The 90 Day program
One of the most bewildering problems that many people face when they start looking at the devastation of what addiction has caused in their lives is that they have little idea about how things have ended up so bad or how they could have ever let this go on for so long.
They don’t remember seeing it coming and at a certain point they felt powerless to stop it.
The teachings that we involve our clients in throughout the period of the 90 day program are extensive and, I feel, quite comprehensive. The program helps them understand that there are reasons that made them susceptible to the lure of some form of addiction.
These reasons could be biological in nature, psychological, social, or spiritual, or a combination of any or all of these factors.
With the use of a twelve step program, each client is guided toward an inventory of what personal causes have made them vulnerable to finding that substance use (drugs, alcohol) or even behavioral addiction (gambling sex, gaming) has provided relief to major pain/trauma in their life and this relief feels so overwhelming that their brains are trained to believe that they will always provide this relief. This is the first lie of addiction.
Also, they are taught to recognize that much of their behavioral and emotional growth got curtailed as they learned to use addiction as their primary coping skill. Sometimes this has happened as early as 11 or twelve years old. They will need to learn new coping skills.
The bulk of the 90 day program teaches them that there are biological, psychological, social, spiritual solutions. They can regain behavioral growth in areas where they have stopped developing. They can get reconnected with their lives, with people, with community. They can learn new and more effective coping skills.
Our curriculum teaching modules leads them into a structured program of rediscovering themselves and remaking themselves. The beginning modules ask them to explore: How we got here, what happened? What changes occurred in them? What have they lost?
The next modules talk of change, what is it, what needs to change, how is it accomplished.
Next, it is the makeup of addiction, the neurological causes, what damage does it cause: biologically, physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually? What causes our cravings, our obsessions? How actually does addiction work, the stages, and the development.
We explore recovery. What are the tools? What are the resources? What is the motivation and how do we maintain it?
We have a major section on cognition and cognitive therapy, identifying and handling irrational thoughts, thinking patterns, and limiting beliefs. We practice cognitive therapy. We discuss Rational Emotive Behavior therapy and how our reaction to our beliefs shapes our world. We instruct in the power of managing our emotions, rather than, what many people with addictions have learned, allowing our emotions to manage us.
Our next modules talk of how to actually affect change. Our beliefs, our principles, how do they guide us? Limiting beliefs, behaviors, assuming personal responsibility, self-discipline, denial, habits, values are all avenues of change that are discussed here.
Relapse and Relapse Prevention are one of the most integral portions of the program. What are living plans to prevent relapse, what are written plans? What are triggers, what kinds of triggers are there, where do obsessive thoughts come from, how powerful are they, how do we stop or disrupt them? What are the phases of relapse, warning signs, what are your own personal cycles of relapse? How do you manage or disrupt these cycles?
We talk in group of spirituality because the worst outcomes of addiction are total loss of hope, loss of worth, of value, of purpose.
Then we get into specific life skills and new coping methods. Here are but a few. Time management, effective communication, boundaries, self-esteem, conflict resolution, goal setting, social support, stress management, problem solving, decision making, handling guilt/shame, handling insecurity, overcoming fears, handling fear of success, handling pride, overcoming perfectionism, developing patience, instant gratification vs. delayed gratification, anger management, grief and loss, nutrition, physical exercise, money management, personal relationships, personal hygiene, sexual health.
Most importantly, we ensure our men know that there is no way in the world to be able to become proficient in all these areas in just 90 days, especially after maybe thirty or forty years of destructive living but, if they just begin, if they just remain vigilant, if they just commit to themselves to work one day at a time, every day, from here on in, they can regain what has been lost, the best version of themselves.
The analogy is that becoming themselves again will feel like the hardest battle of their lives but really the easiest thing that they can possibly be is just be themselves!
Next Steps Program
Next Steps is a person-centered, strength based and collaborative program that transitions participants into further education, employment and permanent housing opportunities.
The Next Steps Program has been developed to support and assist the client to move forward in their recovery life with support, compassion and accountability. 60 days into the 90 Day recovery program we meet with the client to do a personal assessment and a housing assessment. We have been able to partner with many of our community resources and put clients into different services within our community and beyond from OUC College to UBCO, Employment Classes, special needs support and social housing. We work to find the best potential supports for each client as they meet regularly with their Next Steps Counselor.
We work with our clients in the Next Steps Program for 6 – 18 months after they complete their 90 Day Program. Once they transition into independent living we offer Community Care as well, meeting with them as needed while they are making this important transition.
``Freedom's Door teaches you how to live life on life's terms``.Jesse, Resident