Program for Adolescents
The program's philosophy is that adolescence is a very difficult time, much more today than it has been in the past. Under the best of circumstances, it is hard for young people to balance then- life between school, family and friends. Once drugs get involved, then there is no longer the balance that is so critical for a successful adolescent experience. The program, working together with families, tries to put young people back in balance so they can go on and enjoy this period of adolescence thus developing into successful young adults.
Adolescent Client Component
Often times the most difficult part in a young person’s giving up substances is not actually doing without the drug itself. It is far more difficult to leave behind the culture in which they and their drug habit existed. If you plug these young people into 9 hours a week of group work with other young people in recovery, it starts to shift their values and alliances to a new culture. This culture shifts emphasis to pro-social values as part of the recovery. Breaking free from the values of drug use and the elements that make up the drug culture is essential. Because it is so critical to the stabilization process, In Balance goes to great lengths to build cohesiveness within the new culture; to create a cohesive group where clients feel safe and where they can share openly and become a support system for one another. During this phase, clients will be exposed to experiential or adventure based therapy. This enhances the ability for clients to get to know each other, to work together as a team, and to have sober fun together. For many young people, this is the first time they have had fun outside the drug using experience.
Traditionally, young people will be in the group anywhere from 30 to 39 sessions, depending on the severity of their drug use, their response to treatment and their ability to remain drug and alcohol free.
Substance abuse effects the entire family, not just the person seeking treatment. In order to help the entire family recover, Tuesday nights are devoted to helping the family learn about addiction, communication and to healing. During the first hour and a half, the parents meet with their own facilitator while the clients meet with their facilitator. Parents have found this portion of the evening beneficial for support, leaning and growing from the experience of the facilitators and current family members further into their IOP experience.
The following list is a partial list of topics currently addressed by In Balance:
- Use, abuse and denial
- Stages of Change
- Relapse Prevention
- Setting Boundaries
- Healthy Expectations
- Cooperative Problem Solving
- Effective Parenting Techniques
The group will then come together in a larger group to address issues that affect the family as a whole. These issues include psycho educational activities that look at the side effects of drugs, communication and trust exercises to help the family heal as well as experiential activities that are fun and help the family act as a team. Parents and clients participate in one meeting per week for 3 hours. This group is on Tuesday nights from 6-9pm.
The Four Elements of Treatment
Young people are taught the importance of making sure that they have the four essential elements of their being in balance: their physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects. They learn how to implement each during their treatment at In Balance.
- Physical- Often during active substance abuse and addiction the physical component of one’s health is over looked. Regaining one’s health and physical activity is addressed in the experiential portion of the program. These activities include rock climbing, Equine Assisted Therapy, yoga, hiking, community service work and bowling. Not only do these activities involve exercise, but they are also beneficial in learning sober social skills, communication and most importantly- you can have fun without using drugs or alcohol- something that many have forgotten is possible.
- Emotional- One common result of substance abuse and addiction is an inability to express one’s self emotionally, whether this be anger management, grief and loss issues, or even how to celebrate a success. Expression and the processing of one’s issues with emotion is addressed in the many psycho educational activities group completes at each session. In Balance often will utilize the benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and art expression in assisting client’s to work through their emotional issues in a safe and supportive manner.
- Social- Learning how to communicate, interact with peers and express one’s self often is stifled during substance use and abuse. The group itself is the client’s first opportunity to learn and practice new social skills without drugs or alcohol. The more senior members of the group act as a support to mentor and role model the newer peers helping them to get comfortable in the safe and sober environment. The positive peer culture is extremely effective in regards to helping client learn the group norms and withholding the group members accountable to their sobriety and participation in the groups. To assist in learning new and affective ways to be social we will walk our clients through the process of becoming an active member of a 12-step group and assist with getting acquainted with this recovery community. The above mentioned physical activities are all opportunities to practice social skills and communication as well. In Balance believes in giving back to the community and in an effort to do so, community service is done each month. This important social component helps in development of communication skills with the public and with people from all walks of life.
- Spiritual- This vital element of recovery is addressed every Thursday evening. Group celebrates varying lengths of sobriety with a coin ceremony and pizza for the accomplishments and successes of the participants. On these evenings, an activity is done that helps each person discover their spirit and celebrate their individuality. In teaching the importance of involvement with the 12 step community and its recovery, staff addresses individual steps and the group completes exercises in order to develop a spiritual connection with themselves, the community and a higher power of their understanding that will help them with their recovery. Each participant will complete their written 1st step based on the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, and that our lives had become unmanageable” with the group in order to understand their powerlessness over drugs and alcohol and the unmanageability in their lives.
Tuesdays 6:00pm - 9:00pm Multi-Family Group
Thursdays 6:00pm - 9:00pm Adolescent Only
Saturdays 10:00am - 1:00pm Adolescent Only Experiential Groups
Thursdays 6:00-7:00pm Adolescent Alumni Support Group (Adolescents Only)
*This is not a Behavioral Health Service.