Coming Together to Help Those with Mental Illness

 The vision of Southern Live Oak Wellness (SLOW) began between the founders Andrew Merker and Ryan Cierzniewski seeing constantly that the mental health patient demographic was not being treated as equal and were unable to receive proper treatment. They wanted to begin a mental health treatment center that provides resources that not only informs and helps the individual and the community, but also affords the tools for long-term growth.  

Here at SLOW we are invested in sustainable and intentional care for those with mood and personality disorders. Our mission is to join the fight in destigmatizing mental illness and to give those with mental illness a safe place where they are heard and welcomed to process and grow. SLOW aims to provide a level of care to its patients that sticks the first time. 

SLOW is focused on helping those with a range of mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, bipolar, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders, personality disorders, and co-occurring disorders. 

We are located in Dunwoody, Georgia and offer a range of treatment options, which include  residential treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). The level of care available will meet your needs of where you are at. 

Unlike going to a dual diagnosis program, we are solely a mental illness treatment center. We utilize a range of evidence-based treatment modalities, which include DBT, CBT, EMDR, and TMS. These treatment modalities help our clients understand, grow, and recover their lives through both symptom management and the development of new life skills. 

Details of our treatment modalities: 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 

CBT helps our clients become aware of negative or destructive thinking by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thought processes so they can view challenging situations clearly and in a more productive way. CBT focuses on solutions, not problems, and encourages clients to challenge previously distorted ways of thinking that has created destructive behaviors. 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT identifies and changes negative thinking patterns and pushes for positive behavioral changes. By focusing on a few key areas, DBT provides clients new skills to manage emotions and decrease both internal and external conflict. Clients will focus on four key techniques in DBT: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Unlike CBT and DBT, EMDR is a nontraditional therapeutic technique designed to remove negative feelings associated with memories of traumatic events. EMDR focuses less on the trauma itself and more on the lingering symptoms and emotions that have resulted from the event. Treatment includes a hand motion technique utilized by our expert clinicians to guide the client’s eye movements. EMDR has shown positive results in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, phobias, depression, and schizophrenia. 

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

TMS is a noninvasive treatment modality that has been proven to treat clinical depression when conventional methods have failed. TMS utilizes magnetic fields to stimulate the neurotransmitters in the delivering a magnetic pulse that stimulates cells within the brain in order to alleviate depression. TMS is painless and sessions last approximately 40 minutes. We are also one of the only programs in the greater Atlanta area that offers this kind of treatment. 

All of these modalities allow our clients to process and grow from their mood and personality disorders and adopt new life skills to ensure long-term growth. Our main mission is to provide quality treatment to the underserved population that is in dire need to be treated as equals.

Our clients will gain self-confidence and understanding by working with our expert team of clinicians, interacting with their peers, and by immersing themselves in experiences that will benefit their long-term growth. 

We believe each step of the process is crucial, which is why we work with the clients on a continuu, of care basis and we try to ensure this will be the last treatment center they will have to go to. 

We don’t make our clients better people; we help them find the great person that’s already there. 

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