Pending Sheppard-Pratt Admission

I have been to Sheppard-Pratt several times in the past. However, it has been over two years since I have last been. I have always found it to be super helpful. I know there have been a lot of changes in the last two years. I am curious if anyone has been there more recently and can just generally comment on your experience.
 
I haven't but will you let me know about your experience? I would love to go, but I can't afford it.
I don't know what your insurance is like, but they do take insurance for the trauma unit. They do not for the Retreat. I have had great experiences on the trauma unit in the past. I've been several times, but this is the longest time I've gone between admissions which is great but it gives me more anxiety about what has changed. Also, if you can get your insurance to pay, there are ways of working towards financial help if insured cuts out while you're there. I was there for 5 months last admission and the bill was crazy, but they really worked with me to make it manageable.
 
D

Dawn Anich

I am also on the waitlist for Shepard Pratt. It’s been 5 months but I am getting closer. It’s good to read positive things about it because I am very fearful other treatment centers have traumatized me more and I just got back from a horrible inpatient stay. I hope they are a little flexible with my admissions since Imget a monthly shot of xolair and I can not go long without it. I want to go and I don’t want to go. However I realize this will speed up the process of healing. Thanks for all of your posts.
 
I am also on the waitlist for Shepard Pratt. It’s been 5 months but I am getting closer. It’s good to read positive things about it because I am very fearful other treatment centers have traumatized me more and I just got back from a horrible inpatient stay. I hope they are a little flexible with my admissions since Imget a monthly shot of xolair and I can not go long without it. I want to go and I don’t want to go. However I realize this will speed up the process of healing. Thanks for all of your posts.
I am still about 4 months out- seems like no time change yet. But I get that they are very busy right now. I know that there is medical staff that can potentially help you with the monthly shot of Xolair if you are there for more than a month. It's something you could ask about ahead of time- what if I need this while I am there, would someone be able to give it to me? Or is there a substitute you could use if they don't. I know there are varying medical needs that are provided to patients while there. When you time does come and they give you an admission date, it is not very flexible. They will only tell you 1-3 days in advance as that may be all they know. I have been able to change the expected date by a little in order to get a flight, but not by much. The length of admission is stated to be 3 weeks when I went, but I have never stayed that short of a time though some people do. It all depends on where you are in the process, insurance/ability to pay out of pocket, and such. Honestly, it's by far the best inpatient place I have ever been. I'm not saying it's easy, but the staff has always been on the same page and speaking the same language. There are a lot of acroynms and vocabulary (BCA, BDA, Containment, etc) that can be confusing at first- but you don't need to know them all at first. I am hoping it will still be very similar to when I last went, but I get nervous every time I have gone, but I have always made progreass.
 

penguinuser

New Here
I am also on the waitlist for Shepard Pratt. It’s been 5 months but I am getting closer. It’s good to read positive things about it because I am very fearful other treatment centers have traumatized me more and I just got back from a horrible inpatient stay. I hope they are a little flexible with my admissions since Imget a monthly shot of xolair and I can not go long without it. I want to go and I don’t want to go. However I realize this will speed up the process of healing. Thanks for all of your posts.
Hey there, can I ask... That's a really long time to wait. Five months! Did they have to extend your wait or did they tell you that was the wait length from the beginning? Just curious if I can expect them to extend my wait duration. Also on the list. Hope you're hanging in there.

My psychologist has a client who just came back from Sheppard Pratt. My interpretation of what she told me is that yes some stuff has changed since COVID started: The quality has declined slightly just because of COVID. Client still loved it and the top notch core clinicians are still there. The people who truly specialize in trauma day in and day out and are experts in the work are still at the core of the program. The program itself is still the same. The amount of beds has drastically shrunk, thus the long wait times. My psychologist said that for a long time there was one group of people who worked at SP as like a team and they had all been together for a long time. Since COVID, she says it's kind of broken up and that long-time team isn't the same. So, for example, instead of a nurse that is part of that long-term trauma team, some nurses might be just... nurses. You know? As opposed to that OG team that had been working together in the unit for so long.

But that client of hers just got back a few weeks ago so if anything had changed drastically, she certainly would have told me. She wanted me to go to treatment IMMEDIATELY, so if she thinks changing my plan to a 4 month wait is worth it, the program must still be great.

I know I probably said too much but when I wanted to know where to go, I wanted every little detail lol. So that's what I did!
 
Hey there, can I ask... That's a really long time to wait. Five months! Did they have to extend your wait or did they tell you that was the wait length from the beginning? Just curious if I can expect them to extend my wait duration. Also on the list. Hope you're hanging in there.

My psychologist has a client who just came back from Sheppard Pratt. My interpretation of what she told me is that yes some stuff has changed since COVID started: The quality has declined slightly just because of COVID. Client still loved it and the top notch core clinicians are still there. The people who truly specialize in trauma day in and day out and are experts in the work are still at the core of the program. The program itself is still the same. The amount of beds has drastically shrunk, thus the long wait times. My psychologist said that for a long time there was one group of people who worked at SP as like a team and they had all been together for a long time. Since COVID, she says it's kind of broken up and that long-time team isn't the same. So, for example, instead of a nurse that is part of that long-term trauma team, some nurses might be just... nurses. You know? As opposed to that OG team that had been working together in the unit for so long.

But that client of hers just got back a few weeks ago so if anything had changed drastically, she certainly would have told me. She wanted me to go to treatment IMMEDIATELY, so if she thinks changing my plan to a 4 month wait is worth it, the program must still be great.

