First, residential treatment is regimented. Every day has a predictable schedule. The topic changes from day to day, but the time, place, and the composition of the groups in each slot doesn’t change. Meals are at the same time 7 days a week. Meditation and Check-In are at the same time every day. The health form you fill out is the same every day. Your place in the medication line is the same every day, morning and night.
Second, residential treatment is intense. Topics include Trauma, Grief and Loss, various forms of Behavioral Therapies, Medical seminars, Mental Health seminars, Life Skills seminars, Relapse Prevention seminars. Each day has 5-6 seminars of various intensity and topics. Fortunately each day there is an opportunity to express and not just take in. Sometimes this is only at evening check-in, or maybe with your therapist, or in art group (more intense than you might think since creative arts often bring out deep knowing).
Third, residential treatment is communal. You live in a dorm-like atmosphere with 20+ women (or men, if you are on that floor, and transgender clients are on the floor where he or she and the staff feel will be most comfortable). You see everyone as soon as you wake up, talk in the med line, sit in groups and classes all day, come together at morning meditation and at evening check-in. You can choose to isolate in your room, and some have, but you lose out on the support and learning of sharing this intense and regimented experience together. When else will you have the opportunity to process what just happened with someone who knows your story from long ago and from yesterday? You share yourself and gain the riches of others heaped back in return.