Our Research

With suicide as the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States among individuals aged 10 – 34, and 1 in 5 adults battling a mental illness, the need for quality behavioral health care and innovative scientific advancements has never been more prevalent. Yet without addressing the core psychological distress behind an individual’s mental health or substance use disorder, many will continue to live lives dominated by these difficult but ever-present behavioral health concerns.

Since our inception, we at Retreat have remained dedicated to addressing the heart of these issues, eradicating the stigmas that surround them, and embracing the innovative thinking that can lead to tangible treatment options.

Dr. Brian Berman, PSYD

Choice Point for Substances (CHOPS)

In the realm of scientific inquiry, research is constantly evolving. Yet, there exists very little in-depth research when it comes to substance use, most especially in inpatient settings.

– Dr. Berman

Dr. Brian Berman is a full-timeclinical psychologist at Retreat Behavioral Health and headstheRetreat Research Team. Dr. Berman and his team aim to advance the science of evidence-based practices for substance use and mental health disorders. Their research on the “Choice Point” Model of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has aided Dr. Berman in developing Choice Point for Substances (CHOPS), a cutting-edge intervention for substance use and co-occurring disorders.

Dr. Berman and his team are the foremost authority on the application Choice Point for Substances. Theirresearch study “The Choice Point Model of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Inpatient Substance Use and Co-occurring Populations: A Pilot Study,” was recently published in the peer reviewed journal Frontiers in Psychology. A contemporary approach to the treatment of co-occurring disorders,CHOPS evidenced tangible results for Retreat residents.The study demonstrated that residents who completed CHOPSprogramingexhibited greateremotional acceptance, healthier lifechoices, and increases inself-compassion. In other words, patients were less likely to escape emotional pain and were better able to engage in self-kindnessand effective decision making. This is significant and suggests that Retreat residents learn the mental health and recovery skills necessary for success!

Additionally, because benefits occurredwithin the first two weeks, Retreat residentsmay expect improvementearly in treatment. Observed “sleeper effects” suggest that therapeutic benefits were not only maintained after discharge butimproved upon following treatment. This finding is particularly exciting as it indicates that CHOPS programing at Retreathelps patients continue todevelop their skills in the long-term.

Publications

Dr. Berman’s Publications
Research

Berman, B. M. & Kurlancheek, K. (2021). The Choice Point Model of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Inpatient Substance Use and Co-occurring Populations: A Pilot Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1-14. DOI=10.3389/fpsyg.2021.758356

Berman, B. M., Kurlancheek, K., Hartranft, B., & Longenecker, T. (2020). Treatment Maintenance and Beyond with Substance Use Disorders: A Sleeper Effect. Poster presented at the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) World Conference. Virtual.

Berman, B. M., Kurlancheek, K., Hartranft, B., & Longenecker, T. (2020). Treatment Adherence with Substance Use Disorders: A Transdiagnostic Approach. PsychExtra.

Berman, B. M., Kurlancheek, K., & Hartranft, B. (2020).Transdiagnostic and Compassionate Innovations in Relapse Prevention. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 14(6), e382-e424. doi:10.1097/ADM.0000000000000742

Berman, B. M., Troncale, J., Kurlancheek, K., Hartranft, B. & Ramsey, K. (2019). The Choice Point Model of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in an Inpatient Substance Use Disorder Setting: A Pilot Study. Substance Abuse. 40(4), 389-391. https://doi.org/10.1080/08897077.2019.1695039

Articles

Berman, B. M. (2017, April). Supercharging Recovery with Exposure Therapy. Sober World, 6 (4), 16.
Berman, B. M. (2016, March). Self-Compassion: A Bridge to Recovery.  The 12 Step Gazette, (58), 34.
Berman, B. M. (2016, February). Values Illness. Sober World, 5 (2), 10.