Anxiety Disorders

Overview & Clinical Expertise

Silver Hill offers separate and highly effective treatment programs for adults and adolescents suffering with anxiety disorders. Our skilled and caring clinicians use evidence-based therapies to help you regulate the thoughts and emotions that drive your anxiety.

Causes and Symptoms
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the US. They affect 40 million adults and approximately eight percent of children at any given time, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Anxiety disorders may be caused by changes in your brain, environmental stress, and genetics. Some, like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), can be triggered by violence or a traumatic event.

People with these disorders experience:

  • Overwhelming feelings of panic and fear
  • Uncontrollable obsessive thoughts
  • Painful, intrusive memories
  • Recurring nightmares
  • Physical symptoms such as feeling sick to your stomach, “butterflies” in your stomach, heart pounding, startling easily, and muscle tension

Levels of Care
There is a level of care on our campus for each phase of your condition:

  • Treatment often begins in our Inpatient unit, where you are admitted to the hospital to stabilize a crisis with your symptoms, and to begin treatment.
  • After this initial phase of treatment, you can move on to our Transitional Living Program, where you develop an understanding of your disorder and learn the skills to manage the recovery process.
  • The third level of treatment is the Intensive Outpatient Program, in which you can live at home and come to Silver Hill for therapy led by our clinicians.

We also offer programs to support the families of our adolescent and adult patients with information, education, and counseling on how to best help your loved ones throughout your treatment.

This comprehensive approach to care makes Silver Hill a leader among inpatient, residential and outpatient anxiety treatment centers in greater Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

Transitional Living Houses

As an adolescent patient for an anxiety disorder, you will be treated at K-House. As an adult with an anxiety disorder, you may be treated at River House or another of our facilities as determined by your diagnosis, the severity of your symptoms, and recommended treatment.

Klingenstein House
Klingenstein House
River House
River House

Treatments & Therapies

If left untreated, anxiety and panic attacks can paralyze a person to the point that they avoid their normal daily activities or anxiety-inducing situations. The good news for you is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both.

Our treatment approach for anxiety is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). This highly-structured form of behavioral therapy provides you with the skills necessary to regulate your emotions, control destructive behaviors and improve interpersonal relations. Core DBT skills are Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance and the Middle Path.

Anxiety Treatment for Adults
We offer three levels of adult care that correspond with your level of need:

Adult Inpatient  for crisis management
Inpatient treatment is the most intensive form of care, indicated for a crisis phase of your illness that requires medical intervention for symptom reduction and stabilization.

The inpatient program at Silver Hill offers a high clinician-to-patient ratio so that you can receive the individual attention you require, and be prepared for subsequent levels of care if desired. If you are not in crisis, the inpatient program is not a requirement for choosing another level of care.

The goals of inpatient treatment are diagnostic assessment, safe detoxification if indicated, symptom reduction and stabilization.

Inpatient treatment includes the following:

  • Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluation – Based on information gathered from you, your family and your community clinicians, we develop a preliminary diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Medical Detoxification – We initiate medically supervised treatment designed to safely eliminate intoxicating or addictive substances from your body if necessary.
  • Pharmacologic Therapies – We use medications in the treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders as necessary.
  • Individual and Group Counseling – We provide both one-to-one and group counseling.
  • Structured Treatment Environment – You will live in a supportive environment in which you can constructively apply the skills you are learning to achieve your treatment goals.
  • Aftercare Planning – We will work with you, your family and community clinicians to develop a safe, healthy and meaningful plan for life after discharge.

Adult Transitional Living   for continued therapeutic recovery
When your symptoms are stable, you can choose extended treatment in our Transitional Living Program. You will live on the Silver Hill campus in a well-appointed house that is staffed 24-hours a day with clinicians highly trained in practicing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

Our transitional living program is one of the very few programs in the country that focuses on treatment with DBT. It is designed for patients who experience difficulty with emotional control, impulsivity, self-damaging behaviors and interpersonal disorganization. This highly structured, intensive program is for those who do not need close inpatient supervision, but are not able to manage successfully in an outpatient setting.

Through DBT skills training groups and coaching, patients learn how to better regulate their emotions and to replace dysfunctional coping strategies with more adaptive behaviors. Under the guidance of highly trained staff, patients live the skills and coping strategies they are learning, as they learn them. Core DBT skills are Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance and the Middle Path.

The length of stay is 4 weeks, but some patients opt to extend their treatment.

Adult Intensive Outpatient – for continued treatment from home
We provide an Intensive Outpatient Program for patients at a low risk for self-harm who have a stable living environment. Patients live at home and come to Silver Hill  three days a week for skills training based on the core modules of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), led by licensed clinicians.

Anxiety Treatment for Adolescents
Our separate facility for adolescents aged 13 to 17 recognizes the fact that your treatment for anxiety requires a different approach than treatment for adults. We work hard to establish a warm team relationship with you, your family and your medical and educational support in the community. We build on these connections to help you achieve your treatment goals.

