“Recovery is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, SAMHSA, leading authority on recovery)
Good Shepherd Gracenter consistently implements the most current best practices in the recovery field, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) guidelines to effectively support a life in recovery through “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”
SAMHSA outlines four major dimensions: health, home, purpose and community. All four dimensions are integral parts of Gracenter:
Health: “Overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way.” (SAMHSA) Gracenter links women to health and mental health services; they eat healthy meals and participate in on-site nutrition and exercise classes. All women are also supported in rebuilding and maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends.
Home: “Stable and safe place to live.” (SAMHSA) Gracenter provides each woman with safe, clean and sober transitional housing for up to two years, as well as supportive services to help residents locate, apply for, and move into permanent housing
Purpose: “Meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking or creative endeavors, income and resources to participate in society.” (SAMHSA) Gracenter works with each woman to understand the type of employment she is interested in and how she would like to build her skills. Gracenter then helps build her self-sufficiency to enroll in higher education internships or job training, and ultimately find stable employment. Gracenter also provides in-house skill-building classes and workshops, including financial literacy and credit counseling, opportunities for budgeting and saving, and social and cultural activities.
Community: “Relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope.” (SAMHSA) Women at Gracenter have the opportunity to rebuild important relationships with their families and friends. They give back to the wider community through volunteering and engage both in peer mentoring and sponsoring other women in the 12-Step Program. They are also supported by a positive peer community, which aids in their recovery.
Gracenter’s approach is both comprehensive and preventative, helping each woman with the support she needs to live a healthy, meaningful and self-sufficient life. In addition, Gracenter finds the most effective treatment has been to concurrently address a woman’s emotional, social, and spiritual needs, in addition to offering on-site one-to-one recovery case management and connecting them with broader networks of support.
Through outreach and networking, Gracenter partners with many different community agencies, both non-profits and city and county agencies, to best serve the needs of the women. Using the following “Best Practices” of the recovery field, Gracenter invests in what works:
- As a 12 Step-based Program, Gracenter promotes insight about recovery through the 12 Steps and encourages attendance of 12 Step Meetings, (AA, NA, Alan-Anan) obtaining a sponsor and “giving back to others.” The proven psychological process of the 12 Steps is therapeutic and includes “Admission, Submission, Restitution and Reconstruction.” These steps are closely aligned with the practices of Restorative Justice.
- Restorative Justice consists of practices of accepting responsibility for one’s actions, repairing the harm through apology, restitution (payment to the victim for financial losses), changing one’s behavior from criminal acts to positive ones and community service. Again, the practices of Restorative Justice support and compliment the process of the 12 Step Program.
- Motivational Interviewing which helps people explore their reluctance to change specific behaviors and includes empathy, support of self-efficacy, and autonomy. Using this technique has been shown to reduce recidivism.
- Eight Dimensions of Wellness take into account not only an individual’s physical health, but also all the factors that contribute to overall wellness.