Harmony Hosts Open Mic Night!

October 21, 2017 ~ 6:00pm ~ Harmony Campus

Open To All Harmony Alumni & Friends

Join Us For Dinner & Share Your Recovery Journey Through:

Music  ~  Written Word  ~  StoryTelling  ~  Poetry

Dinner @5:15pm:  Reservations Required, Contact Front Office

For More Information Contact:

Cathy Dorman: cdorman@harmonyfoundationinc.com



Continuing Care after Treatment: How to Keep Recovery Moving Forward

Addressing long term recovery often takes more than one episode of primary residential treatment. While the purpose of residential treatment is to provide a safe, structured living environment to help an individual stabilize, detox from drugs and alcohol and begin the early healthy coping skills necessary to help them on their journey to sobriety, it is just the beginning. A good in-patient residential treatment program does not stop once the client completes 28-30 days of treatment. The introduction of a strong continuing care plan should begin once the client completes detox before they exit in-patient treatment.

What is a continuing care plan? A continuing care plan is a collaborative partnership between a clinical case manager, the client and the therapist to design an individualized plan that provides a safety net of resources to continue their addiction treatment work. This could include Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient and active 12- step programming and sometimes sober living.

Why is continued “step –down” treatment important for long-term sobriety? According to NIDA, relapse is common in addiction treatment, with relapse rates being between 40 and 60 percent. Preventing relapse must include a continuing care plan that supports the individual in their early recovery. The Journal of Psychiatry published a 2014 review article, “The Continuing Care Model of Substance Use Treatment: What Works, and When Is “Enough,” “Enough?” Findings suggest that the overarching objective of any continuing care model should be to sustain treatment gains attained in the primary phase in an effort to ultimately prevent relapse.

In addition to our early primary addiction treatment offered at Harmony Foundation, we have also included a clinical case management team trained to work in partnership with the client and therapists to identify the “right” plan for each person. With over 47 years of treating individuals with substance use disorders, we have fostered partnerships with external providers to help our alumni be successful. “The most critical aspect of building a continuing care plan with our clients is letting them drive their recovery planning process. Telling them what to do and where to go doesn’t allow them to embrace their recovery.” says Alyssa Hansen, Director of Clinical Case Management.

Fostering this partnership and building a continuing care plan has shown positive results. According to M. Vannicelli , overall, continuing care participation in the first 3 months following discharge from residential treatment appears to be significantly related to fewer days since last drink and lower levels of alcohol-related impairment at both 3 and 6 months. Harmony has seen its own positive results in post-treatment engagement with over 54% of clients staying connected to a continuing care plan after 12 months.

When exploring residential treatment, asking about continuing care is as important as learning about the detox process. Without a solid, compassionate and collaborative continuing care team working with the client to approach life outside of residential team, clients may not be sufficiently prepared for their early journey of sobriety.

To learn more about Harmony Foundation Clinical Case Management, Click Here to listen to the team talk more about their important work in facilitating a recovery direction that is designed to be supportive and engaging, helping clients succeed.

Animal Assisted Therapy with Alyssa Overton

Think back in your mind to a moment when you had a genuine connection with an animal. What was it about that animal that you connected to? What kind of animal was it? Was it a pet of yours, someone else’s pet, or even a wild animal? Now consider what that animal did for you emotionally/internally. Maybe you cried over the animal, maybe you couldn’t stop smiling, or perhaps you were simply content to be in the presence of it. Whatever happened for you in that moment, you had a connection to that being that was powerful enough for it to make an imprint in your memory. It’s moments like these, of genuine bonding and connection with another being that are one of the greatest purposes and intentions of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT).

AAT is essentially the utilization of the human-animal bond in the therapeutic relationship, which means that the therapist and animal (typically dogs or horses) are actually performing goal-oriented activities with the client. Some examples of this are as follows

o Asking the client to teach the therapy dog a new trick. This reveals inner beliefs about oneself and one’s ability, as well as, it teaches patience and delay of gratification for client and animal.
o Inviting the client to lead a horse around an arena obstacle course. This challenges oneself to step into a leadership role with confidence and become internally grounded and congruent   emotionally.
o Motivating clients to explore their boundaries with the therapy animal. This allows a client to explore their emotional/physical/energetic boundaries with another being who is safe and non-judgmental.

In treatment for individuals’ suffering from substance use disorders, these interventions and many others, offer experiential and alternative ways of exploring the 12-steps, boundaries, impulse control, healing from mental-health related issues, and so on. A 2016 study conducted by Helen Brooks validates that pets provide security and sense of order that can often lead to a sense of meaning in an individual’s life.

The beauty of AAT being practiced at Harmony is that this offering to our clients is highly unique. The opportunity for individuals’ in addiction treatment centers to be able to work with animals is up-and-coming, and not something that most facilities offer. Harmony is progressive in this way. As a Counselor and someone who also participates in the treatment of client’s at Harmony with mental health concerns, I encourage those of you reading this who are interested in AAT services to look into the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) for more detailed and research-oriented information. HABRI offers significant resources that support the use of therapy animals, and even pets in general, in the treatment of addiction and mental health. For more information on how to train your own therapy animal to work in settings such as Harmony, please visit Therapy Dogs International, the American Kennel Club, and Denver’s Animal-Assisted Social Work Master’s program. Furthermore, please do not hesitate to comment or request further information from me, I appreciate and welcome any inquiry!

Alyssa Overton
MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Certified Animal-Assisted Therapist

Listen to her podcast here:

Barbara Jo Kammer to Release Debut CD

One song at a time. That’s how Colorado’s Barbara Jo Kammer approaches her passion as a music therapist, her life as a performer, and it’s how she navigated the challenging journey to recovery from decades of alcohol addiction. One Song at a Time also happens to be the fitting title of Kammer’s debut solo album.

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