Clients do not build new communities to replace their old ones.
Build a sense of community among clients to foster support and engagement in treatment so they can experience what it’s like to be part of a healthy community.
Bridge House in New Orleans, Louisiana re-established a more client-centered program serving 75 men and 25 women when they re-opened their doors after Hurricane Katrina. They created a therapeutic community where clients make decisions about how the entire community functions.
Gosnold, Inc. in Falmouth, Massachusetts maintained continuation rates consistently above 80 percent by incorporating music and art into treatment activities. For example, patients are asked to think of a song that represents their past. Residential patients collaborated to support each other as they pursued their personal (Plan-Do-Measure-Act) change cycles. They also offered meditation, yoga, and daily exercise programs. For more information, see the change bulletin.
No-show rate for treatment sessions
Data Collection Form
Repeat this series of steps until you have developed a supportive, healthy community with varied activities for all of your clients.
Fayette Companies in Peoria, Illinois turned role-playing into an entertaining activity and used drawing for prizes for completing stages of treatment as an activity that reinforced positive connections with others. For example, they give prizes that allow someone to take one of their peers to lunch or a movie. For more information, see the case study.
Sinnissippi Centers in Dixon, Illinois offers recreational activities for adolescents, including experiential adventure therapy that stresses challenges. They also include social activities, like bowling.
Axis 1 in Barnwell, South Carolina allows participants to direct their own group sessions. A number of the women also decided to share a weekly meal with each other. They arrive at the agency early to eat together, socialize, and support each other. For example, the women’s group went with the counselor and case manager to see an inspirational speaker who talked about the potential for better lives. For more information, see the case study.
Wood County Unified Services in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin increased continuation rates through the first five sessions from 70 percent to 90 percent over the course of nine months. They welcomed new intensive outpatient clients to group sessions and asked group members to introduce themselves and explain why they were in the program. Patients were matched with a more senior patient who assisted the new patient by showing them restrooms and break areas. They also asked new patients if they were willing to commit to returning to treatment the next day. If not, they discussed what kind of support or what else the patient needed to return.