What is a Typical Day Like in Residential Treatment?

What is a Typical Day Like in Residential Treatment?

One of the most common questions that potential clients ask us at The Right Step is ‘What is day-to-day life like in residential treatment?’ The typical day at each facility will look different depending on several factors such as the type of treatment facility, the type of programs offered, and the recommended length of stay. Though circumstances vary, we’ll give you a breakdown so that you or your loved one can go into treatment with a clear understanding of what life is like in residential treatment at The Right Step DFW. 

A word about what treatment is… and isn’t.

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of programs and inpatient treatment schedules, let’s take a breath to remind ourselves that going to treatment is you or your loved one deciding to care for themselves. Treatment is meant to give you or your loved one the time and space to heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually with medical and psychological experts’ support.

Designed to remove circumstantial stressors that may feed into a patient’s addiction, treatment is educational and empowering, but it is also hard work. The good news is that the hard work is being done in an intensive program with an exceptionally supportive environment that focuses on healing the whole person. Residential treatment gives patients the tools they need to help them cope with the pain in healthier ways and teaches them how to implement those tools in a life of recovery.

The Daily Focus

At The Right Step DFW, each day of the week focuses on a theme to meditate on throughout the day. Think of it as setting an intention for the day. When you set an intention, it’s like choosing a lens through which you see the day by giving you several opportunities to practice virtues such as resilience, compassion, wellness, and hope. 

Being consciously aware of an intention influences the subconscious. According to Inc.com, “Setting your intentions opens your eyes to things you may have otherwise missed.” Meaning you can’t help but notice how the unfolding moments of the day play into what you’ve set your mind to. 

The daily focus also allows for a compassionate way for you or your loved one to grow and learn without having to do it perfectly. Residential treatment facilities offer a safe setting that gives patients the wiggle room they need to work things out, setting them up for successful healing.

The Typical Day

Because clients have different circumstances and needs, customized treatment is the way of The Right Step DFW. Though that is the case, a general schedule helps guide each patient’s day. An example of Monday through Friday looks like this: 

  • Healthy breakfast followed by daily reflections
  • Addiction and recovery education sessions
  • Break
  • Journal group
  • Lunch
  • Skills group
  • Recreational free time
  • Peer/group sessions or individual treatment
  • Dinner
  • 12-step based meeting
  • Evening reflections
  • Downtime

The weekends are similarly structured, but with a little more relaxation time scheduled and family visitations. 

Why is there so much group therapy?

Looking at that schedule, you’ll see several group therapy sessions listed, and with good reason! Group therapy is proven to be beneficial to healing and empowering individuals. It is integral to those in an inpatient program. 

As noted in a PsychCentral.com interview with psychologist, Dr. Judye Hess and psychotherapist, Ali Miller, MFT, there are at several benefits of group therapy: 

  • It helps you understand that you’re not alone. While everyone has different issues and circumstances that they deal with, everyone struggles with loneliness regarding their feelings. In group therapy, you discover that other people have felt the same way you have in their own experiences.
  • It promotes giving and receiving support. While facilitated by trained therapists, group members are encouraged to look to each other for support, feedback and connection. This gives the opportunity for members to free themselves from isolation and loneliness. 
  • It gives you a safety net to practice using and strengthening your voice. When people have a safe space to practice using their authentic voice and speak up for themselves, they can build confidence and take the group support with them outside into the “real world.” 
  • It allows you to relate to others and yourself in a healthy way. Group therapy is an excellent way to see how people relate to each other in the moment. With instant feedback on how you are relating to yourself and others, Miller says, “You start to see you have way more choices available to you for how you relate to others. It helps people get out of relational ruts, liberates people to get unstuck from patterns of relating that are not serving them.”

Essentially, group therapy helps you discover more about yourself and enables you to grow in ways that individual therapy cannot because of the connection it provides. The Right Step DFW would be missing out on a huge opportunity to help you or your loved one if they only led one-on-one sessions. 

However, individual therapy is also important.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about one in five people live with a mental illness, each of varying degrees. MentalHealth.gov states that one in four of those living with mental illness also has a substance use issue. Devoting time to individual therapy is necessary to address these issues as they pertain to each patient’s unique circumstances.

The Right Step DFW implements a variety of evidence-based therapy modalities in both group therapy and individual therapy settings. Some of these methods include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) –– A form of talk therapy as noted by The Mayo Clinic,CBT helps illuminate the distorted thinking patterns a patient may have. This awareness helps them to recognize these patterns and allows them to healthfully and productively respond to difficult situations life may bring their way.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) –– Falls under the umbrella of CBT, and focuses on how someone interacts with other people and environments or the psychosocial elements of treatment. PsychCentral.com indicates that critical aspects of DBT are that it is support-oriented, cognitive-based, and collaborative in addressing four modules: Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance, and Emotion Regulation.
  • Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) –– The American Psychological Association (APA) describes Illness Management and Recovery as the comprehensive set of strategies that empower individuals to manage their mental health and addiction issues. This includes educating individuals on mental illness, the foundations of treatment, and their actions to manage persistent symptoms and other issues.

Essentially everything here has a purpose.

Residential treatment offers a unique level of care by giving clients who have substance abuse issues an environment away from damaging influences. It’s in this space that you or your loved one can heal from addiction and co-occurring disorders.

 According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), by providing care 24 hours a day, long-term treatment often provides a therapeutic community which “[Focuses] on ‘resocialization’ of the individual and use the program’s entire community—including other residents, staff, and the social context—as active components of treatment.”

From breakfast to group therapy to evening reflections and everything in between, the entire experience is meant to be therapeutic and healing. This daily resocialization even helps patients develop a relapse management plan. After all, drug and alcohol treatment is about looking toward hope and the future. 

Though each patient’s combination of therapies varies, the typical days and time away from the usual stressors and environment alongside those therapies effectively reset the trajectory of one’s life. Inpatient treatment is nothing to be fearful of. Instead, it’s one of the safest spaces to heal and begin a life of recovery. 

If you are curious about what a typical day in residential treatment would be like for you or someone you love, The Right Step DFW can help. Call us at (844)768-1161.

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