For Referring Professionals
Individuals and families find their way to Full Life through many pathways – word-of-mouth from current or former clients, random internet searches and even noticing a brochure or business card. But Full Life is honored to get most of our referrals from fellow colleagues. Referring community professionals, professional monitoring organizations, and treatment centers have come to trust Full Life to provide high-quality, comprehensive and collaborative care for individuals and families affected by substance abuse and other self-destructive behaviors.
Although Full Life does not have exclusive relationships with any treatment center, we appreciate that representatives from some of the nation’s best treatment centers know that we make referrals for admission to their facilities based on the needs, preferences and resources of the individual. We try hard to make professional visits to treatment centers so that we know first-hand their distinctive treatment environment, culture of care, cohort and specialized services. But most of all, we only refer to programs to which we would refer our own family members.
For professionals unfamiliar with Full Life Counseling, we invite you to:
Read our Values Statement below and compare them to your own. We want you to feel confident that we share enough of the same professional values since you are considering entrusting your clients to us.
- Use of substances is common in the American culture. We do not see use of substances, in and of itself, as wrong, bad, sinful or shame-worthy. Certainly the laws of the land apply, but even laws vary by location and culture.
- Some people who use substances develop problems, but not all people who demonstrate the symptoms of substance abuse are destined to develop the disease of addiction. Our job as addiction professionals is to help such individuals understand their risk for developing more serious problems (including addiction) and introduce them to alternative methods for getting their needs met. This means helping them identify other ways to relieve stress, manage symptoms of mood disorder or anxiety, work through problems, set boundaries, accept personal responsibility, experience joy and fun, and find a peer group that supports an alcohol- and drug-free lifestyle.
- Those who do develop the disease of addiction should be treated with the same respect and dignity afforded to any sick person. Unfortunately, the symptoms of the disease are often offensive to others and destructive of relationships. Symptoms include dishonesty, deception, manipulative behavior, irresponsible and/or impulsive behavior, denial, and justifying the use of alcohol and/or other drugs. As distressing and challenging as these symptoms are, it helps us to keep in mind that they are symptoms demonstrated by a sick person in need of compassionate care.
- Similarly, when addicts and alcoholics demonstrate the symptoms of the disease, it is our responsibility as addiction professionals to take steps to encourage treatment as soon as possible. While waiting for the addict or alcoholic to “hit bottom” is well-established conventional wisdom, failure to make every effort to encourage treatment (even for those who don’t know they are sick) could result in considerable unnecessary suffering or even death. Compassionate, respectful intervention is a loving and responsible act for families and friends to consider when the individual truly cannot see their disease or take steps to get help.
- All strategies for helping individuals, couples or families must demonstrate professionalism, respect and dignity. “Hot seat” confrontation methods, shaming intervention approaches, and deliberate stripping away of defenses of the addicted person are not appropriate at Full Life. Such methods may be appropriate in some contexts under other circumstances, but not here. Our intervention services follow the tenets of the Love First and Family Invitational models.
- Use of some prescription and over-the-counter medications can begin legitimately and evolve into physical dependency with or without psychological dependency. We believe that those who have physical dependency without psychological dependency and who have never abused other substances may be excellent candidates for physician-only care, including the use of opioid maintenance programs such as Suboxone.
- We also believe that Individuals with psychological dependency, a history of addiction and/or those who are using other substances (besides opiates) are not good candidates for opioid maintenance programs and are best suited for abstinence-based recovery programs. Such individuals who enter into counseling with Full Life already on Suboxone will be encouraged to move towards an abstinence-based recovery program as quickly as is medically appropriate.
- The use of non-addicting medications to assist recovery may be appropriate for some individuals. Campral, naltrexone, Neurontin, Topamax, Trazadone, Antabuse and other medications that can support recovery and can be appropriate when administered by a physician who is well-versed in addiction medicine. Full Life staff are encouraged to stay open to the possibility that use of such medications could be helpful.
- Other conditions such as depression, insomnia, anxiety, ADHD, OCD or bipolar disorder can complicate recovery and may necessitate prescription medication to manage symptoms. While use of intoxicating medications, like benzodiazepines, should be avoided whenever possible, use of SSRIs, mood stabilizers and non habit-forming sleep aids have their place in the spectrum of care.
- While we all have something to learn from those who are different and we believe there is value in a diverse culture, often the best recovery experiences occur in the company of one’s peers. Full Life makes every effort to match those needing services with a treatment or recovery group who is of similar age, professionalism, recovery experience and/or gender whenever possible.
- Professionals providing counseling on behalf of Full Life are all seasoned and credentialed as addiction specialists. Despite such experience in the field, we are all are in need of support, objective perspective and clinical supervision. When the stressors of the job get the best of us, we are all challenged to take care of ourselves by reaching out, taking time off and striving to maintain meaningful relationships outside of work.
- It is the responsibility of both the addiction professional and the person in recovery to explore and develop a full array of activities and practices that support recovery. While 12-step groups are well-recognized as the most accessible, most affordable and are highly effective for many, there can be various paths to successful, sustainable recovery. Generally speaking, mutual support, sober fun, productive/purposeful lifestyle and some form of spirituality are ingredients for successful recovery, regardless of which path or program is chosen.
Clinical Perspectives of the Full Life Model of Care:
- Recognizing the Effect of AOD on Brain Function & Development
- Acknowledging the Impact of Genetic Predisposition for Addiction
- Recognizing Substance Use on a Progression Continuum
- Appreciating the Stages of Change as a Variable for Determining Reasonable Expectations of Counseling, Education and Treatment
- Owning our Acknowledged Preference for 12-step Recovery but Commitment to Recognizing and Valuing All Paths to Recovery
- Maintaining a Strong Commitment to Prioritizing Safety and Assertiveness With More Dangerous Addictions
Assessments, early intervention, and Love-First Model
Compare our Services to those you wish to recommend for your client. We recommend that those who are referring for assessments, early intervention, or Love First-model interventions encourage as much family participation as possible from the start. Sometimes those with the self-destructive behaviors are least motivated for change at first, but family members often engage first and get great benefit.
Referring for Aftercare
Those referring specifically for aftercare services are encouraged to explore our group services. Although individual aftercare counseling is certainly available, because we believe that recovery best happens in community, we encourage group participation through the first year of recovery.
- IOP: If you are seeking an IOP, we can refer you to respected programs in our area, but we are no longer offering IOP as part of Full Life.
- Relapse Prevention Program: Our Relapse Prevention Program is geared towards more mature clients who have established abstinence and who now accept that an abstinence-based approach to recovery is right for them. The curriculum applies a Gorski-CENAPS cognitive-behavioral approach to early recovery and helps clients develop meaningful relationships with peers during that crucial first year of recovery. Our Gorski-model Relapse Prevention Program provides individual and relapse prevention groups for at least the first 14 months of recovery. Initially, RPG clients have individual and group sessions weekly, then decrease frequency of both over the course of the year. Some program graduates elect to participate in our monthly Alumni Group and ongoing individual therapy because they appreciate the grounding they have at Full Life.
Compare the needs and resources of your potential referral to our financial requirements.
Rates for services vary from $125 to $175, depending on the counselor/clinician. We offer lower rates for services provided by experienced but non-licensed counselors for those who do not wish to file with insurance, do not have insurance or do not have out-of-network benefits. We strive to only assign licensed clinicians to work with those with a history of trauma. All counselors receive frequent group and individual supervision from Leigh Zick Dongre, Clinical Director (PhD, LCMHC, LCAS).