DBSANCA support group member interview (Georgetown)

Attended program: In 1995, for 3 – 4 months.

Her experience with the program:

She came to the program directly from being hospitalized at the Georgetown University Hospital. The intensity of the program was the same as she experienced while hospitalized.

Each day was different.  If you were there on a Friday they would ask what you were planning to do over the weekend; they would also give information on things happening in Washington over the weekend in case you wanted to go to them.

They had different groups lead by nurses and social workers. The day began with each participant describing how her previous night was. This was followed by several group activities. One group focuses on relaxation; in another a hospital resident came once a week to talk about medication. Participants would take a nap and then they ate. There was time for individual therapy. She was also sent to see her psychiatrist two or three times a week. They had one big room where they would hang out. They also went places – she recalls being taken to a gym to work out, to a museum.

The program was composed mostly of Caucasian women. There were a few African Americans and one Hispanic.  Most had private insurance. There was a mixture of ages. There were women in their 20s, she was in the middle (in her late 30s), and there were one or two that were 60.  As an African American she felt comfortable.

 Aspects of the program that she liked: 

  • She learned about support groups
  • It helped her build skills she didn’t have; including some new tools and hobbies, she learned some things she could use to cope
  • There was no referencing while in the program to what one’s diagnosis was
  • It was more like a class which she liked
  • She liked the art.
  • She liked being introduced to relaxation therapy
  • The sessions on medication were good.
  • She learned a lot from her fellow participants.

Aspects of program person she did not like:

  • She would have liked to see more diversity in the staff. 

Whether, if she needed to participate in an outpatient program, she would sign up again: 

Of course.

Would she recommend the program to other DBSA members; and if so with what caveats, if any.

She highly recommends the program. However, it depends on the individual.  It is not a place for someone looking for something to do during the day.  If you come you have to be prepared to work on yourself.