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What Addiction Treatment at Encore is like?

Encore Outpatient Services - Office Reception in Arlington VA

Encore’s core operational principle is collaborative care. That means that everyone on the clinical team communicates with each other — therapists, recovery coaches, the psychiatric nurse practitioner, and the nutritional coach — to ensure treatment efficacy and stay up to date on the patient’s progress and needs. Treatment planning is always in progress, being adapted and modified based on how the patient is doing and any new concerns or challenges that have arisen while in treatment.

Addiction Treatment at Encore Starts with Assessment

Collaborative care extends to communicating with a patient’s external care providers before the patient comes into treatment at Encore. As part of our assessment process, we reach out to the patient’s residential treatment center, if they are leaving one to come to Encore; their individual therapist; health care providers; and other relevant care providers to discuss the patient’s status and needs.

Our assessment process is based on the biopsychosocial model, assessing for psychological, biological, and social factors that need attention, from physical and mental health to family systems, social networks, living situation, and career/education. The therapist takes a substance use history, assesses for mental health issues, reviews medial history, and reviews information and recommendations from previous treatment providers and therapists.

Developing a Treatment Plan

Encore’s treatment approach is holistic. We treat substance use disorder, mental health, trauma, and process addiction. We assess for the issues that underlie these challenges as well, from trauma and co-occurring disorders like gambling, work, and sex addiction to anxiety and depression, which are common in people with substance use disorder. We also look at and treat family systems — the interwoven social system of behaviors within a family that influences and affects each member.

The treatment team uses the findings from the assessment to determine the appropriate level of care:

  • The Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is the most intensive level of care, with patients coming to treatment for six hours a day, five days a week.
  • The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is the next level of care with patients coming for three hours a day for three, four, or five days a week, depending on the recommendation of the treatment team.
  • The General Outpatient Program is a longer-term, lower intensity program for patients who are transitioning out of PHP or IOP. The program provides group and individual therapy for those with substance abuse challenges, as well as mental health challenges.

Foundation of a Day in Addiction Treatment at Encore

Group Therapy

Group therapy is an integral component of successful addiction treatment at Encore. Working through the issues involved in addiction and mental health with peers who are also in treatment is critical to achieving recovery. The multiple perspectives of peers provide the patient with awareness of their own issues and needs. The group can offer knowledge and empathy that are necessary to the work each patient must do to modify their behavior and achieve sobriety and good mental health. Group members act as sounding boards, challenging, supporting, and helping each other to better understand themselves and their addiction or mental health challenge. With people from a variety of backgrounds and life histories in each group, patients get perspectives and views that can be eye-opening and transformative for their own treatment.

Encore’s group therapy programs are organized into a 16-week curriculum, with each week focusing on a different facet of treatment. Topics include spirituality, attachment, identity, relationships, family of origin, and grief and loss, among others. Group therapy begins with education to understand addiction – what it is, how it changes the brain, its effects on physical health, and how it affects personality, behavior, and relationships. Patients also learn about how treatment heals and resolves the damage addiction causes and how they can positively affect their treatment.

Experienced therapists facilitate the groups, supporting each patient as they process their experiences and the issues they are working to resolve and understand. Experiential therapies play an important role in group therapy at Encore. Our therapists employ art therapy, psychodrama, mindfulness, body awareness, and movement, to bring awareness and healing to each patient.

At the end of each week, patients break into gender-specific groups to provide a safe, confidential space in which to process what happened in treatment and in each patient’s life over the past week.

Individual Therapy

Weekly individual therapy sessions provide attention and guidance for each patient. By listening to each patient’s experiences, therapists can help them better understand and reframe those experiences in order to break destructive habits and patterns. When trauma treatment is necessary, Encore therapists trained in trauma treatment, such as EMDR, work with patients individually to resolve the traumas so that they can move forward.

Recovery Coaching

Encore’s treatment focuses on giving each patient a solid foundation for their lives in recovery. Our recovery coaches are the cornerstone of that approach. IOP and PHP patients meet weekly with a recovery coach who uses their personal experience as someone in recovery to support and guide the patient in planning what their life in recovery will look like. With in-depth knowledge of what it means to be in recovery, coaches help patients understand the life skills, support systems, and community connections they will need. Because their lives in recovery are rooted in the community in which our patients live, the coaches can offer connections to community resources such recovery groups, sober networks, sober activities, and sober housing.

Attention to the Whole Person

A psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP) works with PHP and IOP patients to determine what type of psychopharmacological or alternative treatments may support a patient’s goals. The PNP ensures that patients are taking the right medications at the right dosages. They can assess, prescribe, and adjust medications as needed as well as keep an eye on a patient’s physical well-being. Their recommendations extend to holistic care, advising yoga, for example, or a physical fitness program. A registered dietitian meets individually with IOP and PHP patients weekly to help them understand how healthy eating and nutrition are integral to treatment and healthy lives in recovery.

Patients can also choose to work with trained academic and vocational counselors to focus on their academic, vocational, and professional goals and begin planning to meet those goals.

Because Encore emphasizes individual treatment and attention to the specific diagnoses and needs of each individual patient, each patient’s weekly schedule will be designed based on what services they need that week, balanced with the patient’s own personal schedule. For example, an IOP patient may be in group on Monday morning, Wednesday evening, and Friday morning, and then have an appointment with their therapist on Monday afternoon, and meet with our psychiatric nurse practitioner on Tuesday night. We offer programming during the day as well as the evening, and all of our services have options to be offered in-person or virtually. Our robust programming schedule as well as the availability of our team members affords us the ability to accommodate most work, school, childcare, and travel schedules.

For more information on addiction treatment at Encore in Arlington, VA, contact Encore Recovery today!


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