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Adolescent Day Treatment

Adolescence can be a tumultuous time

A teen’s search for independence, identity and autonomy can be made more difficult when societal influences compete with family values and parents best efforts to raise a child. This struggle is heightened when teens suffer with psychiatric, psychological or emotional problems.

The Program

Since 1990 NorthStar Day Treatment has been helping troubled adolescents through difficult times. Using evidence based treatment approaches, NorthStar helps adolescents develop a healthier and better sense of self-identity. Helping adolescents find their ‘true’ and healthier voice is what NorthStar is all about. Providing an emotionally safe, confidential and structured treatment setting is essential in this process.

Treatment Approach

Recent research supports the premise that adolescents who succeed at our program do so because they feel understood and unconditionally accepted by the staff and peers. We help the adolescent develop new coping skills and alternative strategies to replace maladaptive behaviors. We offer ‘talk’ therapy groups which are primarily problem and solution focused.

Our program also includes Expressive Therapy where teens give expression to find their ‘real’ selves through art, movement or drama. Our experienced and compassionate staff help teens develop a positive peer community that supports pro-social expressions. Imagine the power of peer pressure to do better!

Family Program

NorthStar staff recognize that each and every family is affected by ‘acting out’ teens. Our family program allows families to receive needed support and ideas without judgment or blame. Families are able to work through the shame and isolation they experience with other families in similar situations. Because parent participation is so important to our treatment approach, parent(s) or guardians are required to participate in the family program on Thursday nights. If work schedules are prohibitive, family therapy can be arranged for an alternate time.

Treatment Staff

NorthStar staff provide serious treatment for serious problems. Our well trained counselors understand the pain of troubled adolescents underneath the ‘acting out’ behaviors that are presented to the family, in the school and community.  Each adolescent will receive a psychiatric assessment by our board certified child/adolescent psychiatrist.  Know that your teen’s progress is reviewed in its entirety by experienced staff including our psychiatrist and psychologist.  Treatment is always performed by two Masters or Ph.D. level therapists.  

NorthStar Day Treatment Program is licensed by the State of Wisconsin as a mental health day treatment facility.

Admission Criteria

NorthStar is appropriate for adolescents, ages 13-18, as a ‘step up’ from outpatient counseling due to increased mental health concerns or as a treatment alternative/transition from psychiatric hospitalization or residential treatment.

Mental health issues may include mood disorders, anxiety, suicidal and self-harm behaviors, post-traumatic stress, reactive attachment, social/peer difficulties, eating disorders and oppositional-defiant disorders.

Referral to NorthStar

Referrals to NorthStar can be made by parents, schools, psychiatrists, hospitals, residential programs, treatment providers and human service professionals.

NorthStar’s treatment schedule is 22 hours per week. A treatment staffing occurs after 3 weeks to assess the adolescent’s progress toward treatment goals, thereafter staffings are held every 2-4 weeks. Length of stay is determined by medical/clinical necessity.

To make a referral call the Program Director (608) 270-1960 x16

Ben Farbman LCSW  -  Program Director

Steven R. Stein Ph.D.  - Clinical Director


Phone (608) 270-1960


Most commercial insurances cover NorthStar under transitional or partial hospital benefits.  In addition, NorthStar has provider contracts with

  • The Alliance
  • WPS
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Physicians Plus
  • Dean Care
  • Unity
  • Group Health Cooperative
  • Medical Assistance
  • Community Partnerships

Please call if you have any questions about your coverage.