At The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, our aim has always been to provide successful outcomes using state-of-the-art, highly individualized, dual diagnosis care. In order to meet this goal, we have paired with Kennesaw State University to participate in an outcomes study which will give better insight into aspects of recovery that we believe to be vital, beyond substance abuse.

This scientific research study is based on the Six Essentials of Recovery, published by Sterling Shumway Ph.D., LMFT and Thomas Kimball Ph.D., LMFT. These essential aspects of the recovery process (hopefulness, healthy coping skills, a sense of achievement and accomplishment, capacity for meaningful relationships, unique identity development, and reclamation of agency) have been a measure for sustainable, long-term sobriety and assist our clients in achieving a better quality of life beyond their substance use disorder (SUD).

This longitudinal study will hold us to a higher standard in the field of substance abuse treatment and help us determine what treatment modalities are most effective for successful client outcomes. The Arbor prides itself on helping clients find freedom from the grips of addiction and mental health issues. This research will help us determine which measures are best at promoting a successful life free from the bondage of drugs or alcohol, and beyond.

The Arbor’s Role In Scientific Research

At The Arbor, we believe successful recovery is measured by more than abstinence from illicit substances. Our longitudinal study will be measuring clients growth in the areas of self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-compassion, hope, resilience, recovery capital, empathy, and emotional intelligence. We are also interested in the role of family support and will be researching family members who participate in The Arbor’s family programming. Our goal is to enhance all areas of The Arbor’s programming to better serve our clients and those they care about. Additionally, we hope to contribute to recovery scientists who inform at the public health, state, and institutional levels.

The Arbor intends to take the lead in moving towards evidence-based practices and a substantial overhaul of how we measure effectiveness in addiction treatment at the residential, PHP, outpatient and sober living levels of care. We look forward to sharing our research vision with other professionals and programs in the industry in the near future and are pleased to announce that we have completed the planning stages of our collaborative research project with Kennesaw State University’s Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery (CYAAR) program. This project is based on Shumway and Kimball’s Six Essentials of Recovery and implementation into our systems of care began in April 2019!

What are the Six Essentials of Recovery?

6 Essentials of Recovery Infographic
The Six Essentials of Recovery are guiding principles that serve as the key to healing from addiction. These principles reinforce the 12-steps and enrich existing treatment programs by filling in the blanks to address aspects of recovery that may be overlooked. The Six Essentials of Recovery are:

  1. Hope — The ability to live with restored confidence or a reawakening after despair
  2. Healthy coping skills — Learning to manage the stress and pain in life
  3. Sense of achievement or accomplishment — Rediscovering self-efficacy to achieve your goals and move beyond the limits of substance use
  4. Capacity for meaningful relationships — Positive support from family, friends or peers and stronger social connections
  5. Unique identity development — Development or emergence of a healthy identity
  6. Reclamation of agency — Discarding your dependence and realizing that you have a choice

These six principles were created using a combination of research, personal stories and experiences, guided journals, exercises and more to help patients and their families recover from addiction. The practical application of the six steps has been shown to help patients manage and assess their recovery plan and think critically about their goals, needs and expectations. They also serve as a useful tool for measuring successful growth in different aspects of recovery, enabling addiction specialists and other professionals to address the unique needs of each patient as they progress through treatment. This results in improved outcomes and lower relapse rates as patients become more receptive to the techniques and therapies utilized in recovery.

Who Does This Research Benefit?

Both The Arbor and Kennesaw State University are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals struggling with substance use through effective treatment programs that encompass the numerous aspects of recovery. We believe that to truly heal from addiction, patients must not only overcome a physical dependence but need to explore the depths of their substance use disorder and begin to recover from the inside out. Addiction stifles an individual’s ability to thrive and live a healthy, fulfilling life. These limitations are damaging to one’s mental and spiritual health, contributing to a negative cycle and the deterioration of confidence, self-esteem and identity.

Research based on the Six Essentials of Recovery provides valuable insight into these facets of addiction and helps to identify ways in which deep, meaningful recovery can be promoted by addressing them. Individuals in recovery are engaged in a process to reclaim something they have lost — freedom, balance, stability — and are committed to rebuilding a life they thought was gone forever. This requires a great amount of strength, hope and patience, as well as support from family and friends. The research being conducted at The Arbor in collaboration with Kennesaw State University will help us determine which methods, techniques and approaches are the most effective so we can utilize the modalities that produce the most successful outcomes. This will not only benefit the patients in our care, but their friends, families, and communities as well.

This research will also be shared with other professionals in the field. Our participation in collaborative research with Kennesaw State University’s Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery is part of an organized effort to unite recovery researchers nationwide. Together, we are better equipped to move the field forward by disseminating our findings to other professionals, specialists and researchers. The goal is to become a leader in evidence-based treatments and influence the way in which recovery is approached. Healing from addiction entails much more than simply abstaining from drugs or alcohol. True recovery can be measured in a variety of ways and involves growth in several areas. By sharing our research with other professionals and scientists who influence state policy, public health, clinical theory and organizational decisions, we hope to leverage the insights we’ve collected and contribute to the development of more successful therapies, recovery-oriented policies and improved advocacy for addiction treatment.

Recovery Science at Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University’s Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery is a program designed to support young adults struggling with addiction by advancing our understanding of substance use through recovery science and evidence-based treatment programs. The Center engages in interdisciplinary, collaborative research with organizations at the local, state and national level to improve intervention strategies, treatment outcomes and program effectiveness. This research incorporates the experiences of students in recovery for a unique insight into the transformative process that occurs, giving us a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. The knowledge from these studies is used to inform treatment modalities and promote better prevention strategies, chemical dependency education, therapeutic approaches and more.

The Center for Young Adult Addiction Recovery is nationally recognized as a leader in addiction science for its vision, commitment and innovation. With a broad reach that influences the University, local community and organizations across the country, the Center is raising awareness and furthering addiction research nationwide. Over the next decade, the Center’s programs will expand to build a pathway to success and develop opportunities for academic degree programs, cutting-edge treatments and innovative research partnerships.

Contact The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare

The Arbor was created to provide individuals struggling with addiction the most effective treatments available. From the beginning, we have employed evidence-based modalities and valued the principles of recovery backed by scientific research. Our collaboration with Kennesaw State University is a continuation of this desire to give our patients the high-quality care they deserve and advance our understanding of substance use disorders. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, contact or call us today at 844.413.2690 to learn more about our programs and how they can help.