Non-traditional treatment for addiction: INTERVIEW with Morningside Recovery

Are you looking for addiction treatment that differs from a more traditional approach? We’ve interviewed Morningside Recovery in Coastal Orange County, CA for a snapshot of what non-traditional treatment can look like.

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What is non-traditional treatment?

Have you ever considered a non-lockdown, “open” model of treatment? Also known as the Florida model, this new protocol can be used in combination with custom therapies to achieve a much higher success rate than most traditional or 12-step treatment centers.

Some other options that you may not have heard of (yet) include:

  • BioSound Healing Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Experiential Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR
  • Gestalt Therapy

Non-traditional treatment for addiction

It is our great pleasure that today we speak with Kevin Granich, Marketing Director of Morningside Recovery. Morningside Recovery is a treatment facility that offers a wide spectrum of therapies, programs, and activities in addiction treatment…some of which significantly differ from traditional treatment programs. But what’s really caught our eye is their money-back guarantee.

Read more to find out about the unique opportunities in Morningside Recovery. Then, leave your questions about non-traditional addiction treatment in the comments section below.

ADDICTION BLOG: Let’s start with the guarantee Morningside currently offers. Is it true that patients who relapse after completing your program can come back for free? In what time-frame? The road to recovery is really hard: What’s your average percentage of total treatment episodes that end in relapse?

MORNINGSIDE RECOVERY: Though we do not have statistics gathered on the percentage of our clients that relapse, the treatment industry’s general rate of relapse within the first year of recovery ranges between 50-90%. That being said, our non-lockdown, “open” model of treatment, also known as the Florida model, in combination with our custom treatment planning offers a much higher success rate than most traditional or 12-step treatment centers. That’s why we are confident in our services and offer our guarantee.

The guarantee is very simple: Clients who successfully complete a 30-day (or longer) program with us and relapse within a year of finishing their treatment can come back for full care completely free of charge. This guarantee is a pledge to our clients so that they know we are dedicated to their recovery as much as they are.

ADDICTION BLOG: “As close to real life as you can get” seems to be the motto under which you’ve created a non-lockdown treatment model, including all aspects of programs and activities. Can you explain to our readers how your treatment model is different than traditional centers? Also, what is the benefit of creating less strict limits and more freedom in a treatment setting?

MORNINGSIDE RECOVERY: Unlike most traditional treatment centers, which are secluded from the “real world,” we believe in offering comfort and assistance to our clients with exposure to everyday activities and society so that they can learn to be healthy and function on their own once they leave us.

Clients are heavily supervised and have full schedules of therapy that are tailored to their individual needs, but we offer freedoms including letting them keep their cellphones, bring their pets with them, go to school or work, and perform everyday tasks like grocery shopping. The benefit to this open model of treatment is that clients can seamlessly transition back to life outside of treatment, having learned how to take care of themselves and stay healthy and sober in a normal context.

ADDICTION BLOG: Further, what are some benefits of Non-12 Step Recovery? When is better to choose Non-12 Step rather than 12 Step?

MORNINGSIDE RECOVERY: The reason why we offer a wide array of therapeutic options is because we know that no two clients are the same. Some clients want their treatment to be guided by 12-Step and others seek alternatives.

Because we offer 12-Step as one part of a client’s overall treatment plan, we believe clients that come to us for 12-step benefit more than those who go to a strictly 12-step treatment center. Our goal is to heal the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—so we offer comprehensive treatment plans for everyone so they can try multiple forms of therapy. Every individual is different.

ADDICTION BLOG: Morningside Recovery is also known for the wide types of therapies available for patients, two of which include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing. Let’s start with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy? Can you explain to our readers what kind of therapy this is?  How does it work and has it been shown to be successful?

