Residential Treatment

Residential Treatment:

Rogers is a comprehensive psychiatric hospital, nationally recognized for specialty residential treatment programs for eating disorders, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders for children, teens and adults.

Life. Worth. Living.

September 28, 2015 - 8:57am

Just in time for World Suicide Awareness Day, “A Day for Grace,” a mixed musical/monologue performance targeted the harsh reality of suicide that affects many. Whether a family member or friend of someone who has committed suicide, someone who has had suicidal thoughts or attempts— or even someone that has no connection to suicide, it was clear that all participants and spectators in the performance were deeply moved by this emotional experience at the Oconomowoc Arts Center.

Sam Llanas, formerly of the BoDeans, performed original music on his guitar and sang powerful lyrics inspired by his personal encounter with suicide as a young child. Llanas shared the stage with playwright and lead actor: Doug Vincent. Vincent skillfully played many characters throughout the performance which showed how the effects of alcoholism, depression, abuse and suicide affect all of a person’s relationships and can cause problems later in life if not addressed. Vincent’s main character, which portrayed his own life story, bravely revealed his struggles with becoming a new father, which stemmed mostly from his personal story involving suicide.

After the stirring monologue and musical accompaniment, four mental health-related professionals participated in a panel and offered their own comments on the performance and addressed the audience’s questions and personal stories. Chad Wetterneck, PhD, clinical supervisor, said, “What really struck me about the performance was that I found myself wanting to distract myself during the emotional portions by multitasking. My impulse was to grab my phone to avoid getting emotional during the intense moments of the performance. But then I realized that I wasn’t following my own advice to my patients. I ask them to be able to express and honor their own emotions, not mask them like my initial reaction. For many people, there never seems to be an ideal time to let emotions come out, so they get bottled up and become problematic.”

After hearing Dr. Wetterneck’s input on the monologue, an audience member responded, “I’ve notice that a lot of men feel that aren’t able to cry or express their emotions out of fear of being seen as a weak person. But from my own experience, I found incredible strength in my tears and realized that they’re actually a powerful catalyst for healing.”

“A Day for Grace” was a special event for all who were involved in the production and all who were a part of the audience. Thanks to the artistic talents of the production team, the entire group shared a common experience in the performance and found a mutual place of understanding after the show. Even though each person has seen a different face of suicide, each person understood one another’s incredible pain and strength to carry on though life’s struggles. Ending on a hopeful note, Vincent’s main character said, “It hurts… and we move to the next moment…as we should.”

September 17, 2015 - 1:40pm

HRC Rooftop gardenRecognizing the connection between the soul and our surroundings, a different kind of specialist is hard at work at the Herrington Recovery Center at Rogers Memorial Hospital during National Recovery Month, focused on revitalizing a rooftop garden which has become a part of the recovery process at this residential treatment program.

Charles Wepfer, gardener at Rogers’ Oconomowoc location, is applying his expertise to help transform the garden into something that better meets the needs of patients and staff. That includes adding plants that are more suitable for the rooftop garden’s purposes, such as varieties of grasses and perennials from the gardens located in the front yard of the main hospital.

“Right now we are focusing on removing invasive species that have overtaken the garden and creating a design plan that includes plants that will be able to withstand the conditions, yet still be soft to the touch so they can play an active role in the patient’s healing process,” he says.

The rooftop garden was originally constructed one year after Herrington was built in 2009, based off a vision created by Rogers’ staff and supported by the Herrington McBride Alumni Association. The association offered feedback for the garden’s design, including a 12-step walkway to represent the 12 steps of the recovery process, which was added to the garden this past year.

The walkway was purposefully designed in a way that leaves the first four steps clearly visible, representing the relative ease of finding support in the first few steps of recovery. The rest of the steps are partially hidden by plant life and are symbolic of the challenge of the rest of the journey. Bob O., a member of the Herrington McBride Alumni Association and contributor to the garden’s original vision, says, “The hidden steps reflect the idea that patients in the process of addiction recovery must thoroughly follow the path in order to be successful in their daily recovery. Not every part of the journey will be easily seen or understood, but it’s important for them to continue on the path.”

