Here at Above and Beyond we offer outpatient group for individuals who seek healing from substance abuse. All groups are facilitated by one of our exceptional clinicians. Group is a safe setting where our clients can be educated about substance abuse and process any underlying issues with the group. It is important for our clients to be able to relate to one another and develop interpersonal relationships. Group is a wonderful platform to do so. We offer level I and level II DASA certified outpatient group.
Our individual sessions at Above and Beyond allow our clients to meet one on one with a counselor twice a week so that personal and individual circumstances can be diagnosed with personal attention. Our counselors have Master’s Degrees, CADC distinguishments, and most are Licensed Social Workers (LSW) or Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) which classifies our therapeutic ability as “Above and Beyond”. We believe one on one counseling is essential, in that, the client and counselor can develop an understanding and meet the client where they are at with a therapeutic bond that can weather all temptations that they might face outside of our facility.
Our purpose in direct treatment of trauma is to remove one of the primary reasons that our clients drink and use. Since evidence shows us that 85% of our substance abusing populations are afflicted with diagnosable levels of trauma, we have found that direct treatment of the cause works statistical miracles when we move to treat the symptoms. Our Trauma Program allows our clients to process traumatic experiences that might have caused them to use drugs or alcohol. We believe trauma plays a big part in an addict's life, with more than half of those seeking treatment suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and another significant portion who are in the grips of Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS), which is a variation of the former but specific to African-American populations. Simply put, our successful treatment of Substance Use Disorder is greatly enhanced by addressing the trauma related to it. Our groups and individual sessions follow a safety-seeking approach (seekingsafety.org provides our first hour of curriculum (evidence based and APA approved)). and we follow with an hour and a half of processing for 2.5 hours, twice-a-week. Our trauma groups are wildly popular, uniquely interactive and offer tangible, real relief. Trauma group allows our clients to process traumatic events in life that might have caused them to use drugs/alcohol. We believe trauma plays a big part in an addict's life. Whether you have been a crime victim, involved in an accident or natural disaster, or were the victim of childhood abuse, the resulting trauma is similar. Pervasive fear and feelings of helplessness are natural reactions to events you probably had little or no control over. "I was totally traumatized," and "I thought I was going to die," are among the most often used phrases used to describe such occurrences. Unfortunately, trauma and the stress that follows, is on the rise at the turn of the new millennium in America. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome the "aftershocks" of traumatic incidents. 1. Recognize that their symptoms are normal reactions to abnormal circumstances. Although they may feel like they are out of control or "going crazy," in reality they are experiencing what are called post-traumatic stress symptoms. It’s a “thing”. 2. Talk about their thoughts, feeling and reactions to the events with people they trust in group and with their counselor. Then, they talk about it some more. In fact, they keep talking about it until they have no need to talk about it anymore. They’ve talking it out of their frontal lobes. 3. We do whatever it takes to create a feeling of safety and tranquility in their immediate environment and wherever they stay. This helps them open up and they participate in the many creative strategies we suggest. 4. As much and as quickly as possible, we get them to resume their normal activities and routines. Traumatic events usually throw their already stressful lives into heightened states of chaos. The sooner they can resume their normal activities and routines, the more normal their lives feel. Local robberies are not uncommon and CTA train incidents are not uncommon, so not only does childhood abuse come out but it’s compounded by where they travel to, hang out, and sleep at night, which many times is the street. 5. They are in a recovery process that is complemented by their treatment plans. Give themselves proper rest, nutrition and exercise. We encourage them to recover from traumatic stress in similar ways that they would recover from the flu or a cold - they need to take care of themselves. 6. We encourage them, sometimes call them out, to take affirmative actions on their own behalves. For example, if they were a victim of crime, prosecuting the perpetrator may be an empowering experience. If they can’t do that, even though we have access to free legal services for them, we have them journal it, or draw it out in Art Therapy or strike out at the perpetrator with words in Rhyme 2 Reason Group.
