Contact Us:

1015 Mar Walt Drive
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

(850) 863-4160 or (800) 537-5433

Please Call Us for More Information: 850-863-4160 or 800-537-5433







Gulf Coast Treatment Center: Programs


Patients admitted are those with identified mental health disorders and/or substance abuse diagnoses, who have been unsuccessful in other levels of care.

Gulf Coast Treatment Center (GCTC) provides therapeutic residential services to those who have the intellectual potential to benefit from the program (including patients in the mild to moderate range of mental retardation) and who have evidence of longstanding emotional, behavioral, or social disturbances. Youth with chronic histories of suicide attempts, severe self-mutilation, aggression, depression, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, drug and alcohol abuse, and personality disorder features also benefit from our program. It has been our experience working with youth who meet these profiles are the most difficult to place or maintain in facilities that do not provide the structured, secure, 24-hour therapeutic and nursing care that GCTC offers.

Therapeutic Services
Each patient is provided bi-weekly individual therapy, alternating with bi-weekly family therapy, facilitated by a master's level therapist or social worker under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional.

Parent and family therapeutic sessions are provided for the residents. It is critical that the patients' family/support system be involved in treatment. Depending on the families' geographic location, frequency of family therapy may vary. Family services will be offered via telephone for all families unable to attend in person.

Therapeutic groups provided help the patient by addressing several specific areas. Examples are interpersonal relationships, dysfunctional patterns of behavior, and an awareness of others. Patients also participate in groups on personal hygiene, social skills improvement, and health and medical issues (facilitated by a Registered Nurse). Patients attend groups a minimum of five times each week.

Substance Abuse Treatment
The Seven Challenges is a cognitive-based approach to substance abuse treatment developed by Robert Schwebel, Ph.D. It advocates utilizing a cognitive behavioral approach to develop skills such as assertiveness, problem solving, coping skills, and structured relapse prevention. The Seven Challenges are based on "reduction of harm rather than illness." It also identifies the abuse of substances as a life choice that has meaning to the adolescent. Treatment is geared towards recognizing the meaning of usage and building cognitive and behavioral skills to cope with issues without abusing substances. The process also uses a support group, which focuses on social skills building and education.

Trauma Group
Patients who are victims or perpetrators of sexual abuse or other trauma participate in sexual abuse and/or perpetrators groups. The trauma groups provide an opportunity for discussion of feelings and assists in the resolution of relevant issues. The objectives of the groups include improving psychological functioning, expanding beliefs and values, improving social functioning, and relief from the effects of traumatic experiences.

Recreational Therapy
Requires residents to participate in task-oriented groups. Recreation therapy groups and daily enrichment groups focus on interpersonal skills, anger management, leisure skills, cooperative games, exercise, and arts and crafts. Recreational therapy provides a therapeutic recreational program that is adapted to the capabilities and needs of each patient.

Milieu Management
The therapeutic milieu and Adolescent Behavioral / Developmental Incentive Program (ABDIP) is the heart of the treatment program.

Staff engages in ongoing therapeutically-oriented interactions with patients through every activity, conversation, or confrontation, which occurs in the daily life in the community. This treatment model provides corrective emotional experiences, teaching, and learning opportunities during patients' every waking hour.

It is the goal of staff to transform every interaction with patients, either individually or in groups, into learning opportunities. The ABDIP provides a coherent and consistent method for achieving successful interaction outcomes. Patients are encouraged to respond to and confront the actions of their peers.

The treatment program supports the values of cleanliness, time management, attitude, interactive behavior, respect, communication, social skills and acceptance of responsibility. The treatment team addresses serious specific behavioral problems on an individualized basis with behavioral protocols designed to target these behaviors. These are then reviewed monthly or as needed by the treatment team to determine effectiveness.

For lower functioning patients in need of more concrete programming, the treatment team identifies target behaviors that are problematic for each individual patient and addresses them at 30-minute intervals with a token system that readily adapts in the ABDIP level advancement system. These patients are thus provided with very clear behavioral expectations and reinforcement contingencies that are reviewed by the treatment team.

Educational Services
Educational services are provided by the Okaloosa County School District. The special educational teachers are certified and have experience working with adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems. Patients receive educational services based on their level of functioning. Patients attend school a minimum of 5 hours per day, 250 days per year. The education department's certification enables patients to receive a GED or even an Okaloosa County accredited high school diploma.

Gulf Coast Treatment Center, due to its therapeutic milieu in a secure setting, has successfully treated many patients who have exhausted all of the residential mental health resources in their home state. Gulf Coast Treatment Center contracts with several states to provide long term residential treatment to patients for whom no other options are available. The GCTC staff takes great pride in treating patients with challenging problems and with few other placement options.

Home | Contact Us | HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices