Taking a Different Road to Recovery – AFR’s Unique Approach to Rehabilitation
With an individualized, multiple-modality program, A Forever Recovery has a different view of treatment for substance abuse
If you take a look around the grounds and in the hallways of A Forever Recovery, you will find a very diverse group of people. Each patient is a unique individual, with a different background and a different story to tell. The journey that brought them to our door seeking help in overcoming addiction was their own. No two patients got to their breaking point in the same way. Likewise, their journey through the recovery process will also be very different from the next person. These differences are what our addiction treatment program options are based on, taking into account the distinctive characteristics of every patient that we treat.
The AFR model of substance abuse treatment came to be after founder Per Wickstrom, who had struggled with his addiction issues for many years. He realized what was missing from the programs that he had tried. So, he sat down with several addiction treatment specialists. Together they tried to develop a program that encompassed several different options instead of the single-modality “cookie cutter” rehabilitation strategies that he had seen. The patients at AFR, with the guidance of their case manager and counselor, discuss the options available and decide on their path to recovery. Each patient responds differently to treatment. Therefore, with this program, they can find what works best for them. Additionally, our patients are free to change direction if it feels like something isn’t working.
Addiction Treatment Program Options that Get Results
A Forever Recovery has a core program known as Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), which was developed in 1985 by Dr. Gregory Little and Dr. Kenneth Robinson as a long-term cognitive behavioral treatment. Initially focusing on changing the criminal thought processes of convicted felons, we have adapted the MRT approach to concentrate on addressing the causes of a patient’s addiction. AFR is the first inpatient residential treatment center to utilize an intensive MRT program. This option encourages our patients to take a more active approach in their recovery. It helps patients discover what it is they are fighting or hiding from.
In addition to the MRT program, we also offer several different pathways, or “tracks,” to spiritual discovery or reconnection. When it comes to spirituality, we do not speak of any particular religion or belief system. Also, we do not expect any patient to adhere to any spirituality that they are not comfortable with. From the Christian Faith-Based Track to the Indigenous Track which utilizes various spiritual aspects of traditional Native American beliefs, we have addiction treatment program options that will fit any person’s needs.
Spiritual and Faith-Based Programs Available
The Christian Faith–Based Track includes guided Bible studies, off-site religious services, and the Celebrate Recovery® program. Celebrate Recovery® is an alternative to traditional 12-Step programs. This program uses eight Recovery Principles that are derived directly from the Sermon on the Mount. Marie Hartman, a counselor at AFR, also facilitates the Christian-Faith Based Spiritual Track in the evenings. “It provides a space to be open,” she explains about the Celebrate Recovery® program. “We are changing lives by providing the opportunity. The Holy Spirit within us does the work, we just offer listening ears, and we get to share some of how Christ has impacted our lives. It’s wonderful to see them grow and blossom, to be able to open up and praise and worship the Lord together. Celebrate Recovery® offers that.”
Another spiritual track that is extremely popular with the patients at AFR is the Indigenous Track. A book titled “The Red Road to Wellbriety” is the basis for this track option. The book outlines a path to recovery based on Native American teachings that have been designed and adapted by White Bison, Inc. of Colorado Springs, CO. It focuses on helping the patient find their way to Mino Mikana, or “The Good Path.” John Tsabetsaye is the facilitator for the Indigenous Track. “Providing patients with alternative solutions is one of the most important things that we offer here,” John explains. “Giving them a diverse approach to their recovery helps them identify some of the things they might not have while focusing on just one modality. No matter where we come from, no matter how we approach our recovery, recovery is possible.”
Music Therapy Provides Focus and an Outlet for Creativity
We also have many supplemental addiction treatment program options that build on the foundation of MRT. Not surprisingly, one of our best and most popular of these discussion-based groups is Music Therapy. In Music Therapy groups, patients discover the different ways that music can be interpreted. They discover how it can relate to their lives, with a focus on their recovery. Case Manager Kat Maestas is also the facilitator for the Music Therapy groups. “It’s a lot different,” she explains, comparing Music Therapy with other discussion-based groups. “There’s an attachment there; there’s always somebody that can relate. It’s exciting to see some things click with people. They’re starting to pay more attention to what it is that they are bringing into their lives through music.”
Our dedication to providing the best in substance abuse treatment is the core of our program. Furthermore, with the freedom of choice that our patients have, they find a sense of confidence in themselves and in their personalized program, and an understanding of the level of personal responsibility that they hold in their recovery. Addiction knows no boundaries in respect to age, race, religious beliefs, or any other traits of an individual. Our addiction treatment program options show that regardless of who you are or where you come from, recovery is possible.