Inpatient Rehab for Mental Health Disorders
When struggling with severe mental illness and/or eating disorder, sometimes therapy or attending a program on a daily or weekly basis isn’t enough. In these cases, more support is provided through residential treatment.
- Participants eat and sleep at the facility
- Professional care available 24/7
- Structured schedule of therapy sessions
As a general rule, residential treatment involves staying at a facility dedicated to treating mental health or eating disorders. Guests have around-the-clock care or a supervisor available. There is also participation in regular treatment sessions, such as counseling, group therapies, and more.
Who Can Benefit from Residential Treatment?
Sometimes, residential treatment is a good option after an inpatient hospital stay. Perhaps there was a crisis in which they were contemplating harming themselves or others. Once stabilized at a hospital, residential treatment may be the next step in a healing journey.
Other times, residential treatment is a first-line therapy. Perhaps an unstable home life or the pressures of their job and commitments are closing in on them and they cannot get the help they need by remaining in their home. When this is the case, residential treatment may be an option.
It’s important to contact individual treatment facilities to determine the medical conditions in which they specialize. There are often medical facilities across the United States that focus on treating different conditions specifically, such as an eating disorder or other health condition.
People in residential treatment may have a variety of medical conditions. Examples of these may include:
- Anorexia nervosa
- Binge eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Mood disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Personality disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Residential treatment facilities offer care for these and other medical conditions.
A high-quality residential treatment facility will provide a comprehensive offering of therapies to treat a mental health or eating disorder. These therapeutic modalities would be facilitated by a multidisciplinary, fully-licensed team. An effective therapy offering would include a combination of individual and group therapy, family programming, medication management as needed, and extended aftercare services.
Meaningful psychoeducational therapy creates opportunities to process conditions from an intellectual standpoint as a way of helping with emotional processing.
Psychoeducational therapy can include, but is not limited to:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Self-Acceptance and Identity
- Trauma and attachment
- Life skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Nutrition education
Also referred to as alternative treatment modalities, holistic therapies compliment psychoeducational therapies to provide emotional and spiritual healing. These holistic modalities can include:
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Equine therapy
- Trauma-sensitive yoga
How Do I Know If Residential Treatment Is Right for Me?
There are no hard-and-fast rules about when a person should seek residential treatment versus other treatment options. If these statements sound like something you could identify with, residential treatment may be an ideal option:
- I have just completed an acute or sub-acute crisis stay.
- I need time to adjust my medications and stabilize my eating disorder or mental health condition.
- I have just experienced my first episode of psychosis, mania, or crisis.
- I have a medical condition in addition to my mental illness that may require additional care, such as cerebral palsy.
- I have tried outpatient treatment before and relapsed or failed to achieve remission.
- I don’t have a strong network of people at this time who can support me mentally or physically.
- I have experienced a greater number of self-harming behaviors lately, such as more episodes of binging-and-purging.
If these statements sound like you, you may benefit from the closer supervision that residential treatment can provide.
How Does Life Change in Residential Treatment?
Life changes, ideally for the better, when a person enters residential treatment. Sometimes a person may find treatments similar to learning to walk again. Residential treatment focuses on how a person can make healthy choices and recognize unhealthy behaviors.
One of the greatest benefits to residential treatment is that most facilities are designed to provide a home-like atmosphere. If a person has recently experienced a hospitalization for their condition, a residential treatment facility can be a more relaxing, personal experience compared to inpatient care.
What Can You Expect After Residential Treatment?
While residential treatment can last for months or even years, the goal is almost always to return home or to a new living situation in order to move forward with life. As a result, aftercare planning is a vital part of the goals process. Sometimes, a person will choose to continue seeing a therapist or doctor they saw at their residential treatment facility. Other times, a person may select a new outpatient therapist. A social or caseworker at a residential treatment facility may also connect a person with support groups in their area or other therapy options, such as art, music, or equine therapies.
Exiting residential treatment is a time when a person has prepared as much as possible to return to their home life. While there will be challenges that can arise as they do so, residential treatment has ideally laid a groundwork for them to improve on their overall health.
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