Treatment Center Setting
- Average Location/Amenities
The Freedom Center Philosophy
The Freedom Center is an intensive outpatient program that treats individuals with various addiction types by offering a flexible and affordable solution while minimizing the disruption of daily life. We understand that residential treatment or an inpatient setting may not be the right fit for those who have school, work or family responsibilities. At The Freedom Center, clients can live at home or in our exclusive sober living environment. During outpatient treatment, clients receive therapy while continuing their daily life interactions. Our goal is to treat all the underlying causes of addiction including trauma and mental health issues.
Areas of Specialization
Client & Family Support Groups
Group therapy is a vital component of addiction recovery treatment, considered as important and effective (sometimes even more so) than individual therapy. Benefits include reducing isolation and loneliness and providing the opportunity to learn from others in recovery. In the addiction setting, group therapy is run by trained professionals who guide participants toward a shared goal of recovery.
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.
Trauma & Associative Awareness Therapy (AAT)
Associative Awareness Therapy (AAT) uses the brain’s innate ability to adapt to change in a healing way, essentially “retraining” the brain to respond differently to familiar memories of trauma or pain.
The term “12 Step Program” describes a way to recover from addiction that is based on the model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers base their treatment on 12 steps – the first three of which are situational, the next four addressing the practical issues created by the addiction, followed by two steps focused on making amends for hurting others. Steps 10 and 11 involve a deeper examination of the previous steps and the final step is focused on helping others avoid and recover from addiction.
Patients who undergo intensive outpatient treatment continue to live at home and sometimes go to school or work while participating in a highly structured treatment protocol that is focused on ending substance abuse. Programs vary in terms of how much treatment patients receive, how often and for how long. Some facilities design individualized intensive outpatient treatment programs.
Outpatient treatment describes all addiction treatment that is not residential. Patients live at home while undergoing rehab.
Meet the Staff
David Semanco, MS, MAC, CAADC, CSAC, CAC-AD
David Semanco is a Master Addiction Counselor specializing in the application of complementary therapies to enhance the addiction treatment and recovery process. He transitioned into the addiction treatment field in 2002 following successful careers in information technology and music. He continues to incorporate technology and music into clinical practice as evidenced by his work with neurofeedback and music therapy. He is dedicated to minimizing the stigma of addiction and is an ardent proponent of innovative treatment methods which are underutilized in conventional treatment settings but which have demonstrated success through evidenced-based research. David has worked in a hospital, residential, and outpatient settings providing direct care, leading clinical teams, and developing programs for adolescents and adults. David is President of the Virginia Association of Addiction Professionals (VAAP) and has served on the Board of Directors of VAAP since 2010. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Summer Institute for Addiction Studies (VSIAS), one of the premier training venues for addiction professionals in the Mid-Atlantic, and served as Chair of that organization in 2015 and 2017. He also sits on the Board of Directors for NAADAC, the international Association for Addiction Professionals and for the R1 Foundation, which provides financial assistance for recovery learning and technology tools, community connections, and housing scholarships. As a noted speaker, David has presented training sessions and workshops for a variety of organizations, including United Airlines, West Virginia Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, Virginia Counselors Association, George Washington Center for Integrative Medicine, Chesapeake Health Education Program, George Mason University, and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. David holds a Master of Science in Human Services with an emphasis in Addiction Treatment. He has studied under neurofeedback pioneers Sue and Siegfried Othmer of EEG Info (Woodland Hills, CA), Dr. Richard Soutar of the New Mind Center (Atlanta, GA), and Bill Scott of BrainPaint (Pacific Palisades, CA).
Dr. Mark Illumanti, MD
Mark joined the medical team at The Freedom Center in September 2018 as the Medical Director. He received his medical degree in Mexico with further certification from Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey. He then attended New York Medical College for his residency training. Prior to being hired at The Freedom Center, he spent over twenty years working in the field of addictions treatment, and has been involved in nearly every treatment setting, from outpatient to residential to maintenance management. As the Medical Director, Mark works with the staff to coordinate the appropriate level of care for each individual client. He works directly with the clients on management of medical issues both related to and separate from their addiction, ensuring comprehensive health care plans that ensure our clients’ chances at recovery. What he has found to be most rewarding about working in the addictions treatment field is being able to help suffering addicts and alcoholics to realize their fullest potential.
