Program Overview & Phases
Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Community & Farm offers a one-year program. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to the one-year program to be admitted to our community as we do not offer shorter-term programs at present. The year-long program is comprised of four phases. Each resident’s journey is supported by the primary team that provides group facilitation and one-on-one therapeutic sessions. Therapeutic groups are offered three times per week and work roles are assigned outside of the group and one-on-one settings. Throughout the course of the year, residents have the opportunity to learn animal husbandry and aspects of horticulture as they participate in the production of food for the use of the community. Additionally, they are given opportunities to learn food preparation and various practical skills that are integral to the maintenance of the community.
Phase one consists of a general overview of the philosophy, structure and method of living in a therapeutic community. The 12-week curriculum consists of a broad range of topics that include skills and knowledge useful for leading a holistic and healthy lifestyle. This phase offers an overview of topics that include physical health and well-being, communication and relationships, aspects of institutional oppression, intergenerational trauma, spirituality and the nature of substance abuse. The tools of SMART Recovery, primarily those that pertain to coping with urges, along with coping strategies from Seeking Safety (Najavits, 2002) for building and maintaining a sense of safety and belonging create the foundation for the initial stages of adjusting to a new community and ways of living in sobriety. Clients are supported to continually do their best in light of each day’s challenges.
Phase two focuses on maintaining motivation through SMART Recovery and furthering the development of a catalogue of safe coping strategies from the second half of Najavits’ Seeking Safety. Anger management and violence prevention, along with opportunities to learn and practice healthy communication styles. Additionally, this phase provides support to individuals as they move through the 12 steps and traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. Phase two emphasizes the development of understanding that personalizing events can lead to suffering. The development of healthy boundaries in all areas assists clients in understanding that they do not need to become emotionally attached to other people’s choices and by doing so can focus on healing and moving through anger.
Phase three is intended to assist clients in understanding how their thinking contributes to the quality of their lives as it forms and stimulates emotion and behaviour. The client will develop the skills required to change their more harmful thoughts, regulate uncomfortable emotions through SMART Recovery, and Seeking Safety. Clients are encouraged to reflect deeply on how these aspects of their lives contributed to and maintained their addictions and the choices they made. This will assist clients in building resilience along with the process of living in a supportive community. The overarching theme of Phase three evolves from the examination of thoughts and the perceptions of events and situations and how the creation of a narrative can support or create barriers in achieving a balanced lifestyle.
Transition Phase consists of developing plans to address the individual needs and goals as they move towards graduation and back to their community. These plans address safety planning in the event of potential relapse, development of supportive networks, and referrals to aftercare professionals as needed. Clients can attend to the resolution of fines and other obstacles to employment, they have opportunities to attend supportive recovery meetings in town, to propose field trips and to be included in service-oriented activities in the community of Prince George.
This phase facilitates skill development in areas such as financial responsibility, mindfulness and stress management, applications for housing, employment, and educational opportunities and funding. Ongoing discussion and follow through on goal setting teach and reinforce personal responsibilities and actions.
The basic phase work for all clients is supplemented in a variety of ways. Yoga classes, taught by a certified instructor, are optional four times per week, and no prior experienced is required. A variety of peer-led groups and speaker nights occur each evening. Other self-directed cultural activities are supported and encouraged throughout the year, including Aboriginal Day activities and celebrations.