The Healing Place

Staying True to the Model

Staying True to the Model

The staff at The Healing Place is often approached by other communities from across the country that would like to have a Healing Place in their community -- and we would love to be able to bring what we do to other communities. We have already been replicated in Wake County, NC and Richmond, VA with great success. There are two significant challenges to replication – the ongoing cost of running the program and maintaining fidelity to the model. How does The Healing Place get to be The Healing Place? What makes The Healing Place different and successful?

A few years ago, we took a very hard look at The Healing Place and defined the core concepts that drive the model. We did this work in cooperation with the staff of The Healing Place of Wake County. Recognizing the diversity that exists among communities (urban versus rural; social, political, and economic landscapes; patterns of alcoholism and other drug addictions; community and recovery resources), our model can be successfully implemented within the unique context of any community. Adjustments in program operations and creative solutions can be made to accommodate these differences. 

Core elements of The Healing Place model cannot be changed without changing the model and therefore the outcomes and efficiency. Outlined below are the core concepts or elements that must be a part of the program in order to be considered a true Healing Place. Strict Adherence to these core concepts in and of itself is a critical factor in order to replicate The Healing Place. They must be in place prior to opening of a facility.

-- View alcoholism and other drug addiction as a chronic disease and provide services that are consistent with this view.
-- Reduce or eliminate barriers that could prevent access to the program, such as cost.
-- Provide a long-term, peer-driven social model recovery program.
-- Teach a 12-Step based curriculum.
-- Utilize the community process, in which clients hold each other accountable for inappropriate behaviors and suggest strength-based suggestions on how to change that behavior.
-- All components of the program must be present and sized proportionately

Once these core elements are in place, the challenge then becomes staying true to the model and these concepts. We are pulled in so many directions for a variety of different reasons – funding sources want to dictate program structure and components, pressures from communities to add additional components that come with every new drug of addiction, changes in science and new intervention options, political pressure to conform to other programs, etc.

There are many pressures to change and conform, but we have remained steadfast in our goal to be the best Healing Place model that we can be. When you go to a McDonald’s restaurant you know exactly what to expect when you order a Big Mac, whether you’re ordering it in Amarillo, TX Seattle, WA, or Trenton, NJ. We want to find the secret to replicating in such a way that no matter where you go to a Healing Place facility, you receive the same quality of service. It is critical that we know who we are, what we do our best, and strive to be the best in that arena.

There are many new and different interventions for those who suffer from the disease of addiction and we certainly applaud all the efforts that are being made to treat addiction. We will continue to do our best to be a successful long-term, residential, abstinence-based, social model recovery program for those who choose our services.