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Cornerstone of Recovery's Addiction Treatment Philosophy

The goal of Cornerstone of Recovery’s treatment model is to help individuals who are suffering from substance abuse and related problems find healing and, ultimately, ongoing recovery. This is accomplished through a process of assessment and treatment planning that attempts to determine the nature and extent of the substance use disorder as well as any co-occurring disorders that significantly impact the person and interfere with his or her ability to accomplish life goals. We believe in the value of the individual and strive to support each person on his or her unique journey toward health and life satisfaction.

A number of modalities, techniques and approaches are used to accomplish these goals. Foremost among these is our belief in developing a therapeutic community in which the individual can safely identify and work through the issues and problems that have brought them into treatment. Our staff is dedicated to the idea that every individual is of value and should be treated with compassion and respect.  We attempt to reinforce this idea within our patient population in order to foster a sense of community and provide opportunity for psychological and relational healing. It is our belief that human beings are most likely to achieve their highest calling when they experience the love and support of others.

The foundation of our treatment approach is based on the philosophy and principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. It is our experience (and the experience of tens of thousands around the world) that 12 Step programs offer people the best opportunity for lasting recovery from their addictions and offer a model that can be utilized to address other life problems as well. The ongoing support and guidance that is found within the AA/NA community is often critical to the success of those seeking to turn their lives around and maintain sobriety, as they return to their daily routines and home environment. Multiple research studies point to the value of this kind of peer support for those attempting to maintain significant behavior change. In addition, many of the tenets and principles of these 12 Step programs contain elements that have been proven effective through other behavioral science research, such as the need to change thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are in opposition to ongoing recovery. In addition, Cornerstone has integrated other treatment modalities in order to address barriers to recovery that may have contributed to the development of the substance use disorder or may have developed as a result of using mood-altering substances.

Schema Therapy

One of these treatment approaches, which we have found particularly effective, is Schema Therapy. This particular tool, which evolved out of a cognitive behavioral framework, integrates elements of several other psychological approaches in order to identify the individual’s primary lifetraps (dysfunctional life patterns). Schema Therapy involves identifying how individuals view themselves, others and the world around them.  It helps individuals identify how they have learned to cope with the world and how their coping strategies may contribute to their current life problems. Many times, individuals have developed coping mechanisms that bring temporary relief, but ultimately keep them stuck in a self-destructive pattern. By combining Schema Therapy and 12 Step work, many individuals are able to find a new way of coping.

Other Modalities

In addition to Schema Therapy, we use a variety of other modalities to address life events and experiences that may contribute to substance use, psychological/emotional problems and interpersonal/relationship problems. For many individuals, the seeds of addiction or substance use were sown in childhood through experiences that were traumatic or otherwise harmful to their emotional/psychological development. Others have experienced significant trauma through adult experiences that have led to significant distress. Not everyone has experienced major trauma in their lives, but most people have developed ways of coping that are dysfunctional to some degree. For those individuals who have experienced significant trauma, either in childhood or through other life experiences, Cornerstone utilizes a variety of evidence-based modalities in order to address the trauma. We have developed a “Trauma Track” that uses a combination of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness Practice, Group Therapy and Individual Therapy to assist individuals in working through these issues. For those individuals who have difficulty regulating their emotions, have significant issues with distress tolerance or have significant interpersonal problems, we utilize elements of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which teaches coping skills to enhance a person’s ability to deal with situations that seem overwhelming and frequently lead back to substance use. Throughout treatment, elements of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness are taught in order to improve coping abilities and help people deal with difficult emotions in a healthier way. Many of these principles and strategies are integrated into our Relapse Prevention efforts, which strive to help people identify the thought patterns, situations and feelings that frequently lead to relapse.

 

Specialized Treatment Groups

In addition to individualizing treatment through a combination of the treatment strategies noted above, Cornerstone has developed programming to assist specific groups of individuals who may have common issues and concerns, or who may encounter similar challenges to their recovery. Some of this programming is centered on specific professions or types of occupations, while other programming is centered on common life experiences (such as being a veteran) or having a challenge like chronic pain. We have also developed programming specific to the needs of women, and much of our programming is gender specific, meaning that most groups and activities are separated by gender.

 

Our intention is to provide the most comprehensive programming possible for individuals who are struggling with substance use disorders and other emotional/psychological problems. There are certain elements of recovery and treatment we believe are applicable to most individuals who experience a substance abuse problem. However, we recognize that no single approach can effectively address the needs of every individual, and that there are many evidence-based programs that are proven especially useful for addressing specific problem areas. Therefore, we have attempted to integrate some of the more effective strategies into our overall programming and to implement more specific programming to address the needs of specific patient populations. Ultimately, our goal is to provide each of our patients with a road map and the tools necessary to find peace and long-lasting recovery.

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