Treatment Center Setting
Choices Recovery Philosophy
Choices Recovery understands the need for effective addiction treatment for individuals who are struggling with substance abuse. The program's philosophy is to offer choices in the recovery process by using over a dozen treatment modalities with the goal being to reverse the physical and emotional damages of addiction and allow patients to enjoy productive, happy, drug-free lives.
Areas of Specialization
Some facilities have an addiction treatment protocol that all patients or clients are expected to follow, while others customize or individualize treatment based on a person’s unique needs and circumstances. Factors that may affect treatment decisions include age, lifestyle, medical conditions, type of drug, religious beliefs, etc.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The focus of cognitive behavioral therapy (also called CBT) is helping people to understand the thoughts and emotions that underlie their addiction with the goal of learning new, healthier and more productive ways to understand and express themselves.
Facilities that offer “holistic therapy” see and treat patients in the context of their entire lives and health status. They treat the “whole person,” not just the addiction.
Creative Arts Therapy
Writing, making art or engaging in theater can be deeply therapeutic for people working to recover from addiction. Many facilities offer one or several forms of creative arts therapy as a way to help patients learn to express their feelings in productive ways.
I have learned how to live a fun-filling and happy life of sobriety, and though there will be rough days, I know now they are not the end of the world but something that you must confront in order to control your decisions and keep control of my life. I have learned that failures in proper communication that have affected me in the past can now be changed for the better. I have also learned that we all have choices to make that are well within our capability of handling in a positive manner, and that one bad choice can affect a large part of your life and survival.
A year & a half ago I left my last treatment center confidently. I was ready for success. I had found a new home in the AA 12 Step program, a program I had never expected to find comfort or belonging on the center was Highwatch Farm in Kent, Connecticut where Bill Wilson himself had written a good portion of our coveted Big Book. The cathedral with his very desk sat inside the blessed walls, untouched. It was a spiritual, inspiring place. So what went wrong? I had spent 5 weeks there, coming off of 5 AA meeting a day. The problem, though, was that over the course of my 5 week stay, I had also been on about 5 different prescription psych meds. The treatment center prided itself on the fact the Bill Wilson had written Alcoholic’s Anonymous on its grounds they needed no further security for their clients. We go Bill & psych meds & AA. I relapsed shortly after. I fell back down the rabbit hole quickly, tumbling into old habits & forgetting anything to do with 12 Steps. A year & a half later I found myself in Marne, Michigan. There were no psych meds allowed here & they certainly didn’t load us up on more, like the last 2 places I had been at. My first two weeks were a trainwreck of fear & anxiety. But then the medication cloud wore off. I saw myself for the first time and realized me relapses happened because I had never learned coping skills, I had learned to pop and anxiety pill instead. But not at Serenity Point! And then I started taking the 12 Step Native program where I began to strengthen my newfound coping skills even further. It teaches a path to “Wellbriety”, where we are sober AND well. Native took the 12 steps from my Big Book & added and ancient wisdom to them that I had never before gotten. My spirituality & the Native 12 Step went hand in hand together, combining my already existing beliefs in my Higher Power with its own. Between its powerful teaching, the guided meditations, the healing circles surrounding a beautiful fire & our facilitator Native Dave, I found a missing piece to my wellbriety puzzle. I found peace & I found my own serenity.
I came into this program expecting to just go through it without a problem and a core. But when I started this program I started to realize that this program will change me if I put the steps into action. So I admitted the problems I had and decided it was time for me to change my future because if history repeats itself my future was not going to be okay. The life I have been living is not positive and it will not get me anywhere. These steps helped me learn to grow up because I’m done with this addictive behavior. Through the help of God I am willing to stop using and start being the man that I was put on this Earth to be. Through God I will be able to overcome the struggles. By keeping a clean house I will be able to stay sober, by helping out the community I will be able to keep my mind off of the things that would make me relapse and to keep myself busy so that I don’t go down that wrong path I’ve been choosing. I feel like my mind has changed and I am finally ready live in real sober happiness in which the drugs and alcohol had given me. These steps have changed me for the best and I feel if you try your hardest to follow these steps your life and sobriety can be changed and achieved. Just like what I have accomplished from this program changed my life, why don’t you let it change yours also.
I learned a lot about myself and my beliefs during this Red Road to "well-briety" study. It really messed with my core beliefs and values. I do believe in a higher power and that the higher power wants a personal relationship with everyone. I believe that many world religions teach the ideals of the positive warrior and love-based thought system. The idea that living this way brings harmony to our personal and family lives, our community and nation. I believe in the idea that all things grow and come full circle. I have seen many of the teaching come true in my past due to my actions, both positive and negative. I look forward to returning home and implementing these principles in my daily life.
Meet the Staff
Mark has a B.S. in Biology from Manchester University (nee, College) with a concentration in Genetics. He also has a Masters in Social Work from Indiana University South Bend. His concentrations there included bereavement and assessments. Mark has worked an eclectic quality of positions including: pharmacy tech, as a medical laboratory technician and in a community mental health center as a therapist, and addictions counselor.
Jerry I. Vanest has served in the Military and has worked for the State Department for many years, Jerry has earned an Associates’ Degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelors of Science in psychology from the University of Trine. After working with children with addictions at a mental health facility, Jerry has been working as a Case Manager at Choices Recovery for over a year. Jerry is able to help guide the clients through their daily needs of recovery and by teaching the clients SMART recovery.
Francesca Hrezo obtained her Masters in Human Services, Mental Health Counseling, and Addictions from Indiana University South Bend. She is a member of the American COunseling Association, Indiana Counseling Association, American Group Psychotherapy Association, and working towards her certification in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR); a therapy that focuses on helping those who have experienced trauma process through their tragedies and find relief.
