For Behavioral Health Professionals
Experiential Components: Experiential components have their roots in client-centered and gestalt therapies with Carl Rogers and Fritz Perls being influential in their development. The goal is to increase the client’s awareness to their present experience to help them see what they are not currently seeing. Being able to notice the ways in which their present selves are making it difficult for them to live functionally within their environment. At Top of the World Ranch, we utilize experiential components in a variety of creative ways that the client can actively engage in. Furthermore, we operate on the saying, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” We want to provide the client an opportunity to learn a new way of living, and it is our duty to provide the path for that to occur. It is the client’s responsibility to be willing to travel on the path confronting whatever they may find along the way-no matter how fearful, sad, or angry those findings may be.
Recreational Therapy: One of the biggest consequences of addiction is anhedonia-or the loss of pleasure in activities that used to be pleasurable. Whether it be playing sports, reading books, or painting, giving up on activities for the sake of occupying one’s time with either obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of a substance is normal. Recreational therapy is important for anyone in recovery to reconnect to those activities that have been lost along the way. Our certified recreation therapist will provide a recreation assessment and work with you to spend time in those activities. Additionally, Top of The World Ranch believes in
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Addiction is a thinking disorder. Think about it. If the individual never thought about using then the individual would not be as inclined to destroy themselves and seemingly hurt others. That’s where CBT can be of great assistance. Being able to notice the thoughts that are strengthening the emotions and, ultimately, the behavior of using will prove vital to the individual. Through noticing the thoughts and then learning new skills to change their thinking will prove vital to the long-term success of the individual. This therapy is also useful in other mental health disorders as well.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): The two major tenants of this therapy are derived from the two words within the title: acceptance and commitment. ACT was developed after CBT and integrates principles of mindfulness to allow individuals to defuse from their thoughts and emotions in order to be able to act in ways that are consistent with the individual’s values. Therefore, there is a need to learn defusion techniques and what an individual values. Defusion does not mean ignoring, however. Defusion involves acknowledging the thoughts and emotions one experiences within their flow of consciousness, but not acting on them in a maladaptive manner. It involves the empowerment of the individual to be able to not base their decisions on their emotions and thoughts, but rather their values-i.e. what’s important to them.
Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT): Developed by Dr. Albert Ellis, REBT focuses on how our beliefs shape emotional, behavioral, and cognitive outcomes. Rational beliefs and irrational beliefs that we hold will produce either functional or dysfunctional consequences. Utilizing the A-B-C model, we can conceptualize this process. The “A”, or “Activating Event”, stands for the activating event or situation, the “B, or “Beliefs”, stands for the beliefs or thoughts we hold regarding the situation, and the “C”, or “Consequence”, stands for how we feel and/or act based on the beliefs. Through this model we can learn cognitive, behavioral, and emotive techniques to help us create a new experience.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness is an evidenced-based therapy that is an integral part of our program. Through a meta-analysis, Li, Howard, Garland, McGovern, and Lazar (2017) found significant effects of mindfulness treatments in reducing the frequency and severity of substance use, intensity of cravings, and severity of stress. We are able to utilize our woodlands and other amenities to effectively instruct the tenants of mindfulness. Our expectation is that the individual learns mindfulness and then implements it into their daily routines.
Positive Psychology: Created by the former APA president, Martin Seligman, this therapy is about shifting focus from repairing the negative aspects of life and self to also building up the positive aspects. A preoccupation with the bad within us can feel self-defeating and also lead to lower our levels of hope, empathy, and love. However, bringing the positive aspects into perspective we can be better equipped to begin a life of sobriety and thereby leave behind the life of destruction we have been living. Would you rather be hopeful of what is to come, or continuously weighed down by the snares of regret, guilt, or rumination of the pain inside. Being able to experience joy again will allow for a more accepting experience of recovery.
Matrix Model: The matrix model is an evidenced-based treatment manual created by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). This manual covers topics ranging from identifying internal/external triggers to avoiding a “relapse drift.”
Trauma-Informed Yoga: Our certified yoga instructor has also received nationally recognized training to conduct trauma-informed yoga. This type of yoga allows for the client to be able to experience their trauma in a safe manner with instructional breathing and poses that allow for release to occur. This release is an experience that is incomparable to treatment as usual. Great care will be made to ensure that this yoga will not retraumatize a person.
Bibliotherapy: Have you ever read a book and connect with one of the characters in the book? Maybe, they went through a crisis or dilemma that you have before, which allows you to feel empathy towards that individual. With that in mind, it is easy to understand bibliotherapy and its important role in therapy. Providing a story that has the necessary elements to help someone through an issue in treatment can prove to be immensely important. Here at Top of the World Ranch we have a bookstore and library where certain books that have proved to be vital for clients are stored.
Family Systems: “The addict isn’t the only one that needs treatment.” This quote may be familiar to some, and is in direct connection with the family systems theory. Murray Bowen created this theory back in the 60s to address silencing of anxiety within a family. The theory is predicated on these core tenants: Emotional fusion and differentiation of self, triangulation, nuclear family emotional system, family projection, emotional cutoff, and sibling positions. The family can keep one sick by locking them into the family system, which is meant to protect the family’s homeostasis. Each family member has a role to play, which also serves as the means to the end. Identifying these norms within a family can help the recovering individual to understand what boundaries they need to instill to ensure their success. The family can also learn how to solve problems in different ways, which will help everyone to build new healthy ways of coping.
