Certified by the DC Department of Mental Health
Clinical Skills Building
The “Building Skills” component of our programming includes other aspects of life skills education as well. Through groups such as Action for Personal Choice, Health and Wellness, and Navigating Life, clients discuss, question, and learn about topics that they can apply to their own lives. Clients can walk away from each group, better prepared to be proactive with their recovery.
At our Day Program, we have two Peer Specialists on staff who facilitate groups and provide other support. Clients appreciate the fact that our Peer Specialists are often teaching what they’ve already lived through themselves. By learning from peers, clients often report that they gain a sense of empowerment and control over their own lives, when they can first see this accomplishment in the life of another.
The ‘Become Empowered’ groups are rooted in five wellness and recovery concepts: Hope, Personal Responsibility, Education, Self-Advocacy, and Support. These concepts are expressed through the following groups that articulate recovery from varying perspectives: Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP), Pathways to Recovery, and Speak Up and Empowerment. Through these groups, clients develop many essential skills for maintaining their wellness and harnessing a sense of empowerment.
Examples of group activities include:
In all of the groups, clients learn the action steps necessary to being proactive in their own wellness and recovery as they continue to overcome obstacles and move towards their goals for the future.
Expressive Arts Therapy
Our expressive therapy activities facilitate self-awareness and connections between clients. Through dance, drama, yoga, music, drawing, and painting, clients find a greater ease in expressing themselves through these non-verbal activities. Often, clients who initially tend to be unresponsive to group discussions soon find that they are able to identify their concerns and interact with other group members through expressive therapies.
Traditional psycho-educational approaches stimulate one part of the brain, primarily the areas that deal with language. Expressive therapies allow individuals to access psychological information by stimulating non-verbal brain functions. By promoting creativity and self-discovery, insight can be gained into one’s life situation. As this happens, connections are made between one’s physical, visual, mental, and emotional realms. The Center provides a variety of movement and dance therapy groups, a range of art therapy groups, and music groups that facilitate engagement, thereby increasing social interaction, self-esteem, and confidence.
Substance Abuse Recovery
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, half of those who are diagnosed with some type of psychiatric illness have additional diagnoses of drug or alcohol addiction. At McClendon Center, a special emphasis is placed on serving people with co-occurring disorders of substance abuse through our Rebuilding and Recovery Program.
Also known as “the Afternoon Program,” the Rebuilding and Recovery track is anchored by a daily Recovery Group, but includes various other groups to cover themes appropriate to this population. The Center’s Substance Abuse Services Coordinator is also a Certified Addictions Counselor. A wide variety of treatment approaches are utilized, but committing to a substance free lifestyle is what forms the basis for growth and recovery. Through discussion rooted in self-reflection and personal discovery, group members are challenged to focus on their recovery and to take things “one day at a time.” Groups that focus on life skills and expressive therapies are also vital to Rebuilding and Recovery. Art Therapy, Dance Therapy, Navigating Life, Wellness Recovery Action Planning, and Problem Solving are among the groups that are offered.
The Rebuilding and Recovery group hosts between ten and fifteen clients on any given day. These individuals have created a community based in trust and mutual support, both of which are essential when rebuilding one’s life in recovery.
Rebuilding and Recovery
Our Recovery program focuses on clients who have a dual diagnosis and are in one of the five stages of recovery: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Groups are conducted daily that focus on such areas as Recovery, Making Healthy Choices, Self Esteem, Mental Health Awareness, Breaking the Cycle, and Double Trouble, to name a few.
The Trauma Recovery program helps clients to rebuild their lives after trauma. Clients can expect to participate in groups that include psychotherapy and expressive arts therapies. Some of the topics that are addressed include: maintaining safety, coping skills for PTSD, self-care, avoiding re-traumatization, grounding skills, emotional regulation, anger management, grief work, re-building trust, and relationships, as well as the link between trauma and substance use disorders.