What’s in a name (besides IOP)?

IT’S OFFICIAL! We have received licensure from the NC Division of Healthcare Regulation for our Intensive Outpatient Program. The Full Life intensive outpatient program was developed to offer an aftercare-specific program that strengthens knowledge and skills in recovery and develops distress tolerance, relapse prevention and mindfulness skills to improve outcomes for sustainable, long-term recovery.
 
Sometimes we try to be clever. We like the idea of having program titles that distinguish our program from others. Since Full Life’s IOP has been developed with different ideas in mind, it would be so tempting to try to get creative! We could call it:
  • When the Rubber Hits the Road (because our IOP is really focused on what happens after residential treatment) — or —
  • Re-commitments, Reminders & New Tricks (because our IOP could be a great resource for those who have been in recovery in the past but “lost their way”) — or —-
  • Recovery Tools for Long-Term Sobriety (because our IOP is deliberate about helping to teach mindfulness meditation, DBT skills and solutions for personal relapse warning signs).
But, we’ll probably just end up calling it IOP. Isn’t that the way things usually work? 😉
 
IOP Graphic 2From Inpatient to Outpatient
Residential treatment is a great place to get stable, get used to being abstinent, come to understand the disease of addiction and begin learning how to stay sober after discharge. Patients in residential programs often get an introduction to relaxation strategies like yoga or mindfulness meditation or an introduction to DBT skills, but they are applying them in the context of that highly-structured, highly- protected environment. After discharge, it is so easy for them to become distracted by the desires to “get on with my life” or “put all that behind me.” While the desire to restore relationships, deal with the wreckage of active addiction and move on in hopes that they’ve “got this” is understandable, these distractions and myths contribute to higher relapse rates for those who discharge without engaging in ongoing clinical services.
 

Different Kinds of Needs

Make no mistake. Full Life admires and respects many other IOPs in our area. We refer to them and respect their work. But we also know that most of those IOPs are considered an alternative to residential treatment and/or a continuation of the same basic material as delivered in residential treatment. We will continue to collaborate with Wake Forest Baptist, Fellowship Hall and other high-quality IOPs. AND, we hope that what we are offering distinguishes our program and attracts referrals for the folks like these:
  • “George,” has just completed a 90-day top notch residential program for his addiction to opiate pain meds and alcohol. He was able to get some relief from his chronic pain that started that whole thing in the first place, and he learned through 12 weeks of lectures, groups and counseling sessions that his use had advanced to addiction, despite his best efforts. He was able to learn about 12-step recovery, and he got started working some of the steps while in treatment. After 6 weeks of treatment, his treatment routine changed a bit in extended care, but he continued to attend lectures, groups and individual sessions for another 6 weeks. Now that he’s ready to return home, he has been recommended for an IOP. While George is willing to follow the recommendations, he can’t imagine sitting through those same lectures for another 12 weeks. Full Life’s IOP would offer him new tools while offering support and feedback as he applies the ones he learned in treatment.
  • “Marie,” has just completed her 5th stint in treatment. When admitted, she was arguing, “I could TEACH the class!” She knows plenty about addiction, 12-step recovery and finally did some important trauma work while she was in treatment this time. They’ve recommended that she complete an IOP as part of her continuing care plan. She knows how to stay clean in treatment, but she has never been able to sustain her recovery for more than a few years. She hopes this time it will be different. Because of our ability to coordinate care for supplementary therapeutic services (like Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, tapping, equine-assisted psychotherapy) to help her continue the trauma work she has begun, Full Life’s IOP could be just what she needs to finally get lasting results.
  • “Zack,” has been to treatment three times this year already. He doesn’t doubt that he has the disease of addiction, but he can’t seem to sustain recovery once the structure of treatment falls away and the burden of responsibility is on him. His parents are frustrated, feeling anxious about money and yet still want to support Zack’s willingness to keep trying. They know that his addiction could cost him his life if he can’t find ways to apply recovery to save it. Full Life can help connect Zack with other young people in recovery – at the same time he has the accountability and structure of the Full Life IOP.
  • “Elizabeth” has recently signed a contract for monitoring with a professional monitoring group because of a recent relapse following several years of active recovery. She has a busy practice, children at home and a very strong motivation to abstain and follow any and all recommendations in order to protect her license. Because her relapse was brief and she had years of recovery in the past, the monitoring organization agreed to allow Elizabeth to participate in the Full Life IOP in lieu of residential treatment.
All of these scenarios are common ones.
Client’s like George, Maria, Zack and Elizabeth could all benefit from an Intensive Outpatient Program that is more than just a rewind-and-replay version of the lectures and groups they had in treatment.
George has heard 12-weeks of lectures and is bored and dismissive of the information. Marie and Zack have never really been able to establish the kind of recovery lifestyle and emotional regulation needed to sustain recovery and avoid relapse. Elizabeth knows how to live a life in recovery but disregarded early warning signs that hinted that a relapse could happen. She’s convinced that she can get back on track with an outpatient program instead of having to put her practice, her family and her life on hold — again. So, it was with clients like these in mind that Full Life developed an aftercare-specific IOP, set to launch on Monday, October 17, 2016.

