It is the use of didactic teaching techniques applied to principles of human growth and behavior and provided by trained therapists. It is a way to transmit new information about emotions, emotional arousal, relationships, addictions, behavioral maladaptations, etc, in a group setting without processing with the individual clients who are participating. In this sense it is different from process groups where the residents explore among themselves with staff direction the varying factors affecting these same issues (emotions, behaviors, addictions, etc).
The most commonly taught materials are in DBT classes which are available throughout major centers in the U.S. In addition, The Co-op has special cognitive material which is from the text Defining Feelings – A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Emotional Arousal – by the founding director, Grover C. Shaunty, MSW. In addition, the Co-op provides access to the Cognitive Enhancement Therapy materials that impact schizophrenia, bipolar and other serious mental disorders.
Most agencies cannot provide the actual life skills that a client will need when they move toward independent living with self directed decision making required. While all residents need to learn positive leisure time skills so they can enhance their quality of independent living with satisfying leisure time activities, they need to have learned more of their own unique internal psychological and developmental makeup in order to function in social, work, and intimate settings. Therapy, particularly insight related therapy, helps the resident create a language about themselves that they can translate to these other settings. Our agency teaches work skills, budgeting skills, shopping skills, time management skills. It also teaches about emotional arousal, behavioral responses, how to modify internal filtering systems, how to evolve a conscience, how to use vulnerability for a transition into happiness and a sense of completeness.
Some residents are not oriented toward insight related work and those do not do well at the Co-op. Some have illnesses which make processing of new information and insight more difficult than for others. However, no client’s illness has ever stopped them from growth through the agency therapeutic approach. In fact, the highest success rate in every area other than intimate and ongoing personal relationships is found with schizophrenic illnesses and psychotic level of bipolar disorders.
After the initial 30 days of treatment/program enrollment, meetings are setup with each family via phone, Skype, or in person to discuss their client’s progress. Additional meetings are schedules as needed.