When someone finishes residential treatment, it is a cause for celebration. They have worked hard and found the strength they needed to overcome their troubles and achieve recovery. It's important to be proud of such an accomplishment and understand that you are stronger than you thought you were. Places like Pathways Wellness Center have extensive residential treatment programs designed to help clients build the skills they need to cope with life outside of treatment.
Residential treatment is also quite different from living in everyday society. In this type of treatment, someone lives in a dedicated facility or treatment center. There, they can live away from common triggers and stressors that can worsen their mental health.
For example, someone struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) benefits from a residential treatment program because it keeps them far away from their substance of choice. They also find shelter away from people who may pressure them to engage in substance use. In a residential treatment program, they are free from these triggers, so they can focus solely on healing and recovery.
However, practicing these skills under the supervision of a professional is different than dealing with stressors and triggers in society. It can be difficult to transition from a structured treatment program back to society again. Luckily, there are several paths you can take once you finish residential treatment to help.
It's often advised for someone leaving residential treatment to transition into outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment is when someone can still live at home, go to work, and participate in society while receiving treatment. This is mostly done by coming into a mental health care facility to meet with a treatment provider. Usually, someone meets with a therapist, who helps them practice their coping skills and navigate around any new stressors in their life. It depends on an individual's needs, but sessions can happen from multiple times a week to a few times a month.
Sometimes a person can meet with their treatment provider by using telehealth. This is a video/voice connection that allows someone to meet with a treatment provider virtually. Telehealth allows some clients to attend sessions from the comfort of their homes or meet with specialists who are far away. It's important to note that not all mental health care facilities will make use of such programs, so it's important to ask if you are interested in using telehealth as part of treatment.
Clients don't stay in outpatient treatment forever and eventually need fewer and fewer sessions as time goes on. A client can meet with a treatment provider as long as they feel they need it, so nobody has to worry about being left to be on their own before they are ready. Even then, in connection with alumni programs, a client never has to worry about being alone.
An alumnus is someone who has “graduated” from their treatment programs and is now living in recovery. Sometimes it can take a long time for someone to become an alumnus, and that is okay. People cannot be expected to run at the same pace as others, especially when it comes to treatment. When finishing treatment, sometimes alumni get access to resources specifically made for them. Places like Pathways Wellness Center utilize an aftercare referral program, which helps alumni find the resources they need to stay in recovery. You may be surprised, but whole communities exist around these aftercare programs.
It depends on the facility, but most have a monthly check-in where alumni can discuss their experiences outside of residential treatment. There, they can share advice, give feedback to their previous treatment providers, and connect with their fellow peers. These peers can sometimes end up as lifelong friends, banding together to help each other stay in recovery. This can often become support groups and networks that constantly have new members joining as they complete treatment.
There are even alumni community events, like bowling tournaments, charity drives, and sometimes even movie nights. If you are interested in joining an alumni group or event, speak with your treatment provider or mental health care facility.
Sometimes residential treatment programs have built-in aftercare programs. Facilities like Pathways Wellness Center utilize transitional services as part of their treatment. An example of this is 12-Step support and SMART recovery. These programs work with clients even after treatment, helping them find the support they need to stay in recovery.
Another helpful program is relapse education. A relapse occurs when someone begins to use substances again, despite wanting to be sober. Many things can trigger a relapse, examples being stress and peer pressure. By educating clients about the nature of relapses and what can trigger them while in residential treatment, they learn how to avoid them.
When undergoing residential treatment, your treatment provider will often speak to you about the transitional and aftercare programs they offer. If you haven't received residential treatment yet, but want to plan, you can call your local mental health care facility. Ask them how they transition those in their residential treatment program back into society and what resources they offer for alumni. They will be able to answer any questions you have.
Remember, nobody in a mental health care facility will judge you for asking questions about their programs or mental health issues. It's an important decision to seek treatment, and they want you to be able to make informed choices in your care. If you feel as though you or someone you love could benefit from residential treatment, don't wait. Make the call today to take the first step to recovery.
Congratulations, you have finished residential treatment! But where do you go next? Luckily, Pathways Wellness Center in Azusa and Glendora, California, has the answer. Just because someone finished a residential treatment program doesn't mean they now have to navigate their lives alone. To give our clients the best chance at staying in recovery, we help them connect to aftercare programs. These programs help our clients build the skills and find the support they need to help integrate smoothly back into society. Utilizing these resources and programs allows our clients to know that they are not alone and will never have to be alone again. To learn more about aftercare programs, call us today at (888) 771-0966.