BY ANNETTE BROOKS
If you or a loved one has substance abuse issues, suffers from mental illness, or both, and are wondering where to turn, award-winning Connections Wellness Group (CWG) is here to help. They offer life-enhancing, personalized, cost-effective solutions conveniently close to home for adults ages 18 and up.
Integrated Treatment Model, Dynamic Team of Psychiatrists, Counselors, and Therapists
Serving North Texas since 2018, Connections Wellness Group has expanded its locations and continues to add offices to meet the growing demand for its community-based services. Their holistic approach doesn’t limit care to either substance abuse or mental health. Instead, they treat co-occurring conditions for optimal wellness. “We typically treat both because when there is substance abuse, there are underlying mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and trauma,” says Group Executive Director Anna Arwine, LPC. Ms. Arwine has been in the mental health industry for seven years in various settings and oversees all CWG’s Tarrant County expansions. Executive Director at the new Southlake location, Yancey Grimes, LPC, adds, “We provide mental health and substance use treatment to those in the community by identifying the need, developing programming, and doing our part to eliminate the stigma and barriers associated with the vital work we do.” Mr. Grimes has been in the field for 10 years and in recovery for 15.
His approach is personal and passionate, drawing from life experience as well as extensive education. “Our programs include intensive therapy and medication management,” says Clinical Director at Connections Wellness Group Arlington Shara Cherepes, LPC. She adds, “Everyone seeking treatment completes a screening that enables us to evaluate their current mental health and substance abuse and identify the type of care needed. We also evaluate their need for specialty group therapy.”
Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs
The highest level of care offered at CWG is the partial hospitalization program (PHP). Every patient receives two hours a day of psychoeducation on different topics affecting their mental health and skill-building groups covering coping, nutrition/dietary needs, medication education and compliance, mindfulness, and meditation.
PHP patients also receive two more hours of daily process therapy where they analyze and process the stressors within their life that affect their functioning, as well as intensive medication management. They see their psychiatrist twice weekly, who manages and makes necessary adjustments, as well as a nurse who checks their physical well-being.
“PHP is a place to start,” says Ms. Arwine. “Some clients need a little more help in the beginning, so this program includes 20 hours of onsite treatment. It’s similar to the intensive services patients get in a hospital, but they are able to go home.”
Weekly family engagement sessions address how progress is going at home, what issues are surfacing for the patient in their group therapy sessions, and how the family can support the patient from home. “Sometimes family members can unwittingly be a trigger,” says Ms. Cherepes. “Coaching family members aids in providing the best support for a patient’s ongoing care.”
Intensive outpatient programming (IOP) includes the same therapies, skill-building, education, family involvement, and medication management as the PHP. The difference is IOP patients see their psychiatrist once a week and are physically at the clinic for nine to 15 hours weekly.
“This level of care is a gradual step down in the intensity of services patients receive with PHP, and indicates that progress is being made,” Mr. Grimes explains. Eventually, after successful IOP, patients are recommended to visit their therapist one to four times a month and have monthly appointments for medication management. At this point, treatment has moved to the maintenance phase.
“We literally bridge the gap patients may experience when leaving the IOP, and this is the main reason for our Tarrant County expansion,” Ms. Ar wine says. “When a patient calls us, they don’t have to wait to see a therapist or psychiatrist to get the help they need. There is no more searching for the right treatment — we provide it all, and conveniently right in their community.”
Help Is Here Today
Treatment at Connections Wellness Group can begin the moment you call or visit seeking treatment. The practice is in-network with all major insurance companies and Tricare and has existing offices or locations soon to open in Arlington, Southlake, Denton, Frisco, McKinney, Flower Mound, Keller, Plano, and Prosper. Licensed mental health professionals run all locations. Visit ConnectionsWellnessGroup.com for more information.
4907 South Collins Street, Suite 121
Arlington, Texas 76018
1100 East Southlake Boulevard, Suite 200
Southlake, Texas 76092