems.

The program modules have been developed to address issues pertinent to the needs of young people with the aim to increase resilience, independent living skills and wellness through the application of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), supportive psychotherapy, expressive therapies, wellness and resilience theory.

In order to work with your child effectively, we also need to work closely with you, their parents. For many parents the decision to get help for their child is not an easy one to make, and often generates feelings of guilt, anger, helplessness and even hopelessness. It is our belief that both you and your child will feel more comfortable with your decision to bring them to the Clinic as you work with the treatment team. We encourage you to participate in the treatment planning process as well as be available, when appropriate, for family therapy, visits and outings as often as you can.

As an integral part of your child’s treatment we provide written resources to assist you to understand the admission process and therapeutic model of care.

Parents of admitted patients have found it useful to attend the Parents’ Group and we encourage parents and family members to attend. The group is held every Tuesday evening, 6.00 – 7.00pm. The group is not a line of communication to the staff providing direct care for your child, but a much needed forum for parents to share experiences and offer mutual support and advice. Siblings are offered a similar forum that runs on Thursday afternoon from 4.30 – 5.30pm.

Enquiries and Referrals

For all enquiries about accessing the Adolescent Service at Albert Road Clinic please call 03 9256 8322.

Private health insurance is recommended and a referral from your psychiatrist or general practitioner is required.

Download the brochure

Adolescent Service