Name of Hospital: Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital
City, State/Province, Country: Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA
Number of Stars: 1.5
Comment: While this program seemed to have all of the trappings of success, it failed miserably in helping its patients. The counselors were apathetic at best and manipulative at worst. They consistently threatened to extend your stay, even if you were there of your own volition and they had no reason to detain you.
All sessions took place in a group, where refusing to share personal information to complete strangers was seen as noncompliance and punished accordingly. I spent most of my stay there completely silent until directly asked a question, where upon I would reply with the minimum necessary to avoid trouble.
Counselor visits were very infrequent, and I was often made to feel ashamed and hopeless, even physically intimidated at times. My counselor’s method seemed to be destroying self worth and trying to rebuild me into someone I wasn’t. They refused to acknowledge or recommend any medication for clearly clinically depressed patients.
In addition, while I understand it was a religiously affiliated hospital, all patients are promised a nonreligious experience prior to entering any program. That is a definitive lie. It’s not a nonreligious program when a part of treatment is explicitly Christian “spiritual healing.”
The few redeeming factors were art time and some light exercise, even if they were just excuses to get away from the room we were trapped in for so many hours of the day. I’m lucky that some of the other patients took me under their wings. It’s because of them that I got better, because the program alone would have just made things worse.
Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): outpatient
Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Pansexual atheist woman. I remained closeted after seeing how fundamentally Christian many of the staff were, and how much that religion was pushed onto patients.