Gundersen Health System Behavioral Health Philosophy
Gundersen Health System Behavioral Health provides substance abuse and mental health treatment services for adults, adolescents and children. Treatment options include detoxification, inpatient and residential programs, intensive outpatient care, halfway house, individual and family therapy, relapse prevention and aftercare groups, and medication-assisted treatment.
Areas of Specialization
Residential treatment programs provide housing (food and meals) in addition to treatment for substance abuse. Some facilities offer only short-term residential treatment, some offer only long-term treatment and others offer both, ranging from a few days to many months, based on patient needs.
Eating Disorder Treatment
Many mental health professionals view eating disorders (including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder, along with other dysfunctional eating patterns) as a food addiction – in that food is used in ways other than as fuel or a source of pleasure. Some, but not all, addiction treatment programs include eating disorder treatment as part of the service menu. Also, an eating disorder may be a dual-diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder with drug or alcohol addiction.
Meet the Staff
Kay Adams MSSW
Certified by the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists in Rational Living Therapy, training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Nancy Allen MS
Licensed Professional Counselor.
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ABOUT GUNDERSEN BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Located in La Crosse, Wis., Gundersen Health System Behavioral Health is a private nonprofit facility, which makes up about 43 percent of all Wisconsin treatment facilities; it is one of the 43 (15.8 percent) of Wisconsin centers that offers residential treatment. Gundersen Health System Behavioral Health is one of dozens of care facilities operated by Gundersen Health System (GHS) throughout western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, and northeast Iowa.
In addition to residential care, the center offers outpatient care to adults and teens who are struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. In addition to its designated psychiatric unit, the La Crosse-based GHS also provides specialized treatment for eating disorders, sexual assault, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Medically-monitored detox is available on site.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
According to Gundersen Health System Behavioral Health's website, treatment begins with an assessment to determine the appropriate level of care. Those requiring medical assistance begin with the detox program, where they may access Methadone and Suboxone, while others proceed directly with residential or outpatient treatment.
Treatment consists of a combination of individual and group psychotherapy, educational groups, and family counseling. Children and teens with behavioral problems may benefit from consultations with a pediatric care specialist. Medication management and transitional assistance services are also available as needed.
Specialized treatment services are available for younger clients with behavioral health concerns. Many of the same treatment methods are applied, but with a focus on tailoring content for younger clients. The center is also one of the 97 (35.5 percent) of Wisconsin facilities that offers treatment for co-occurring disorders.
Programming is available for a range of behavioral concerns including addressing trauma from criminal activity and sexual abuse. Family counseling is encouraged. Services to help prevent suicides are available 24/7 and can be easily accessed by contacting the facility.
Gundersen Health System Behavioral Health’s treatment team includes psychiatrists, nurses and nurse practitioners, social workers, and recreational and occupational therapists. Master-level therapists and substance abuse counselors are also available.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
GHS Behavioral Health’s 30-bed residential facility is divided into separate units for adults, adolescents, and others in need of specialized care. Though not a luxury facility, the behavioral health residential wing houses clients in private rooms, offering “abundant natural light, warm colors and access to outdoor courtyards with green space and water features.”
Both gender-specific residences — Unity Home for Men and Unity Home for Women — are in quiet, residential neighborhoods in La Crosse. Each can accommodate eight clients.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
The sole alum polled by Rehabs.com to date gave positive feedback, and indicated they would recommend Gundersen Health System. They also gave maximum five-star ratings for cleanliness, extracurricular activities, and staff support. “Received appropriate treatment for my condition, one on one care with staff,” they added.
The six individuals who left Google Reviews gave an average rating of 4.3 out of five stars. The two individuals who left commentary gave conflicting feedback. One praised the staff, and the other indicated they didn't recommend the facility. 
On CiteHealth, a pair of Unity House for Men alumni shared highly polarized recovery experiences. “This place changed my life,” the anonymous maximum five-star reviewer maintained. By contrast, the one-star reviewer referred to Unity House as a “very poorly run facility”, stating: “They have no understanding of the ‘Root Cause’ of addiction nor do they address it.”
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
The three loved ones polled by Rehabs.com about GHS as of this writing shared above average ratings. When asked if they'd recommend treatment at the facility, loved ones provided three and four stars out of five.
The loved ones gave four out of five stars for connectivity, facility cleanliness, and affordability. In their commentary, one described the staff as “friendly,” while another wrote that the “location and rooms were nice.” “Close to home to area is known, but not too involving,” the third noted, adding: “seemed similar to most programs.”
Gundersen Health System Behavioral Health accepts insurance. Financial assistance may also be available for those who qualify. Clients may receive a discounted rate for medically necessary services if they don’t have insurance.
Published on July 2019
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