At LVRC, twelve-step recovery is an integral part of an individual’s aftercare plan because we believe it is a time-tested and proven method. It is, in part, a cognitive restructuring approach where individuals detach from their thoughts by identifying and dealing with them in a healthy, positive way. In addition to dealing with the thought processes behind addiction, twelve-step programs provide support and encouragement for long-term abstinence. While the Twelve Steps are not treatment, we recognize that introducing the process of working the steps, in addition to developing a comprehensive clinical plan of treatment with research-based, best treatment practices provide a foundation for clients to experience a successful treatment outcome.
LVRC Incorporates Twelve-Step Recovery Sponsorship into Our Aftercare Planning
Each LVRC client works with a temporary, volunteer sponsor while in treatment, as part of the twelve-step recovery process. A sponsor is someone who has experienced addiction, has worked all of the Twelve Steps, and is in long-term recovery. This relationship helps the client understand twelve-step meetings and the philosophy of anonymous programs, and it starts the client on working the steps while still in treatment. Temporary sponsors are screened by Las Vegas Recovery Center and receive an orientation on what treatment is, what their roles as temporary sponsors are, what the program rules are, and how to work with clients while they are in treatment. This provides a collaborative environment between the primary counselor, temporary sponsor, and the client. By actively selecting appropriate meetings and linking the clients to a temporary sponsor, we achieve a much greater chance of success. Our goal is to provide clients with a post-care plan that will help them maintain abstinence, continue to address the underlining issues that led to the treatment episode, and find growth and success with their newfound recovery lifestyle
Alternatives to the Twelve-Step Recovery Process
Some clients are resistant to twelve-step recovery. This usually is not related to the lack of value in these programs, but is often due to misconceptions from what they have heard or from having undesirable experiences in the past. We assist these clients in identifying and resolving internal blocks to the twelve-step recovery process and guide them to healthy twelve-step meetings while they are in treatment—meetings that have a mix of new and mature members and are solution-oriented. We provide our clients with the education, tools, and resources needed to provide a safe and secure integration into the twelve-step fellowship they choose to attend. This includes how to introduce themselves at meetings, meeting etiquette, program traditions, and how each of these fellowships’ customs relates to members sharing and finding help. If a client chooses a non-twelve-step method for support, we work with him or her to identify and build a practical aftercare plan. This plan should include support that addresses a client’s specific addiction, so while church may be a good source of support and spiritual practice, it’s not always a safe place to share the challenges of recovery. Additional support groups may be appropriate in a case like this. Our goal is to make sure an individual has all the tools he or she needs when leaving our care, which we believe includes access to and comfort with twelve-step programs.