Yellowbrick Community Agreements
Each new member of the community’s first action of commitment toward success at Yellowbrick is signing the Yellowbrick Community Agreements. In doing so, each individual makes a commitment to work collaboratively in treatment and express a willingness to follow treatment recommendations. This commitment includes being an active participant in the community by sharing thoughts and opinions in a way that promotes personal growth as well as the growth of peers within the Yellowbrick Community.
The Community Agreements have been established and informed by clinical research and experience regarding how to create and sustain safe, self-affirming and nurturing processes in treatment and life. Each Agreement derives from a dimension within which individuals undermine their life goals and/or place themselves at risk. The Agreements are not intended to control behavior; they are empowering vehicles to identify self-damaging choices and enlist you in supporting yourself to protect your treatment and life goals.
At Yellowbrick we greatly value each member of our community. The contributions and input of all community members, peers, staff and family is essential to our optimal functioning.
We strive to create a safe community, which allows for apartment living with available on-site support for growth in all areas of daily living and functioning. For this reason, any actions that threaten the safety of the community such as bringing drugs or alcohol into The Residence/CTC or physical aggression towards others are potential grounds for administrative discharge. Symptomatic or self-destructive behaviors which violate the Community Agreements are understood and responded to as behavioral communications termed public behaviors. As treatment develops, these public behaviors are linked to each individual’s “core enactment” which is the defining self-damaging pattern of relating to self, others and the world. Public behaviors and the core enactment are brought to the Yellowbrick Community Meeting for discussion by peers and staff in order to provide supportive accountability in treatment. In agreeing to enter Yellowbrick, you are joining a community of peers and staff working together to help each other make life transforming changes that have not been previously possible.
Making deep personal changes requires each of us within the Yellowbrick Community to agree with both the spirit and specific content of the Yellowbrick Agreements.
As members of the community, Yellowbrick staff will agree and commit to:
- commit organizational, professional, and as indicated, personal resources towards Yellowbrick’s mission
- maintain a safe, respectful and supportive context for work in treatment
- support separateness, connected autonomy and a collaborative partnership in the relationship with emerging adults
- provide professional expertise to help you understand and address the obstacles you face in your attempts to achieve the goals of emerging adulthood
- help you develop a vision for your life and a plan for pursuing your vision
As a new member of the community we ask you to agree and commit to these overarching principles:
- accept ownership of your troubles, treatment and life
- actively work to be engaged, participating honestly on your own behalf in treatment
- struggle through distress
- accept the necessity for change and take supported risks in treatment
- ask for support from peers and staff
- approach others’ concerns and any conflicts with respect
To promote these activities, we ask you to agree to:
- make a positive commitment to the personal safety and well-being of yourself and other members of the community and obtain appropriate help for yourself when you feel at risk of becoming a danger to yourself or others. Physical violence and/or destructive of property at the CTC or The Residence will result in Administrative Review and possible discharge.
- commit to abstinence from alcohol and non-prescribed substances while in treatment at Yellowbrick whether or not there is a history of abuse/dependence/addiction. Support the sobriety and abstinence needs of others in the program
- commit to abstinence from gambling, compulsive spending, video gaming, and viewing of pornography or other repetitive, persistent behaviors that undermine connection to self, others and the treatment process.
- commit to refrain from initiating any romantic or sexual relationships while in treatment either within or outside of the Yellowbrick community, as doing so interferes with treatment and the deepening of therapeutic relationships and may be re-traumatizing for peers with a history of trauma/abuse
- interact with all Community members honestly and respectfully and refrain from speaking negatively of others not present or holding secrets regarding peers’ violation of the spirit or letter of the Agreements
- maintain the confidentiality of Yellowbrick process psychotherapy groups by discussing them afterward only with those who were present at the particular group. This includes maintaining peer confidentiality with your parents
- maintain as confidential within the Yellowbrick Community all information you learn about peers and families
- Intend to attend all groups regardless of judgments as to effectiveness or personal fit
- seek assistance and support from peers and staff to combat avoidant, isolating behavioral patterns including excessive sleep, lack of attendance at groups or excessive use of electronic media
- work with staff to engage in education, work and/or community service that supports your treatment, facilitates your engagement in the community at large and fits in with your Yellowbrick schedule
- develop an apartment plan with roommates and a community plan with peers to work actively to build a positive household environment
- maintain apartment common areas and individual room in a condition respectful of Yellowbrick norms while also allowing for personal expression
- attend apartment meetings to develop ways to resolve conflicts as they arise and maintain household responsibilities
- refrain from borrowing/lending money as it interferes with developing effective money management skills and contributes to conflict in relationships
- refrain from using Social Networking Sites (Facebook) or any other social network to reference peers or staff directly or indirectly, engage in hate speech, bullying, or disrespectful conversations or communications
- refrain from taking pictures at The Residence or CTC and from posting pictures of peers unless you have prior consent of all parties in pictures that were taken outside of The Residence or CTC
In community meetings and other discussion forums we welcome your input about any additional agreements that we can make as a community to promote a positive and productive treatment and environment.
