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Why Gender Based Treatment?

“We want each person to feel secure expressing themselves” says Char Scott, LCSW, CADC, President of Riverwalk Counseling Center.   Specifically, we believe that the path to a substance use disorder varies between men and women.  “Our experience points to women having different issues with self-esteem, guilt & shame, body image and self-care than men.  Furthermore, women tend to develop substance use problems in a relational context:  having a spouse who uses substances, drinking wine with friends or loss of a loved one” according to Scott.

We look at substance use in a social context.  Women, as a minority group have been acculturated in a certain way that may reinforce this problem.  As our society views toward women are changing, we provide our patients the opportunity to recover in a safe and secure setting.

Our program is designed to provide the first step in this process.  The Intensive Outpatient Program is six (6) weeks, meeting three (3) days per week from 9 am to 12:30 PM.   The other days of the week are spent attending support meetings, doing homework as well as other activities of daily living.  An evening Women’s IOP will begin in the late Summer, 2018 or early Fall 2018.  The Men’s IOP program development is underway.

Gender based aftercare groups, family and individual counseling are part of the aftercare plan for each patient.

Our program is divided into key parts:

  1. Case Management

There will be a weekly meeting with a case manager and 1-3 family therapy sessions during treatment.  The discharge plan will be developed during these meetings which will include individual therapy, gender based sobriety group, MD/Nutritionist (as needed), self-help groups.

  1. Check-in Groups

These groups are designed to monitor issues of sleep, interests, guilt, energy, concentration, appetite, mood, risk factors, substance abuse and intended topics for discussion.  The purpose of this morning check-in group is to prepare for the treatment day and assess individual needs.

  1. Yoga/Mindfulness/Meditation

Run by a certified Yoga Instructor, these daily groups assist in getting in touch with one’s self, promoting self-care, health and stress management which are keys to relapse prevention.

  1. Education

We offer a variety of educational topics tailored to meet the needs of women with substance use issues.  These topics include (but not limited to):

  • Relationship/Family Issues
  • Managing Feelings
  • Shame and Guilt
  • Trauma (Seeking Safety)
  • Dealing with Anxiety/Depression
  • Medical Aspects of Substance Use
  • Living Sober
  • Social Aspects of Substance Use
  • Nutritional Wellness
  • Sober Decision Making
  • Wellness
  • Empowerment
  • Anger Management
  • Intimate Relationships
  • Parenting Issues/Skills
  1. Psychotherapy Groups

These groups meet daily (MWF) and are intended to provide patients with an opportunity to discuss issues at length and gain feedback/support of staff and peers.

We also have key assignments that will be required during the treatment course:

  • Genogram – family tree
  • Substance use/relationship time line
  • Vision board
  • Goodbye letter to alcohol/drug
  • Discharge plan
  1. Support Groups

Patients will be asked to attend on-going self-help support groups like Smart Recovery, AA, Women for Sobriety, Emotions Anonymous as part of their treatment plan.  It is our hope that patients will find additional support through these carefully selected groups.

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