Group Workshops Offer Valuable Life Skills
Substance use, mental health, and co-occurring disorders are complex diseases, and no two people facing them are exactly alike. That’s why Eagleville provides an evidence-based education program to provide clients with the life skills and information they need—wherever they are in their journey.
“No two people are at the same level when it comes to the so-called ‘soft skills’ of life,” says Lara Haagen, Eagleville Hospital’s Adjunctive Therapies Clinical Coordinator. “We’re all at different places when it comes to issues like managing money, parenting, finding and keeping a job and managing relationships.”
For all co-occurring and long-term patients, Eagleville provides life skills workshops using Hazelden’s Living Skills program.
These weekly programs cover a wide range of topics:
- Interpersonal skills
- Refusal skills
- Making decisions
- Managing money
- Looking for work
- Setting and attaining goals
- Self-care, hygiene and leisure
“One of the best elements of these workshops is the audio-visual component,” Haagen says. “Sometimes videos used in recovery programs are outdated or the people in them are paid actors, but these videos are modern, and they feature real people who are really in recovery.”
Clients also engage in individual, small group, and large group work and are provided with worksheets that guide them through the courses.
“Learning in the group setting can be helpful because patients are able to offer advice to the group if they have a particular strength in one area,” Haagen notes.
A smaller group, available by referral only, uses Hazelden’s Living Skills: Parenting and Child Development program to educate parents in recovery.
This four-week group discusses:
- The types of parenting styles
- How a parenting style develops
- Healthy parenting behaviors
- Child development and age-appropriate expectations
- Hands-on parenting skills to try after discharge
“The parenting course is more than just skill-building,” Haagen says. “It often becomes like a support group. The clients are learning from the facilitator, but they also share experiences and skills within their group. We see lots of lightbulb moments in this group.”
For clients who have not yet obtained a high school diploma, Eagleville offers GED test preparation. After a skills assessment, clients are given study materials and time to prepare for the exam. Online practice tests are also provided.
“Not every client is with us long enough to effectively prepare for the GED, but we do offer resources for those who want to continue preparing and/or take the test in their own community after discharge,” Haagen says.
Clients are also encouraged to apply for a grant from the Shapiro Family Fund to support the cost of their GED test.