Support for Safety Regarding Symptomatic Behavior
Symptomatic behavior is understood as an effort, often unconscious and/or dissociated, to communicate about experiences and aspects of self that are otherwise not safely or directly available to the individual for expression. Yellowbrick’s model maintains that safety is located within individuals, not the environment, but that the availability of supportive and skilled relationships assists individuals to mobilize their strengths on their own behalf. The following cultural norms are also understood to support safety.
- Physical violence and/or destructive of property at the CTC or The Residence will result in Administrative Review and possible discharge.
- Abstinence and self-restraint from symptomatic behavior is promoted and supported as the cultural norm.
- Abstinence from sexual activity is promoted and supported for all patients throughout treatment.
- Non-romantic coupling or other forms of exclusive or special relationships are viewed as behaviors that interfere with treatment and may introduce risk.
- Abstinence from alcohol and substance use is promoted and supported for all patients throughout treatment. Bringing alcohol or other substances into the Residence may result in Administrative Discharge.
- Failure to abide by Fire Safety regulations will result in Administrative Review and possible discharge.
- Physical violence and explicit threats of physical violence will result in Administrative Review and possible discharge.
- Intimidation, malicious gossip, holding secrets, peer exclusion and alienation are viewed as behaviors that introduce and escalate risk.
- Persistent symptomatic behavior may raise questions regarding your capacity to make use of treatment relationships and the community.
- Any verbal communication or behavior between patients and staff may be communicated without restriction to other staff.
- Staff will use professional judgment regarding protecting the privacy of details while communicating effectively the essence of treatment issues among staff.
- Communications in the Interpersonal Group Therapy within the LSP (3x/week) and Specialty Programs; EDP, TRP, ASP, and the Narrative, Men’s and Women’s Group are to remain restricted to the patients in attendance of that group.
- All communications in other groups, or personal conversation, and all behavior is considered public domain and not confidential within the Yellowbrick community. The Family Liaison, following reasonable time for individuals to discuss their Public Behaviors with parents, will proceed to explain how the symptomatic behavior is understood within the overall context of treatment.
- Violations will be discussed in Yellowbrick Community Meeting and may result in Administrative Review and Discharge.
- Confidentiality is mandatory regarding maintaining the privacy of patients from individuals, including former patients, who are no longer members of the Yellowbrick community.
The Group Agreements are designed to provide a safe therapeutic environment for our groups. As a group member, you are encouraged to bring additional thoughts and concerns to groups. The Agreements are always subject to review and additions.
- We agree to respect the confidentiality of other group members as outlined in the Yellowbrick Agreements.
- We agree to address each group member with respect.
- We agree to attend all groups on our individual group plans. If we cannot attend a group, we agree to let the group leader know prior to the start of group.
- We agree members are expected to stay for the entire group and that if you leave the group in a disruptive manner you will not return to that group.
- We agree to refrain from using the restroom during group unless it is an emergency, as this is disruptive to the group.
- We agree that cell phones must be turned off prior to the start of group.
- We agree to refrain from eating during group.
- We agree to refrain from taking personal notes or drawing during group without explicit prior permission to do so.
- We agree that all Groups start on time and members will not be permitted to enter later than one minute after the official start time without pre-approved exception.
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness, please use our confidential contact form to send us a message. Our Assessment Center will respond to you as promptly as possible.
At Yellowbrick, emerging adults find their way home.
For more information, please contact Yellowbrick at 847-869-1500.