At its core, The Retreat is a therapeutic community for people with varying diagnoses and problems that works to restore social functioning in an atmosphere of mutual respect and support. Psychiatric illness, whatever its cause, inevitably has a profound effect on an individual’s self-esteem and the quality of their interpersonal relationships. Conversely, improving the quality of these relationships is an important step in healing for many patients. Patients tell us again and again that the relationships they established while at The Retreat, with both staff and other patients, were essential to their recovery. The therapeutic community program hosts several activities to support relationship building.
Psychodynamic group meets four times weekly and provides an opportunity for residents to talk with each other about the “leading edge” of their anxieties, fears, and conflicts. In this group, individuals can expand upon issues they are addressing in individual psychotherapy, or can talk about other topics whether about themselves or the community. Group members then have the opportunity to receive feedback in a non-judgmental setting from other group participants – an aspect that has proved particularly valuable to recovery.
A community meeting is hosted once weekly, consisting of patients, staff, and the leadership team at The Retreat. The purpose of this meeting is to welcome new residents, ask for volunteers to provide tours and answer questions, discuss milieu issues that impact the community as a whole, and say goodbye to departing residents. This meeting helps emphasize how each individual can both learn from, and contribute to, the group’s efforts to solve problems and resolve conflicts. For residents, community meetings often highlight issues that can be explored further in individual psychotherapy sessions and other groups.