Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Found: Weapons of Mass Destruction - Alcohol ( Artist: Tim Burke )

So much for the adventure that is bus travel in the good ol' U.S.of A. Now for the wonderful world of alcohol and drug rehabilitation, affectionately known as 'rehab'. I mentioned going to AFR yesterday which is the acronym for A Forever Recovery inpatient rehab center in Battle Creek, Michigan. Most rehabs use AA 12 step exclusively. Many people, myself included are not crazy about AA and don't feel that one size fits all. AFR offers a program called MRT or Moral Reconation Therapy plus five specialized elective tracks: Faith Based, Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Holistic, Indigenous and 12 step Narcotics Anonymous.
MRT was originally used in a correctional facility; it has been studied extensively and has proven very effective at reducing recidivism and relapse. To quote the MRT website," MRT is a process that seeks to raise the moral decision- making strategy of individuals." If you are interested you can check out, www.moral-reconation-therapy.com (and find out what the weird word in the middle means).
Our program started with a 268 question self evaluation inventory. Actually with all the sub questions(a, b, c, etc) it was actually about 1500 questions! They added a dimension to the AA concept, fearless, searching and exhausting. I wrote about 60 pages. It was an invaluable exercise which one I will reread from time to time. We had 16 chapters in the MRT book with written exercises and when we completed those we had to write responses to the 16 steps on the 'freedom ladder'. We then stood in the front of the room and presented those steps aloud to the entire group of about 50. We got questions and challenges from the other clients and the facilitators. We then left the room while the group decided if the step was sincere and complete. If not it had to be rewritten. A few people got REALLY pissed off when their step didn't pass muster. It was intimidating,at least the first time, and usually very humbling. Mostly what I felt was a sincere concern from everyone to help. I felt love and acceptance from this group in a way I almost never had in all my church experiences(which was a lot-another story for other postings perhaps). There were many really moving moments as we poured out our pain and shame, hopes and goals. Tears were shed and wounds were exposed to the healing air. I will never forget this time spent with good, kind, caring people who understood from experience what a hellish prison the obssesion of addiction is for those locked in its grip.


Allie said...

That sounds like a wonderful program. It takes courage to really look at yourself like that. Good for you!

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

I read your last two posts with a huge amount of admiration and respect Big Bear. I was once told that the biggest battles we will ever be involved in are against ourselves.

Keep posting please, because I have no doubt whatsoever that you are helping many unseen others in your journey and making those such as I look at addiction and rehab, through the MRT site, in in a very different way.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Thank you Allie and Fr Peter, you two are really kind.

Jazzam said...

If you’re an alcoholic or drug addict, there’s no better way to treat the disease of addiction than in an addiction recovery program at a certified addiction center.