Before joining Choices Recovery in 2015 Francesca worked as an intern with St. Margaret’s House of South Bend, the Center for the Homeless, and the Salvation Army as an addictions rehabilitation and mental health counselor. She is experienced in treating each individual from the intake process, through assessment work, and individual and group therapy. She has been trained in and works from several different modalities and techniques to include, Mindfulness/ Awareness Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and group therapies that include SMART Recovery, The 12 Step process, Interpersonal Processing, and Narrative Therapy.
Francesca believes in treating the individual from a holistic perspective, encompassing mind, body, and spirit to help individuals move beyond the need to use substances, avoidance, or isolation as a means to cope. Using an eclectic approach to assist people in exploring how events in the past and present impact their emotions, beliefs, and decisions. Francesca believes strongly in helping clients identify and build on their personal strengths as a resource for improving quality of life, self-confidence, self esteem, and personal balance.
Barbara Hawkins-Cleveland obtained her Masters of Science in Counseling and Human Services at Indiana University of South Bend in 2014. She has over 6 years of experience in mental health counseling along with addictions counseling, both in group counseling and individual counseling, she uses EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy, solutions-based therapy, narrative therapy and others.
Rehabs.com 360 Guide
ABOUT CHOICES RECOVERY
Located in a commercial district in a suburb three miles east of South Bend, Ind., Choices Recovery offers medical detox and residential treatment for adults struggling with substance abuse.
Note, Choices Recovery's previous ownership was Scientology-affiliated; however, the center has undergone completely new management and absolutely no ties to the faith remain.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
As the name suggests, Choices Recovery is built around the belief that every individual should be able to choose their own path to recovery. To accommodate a range of preferences, the center offers individualized programs that combine holistic, traditional, and faith-based approaches.
Specifically, the program uses SMART Recovery alongside individual and group counseling, some of it gender-specific. Groups focus on topics including relationships, health, employment, finances, and families. Treatment also aims to foster good communication skills and a sense of responsibility, and to fix crooked thinking through discussions of current affairs. Those who want to follow 12-step programming can also be accommodated, particularly in a spiritual treatment track that includes both indigenous and Christian approaches to the 12-Steps.
There’s also a focus on life skills, including classes on work ethic, financial planning, relationships, anger management, and family education. Physical wellness is taken care of through nutrition and fitness programs.
Choices also offers an unusual music therapy component, encouraging all residents to listen to music and play musical instruments to foster self-expression, increase motivation, improve self-esteem, and lower anxiety.
There is currently no information provided by the facility regarding its treatment staff, however, the seven individuals polled by Rehabs.com to date on the staff’s level of training and experience gave it an average rating of 4.14 out of five stars.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Pictures published on the facility’s website show a fitness room, a music rehearsal room, and sparse, office-style furnishings throughout, plus simple shared bedrooms. The seven individuals polled by Rehabs.com to date on the center’s cleanliness gave it an average rating of 3.71 stars.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
Of the 17 reviews submitted to Rehabs.com to date, two were negative and 15 positive — some alumni even told Rehabs.com that Choices had saved their lives. The reviewers repeatedly praised the facility’s staff as well as the breadth of programming offered: “The staff were kind and caring and it just felt like everyone was there to help you. At Choices, I was able to choose the program that resonated with me and that helped me in my recovery immensely,” Carrie wrote in a representative review. Repeated praise was also awarded to the SMART Program, and in isolated praised, A.S. wrote: “The facilitiy is generally well kept and clean with plenty of space for patients to do activities.”
Two reviewers reported a lack of proper care and attention: “I won't even send my dog here. They treat poorly unless you kiss their butts... 50% or more relapsed. This is a crud hole,” Charles wrote, and Larry added that he was kicked out for having epilepsy, which he alleges the facility knew before he was admitted.
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
Of the eight reviews submitted to Rehabs.com to date, seven were positive and one negative. Reviewers repeatedly noted that the individualized length of treatment was helpful to their loved ones, who frequently stayed longer than the typical 30 days: “It was a great choice cause first of all they kept her as much as they needed, made sure she was ready to go,” Joelle wrote. Other reviewers echoed alumni by praising the staff, the variety of treatment options, and the SMART Recovery program. “So much more to offer than the traditional programs we had been offered in the past. They offered something called Smart Recovery here and that is something that really grabbed our attention,” Sandra wrote in a representative review.
The single negative reviewer, J.B., wrote: “The ratio of trained counselors to clients is very low and the quality of treatment is very low.” J.B. complained of misinformation regarding the involuntary nature of 12-Step in treatment, claiming that they were told it would be optional, and added that their son met with an individual counselor only twice during his 45-day stay.
WHAT STAFF SAY
Of the four reviews submitted to Rehabs.com to date, three were positive and one mixed. The four staffers gave the facility average ratings of 4.5 stars, 4.25 stars, and 3.75 stars respectively for its family program, its exercise/leisure provisions, and its holistic offerings. In their comments, staff praised the SMART Recovery program as well as the “caring, dedicated staff.” “Teamwork is a key factor,” P.H. wrote.
One staffer wrote that insurance mandates were “overbearing and inappropriate,” and another added: “Staff appears to have large caseload. Would benefit from additional case manager and an additional therapist.”
Choices Recovery accepts insurance from carriers including Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and AmeriHealth. The seven individuals polled by Rehabs.com to date on the center’s affordability gave it an average rating of 3.57 out of five stars.
Updated March 2017
Published on April 2017
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