When you walk into one of our treatment centres you will immediately feel a sense of warmth, of hope, of positivity and a caring family atmosphere.
Unfortunately the majority of the people we work with only know how to act in a way that looks after their primary focus; to escape reality and avoid the negative thoughts and feelings they are constantly experiencing and re-enforcing. Many people addicted to alcohol and drugs live in a world in which normal rules and societal ‘norms’ are not followed. Often they have ineffective boundaries and their behaviours can sometimes be immoral and go against what they know is the right thing to do. Unfortunately as they go through life these behaviours become ‘learned’; for example you may have experienced someone lying so often that they actually convince themselves that what they are saying is true.
Our clients also only know how to behave in dysfunctional relationships; they have lost the ability to truly love and the shame and guilt they experience mean they cannot find the courage to ask for help or to say sorry. They have lost the ability to care for themselves and their compulsive, selfish pursuit of substances does not give them the time nor purpose to care for others.
Essentially what we try to do at PCP is to change everything. The first thing we have to do is to take the substance away, which we achieve through our detox programme. PCP can provide a medically assisted withdrawal, overseen by a private Doctor and monitored by one of our registered Nurses. When we have an individual whose body is free from the substance we can start to work on the mind and spirit, via our primary, secondary and day-care rehab programme.
We provide a confidential and safe space for people to explore themselves – their thoughts and emotions – who they really are and what they want to be. We also provide an environment with rules and boundaries which provide structure and containment. Simple rules such as being in group on time, show our clients that the world is a place with norms which are there for fairness and to keep people safe. We provide hope – by seeing that your Counsellor was also an addict and is now 13 years clean and sober, proves to someone that it can be done.
Throughout the treatment process we start to empower people to build positive relationships. Firstly we do this by recreating an environment which is like a family; clients start to forms bonds with other people in treatment and a collective sense of belonging, as well as re-building trust within their own families through regular contact with loved ones.
We then go about empowering people to change their thoughts, accept their feelings and subsequently change the behaviour. We teach people the 12 step programme – a very simple and practical set of tools which has been helping people to get clean and sober for nearly 100 years. We challenge people when they cannot see what they need to see but we allow people to make mistakes and learn from them. Via the intense structure of the programme and the quasi-residential living model, we also empower our clients to obtain a new set of positive ‘learned’ behaviours; by being in the community and living in shared accommodation, by having some responsibility to manage money, do a weekly shop, cook for themselves and live in the community, our clients are learning every single day how to ‘live’ in the real world without needing a substance to get them through. Every day in treatment is a building block for long term success.
We also aim to support the family members and close friends of our clients. This is absolutely critical because it is these people that will have to live with our clients after treatment, so at PCP, family members have an opportunity to meet others who have been through the same experiences and learn how to support the client after treatment.
We do all of this over the course of 2 to 24 weeks. Many of our clients arrive at PCP with many years of active addiction and often many years of misery before that. Ultimately it can take a long time to ‘un-weave’ the chaos of someone’s life in addiction, so the more time people can have adopting this new lifestyle, the better the long term outcome. We can also offer re-housing and relocation via PCP Housing, if someone wanted a truly fresh start to life in a new town, with new people and real opportunity.
However long someone is with us, we will always aim to provide them with a solid foundation for a life in recovery, a new beginning.