We offer three levels of adolescent care that correspond with your level of need:

Adolescent Inpatient – for crisis management
You may be first admitted to Silver Hill into our inpatient care, for crisis management and stabilization. Our staff of board-certified adolescent psychiatrists, social workers and nurses are here to help you and your family through this difficult time. After an initial diagnostic assessment, a treatment plan is tailored specifically to you.  We guide you through your anxiety disorder crisis and on to recovery, in a safe, stable and nurturing environment.

Your individualized, evidence-based treatments include:

  • Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluation – Based on information gathered from you, your family and your community clinicians, we develop a preliminary diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Medical Detoxification (if necessary) – We initiate medically supervised treatment designed to safely eliminate intoxicating or addictive substances from your body.
  • Pharmacologic Therapies – We use medications in the treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders as necessary.
  • Individual and Group Counseling – We provide counseling both one-to-one and in groups.
  • Structured Treatment Environment – You will live in a supportive environment in which you can constructively apply the skills you are learning to achieve your treatment goals.
  • Aftercare Planning – We will work with you, your family and community clinicians to develop a safe, healthy and meaningful plan for life after discharge.

Adolescent Transitional Living – for continued therapeutic recovery
Our Adolescent Traditional Living Program, for teens aged 13 – 17, helps you to develop the skills necessary to control emotions, impulsivity, self-damaging behaviors and interpersonal disorganization. It is your appropriate level of care if you do not need close inpatient supervision but are not yet ready to manage successfully in an outpatient setting.

The foundation of our treatment for anxiety is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). It is a highly-structured form of behavioral therapy. Core DBT skills are Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance and the Middle Path.

In this program you reside on the Silver Hill campus in a house that is staffed 24/7 with highly trained DBT personnel. Through DBT skills training groups and coaching, you learn how to better regulate your emotions and replace dysfunctional coping strategies with more adaptive behaviors.

The minimum length of stay for this phase of treatment is 4 weeks, and you and your family may choose to extend your treatment as necessary.

Adolescent Intensive Outpatient – for continued treatment from home
Our Adolescent Intensive Outpatient program provides continued treatment for you on campus while living at home. We provide you with psychological treatment and skill building to function effectively at home and in school.

You advance in your knowledge and use of the core skills of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). You improve your understanding and management of powerful emotions, become more aware of yourself and how you think, and find effective ways of coping with stress.

To ensure a positive outcome for you, we work closely with you, your family, and your community-based clinicians to create a comprehensive plan for life after discharge.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Anxiety disorders often co-occur with other psychiatric conditions, such as depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and in children, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Because Silver Hill is a true psychiatric hospital, we are uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive care for adults and adolescents who need treatment for more than one disorder.

When you first come to Silver Hill you receive a thorough evaluation, and a treatment plan suited to your needs. If you are diagnosed with a co-occurring psychiatric disorder in addition to anxiety, our staff has the skill, sensitivity and training to treat your dual conditions together rather than one at a time, which is the most effective approach though often least available at other institutions.

Dual Diagnosis Video

Dr. Eric Collins on treatment for co-occurring disorders.

Patient Outcomes

We use Dialectical Behavior (DBT) at Silver Hill to treat anxiety because in clinical tests it is proven to help adults and adolescents regulate their emotions. DBT works by giving you the tools you need to manage the excessive fear you experience in certain situations.

In addition, accepted psychiatric assessment tools show significant improvement in patients completing our Adolescent Transitional Living Program.

Our patients:

  • Were significantly better able to regulate their emotions compared to when they entered the program, as measured by the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS)
  • Had significantly improved understanding of directness and openness, as measured by the Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness and Compliance evaluation (DISC)
  • Reported significantly less anxiety as measured by the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED)

These measures correlated in a way that showed that improvements in one dimension matched improvements in the others. These correlations suggest very strongly that this high-intensity DBT treatment for adolescents has robust, clinically significant effects.

Patient Experience

If you come to Silver Hill for help, expect to be treated by world class clinicians in a non-judgmental and compassionate way.

Here is more detail on what you experience as a patient during each level of care:

Adult Inpatient
Inpatient treatment takes place in the Acute Care Unit (ACU), the Patricia Regnemer Main House building and The Lodge. Patients are assigned according to diagnosis and the type of inpatient treatment that is best suited to assisting in their recovery.

The average length of stay varies by diagnosis, ranging from 5 to 12 days. Inpatient units are locked for your safety and no personal computers or cellphones are permitted.

Your 14-hour day includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Group therapy, including psychoeducational and skills groups
  • Medication education
  • Twelve-Step work, when appropriate
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Family program
  • Recreational activities
  • Nutritional consultation, when clinically indicated
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Visiting Hours (family members twelve years of age and older)

Your schedule also includes daily meetings with your psychiatrist.

Visit Inpatient FAQs

Adult Transitional Living
When you come to Silver Hill for residential treatment, you can expect a safe environment that promotes healing and recovery. During this 4-week program you will reside in one of our on campus residences, chosen for its appropriateness based upon an evaluation of your symptoms.

A typical such on-campus residence is River House, a 12-bed, co-ed house that overlooks the Silvermine River. The house has a large living room with a kitchen/dining area that opens onto a spacious outdoor patio. Rooms in the residence have private baths and accommodate two people. (Private rooms are available at an additional cost.) There is a washing machine and a dryer on premises for laundry.