MORNINGSIDE RECOVERY: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, is a psycho-therapeutic technique that Marsha Linehan originally developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder. Since then, therapists have found DBT to be effective for other problems including mood disorders, trauma, and addiction. DBT works by creating an atmosphere of total acceptance and mindfulness of a client’s emotions. The acknowledgment that what a client feels is valid allows the therapist to serve as an “ally” rather than an “enemy” when they present cognitive-behavioral techniques. These techniques safely challenge the client’s irrational thoughts, but are more easily adopted because the client’s emotions are accepted. That’s the dialectic—simultaneous acceptance and adjustment. From there, the client can learn to cope with their emotions in healthier ways.

ADDICTION BLOG: When is it appropriate for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to be applied? What is the effect?

MORNINGSIDE RECOVERY: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is especially helpful for people who are resistant or dislike therapy, though it is considered an effective treatment for most mental health issues. DBT helps clients self-regulate their emotions by recognizing and coping with the thoughts that drive their behavioral and interpersonal problems as they arise. DBT also teaches the client to tolerate discomfort by non-judgmentally exposing them to certain situations and subtly challenging how they handle their emotions by teaching them positive coping skills.

ADDICTION BLOG: Tell us more about Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing therapy. How is it performed? What’s the goal? Also, could there be any challenges and/or obstacles during a EMDR session?  Any risks?

MORNINGSIDE RECOVERY: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is an effective psycho-therapeutic technique for clients with unresolved trauma and psychological symptoms. EMDR is an eight-phase treatment led by specially trained clinicians who, over the course of multiple sessions, prepare and assist clients in the cognitive “reprocessing” of trauma memories and their lingering symptoms.

The concept behind this technique is that the brain is built to process distress, which depending on the time and nature of a traumatic experience can be rendered insufficient or incomplete. EMDR helps clients reprocess and purge the nervous system of difficult psychological symptoms through guided eye movement and the integration of positive affirmations.

There is little to no risk involved. Though EMDR was considered controversial when it first developed, extensive scientific analysis has proven it to be a sound and beneficial therapy for trauma clients, including adults with PTSD. It is also useful for treating children with PTSD and other clients who may have difficulty articulating their traumas or are too sensitive for exposure therapy.

ADDICTION BLOG: It came to our attention that you also practice Experiential Therapies like Gestalt Therapy for example. How do people generally react to Gestalt therapy? Can it apply to everyone?

MORNINGSIDE RECOVERY: Gestalt Therapy is definitely a form of psychotherapy that can apply to everyone. The basis of Gestalt Therapy is to approach your experiences and memories from the perspective of “the big picture.” Through dialogue with a therapist, they emphasize awareness and observation of yourself so that you can find out who you are in a non-threatening way. This method of awareness gives clients a sense of self and responsibility that is key to healing and self-acceptance.

ADDICTION BLOG: Another unique modality that you use is BioSound Healing Therapy. Please share with our readers the process and the purpose of this treatment.

MORNINGSIDE RECOVERY: In our Serenity room, clients lay on a vibrational memory foam platform that helps them reach a theta level meditative state through specially synchronized audio-visual programming. Theta level meditation is a deep healing state known for enabling daydreaming, learning, emotional surges, self-reprogramming, spiritual experiences, and creativity. The purpose of BioSound Healing is subject to the individual’s chosen healing program, though overall clients experience the benefits of meditation and biofeedback in order to relieve stress, curb cravings, and in some cases modify behavior.

ADDICTION BLOG: While your treatment center intrigues us and provokes many more questions, we do need to close our time for the moment. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

MORNINGSIDE RECOVERY: Some of our best work is done outside of the office. In addition to the basic freedoms our clients have, they can take part in special programming that includes educational services, vocational services, and experiential therapy. Experiential therapy is especially popular and beneficial because it offers clients the chance to do things they love or may never have tried before. One of our newest experiential therapies is Swell Life, our sober surfing program.

Morningside Recovery offers a unique open-model treatment program in Coastal Orange County, California, and helps hundreds of individuals struggling with addiction or mental health issues find successful, sustainable recovery every year.  With premier therapeutic support and fully individualized case management in a real-world living context, Morningside Recovery makes the transition from intensive treatment to successful health as seamless as possible.
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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