Yellowbrick's Mission

Yellowbrick’s mission is to serve as the national leader and resource for the psychiatric treatment of emerging adults.

Yellowbrick's Mission

Yellowbrick’s mission is to serve as the national leader and resource for the psychiatric treatment of emerging adults. Yellowbrick has created a developmentally specialized, research-based clinical model that integrates cutting-edge findings from neuroscience, innovative psychotherapies, strength-based life skills and wellness medicine. Treatment is provided across all diagnoses and levels of care from residential through PHP, IOP, outpatient and home health care.

“Yellowbrick is an internationally unique treatment center integrating interdisciplinary research with expert clinical experience into a transformative, coherent treatment model.”

- Allan Schore, PhD Faculty UCLA Geffen School of Medicine & Editor of Norton Series on Interpersonal Biology

“Yellowbrick is a unique paradigm-changing model that creates a powerful opportunity for the diagnostically elusive and difficult to treat young adult.”

- Prudence Gourgeschon, MD, Past President, American Psychoanalytic Assn.

“Yellowbrick defines the cutting edge”

- Robert Ruiz, MD, MPH; Chief Flight Surgeon, FAA Midwest

Philosophy & Model

Philosophy & Model

Yellowbrick is a unique paradigm-changing model that creates a powerful opportunity for the diagnostically elusive and difficult to treat young adult.”

Prudence Gourgeschon, MD, Past President, American Psychoanalytic Assn.

Yellowbrick has established a clinical philosophy and treatment model, which integrates psycho-neurobiology, developmental psychology and in-depth psychotherapy.

Psycho-neurobiology focuses on the process of relationships and subsequent development of self-regulation functions. These experiences affect the structural patterning within the brain throughout life. These patterns become organizers for basic survival functions such as the experience of safety, attachment patterns and the capacity to manage emotional life with a balance of initiative, risk assessment and restraint.

Yellowbrick recognizes and addresses the unique challenges of the emerging adult population through programs that emphasize multi-specialty evaluation, therapeutic residences, research-based strategies and life-skills interventions.

Building upon the psycho-neurobiological foundation, Yellowbrick provides relationships, treatment services and involvement in the community with an emphasis on the following challenges:


  • Personal safety
  • Authentic empowerment and intention; identity consolidation
  • Honest and explicit communication
  • Effective self-regulation of emotions such as impulsivity, disengagement and the connections of emotional life into the body
  • Relationship patterns and difficulties with closeness
  • Self-affirming and fulfilling relationships
  • Negotiation of developmental transition with family
  • Life skills competence
  • Capacity to pursue realistic ambitions, education and career development

Membership in The Residence is a responsibility and a privilege. Our innovative Open Community treatment model was created as a supportive, not supervisory resource for the emerging adult. Therefore, residents must demonstrate the motivation and capacity to make use of the Yellowbrick Community and services, the commitment to take responsibility for personal safety, and a determination to learn how to ask for, and accept, help when they need it most.

Real Time, Real Life

At Yellowbrick, our treatment philosophy is guided by research findings that show that enduring success is facilitated by working alongside emerging adults coping with actual life experiences in “real time,” with a professional presence supporting the development of skills required to navigate the challenges of life.

By combining treatment with active participation within the community, Yellowbrick sustains and strengthens personal confidence and establishes educational and vocational accomplishments that anchor the emerging adult. Our community of peers and professionals, along with the neighboring university community of Evanston, is united in a commitment to assist individuals in discovering the inner strengths, motivations and goals that build the foundation on which a productive and satisfying life can be achieved.

Real Time, Real Life

Why Choose Yellowbrick?

It can be a painful struggle coming to a realization that you or a loved one needs a residential or program (PHP/IOP) level of psychiatric care. You’ll find peers and professionals who are deeply committed and capable of enacting the change that moves the emerging adult towards connected autonomy.

What is involved in the “right fit”? What approach to mental health treatment addresses what I need?

Emerging adults need a balance of safety, structure, autonomy and a community of relationships. At Yellowbrick, you’ll find similar peers and professionals who are deeply committed, capable yet also relate as real people.

Yellowbrick is a community of emerging adult peers, all of whom are struggling within the universal challenges of navigating into adulthood. Individuals bring their individual vulnerabilities and symptomatic responses to these struggles. Yellowbrick’s approach supports both the universal developmental needs and strivings as well as working with the individual patterns that thwart functioning and satisfaction.

Since 2005, Yellowbrick has executed on its mission to be the nation’s referral center for the treatment of troubled emerging adults. Treatment at Yellowbrick is modeled on brain based and trauma informed research and clinical wisdom. The model innovatively integrates neuroscience, mindfulness practice, skills based and neuro-psychoanalytic psychotherapies with life skills and executive function practices.

The foundation of Yellowbrick’s treatment model is that of an Open Therapeutic Community which means that relationships are not based on power, control or a shifting of responsibility towards staff. This makes explicit that emerging adults have full authority and are responsible and accountable for their choices. The role of staff is to be present within this “Living Laboratory” and assist with self-connection and self-regulation towards adaptive choices. Structure is offered not in the form of rules, rewards or punishments, but the natural ecology of agreements and accountability within relationships. This disrupts former patterns which are often tenaciously attached and fiercely defended.

Why Choose Yellowbrick?

Take the Next Step

Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.

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    Real-Time Treatment for Emerging Adults and their Families

    Bipolar Disorder

    A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.

    Major Depressive Disorder

    People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.

    Anxiety Disorders

    Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.

    Thought Disorder

    A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.

    Personality Disorders

    Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.


    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.


    A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.

    Eating Disorders

    Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.


    A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.