The current project to clean up the plantings will take some time. “The species is aggressive and multiplies easily. Our goal is to have the species totally removed by this spring,” says Wepfer.

Graduation celebrations from the program, outdoor yoga sessions and group reflections are the current uses for the garden. Cindy Suszek, LPC, manager of the Herrington Recovery Center, says, “We are looking forward to these updates to the rooftop garden because it is such a valuable addition to our addiction programs. It’s easy to see that nature has a powerful part in reconnecting a person’s mind, body and spirit.”

Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) sponsors National Recovery Month, an observance to raise understanding about mental health and substance abuse issues, as well as to celebrate those people who find recovery.

September 10, 2015 - 3:04pm

Starting in infancy, children mimic their parents’ actions, speech and beliefs, whether good or bad. Studies show that the same goes for parents’ stigma about mental health. Parents’ attitudes toward seeking mental health treatment are a factor in their child’s intentions to pursue psychological help (Vogel, et al., 2009). In other words, if you, as a parent, have a negative view about people with mental health concerns, your child is less likely to speak up about their own mental health. Failing to address a child’s mental health may be extremely harmful and the affects may carry on into adulthood.

Although you may not be aware of the negative perceptions that you carry with you, you may be surprised about what your children can pick up on. According to Graham C.L. Davey, PhD, “mental health problems are held by a broad range of individuals within society, regardless of whether they know someone with a mental health problem, have a family member with a mental health problem, or have a good knowledge and experience of mental health problems” (Crisp et al., 2000; Moses, 2010, Wallace, 2010).

Parents are also more comfortable talking about physical health concerns than they are about mental health (Locke & Eichorn, 2008). Parents may feel safer casually bringing up their child’s broken arm in conversation than they are about their child’s depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or other mental health concern—which means the child probably is too! This stigma is not only harmful to the child’s view of themselves, but to the parent’s support system as well. Since mental health affects an entire family, each member of the family should have a safe network to discuss mental health.

So how do you, as a parent, create a comfortable environment for your child to talk about mental health? One answer is to communicate with them early and often about mental health. If checking in with your child on their thoughts, emotions and behavior becomes more regular, the less likely they will feel awkward or scared to come to you when they need help.

Frequent communication between parents and children increases the likelihood that the child will be referred to counseling and intervention if necessary, as well as increasing their comfort in discussing drugs, alcohol, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts. Children are also more likely to be referred to treatment if parents are knowledgeable about mental health and symptoms and don’t view mental health concerns as a sign of failure.

The bottom line is that parents’ and guardians’ misperceptions may determine whether their child can achieve mental health and a life worth living. Rogers InHealth works to reduce mental health stigma in the community by sharing personal stories, working with teachers, workplaces and families to change misconceptions about mental health.

September 3, 2015 - 9:22am

The start of the school year is quickly approaching and so are tryouts for fall sports teams. However busy this time of year always seems to be for many families, it’s important to take a moment away from the rush of the school year and make sure your student isn’t participating in disordered eating or exercising behavior due to pressure from their peers or athletics.

Sports such as ballet, gymnastics, wrestling, football and others may become centered on your student-athlete’s weight, especially when a championship or scholarship is on the line. When this pressure to be thin manifests, your child’s sport develops into a risk factor which may increase their chances of developing an eating disorder. What is commonly confused by many athletes is the difference between physical fitness and thinness. It’s important to have a conversation with your child and reassure them that a person’s fat content is not the sole measurement of their physical ability or health.

One sign that your child may be excessively concerned about their physical appearance or physical ability may be that they are over-exercising or trying to hide their exercising from you. For example, it would be excessive for your child to judge their self-worth on the amount of time they spend exercising per day, insist that they continue to exercise even if they are injured or plan obligations with their friends around their exercise schedule. When your child’s exercising begins to take over their regular functioning or activities they once enjoyed, it may be cause for concern and time to seek out professional help.

