• Clinical Approach

    ArborWest
    Partial hospitalization refers to a comprehensive, intensive, clinical treatment program. With regard to level of treatment, partial hospitalization is a step below inpatient hospitalization but more concentrated than traditional outpatient care. Clients are generally referred to partial programs when they are experiencing acute psychiatric, mental health or substance abuse symptoms that are difficult to manage but that do not require 24-hour hospitalization.

    There are many advantages to participating in a partial hospitalization program. The goal of many partial hospital programs is the development of skills that help clients better manage their lives and their symptoms outside of a traditional inpatient hospital setting.

    At Arbor West, Individuals in our partial hospitalization program attend structured programming throughout the day, five days a week, and return to our Structured Life Skills Program where we provide 24hr staff supervision. To ensure client safety and the structured environment our clients require we provide this dual approach to treating addiction.

    The Arbor West clinical approach is comprised of Individual and group therapy, combined with life skills and fitness. We treat our clients individually to provide services specific to each person’s own unique needs. Group settings allow for valuable peer-to-peer insights and feedback. We also incorporate life skills training throughout all of our programming. We know that getting sober is just the beginning, and that living a sober lifestyle requires learning and practicing new habits, attitudes and beliefs.

    Mental health and substance use disorders are often co-occurring. At Arbor West, we are well equipped and have expert-level staff in place to provide treatment to individuals with co-occurring disorders. All of our clients meet one-on-one with our physician on a bi-weekly basis to ensure that all of their issues are addressed.

    Individual Therapy

    At Arbor West, Individual therapy is an important component of our 90-day curriculum. Individual therapy occurs as much as needed and averages several times per week.

    Individual therapy empowers Arbor West clients to have a full experience during their treatment with personal encouragement and guidance in exploring their own emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. While client issues are addressed with group therapy, they are more personally addressed in individual therapy with an expert in addiction. Developing rapport, feeling supported while getting honest about life history, recent events, family issues, unaccomplished goals and failures, and processing other unique core personal issues in a one-on-one setting is a critical part of the Arbor West treatment program.

    Group Therapy

    Group therapy is vital in the addiction treatment curriculum at Arbor West. Our 90 day treatment program allows our clients the opportunity to truly understand and know each other more than other shorter-length programs. Group therapy effectiveness is heightened significantly by this factor alone. At Arbor West, clients become accustomed to providing appropriate, valuable feedback and insight to peers, which in turn empowers clients to communicate and process their feelings in a positive manner. Also, due to our intimate client population, those who hide or avoid issues cannot, and those who are reluctant to share or provide feedback can participate in meaningful ways.

    Group therapy is also important because our clients are also experts of sorts. They understand each other’s experiences and the process of empathy and support becomes crucial to the men in our program accepting and caring for themselves. We also discuss gender-specific issues, provide psycho-educational groups (theme based educational seminars on topics related to our clients experience and needs), and process groups that are theme based for those with similar, unique experiences and issues.

    Life Skills

    Our goal at Arbor West is to teach men how to live life on life’s terms. Long term recovery requires not only interpersonal skills such as communication, problem solving skills, and emotional maturity, but it also involves practical skills like managing money, household maintenance, and job seeking skills. People new to recovery frequently struggle with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. Everyone has different needs in regard to what will help them gain inner security and strength. Arbor West will work with each man to determine the areas where he needs the most help. Addiction can really rob a person of their true identity. Getting sober is just the beginning, living a sober lifestyle requires a desire to learn and practice new habits, attitudes and beliefs. Some men already may possess some of the skills described below and our belief is that our staff together with our clients, we can teach each other and continue on a spiritual path to lasting sobriety.


    Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: The Benefits of a Regular Fitness Program


    CrossFit has become a wide variety of people’s favorite exercise regime, with the relatively fast results and huge physical changes causing ever-increasing numbers of people to try out this exercise program for themselves. Every workout builds muscle and stamina and improves endurance and overall fitness levels much more efficiently than can normally be seen during a typical gym session – leading to all CrossFit enthusiasts feeling healthier and more confident in themselves.

    However, what many don’t realize is that a regular exercise program doesn’t just benefit the body; it also paves the way for a healthier mind. Mental health, cognitive function and even mood can all be positively affected by incorporating an exercise routine. Our clients will experience fitness up to five times weekly. By the time they discharge from our program they will have experienced the positive benefits of fitness in their daily lives. Additionally, our staff will assist our clients in resources to continue this beneficial routine once they have completed treatment with us.


