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What To Expect From Treatment

what to expect from treatment


Treatment that meets your individual needs

The first things we want to know are: how you are doing and what do you need? Since our goal is to help you achieve your own goals, that’s the most important thing. Conversation with a Lionrock admissions counselor is about understanding your situation and then figuring out where to go from there. Most of us at Lionrock are in recovery. We understand the struggle.

Once we know those things, we can start putting together a plan: what level of care makes sense? What day/time schedule works best? Can we work with your insurance company? And of course, whatever else needs to be decided to make working with Lionrock work for you.

We get started with an assessment

The first thing a new client does at Lionrock is a deep assessment. You’ll meet your primary counselor right away once you decide to get started. Over the course of an hour or two, you and your “primary” will get to know each other. Your primary will discuss a range of topics with you, all designed to help us understand what changes in your life are going to help you overcome your struggle with drugs and alcohol. Substance use is a coping mechanism that helps you deal with something that’s not right in your life. Finding what’s not working helps us understand you as a whole person, which is the basis for how we’ll be able to help you.

Next, we create a treatment plan

Your assessment is the story of how you got here, and what you want to change. Your treatment plan is the roadmap for making those changes. It’s a series of goals, with milestones to achieve along the way. It’s a plan built directly from your assessment. And, it’s also a living document that changes as your treatment progresses. It’s what we use to make sure we’re doing our job of helping you move toward the things you want.

With your assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan in place, you’re ready to start group therapy sessions and ongoing individual sessions with your primary. You’ll meet your group counselors along with the other people in your group. These will be the people with whom you spend the most time at Lionrock. Many lifelong friendships are made among people who go through treatment together. (More about group therapy below.)

Case management

As you progress toward achieving your goals, and learn from your new friends in group, your primary counselor will be making sure that all of the external factors and people in your life are also moving in the right direction. Whether making sure that we address medical concerns or living situations or work life issues, or even reconciling with family members, your primary is there to help you manage everything that wraps around your therapy work too.

Transition planning

As you approach completion of your treatment, you and your counselors will focus on what’s next for you in terms of support. From what you can do in your own community to aftercare programs offered by Lionrock, the focus is on reinforcing your newfound health and giving you the best chance for a new life in recovery.

More about Lionrock’s evidence-based treatment

Group Therapy

Lionrock programs utilize both group and individual therapy to balance the benefits of both. Several recent studies confirm that, for delivering relapse prevention training, a group approach is at least as effective as individual therapy (McKay et al. 1997; Schmitz et al. 1997). Group therapy offers the following benefits:

  • Providing opportunities for clients to develop communication skills and participate in socialization experiences without drugs or alcohol.

  • Establishing a safe environment in which clients support one another, and when necessary, confront one another constructively to help move recovery forward through a feeling of shared purpose and community. An important part of creating a safe environment is a set of norms that reinforce healthful ways of interacting.

  • Introducing structure and discipline into what may have been chaotic lives.

  • Providing a venue for group leaders to transmit new information, teach new skills, and guide clients as they practice new behaviors. Group members who are further along in recovery can help other members, which advances their own individual recovery too.

Individual Therapy

Typically conducted by a client’s primary counselor, Lionrock programs use individual therapy to address individual issues not appropriate for group therapy sessions, and also to track treatment plan progress towards achieving treatment goals, to manage aspects of treatment which fall outside of therapy sessions, and to plan for discharge and transition. Clients meet with their therapist for individual therapy once each week.


These groups provide a supportive environment in which clients learn about substance dependence and its consequences. These sessions are delivered in a low-key rather than emotionally intense environment, and focus on rational problem-solving to help change dysfunctional beliefs and thinking patterns. Some topics include:

  • Learning about biopsychosocial disease and recovery processes
  • Understanding the effect of specific drugs and alcohol on the brain and body
  • Placing symptoms of substance use disorders in the context of other behavioral health problems
  • Learning about early and protracted withdrawal symptoms for specific drugs and alcohol
  • Knowing the stages of recovery and the client’s place in the continuum of care
  • Conducting self-assessment, setting goals, and self-monitoring progress
  • Overcoming common barriers to treatment

Skills & Interpersonal Process Development Training

These groups offer clients the opportunity to practice specific behaviors in the safety of the treatment setting. Common types of skills training include:

Drug or alcohol refusal training – Clients act out scenarios in which they are invited to use substances and role play their responses.

Relapse prevention techniques – Using relapse prevention materials, clients analyze personal triggers and high-risk situations for substance use and determine ways to manage or avoid them.

Assertiveness training – Clients learn the differences among assertive, aggressive, and passive behaviors and practice being assertive in different situations.

Stress management – Clients identify situations that cause stress and learn a variety of techniques to respond to stress.

Interpersonal Process Development includes:

  • Finding pragmatic ways to change negative thinking, emotions, and behavior
  • Learning and trying new ways of relating to others
  • Tolerating or resolving conflict without resorting to violence or substance use
  • Understanding how members’ actions affect others and the function of the group

Family Integration

At Lionrock, family work is done in the individual sessions with your primary counselor. Depending on the situation, your family members may be invited to participate in a live video conference with you and your primary counselor. Of course, you make the final decision on whether to do that, but your counselor will explain when and why she will make a recommendation to do so.

It’s important that your family understands that substance use disorders are chronic disorders, that they don’t just go away even when the substance use stops. Topics we’ll discuss in Family Integration include:

  • We want to increase your family’s support for your recovery.
  • Often, we work with you and your family members to identify and support changing family dynamics that work against recovery.
  • We prepare family members for what to expect in early recovery.
  • We educate the family about relapse warning signs.
  • We work to help family members understand the causes and effects of substance use disorders from a family perspective. We look to take advantage of family strengths, not just focus on problems.
  • Often, we encourage family members to find their own mutual support group, for many of the same reasons we want you to do so also.

Support Group Orientation and Participation

Whether in person or online, finding other people who understand recovery, who can support you through tough times and celebrate your achievements, can be an important and rewarding part of a life in recovery.

At Lionrock, we encourage active participation in a mutual support group of your choice. In order to make that choice, you’ll need to know about the options available. Through the Support Group Orientation component of our programs, your counselors will introduce you to the range of 12-Step and non-12 step mutual support groups.

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"More than a recovery program, I felt like I became part of a family."

- Arden, Lionrock client

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