Family Video Counseling Aids in Substance Abuse Treatment

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Offers Long Distance Support For Lasting Recovery

substance abuse treatmentCHICAGO, January 30, 2012—When the best substance abuse treatment for a person’s drug abuse or drug addiction isn’t close to home, it makes it difficult for family members to participate in the treatment of a loved one. Recognizing family involvement is an integral aspect that provides both immediate and long-term benefits to individuals in recovery, Gateway Foundation Lake Villa has added a valuable service to its Family Program to assist families that live at a distance through online video counseling.

“At Gateway Foundation, we know substance abuse treatment that engages family members in the treatment process is helpful. We know that a positive and supportive recovery environment helps improve and maintain recovery. That is why we are integrating video technology to make family involvement as convenient as possible,” explains Gateway Foundation Clinical Director Dr. Phil Welches.

Currently available for families of individuals in Residential Treatment at Gateway Foundation Lake Villa with broadband Internet access and a computer, Gateway Foundation’s Family Video Counseling sessions are conducted via a secure video conferencing software application that is fully compliant with federal health regulations to ensure privacy. During the sessions, family situations related to substance abuse issues are discussed in an open and respectful manner. In addition, family members can learn coping skills, increase understanding of how to support a chemically dependent individual and gain insight into what to expect in recovery.

“Based on the encouraging results and positive feedback from families who participate in video counseling sessions, we plan to roll out Family Video Counseling to other Gateway Foundation residential substance abuse treatment centers this year,” says Dr. Welches.

Located approximately 50 miles northwest of Chicago, Gateway Foundation Lake Villa is situated on a beautiful 43-acre campus on the shores of the Fox Lake. For more information about alcohol and drug abuse treatment for adults and adolescents at the Lake Villa center, please visit RecoverGateway.org.

About Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment is Illinois’ largest provider of substance abuse treatment, providing services for adults and adolescents at treatment centers throughout the state. Gateway is licensed by the state of Illinois and accredited by The Joint Commission, the leading accrediting organization for hospitals and behavioral healthcare organizations. Each year, Gateway Foundation helps thousands of individual’s successfully complete treatment.

To learn more about Gateway Foundation’s free and confidential consultation, call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Gateway Foundation Alumni Support Others in Early Recovery

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Gateway Foundation Chicago West

At Gateway Foundation Chicago West, three dedicated Alumni women are bonding with others in early recovery on a regular basis. The threesome takes turns, visiting Gateway Foundation support groups every week to share their stories and connect with women in treatment.

“I keep going to the support groups to give back to where I came from—my foundation,” says Kelli, an Alumnus who volunteers at Gateway Foundation Chicago West. “I am showing newcomers that they can do it no matter what. I encourage them to give themselves a chance and to stay strong.”

“I believe it is particularly powerful when Alumni come to talk to others in treatment. The Alumni have walked the walk. They have worked with our counselors, followed the rules and lived with 15 other women (not easy to do),” explains Gabriela Raijer, Clinical Supervisor at the Chicago West Treatment Center. “Their experience is validated by the Alumni and they can see that early recovery can lead to long-term recovery.”

Supporting others is a great way for people in recovery to enhance their own recovery efforts as well. Ms. Raijer points out that assisting others keeps individuals in recovery grounded and creates an opportunity to reconnect with counselors if needed. What’s more, visiting Gateway Foundation acts as a reminder of where they came from and how challenging it was when they were first getting into recovery.

“It is dangerous to disconnect. I have to give it, for me to keep it,” states Novi, an Alumnus who is active in leading recovery groups at Gateway Foundation Chicago West.

“About a month ago, one of our clients was walking out the door, dragging her clothes with her. Novi, a Gateway Foundation Alumnus, happened to be waiting to start the Saturday monthly Alumni meeting in the lobby when she noticed the woman leaving. Novi pulled the client to the side, told her to ‘hold on’ and next thing we know, Novi convinced the woman to stay. Novi was in the right place at the right time and I was grateful to have her here,” explains Ms. Raijer.

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