While personal cellphones and computers are not permitted, you will have access to iPads within the residence. Visitors are welcome during regular visiting hours. An onsite fitness center, large gymnasium, and indoor pool are available.

Your 14-hour day includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills training
  • Group therapy
  • Goal planning
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Recovery discussion meetings
  • Recreational activities
  • Visiting hours

Adult Intensive Outpatient
We offer a six-week Intensive Outpatient Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills groups. Both programs teach you the core DBT skills of Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance and the Middle Path.

In addition, the Women’s DBT and Safe Relationships Intensive Outpatient Program focuses on education and skills needed to improve relationships, maximize the presence of supportive people, and let go of destructive relationships. You are guided through explorations of parallel relationships with yourself and others, personal values, and underlying emotional triggers. Self-esteem, healthy boundaries, stress management, and self-care issues are also addressed. 

Family Participation
At Silver Hill, we believe family support is important from the moment you are admitted for inpatient treatment, and we encourage family members to meet with your social worker, psychiatrist or other members of the treatment team.

We offer programs designed to educate family members about your illness and to improve family communication and functioning. Weekly Family Forums address coping strategies specific to your  condition. You are also encouraged to join these Family Forums, with your family members over 13 years of age.

Wellness Services
During your treatment with us you may also purchase our Wellness Services, which offers a holistic approach to recovery in recognition of the integration of body, mind and spirit. Services include yoga, acupuncture, personal fitness training, meditation and massage therapy. These alternative therapies complement traditional medical care, rather than replace it. They are most effective when combined with medical treatment to help alleviate symptoms of pain and anxiety. The benefits, both short term and long, help promote a feeling of wellness.

Adolescent Inpatient
Adolescent inpatient treatment for Anxiety Disorders takes place on the third floor of the Patricia Regnemer Main House. There are five double rooms, each with their own private bath. All units are locked for your safety and no personal computers or cellphones are permitted. A large open common area is used for groups as well as free time.

You will have daily meetings with a board-certified adolescent psychiatrist and frequent meetings with a social worker. Group therapy will address issues such as conflict management, self-esteem and managing emotions. There is also time allotted to keep up with your school work. Family members twelve years of age and older may visit during scheduled visiting hours. The average length of stay is 7-10 days.

Your 14-hour day includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • School
  • Group therapy
  • Goal planning
  • Recovery discussion meetings
  • Recreation therapy
  • Leisure time, gym, art therapy
  • Journaling
  • Visiting hours

During your stay, you will continue school work under the guidance of a certified teacher. To minimize disruption to the school year, and with your family’s permission, our teacher will communicate with professionals in your school. Specialized support for academic areas such as foreign languages, higher level sciences, and advanced placement classes is available from private tutors for an additional fee.

Adolescent Transitional Living
During your stay, you will reside in K-House. This residence features two large common rooms and an outdoor area. It contains both double and single rooms, each with its own bath. Visit Being at Silver Hill for additional details.

Your 14-hour daily schedule will vary by day and week, but typically includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Group Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Visiting Hours

During your stay, you will be able to continue school work under the guidance of a certified teacher. To minimize disruption to the school year, and with your family’s permission, our teacher will communicate with professionals in your school. Specialized support for academic areas such as foreign languages, higher level sciences, and advanced placement classes is available from private tutors for an additional fee.

Adolescent Intensive Outpatient
Our 6-week Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program continues your treatment and skills building while living at home. It meets three days a week in the large group room in K-House. Visit the Events Calendar for meeting dates and times.

While you are attending the program, you will continue to maintain a therapeutic relationship with your community-based therapist and psychiatrist for medication management, where indicated.

Family Participation
We believe your family’s support is important from the moment you are first admitted for treatment, on any level of care. We encourage family members to meet with your social worker, psychiatrist or other members of the treatment team.

Support for your family includes:

Weekly Family Therapy – Family therapy addresses problematic behavior patterns, communication struggles, and difficulties understanding each other with the goal of promoting family healing.

Weekly Multi-Family DBT Group (Parents Only) – This program teaches parents the same DBT skills you are learning.

Monthly Meetings – This full-day program educates families about brain and emotional development in adolescence. It facilitates a greater understanding of mental illness and substance abuse, and helps improve communication between you and your family. It also provides supportive resources for your family prior to your discharge. This helps them prepare for your successful return home. This program is divided into morning and afternoon sessions:

Morning (Family Members only)
Education, information and support for family members including time for questions and answers with the program facilitator.

Afternoon (Adolescent Patients and Family Members)
Patients and families are encouraged to reflect on family relationships through supportive non-confrontational exercises. They learn about family roles and dynamics and how to improve communication. They also discuss aftercare and discharge planning.

Family Resource Program – This program offers continued support and education to your family after discharge, should any questions or concerns arise at any point in your continuing recovery process.

Let’s get started.

Allow us to help you get better. Contact us today to find out which program might be right for you, or to begin the process of arranging for treatment.

Call us at
1 (866) 542 4455

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