“I think of you and the team there often. You do really good work and you are incredibly brave and compassionate. I don’t know what the future will bring, but the last year and a half has been a gift that I know wouldn’t have happened without the time at Yellowbrick.”
It has been almost nine years since I walked through the doors of Yellowbrick. I can confidently say that without Yellowbrick, I would not be where I am today. Since completing the program at Yellowbrick, I graduated college, started a new career, went back for a graduate degree, found a loving partner, and have a full, rich life in which I feel happy, safe, and secure. Yellowbrick saved my life, and I will be forever grateful to everyone there.
Thank you Drs. Viner & Baron for your time and attentiveness during my day at Yellowbrick. I was very impressed with multiple aspects of Yellowbrick. The overall treatment model, in my mind, is ingenious and comprehensive. I felt that every facet of treatment was acknowledged, whether it be diet, movement and yoga, mindful meditation, therapy, as well as real life, practical “life management” services with your OT’s and social workers. I was especially impressed by this because I feel like it is rare in this field, and most treatments seem to be very unidirectional, or possibly bidirectional with drugs and therapy. But approaching it from all angles seems like the best way to inspire true change in someone’s life. I also appreciated your focus on neuroscience for the treatments. Lastly, I was amazed at the community has been created. I agree with you that “the placebo effect is real, and it is relationships.” This was obviously on display at Yellowbrick. In the relationships with their care team, but especially the peer relationships with each other, there was an overwhelming sense of community and general care for everyone. I found myself invested in the discussions that occured and all of the community dynamics. Your comment during the IPS talk saying that “banging on doors is exciting, it means something is happening,” repeated in my head while hearing the heated discussion in the community during community meeting. I am not sure where I want to end up in Psychiatry but my experience at Yellowbrick has already shaped my career in a very strong way.
I hope my leaving doesn’t prevent you from knowing what a blessing you are in my life. The moment you said, “I don’t need you to be Eliza, I need you to be you,” I exhaled. Thank you for trusting me, believing in me, challenging me, supporting me, and giving me space to grow into my authentic self. It’s trust, there really is no other place like Yellowbrick, and that’s because your soul is infused into every single part of it. My greatest hope is that I can create something of my own with the same love, passion, and empathy (not to mention courage, wisdom, and heart!) as you did with YB. And you have helped me see that I am capable of that and more. Good leaders encourage and great leaders empower. You are a great leader, and a great human being. Thank you for the opportunity to have one of the most exciting and transformative years in my life so far! I will miss you dearly, but know that I am not far away.
Peace, love and blessings,
Hi Dr. Viner,
I wanted to thank you for all of what you do. Your generosity and advocacy of caring for those in need is inspiring. Thank you for your care to details and direct support as on call and as a person. Even through deep hardships you fight to be in the thick of it and to do the best I see is possible. There is no place like Yellowbrick and truly I am so grateful. Thank you for allowing me in the experience of this work. It was an honor to walk on this long and magical road.
Thanks a Million,
Yellowbrick is a one of a kind establishment which allows young adults to exercise their valued freedom and to use those liberties to create a better lives for themselves. The Open Community Model is nothing short of a mastercraft.
Former Core Competence Staff
During my three month internship at Yellowbrick, I learned to expect highly collaborative, research-based practice to be occurring around-the-clock. I saw patients working with a number of professionals to address their own unique challenges through skills they already had, and skills they built and learned how to use at Yellowbrick. The transformations that occurred were coming from patients, but guided by professionals. Young adults came from all over the country, all with their own stories, diagnoses, and goals; Yellowbrick was ready to address the whole person and take the time needed to set these emerging adults up for success. What struck me most about Yellowbrick’s model was the emphasis put on peer relationships; these professionals recognized the importance of peers working together to create bonds, solve problems, and build toward a healthy emerging adulthood post-discharge. My belief that Yellowbrick’s model, based on science, hard work, and integrity, is one I will carry forward with me into my professional work, and will support me in helping patients to discover a path forward into adulthood.
Dear Dr. Jesse Viner,
I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to shadow Dr. Effarah and work closely with the neuroscience team at Yellowbrick! I am grateful to have experienced just how remarkable the staff and procedures at Yellowbrick truly are! Thank you once again for letting me observe the phenomenal work being done at Yellowbrick!