I know I probably said too much but when I wanted to know where to go, I wanted every little detail lol. So that's what I did!
Yes, they said 4 month wait from the beginning. It's mainly because they changed the location of the unit so there are fewer beds and because of the COVID situation. I just heard from them last week. Was supposed to go tomorrow, but my son just tested positive for COVID so I have to wait until the end of the week to start my testing process again and hopefully will go next week.

When I have been previously, I worked with some of the people who started the program and shortly after my last stay, the founding psychiatrist retired. There are currently two people still working on the unit that I know- found this out through the admissions coordinator who I also know. I know that in order to work on the trauma unit you have to go through a lot of background checks and training and I doubt that has changed even though the people working there have changed and may be newer at it.

It's going to be weird to be on a different unit location and have different people to work with there, but my therapist and I still think it will be helpful. Thank you for letting me know about the client that came back recently and had positive things to say. That's what I am hoping for.

Your post was great, thanks. I always want to know as much as I can about the program whenever I have gone so this is just a but more different than usual. I've always found the help I need when I go. For most people, I think it is worth the wait. I've definitely been on a two month waiting period before and had to seek out temporary treatment at local places before that are just kind of a holding pattern so I can stay safe and other times I have been able to wait at home. (I have been a few time over the last 8 years because the program is so helpful.) Stay safe and hopeful for positive treatments. And I hope your wait period isn't too long.
 
I am back home. There were basically two reasons for the long wait list time- the unit changed locations in the hospital and went from a 22 bed unit to a 12 bed unit. The other is the various effects on admissions dure to COVID. Their wait time is back down to the usual 2-4 week time frame.

I had a great experience there. Even though it was a new unit and mainly new staff, I got a lot of work accomplished. It was hard to leave that support yesterday and I cried leaving, but I am happy to be home today. The sun is shining on the freshly fallen snow and that makes me happy.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Welcome back, @JEKBreatheandBelieve.

You know, while it's still fresh in your mind - would you be willing to sketch out what a typical day in the program was like? And anything that you think contributed to your having a good outcome (either something they did, OR something you did, or headspace you were in...)

I'm just always interested in hearing people's accounts of their experiences.
 
You know, while it's still fresh in your mind - would you be willing to sketch out what a typical day in the program was like? And anything that you think contributed to your having a good outcome (either something they did, OR something you did, or headspace you were in...)
I can certainly do that.

Meals come up on a cart that you can pick from a few choices at 8:30 for breakfast, 12:30 for lunch, and 5:30 for dinner. The cart stays at most of 1/2 hour so that is actually helpful for me because it means there are definite times for eating. I do much better remembering to eat when there is a specific schedule. And you have to be up by 8:30 for breakfast, which was the best meal.

Each day every patient sees the psychiatrist for rounds (a covering weekend attending on Sat/Sun, which occasionally is your actual dr.) and they do the med changes and check ins, general health check-ins, and mental health check-ins and some psychotherapy. Three times per week you see your assigned therapist for 45-60 minutes. Highly trained people and I think that they are probably all awesome, but I mainly worked with one psychiatrist and one therapist except during brief vacations of theirs.

The rest of the day consists of groups. Each day starts with goals group at 10:00 and each person states their 2-4 goals for the day that are treatment related and often relate to assignments that you got from the psychiatrist or therapist, but you can have your own focus as well. Each day ends with a goals review group in which everyone talks about what they got accomplished for the set goals and what got in the way of anything they didn't accomplish (no shaming, just staing).

Between those groups there is a variety of groups on a scheduled basis. We had Cognitive Therapy 1x per week, DBT 2x, Containment 2-3x, journal group 2x, Self-Compassion 1x (I actually really liked this group), yoga 2x, music therapy 3x (I came to love this group, too), cognitive tasks (think arts and crafts that help with symptom management) 2x, daily living skills 1-2x, creative expressions 1x (I love this group- it's creative writing), leisure learning 1x, symptom management 2x, health and stress management 1x, pain management 1x, med education 1x every other week, ask anything (treatment/program related) 1x. I think that's mainly it. Most groups last 45 minutes with 15 minutes before the next group. Some days there were back to back groups from 10-4 and other days there were some breaks. They also usually have art therapy, but the art therapist just left and they're hiring a new one.

There are also three processing groups, like group psychotherapy- actually that's the name of one, the other two are family issues and transitions.

The other core staff consists of nurses and mental health workers. These people sometimes run a group, but mostly they are there to help hand out med and to support you if you are having a difficult time or need help or to review an assignment. They are awesome. They rotate through 3 shifts of these workers per 24 hours periods. They check on you every 15 minutes no matter where you are or what you're doing. It's one thing that helps me sleep at night. All staff speaks the same language and can help with the skills you're learning and guide you towards helping yourself.

One thing that really helps me being at Sheppard-Pratt is knowing that I am not alone. The current unit has 12 patients max at a time. These patients have all been through some sort of trauma and a lot also have DID. So even though there is a strict policy not to talk about your trauma, you don't have to because you just know that everyone gets it. There's free time for coloring, playing games, chatting, reading, etc. You can hang out in your room or in the milieu as they call the common areas. Some nights they put on movies.

The staff helps me a great deal to make progress especially since everyone knows what you're goals are and what you're supposed to be working on. The psychiatrist that I worked with was awesome and helped me make some really good discoveries about myself. He also explained emotions in a way that actually made sense to me and I was able to start naming how I was feeling! One thing that really helps me accomplish a lot there is that I feel safer on a locked unit when doing hard work. And knowing there is always a staff memeber to help out if I get overwhelmed. I am able to be comfortable enough to use skills and to communicate internally and journal. Even though there was so much new about the unit and staff this time, it was still the same caring, supportive environment.
 
Top