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A residential treatment center is a rehabilitation center that provides behavior management and healthcare services such as psychological therapies to persons, who have mental disorders, behavioral disorders, and who are victims of alcohol and drug abuse. In most cases professional services provided by residential treatment centers target children, adolescents, and young adults, who have various mental illnesses or disorders such as bipolar disorder, behavioral, or conduct disorders and addiction to drugs and substance abuse.

The major goal for placing an individual in a residential treatment center is to facilitate the modification of behavior of this person. Other problems addressed by residential treatment centers include such individual issues as anxiety, sexual orientation, suicidal attempts, trauma, and stress resulting from rape and peer pressure.

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In order to gain more insight on the functioning of residential treatments centers I visited XYZ centre for boys, where I met the director for this centre. I had a lengthy interview with the director so that I could gather more information concerning the issue. The program director is responsible for overall planning, control, and coordination of activities within the residential treatment center. Director’s task is to ensure that all activities in the center are carried out effectively as planned. He also ensures that expected outcomes, set goals, and objectives are achieved.

During the interview with program director of XYZ residential treatment center for boys, I realized that different approaches may be used in behavior modification. From the interview I learned that most commonly used methods for behavioral modification include providing rewards to encourage desirable behaviors and punishments to discourage undesirable conducts. In extreme cases, specialized programs may be used.

Moreover, I learned that behavioral counselors and therapists are the people, who have the most work within residential treatment centers. This is because they are responsible for advising, counseling, guiding, and monitoring behavioral changes of patients. It is the sole responsibility of the counselor or therapist to ensure that appropriate programs are formulated and implemented depending on the mental or physical condition of the patient. The counselor or therapist must also gather adequate information regarding the life and family history of the patient, so that he or she can fully understand the source of the problem or disorder.

The director also revealed that different programs are used for different patients. The type of program to be used for behavioral modification usually depends on the status of patients. For example, patients who have suffered from mental disorders for a long time may require intensive therapy programs.

In addition, I learned that most residential treatment centers, especially for boys with mental illnesses, lock patients in various rooms in the institutions. However, residential treatment centers for girls rarely lock up patients in rooms, because girls are less rowdy and violent and thus can be allowed to move around freely. However, whether locked inside rooms or not, patients are not allowed to leave institutions until they have fully recovered. Patients who are yet to recover are allowed to leave the institution only under strict supervision.

In my view, letting patients move freely outside their rooms gives more freedom to them, hence facilitating recovery. Patients who are locked up inside rooms may view institutions as prisons and may avoid such places or develop more psychological disorders such as anti-social behaviors.

The program director also pointed out that residential treatment centers strictly focus on children and adolescents with serious social problems that negatively affect their behaviors. Thus, the major work in a residential treatment center is management of patients’ behaviors. The director also stressed that it is important for residential treatment centers to employ more behavioral psychologists to improve the effectiveness of behavioral therapy programs, increase positive outcomes as well as reduce unethical practices among patients.

Finally, the director asserted that managing boys within residential treatment centers is the most difficult task. This is because boys are more aggressive, boisterous, and disorderly.

Reflection on How the Interview Influenced my Thoughts. From the interview I learned about a number of issues relating to residential treatment centers. For example, I realized that behavioral therapies in centers greatly help in managing conducts of children and adolescents. Various programs for management of behavior may be designed to control and manipulate individual’s behavior.This helps in reducing unethical and undesirable conducts within the society.

However, it is important to note that residential treatment centers may provide room for inappropriate disciplinary methods such as hitting and neglecting children by their parents. In my opinion, restricted communication and contact and locking up patients within the institution may violate fundamental rights and freedoms of patients, for example, freedom of association and movement. Thus, residential treatment centers should ensure that these human rights are not violated.

Some of the issues that I learned about residential treatment as a human service profession included proper management of operations within residential treatment centers as well as core challenges faced in such centers. I also learned that most residential treatment centers have medical facilities, doctors, and nurses that provide highly specialized healthcare services to patients. Other centers also have educational facilities such as schools and college campuses to meet academic needs of boys. Similarly, all patients must be involved in recreational activities as part of therapy programs so that they could develop adequate social and interpersonal skills. Most therapies are offered to individual patients or for groups of patients.

Description of an Area of Human Services of My Interest. In my view, I would be interested in being a counselor or therapist in a residential treatment center so that I could get an opportunity to assist other people in developing appropriate behaviors. I have always wanted to assist other people and change their lives. This would be the best professional step that would enable me to realize my dream career.


In conclusion, I would say that residential treatment centers should develop and implement appropriate well-structured programs that adequately meet various needs of patients. These programs should aim at rehabilitating individuals through reducing undesired behaviors. Patients within such institutions should have adequate social experiences. Behavioral psychologists and therapists working in residential treatment centers should assist patients in attaining physical, mental, emotional, and psychological stability during the treatment. Major areas that require improvement include patient handling and behavior management techniques.

Code: writers15

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