By Gabrielle Shoun, MS, LASAC
Manager of Residential Therapists at Sierra Tucson
Taking that first step through the doors of a treatment center is often one of the most overwhelming experiences a person can endure, particularly during the holiday season. So many unknowns consume the minds of all those involved. “What kind of support will I have?” “How will I cope with being away from home?” “What will my loved one be doing all day?”
Sierra Tucson is proud to offer an exceptionally unique team of 19 masters-level therapists whose role is to address concerns like these and assist in comforting residents, which, in turn, provides comfort to their loved ones.
The residential therapists, or RTs, work from 7 a.m.–midnight, seven days a week, and are responsible for the coordination and facilitation of didactic lectures, psycho-educational groups, and individual sessions. These activities help in keeping residents engaged throughout the day and provide an opportunity for them to develop and hone their recovery skills from the moment they wake up until the time they go to bed. RTs utilize this time to establish a rapport so the residents always have a familiar face to seek out should they require additional care and support or need to process information they gathered in their groups.
Residential therapists assist in crisis management, for instance, if a resident receives difficult news, is contemplating leaving treatment against medical advice (AMA), or experienced a particularly intense session. RTs utilize evidence-based practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and incorporate various grounding skills to meet residents’ needs. The treatment team may request to have an RT check on an individual at night as well. From the beginning of treatment until completion, residents know their needs are of the utmost importance, even after their primary therapist leaves for the day.
The unwavering and continuous support of Sierra Tucson’s residential therapists provides a strong structure in which residents can foster healthy connections and process any feelings and emotions that arise, no matter the time of day.
Throughout the holiday season, families can rest assured that their loved ones will be surrounded by a skilled team of clinicians who provide additional support during the treatment process and guide residents on the path of recovery.