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Frequently Asked Questions

an outside view of a building on Cedar Springs Hospital's campus

What is individual therapy and how does it work?

Individual therapy is a personal meeting with a therapist to discuss core issues that contribute to the reasons that you are in need of treatment in the hospital setting. It is a time to set goals for your treatment that make sense to you and will help you build upon your strengths as an individual as you create a healthier lifestyle for yourself.

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What is family therapy and how does it work?

Family therapy is a meeting with other individuals who are most important in your life, usually members of your family, to discuss how all of you can continue to provide support for each other and discuss any problem areas that you would like to improve upon as a group. Topics often include communication skills, conflict resolution, expectations of each other, rejection and agreements about ways to obtain your needs.

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What is group therapy?

Group therapy is a time with other individuals who are enrolled in treatment programs at the hospital for all to share ideas, needs, challenges, and to offer support to one another as a peer who is also having a tough time.

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What are psychoeducational groups?

Psychoeducational groups are educational groups led by a staff member specific to a certain topic that will assist you as you continue to make changes in your life. Topics may include health choices, stress management, specific diagnosis and medication information.

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What is occupational and recreational therapy?

Occupational and recreational therapy are groups that allow you to explore different skills that you may possess as options for life-task management, leisure activities, means to interact socially and in the workforce, and ways to develop your personal interaction style.

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What is play therapy for children?

Play therapy for children is a therapy style that allows a child to express themselves without having to “talk it out.” This therapy is particularly beneficial to young people who have suffered trauma and disruption during the early part of their life.

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What is case management and discharge planning and what do they include?

Case management and discharge planning is a time to work with a therapist or discharge planner to determine what your needs will be as you transition from hospital care back into your community and home. This will include seeking support services that are easily accessible to you.

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What is a psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF)?

PRTFs offer Psychiatric Residential Treatment Care. This level of care is based upon a medical model, in which a physician/psychiatrist directs the treatment team in treatment planning and implementation. In addition, nursing staff are available 24 hours per day. Federal guidelines regulate the organization and structure of the PRTF, and include strict rules regarding the use of seclusion and restraint for patients who are a danger to themselves or others.

In order for a facility to be a PRTF, it must meet federal standards as put forth by the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Hospital Organizations, or another regulatory organization such as the Commission for the Accreditation of Residential Facilities. Cedar Springs Hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission.

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What is the average length of stay?

The average length of stay in the acute unit is 5 to 10 days. Residential treatment typically lasts 90 to 180 days on Mountain View Place. The New Choices treatment program is designed to be a 28-day program, though shorter stays can be arranged if appropriate. The Intensive Outpatient Program and the Partial Hospitalization Programs are designed as 6-week programs based on patient’s progress.

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What should a patient bring with them?

Comfortable clothing that fits in one suitcase. Residents who will be staying in the Residential Treatment Program should bring seven (7) sets of clothing, as laundry can be done once per week.

  • New Choices and Recovery Zone residents should bring clothing appropriate for the weather, daily gym, hiking and equine assisted therapy.
  • All residents are expected to wear pajamas each night.
  • Personal care items that do not contain alcohol and are not packaged in glass containers
  • Reading glasses
  • Cigarettes (if you smoke)
  • Personal pillow/blanket if desired
  • A book or magazine
  • Insurance and prescription cards
  • Contact information for your primary-care physician, attorney, probation officer, or employee-assistance representative
  • List of personal contact phone numbers
  • For Military patients, read our packing list.

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What items are prohibited?

  • Cell phones, pagers
  • Batteries
  • Keys
  • Business-related paperwork
  • Laptop computers
  • Computer or video games
  • Compact disc or mp3 players
  • Televisions or radios
  • DVD players, DVDs
  • Cassette tape players or cassettes
  • Any personal electronics
  • Any food or beverage
  • Clothing representing a bar, alcohol, drug use, or profanity
  • Clothing with drawstrings
  • Provocative clothing or pajamas (tank tops, short shorts, mini skirts, negliges)
  • Weapons, including pocket knives
  • Pornography
  • Mouthwash containing alcohol
  • Hairdryers, curling irons, or razors

Military patients, read our contraband list.

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What is the visitation and phone policy?

This is dependent upon the program in which the patient is enrolled. Please review our visitation and phone policy, and contact us regarding visitation hours for a particular program.

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What type of detoxification service is provided?

We provide medical detoxification for patients who require it.

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Can referrals be made any time of day?

Yes, our Assessment and Referral department is available 24 hours a day.

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How do you respond to physical aggression?

Primarily, we use verbal de-escalation techniques to address the issues that trigger physical aggression. We utilize the SAMA™ (Satori Alternatives for Managing Aggression) method. SAMA™ focuses first on verbal de-escalation, then on implementing physical management strategies that ensure the safety of the patient and our staff while avoiding causing pain or physical endangerment.

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Do you force patients to take their medication?

No, we do not force patients to take their prescribed medication if they are able to make decisions for themselves. Should a patient present a grave danger to themselves or others and be unable due to age or levels of psychosis to make such a decision, a physician may order an emergency dose of medication.

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