Are some children more at risk than others for developing an eating disorder? Yes, if your child was teased at school or was overweight as a young child, they have an increased risk of developing an eating disorder in their adolescent years.

Anorexia nervosa, or anorexia, most commonly occurs during adolescence or young adulthood. This disorder typically emerges during a stressful time in a person’s life, such as leaving for college, transitioning into the responsibilities of adulthood or being bullied at school.

If you didn’t already have a reason to have regular family meals at home, it would be helpful to do so in order to safely monitor your child’s eating habits. For example, frequently using the bathroom after a meal may indicate that your child is purging, or participating in self-induced vomiting. This negative eating habit allows your child to appear healthy by fully-participating in the meal, but they aren’t actually consuming the calories that their developing body needs to grow. Be aware that uncontrollable eating episodes or chewing food and then spitting it out are also signs of an eating disorder.

In conclusion, it’s vital to be an active participant in your child’ school year and to take notice to their exercising and eating habits. You know your child better than anyone else does and are more likely to spot unusual or unsafe behavior from the beginning.

August 20, 2015 - 9:36am

Are you or someone you know a psychiatric nurse and searching for an amazing opportunity? Rogers Memorial Hospital is hosting a job fair. A wide range of part-time and full-time positions are available at Rogers Memorial Hospital's West Allis, Brown Deer and Oconomowoc locations for individuals who care about serving the community and providing valuable services to patients.

Please bring a resume and any other documentation that may demonstrate your skills and experience for on-site interviews conducted by Human Resources.

View all job postings

Job Fair

Who: Psychiatric Nurses
All Healthcare professionals welcome to attend!

Rogers Memorial Hospital–Brown Deer
4600 W. Schroeder Dr.
Brown Deer, WI 53223
in the Community Room

When: Monday, September 14, 2015
2-6 p.m.

August 17, 2015 - 3:14pm

Young AdultsAre a lot of people telling your college-bound child that they’re “going to make so many new friends in college” or “have the best time of their lives”? While this may be true for many individuals, for many others the transition to college can be a particularly challenging time. In the face of high expectations, these challenges can be surprising and difficult to navigate.

Sue McKenzie, co-director of Rogers InHealth says, “We tend to guide people around transitions, moving them to the other side of the transitional period with high expectations. For example, we tell our children that college is going to be a blast and that they’re going to have so many opportunities, but we probably need to have a conversation about how the transition is going to be hard at first.”

Many difficulties emerge for students when they realize their new-found freedom. “The college years are difficult for students to figure out how to make decisions about alcohol as it’s so much more prevalent for them in a college environment. So we need to teach ourselves and our students the skills of dealing with uncertainty.”

This uncertainty about the shift into college could stem from what McKenzie describes as the “perfect storm” for young adults. She says, “For many of us, when we make a transition, it’s a time of chaos and we need to figure out that storm, which can lead to problems.”

Besides being a time of increased drug and alcohol accessibility and decreased parental restrictions, “The college years are also a time period in which mental illness has an increased likelihood of revealing itself, if it hasn’t already. Students may be experiencing early symptoms at college without that context of family and people who know what’s normal and typical for that person.”

So what can others do to make this stage of life easier? Rachel Leonard, PhD, behavioral activation specialist and clinical supervisor of Rogers’ FOCUS program, says, “One thing that we can is to normalize this transition and acknowledge that this change can be really tough for a lot of people. Have a conversation with your student if you think they may be struggling with depression, anxiety or even thinking about suicide. Oftentimes, people worry that directly asking about these topics might make them worse, when in fact, it’s actually a really important conversation to have to identify people who may need professional help.”

New roommates, friends and professors aren’t going to be as familiar with your child’s typical behavior as you or their more established relationships may be. For this reason, newer acquaintances may not be as perceptive in spotting problem behaviors that may suggest that your child is having difficulty adjusting to college.

