I was recently a client at The Greenhouse in Texas. Like many others, I arrived late in the evening (nearing midnight) and was greeted with a breathalyzer test and more forms than I signed to buy my house. The staff member who went through the forms with me seemed more interested in getting done with me than explaining what I was signing. In fact, I had no clue what I was signing. I still don't. Numerous efforts to get copies of these forms have failed.
Day 1 began with 6:30am blood draw. (A little early to be waking someone who is on drugs or alcohol if you ask me.) I received no orientation or tour of the facility so I had absolutely no idea where I had to go for groups, classes, meals, or to use the restroom. Fortunately, there were some very nice clients that gave me the tour later in the day.
Almost immediately the BHTs (Behavioral Health Therapists) were at my butt about going to groups, staying away from members of the opposite sex, where I could sit, and more. Okay, I thought, there are rules. But it kind of screws you up when you're expected to follow a set of rules that you are unaware of.
Meals are not too bad if you LOVE chicken and fish. It seemed like those were the only options for lunch and dinner for over a month. There were a couple of occasions where we could have lamb, a burger, or something other than chicken and fish. They do offer hot sauces if you like them.
Some of the BHTs were quite good and really do care about your progress. Others seemed to get off on having a bit of authority, and took full advantage of it. The case managers appeared to be completely overloaded and were occasionally impossible to see. The therapists seemed to be the same. Seeing the doctor was almost impossible even if you filled out a medical request form. I filled out a request form to see a doctor and never did get to see one before I left. The only doctor visit I had was on about the 3rd or 4th day, and it was somewhat brief.
The classes were okay, some better than others. Some of them were pretty much a waste of time for most everyone there. Group Therapy was somewhat of a unpleasant session, but it did prove helpful at times. It seemed like that was the only time your complaints were heard.
They also claim to have a massage therapist and acupuncturist available. Nope. Didn't get to see one the entire length of my stay.
The gym is not state of the art, but adequate for most people's use. A couple treadmills, exercise bikes and maybe a dozen weight machines. There were also some free weights, mostly dumb bells and a couple straight bars for curls. I wouldn't complain about it, but I certainly wouldn't rave about it either.
Some tips for you if you go: they will take your money, credit cards, cell phone, and any device that connects to Wi-Fi. They will not return them to you despite what the salespeople tell you. Your iPod Touch, they take it. They will offer to sell you a cheap MP3 player for $30-40. Of course you have to sign up for computer time to load music onto it. If you want to use the computer, you had better be an early riser so you can get signed up. The sign-up sheet is only available during breakfast and lunch, but it seemed to fill up by 8am at the latest. The phone sign-ups work the same. There are only a couple of times per day where the phones are turned on, and it seemed like they turned them on whenever they felt like it. One day they would be turned on at the right time, the next it could be 15 minutes late. That's not a whole lot of time, but when you only get 30-minute blocks of phone time, that is a lot.
There were rumors of staff sleeping with clients and clients sleeping with other clients. While I never personally saw it, I have little doubt in my mind these encounters happened quite often.
I'm sure other places have similar problems, and this one is not unique in that respect. I would encourage anyone thinking about going to an AAC facility to read as many reviews as possible and not make a snap decision because you or your loved one is suffering. There are plenty of good things that The Greenhouse offers, but just be sure you get what you were promised on the initial phone calls. My family fell for the pretty pictures and marketing on their website. I don't blame them. I probably would have, too. This is just a fact of life with any product or service.
If I were asked if I would go back, I would probably have to say no. The main reason is there were many people there who had been there multiple times. This tells me there is something fundamentally wrong with their program. I understand they can't hold your hand when you get back to the real world, but something is missing or just not right, and it shows with the number of return clients.
If you love your friend or family member enough to send them to an inpatient facility, do them the favor of learning as much as you can about where you send them, no matter where you send them.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend