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Innovative use of therapeutic courtyard brings calming space to Brown Deer

11/15/17 04:32:pm
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Various expansion projects were completed recently at Rogers–Brown Deer, including the new therapeutic courtyard. The courtyard is being used as a space for behavioral activation activities, a space to calm down when dysregulated, and just being an area where patients can get some fresh air.

Though it’s still new to Rogers–Brown Deer, it has already seen a lot of success, according Jessica Pitre, clinical services manager for the child and adolescent partial and intensive outpatient programs. In the first couple of days of it opening, one of the patients in the adolescent partial hospitalization program at Rogers had a dysregulated day to the point where his care team was considering a full day of individual programming. Instead, the therapeutic courtyard was used.

“One of the staff members took the patient outside to try a change in scenery,” Jessica says. “The patient almost instantly began to calm down and was distracted by different elements in courtyard. Spending just ten minutes out there with the staff member was enough to get patient grounded and he was able to return to the group room and have a successful rest of the day!”

A playground area was originally planned to occupy the spot where the courtyard is, until the care team at Rogers–Brown Deer brought up alternative plans. The day treatment team in Brown Deer recently moved, resulting in the loss of a green space for patients. According to Jessica, the staff at the Brown Deer Clinic saw this as an opportunity and had many suggestions, which all helped shape the final design.

Jessica hopes that other Rogers locations will follow their example and work closely with their treatment teams to replicate the results Brown Deer is seeing with the new therapeutic courtyard.

“I hope that the story of how the courtyard came to be spreads to other Rogers locations,” she says. “Not all locations are the same; not all patients are the same and different patients have different needs. The best place to hear what those needs are is from those who work with the patients, day in and day out. We are grateful for our opportunity and hope the same for all locations.”

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