Milan Feedback Group
Cultural Awareness Group
Group sessions are divided between the general themes of recovery, self-awareness, and honorable adulthood. Using the different milieus, various topics are discussed such as:
Recovery: addiction and the brain, warning signs, triggers and trigger busters, high-risk situational mapping, the keys to lasting recovery, developing a support group, relapse prevention planning and 12 Step principles
Self-Awareness: How the brain works, mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance
Honorable Adulthood: envisioning the person I want to be, developing a life-success plan, being a hero vs a victim, and taking personal responsibility for your actions
Milan Feedback Group:
In the Milan Group at Legacy Treatment Center we give open and honest feedback to each other. This group is patterned after the Milan Family Therapy group that was designed and implemented in Milan, Italy. They did a form of family therapy wherein the family, with or without a therapist, would either process family interactions, or participate in an activity while a group of therapists were watching through a one-way mirror. Then the family would watch through a one-way mirror while the therapist processed the process. By doing this the family could see what they were doing and how they were operating as a family from others’ points of view. Because the discussion was held in third person and in a format that didn't allow for the family members to respond, it was in some ways less intimidating and allowed them to step outside of themselves in order to see themselves better. The third component of that therapeutic model was that everyone would then get together in the same room and process together.
Our form of this type of feedback involves allowing each group member to report on his week, looking at his victories and struggles, and then turning it over to the guides, other clients, and the therapists who then conduct a discussion about their observations in regards to the client’s performance that week. This is a discussion referencing the target client in third person. Although the client himself is still in the room he's not allowed to comment or disagree with the feedback, but only to listen and to hear what other people have seen in regards to his way of operating that week. This seems to create less defensiveness and more openness in receiving the feedback. Then the client is allowed to report to the group what he heard and how that might be applied during the coming week. This is done with each client each week. It provides powerful positive feedback as well as constructive feedback allowing the client to increase self-awareness and choose to either make some changes in the way that he operates or to decide that the feedback doesn't really apply and continue to operate the same way. In either case the clients are not required to act on the feedback, but only to hear the feedback. By opening it up for everyone to give this feedback the culture of the Legacy community is more open to feedback and to accountability and self-awareness.
Clients at Legacy Treatment Center participate in multiple therapeutic groups each day. This emphasis on group therapy continues while they are out in the field as well. Every night, the group gathers together around the campfire to discuss topics that are pertinent to their recovery and what is going on in the group culture at that time. Process groups help our clients feel more empowered as leaders, find their voices, and become more knowledgeable about concepts they are personally working on that week. These groups help invite our men to be more vulnerable with each other, create stronger relationships with each other, and gain insight into themselves and their families.
Cultural Awareness Group:
Awareness is fundamental to everything we teach and model. One way to develop this mindset is through regular awareness groups. Therapists facilitate discussions regarding awareness of other cultures, our own culture, and our own self-awareness. This focus on awareness is geared towards helping our clients to be more authentic, have more respect for others, and to ultimately have healthier relationships.
Weekly Theme Group:
Every week at Legacy Treatment Center, the leadership team selects a theme for the week that is applicable to what the clients are working on at that time. These themes include topics like honesty, healthy communication, conflict resolution, and seeing people as people. We introduce these topics through the weekly theme group where we discuss how clients can implement that theme into their lives. The guides then carry these discussions with the group throughout the week to help solidify the concepts being taught.
Legacy encourages clients to use the 12 Step Program in their substance abuse and other addictive behavior recovery. The 12 Step Program has been shown to be an effective method for men and women to recover from substance abuse and other addictive behaviors. Clients are not required to follow the 12 Step Program, but encouraged to do so. A regular group at the treatment center is the 12 Step Recovery Group. This group is about the 12 Step Program and recovery from addictive behaviors in general. It covers a wide range of topics including understanding addiction, relapse prevention, the 12 Step Program, the need for connection in recovery, and the skills that aid in recovery. The emphasis is on addictive behavior and how to break the cycle of addiction.
Legacy conducts weekly AA/NA meetings to introduce clients to a potential support system that is available to them any place they go. This allows clients to see how these meetings work and to participate in the format of addiction-focused community-based support meetings. Clients receive recognition for their number of days sober and encourage each other in overcoming addictive behaviors with substance abuse and other issues. This helps them recognize the importance of a recovery community when they leave Legacy and the power of peer support.
We emphasis to our clients the benefits of practicing the 12 Steps. We focus daily on the 10th step, which states “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it”. Before going to bed every night, our clients participate in discussions where they are invited to take a personal inventory of themselves for that day. This includes voicing acknowledgments and resentments they have for others, making amends for actions that hurt others, acknowledging what they did that day for their recovery, practicing mindfulness, giving themselves a positive affirmation, and expressing how they are feeling. This helps our clients get into the habit of taking a daily personal inventory and becoming more aware of themselves and more vulnerable with their group members.