Summary of Jericho Project?s Program of Recovery from Substance Abuse and Criminal Behavior.

Introduction


I           COGNITIVE THERAPY

1.      Group Sessions

2.      Academic Courses

3.      Motivation

 

II          AFFECTIVE THERAPY

1.      Feelings and Emotions

2.      Spirituality

 

III          BEHAVIORAL THERAPY

1.      Personal

2.      Group/Social

3.      Discipline

4.      Recognition

 

IV          SOCIAL THERAPY

1.      Family

 

 

 

Introduction:

The Jericho Project was established in 1995 as a structured, residential, twelve-month program for recovery from substance abuse and criminal behavior.  The primary objective is recovery through development of program members minds, bodies, and spirits.  The program's facilities also reflect its overall objective.  They include several residences, the Main house, and the Community Center.  Senior members live in several residences with two house managers per residence.  The Main house contains several offices, houses some staff, and houses newcomers, or members with less than two months in the program.  The Community Center has classrooms, offices, an extensive gym and exercise areas, and meeting rooms for members and staff.  It is central to the program?s structure, training and activities. 

The program's philosophy and practice reflect the relapse prevention training and developmental approach to recovery of the GORSKI-CENAPS model.  Relapse Prevention Therapy with Chemically Dependent Criminal Offenders, Terence T. Gorski (1994). Prior to arrival at the Jericho Project, usually directly from jail, new members have already progressed through the first two stages of the Gorski's six stage developmental model of recover:  (1) Transition and (2) Stabilization.  Jericho?s members progress through the next three stages of that developmental model: (3) Early Recover, (4) Middle Recovery, and (5) Late Recovery.  As members successfully complete the program, they are prepared for the last stage of the developmental model: (6) Maintenance : continue to grow and develop as a guard against relapse.

To facilitate this developmental program of recovery the Jericho Project employs Cognitive, Affective, Behavioral, and Social therapies advocated by Terrence T. Gorski.  In practice, the four therapies are integrated and comprise the main structure of the program.  For the purpose of this review, they are evaluated as separately as feasible. 

 

I           COGNITIVE THERAPY:

Jericho's approach to recovery is to motivate and challenge members to improve and develop their body, mind and spirit through continuous training.  It begins with changing of the thinking process.   The goal is two fold:  (1) To shun and shed the addictive and criminal type of thinking and identity, and (2) To embrace and develop through training and education personally and socially responsible behavior.

 

1.     Group Sessions:

The whole process begins with acceptance of the principle that change is necessary.  Change becomes necessary when the present condition becomes unacceptable.  Group sessions enable members to compare their prior dysfunctional behavior with the advocated new behavior and its possiblilities.  Members also learn that their usual problem solving techniques do not work on solving addictive and criminal type of behavior.  Each member reaches his own conclusion about the need to change his lifestyle.  A decision to change then starts with his own acceptance and motivation. 

The thinking and developing of new values evolves around taking personal responsibility for becoming a responsible member of their community.  This approach involves taking responsibility for one's self.  This includes personal hygiene; household maintenance and cleaning, respectful conduct towards self, other members, staff and finally members of our community. 

To succeed in this transition and development of new values, all members are required to be honest.  The program mandates vigorous honesty.  This aspect of personal training requires many changes in perception and attitude; it requires personal discipline.  Most importantly, the program inculcates the idea that grasping and developing vigorous honesty in all aspects of ones life is paramount to successful recovery. 

Throughout the program group sessions address the need for change and reinforce the process of change and development.  The topics of group sessions range from acceptance of responsibility for one's actions, proper decision making process, building and rebuilding positive values motivation and maintenance of the change impetus, strategies for overcoming anger and rage, relapse prevention through training and practice of responsible behavior, goal establishing an reaching, and spiritual development.

 

2.     Academic Courses:

Jericho's educational curriculum complements group aspects of its cognitive therapy.  Classes are designed to assist members while at Jericho and later in life.  Vocational training helps to prepare and transition the client for a transition into a field of interest upon completion of the program.  The computer introductory and advance classes teach members computer skills necessary in today's business environment.  The Health and Fitness class teaches members the importance of good nutrition and exercise in order to reach a good balance in their lives.  The English and Remedial Math classes refresh those skills.  Once the clients have completed our curriculum, we encourage them in continuing with their educational goals by providing direction and assistance in attending college courses available in the area.  

 

 

3.   Motivation:

At Jericho members learn to formulate realistic goals.  They learn that success requires self sacrifice, perseverance, determination, training, conditioning, and integrity.  Each is expected to lead by good example. 

This therapy also serves to remind members why they are here.  They need help with recovery because they have failed on their own.  Members are reminded that they have avoided responsibility in the past.  Now they are encouraged to challenge themselves to attain self-sufficiency, self-respect, and personal responsibility.  In summary, cognitive therapy teaches what needs to be done to effect positive changes, to develop good habits, and to practice them with vigorous honesty. 

