DARA offers a “variable” non 12-step treatment program. This means that the length of stay is dependent on each client’s individual clinical needs, progress in treatment and compliance with the treatment assignments. While 12-step can be effective for some, it is not for everyone. We believe that our non 12-step recovery program is the best way to lead our clients to a successful and addiction-free life style.
Variable length of stay works because we place our clients at the center. It is impossible to say a program offers “individualized treatment” while at the same time say that it is a “28-Day Program”. We inform our clients early on that completion of 28 days in treatment does not indicate successful treatment.
DARA’s “Integrated Cognitive-Behaviour Treatment (ICBT) Model” utilizes a variety of clinical interventions designed to produce positive outcomes. Counsellors are expected to have experience and expertise in each of these modalities.
These clinical modalities include but are not limited to:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Person-centered Therapy
- Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy
- Schema-focused Therapy
- Transactional Analysis
- Relapse Prevention Therapy
- Behavioural Modification
- Motivational Interviewing
- Reality therapy/Choice theory
- Gestalt therapy
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
- Solution-focused brief therapy
First of all it is important for us to stress that our program is one of the few non 12 step recovery programs out there. Being able to offer a 12 step alternative puts us ahead of the curve.
The program starts with physical health and de-stressing. The physical program includes regular Thai massage, a physical activity program tailored to client’s individual capacity, and excellent healthy and nutritious food. Mentally we focus on mindfulness and meditation with several sessions each week. The specialist staff here, physical therapists, excellent chefs and trained meditation/yoga coaches are committed to our clients’ physical and mental wellbeing.
Next comes our psycho-educational program (Topic Groups), we believe that addiction is a chronic (long term) disorder. Like any person living with a chronic disorder- think of chronic pain, epilepsy, diabetes, clients must become their own experts. Therefore our topic program introduces clients to the science of addiction. We incorporate the growing area of neuroscience to help them understand the brain functioning and addiction. We provide them with information about other disorders, such as anxiety and depression that are almost always part of addiction. This program also works on the support networks they can establish to help them and their family in recovery.
We believe that clients need a chance to increase their understanding of them self, their history and their future. Our psychotherapy program comes in two kind: the psychotherapy group sessions offer a chance to practice healthy relationships with other people in the program, to better understand how others see them and how to communicate honestly with others. This is supported by one to one therapy sessions with their focal counsellor where individual barriers to recovery can be worked on as well as any other deep-seated issues that will enhance their recovery.
We believe that the family has a special place in this process, we welcome family members to participate in family counselling sessions. Family members are welcome as day visitors but also have couples or siblings who have come through the program together.
Our Treatment Program consists of the following approaches:
Fundamentals of Health
Clients come into addiction treatment from chaotic lives. We help and encourage clients to live in more balanced and mindful ways through an emphasis on developing healthy habits and daily activities. This includes developing effective sleep patterns and habits, good nutrition,
physical activation, meditation, yoga and massage. In addition, we believe the beauty of our environment contributes to our client’s sense of self-worth and dignity.
DARA helps clients to learn new ways of living more rewarding and fulfilling lives. Our only teaches clients skills but also allows them to practice new and helpful behaviours while in treatment. This can include activity planning, daily monitoring of thoughts and feelings, regular exercise and workouts, doing more meaningful activities and better managing the things which sap their mental and emotional strength.
Cognitive Restructuring and Reframing
The DARA treatment offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) skills training groups and relapse prevention groups where clients are taught CBT techniques that help identify, challenge and alter their ‘automatic’ or ‘negative’ thought patterns and beliefs. The goal of CBT is to enable people to replace unhelpful and self-defeating thoughts with more realistic and helpful ones.
The therapeutic value of healthy interaction with others in recovery is recognized and valued at DARA. In our group program, clients learn how to communicate effectively and use this to develop healthy relationships. The group program includes therapy groups, gender groups, relapse prevention groups, art therapy and expeditions that include an aspect of self-discovery and self-challenge.
In sessions with individual counsellors, our clients explore and make sense of their past, accept the present and plan for their future. These sessions tie together the various themes of our program. Our counsellors work intensively with our clients to help them develop an understanding of how past and current experiences affect their choices and behaviour, thus helping them integrate new and positive habits.
Our program includes daily psycho-educational sessions about substance abuse, trauma and other deeply seated issues feeding people’s addiction. We believe that addiction is a chronic disorder and that anyone living with this kind of disorder needs to become their own expert on it.
Non 12 step drug rehab programs
Dara is one of a few non 12 step rehab centres. While we believe that 12-step recover can work well and produce dramatic transformations in people’s lives, it also puts many people off rehab due to the common use of the phrase “higher Power” which makes people think they have to have some sort of religious belief. At Dara we follow certain aspects of a non religious 12 step program, but we utilize only the evidence based components of the 12-step program to augment our core program of CBT.