Fortunately, if you need intensive outpatient treatment aftercare for your substance abuse addiction, you have many choices throughout the nation. Unfortunately, if you need extended-care or a transitional treatment program for behavioral and emotional health issues or dual diagnosis, your choices are practically non-existent.
This gap in suitable treatment became glaringly obvious to Solutions Founder and Executive Director, Amy Lashway M.A., LPC, NCC, after 11 years of running her company, Treatment Coordination and Advocacy, in which it is her business to place clients in the treatment center most appropriate for the clinical needs of each individual. “It was almost impossible to find a place to go to after residential or inpatient treatment that offered a true transitional program – one that could work with the balance between mental health and substance abuse treatment – and virtually impossible to find an emotional recovery transitional program when clients did not suffer with substance abuse,” she recalls.
So, in 2011, the 25-year behavorial health treatment veteran founded Solutions Treatment Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to fill that need. Solutions Treatment Center functions as an adult aftercare and extended-care treatment program, with structured transitional housing available for men and women. Here, those with or without substance abuse issues are equally welcomed and adeptly treated by the all-Master’s-level clinical team.
The program follows a four-month curriculum in which each week is dedicated to exploring and working through one of 16 key themes that are central to understanding and healing from emotional pain or trauma – something Ms. Lashway sees as the common denominator for any emotional disorder and self-destructive behavior. “We work on achieving a balance of healing the past, understanding how it negatively influences us in the present, and helping people move forward to make lasting changes in the future,” she states.
To that end, the 16 insight-oriented, solution-focused, and life-skill based, therapeutic themes include:
- Personal goals
- Self destruction and escape
- Family of origin
- Personal identity
- Relationship issues
- Communication skills
- Grief and loss
- Life transitions
- Work and finance
- Health and wellness
- Body-mind connection
- Shadow self
- Forgiveness and amends
- Self appreciation
- Meaning and purpose
Each week, every client participates in three hours daily of group therapy, Monday through Friday, as well as three individual sessions that are customized to their unique needs: from psychotherapy and family counseling, to life skills training or recovery coaching. Within two weeks of beginning the program, all clients must be employed part-time, going to school, or volunteering in the community.
“It’s important that our clients are engaged in real-life activities,” Ms. Lashway states. “We help guide them in putting these elements in place, according to their level of life skills and experiences,” she says. This unique element to Solution Treatment’s program allows the clients to gain a sense of meaning and purpose and how to function in the world, while working through their emotional trauma and continued recovery issues. Community involvement as a core value manifests itself beyond the clients to the center itself, which weekly hosts eating disorder support groups and offers a free grief and loss group to the public.
Solutions Treatment Center specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief and loss, life transition, disordered eating, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis (mental or emotional illness co-occurring with a substance abuse disorder). Ms. Lashway is also committed to keeping the program small – never more than 10 clients at any given time – to allow the clinical staff adequate time and attention for each person and to offer a truly individualized treatment plan.
She says the Santa Fe location is especially helpful for people who need to completely start over or to dedicate six months to a year to their recovery. “It’s a very spiritual place,” Ms. Lashway states, “with a strong recovery community, two private colleges, and a great community college where clients can take classes and a focus on their education. With our natural beauty, it’s a great place to get grounded and figure out the next step.”
As a comprehensive program, Solutions Treatment Center offers structured, supportive living at nearby condos – separate residences for men and women – where clients can expect curfews, random drug testing, community meetings, and staff drop-bys. Currently, there is only housing for adults; adolescents who attend the teen IOP must live locally.
Solutions Program Director, Samantha Hill, MA, LMHC, leads by example by modeling strong recovery skills, healthy boundaries, direct communication, and a commitment to self care for clients and clinical staff alike. Hill says, “We support our clients’ emotional growth by providing a safe container for deep work, while at the same time challenging them to think outside their box and to achieve their best potential as they move forward. I am so proud of the work we do here and our amazing staff that gets it all done.”
Ms. Lashway states, “I honestly think we have the most comprehensive and clinically sophisticated aftercare program in the country. What we do is unique in that we look at all the different aspects of self, internally and externally, and how they interact synergistically with one another. We aren’t just working in a vacuum with the depression or substance abuse, eating disorder or trauma. We ask how core beliefs, experiences, relationships, values, interests, dreams, family history, and goals influence a client’s behaviors, and then help them learn healthier techniques to manage them on a long-term basis.”
Ms. Lashway understands that every client brings with him or her a unique story, and that the collection of stories that comprises a milieu at any given time will be unique as well. “We take the pulse of the needs of our clients frequently and adjust our services to ensure those services meet the needs present at that time,” she states.
Clinically, Ms. Lashway encourages her staff to continue learning through post-graduate studies, and maintains that for a community of therapists to stay emotionally healthy and thrive, they must have excellent clinical supervision to ensure they are constantly providing the best possible treatment to their clients. Liz Cervio, MA., LMFT, SEP fills that need through regular clinical supervision with all staff therapists, as well as providing clinical supervision certification classes at the center.
For more information about services, intake, and payment options, visit www.treatmentsolutions.org or call 877-499-1354.