Dr. Leonard says parents, roommates and friends should watch out for these problem behaviors:

  • Spending too much time in the dorm room
  • Sleeping for excessive amounts of time
  • Playing videogames for excessive amounts of time
  • Getting overly-involved in alcohol or drugs
  • Participating in self-harming activities

“If you see some of these behaviors, have a conversation and suggest that the student seek treatment if these behaviors are getting in the way of that person being able to function,” says Dr. Leonard.

Dr. Leonard also suggests that college students balance of the types of the activities they participate in. Some students who go off to college may be overly perfectionistic and have unrealistic expectations for themselves, spending all of their time studying. On the other hand, some students may over-indulge in the social scene. Dr. Leonard explains that neither of these behaviors allow a person to have a healthy balance of activity, which can lead to problems down the road.

Besides being balanced, it’s important that students use college as a time for self-discovery. “Students should be doing the things that really matter to them, not just the things that matter to their parents or to other people. Students need to identify their values and make sure their college major and activities align with their own values so that they can have a more fulfilling life.”

FOCUS, a residential treatment program available at Rogers, “treats young adults suffering from depression and anxiety, which often emerges during these transitions into college or the work force and interferes with their ability to make that successful transition. So FOCUS helps young people reduce depression and anxiety by working with them to make changes in the amount and types of activities they complete, learn to face anxiety-provoking situations, address problematic patterns of thinking and learn skills to help reduce distress,” says Dr. Leonard.

August 11, 2015 - 9:00am

Main GardenThe construction of a new horticultural therapy garden in the courtyard of the Child and Adolescent Centers is quickly making progress! The new addition will provide the space necessary for a new horticultural therapy program, but is also a piece of a larger vision to incorporate nature and the healing powers of the environment into treatment at Rogers Memorial Hospital.

According to Therapeutic Landscapes, research proves that being in contact with nature lowers blood pressure, elevates moods, entices all five senses and contributes to a person’s well-being. A significant body of research confirms and sheds new light on what many people have known intuitively: that a regular connection with nature is beneficial and even vital for maintaining health (Marcus and Sachs, 1).

Rogers is utilizing all of its natural resources for the holistic health of its patients. At our original campus in Oconomowoc, set on 50 acres of natural beauty around two lakes, the landscape offers beautiful vistas for all patients to enjoy, through both inside sweeping views as well as outside activities. All summer, patients, visitors and staff have enjoyed an explosion of color and variety of the beautiful landscaped gardens which include original plantings of Mrs. Theresa Rogers. But there is more, walks on nature trails, boating and swimming complement our patients’ full therapeutic programming.

Building on this legacy, Rogers is implementing a master plan for therapeutic landscapes for specific clinical programing on each campus. The Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities includes “Access to Nature” as one of eight key elements in the physical environment component of the Environment of Care.

Rogers plans to develop intentional landscape designs with specific therapeutic results in mind. Based on the clinical needs of the patients, the gardens—both landscaped or as wild natural settings—will benefit individuals as they seek to restore their overall health.

Therapeutic gardens can vary from vegetable gardens to planting natural meadows with native flowers, all of which have the same purpose: to promote health and healing. The clinical staff is working with the landscape architects in the design process, ensuring that the gardens are specific to their patients’ needs. Evidence-based design goes into each gardening area to ensure the best plan is chosen.

By incorporating nature to help our patients reach their therapeutic goals, Rogers hopes to create new lifestyle skills for patients to take with them and use throughout their lives.

August 3, 2015 - 9:11am

On August 1, John H. Greist, MD, medical director of clinical trials at Rogers Behavioral Health, received the Patricia Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF) Conference. Each year, one award is presented to a behavioral health professional who has offered a major contribution to the foundation and the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) community.

The award’s namesake is a co-founder of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, known today as the IOCDF. Perkins suffered from severe OCD symptoms herself and has dedicated her life to promoting awareness for the disorder and helping others with OCD find the resources they need. The award was created as a way to recognize her contributions and her previous efforts as the IOCDF board president.

