In our first blog of the Better Together series, Mandy Baker mentioned buzzwords being talked about a lot in the treatment industry. I’d like to discuss the buzzword “trauma-informed care” and how our program, Makana Path, delivers just that.
BRC has a long- and well-established reputation for specializing in treating chronic relapse, and in treating this high-risk population, we experienced continued chronic relapse. Patterns emerged from these experiences and it became apparent that unresolved trauma and unhealthy relationship dynamics were consistently a factor. From that, we wanted to create a program to address these concerns, while still providing an effective experience with the 12 Steps and a recovery lifestyle. The culmination of this led to the development of Makana Path, our trauma-informed intensive healing program.
Through much careful discussion we concluded that to address trauma, we not only need to treat trauma but also the shame that comes with the experiences, responses and symptoms that accompany trauma. Then to address unhealthy relationship dynamics, we not only need to help our clients work through destructive relationships but also need to address family dynamics, family/generational trauma, attachment issues, codependency, communication and trauma bonds.
From these topics and the effects they have on life and functioning, we developed our six 3-day intensive modules; attachment, family dynamics, relationships, shame and trauma which in broken down into two modules. These modules draw from multiple evidence-based practices that include Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), internal family systems (IFS), Ideal Parent Figure (IDF) protocol, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), narrative therapy, 12 Step immersion, and components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
While eclectic therapy can be very beneficial in avoiding cookie cutter types of treatment, we wanted the delivery of these different modalities to be consistent from module to module and in a manner that aligns well with the 12 Steps. We took each of these modules and framed them with an intent for each module to be trauma informed with a CBT undertone. In this, we feel that thinking drives how we feel, which drives our behaviors, and at a deeper level, our belief systems determine our thought processes. This therapy also meshes well with 12 Step immersion and the concept of a complete psychic change.
In combining clinical and 12 Step immersion, there is often a disconnect in that some can adopt either/or mentality. While we do not take the stance of therapy can keep an addict sober, there are certain struggles to need therapeutic intervention with effective resolution and real time skills/strategies specific to working through those struggles, and that can be one less thing kicking off the vicious cycle of addiction.
In the upcoming blogs, I will go more in depth on each module covered at Makana Path, what these modules address and how those align with recovery and the 12 Steps to provide our clients with the best well-rounded treatment experience.
Written by: Joe Roller, LPC, LCDC