During a six-month training rotation at Yellowbrick while a student at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, I had a unique opportunity to observe the operations of this innovative treatment center for emerging adults. An anthropologist by training, I have experienced a variety of cultural settings, but Yellowbrick stands out in my mind as a community like no other in its commitment to helping young people forge lives oriented toward independence, meaningful personal growth, and mental and physical health. This is a truly special place where patients and staff strike up friendly conversations around the lunch table, participate in weekly community meetings with enthusiasm and candor, and welcome each and every newcomer with empathy and warmth. Sitting in on meetings with the professional staff, I saw firsthand how diligently everyone worked to understand their patients and formulate individualized strategies for promoting each patient’s well-being. If a patient started to show signs of distress, the staff was quick to notice, offer support, and mobilize all available resources to help set the individual on a more positive path. It was also remarkable to see how closely attuned the patients themselves were to each other’s needs, as they spontaneously offered kind words, supportive hugs, and messages of concern to anyone in the Yellowbrick community going through a difficult time. Although no single organization can meet the needs of every individual, Yellowbrick is evidently a place where many young adults are motivated to undertake the work of rebuilding lives derailed by psychological struggle. It is hard to imagine a young person coming to Yellowbrick and not finding the tools needed to begin the work of recovery, provided the individual is open to personal change and willing to do the work.
Yellowbrick has great facilities, uses best practice interventions, and creates a unique treatment environment for those seeking an intensive program. What impresses me most about Yellowbrick, though, is its dedicated interdisciplinary team. An incredible amount of empathy, clinical reasoning, and passion goes into the work being done by each professional to support clients towards treatment goals. Having a community model means that peers are responsible for their behaviors and accountable to the entire community for both their successes and struggles. This is challenging for most, as it creates room for open dialogue and deeper self-exploration without isolation. But that challenge is where the work of treatment lies. I have found Yellowbrick to be truly unique, and I fully recommend it to those looking for a holistic, intensive setting to work on transitioning to adulthood.
Thank you, Dr. Viner! I can’t believe it has been close to 10 years since my stay at YB. I still have such fond memories and it truly was one of the most formidable experiences of my life. I would not be where I am today without you and the YB staff.
“Yellowbrick is an internationally unique treatment center integrating interdisciplinary research with expert clinical experience into a transformative, coherent treatment model.”
Yellowbrick saved our son’s life. It is that simple and that complex. Our son (now 21) spent 7 months in the Yellowbrick program and he too agrees that it saved his life. I have worked in the field of children’s behavioral health my entire career and can say without a doubt the professional staff at YB is the most expert, clinically sophisticated, caring, and committed group I have ever experienced. They work nearly 24 hours a day, always on call, talking with the kids and the parents and managing endless crises.
To prospective Yellowbrick Parents:
This is probably the most important letter of recommendation that I’ve ever written. I am wholeheartedly writing to recommend Yellowbrick for its treatment program for emerging adults. My brilliant, talented, and sensitive son was restored here at Yellowbrick. I couldn’t be more grateful. I remember sitting in the family meetings early on, wondering if this would really work; If it would be worth all of the effort, time, and money. I would cling to things that parents who had been there longer would say. I want to reassure you that yes — this works. It isn’t easy. … My son is now enrolled full-time in an engineering program, successfully working toward his degree and his bright future. He is living on his own, in a happy and healthy committed relationship. And his and my relationship is a strong and happy one.
I am grateful for Yellowbrick’s program, for saving my son, and for giving us the present and the future that I had always dreamed of.
Dear Dr. Baron,
I want to thank YOU and ALL the staff at Yellowbrick who have been so helpful and so patient with our emerging adult. It is clearly evident there is really significant progress and certainly, things were rapidly moving in the other direction when treatment started about a year ago. We remain hopeful that every low point could possibly represent a turning point (while trying to steel ourselves for the next low point).
As you note, we did not always agree about everything, but in such a stressful and crisis-ridden case, that is to be expected. I admire your dedication to your very difficult and needy patients.
Thank you, Yellowbrick team. After a very long journey over a number of years, we may have our daughter back. She just finished her first week at vocational training school and is thrilled to be there. She has separated from a romantic relationship which had us worried for years. Her peers are now supportive, working, and sober. She has a part-time job and mostly supporting herself. She is sober and stable and accepting of her challenges.
She needed you when she came home demoralized and Yellowbrick was there and able to offer her the kind of support she wanted….the ability to rely on you when she needed and wanted it and the freedom to be independent. Thanks for making the connection to a new set of medical support near her school.
Thank you again. Fingers crossed.