Family Behavior: Family Behavior Therapy is an evidenced-based family therapy that is based on these interventions: Development of behavioral goals and contingency management, standardized treatment plan, assurance of basic necessities, and stimulus control. An essential part of this therapy that sets it apart from others is the communication skills training, which involves building skills of “I’ve got a great family (IGGF),” positive requests, and arousal management. IGGF is an intervention that can be utilized in therapy to build support and encouragement between family members. The positive request procedure teaches family to not argue in ways that will reinforce substance use. Arousal management helps to build emotional regulation skills within the family.
Psychoeducation: Knowledge is power, and psychoeducation is about providing the client with information that they can utilize to help them heal. Psychoeducation is provided on topics of mental health and addiction. The client will receive education on whatever they present with on an individual basis. Great attention is paid to helping the client identify their symptoms and teaching specific coping skills for these symptoms. We understand that not everyone experiences coping skills in the same way just as not everyone likes the same foods, subjects in school, or leisure activities. That is why time is devoted to finding and teaching the specific coping skills that an individual can utilize.
Solutions-Focused Therapy/Motivational interviewing: Solutions-Focused Therapy is derived from the same basic tenant as positive psychology in that the positive aspects should be focused on in therapy rather than the negative. “Change talk” is sought within each client to get them to move towards their goals and values. Motivational interviewing gets the client to become motivated to change and solutions-focused therapy helps encourage the client to change and continue progressing.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT for short, was created by Dr. Marsha Linehan. The goal of the therapy is to get the client to adopt both change and acceptance. It is the acceptance of the melodrama that is our thoughts and emotions, but also the promotion of striving for positive change. The therapy seeks to increase motivation, growing the client’s abilities, creating new behaviors, and changing the environment to fit the goal. Clients are able to understand themselves through the states of the mind, which include the reasonable mind and the emotion mind. To simplify this think of a time where you knew the right thing to do, but your emotions led you to a different action that you then regretted later. The goal is to find and build the “wise mind” of the individual. This is where the client can utilize their emotions and their reason to find the balance we are all desperately seeking. The means to that end includes mindfulness, learning distress tolerance, how to regulate emotions, and how to be effective interpersonally.
Seeking Safety: This therapy is another trauma-focused therapy where the client is able to receive treatment for both PTSD and substance abuse disorders. Key principles within the therapy are allowing the client to feel safe, integrating the treatment of both disorders and treating them simultaneously, focusing on the cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal aspects. The trauma treatment occurs in individual therapy rather than group therapy as in EMDR. Substance use is seen as a means to ending the symptomatology associated with PTSD. With more than 30% of women and 10% of males presenting with a substance use disorder and PTSD this treatment can prove vital to the long-term success of the client.
Supportive-Expressive: This therapy can be utilized with individuals that are uncomfortable with discussing their personal experiences in treatment. Additionally, an understanding is built to help the client understand how substances substantialized problem feelings and behaviors. With this awareness, the client can then focus on how their problems can be alleviated without the use of substances. This therapy can be used in conjunction with other therapies to help maintain treatment gains and also improve outcomes as observed in studies on the intervention.
Relapse Prevention: Utilizing Terry Gorski’s Staying Sober manual, this therapy is an integral part of our program so much so that a specific group is devoted to this multiple times per week. Clients are able to understand their use of substances, prior relapses, and triggers associated with using in a new way. This treatment modality is not your run of the mill relapse prevention group where you identify your triggers and learn how to cope with them. What separates this group from what I just described is the deeper connection that individuals note they receive when interacting with the material.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Top of the World Ranch recognizes that most individuals that enter into treatment have past traumas that are contributing to their current use of substances. These traumatic experiences, if not treated appropriately, can lead to poorer treatment outcomes. EMDR, however, presents an opportunity for the individual to experience greater outcomes and in a more safe and secure setting since the therapy is conducted in individual sessions. This therapy is evidenced-based for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but also has shown successful outcomes for other psychiatric disorders and mental health problems.
According to the EMDR International Association “the model on which EMDR is based, Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), posits that much of psychopathology is due to the maladaptive encoding of and/or incomplete processing of traumatic or disturbing adverse life experiences. This impairs the client’s ability to integrate these experiences in an adaptive manner. The eight phase, three-pronged process of EMDR facilitates the resumption of normal information processing and integration. This treatment approach, which targets past experience, current triggers, and future potential challenges, results in the alleviation of presenting symptoms, a decrease or elimination of distress from the disturbing memory, improved view of the self, relief from bodily disturbance, and resolution of present and future anticipated triggers.”
Disclosure: This is not an exhaustive list. Many other treatment modalities can be utilized depending on the presentation of the individual and what they require. In addition to the therapies listed above, Gestalt, Rogerian, and 12-Step focused opportunities may be utilized and employed in an evidenced-based manner to help the client achieve success.
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The vast techniques and processes that they incorporate along with the amazing environment and facilities at Top of the World Ranch are what I, as a recovering alcoholic and addict, find essential in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing and growth.
AMAZING facility with a knowledgeable, friendly staff. I recently had the opportunity to tour the ranch and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed. The facility grounds are expansive and absolutely peaceful. Perfect setting for healing, discovery, and recovery.
On Top of the World Ranch , the place is amazing. The facility is beyond beautiful and lead by a staff that is the best in their field. It is tucked away in the country, just outside of the Quad Cities. Very conveniently located near airport or any of the Interstates , very easy to get to.