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Brattleboro Retreat

One Anna Marsh Lane, P.O. Box 803, Brattleboro, Vermont, 05301
The Brattleboro Retreat is a psychiatric hospital and treatment center providing behavioral health services, including substance abuse treatment for children, adolescents and adults. Services include assessment, intervention, inpatient mental health and addiction treatment, intensive outpatient care, a partial hospitalization program, dual diagnosis, addiction education, and relapse prevention groups.

Facility Highlights

  • Patient & Family Education
  • Continuing Education
  • LGBT Inpatient Program

Specialization

  • BRIDGES (The Brattleboro Retreat Individually Developed & Guided Education Services)

    BRIDGES (The Brattleboro Retreat Individually Developed & Guided Education Services) is an alternative day school program serving students in Kindergarten through 12th Grade, ages 5-22. BRIDGES is part of the Meadows Educational Center at the Brattleboro Retreat, which is a state-approved independent school, under the leadership of Garth D. Grennan, MS.Ed., CAS, principal and director of Educational Programming.
  • Children's Residential Program

    Expert Residential Care for Children Ages 6 to 14. The Abigail Rockwell Children's Center (ARCC) is a multi-track treatment center located in a home-style dwelling that accomodates 11 children. This smaller home setting is ideal for specialized programming to help children who are transitioning from childhood to adolescence.

Facility Settings

  • Average Location/Amenities

Meet the Staff

  • Robyn Ostrander, MD
    Robyn Ostrander, MDMedical Director of Child and Adolescent Service
    Dr. Robyn Ostrander is the Brattleboro Retreat's Associate Medical Director and Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Services. She graduated summa cum laude from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
  • Frederick "Fritz" Engstrom, MD
    Frederick "Fritz" Engstrom, MDChief Medical Officer
    Dr. Fritz Engstrom received his medical degree from the University of Rochester. He is board certified in general psychiatry, and his expertise includes evaluating and treating people who require medication for problems including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition to his role as Medical Director at the Brattleboro Retreat, Dr. Engstrom teaches extensively at symposia across the country. He is also the author of the book Movie Clips for Creative Mental Health Education. Dr. Engstrom is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Treatment Center Links

Rehabs 360 Guide

ABOUT BRATTLEBORO RETREAT

Founded in 1834 and located in southern Vermont, the Brattleboro Retreat is a nonprofit treatment center that offers a full spectrum of treatment programs for adults and adolescents struggling with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. Programs include inpatient, outpatient, and hospital-based care, which includes medical detox. The facility also offers a specialized inpatient program for LGBT individuals, only one of only three residential facilities in the state to offer services tailored to this community.

TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT

According to the center’s website, treatment takes a multidisciplinary approach that is evidence-based. The 12-step model of recovery is not a foundational element of treatment, though referrals to local meetings are provided.

Inpatient care, including medical detox, is intended for crisis stabilization purposes only, and generally lasts between five and 14 days. Admissions are usually processed within 24 hours, and there are dedicated inpatient treatment tracks for young adults ages 18 to 26 and LGBT clients.

Outpatient options include a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (IOP), both of which allow clients to stay in on-campus housing at night. Both programs include individual and group counseling and medication management. Programming focuses on learning healthy ways to handle stress and improve relationships. General outpatient care utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and experiential activities while connecting clients to community resources, such as 12-step groups and SMART Recovery meetings.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

According to the facility’s website, the team includes board-certified psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, licensed social workers, and mental health professionals. The 16 individuals polled on the staff’s level of training and experience at the time of this writing gave it an average rating of four out of five stars.

ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES

There is no information provided on the facility's website regarding accommodations. However, the 17 individuals polled by Rehabs.com to date on the matter felt the facility was well-maintained and clean.

Facility's Cleanliness and Upkeep: 4/5

WHAT ALUMNI SAY

The nine alumni polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing offered overwhelming positive reviews for the facility, particularly for the facility's “caring” and “well trained” staff and the facility's counseling options. "Wonderful treatment center with extremely knowledgable and compassionate staff!" one alum wrote.

Staff's Level of Experience and Training: 4.6/5
Counseling Option: 4/5

Alumni also tended to feel the facility offered an ample amount of holistic treatment options, and many indicated that they would strongly recommend the facility to others.

Likelihood to Recommend the Facility: 4.6/5
Holistic Offerings: 3.8/5

Yet there were some criticisms. More than one individual noted that the food could be improved, and one alum reported a bad benzodiazepine detox experience. Other one-off complaints cited a lack of exercise and outdoors time and overcrowding.

“Staff was professional but warm,” S.A. wrote in a representative review. “Only complaint was little access to exercize and outdoors.”

WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY

The 14 friends and family members polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing offered moderately positive reviews, with some exceptions. While opinions were mixed, the loved ones tended to approve of most aspects of the facility and indicated they were somewhat likely to recommend the facility to others. Similar to alumni opinions, loved ones tended to praise the facility's staff and approved of its counseling options.

Staff's Level of Experience and Training: 3.7/5
Counseling Option: 3.5/5

Loved ones also generally approved of the amount of family participation during treatment.

Family Participation: 3.8/5
Likelihood to Recommend the Facility: 3.5/5

Yet repeated criticisms were given for a lack of aftercare and a lack of security or supervision. “Brattleboro retreat is run very poorly,” A.L.W. wrote. “After a ten day very expensive stay... they were not able to complete testing and our son left with no diagnosis.”

FINANCING

According to its website, the Brattleboro Retreat contracts with more than 100 local and national insurers, including Medicare and Vermont Medicaid. Overall, individuals tended to approve the facility's cost.

Affordability: 3.9/5

CONCLUSION

Local news organizations have reported on several suicides at the facility in the last few years. A January 2015 NePsy.com release indicated that the Brattleboro Retreat had failed its third inspection from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for conditions that jeopardized patients’ safety. While Brattleboro Retreat representatives were unavailable to comment on at that time, by November 2015, the facility had been found to be in full compliance with CMS requirements.

Additionally, in February 2017, the center adopted two new treatment approaches, and invested about a $250,000 into the center, according to VTDigger.

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