Brattleboro Retreat in Brattleboro, VT

Overall Rating

(4 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
Anna Marsh Lane, P.O. Box 803
Brattleboro VT 05302

Brattleboro Retreat Philosophy

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Areas of Specialization

Co occurring Disorders, Uniformed Service Program

Facility Highlights

Adult Inpatient & Outpatient Programs
LGBT Inpatient Program
Continuing Education

Rehabs.com Editorial Review

Review by Rehabs.com Contributors

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.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

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.”

CONCLUSION

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

User Reviews

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Each person would have different experience

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Not enough qualified counselors and/or supervision.

My loved one went there and he was taken in the same night we called. But we couldn't afford to have him stay longer.

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Honesty, timed schedule were the best parts. Paperwork take too long They were very good with my son, They made him comfortable and not scared.

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Staff was good.

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Location was the best part. Treatment plan,follow through,security not that great., My children's father went there,as well as many others like it,and it was not very helpful.

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Skilled staff Old building Wonderful treatment center with extremely knowledgable and compassionate staff!

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staff is great and will give you one to one time Sometimes everyone with different problems are mixed together People with mental illness don't want to be around people who have brought problems on themselves like herion

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Large enough to quickly admit new patients Poor assistance with transferring to further care Good place to start rehab, but lacks in assisting with making sure people are able to get into or actually get to further long term care. This has resulted in many repeat admittances.

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the employees are fantastic. The food, not the healthiest. I would recommend them, the staff truly cares about the people.

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They had no idea how to safely help someone dependent on Benzodiazapines. Avoid this place like the plaque.

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they were all well trained and very attractive

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Therapy, Staff, additional groups like yoga, and the area were strengths of the facility. They care about the patients. You can trust the staff and feel safe there. Do it for yourself. You are worth it!

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Good staff. Bad food.

they denied her because of insurance not paying for it. it was not affordable.

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Staff is very caring. This place saved my life.

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I was not the one that attended.

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The staff was very kind. I was afraid to go but it was worth it. However, it was too expensive.

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The accessibility was a benefit of the facility, but the size of the facility was a downfall.

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It was local, which was nice. However, it shouldn't be free for service.

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They could have had a better 12-step program and more family involvement; however, it was otherwise a great facility.

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Overall the program helped me realize that hurting myself would also hurt others and that my life is worthwhile.

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Brattleboro retreat is completely ineffective ... and the staff is overworked and uncaring. We sent our son there with high hopes after much research into possible treatment. We even visited the facility beforehand. What we did not see is that Brattleboro retreat is run very poorly. 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. ... They caused our family unnecessary stress and years of uncertainty, which had dire consequences. My advice, avoid Brattleboro Retreat at all costs. It is not just a waste of time and money and emotional hazard, it makes a difficult precarious situation much worse.

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In 1985, I relapsed. Went back in 1986, and have been clean & sober since. There was always someone to talk to.

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Staff was professional but warm. Only complaint was little access to exercize and outdoors.

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Staff is attentive and for those motivated to change quite effective. No family events but social worker counselor couple support

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Our friend had struggled and had been in many treatment programs across the decades with unsuccessful results. This had an amazing impact that changed his life and his family's life.

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I have heard that the Retreat has gotten a lot better. It was a bit overcrowded when I was there. Changed medication without consulting my Psychiatrist.

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