 

II          AFFECTIVE THERAPY:

 

1.         Feelings and emotions:

This therapy consists of recognition, discussion and means of addressing one's feelings and emotions.  The goal is to learn to manage and balance one's feelings and emotions without resorting to use of alcohol, drugs, or criminal behavior.  The primary method of teaching how to achieve that balance is through development of positive attitudes about personal responsibility and individual spirituality leading to a healthy lifestyle.

Additionally, members become acclimated to the safety of belonging to this program.  They learn that recovery means returning to strength that addictive and criminal behaviors have depleted.  In this way members become open enough with each other and staff to enable them to discuss the changes in their thinking and behavior. 

Members also maintain emotional balance thorough group motivation and participation.  Training and development in personal and social responsibility and the consequent rewards are emphasized.  However, members maintaining the awareness that problems will occur and will need to be solved.  The thinking process learned here of identifying, evaluating, considering and solving problems enables one to manage his feelings and emotions and maintain a balance.

As part of that good balance, members are counseled to avoid instant expectations, instant self-gratification.  Instead, they are encouraged to seek solace in their accomplishments and in helping others.  In this way the very pattern of thinking and behavior developed and practiced here serves as a continual balancing process for feelings and emotions.

 

2.                  Spirituality:

For the most part the concept of spirituality at Jericho involves helping others.  It does not involve religion.  Instead, it is an extension of personal development.  As personal responsibility and self-sufficiency are developed, helping others in the community makes people feel more connected to community while fulfilling one's implied social obligation. 

The practice of spirituality complements personal development and reflects one's strength in recovery.  It provides a balance between personal and social responsibility, feelings and emotions, and promotes a sense of well-being. 

 

III        BEHAVIORAL THERAPY:

Over the twelve month period of the program behavioral therapy is extensive.  For ease of review, it is grouped into personal, group, discipline, and recognition behavior.

1.         Personal

Cognitive therapy teaches members the benefits of personal and social responsibility and the necessity of improving their bodies, minds and spirits.  Behavioral therapy puts that learning into practice.

The process of change begins immediately upon entering the program.  Newcomers are placed at the Main house.  They train her with the help of other members, house managers, and the staff.  The training received here enables members to move on to the next house and take more responsibility for their personal behavior.  The basic rules cover everything from properly folding and storing one's clothing to proper maintenance of their household.  They also govern behavior towards other members and staff.

The following is a summary of an average member's daily activities.  By 7:00 a.m. they must have their bed made, room cleaned, and be cleaned, shaved, and dressed for the day.   Although food is provided, members are responsible for preparing their own meals and cleaning after themselves.  The purpose here is to train members to be responsible for themselves.  Members are responsible to be ready to arrive at all activities on time.  That includes completing their assigned cleaning prior to going to their activities.  Transportation is provided to and from daily activities and vocational training.

Upon returning from vocational training, each member completes his assigned cleaning, and then attends the 6:00 p.m. house meeting.  Following that meeting, members are transported to the Community Center.  Here members attend their assigned classes, exercise, use the gym, and attend group sessions until approximately 9:30 p.m. when they are transported back to their houses.  Then members prepare for the next day, perform unfinished chores, work on their homework, and retire for the day.

The members average days are long and fully occupied.  Although this training repeats daily, it often exceeds the norms of standard lifestyles.  The object is to challenge oneself to excellence, and to do that for the full duration of the twelve-month program.

 

2.        Group/Social

The daily schedule is structured to keep the members occupied and focused on their training and development.  That includes being courteous and respectful to other members, house managers, staff, employers and coworkers.  When a member's behavior falls below standard, he is respectfully asked to correct that behavior.  His response must be prompt and respectful.  No arguments or bad attitudes are allowed.  The request to correct the behavior is ultimately for the member's benefit in training and developing by showing him areas that need further improvement.  Members learn that this approach ultimately results in helping their peer's development.

 

3.         Discipline:

Discipline of members for errors and omissions is handled in a practical way so as to make it a learning experience.  House Managers, staff, senior staff, and the group as a whole impose discipline, depending on the severity of misconduct. 

Most disciplinary issues involve minor problems.  These issues are addressed by the House Managers and involve asking the member to correct his conduct.  Repeated offenses merit one-on-one discussion with House Managers.  Serious issues are referred to staff.  Discipline at this level may involve returning a member to the Main House for retraining.  Serious or acute breaches are handled on group level where members are chastised about the repeated failures or acute breaches of the Jericho standards.

Termination from the program.  This extreme sanction is reserved only for the administrator of the program.

 

4.         Recognition:

Jericho members who are doing exceptional receive recognition at group meetings and individually from their peers. 

 

IV        SOCIAL THERAPY:

 

1.     Family Issues:

Due to the dysfunctional background, visitations and family contact are determined on an individual basis.  As members prepare to exit the program, they are urged to proceed slowly and to repair any damaged relationships with family and loved ones. Many members are also discouraged from returning to their old neighborhoods or seeking out old friends.  They are encouraged to meet new people who lead responsible personal and social lives.  Most members recognize this as a vital part of their recovery that may ultimately determine their success in recovery.