A Different Kind of IOP

We’ll be focusing the Full Life IOP on key elements that we recognize as essential to sustaining recovery while living “in the real world.” Whether living in a sober living environment, living back with family or living independently, our attention to these specific focus areas can help improve the likelihood of sustaining long-term recovery:
  • Relapse Prevention – identification of personal relapse warning signs and specific solutions to address them to prevent relapse when they occur (because we know they will)
  • DBT Skills – learning to apply specific skills to improve distress tolerance, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and mindfulness
  • Meditation Skills training – instruction, practice and measurement of progress with the Muse, a mini-neurofeedback device provided to program participants
  • Rehab Review – mini-lectures with group discussion on important themes that are worth repeating and others that are very specific to learning how to live recovery in community
  • Process Group – open-floor groups to share, get support and constructive feedback for dealing with “life on life’s terms” as clients attempt to apply recovery principles in all their affairs
  • Multi-family Group – once monthly groups that bring families and clients together to continue exploring ways to help or hinder each other in recovery
  • Random urine drug testing – because sometimes testing is the only thing that stops some folks from deciding to take that one drink or pop that first pill. If it stops them tonight, then they can process it in their next group with gratitude that they chose not to use.
  • Individual therapy – so often IOPs do not include individual therapy, but we believe that it is essential to make a meaningful connection with a therapist to be a part of the step-up continuum of care. It offers the forum for processing issues clients prefer not to discuss in groups, an opportunity to develop a deep connection with a therapist who can be there for the long-haul, and someone to help coordinate referrals if additional care is needed.
  • Referrals for Supplementary Care when needed: because sometimes there’s additional therapeutic work that needs to happen to help the healing continue. Our in-house and local clinical partners are great resources for recovery-friendly psychiatry, Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, couple’s counseling, EFT/tapping, equine-assisted psychotherapy, acupuncture, massage, yoga and others.
So, with that in mind, NOW you know why any or all of those creative names could apply! But as I said, I’m sure we’ll just end up calling it IOP.

So, here’s the nitty gritty:

Who:
Adults with a history of working a recovery program and/or prior treatment and a basic understanding of addiction and recovery. Those who are assessed and found to lack basic understanding will be referred to another high-quality IOP.
What:
12-weeks of outpatient groups and individual counseling
When:
Groups meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, and individual therapy is scheduled separately.
Where:
Full Life Counseling & Recovery’s Winston-Salem office at 983 Mar Don Dr.
How (aka fees & insurance):
$4,860 to be billed to the patient directly. May be paid in monthly installments of $1,620. Eligibility for out-of-network reimbursement will be dependent upon insurance status. Any reimbursements from out-of-network benefits will be paid directly to the patient or patient’s family, depending on the insurance policy. Those with no insurance or high deductibles are encouraged to contact the Office Manager to discuss alternative payment arrangements. 
What Else:
Option to continue in longer-term individual therapy and/or relapse prevention group after IOP completion, as well as coordination of care with providers of supplementary care. Additional fees apply for those services.
 
For more information about Full Life Counseling & Recovery, call Ginny at 336-923-7426, ext. 701.

About the Author

Leave a Reply