The hallmark of the SELF Therapeutic Community approach is its insistence that the entire family participate in the healing process. The SELF approach of addressing both dependency and co-dependency is a bid to start a synergistic process that promotes effective relationships between residents and their families. This inter-dependence allows each to rely on each other’s strengths. The establishment of a recovery process in families can constitute a virtual guarantee of success in recovery. Towards this end, families undergo an Empowerment Program that informs, educates and supports them throughout the duration of the entire treatment and rehabilitative process of the SELF TC Program. There are 3 components to the Family Empowerment Program:

I. The FAM Program

The Family Association Meeting (FAM) is the first component of the SELF Family Empowerment Program. It is conducted every first Saturday of the month and is a required activity for families. During this event, families undergo a wide range of activities throughout the day.  First they receive the Monthly Progress Report of their resident from the counselor, and a brief feedback therein. Then everyone assembles in the plenary hall for the program proper. At the start of the program, Elders lead new FAM members into the fold of the Family Association where they are welcomed and assured of their help and support. After the welcome, FAM members listen to a report from the President and Program Director, followed by a testimony from a resident in Aftercare. Then the families are given a seminar on topics significant to the recovery process, after which they are treated to a video of the resident activities of the month. After lunch, everyone participates in designated Group Therapy Sessions facilitated by directors. The following are the FAM objectives:

The FAM Objectives

  1. To educate families about substance and non-substance dependencies.
  2. To enlighten them about the principles and methods of the TC program.
  3. To familiarize them with their role in relapse prevention.
  4. To promote recovery from Codependency that prevails in most families.

II. Family Intervention

Clinical Family Therapy lowFamily Intervention is the second component of the SELF Family Empowerment Program. During the Primary Phase of the TC program, the Clinical Department conducts three different types of Family Intervention sessions with the families in the facility in the following sequence: First is Family Counseling, then the Family Encounter, and finally the Family Dialogue. Through these sessions, families are taught how to confront issues that have served as impediments in their relationship. Each of these activities has a different objective in initiating the healing process between residents and their family members. Prior to each session, the family is briefed on the goals of the respective group process before commencing with the activity as follows:

1.    FAMILY COUNSELING— This counseling session is conducted for family members only. Its aim is to educate them on the dynamics of personal change, with the following goals:

  • To enlighten them on the clinical approach of the TC program.
  • To guide them in getting in touch with their inner feelings.
  • To explain the behavioral dynamics of a resident in treatment.
  • To prepare them for their first encounter with the resident.

2.    FAMILY ENCOUNTER— This therapy session is the most critical intervention families will undergo with their resident, as it is the first time they will meet with them since admission. It has the following goals:

  • To clarify issues that are being claimed by the resident.
  • To identify past events that will validate the need for treatment.
  • To confront “thinking errors” that hold back their progress.
  • To allow residents to initiate resolution on some issues.

3.     FAMILY DIALOGUE — This family day activity is awarded to a resident after he/she passes the Case Defense Interview. At this stage, the resident should be ready to: Own up to past actions; Be willing to “clean his own mess”; and Seek support for recovery. Family members are likewise expected to be open to resolve conflicts and initiate new beginnings. This dialogue has the following goals:

  • To discuss family dynamics and suggest improvements.
  • To promote openness in the discussion of family issues.
  • To provide helpful hints towards “Continuing Care”.
  • To introduce the resident’s family to the SELF community.
  • To enable the SELF community to share their “growing up moments” with the resident.
  • To celebrate their first sober family festivity.

NOTE: More such interventions may be requested or recommended over the course of the program as new conflicts arise.

Family Testimonies…

III. Family Immersion

Family Immersion is the third (though optional) component of the SELF Family Empowerment Program. This week long immersion in the program is granted to families of residents in the Reentry Phase,  and allows them to directly experience the TC with the residents themselves. It helps them gain invaluable insights into the recovery process and the behavior modification methods of the TC. Even more transformational is the clarity and strength families can gain from a first-hand encounter with the phenomenon of healing.

Family Immersion Testimonies…