Family program design and implementation; treatment team training and consultation, particularly around engaging and managing complex client families
Evidence is mounting showing treating the entire family promotes longer lengths of stay in care and superior treatment outcomes: Start that process at the same time the client is admitted.
The parents drop off 22 year old Jessica at your treatment center for a residential course of care. In the past few weeks they’ve had two interventions, one psychiatric hospitalization (the result of a serious suicide attempt) and more than 10 days when Jessica’s whereabouts were unknown. The rollercoaster ride has been at or near top speed since she was a junior in high school. Finally, the day comes. Seemingly miraculously, she gets in the car and doesn’t jump out on the way! Relieved and grateful they hand her off to your highly skilled team and the safety of your gracious setting. She’s offered membership in a welcoming group of similar clients, introduced to the basics of life in the center, shown to a lovely and cozy room and prepared to have a gourmet dinner.
Prior to leaving the parents were given a couple of brochures about the program including a copy of Jessica’s schedule which looks full and comprehensive. They were told there will be a family program or family gathering coming up soon. They say a final goodbye and are on their way. In a few hours Jessica is joining her fellows in the dining room; tonight it’s baked red snapper, English green beans, potatoes au gratin and strawberry cheesecake. The parents find themselves in line at Safeway buying the usual groceries after picking up their dry cleaning. Soon they’ll be home: numb, bathed in quiet, and faced with tomorrow’s supposedly ordinary life. Their isolation intensifies and their focus on Jessica shifts from “where is she” to “will she get it? Will she stay? What if…”
Imagine if we could offer these parents a similar welcome, gathering up, and taking in like Jessica received on admission. The Family Recovery Institute intends to make family containment, family assessment, family engagement, and family holding as essential a part of intensive treatment as that provided to the client members.
Along these lines, we consult to clinical and management teams at residential treatment centers, behavioral healthcare hospital units, addiction treatment centers, and outpatient clinics of all types.
Common projects undertaken
- Expand your agency’s repertoire of family system offerings including comprehensive clinical work with families beginning on or near day 1
- Develop and offer multi-family workshops
- Practice methods to incorporate systemic family assessment (with outcome measures) into your agency’s repertoire of assessment and clinical mainstays
- Better manage boundary challenges around payment, length of stay, compliance
- Make use of counter-transference reactions to promote engagement
- Ease tensions between divisive teams or policies
- Educate para-professionals about family system dynamics, specific pathologies, and communication techniques
Common outcomes obtained by agencies and teams who work with FRI
- Longer lengths of stay with fewer AMAs
- Happier, more content staff
- Smoother work flow and policy/procedure implementation
- More likely accreditation approval or renewal
- Reduce AMAs and increase lengths of stay in all levels of care
- Improved position in the industry and with referral sources
- Development of new marketing messaging: “here’s what’s happening at XYZ Treatment Center”
- Healthier inter-team functioning
- More competent and confident staff at all levels of service