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July 19, 2014 7:45 AM   Subscribe

Hi- are there ranches that exist to help people that are grieving with their sadness and anxiety? This is on top of battling major depression.

For these purposes the psychiatric ward at the local hospital won't suffice. Is there some kind of retreat style setting with counseling, therapy sessions etc. Like a nice rehabilitation center but just for emotional and mental issues like grieving and depression. Googling this I'm coming up with eating disorder places, etc.
posted by timpanogos to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I'm in the Western US.
posted by timpanogos at 7:45 AM on July 19, 2014

If you look up "retreat for depression and anxiety" you'll find a lot of facilities. I don't think you'll find them targeting grief but any qualified professional is going to be able to roll that into your treatment program.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:51 AM on July 19, 2014

There are a couple of different categories programs that may provide what you're looking for: residential treatment centers or grief retreat programs. I've got no personal experience with the examples I link to, I'm just trying to give you a sense of some of the programs that are out there.

Residential treatment centers generally offer comprehensive mental health services (individual, therapy, and specialty therapy, medication management, etc.) in programs that are geared toward a stay of several weeks--typically 1 month or longer. Most RTCs for adults are focused on addiction treatment or eating disorders: my guess is that these two mental health issues are the ones that most benefit from an extended period away from usual routines and personal connections, within a strictly supervised atmosphere. There's a cost element involved--residential treatment is expensive, and both insurance companies and private payers tend to steer toward less costly alternatives (short-term in-patient hospitalization for stabilization purposes, intensive or regular outpatient services) that produce good outcomes for people with non-addiction/ED issues such as depression or complicated grief.

That said (and mostly said just to explain why it's harder to find RTCs for issues other than addiction/eating disorders) there are some residential treatment centers that take patients for primary diagnoses depression/anxiety. However, I'm not sure if there are any with a primary focus on grief (I'm googling around and not coming up with anything). Due to the comprehensive nature of many of these programs there should be grief counseling available as well. Here are a couple of examples--I didn't spot any in the Western US in my searches but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Still, the cost of a plane ticket may be a small price to pay in the grand scheme of the costs that most people wind up shouldering for mental health care. If you are in outpatient treatment already, you should ask your therapist or psychiatrist, who should be familiar with local options and can help you identify the right program and assist you in the intake process.

If are battling major depression, anxiety, and grief and you don't have an outpatient provider--IMHO, that's where you need to start. Insurance companies hate to pay for RTC because it's such an expensive proposition, so you really need to have made a good-faith effort at less costly interventions first. The only other alternative is self-pay, and on that front see the phrase "expensive proposition" in my previous sentence--think bare minimum of $10,000/mo and easily twice that.

And all THAT said, if you feel like the depression/anxiety were mostly under control before you got knocked on your ass by grief and really do want to focus on grief issues in a grief-focused environment, there are also grief retreat programs that offer those kinds of services as well, in shorter-term and less-expensive packages. "Grief retreat" would be the keyword to look for there, at a place such as this. These types of programs tend to be less comprehensive in terms of mental health services (if you think your meds could use a tweak, you're unlikely to find that service on offer) but more comprehensive in terms of spiritual/mind+body services (yoga and meditation and healing rituals and the like).
posted by drlith at 9:52 AM on July 19, 2014

Comfort zone camp.
posted by hortense at 9:55 AM on July 19, 2014

I would actually be very very wary of going to a treatment center focused on depression while you're grieving. A lot of techniques beneficial for dealing with depression are counterproductive when dealing with grief, which is a situation in which you are supposed to be sad and may need to let yourself feel overwhelmed for a while.

Trained licensed professionals should be able to treat both simultaneously, yes, but a lot of group therapy sessions and support groups are not always run by licensed professionals, and even if they are, if most people in the group are working on minimizing depression rather than working through grief, you will likely be getting a lot of information that may not be appropriate for your situation. I don't know the availability of "grief retreats," but I would look for something along those lines rather than less-specialized depression-treatment center.
posted by jaguar at 10:59 AM on July 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Ranch is one option. They have programs focused on addictio, eating disorders, and trauma. It is expensive.. $20,000 to $30,00 a month at the least. It is the only treatment center I have been to, and I'm reluctant to give my opinion because I'm not entirely sure how I feel about my experience there. I will say that overall it was a great thing for me. I'm just not sure if it was the actual program and therapy that they offered. I was in a house with a great group of people who all really supported each other and that plays a huge part in recovery no matter where you go.

Good luck. It's great that you're asking for help. I'm sure you will find it :)
posted by soitgoes at 4:58 AM on July 21, 2014

This one is in the Western US. I don't know too much about it though so you might want to read some reviews and check with your current care provider for feedback on whether it is the right option and investment for you.
posted by NikitaNikita at 3:01 PM on July 22, 2014

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