We use a number of Motivation Enhancement methods, both within our normal treatment programs and as separate sessions geared specifically at improving one’s resolve.
Methods used during the Intensive Outpatient program:
During the course of treatment, it is common for people to have wavering resolve about their decision to quit using drugs or alcohol. Any major life change comes with uncertainty, and people may question their decisions. Motivation Enhancement encourages people to remember all the reasons for seeking treatment, and reclaim the goals they may have lost track of when their use escalated.
We help people to address the areas in their lives that were affected by their use, and to recognize how those areas will change with the absence of substances. Group members are encouraged to reflect on their decision to stop using. By being in the group setting, sharing common struggles, examining their progress, and re-engaging with their values, people are able to strengthen their resolve and commitment to lead a life free of alcohol or drugs.
Individual Motivation Enhancement and Exploration
Many people with a drug or alcohol problem have mixed feelings about whether or not to quit. This can be one of the most difficult and dangerous times for people who are considering entering a recovery program. People can struggle with the decision to quit for months or even years. Ambivalence can prevent people from taking control of their problem in its early stages, allowing it to progress to middle or late stage addiction, when there is no choice but to quit if one wants to live.
We use motivation enhancement to help people clarify what they want without pressure to quit. This therapy technique can help guide clients toward a plan for their lives. We create an in-depth plan with our clients, and motivation enhancement is a multi-step process, which generally lasts three to six sessions. While some find a plan quickly, we work with each client on an individual basis for as long as it takes to create a satisfactory strategy.
Our therapists excel in helping to identify goals, and evaluate how alcohol or drug use affects these goals. We help the individual to create a clear, focused plan. Often a decision is made to cut down to a specific level of use, other times the decision is made to stop completely in order to best achieve goals. In either case, it is far more effective to create a plan in a structured way with the help of a professional than to try to make these decisions on one’s own.
Ongoing Resolve Enhancement
We believe that building a supportive community is a cornerstone to maintaining sobriety. We have an active Alumni community for graduates of our program with regular peer-led support groups and occasional events. Alumni meetings are coordinated and run by volunteer graduates and are intended to help members stay connected with others who are living substance-free lives.
Recent graduates of our program find it helpful to have a group to keep them connected, and to reinforce recently learned skills. Regular check-ins with a close-knit group strongly supports permanent, lifelong abstinence, and is a great motivation for those who could be struggling with maintaining sobriety. Currently groups meet 2 times per month.
Each year in early December, APA hosts a holiday gathering for alumni and current participants, offering a place to celebrate the sobriety journey together.
An afternoon gathering at APA on New Year’s Eve is a time event set aside to reflect on the year ahead.
Mindfulness Practice Drop-in
Weekly mindfulness practice is led by our Mindfulness instructor and open to all graduates who have completed the Mindfulness class series. Practicing Mindfulness helps maintain resolve and to reflect on “What truly Matters”
“The combination of structured and flexible group environment was great—the understanding and flexibility of the counselor (and program) which allowed incorporation of real life needs with the group needs.”