Alpha House’s inpatient program structure incorporates a variety of elements and activities and all are important to recovery because each provides an opportunity to learn and grow. Residents have jobs in the house, attend group and individual meetings, take part in the big brothers/big sisters program and recreational activities, complete individual learning experiences as assigned, and have personal and social time. These program elements are incorporated into the daily schedule at all treatment levels. The inpatient program stay is approximately six months. It may be followed by a lesser level of treatment if necessary.
In all aspects of the program and throughout all treatment levels, residents are expected to:
- Initiate and assume responsibility for their behaviors;
- Treat staff members and residents with respect;
- Develop and maintain relationships that are beneficial and healthy for oneself and others;
- Actively and verbally participate in all meetings;
- Become familiar with the names of staff and residents; and
- Become progressively more responsible, eventually taking leadership job roles and initiating “teaching and learning” with newer residents.
There are four treatment levels. All residents coming into the program begin at Level 1. Treatment includes individual and group therapy.
During this period, residents become familiar with the rules and regulations of the program. They evaluate the program to make sure they want to commit to treatment at Alpha House. At the same time, staff and fellow residents determine if Level 1 residents are suitable to the program. Successful completion of this level is determined by, but not limited to:
(1) Maintaining sobriety (passing random urinalysis);
(2) Accepting and following directions, rules, and regulations; showing respect for authority figures, both residential peers and staff; and keeping up on all appropriate logs, homework assignments, etc.;
(3) Following up on all medical and dental appointments;
(4) Writing and addressing chemical history in group with peers and staff, and receiving staff verification;
(5) Requesting and verifying with group that all above projects were completed within one month.
Once residents demonstrate their willingness and ability to engage in the therapeutic community, and commit to changing their behaviors, they request to be promoted to Level II.
Level II residents work towards changing or extinguishing negative behaviors. This is accomplished by working in groups, working and interacting on job crews, and learning to handle confrontation constructively.
When residents have successfully changed their major negative behaviors, they request to be promoted to Level III.
Level III residents are responsible for keeping the “tone” of the house, assigning job crews, conducting meetings, teaching newer residents, and acting as liaisons between residents and staff. During Level III, residents thoroughly examine their past in order to understand the motivating factors for drug use and self-destructive behavior.
After successfully changing their negative behaviors and thoroughly examining the motivating factors for their life-style, residents are free to “re-enter” society while still living at Alpha House. Their next step is respite care. To secure a respite care promotion, a resident must submit for review by the staff and other residents a detailed plan discussing how he/she intends to cope with daily living activities. Once done, the resident is called up for staffing, at which time staff questions the resident and makes suggestions and recommendations for his/her continued sobriety.
Once a resident is promoted, he/she signs an agreement contract, which details respite care requirements that must be adhered to while on respite care. During respite care residents seek and secure employment, attend school, etc., but still enjoy the help and support of the residents and staff. At this stage the resident is “testing the water” while still calling Alpha House home. He/she can reflect and discuss any and all issues that surface with his/her newly found freedom.
Completion of the respite care phase marks the end of the inpatient program. Residents may elect to use Alpha House’s Outpatient Program since they are familiar with the services and have established a bond with Alpha House.
Individual and group therapy
Individual therapy consists of a one on one session with a residential counselor. The resident is afforded an opportunity to disclose information that he or she may not be able or ready to disclose in a group process. The treatment plan is mutually agreed upon during this time with specific goals and target dates for achievement. Individual therapy is encouraged minimally twice a month; however, depending upon the urgency of the situation more individual time may be allotted. Residents are encouraged to seek out individual therapy sessions by all available counselors. Each counselor is professionally trained via educational background and/or experience working with substance abusers. The individual counseling sessions last about one hour.
Group therapy includes confronting oneself as well as others about the negative behaviors they possess. The group members may contribute to the individual’s treatment process by assisting the person to see a behavior, by identifying a behavior in themselves, and by sharing how the peer(s) worked to overcome a negative behavior. If the individual working within the group continues to resist changing a behavior, he or she may be given “extra help” in various forms such as a writing assignment to further assist with identifying and realizing the need to change. Groups are conducted three times a week and Wednesday group is “gender specific.”
An important part of each resident’s treatment is the everyday work activities that he/she is assigned. Many of these are household chores such as cleaning the bathrooms or kitchen, or serving as house manager. Alpha House serves as a temporary home and residents need to take pride in maintaining it. This is a crucial part of reconnecting to the activities of daily living. Each resident is required to participate in these activities. Each job assignment is determined by its therapeutic value to the client, i.e. responsibility required to conduct each job. Residents do not get paid for this work. It is part of the client’s treatment plan.
A variety of Learning Experiences may be employed to address specific issues, such as when as a resident’s behavior is at an impasse or requires particular consideration. Learning Experiences vary but include things like writing essays, giving presentations, watching specific videos, participating in additional groups, and receiving a notch or fraction of a notch. (Three notches may result in being dismissed from the program.)
Big Brothers / Big Sisters
Big Brothers/Big Sisters help new residents understand and adjust to the program. They provide advice, guidance and additional coaching. Every new resident is assigned a specific person to act as a big brother or big sister to the newer resident. The older resident demonstrates responsible love and concern by helping the new resident to feel comfortable in his or her new surroundings teaching him or her the rules & regulations of the house. The big brother or big sister will also answer any small questions and concerns the new resident may have.
Click to see the daily schedule.