Key Distinctions that Contribute to Next Chapter’s Success
It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. While this can obviously apply to those with dependencies that stem from personal trauma, it can also apply to how recovery centers treat these individuals.
You don’t have to be immersed in the recovery community to see how prevalent recidivism is among those with dependencies. Sadly, however, this unfortunate relapse rate is too often blamed upon the power of addiction itself, rather than the treatment methodology. The old adage of “once an addict, always an addict” neatly lays responsibility for relapse at the feet of clients and their disease, but what it really does is stifle the very real need to improve treatment through innovative means.
South Florida is famous for the “Florida Model” of treatment, just as it is infamous for the crowded landscape of “revolving door” recovery facilities located here. We founded Next Chapter here to show the value for the Florida Model, where clients are comfortably put up in amenity-rich housing, by adapting it to a new style of intensive and innovative treatment. Next Chapter was designed from the ground up to re-write the book on recovery, for our clients, and for the recovery community worldwide.
One of the primary values of the Florida Model is that it more closely mirrors life by providing a non-institutionalized setting. After all, when clients transition from recovery facilities, they are not likely to find themselves living in the same building as their therapist’s office or employer. By having our clients share living quarters with 7 to 9 other men, we allow them to be confronted with the kind of interpersonal relationship issues that they have experienced and will experience post-treatment. This proves to be invaluable, not only because it keeps clients grounded in reality, but also allows our residential staff to observe, document, and report relational behaviors to our clinical staff, providing them even greater insight into each client.
A Root Cause
From day one, we recognized that too many treatment centers are really focused on treating the symptoms, rather than the cause. While it may be one or more dependencies that cause clients to seek treatment, our own experience – along with a growing body of research – had shown that addictions often emerge as individuals attempt to evade the deep psychological pain of personal trauma. Seen in this light, dependencies are actually failed coping mechanisms that are themselves symptomatic of a deeper personal struggle. Therefore, the key to successfully treating any dependency, be it upon drugs, alcohol, sex, or anything else, is to successfully identify and resolve the personal trauma our clients face.
Of course, just because we can identify trauma as the root cause of addiction, it doesn’t mean that addiction itself doesn’t need to be treated. We have to treat both. At the same time. With equal measure.
A Focused Approach
Dealing with trauma and addiction simultaneously requires significant focus. Not only is this true from a clinical side, where care must be managed diligently across a team of dedicated clinicians, but also from the personal side, as clients begin exploring some of their most delicate memories and experiences. Thus, it was clear early on that Next Chapter would need to create an environment that was free of unnecessary distractions. To craft our focused environment, Next Chapter opted to treat men only, eliminating the pervasive distraction peers of the opposite sex inevitably create. We also made a conscious choice to firmly limit the number of clients we will treat at a time, so we are able to ensure that care is properly managed between clinicians, and that every client receives the intensive attention they require.
A Unique Therapeutic Mix
From the moment we accept a client (we don’t accept everyone, only those who are clinically appropriate for Next Chapter), we set a clear goal of transitioning them to independence, usually within 60 days. This means that we have about 2 months to lead them through a journey of personal discovery wherein they will identify and hopefully resolve their trauma and develop personal responsibility and the requisite self-knowledge to successfully navigate the triggers and adversity that they will face once they leave our care. At times it may take longer, because every client is unique.
And so are we.
Experience has shown that clients don’t all respond to the same therapies the same way. For some, one approach may be extremely successful, yet others may not respond to it at all. Therefore, we’ve developed a variety of therapeutic protocols that operate on a variety of different levels, from physical to psychological to spiritual.
For example, in addition to 12-step methodologies, we offer somatic therapies such as yoga and breathwork. We challenge clients with personal assignments, group therapy sessions, and family counseling, and we encourage them to engage in meditation and creative expression.
Through this approach, our dedicated clinicians are able to really get to understand each client, recognizing what therapies they respond best to, and what manner of emotional triggers they are struggling to cope with. Often, our more experiential therapies prove to be the most enlightening for both clinician and client, especially when viewed in the frame of their personal history and psychology. But there are no magic bullets, no “one-size-fits-all” cure.
The work we do at Next Chapter is as difficult as it is necessary. We are proud of the fact that so many of our program’s alumni continue to remain sober long after leaving us, and that those within our care swiftly learn to stop identifying with their addiction and instead come to recognize their personal trauma and how it triggers their emotions.
And while this article is intended to highlight what is most distinctive about our program, we would be remiss in suggesting that it is any of these things alone that has led to Next Chapter’s success. For regardless of how our program operates, it is without a doubt that the biggest contributing factor is our staff. From our clinicians and therapists to our residence managers and even our business development team, we are fortunate to have a profoundly dedicated group of people for whom Next Chapter is not a workplace, but rather a mission.
Learn more about our unique team and approach at nextchaptertreatment.com