Break the Chains is a substance abuse support program specifically tailored for men and women of African descent. It is a manifestation of the understanding that the experience of Africans in America is unique, as is the trauma stemming from the historical inequities of the interaction between African people and Western (American) society. In that the traumas are chronic, peculiar, and dynamically impactful, we endeavor to construct a modality that is as relatively comprehensive. This approach will employ a historically and psychologically layered perspective, connecting the psychically affective levels of American historical racism using a political-social-personal matrix. We will incorporate aspects of REBT, Mindfulness, PTSS, identity and unconditional self-acceptance (USA), cultural empowerment, and nutritional neuropsychology to inspire sustainable healing for the clients. In order to maximize the propensity for wholeness and dynamic healing, we will take into account the biochemical elements to addiction by employing DHA Omega-3, anti-inflammation, and micronutrient supplementation to target the parts of the brain related to substance abuse.
In this intense two-hour twice-a-week session, participants learn the Rational Emotive Behavior Theory of emotional disturbance and change by one of the leading REBT practitioners in the world, Terry London. Strategies for identifying and challenging clients' dysfunctional beliefs and constructing more adaptive beliefs, emotions and behavior are always a primary focus of the group, and the results are nothing less than staggering. This is the only place in the United States where this type of easily learned and usable psychology is being made available by a leading practitioner, therapist, and author to street populations. REBT's conceptualization of emotions and reducing some of the common errors that new REBT therapists make is also covered in every single session by use of real life examples where the group participants can "learn by doing", which vastly supercedes hypothetical "role playing". Participants then practice their REBT skills in small group supervision and receive immediate feedback from one of several of the most experienced, certified REBT supervisors available, who are facilitators of the meetings.
REBT Rage ReductionRage and anger are two forms of aggressive emotional response that can be triggered by either internal or external situations that are interpreted as frustrating, painful, or threatening. The difference between rage and anger is a matter of degree. While anger is an appropriate response to some situations, rage can lead to uncontrolled and violent behavior. Both anger and rage are big problems for many of those struggling with addiction and it's often one of the complicating factors in achieving recovery goals for our clients. Society and family seem to provide and endless source of stimuli and triggers for them to be angry, and many times it seems as if aggression gets good results for them with very little downside. Expressions of anger may feel good to them temporarily, and sometimes their threatening and intimidating behavior achieves the immediate goal. Unfortunately, being aggressive takes less thought than being assertive. However, the latest research tells us very clearly that some things we used to think were helpful aren't. One of the discredited therapeutic practices is "venting". Ask an angry person how he or she feels after screaming or pummeling a pillow, and the response is often "much better," so it is easy to understand how the idea that "venting helps" gained its undeserved legitimacy. Research shows conclusively that venting makes things worse. It actually increases feelings of anger and aggressive inclinations, making the problem worse. A focus on anger management in domestic violence cases also has come into question. Domestic violence experts advise that the problem for perpetrators is a deeper one than impulse control. It is believed that anger management classes might even help perpetrators gain skills necessary to fine-tune the domination and exploitation of their victims. For these reasons, Above and Beyond does not offer Anger Management therapy of this disproven type and instead offers a proprietary REBE Rage Reduction Education (taught in group) and REBT Rage Reduction Therapy (applied in individual counseling sessions) that is evidence based. The radically positive results it produces do not work through suppression or diversion, but instead give the afflicted perpetrators an ability to arrest (thought catch) their emotions before they get hijacked, escalated, and cause huge problematic outcomes. Our first step is to assess clients in this area to determine the depth and severity of the problem and how it is exacerbated by Substance Use Disorder, so "showing up" at our offices is the first step. The book below was written by Terry London and is available for purchase at Above and Beyond. It is standard issue for those in Rage Reduction Groups (also taught by Terry London) and through the individual counseling sessions that A & B clients receive through their counselors. This is but another of the many "distinguishing characteristics" that Above and Beyond considers precious and fundamental to their mission of helping guide their clients into meaningful, sustainable lives. Our book, written by Terry London, is available here.
