After several months of reviewing what works and what doesn’t within the Bridge House program, we have finally drawn a new line of demarcation, to be clearly marked in favor of what is called a “treatment model” displacing the (sic)”addiction model(?).” Today, we inhale deeply the wind of change, we embrace both the challenges and the advantages of a new model where empathy and listening take precedence, versus our old model where “we” gave direction and instruction to “them”.
The challenge is to get over the comfort of hearing our own voices. In the old model we knew we were doing something. But for every graduate who got something out of what we were doing — we lost too many back to drugs, the street and jail. The new model requires the resident to do the work to change their own life — guided only by loving listeners and light handed helpmates who practice deep attention to frame any advice or counsel given to empower “the other to change.”
Outside the Bridge House the new Treatment Model is gaining wider use because of its effectiveness. Inside, for us (especially as Christians), empathy and listening are vital components to displaying the subtleties and powerful virtues of our faith as Christ calls us to let His will be done “not ours”, as we faithfully encourage positive and real change in each man who enters our recovery home.
So far, the empirical data on the Treatment Model is unfolding. But, here at the Bridge House, we are encouraged by resident feedback: where to a man, the residents tell us they feel better enabled to reach their own recovery. There is a tangible sense of gratitude emanating from men, mainly because they think and feel that they now have a have a stake in their own recovery.
Not surprising, past residents tell us that what we are doing now is closer to the original program established by Jim Spence, which the state authorities tell us was once the most effective program in the Commonwealth. May God lead us to be the best program once again. We believe He is…
As once broken men gain strength and feel validated in the power of choices the new program accords; they express gratitude over acknowledgements they receive for completing each step in their recovery journey. Today, they can count on being listened to as active participants in their own life, not automatons strictly adhering to a set of arbitrary rules.
For Christ’s sake we are all set free and offered the responsibility to exercise free will. As we equip our staff with tools of listening and practicing accurate empathy, we fulfill a part of Christ’s mission presented to us, daily, hourly, minute by minute: assisting the men in becoming reconciled to God and society.
God’s Best for you,