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Treating addiction is not like treating other kinds of illness. There is no medicine that can heal all the symptoms, and no course of care that can guarantee an addiction will be cured for good. As anyone who has been through treatment for drug or alcohol addiction can attest, recovery is a lifelong process — while the phrase “recovery is a journey” may seem cliché, it rings true for those who have experienced the many ups and downs of achieving and maintaining sobriety.

At The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, we don’t let these challenges prevent us from pursuing a healthy, sober lifestyle. In fact, our outlook is precisely the opposite: we know that recovery won’t always be easy, but we also know that our continuum of care provides the added support that our clients and their families need when they are most vulnerable. Our Extended Care Treatment Program is one of the levels of care we offer to safely guide our clients as they navigate their life in recovery.

Extended Care is designed to provide clients with a bridge between inpatient treatment and traditional sober living, a transition that can be jarring as individuals in recovery adjust to new levels of independence. This program is also ideal for those who have had a period of sobriety but have briefly or mildly relapsed, as it provides a budget-friendly sober environment and structured care on a less intensive schedule than full-time inpatient treatment. Our Extended Care Treatment Program includes a full 12-step completion process, access to excellent therapeutic resources and a specific focus on practical and therapeutic life skills. The Arbor’s addiction recovery programs, including Extended Care, are located in the heart of Austin, Texas with easy access to recovery meetings and employment.

Program Details

Extended Care at The Arbor includes gender-specific sober housing in Austin, accompanied by recovery treatment on an intensive outpatient schedule. Extended Care clients will attend regular clinical sessions with other Extended Care and Intensive Outpatient clients. These sessions, held at our nearby outpatient facility, will include both men and women to reintroduce co-educational trust and bonds.

  • Adult (18+) program
  • 90-day average length of stay, with the option to transition to sober living following program completion
  • Weekly house community meeting
  • Daily breakfast and 1 dinner per week included
  • Transportation included
  • 12-step immersion and completion
  • Monthly Equine Assisted Therapy
  • Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
  • Recovery Advocacy services
  • Random toxicology testing
  • Daily prayer and meditation groups
  • Nightly evening review groups
  • Full-time, On-site advocate
sober living extended care pool

Why Extended Care is Beneficial to Long-Term Recovery

The transition out of inpatient treatment can be difficult. It can take months for clients in early recovery from drug and alcohol addiction to acclimate to a new environment, particularly after being immersed in treatment through intensive, full-time inpatient care. As clients leave their inpatient recovery program, they must develop an understanding of what their challenges and goals are, begin to implement a plan for sustained change and improvement and put into practice the life skills that were introduced in treatment — all while adjusting to a new home, new surroundings and new schedule.

At The Arbor, we know that this is a lot to ask of individuals who are still in their first few months of sobriety. Without aftercare, the days spent in primary treatment can prove to be insufficient preparation for the challenges of sober day-to-day life. It is vital that clients have enough time to internalize their improved life skills, strengthen time management skills and address the other varied aspects of life that encompass a holistic plan for recovery. We recognize the need for a long-term program that guides clients through a continuum of care, resulting in sustainable sobriety and freedom.

To achieve our goal of helping our clients find long-lasting freedom from addiction to drugs or alcohol, we provide a continuum of care focused on safely guiding individuals from active addiction through sober independence. We begin with a 90-day residential treatment program that solidifies physical sobriety and offers ample time for important skill-building and educational interventions. Our Extended Care program is then designed to complement inpatient treatment with a further 90 days of structured support and a step closer to complete independence. We also offer sober living, intensive outpatient and relapse prevention levels of care in the Austin, Texas area, as well as family and alumni support programs.

Life Skills

In considering the many aspects of life that suffer during active alcoholism and drug addiction, life skills are an essential aspect of recovery that is too often neglected. While this term can seem a bit broad, life skills can be defined as any psychological, social or interpersonal skill that is important for day-to-day life. Examples include:

  • Time management
  • Appropriate boundaries in conversations
  • Meal planning or preparation
  • Budgeting
  • Hygiene
  • Professionalism

The fact that many of these skills must be relearned, or even taught from scratch, can be one of the most overwhelming aspects of recovery, and therefore has become one of the key focuses of The Arbor’s Extended Care Treatment Program.

By meeting clients where they are at, setting measurable and attainable goals and providing support along the way, we help clients learn to live again.

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Three Phases of Arbor Extended Care Program

Extended Care at The Arbor is broken down into three distinct phases over the course of the recommended 90-day program: Orientation, Preparation and Integration. The phases are based on steps 1-4, 5-8 and 9-12 of the 12 Steps, respectively, and are designed to progressively introduce clients to more self-accountability, responsibility and independence.


Phase 1 focuses on introducing the client to their new environment and setting the 12 steps in motion. Clients will be placed in a home group — a dedicated group for 12-step work — and will obtain a 12-step sponsor.


Phase 2 introduces clients to more life skills and reintroduces some skills covered in residential treatment. At this time, clients should be progressing through the 12 steps and be able to provide peer support for new housemates beginning Phase 1.


Phase 3 marks the final four of the 12 steps. Clients will plan their discharge from Extended Care, will complete intensive outpatient programming and will mentor housemates in Phases 1 and 2. Clients in this phase also enjoy more independence, including additional offsite activities.