Attachment-Driven Clinical Program
Our approach is rooted in the belief that many of the clinical issues our clients face is linked to their interpersonal relationships. By applying attachment theory, we work with our clients and their families to redefine and reframe their relationships with each other. This involves helping all stakeholders rebuild trusting relationships, set appropriate boundaries, and express their emotions. This creates space for everyone to work towards feeling comfortable with their own self-worth, which is vital for secure attachment.
Our experience has shown that secure relationships often take a backseat during times of substance use and relapse. Families who once had secure relationships may transpose into insecure relationships, resulting in negative perceptions of self and others, preventing them from developing meaningful relationships. Family members can become hostages to the whims of their loved one as they become hostages to their lack of self-control, self-worth, and self-esteem.
The good news is that these relationships can begin anew. It requires all family members to learn new ways of dealing with emotions while detaching from unhealthy behaviors and developing the capacity to build and sustain healthy relationships.
At Balance House, we are committed to a comprehensive approach to addiction and mental health treatment that addresses the complex and unique needs of everyone. Our clinical team is dedicated to using evidence-based practices and a variety of therapeutic modalities to help our patients achieve lasting recovery. We believe that attachment theory provides a valuable framework for understanding and addressing the underlying issues that often contribute to addiction and mental health issues. By focusing on developing healthy relationships and building secure attachments, our clients are better equipped to overcome the negative patterns of thinking and behavior that often lead to addiction.
Humanistic approaches require seeing the innate worth in all people. We work through empathy, positive regard, therapeutic alliances, and building safe relationships with both our clients and their families. Our evidence-based practices, including Emotion Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, help patients separate themselves from their problems and negative thoughts, and develop the skills they need to minimize their challenges.
Traumatic experiences can leave deep marks on a person’s life, affecting not only their perception of themselves but also of others. Trauma can take various forms, from being bullied in school to experiencing abuse. Often, such experiences lead individuals to seek ways to dull the memories and emotions associated with them. Research indicates a strong link between traumatic events and substance use disorders, as well as other self-harm behaviors like cutting and eating disorders. Trauma can also trigger various mental health issues. We understand the profound impact of trauma on our patients and their ability to achieve lasting recovery. Our clinical director has extensive experience working with highly traumatized populations and is trained in evidence-based approaches that take a trauma-informed perspective.
At Balance House, we also recognize the importance of recreational therapy in promoting overall health and wellness. Our location in Utah provides a unique opportunity for client to engage in a variety of activities, such as longboarding, hiking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, paddle boarding, and more. We incorporate daytime trips to the lake, long weekends in the wilderness, and camping under the stars to enhance our patients’ recovery experience. Every client that arrives from November through March will get a season pass to Solitude Ski Resort.
We believe that psychological testing and medication management are critical components of a comprehensive approach to addiction and mental health treatment. Our doctor and clinical staff assess and recommend patients for psychological testing when necessary, and we prioritize waiting at least 30-60 days before conducting testing to ensure accuracy. Our medical director completes a medication evaluation upon admission, and our staff manages the medication for the duration of stay and during aftercare. We believe teaching patients medication management is vital for their long-term success.
Finally, we recognize the essential role that family involvement plays in the recovery process. We offer one family therapy session per week, family intensives every 4-6 weeks, and weekly updates from a therapist and case manager. Our family intensives provide opportunities for families to learn about how to reconnect with each other, engage in family therapy, have meals together, and have some fun. We also understand that some family dynamics can be detrimental and/or unsafe for our patients and will adjust as needed.
Firstly, we want to make it clear that we, the owners and operators of Balance House, are all members of Alcoholics Anonymous. We believe in the principles set forth by AA and its process, and we owe everything we have to this fellowship. Our experience has shown that those who are part of AA tend to recover better, although we understand that it is not the only way to maintain sobriety.
However, as a for-profit entity, we cannot require our clients to “do the steps” or “get a sponsor.” The 12 Traditions of AA are very clear on this matter. Although this puts us at odds with some referral sources, we firmly believe that we are right. We have encountered people who have tried the steps and found that they did not work for them. They cite reasons such as the “God thing” or that it feels like a cult. In our experience, what it usually comes down to is that they have only completed the first few steps and have not committed fully to the process.
To make the steps work, one must (a) finish all the steps with a sponsor, (b) sponsor someone else, and (c) practice the principles in all aspects of their life. We cannot require anyone to “work the program,” but we can encourage them to attend meetings and hold them accountable for their recovery. In fact, making the steps a line item to be checked off for a higher level and more privileges actually degrades the process. You must pour your heart and soul into the steps while taking the suggestions of your sponsor, going to meetings, and actually trusting the process. Doing this ensures longevity in recovery…but let us not confuse: It is attraction, NOT promotion. We will get our clients to meetings and hold them accountable to their word. We will not; however, be calling their sponsor to check on their progress. We refuse to make AA a requirement of our program, as Bill and Dr. Bob would have wanted.
Some may disagree with this and assume that without AA being a requirement of our program, no one gets sponsors, goes to meetings, or does the steps. Nothing, absolutely nothing could be farther from the truth. Some clients refuse, but overwhelmingly our guys are highly involved within AA and other sister organizations. We believe that if our clients are honest with themselves, they will be able to find their way in recovery. The first tenet of all 12-Step programs is “To Thine Own Self Be True.” We care about our clients’ honesty and believe that the rest will fall into place.