Besides Dr. Greist’s supervisory position with the Rogers Center for Research and Training, he has also been a long-time contributor to the IOCDF newsletter, providing valuable research and articles to the IOCDF and the OCD professional community, as well as countless journals and chapters in books. Dr. Greist is considered a vanguard in psychiatry for being one of the first professionals to promote exposure and response prevention (ERP), what is now considered the “treatment of choice” for OCD among many professionals in the mental health world. Besides Dr. Greist’s valuable involvement with OCD, he is also the co-founder of the Lithium Information Center in Madison, WI and is considered a pioneer for bipolar disorder due to his revolutionary research on the lithium.

July 21, 2015 - 9:17am

CBT for Dual diagnosisRogers Behavioral Health is a national leader in the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a widely accepted treatment approach for people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety. As the foundation of our treatment programs, studies show that CBT delivered in a highly structured, yet managed approach, empowers our patients to gain control over their symptoms and learn effective strategies they can use throughout their lives. 

While CBT has been successfully used for a number of years in the treatment of OCD and anxiety disorders, its use at Rogers has now been extended. The Herrington Recovery Center, our addiction residential program, now includes a dual diagnosis track to simultaneously treat OCD, OC-spectrum and anxiety disorders with substance use disorders. Research shows that for persons with co-occurring disorders, the most successful recovery is achieved when their conditions are addressed concurrently. At least fourteen hours per week of CBT, directed by two program dedicated behavioral specialists, has been added to the daily schedule. This allows for effective treatment of alcohol or other drug addiction as well as the psychiatric disorder, resulting in a more attainable, long-term successful recovery. 

While the dual diagnosis program addresses both OCD and addiction concerns, the daily schedule also includes traditional elements of addiction treatment. For example, patients in the dual program continue to follow the twelve-step model, complete homework assignments, meet regularly with a sponsor and receive treatment with an emphasis on AA to overcome addiction.

July 20, 2015 - 12:41pm

Sibling RivalryNow that summer’s in full swing, your children are probably spending a lot more time playing together or doing other fun activities than they might during the school year. However great this extra bonding time is while it lasts, sibling rivalry can almost always be counted on to sneak its way into your summer plans. Although some sibling rivalry can be expected, is there a point where it can become a cause for concern?

Sibling rivalry is a common occurrence in any home with two or more children and usually occurs once the second child is born. Often times, siblings will switch back and forth between adoring each other and detesting each other, which can become very frustrating for parents. So why does it happen?

The answer is not that simple; there are many reasons as to why siblings fight. Siblings often become jealous of each other. They have a hard time sharing their parent’s attention and time, which can become especially difficult during the busy summer months. If your first child is having a hard time sharing your time and attention with a new sibling, he or she may start to feel left out and blame their sibling.

If children are constantly comparing their skills and abilities with each other, such as during summer sports, one child may feel inferior to another, possibly leading to feelings of frustration and anger. For this reason, it’s important for parents to provide equal attention, time and praise to all of their children.

However, it’s important to note that not all children seek out as much attention or reassurance from their parents as others do. For example, a laid back child may be satisfied with “doing their own thing” and not having their parent by their side, but an anxious child may need their parent to reassure him or her that things are okay more frequently.

Having a child with special needs may also impact sibling rivalry. Your child with special needs may not know how to gain positive attention from you and may engage in negative attention-seeking behaviors. Your child’s negative behaviors, in turn, may frustrate your other children to the point that they take this frustration out on your child with special needs, or using externalizing behaviors, which are commonly disruptive behaviors that may include poor anger management or defiant behavior.

If you believe your children may be struggling with an unhealthy level of sibling rivalry which may affect regular family functioning, or possibly their mental or physical health, contact Rogers Memorial Hospital for information on Child and Adolescent Day Treatment programming. Call 800-767-4411 for admissions or request a screening.


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