How do I get referred to the Birches?

Any member of your current treatment team can make a referral, and our team will review it to see if we might be a good match for you. If you have no providers at this time, our Admissions Coordinators will be happy to speak to you directly. To start a referral, you or your current provider may call 802-258-3700, or follow this link to our Admissions Coordinators in our Central Intake Program.

What's the admission process like?

After you arrive for your evaluation appointment, you will review some paperwork with an Admissions Coordinator. If you plan to stay at Ripley (or in some other local accommodations) and have brought belongings with you, you may store those in a locked area of our unit (until the end of the treatment day). You'll meet with a Birches' clinician for your intake interview. That meeting is an opportunity to determine whether we are the right match for your needs. If we are the right match, you will start treatment that same day. We will orient you to the unit and the program. You will meet with a psychiatrist, and you'll attend groups. Our staff will ask a peer to volunteer to be your "buddy" for the day; we've found that this helps people feel more comfortable.

Do you have an on-campus lodging option?

Yes. When commuting daily to the Retreat is not practical, Birches' participants can choose to stay at the Ripley building while in treatment. For a nominal nightly fee Ripley guests enjoy private rooms (with a shared bathroom between two rooms), laundry facilities, free parking, Wi-Fi, and a shared refrigerator, microwave, television, DVD, etc. With some obvious exceptions (weapons, alcohol, drugs, etc.) you may bring whatever belongings you expect to need during your stay.

A non-clinical staff person is on duty at the Ripley building from 3:00 pm to 7:00 am daily. He or she assigns rooms, makes sure guests and visitors abide by rules, locks the door at curfew, etc. Both visitors and guests are welcome in Ripley common areas during specified hours. However, visitors and guests may not enter the building after curfew.

What about insurance? And does insurance cover Ripley?

Most private insurance providers will pay for PHP and IOP. We speak regularly with insurance providers to maintain an active authorization for treatment. Medicare and Vermont Medicaid benefits include coverage for PHP level of care only (not IOP), and there are some restrictions related to diagnosis for those with Medicaid coverage. When you call to speak with our Admissions Coordinators, they can provide more information. Insurance doesn't pay for Ripley, just as it wouldn't pay for a hotel or other housing.

How will I spend my day?

At 9:00 AM, you will attend a group facilitated by your assigned Social Worker. This group is smaller than others and an opportunity to focus more personally on your treatment goals. The next two groups are educational or experiential and focus on a variety of topics including, substance use recovery, education about diagnosis, family issues, self-care or other adaptive coping skills. There may be a discussion, a lecture, art therapy, yoga, therapeutic games or outdoor activity. PHP patients have a 1-hour break for lunch, and then return for two more groups. IOP patients finish each treatment day at lunch.

What happens after 3:00 PM?

Some patients go home, some go to work, and some explore Brattleboro. In the evenings, many patients attend AA, NA, Al-Anon, SMART Recovery and other community-based support meetings. Though the team can offer support and suggestions, structuring time after your treatment day will be your responsibility.

How do I get my medications?

You are responsible for your medications, and should bring them with you. If you are coming from an inpatient unit or residential program, that team will be sure you have the prescriptions that you need (on paper or ordered at a local pharmacy). At the end of the treatment day here, you may go pick up your prescriptions, or the team that referred you may have made arrangements for delivery (done by the pharmacy that received your prescriptions). you must be prepared to cover any co-pay(s).

How long does treatment last?

That depends on your desire to be in treatment, effectiveness of treatment (as determined by you and your team), "real life" responsibilities (i.e. work, childcare, etc.), and insurance coverage. A good rule of thumb: plan to attend ten days (or two weeks) of PHP, then two or three weeks of IOP. You and your treatment team will set your discharge date.

Can I see my therapist?

Please plan to suspend work with your outpatient providers while you are enrolled in PHP. When possible, routine medical appointments should be delayed until after PHP. In the case of an acute medical issues, Birches' participants are directed to a local urgent care facility, the local ER, or their existing PCP.

What do I do for money?

You must be able to pay for your housing (Ripley, hotel, etc.), food, prescriptions, coffee, toiletries, and other personal items, as we cannot provide these or cash.