When a patient completes a written first step and treatment plan, education, 12-step recovery goals, family involvement and discharge planning at GAADS (Phase I), they will be invited to participate in continuing care. Continuing care is an earned privilege for patients who complete treatment. Each patient receives a written discharge summary and recommendations as well as signing a behavioral contract documenting their planned participation in continuing care. Continuing care is the next step in treatment, Phase II, and continues through Phase IV.
Phase II - six weeks
During Phase II, patients are required to provide documentation of 12-step meeting attendance, obtain a permanent sponsor, identify a home group, complete a written step two guide in group therapy, and participate in couples, group, or multi-family therapy, as well as three therapist- or counselor-facilitated continuing care groups.
Phase III - four months
Another behavioral contract is signed, to make the mutual expectations for recovery support apparent. Documentation of 12-step meeting attendance is no longer required, however patients must attend a minimum of three AA, NA, CA, or CMA meetings per week in addition to the continuing care groups. Patients will also present a written third step group therapy assignment and a continuing care plan responding to the recommendations made for the patient upon discharge from Phase I.
Phase IV - six months
Upon completing Phase III, patients will have attended as many as 115 continuing care groups and 78 or more AA, NA, CA, or CMA meetings. Phase IV celebrates this accomplishment with a commencement ritual, denoting the end of Phase III and entrance into true aftercare or Phase IV. The staff may delay referrals to outside therapists for typical problems with marriage, family and important relationships to allow our first two phases of continuing care to have their effect. Phase IV is once per week in addition to three 12-step meetings for patients and once per week in codependency group for family members.
Continuing care assures a safe transition away from treatment and into an independent recovery and gives our clinical team the opportunity to really understand if a co-occurring depression or other mental health problem exists. We are aware of no other program that offers such depth and intensity in continuing care.
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