Introducing RE-SET: A New Program for Young People with Risk Factors for Psychosis and Related Conditions
For the last 25 years, there has been progressively greater interest, from clinicians as well as researchers, in the prevention of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. As a result, programs have been established worldwide to treat young people who are at higher risk for developing psychosis, often referred to as “clinical high risk.” This summer, the Resilience and Prevention Program and the Psychosis Clinical and Research Program of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry partnered to create the Resilience Evaluation-Social Emotional Training (RE-SET) Program. RE-SET is a specialized outpatient program for young people (ages 12-30) who show some signs of being at elevated risk for psychosis or another serious mental illness. RE-SET focuses on early detection, evaluation, and preventative treatment.
Adolescents and young adults who are at clinically high risk for such conditions may experience changes in their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and may have experienced a decline in their ability to interact with friends or family, or function in school or at work. These changes in thoughts or behaviors might include: difficulty thinking clearly and expressing thoughts to others in a way that makes sense, hearing or seeing things that others don’t, experiencing new, unusual beliefs, such as being more suspicious of others’ motives or thinking people want to harm them or feeling that certain events or information have special, personal meaning for them.
For those experiencing these or other changes like these, building resilience and the capacity to better manage emotions may reduce the risk of developing a serious psychiatric illness and having long-term consequences of these symptoms. Strengthening resilience-enhancing skills and treating these symptoms as early as possible may help to reduce distress, prevent declines in work and school performance, and improve one’s ability to have meaningful and satisfying social relationships.
“RE-SET focuses on early detection, evaluation, and preventative treatment…Resilience and treating symptoms as early as possible may help to reduce distress, prevent declines in…performance, and improve…social relationships.”
The RE-SET Program
Young people enrolled in RE-SET can learn skills through both individual therapy and groups that focus on improving psychological flexibility, emotion regulation and resilience. Research suggests that developing these skills can decrease the likelihood that more serious mental health issues develop in the future. If appropriate, RE-SET clients can be prescribed medications to treat symptoms such as anxiety, depression, changes in thinking, or unusual and/or distressing experiences.
Families are an important part of care within the RE-SET Program. It is not uncommon for families, as well as the young person in treatment, to feel confused, worried or frightened by the changes they are noticing. Families might turn to the internet for answers or begin trying to find a mental health provider who can help, but then face long delays or difficulties with finding a provider with the right expertise. RE-SET provides a thorough diagnostic work-up and clear recommendations for treatment if needed.
If you think that you or your loved one may benefit from the RE-SET Program, we encourage you to submit a referral form to determine eligibility for a consultation. You may also wish to fill out this screening questionnaire: https://redcap.link/z79wqne5
More information about the RE-SET Program and how to make a referral can be found on our website: https://www.resilienceandprevention.com/re-set
Massachusetts Psychosis Network for Early Treatment (MAPNET) https://www.mapnet.online/
This website has a directory of all First Episode and Clinical High Risk programs in Massachusetts as well as resources and education for families, providers, and individuals seeking help.
Jacqueline Clauss, MD, PhD
Medical Director, MGH RE-SET Program
Instructor, Harvard Medical School
Lauren Utter, PsyD
Clinical Director, MGH RE-SET Program
Instructor, Harvard Medical School