Our mission in the Uniformed Services Program (USP) at the Brattleboro Retreat is to provide you quality, patient-centered care in the context of your work culture and experience while using the best available research evidence, clinical practice, and expertise to help you achieve positive treatment outcomes.
A core goal in the service of this mission is to deliver contextualized, structured, and supervised therapy that focuses on rapid clinical change, stabilization, and transitioning to "valued living" by increasing your psychological flexibility. That is, to be aware of the present situation as it is and without needless defenses, and based on what the situation offers, to take committed action toward your stated goals and values.
Keeping our eye on your profession and our finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your work field helps us to sustain innovation meeting you where you’re at when you arrive at the USP, incorporating trends in the work field, and using best practices. Disruptive innovation is also a key part of our strategy to provide you quality, patient-centered care. We design, deliver, collect data, and conduct research on new programming to get you moving and living a life that matters to you.
When you arrive at the USP, a trained staff member orientates you to the program. You will meet with your personal clinician for a comprehensive assessment to discuss what brought you to the program and your goals among other things. You will have a one-to-one session with a member of our nursing staff to discuss your recovering and maintaining optimal health. Our psychiatrist will also meet with you to discuss treatment and medication consideration. Throughout your work at the USP, you will have one-to-one sessions with members of our staff to address your needs and create an aftercare plan that works for you.
Currently at USP, we offer a variety of groups that include skills building and experiential exercises:
This helps you develop a curious, nonevaluative, nonjudgmental, compassionate, and flexible attention that is purposeful, embracing what life has to offer moment-to-moment. Mindfulness groups include self-compassion skills training that emphasizes treating yourself kindly, being thankful and willing to have painful private experiences like guilt or shame because in them are gifts of what you value in life.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
These groups help you to develop a regular practice of also living moment-to-moment. You will practice noticing painful personal experiences like thoughts, emotions, and memories that show up, entering and being with them instead of avoiding them, making contact and having compassion for them, and then letting them go, doing what matters in life instead of fighting to control them or trying to make them go away and putting what life has to offer on the shelf. You will learn by doing, using imagery, movement, and relating to pain differently, transforming it into meaningful living.
Practical Recovery Groups
Here we focus on motivation enhancement, skill building, and self-care. The delivery of recovery solutions happens in a way that is respectful, nonconfrontational, and empathetic, paying attention to where you are in your recovery. Different groups bring you into contact with reasons for changing problem drinking behavior or using drugs. Skill building groups include developing social and communication skills to successfully turn down offers to drink or use. Meeting you where you’re at, identifying what’s important to you, and providing you with choices such as moderation or abstinence including attending AA meetings for self-care rounds out the USP’s approach to providing practical and workable recovery solutions. Developing self-care choices that work for you include peer support activities that help facilitate a peer-helping-peer alliance to instill hope in recovery beyond the treatment setting to your everyday and professional work environment.
Sleep and Dream Therapy
In these groups we help you turn your nightmares into dreams leading to sleep better. You will learn sleep hygiene principles, create and maintain a sleep diary, identify the causes, meaning, and purpose of nightmares and the nightmare link to the PTSD cycle. You will use imagery to transform nightmares into dreams.
Trauma Sensitive Yoga
This is a Yoga method of practice for people who have been exposed to work or life-course trauma events. The human body can store trauma-related reactions such as intense fear, helplessness, or horror. The effect can be that the body frequently signals the presence of danger or threat, keeping the person in condition yellow, always alert to potential dangerous or threatening situations including private events such as thoughts, emotions, and memories. Insomnia, irritability, aggression, headaches, and depression, for example, are signposts of such an experiential playbook. Yoga helps you to develop an awareness of your body and stop living in a state of frequent high arousal and feeling unsafe.
Specialty Work Groups
These address your unique needs for returning to work, social, and family settings. For example, you will explore work culture themes and ideology that shape worldview perspectives that can breed problem behaviors outside the workplace setting. Spirituality and what gives you a sense of connection or meaning in life is another topic of group exploration.
Other Substance Abuse Services available including:
- individualized assessment and treatment
- Starting Now outpatient care for local participants
- The Retreat's inpatient co-occurring disorders program, and detox.