    Gender-specific Programming

    Arbor West recognizes the special needs of men in early recovery. Therefore, we offer a unique and innovative program to meet those needs. Our gender-specific programming is grounded in research, theory, and clinical practice. This program enables Arbor West clients to learn new skills and new ways of thinking of themselves as men.
    Specifically, this program is organized into four sections: Self, Relationships, Sexuality, and Spirituality. These are four areas that men consistently identify as the triggers for relapse and the areas of greatest change in their recovery process.

    Within the four sections, specific topics are covered, including:

    • Self-awareness and identity
    • How men are socialized in our society
    • The impact of the family of origin
    • Grounding and relaxation techniques
    • Communication
    • Power, violence, and abuse
    • Trauma and addiction
    • Sexual identity
    • Healthy sexuality
    • Spiritual evolution

    Since men face a unique set of challenges in early recovery, this gender-specific, evidence-based curriculum is a critical component of the Arbor West 90-Day treatment program, and has proven essential for long-term recovery.


    Family Program

    Our Family Program is a combination of educational and therapeutic modalities. It is a three and a half day intensive program offered monthly, and is ideal for family members, partners, and significant others affected by addiction. It is lead and directed by masters-level clinicians, and is an experiential program which includes equine assisted therapy, group interaction, individual sessions and other therapeutic activities.

    A basic aspect of the treatment philosophy at Arbor West is to view addiction as a family disease. As a family disease, everyone in a relationship with the addict is affected. Statistics show that the addicted person generally affects the lives of at least four other people. And, everyone in the family system is hurting. This perspective is a widely accepted component of the disease model of addiction and is considered the systems approach to addressing imbalance in the family unit.

    This approach states that whenever one member of the family adopts an unhealthy behavioral pattern, the entire family system is affected negatively. The consequent result to the family system can be the development of corresponding behavioral patterns by family members which are often as unhealthy or in some cases, even more imbalanced than the original individual who was identified as being “sick.” Ultimately, those patterns intertwine in ways which perpetuate the family difficulties as the system functions to promote personal adaptation rather than growth.

    Based on this theoretical view of addiction, as it relates to the family, it is the mission of Arbor West to assist family members and significant others in changing the negative effects generated in their lives due to being emotionally close to and personally involved with someone suffering from addiction.

    We will discuss:

    • Why the American Medical Association defines addiction as a disease
    • Relapse and relapse prevention
    • What Al-Anon is and why it is important for you to attend
    • What “working a program” means

    The 3 C’s:

    • You didn’t Cause the addiction
    • You can’t Control the addiction/addicted person
    • You can’t Cure the addiction

    You will learn how to:

    • Regain your self-respect
    • Establish better boundaries
    • Identify & effectively express emotions
    • Cope with stress
    • Deal with anger and resentment
    • Forgive yourself

    For more information about our Family Program, please click Family Program or contact our Admissions Director now at (844) 413-2690.


    Equine Assisted Therapy

    “Working with the horses is a way to return to nature, expand our hearts and minds in ways we never thought possible.  It facilitates healing at a deep level, those wounds that have left us diminished and fragmented.”

    – Mary Lynn Szymandera, LCDC, CEIP

    The Arbor Equine Therapy Program

    The Arbor Equine Therapy Program                       

    The majority of people presenting for treatment at The Arbor are disconnected from many internal aspects of themselves. This disconnection stems from various painful life experiences and challenges. Often admitting clients will struggle if asked simply to identify a feeling at any particular moment, much less be able to define what is causing the feeling. A consequence of such disconnection is that the individuals lose the ability to release painful or negative emotions through healthy channels such as openly sharing with another human being. Therefore, many turn to alcohol and drugs to manage such emotions.

    Our equine assisted therapy program utilizes the innate gentleness and natural instincts of horses to help our clients reconnect to authenticity, intimacy, communication, and trust. Horses respond to what is occurring internally rather than to what is being said or presented outwardly. For example, if a client presents externally as calm but internally is struggling with much anxiety, a horse will reflect this incongruence by not connecting with the client or by being uncooperative. The horse itself becomes anxious because of the incongruence. Through repeated work with the horse, the client learns how to reconnect and identify feelings followed by learning how to openly and honestly express such feelings. This process supports our clients down the path of recovery.

    The Equine Therapy Staff

    The Equine Program is directed by Kris Gonzalez, M.S. Kris joined The Arbor in 2012 under the mentorship of Mary Lynn Szymandera, LCDC, CEIP (founder of The Arbor’s Equine Program). Kris has over 10 years of experience in equine assisted services and therapies, and over 20 years of experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Kris is a Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, and is certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. She also received training in Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association and Natural Lifemanship™. Kris has worked with children and adults with addictions and disabilities, at risk youth, children in foster care, veterans, and the homeless.

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