Brattleboro Retreat Philosophy
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Areas of Specialization
Co occurring Disorders, Uniformed Service Program
Rehabs.com Editorial Review
ABOUT BRATTLEBORO RETREAT
Founded in 1834 and located on the New Hampshire border in southern Vermont, the Brattleboro Retreat is a nonprofit mental health and addiction treatment center that offers a full spectrum of treatment programs for adults and adolescents struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Programs include inpatient, hospital-based care including medical detox, and varying levels of outpatient care.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Treatment takes a multidisciplinary approach that’s grounded in medicine. The 12-steps do not appear to be a foundational element of treatment, though referrals to local meetings are provided.
Inpatient care, including medical detox, is intended for crisis stabilization purposes only, and generally lasts between five and 14 days. Admissions are usually processed within 24 hours, and there are dedicated inpatient treatment tracks for young adults ages 18 to 26 and LGBT clients.
Outpatient options include a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (IOP), both of which allow clients to stay in on-campus housing at night. Both programs include individual and group counseling, medication management, and a focus on learning healthy ways to handle stress and improve relationships. General outpatient care uses group and individual therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), experiential activities, and connects clients to community resources such as 12-step groups and SMART Recovery meetings.
According to the facility’s website, the team includes board-certified psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, licensed social workers, and mental health professionals. The 16 individuals polled on the staff’s level of training and experience at the time of this writing gave it four out of five stars.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
According to Nepsy.com, a site that focuses on New England’s psychiatric care, this is a 122-bed facility. It’s a tobacco-free campus with mostly private rooms, and clients can also enjoy a secure outdoor courtyard area. Rehabs.com reviewers mostly gave the facility high ratings for its cleanliness.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
Of the 14 reviews submitted to Rehabs.com at the time of this writing, 11 were positive. Common praise was awarded to the staff, which was described as “caring” and “well trained.”
Yet there were some criticisms. More than one individual noted that the food could be improved, and one alum said they experienced a bad benzodiazepine detox. Other one-off complaints cited a lack of exercise and outdoors time and overcrowding.
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
Reviews from loved ones were mixed — of the 14 individuals polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing, only six gave positive reviews. The 12 who were surveyed across a variety of metrics gave the facility 3.83 out of five stars for its family program, 3.73 stars for its staff’s level of training and experience, 3.5 stars for its counseling options, and 3.25 stars for its holistic options. Like alumni reviews, recurring praise was awarded to the staff, who were described as knowledgeable and compassionate.
Yet repeated criticisms were given for a lack of aftercare, a lack of security or supervision, and a feeling that clients were worse off after their stay. “Brattleboro retreat is run very poorly,” A.L.W. wrote. “After a ten day very expensive stay... they were not able to complete testing and our son left with no diagnosis. He was also worse off after the stay than before.”
According to its website, the Brattleboro Retreat contracts with more than 100 local and national insurers, including Medicare and Vermont Medicaid.
Local news organizations have reported on several suicides at the facility in the last few years. In response to these problems, according to VTDigger.org in September 2014: “Retreat workers increased surveillance, limited the amount of time patients could be alone in their rooms and required that doors be left open at night.”
Even so, a January 2015 NePsy.com release indicated that the Brattleboro Retreat had failed its third inspection from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for conditions that jeopardized patients’ safety. While Brattleboro Retreat representatives were unavailable to comment on at that time, by November 2015, the facility had been found to be in full compliance with CMS requirements. "The federal surveyors expressed their appreciation for our clinical skills, solid programing, and respectful approach to patient care," a Brattleboro representative said.
Updated August 2016
Published on August 2016
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