Phase 2 begins after a person has had their immediate needs addressed and has been oriented to the program. This crucial phase can be thought of as the person’s transition from the newness of joining JOH to settling into a daily routine in your program. Timing differs from person to person, but phase 2 will probably last one to six weeks.
Some members will join the JOH community before they are 100 percent committed to recovery. That’s okay. Providing individualized treatment is a core value that means respectfully meeting the person at whatever stage of change they’re in.
Intentionality is another core value of this—and every—phase. Don’t wait for members to reach a point at which you feel they’re “ready” for treatment services. Instead, deliberately begin to build rapport with the member while starting to identify and address each member’s habilitation needs and goals.
Regardless of the person’s investment in treatment services, paying attention to their nonclinical needs may increase their motivation for treatment and help them to succeed in the residential program and beyond. Services that initiate engagement and habilitation include the spectrum of activities that enhance readiness for treatment and increase adult living skills, such as improving hygiene, housekeeping, or communication. Use this phase productively, and document in the treatment plan how the nonclinical aspects of your work with the individual serve to support treatment or contribute to treatment-related goals.
Why is Phase 2 important?
Check in with the new member about how they’re feeling in the program and ask about what the program can do to help them feel comfortable. Instead of asking a general question such as “How are you doing?”, ask specific questions about how they’re adjusting to the program in several specific areas, such as with undertaking household responsibilities, participating in groups, and working with their peer specialist. Help new members stay positive about their transition to residential treatment and acknowledge the skills and flexibility it requires. Also seek to engage new members as full human beings with interests, needs, and experiences that extend beyond those related to recovery.
Expect to earn trust slowly, but work to build trust with intention and don’t assume it will happen “naturally.” It’s important to always approach members with respect and engage them with transparency, honesty, and sincerity. Show interest in a person outside of their formal treatment encounters, such as by starting a conversation when you pass them in the hallway. Also demonstrate your trustworthiness by asking individuals about their priority concerns and then helping them accomplish those priorities first.
Individuals in JOH may never have been asked what they want for their lives, or they may have given up on their dreams long ago. Members who have been in and out of traditional treatment services may have stock answers to questions about what they want in life. Dig deeper. Work with someone to renew their willingness to dream and to inspire hope in their future. Try to learn about what they genuinely want for their lives.
Use motivational interviewing, storytelling, and other activities to help a person identify their personal challenges to achieving what they want out of life. Help the person use these insights and connections to motivate or strengthen their commitment to recovery as a condition for achieving their hopes and dreams.
Building concrete skills that the person wants for themselves is a core JOH value. In practice, it begins with a skills assessment. In preparation for pursing recovery and other goals, complete the BPS assessment and also work with the person to identify strengths and personal assets, self-care skills, life skills, and recovery capital, including their individual, family, social, and community assets. Use a recovery-oriented approach that looks at skills in a variety of domains.
Individuals may come into your program believing that they have no particular skills, or they may underestimate the skills they have. You can help them identify skills by listening carefully to their stories and naming or re framing some of the skills you see. This approach also reflects the goal of healing-centered engagement. For example, a history of chronic homelessness might suggest the person has strong survival skills, and joining your JOH program may suggest the person has a positive outlook. Using a recovery-oriented approach doesn’t mean that you ignore areas of vulnerability. If a person has to increase skills in a certain area for their well-being or to achieve goals, it’s important to document those areas and ask them to prioritize building those skills.