Miklat Recovery Society provides a supportive residential recovery program for individuals with substance misusing and process addictions. The program we offer is multi staged and multifaceted. It is progressive in nature, and the primary phase is generally 3 months in duration.
Each client’s journey is uniquely theirs, often difficult, filled with unexpected issues, and uncomfortable emotions. Therefore our timelines are flexible and our stages are open ended, although it is expected that most pass through the primary phase after 3 months, many others will take more or less time. We offer the first phase of the three that are common in the field. We will offer the second phase in the summer/fall of 2020.
The first phase is an introduction to the recovery process, and the goals are to teach new knowledge, universality, and hope. This includes stabilization of emotions, challenging core values, early exposure to 12 step meetings and introduction to spiritual principles, SMART Recovery meetings, peer-based therapeutic groups, relapse prevention, anger management, and various subjects introduced by qualified counsellors. In this stage it is vital for the staff and counselors to instill hope and begin to gain clients trust, as well as encourage group cohesiveness and universality of the disease of addiction among the clients. It is through trust and acceptance that clients will begin to drop their guard and become vulnerable, sharing hidden trauma that is often the root of addiction. Clients learn new sets of interpersonal social skills through daily peer interactions, as well as gain self esteem through helping other clients. They start to identify, label, develop, and express emotions in a healthy manner.
From the onset clients are given writing assignments from the client handbook and once completed, they’re given the Narcotics Anonymous Step Guide as well as a SMART recovery book. In the NA guide they will be assigned a step at a time to write and then read to a counselor or a 12 step member in the community. We expect clients to complete step-work in a timely fashion, and although no deadlines are set, we encourage progression by restricting them until steps are completed. This is detailed in the restriction and privileges section of our client handbook.
During the first month clients will begin to build and maintain a daily routine, with attention to personal hygiene, chores, prayers, short readings, group therapy, moderate exercise, preparing and eating balanced healthy meals three times per day, education on the nature of addiction, study of the 12 step textbooks, and an exploration of their life. Clients are encouraged and rewarded for their hard work by moving through a set of restriction levels. Each restriction level has different rules to follow and when a client passes to the next level they gain more privileges while restrictions are lifted. This gives clients a sense of achievement and boosts self esteem, as well as provides momentum for them to keep moving forward towards a common goal. Through this system of reward and restrictions, clients gain self confidence and self control, and become aware of their ability to positively influence their peers, promoting a senior and junior client relationship.
During the second month, when client’s health has stabilized both mentally and physically, clients are challenged to explore their life through timeline exercises. They take an in depth look at their upbringing, important life events, traumatic events, behavior changes, emotional changes, and where they lost control along with what happened to bring them to recovery. These assignments have an effect of bringing the group together on an intimate level and promote universality and cohesion, as well as to give a greater understanding of how substance abuse has negatively affected their lives. It allows clients to let go of fears surrounding sharing of personal experiences. Clients will begin to use the group as a way of exploring, identifying, naming, tolerating, and communicating feelings. Work on grief and trauma with the counselors will also begin toward the end of the second month, and will become more in depth during the third.
During the third month, clients will be challenged to confront their trauma, explore it in detail with our qualified counselors, and let go of the pain surrounding it. It is during the third month that the most painful experiences will be explored and analyzed by the clients and counselors, both in the 12 step guide during step 4 and 5, and also in group therapy. During this period, clients are given more freedom but with more freedom come more responsibilities. It is in this period that staff will put more responsibility on senior clients to spend time and watch over junior clients. Clients will be encouraged to do volunteer work in the community. We will also provide clients with Rec Center passes to enjoy the nearby sports facility, and we will organize group outings for third month clients to enjoy.
Staff along with counselors work together to evaluate each client individually based on their academic achievements working through the letter assignments, step-work, daily journaling, and handouts. They are also evaluated on social interactions, general behavior, daily routine, attendance, and participation in programming.
When a client has reached a certain predetermined threshold, it is decided that said client will graduate, and a ceremony is held to honor and celebrate. This celebration of program completion gives a key boost to the clients self esteem, and also offers a dose of hope for newer clients who look forward to their own completion ceremony. The client is encouraged to speak to the group about their experience, challenges, achievements, and future goals. They are asked to invite family and friends if feasible, and Miklat presents clients with a medallion, a certificate of completion, and a cake.
After graduation, a client has the opportunity to enter stage two at Miklat if desired (second stage will be ready by summer/fall of 2020) It is recommended that all clients do both stages. It is their choice, but we will try to give them compelling argument to stay. Research has shown that the frontal lobe of a stimulant user for example, shows deficits up to six months following last use. Clients in early recovery tend to recall the comfort of the substance misuse and yet forget just how bad their lives had become.