In cases of acute or severe psychological distress or emotional dysregulation, the benefits of a mental health residential level treatment program almost always outweigh the benefits of outpatient services. Here’s why that’s often the case and how PCH can help.
Residential treatment usually refers to behavioral health treatment that takes place within a private residence, offering a level of care that approaches inpatient treatment or hospitalization. However, residential treatment differs from inpatient treatment in many ways. Residential treatment offers a more intimate setting that approximates a home, while members live in a supportive group environment. Residential treatment arose as a reaction to the negative aspects of psychiatric or addiction hospitalization such as isolation, traumatization, high cost, and often poor treatment outcome.
PCH Treatment offers a level of care commensurate with Residential Treatment, but we differ in several important ways. First, we do not provide care or treatment within our homes. Our model is “real world,” where our clients live in one of our houses and then attend programming at our clinic, which is located in proximity. We prefer to keep a boundary between treatment and living so that when our clients return to their autonomous living situation, they are better equipped to succeed.
Outpatient Versus Residential Treatment Programs
Before you can understand the underlying benefits of a residential level treatment program, you have to differentiate between residential and outpatient treatment programs.
A residential program provides 24-hour supervision and support. This support is often necessary for clients who are struggling with psychological challenges but don’t want to enter a hospital where they may be overmedicated, ignored, or even traumatized by other sicker clients who may be acting out or may need to be restrained or isolated.
An outpatient treatment plan provides a more limited menu of care and support. As an outpatient, a client returns to their own living arrangement. While in some cases this may be appropriate, oftentimes a client may have an unstable home environment that impedes their treatment and recovery. Outpatient therapy also has a more limited treatment schedule ranging from an hour or two of therapy to a full day of programming. Residential levels of treatment usually offer a full day of programming.
The Benefits of Residential Treatment Programs
Certain levels of trauma and addiction require an increased level of care that residential treatment can address more effectively than outpatient treatment. Residential levels of treatment offer a vital supplement to treatment that is lacking in outpatient care—a supportive treatment milieu 24 hours per day. Within the residence house, a client will receive support not just from the clinical and support staff but also from other clients. Clients who are facing similar mental health challenges can provide unique support, especially when they are going through or have gone through similar experiences. Understanding the benefits of a residential treatment program can help you decide if you or someone you care about may need additional help from a full-time community dedicated to your holistic well-being.
The Opportunity to Relearn
One of the most critical factors in a mental health residential treatment plan is reshaping bad habits, old tendencies, and counterproductive thought patterns into a balanced daily routine. For many individuals, having a dedicated community supporting them as they hit the reset button on life can make the difference between perseverance and indolence. The positive effects should carry on long beyond clinical treatment. Benefits include not only the insights and tools gained from individual and group therapies, but also healthy exercise, diet, and sleep habits which promote overall well-being. The presence of a daily schedule can be help clients reset how they organize their lives. Clients also can build a support group from other clients that they can rely on after treatment has been completed.
An Environment of Support
A combination of underlying trauma and maladaptive relationships are often at the root of severe cases of OCD, bipolar disorder, and borderline or dysregulated states. As a result, remaining in the same environment during treatment encourages individuals to fall back into old habits or hold on to toxic relationships, which can interfere with treatment. By taking someone away from negative family or social dynamics, we allow them to focus on their own development with less interference and distraction. We also educate and offer insight into these family interactions so our clients can make better choices for themselves.
A residential treatment program offers the opportunity to try new things, express complex feelings, and work through trauma in a safe environment. Residents are relearning and reforming old patterns of thought and behaviors within a community of individuals struggling with the same issues. Clients can turn to the support community at any time, where everyone is immersed and invested in the same environment, sharing insights into individual and collective recovery.
A Holistic Approach
Because sustaining mental well-being revolves around reshaping self-destructive tendencies into productive habits and thought patterns, a holistic approach to treatment should touch all facets of human experience. That includes all mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, contextual, and lifestyle choices. However, breaking old patterns and forming new ones takes weeks to months. At PCH, we take a holistic approach to recovery and building habits that includes:
- Physical fitness
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Art and art therapy
Often, individuals may be hesitant to experiment with new creative or emotional outlets on their own, but with a group of like-minded people, it’s easier to try new things and build shared habits together.
The Effects of Milieu Therapy
Milieu therapy has become a way to form therapeutic communities around shared trauma, issues, or struggles in order to cultivate a healthier, more balanced worldview. A shared residential environment provides a calmer, more supportive environment where individuals find shared experiences to help in their healing. Residents build bonds and friendships, allowing them to test and work through issues with each other in a safe place.
Uncover the Next Steps to Recovery With the Team at PCH
If you think a residential treatment program may provide the support you’ve been missing until now, reach out to the caring team at PCH Treatment Center when you’re ready to take the next step.