What Should I expect in Residential Treatment?


Mornings are usually started off with a group meditation or prayer. Each treatment center will develop its own unique ritual for a morning group. You might read from a daily meditation book and discuss each day’s topic at a group level. You might share around the room your intentions for the day and what you would like to accomplish. Goals can include, things you want to work on in a specific group therapy session, or just making it through the day without getting angry. Morning meditations might involve a fun game or activity.

After morning group will likely be breakfast. Shortly before or after breakfast will be the morning medication distribution. Next, staff will hand out the daily schedules so each patient knows where they are going during the day. After a short break, groups will begin.

What Should I expect in Residential Treatment

Group Therapy and Educational Sessions

The bulk of the day will be comprised of group therapy sessions and educational lectures. Group therapies might be for general processing or specifically focused. For example there might be a group for eating disorders, chemical dependency, trauma, gambling, and grief. Educational sessions can include prescription management, dialectical behavioral therapy, neuroscience and addiction in the brain. In between or after groups, there will be group activities that incorporate alternative treatment modalities. Yoga, meditation, art therapy, and music therapy are common treatment options for residential.


Afternoon Breaks

Between the load of therapy sessions and activities will come some down time. Between the last group and before dinner will be a few hours for personal use. Many find this extra time during the day to be opportune for catching up on sleep. You might use the time to work on your step work from a twelve step program. You can journal, exercise, meditate, or express yourself creatively. Group and individual therapy from earlier in the day might have left you with ‘homework’ assignments which you an work on during this time.


Evening Activities

The evenings are usually left open to the patients. Though they don’t have the ability to leave the premises on their own, residential patients are often taken off site to a twelve step meeting such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Staff might put on a community movie for the night or host a game night. Treatment centers will develop their own sources of fun and entertainment.