What Does It Mean to 'Meet Clients Where They're At' in Their Recovery Journey?

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You want to attend a treatment program at a recovery facility that will be attentive to your needs. Recovery facilities should recognize that everybody is different, meaning that each client's treatment plan should be unique to their needs. The only way a treatment facility can tailor a treatment plan specific to your needs is by listening to your recovery wants and goals. For a facility to meet you where you are in your recovery journey, they need to know how to be flexible. If a treatment plan isn't working, they need to have the forethought and resources to tweak it.

Meeting Clients Where They're at in Recovery

What does it mean for a facility to meet you where you're at? It means that they don't start everyone from square one. They take into consideration your experience with recovery treatment before creating a treatment plan that is unique to you. For instance, if this is your second time in treatment, then a facility willing to meet you where you're at will want to know what type of thoughts or behaviors might've led to your relapse. They can do this by performing a relapse autopsy.

A relapse autopsy is a form that some facilities have you fill out before re-entering treatment after relapse. These forms will help mental health professionals put together the best treatment plan to prevent future relapse. It will inform them about what the focus of your treatment should be. For instance, some people might struggle with relaxation, while others might struggle more with positive self-talk.

Individualization of Recovery Treatment

There is no one-size-fits-all recovery solution. No two people will respond to treatment the same. Even if two people have similar symptoms, it doesn't mean that they will have similar responses to treatment. Not only are there many different types of treatment, but different combinations of treatment can have vastly different effects.

Modalities like yoga and meditation can make it even easier to tailor treatment plans to be specific to your needs. A treatment center's modalities can range from activity therapy to biofeedback. Your strengths, weaknesses, and therapy focus will change what modalities are best for you.

Facilities Should Meet You Where You're at With Your Recovery Goals

A facility should work with you to help you achieve your recovery goals. Mental health professionals should collaborate with you to create goals with SMART objectives. This means your goals can be broken down into objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The SMART method will help you and your mental health professional create goals that are realistic and achievable.

To do this, a mental health professional needs to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise, they might create goals for you that are unachievable, which can be discouraging. It could make you want to give up on not only your recovery goals but your treatment altogether.

Adjusting as You Go

A facility shouldn't just meet you where you are upon admission. They should meet you where you are throughout treatment. This means checking in to see what treatments are working best. Is something not working that used to? Have new problems arisen? Is there something new you want to try? A comfort zone you are now willing to break? During your recovery, your needs will shift and change. A recovery facility that is attentive to your needs will tweak your treatment plan as you go.

Picking a Facility That Will Meet You Where You're At

There is only so much you will get to know from looking at a facility's website. You may not be able to get a good idea of how flexible a facility is. You can have to visit a facility in person to get a better feel for the atmosphere, people, and culture. The best way to find a facility that will meet you where you're at is by trusted mental health professionals, family members, or friends that you can rely on to give you a good referral.

Meeting Yourself Where You're At

After completion of a treatment program, you'll be the one responsible for your own needs. You'll have to be mindful of your needs to know when you require an adjustment in your schedule or need to talk to a mental health professional about adjusting your treatment. Meeting yourself where you're at in your recovery also means being kind. If you're beating yourself up every time you make a mistake, you're not meeting yourself where you're at in your recovery.

Sometimes meeting yourself where you're at in your recovery means accepting that you can't be as productive as you want to be. It might mean sleeping in or taking a day to practice self-care. You have to moderate your expectations so you don't wear yourself out.

A facility should meet you where you're at, no matter where you currently are in your recovery. This means being flexible and mindful of your needs. Pathways Recovery Center believes in meeting our clients where they are at. We offer a variety of treatments and modalities, so you will have the flexibility to work with our mental health professionals to create a treatment plan that is tailor-made for you. Our mental health professionals can give you the tools you need to take your recovery one step at a time. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, call Pathways Recovery Center at (888) 771-0966 to learn how we can meet you where you are in recovery.

Clinically reviewed by 

Moses Nasser
Dr. Moses Nasser, a double board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with expertise in holistic healing, addiction medicine, and psychiatric care, holds an X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and has extensive experience in mindfulness-based customer service and medication-assisted treatment.

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