Addiction therapy in the UK – some solutions
During many stays in England, where for 4 years I have been learning so-called Feldenkrais method, I had the opportunity to learn about some addiction treatment solutions used in the southwest of this country. However, I want to point out that the article below does not refer to the overall solutions used in Great Britain.
One of the most valuable experiences is meeting with prof. Max Glatt, and his view on the value of pluralistic solutions in addiction therapy. At that time, prof. Glatt supervised the therapy of addicted prisoners, so our conversations focused on the problems arising in the therapy of socially maladjusted people. Thanks to his recommendation, I had the opportunity to learn more about the work of the Center called St. Luke Center in London. We have cooperated with the Center, run by the Methodist church, for several years. The religious organization provided the organizational framework and patient maintenance, gave the staff full freedom in organizing therapeutic classes. A few years later I had the opportunity to get acquainted with an institution like the Addiction Treatment Clinic, which in turn was run by the YMCA. In modest conditions, this outpatient clinic provided comprehensive assistance to addicted and co-addicted patients. What seemed particularly important to me was the fact that one person in the team dealt exclusively with information about the Center and raising funds.
Last year, I had the opportunity to learn more about the work of the Addiction Treatment Center in London’s Wimbledon. The resort has an excellent opinion. People from the first pages of the newspaper are treated there. Although it fits into the hospital structure, the treatment is paid. A month of therapy costs £ 15,000, or PLN 90,000!
The center can accept 24 patients. The therapeutic team consists of 12 people (including a supervisor). Team members are assigned specific tasks, e.g. one is responsible for coordinating the family program, the other for coordinating the after-care program. Each patient is assigned individually to the leading consultant. The patient upon admission receives detailed regulations specifying the rules of stay and a number of therapy materials. The regulations, among others, define the consent of patients to undergo testing in case of doubt as to the sobriety of the patient. Entering into intimate relationships during therapy is not tolerated, and cell phones are not allowed to attend classes. During the first 10 days of therapy, leaving the Center is only allowed in the company of a longer-healing patient. You can only smoke in designated places. Gambling is prohibited.
As you can see, the program is really intense,
What seems particularly worth emphasizing to me are the following:
1) In all these places (especially at the Center in Wimbledon) no separate groups are created for different addictions. Differentiation occurs at the level of tasks for an individual patient. This solution works very well also in the “Radzimowice” Center in Szklarska Poręba, which I run.
2) You work in small, co-educational groups, but at least once a week there are separate classes for men and women. It also works very well in practice.
3) Groups are small and run by two people, which ensures work comfort.
4) Lecturers work primarily on group energy. Lectures or even longer statements are kept to a minimum.
5) The role of cooperation with the family is emphasized – this task is included in a clear organizational framework. One day a week for working with families includes in the first part separate meetings for families without a patient, and then joint meetings in small groups, usually attended by about 4 families including the patients being treated and 2 therapists. Such meetings have been taking place since the therapy week.
6) The program is ordered and implemented with great discipline.
7) Addiction therapists are required to qualify, confirmed by additional training. Most people professionally involved in therapy have the title of counselor specializing in addiction therapy.
8) Most of the materials used to work with patients and their families came from the United States, which in my opinion slightly weakens their usefulness. With all the universality of addiction, I have heard some malicious comments, e.g. when screening a film for families with American realities and American English. However, this may stem from the widespread belief in England that English is superior to American culture.
Source: addiction recovery guides