Testing the Work that you have Done
Phase IV is our testing phase. Research has clearly shown 60 to 70 percent of individuals leaving treatment or other structured programming relapse within the first 90 days. The creation of Phase IV was due to many of the stories we have heard, experienced, and the professional research we have done.
Phase IV is our testing phase, where we take a step back and watch him. In this phase, we are making direct, daily contact as well as drug testing him, but we do not have curfews at this phase nor does he have to perform chores, journaling, or any of the minimum requirements of Phase III. Throughout the entire program, he has been working to this point, maintaining benchmarks such as saving money, staying sober, keeping a job, showing up on time, and being a man of his word. Phase IV is where the rubber meets the road. We sit back and watch what he does when it is up to him. The key things we are focusing on are: is he getting enough sleep?, Keeping his space clean?, Showing up for work?, and is he paying his rent on time? We are also ensuring if there is a relapse, it is caught quickly so we can bypass the need for more detox and more treatment, virtually starting over. Rather, depending on the severity of the relapse, he would either end up in the relapse track in Phase I, II or III, where we will be able to do a relapse autopsy, immediately getting him moving forward again. Just as time is vitally important to one’s recovery, time is also crucial to potential relapses. And, of course, replacing the shame, guilt, fear, and feelings of being a failure with simply gathering the information the relapse offers and learning the lesson.
During the 3 to 6 months he is in our final phase, we recommend continuing to see a therapist weekly and, if he wishes and it is necessary, he will still see our Medical Director one time per month. Our ultimate goal is that he will hold his head up high, be proud of who he is and not feel the need to call his parents for help on a deposit for an apartment or a plane ticket home. Our belief is where he goes from Balance House is completely contingent upon what he saves and plans. Doing for himself is what creates his self-worth, self esteem, and more importantly, how he builds the life he is not too interested in losing.