Sherry McAtee, MHA, MS, BSN, CRNP- PMH
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Sherry joined the medical team at The Freedom Center in September 2018 as the centers Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy with a concentration in Nursing. Prior to working with The Freedom Center, Sherry spent years working in addiction treatment and has a professional military education and worked at the Air Force Medical Operations Center. As the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Sherry works with the clients to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications to dual diagnosis clients in the intensive outpatient program and aftercare groups. In addition, she manages Vivitrol clients and works with The Freedom Center team on the management of clients’ medical issues related to addiction.
Anya Kholodnov, LCSW-C
Anya is a licensed clinical social worker who holds a Master of Social Work with a clinical concentration, mental health specialization, and substance abuse sub-specialization. She graduated from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and has years of experience providing direct services to individuals and groups with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. Anya is dedicated to building rapport with clients and establishing a relationship of trust. Anya treats clients using a holistic approach incorporating experiential, cognitive, behavioral and psychoanalytical theory and modalities. Anya keeps a strong focus on addressing triggers, underlying issues, building and accomplishing goals, addiction education and connection to supports. She brings experience in working with addiction, trauma and LGBT issues with an individual, group, and families.
Rehabs.com 360 Guide
ABOUT THE FREEDOM CENTER
The Freedom Center is a holistic intensive outpatient program (IOP) in Gaithersburg, Md., roughly 35 minutes north of Washington, DC, for individuals struggling with addictions but unable to attend residential treatment. One of 214 (just 55.3 percent) IOPs in the state, the Freedom Center IOP offers participants the option to live at home or in its exclusive sober living environment while in treatment. It is conveniently located right off of several major bus lines.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Intensive outpatient (IOP) services at The Freedom Center usually meet for between nine and 19 hours each week, Monday through Friday. At its foundation, the IOP is designed to help clients develop skills needed to lead healthy, sober, and independent lives.
While IOP treatment caters to each client’s specific needs, offering both afternoon and evening tracks, all participants can expect a minimum of one one-on-one session with a master’s level therapist, as well as group and family sessions. Individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD, can also find relief and solutions here.
In addition to attending therapy sessions, participants of the IOP have opportunity to exercise and learn more about nutrition, injury prevention, and training techniques. The center’s website lists a range of nontraditional methods like massage therapy, yoga and mindfulness, and other experiential therapies.
Clients who are interested can begin planning to reach their educational and employment goals through various academic and vocational support services. These may include drafting resumes, targeted methods of job searching, and preparing for upcoming interviews, making The Freedom Center one of 145 (37.5 percent) centers in the state of Maryland to offer such services.
The Freedom Center employs a combination of medical and clinical staff, including a medical doctor, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), and certified alcohol and drug counselors. Also available are behavioral health technicians - individuals who assist with matters related to everyday living - and an aftercare staff who coordinate weekly on-site meetings and introduce clients to outside support networks.
While Rehabs.com has not yet received any reviews from this facility’s alumni, affiliated friends or family members, or staff, secondary reviews sites reveal positive treatment experiences and satisfaction amongst alumni and loved ones.
Rather remarkably, The Freedom Center has only five-star reviews from nearly 50 individuals across Facebook, Google, and Yelp.[^1 Collectively, reviewers celebrated the center’s staff as highly skilled, friendly, professional, knowledgeable, and dedicated.
“The freedom center has helped me very much,” wrote five-star Google reviewer Christina in a representative statement. “For years I struggled with addiction and they have helped me along the way.” One of five Yelpers to have awarded the center five stars, Aaron claimed that “This is as good as it gets when it comes to client care...”
There is currently no information provided on the center’s website regarding its treatment costs, however, just 59.2 percent (229) of centers statewide accept private health insurance to cover the costs of services.
Published on November 2018
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