Recovery happens in the community and, in this group, young people learn how to build a sense of community through exercises and games. Young people participate in these games based around three central tenets: take safe risks, save people, and make your partner look perfect. These tenets are central to strengthening the community in a recovery context.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT is an evidence-based practice that was first developed by Marsha M. Linehan and then adapted for teens by Dr. Alec Miller and his colleagues at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. DBT skills help teens increase control of strong emotions without taking them out on others, ask for what they want/need in an appropriate manner, describe their emotions in words without acting on them, and cope with difficult situations while increasing self-respect. DBT teaches skills in four modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. The DBT skills group is offered twice a week and each week focuses on one of the four skills modules.
Stop the Chaos
Stop the Chaos group provides psychoeducation on addiction and substance abuse, including the natural consequences we experience due to our substance use had on our live. It helps to identify the signs of internal and external triggers, explores coping skills for relapse prevention. Stop the chaos helps to support and teach the skill necessary to living a healthy and meaningful life.
Alcohol and Drug Groups
- “What is addiction”- Discusses the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) definition of addiction as a disease, using the new short and long-form definition from June 2012. Touching on genetic predisposition, cross addiction, and relapse. Immediately following this group is a core group focusing on the Stages of Change.
- “Addiction and the Brain” – Provides a basic overview of the brain reward system, how the use of alcohol and other drugs affect this system, motivation, brain development, memory, and emotions. This is followed by a discussion about specific drugs and how they affect the brain. Immediately following this group is a core group focusing on marijuana.
- “PAWS” – Discusses what Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome is, the pattern of the PAWS cycle, symptoms of PAWS, how to prepare and recognize PAWS symptoms, behaviors that prolong or set back this pattern, and skills and tools to use when these symptoms occur. Triggers and relapse warning signs are addressed.
- “Addiction and the Family”- Using “The Simpsons” as an example, this group discusses how families are affected by drugs and alcohol and how we adapt to patterns and deal with the stress that can occur.