Viktor Frankl, since his birth in 1905 into a Jewish family in Vienna never wavered from his dream, pursuing medicine, neurology, and psychiatry and eventually became the founder of logotherapy - most simply defined as healing through meaning or growth through meaning. Logotherapy is not so much a method to cure the sick as it is a method to maintain health through a world view that stresses what is right with us rather than what is wrong and it is very useful to our populations of substance abusers. The concept is to give our clients the ability to follow our programs and therapeutic treatment plans which we then supplement by helping them to uncover their meaning and purpose in life so they are drawn towards it, while being pushed and guided by their treatments plans and programs. Viktor Frankl was unprepared for the unbelievable horrors he would be subjected to with the advance and occupation of his city, religion, and culture by Adolf Hitler and his Nazis however his studies in how suffering can be overcome attitudinally were deeply embedded in his psyche. After surviving the Holocaust and losing his family, which he describes in his book Man's Search for Meaning, he returned to civilization with his foundation tested and beliefs proven. Frankl's logotherapy and existential analysis is considered the third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. For Irvin Yalom, Frankl, "has devoted his career to a study of an existential approach to therapy, has apparently concluded that the lack of meaning is the paramount existential stress. To him, existential neurosis is synonymous with a crisis of meaninglessness". The classes, groups and individual sessions are taught by Above and Beyond's Executive Director who, himself, is engaged in becoming a "Diplomate" in Logotherapy through the Viktor Frankl School of Psychotherapy which is headquartered in Vienna. The standard issue booklet for participants is available here.
Because of the seemingly overwhelming plethora of evidence that points clearly to spirituality’s direct role in reducing recidivism and increasing the stability of our clients, coupled with our Executive Director’s past role as ED of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, we have stepped out of the ordinary boundaries of most addiction treatment centers to offer a unparalleled program of spirituality that is unique in the United States. The culture and rules of conduct revolve around evidence based psychological pylons that bring our groups together in a nurturing and loving community that helps us all follow the Golden Rule as our primary focus. We bond. We think and pray with our hearts without the divisive need to define who or what we are appealing to, or worshipping. It goes much beyond the fabled 12-step “Higher Power”, which many of our damaged clients have mistaken as code for Christianity, and is distinctively inclusive instead of exclusive and only for those who look and act like everyone else in the group. Above and Beyond professes no belief that any one collection of religious rituals trumps any other, and has put together this brief set of boundaries, beliefs, and practices into a standard issue booklet, which is available here, so that it might be useful to our community members in their recovery instead of piling on the guilt, shame, and remorse that many of them are trying to escape through their addictions. As this group grows and evolves, binaural beats and other creative, healing approaches are being experimented with. Our clients love it.
Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses expression and creative process to improve a person's physical, mental and emotional well-being. A fun way for individuals to express themselves. The art that is produced in this group is scanned and attached to the permanent electronic records of the client so that it can become a part of the counselor’s meetings and can give indications of mental health and stability, or lack of it, that would not otherwise be available to them.
Our Trademarked Street Yoga at Above and Beyond is unique because it brings certified trauma yoga instruction to the people who likely need it the most. Our program involves simple breathing exercises, mindful meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, all aimed at relieving stress and calming the mind and body.
Whether our clients are in the grips of their substance abuse and trying to quit, chronically disturbed by compulsions that they have difficulty controlling, are experiencing anxieties and lack of peace, or just can't get going in the morning without coffee, the therapeutic Acupuncture treatments that we offer at Above and Beyond can help to overcome these symptoms of dis-ease. Our Acupuncture alcohol and drug addiction treatments can curb cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms to help naturally detox from substance abuse, decrease the cravings, and increase peace and tranquility. Our specialist in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine treatment uses inserts his special needles into acupuncture points to adjust the Qi, or energy, of our body. Because our populations are reluctant to expose much of their skin, he focuses on Auricular Ear Acupuncture, which is a microsystem or micromeridian style of Acupuncture treatment that maps the entire body onto the ear. Smaller needles are used to stimulate ear points in order to induce a physiological response. Our clients who partake of these sessions report immediate reductions in their symptoms of addiction, pain, and stress. When combined with psychological counseling by our addiction specialists, Acupuncture has become an integral, holistic method to help our clients manage their withdrawal symptoms and curb their cravings.
E.F.T. is a powerful self-help tool that can easily be taught to any population. Many clients appreciate this simple technique that bypasses the intellect and traditional talk therapy. Instead, clients learn to gently tap on acupressure points on the face and torso that helps individuals to quickly calm themselves down in stressful situations. E.F.T. doesn't necessarily solve problems, but it eases tensions so that the client is in a better mind set to solve their own problems. Treating addiction with E.F.T. (Emotional Freedom Technique) or "tapping" is a two-part process. The most urgent issue is typically the physical craving, which is one major relapse initiator that E.F.T. resolves. Tapping provides surprisingly fast relief for cravings, which allows our clients to lower their use/intake of the addicting substance or activity amazingly quickly. Tapping also gives addicts a healthy replacement for their addiction. For instance, someone who's trying to stop drinking alcohol can briefly excuse him or herself from a dinner party and go into the kitchen or bathroom to tap for a few minutes to calm themselves and quiet the physical craving to drink. For true long-term resolution of any addiction Above and Beyond therapists, faciliators, and counselors address the root causes, which are the unresolved emotional issues behind the addiction. For example, an alcoholic who began drinking excessively after a divorce would ultimately need to do tapping around his or feelings of loss or betrayal from the breakdown of that marriage, rather than just tapping on the alcohol abuse. Our "tapping" is taught by a Ph.D. with 3 Master's Degrees who appreciates the opportunity to help the neediest of the needy learn how to help themselves calm down and reduce stress.
