Milieu Therapist

Work with patients who live in a treatment facility such as a rehab clinic.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$29,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Milieu Therapists do?

Though the title might sound foreign or just plain crazy, a Milieu Therapist is actually just any Therapist working with patients who live in a treatment facility. This means you can be a Milieu Therapist in a drug or alcohol center, an inpatient center for teens with eating disorders, or a psychiatric center.

Just like an Art Therapist or Family Therapist, you improve your patient’s condition through a combination of therapy and activities. You might mix group therapy with one-on-one sessions, or even bring in art therapy. At the facility, you observe your patient’s actions and create a treatment plan to help them. As a Milieu Therapist you mediate any problems that come up between patients, stage interventions if you see a patient sliding back into their old ways, and, if necessary, provide therapy for a patient’s family.

Throughout the patient’s stay, you evaluate their progress and keep detailed notes. It’s up to you to decide how long each of your patients should stay at the facility. And you’re the one who determines whether they’ve made enough progress to move on. If necessary, you sometimes coordinate with community organizations or outpatient facilities to make arrangements for the person when it’s time for them to leave.

Depending on the size and needs of the place you work for, you might also do more basic things such as checking in patients. This includes tasks like removing any dangerous objects, showing them their rooms, and explaining the rules of facility.


Should I be a Milieu Therapist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Movement Therapist

    How to become a Milieu Therapist

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Milieu Therapist-related education!
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