5 stars = as good as it gets!!! Yellowbrick is a unique treatment program. Unlike other programs that separate themselves according to diagnosis or special condition, Yellowbrick does not. Yellowbrick views each young adult as a unique individual who can be a valuable member of the Yellowbrick community. Yellowbrick recognizes and respects the particular struggles that are inherent to this critical time in a young person’s development…
The clinical approach at YB is by far the most comprehensive treatment available. As a clinician myself and a parent of a YB alumni I cannot begin to express my appreciation for the care and kindness and integrity that our family was shown. The program philosophy is backed by evidence-based research and years of experience. One size does not fit all and YB recognizes that the path to recovery and self-efficacy is through authentic relationships within a community-based program. The demands are high because YB takes each life seriously. The work is difficult and requires courage and trust, however, the results can be life-altering and in our case, life-saving.
I’m happy to share with you that our son is doing SO well. His precious life has totally transformed this year since his treatment at Yellowbrick. He moved to be closer to family and our relationships have healed in so many meaningful ways. We are all working in family therapy while our son continues in individual counseling as well. We are so much closer as a family now. He has been working for a year now… has a fabulous job working for a solid company and was recently promoted. Management really respects him and his work ethic. We are all thrilled for him! He has faced his social awkwardness and is working through this. He has an amazing sense of humor that surprises us all. He is so funny…. who knew?!
I could go on… but this is enough! Wanted to share with you. All of you there embraced him and initiated the healing process for him and our entire family.
Yellowbrick entered into my son’s life after six years of struggling with depression, anxiety, and finally a correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Multiple psychiatrists and multiple psychotherapists couldn’t seem to make a dent in his mental health until he got to Yellowbrick. Their level of professionalism and expertise was unrivaled by anyone else he had worked with. Within two weeks of arriving there, and living in the beautiful brownstone, Yellowbrick got him on the right medication, and as he said, “I feel like myself again.” He last felt this way six years before during his freshman year in college. I highly recommend Yellowbrick and the entire staff there.
I wanted to thank you for all the time you spent helping me get my life on track. You’ve had a lasting impact on my life, the kind that I’m never going to forget. Best wishes for the end of this year, the new year, and every year after that.
I have gone from thinking that I don’t need people in my life to know the value and importance that relationships play in my life. I have moved away from my notion that things are the only thing I need… Most importantly, I want to live and experience all that life offers. I don’t want to hurt myself because I know I am better than that. I could not have accomplished this without Yellowbrick. I truly became a young adult, whereas when I came in, I was just a teenager. The freedom that this program offers really made me accountable for my own actions and showed me the wonders of life and that I didn’t have to hurt myself. Now I truly know that there are things in life to enjoy and live for. Yellowbrick, I truly found my way home and I thank you for that.
….Yellowbrick is a wonderful, amazing place that has dramatically changed my life for the better. And I’ve personally witnessed the staff and clinicians here not only changing, but SAVING lives. I’ve gone from being practically unable to emotionally read, much less connect with, other people, to being a dramatically more sensitive, and therefore more connected person. My relationship with my mother, which for almost two decades had been rocky at best, has done a complete 180. I have learned to grieve at Yellowbrick. I have learned to understand and connect with the feelings, thoughts, and emotive processes of others. I have learned, and perhaps more importantly come to accept, that the world is not black and white, and how to navigate the gray areas. And I am indescribably, irrevocably better off for it.
I was one of the first residents of Yellowbrick. I am happy to see it still running. I am married with two beautiful girls and am working as a registered nurse. Just wanted to touch base. Thank you for teaching me DBT as I find it a useful tool even today. I really do love and use the skills taught to me all those years ago. It still blows my mind when I think of how far I’ve come.
I have so many positive memories of my time at YellowBrick and want to thank you for creating such an amazing program and community. I know that YellowBrick has grown tremendously from when I was there- but the core of non-coercive treatment, using people’s strengths to help them with their deficits, being open to people making mistakes, and learning from their mistakes- that’s what I know will always be at the heart of YellowBrick.
I wasn’t functional when I arrived at YB, but you helped me learn what I needed to do to create the life I have today which includes being a certified peer mental health specialist and generally functioning well despite dealing with some of life’s hardest things at the same time. I keep moving forward and am doing very well thanks to what my family provided for me like my time at YellowBrick. Thank you all for helping me achieve a life very worth living.
I had to share this momentous milestone as Yellowbrick encouraged me and gave me the strength to get back in school. I didn’t think I was ready, but you showed me otherwise and I am sitting here as a BSW in Social Work and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0! Many times we don’t know our strength until we take that first step, and I’m so glad Yellowbrick was there with me as I took my first step. All I can say is never give up! Several years ago I was on the hospice route preparing to die and now I’m preparing to show others to fight for their life. Much gratitude to the Yellowbrick staff, and please never stop encouraging your clients because we’re going to get there!
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.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
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.
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.
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.