Membership in this group becomes available when the client has finished 50% of their treatment hours because it is directly tied into our job readiness and employment pieces. This status is called “Membership” and the attendees in these group sessions will all be “Members” of Above and Beyond. The main themes of the group sessions are how to understand the importance and relevance of, and how to improve: interviewing skills, nonverbal language, resume writing, budgeting, saving skills, receiving a paycheck and not triggering, how to live with roommates, how to communicate without offending, and how to show up consistently and on-time. Typically, this class will feature an employer or entrepreneur or business owner who will speak to the group regarding what they are looking for in an employee. Hopefully, this close proximity with someone who has self-realized their life’s goals, or is in the process of it, will stimulate our participants into realizing that the main difference is attitude. These are “can do” sessions that build on positivity and the power of intention but are firmly rooted in the truthism that “actions speak louder than words.”
Above and Beyond believes that the success of sustainable, long-term recovery will be bolstered when our clients are employed and housed. Our experience supports this as does common sense. However, on the other side of the coin, 68 percent of all United States cities blame addiction for causing homelessness which syncs seamlessly with estimates from the National Coalition for the Homeless. They claim that 38 percent of homeless people are addicted to alcohol and over a quarter of the nation's homeless are addicted to some type of drug. An even more sorrowful statistic speaks to a 70 percent addiction disorder rate among the nation's veteran homeless population. Without the right treatment for addiction, it becomes almost impossible to escape homelessness. The downward spiral continues to drag down an entire cross section of our communities, who could otherwise be contributing members of their families, neighborhoods, and workplaces. To further complicate matters, f finding appropriate housing can be an additional stress-causing burden during recovery due to discrimination and cost issues. We believe that a crucial factor in the support of the process of recovery is having a sober living environment. We are committed to the aid of those in need of appropriate, affordable shelter. Fortunately for this disadvantaged group of addicts, alcoholics, and substance abusers, there is Above and Beyond. We are pledged to serve them. We have developed a system of 'housing by referral' that will place our clients in residential situations which can best support their recovery programs. Our Housing Program offers our clients full time case management so that, together, we can explore Chicago's vast array of appropriate housing options. Maintaining our links with the robust resources of our city, we will be expanding our network of supportive referral agencies in a manner best suited to the needs of our clients. We are deeply committed to our mission of preparing our clients for a healthy transition to a new life in a promising environment.
Our unique and proprietary employment readiness program is named WERKforce, for Wonder, Excellence, Resilience, and Knowledge. Rooted in the core concepts of the Co-Active Coaching model, we hold our clients as naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. Anyone can participate in the WERKforce curriculum and we envision this service to be of cornerstone importance in the preparation of our clients for their productive and rewarding job search. Included in our skill building curriculum are workshops in resume and cover letter writing and mock interviews which are recorded and supported by peers in our computer lab. Field trips to employment sites and community colleges and coaching in the making of cold calls will broaden our clients' experience of our rich Chicago community resources. Upon completion of our four-week program, job seekers will continue with their job search until they find employment. Above and Beyond is committed to offering on-going support, case management and follow up as a critical part of our WERKforce Program.
With Abstinence as always an ideal outcome, Above and Beyond is a Harm Reduction Recovery Center which means that we have embraced a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing the negative consequences associated with substance abuse. We also house and support most movements for social justice built on our belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who abuse substances and behave harmfully to their environment and those around them.
Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center is the nation's only outpatient treatment centers that offer a Vestibule approach, educating all clients about the treatment programs available to them and allowing them to choose the one that's best for them. This innovative approach offers better outcomes and greater sustained abstinence. A short film presents our copyrighted “Vestibule” and is seen by every single Above and Beyond intake patient at the end of their initial assessment and is one of the more prominent of our many "distinguishing characteristics". It is self-explanatory in offering our clients enough information about which program of support to choose (either SMART Recovery or AA) to make their "informed consent" so that their initial treatment plan can be written around it. Then, after they have attended one of each meeting they can revisit the topic with their counselor and finalize which support modality they will adopt somewhat more permanently.
12-Step Meetings are based on the 12-step recovery process, used to address a client's addictive challenges. Above and Beyond offers a plethora of 12-step options, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous, and "Quad A," or Alcoholics Anonymous for Atheists and Agnostics. We also offer Al-Anon and Alateen for family members of alcoholics.
SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is a science-based, self-empowerment program organized around groups that help members gain independence from addictions and addictive behaviors. It is based on a 4-Point Approach that encourages members to take responsibility for their recovery by understanding and managing the underlying behaviors that cause them.
Uniquely innovative to Above and Beyond, ABC-12 Steps blends two of the primary SUD (Substance Use Disorder) treatment modalities - the 12 Steps of AA and REBT - into one cohesive program that embodies the most functional features of each one while discarding some of the elements which have caused unnecessary confusion and controversy. It accommodates whatever belief system a member brings to it, and provides behavioral therapy that encourages abstinence.
WFS (Women for Sobriety) is a self-help Program for women with problems of addiction. It is the first and only self-help Program for women only and its precepts take into account the very special problems women have in recovery - the need for feelings of self-value and self-worth, and the need to expatiate feelings of guilt and humiliation. Our groups are run by WFS Certified Moderators who have good demonstrated excellent (advanced) facilitator abilities, and are thoroughly acquainted with the WFS Program and its philosophy. Meetings are held once a week and have a very special, and unique, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy modality built into the structure of the processing piece which dominates the interal part of the gathering. This insertion of REBT has been accomplished with the approval of WFS and we maintain a very interactive relationship with their central management so that our version of it can be authentic and representative of what their deceased founder, Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick intended. We purchase all of our materials through them in order to offer them support and any collections are sent directly to them in whole.
MFS (Men for Sobriety) is the male counterpart to WFS and is self-help Program for men with problems of addiction. It is the first and only gender-specific self-help Program for men and its precepts take into account the very special problems that men have in recovery - the need for feelings of self-value and self-worth, and the need to expatiate feelings of guilt and humiliation along with the guilt and humiliation that they themselves have wrought on others. Our groups are run by MFS Certified Moderators who have good demonstrated excellent (advanced) facilitator abilities, and are thoroughly acquainted with the MFS Program and its philosophy. Meetings are held once a week and have a very special, and unique, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy modality built into the structure of the processing piece which dominates the internal part of the gathering. This insertion of REBT has been accomplished with the approval of WFS (who are the inventors and caretakers of the MFS program which was also invented by Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick) and we maintain a very interactive relationship with their central management so that our version of it can be authentic and representative of what their deceased founder, Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick intended. We purchase all of our materials through them in order to offer them support and any collections are sent directly to them in whole.
At Above and Beyond Family Treatment Center, our experts in REBT and Logotherapy have learned to collaborate in order to design integrative protocols that now provide the most efficient and effective treatment plans available anywhere. Integrating Logotherapy with REBT has been a worthwhile scientific endeavor because it has added value at all levels: usability in the moment, client's motivation and well-being, therapeutic process efficiency, effectiveness, and relapse prevention. Logotherapy has opened a very complimentary "meaning" dimension which has deepened and broadened the scope of treatment: not only are the dysfunctional reactions and thoughts caught and modified but intentional, responsible, and meaningful actions are substituted which reflect genuine beliefs, meanings, and purposes instead of problematically serving the moment. Through individual and cross-functional techniques, our clients have been made capable of creating highly individualized and relevant goals which have increased their well-being, resilience, and self-sustainability at the end of therapy. Suffering has been redefined or minimized while well-being has been simultaneously maximized. Moving toward a logotherapy-enhanced REBT or a meaning-based REBT has been beneficial for both approaches and especially for the clients who have been recipients of this unlikely synchronistic partnership. As REBT ExpertTerry London puts it, “The Logotherapy piece revolves around developing the personal meaning/value in the context of one's life difficulties/struggles and the REBT piece is the set of tools to use to control one's emotional destiny during this search for meaningful purposes of one's life before death.”