There are many characters that you’ll encounter when you start your adventure at a residential treatment center. For every avenue of life within the facility, there are fellow members of the milieu, members of the faculty, and hired professionals. You as a temporary visitor to this center will have a certain experience of all of these people. Let’s introduce you to the cast of characters. This is just sampling but should cover the main roles.
Meet the Residential Treatment Center Faculty
Your Fellow Patients – You have entered a new community and essentially have surrendered yourself to the bottom of the totem pole. I don’t mean this in the sense of trying to grasp for control but that you must accept that you are not only in need of help but that you’ve asked for it and agreed that these other characters can offer you what you need. Your fellow patients are also in the same boat. You are here!
Group Counselors – In many treatment centers, it is understood that we can’t go it alone. So the groups of patients are often broken into smaller groups of perhaps ten people each. Each of these groups has a leader who helps maintain order and keeps the group within the bounds and rules of the facility. The counselor also serves as an internal source of comfort and structure so that the patients can not worry about these types of things while maintaining focus on treatment.
Behavior Technicians – These characters will not always be present, depending on the age group, acuity of the illnesses being treated, and other factors. The point is that, say a group of teenage males are all acting out and fighting for alpha positions in their groups. There may break out an actual fistfight, and here the behavior techs will act and break up the fight or restrain those who are now out of control.
Teachers – For youngsters, they will need to continue their education throughout the months of treatment. The teachers are here, each specialized in a certain subject and there to disseminate their knowledge to the students.
Principal – Every school must have a principal. In a treatment center, the principal performs the normal duties of this position, but also represents a target of aggression and projection for troubled youngsters. They will make their rounds and help the young patients understand boundaries and how to naturally respect the dominance of others. Psychological and physical boundaries are often an issue for young patients and they must come to learn their temporary position in society and accept it without causing issues. The principal serves this purpose.
School Record Keeper – The person each young student really wants to earn the love of is the record keeper, who keeps track of all paper work not only of the school, but of factors that go into a successful completion of the patient’s treatment plan. They are often the silent observer and controller of the keys to the kingdom. The teachers and principal report their findings, grades, and impressions of each patient to the record keeper, who delivers them up the chain!
Patient Advocate – This person is the friend to the patient. He or she exists solely to make sure nobody is being taken advantage of. If anyone unfair treatment is occurring, any patient may request to speak to the patient advocate and explain the situation, and then a full-scale investigation can occur to make sure there are no silly power-plays being performed by the staff of the treatment facility. This is rare seeing as everyone is there to help, but you never know, so all bases are covered with the presence of the patient advocate.
Vocational Director – Another aspect of treatment is learning to integrate oneself with the local community, and in this case that is the treatment center and it’s people. The vocational director leads the groups in periods of work, often cleaning up around the facility or fixing broken items, etc. Learning teamwork and gaining friendship while positively contributing to the community is what the vocational director helps the patients achieve.
Psychologists – The psychologists are the therapists in the classical sense. Each patient will speak with them one on one, with the entire group, or during family therapy sessions with their immediate family members. These trained individuals use their knowledge and insight to guide and evaluate the progress of each patient and help lay out a treatment plan tailored to each individual.
Psychiatrists – Often times patients will require medication to help treat specific mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression. This helps reduce symptoms so that other aspects of the illness can be confronted as well during treatment. The psychiatrist calls all of the shots and in regards to the treatment of each individual themselves, the psychiatrist is the top dog.
Of course, there are other characters such as the CEO’s, Admissions Director, Cafeteria Workers, Janitors, and more, but the list above features the people you will come into deep contact with that will affect the course of your treatment. Know these people, be friends with them, and be real with them. They are there to help you and believe it or not, they are gaining much from their relationship with you as well. Everyone wins in a most beneficial manner at a residential treatment center!