- Narrative therapy
- Cognitive behaviour therapy
- Reality therapy
- One-on-one counselling
- Group therapy
The program: an overview
- Parenting skills
- Star charts
- Nightly routine
- Meal times
- Children and activities
- Activities – group, children, craft, cooking, horses for healing, budgeting, yard chores, Sunday roast, night activities, kids movie night
Fresh Hope does not focus on the disease model or any other form of labelling. More helpful, more encouraging and more rewarding is the approach taken by Narrative therapists to empower the mother by assisting in bringing about their realization that they do have a problem but that it is external to themselves which means that it can be dealt with.
By externalizing the problem, a mother is relieved of the burden of being an addict for instance, and becomes, instead, one who is influenced by an addiction, a positive and empowering thought. The person is, therefore, able to separate the problem from themselves. Hence, the rehabilitation residents at Fresh Hope are not labelled ‘addicts’ but are mothers who happen to have struggled with and at times been ruled by substance abuse.
Narrative therapy does not take the view that a mother needs a ‘professional’s’ help, someone who knows better than them, rather it makes the mother the expert. This approach relies on the many skills, values and abilities that each individual has accumulated through their histories and which can have an influence on resolving their addiction. Whilst we do not hold to the authoritarian style of rehabilitation this does not negate the fact that the staff members are ultimately responsible and at times need to exercise their authority.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is helpful in its forward planning approach. This approach is particularly helpful with children and the use of star charts to manage behavioural issues. Another approach used frequently, especially in the initial stages of the program is Reality Therapy.
Reality Therapy is helpful in the early stages when the mother is faced with the realisation that things must change. Although this method is confronting it is essential for the mother to have the truth revealed without judgement or labelling.
Whilst supervision is essential to ensure the best outcome, Fresh Hope believes in an open approach so that everything discussed by staff is taken back to the resident, thus showing a transparent approach. The mothers are really quite taken aback at first with this openness; however, it soon forms a strong bond of trust between the mother and staff member. At no time does the staff ever take notes on a resident without the resident being present.
Horses for Healing
Mission: – To provide an opportunity for hurting mothers and their children to heal and grow by developing relationships and learning to work as one with horses.
The program is designed as a therapeutic tool to assist with the healing processes and trust building in the emotional renewal of mothers and their children in the Fresh Hope program who have previously turned to drugs/alcohol as a result of the hurtful and dysfunctional situations of their past lifestyle.
This initiative was born from houseparents at the time, Lee and Vanessa. Both Lee & Vanessa owned horses and had a shared love of these animals. Through their experience of horses they were both aware of the special relationship that could be built between humans and these special animals. Vanessa is still very involved in the program and works together with our group counselor who has many years experience with horses and horsemanship.
Vanessa heard about a program based in the United States called “Crystal Peak Ranch.” The program rescues horses and pairs them with disadvantaged youth. The results are amazing, Reading the stories of the relationships developed between the youth and the horses testifies to the ability of horses to assist in the healing process of disadvantaged and abused people.
Fresh Hope’s ‘Horses 4 Healing’ program has had a huge impact with the mothers and children in the program helping them to trust again, teaching responsibility, as well as strengthening the bond between mothers and their children as they spend time together.
The program is a foundational course in the care and skill of riding and includes the following sessions:-
Theory behind horses thinking and communication; Basics in Safety; Care of a paddock kept horse; Body Language; Horse Anatomy; Bridles and Saddles; Mounting; Posture and Walk; a Rising Trot; Obstacle Course.
The mothers learn to work with, and ride horses. This covers all aspects of grooming and caring for the horse and learning to ride. There are a number of horses always on site. Horses for Healing has proved a valuable tool for the Counsellors in assisting the emotional development of the mothers and children.
For more information view the Horses for Healing page
Therapeutic Interventions / Courses
One on one counselling
Life style patterns and behaviours are addressed with one on one supervision with a trained counsellor. Underlying issues of AOD addiction is identified and plans put in place to assist the recovery process. This is also time for the resident to discover themselves and find who they are as an individual, a mum etc.
The following strategies are also addressed;
Group Therapy uses the Therapeutic Process to bring out the internalised issues of the resident.
As topics are discussed often one person’s experience can trigger a response in another and great discussions take place which hold the healing keys to recovery.
Throughout the program education, observation, role modelling is provided to mothers, both through external organisations and by Fresh Hope staff in the following areas
Through tools such as Boundaries for Kids, Star Charts, Night Routine, mothers are shown effective and positive ways to interact and foster healthy development and relationship within their children thus restoring a balance to the relationship.
Provides mothers with the skill of learning where their responsibilities lay and education on how to say ‘no’ to requests outside their responsibilities. As the culture from which mothers have come is often a very pleasing one, it is essential for the residents to discover the freedom of ‘Boundaries”.
Drug & Alcohol Education
Understanding the effects of substance abuse on families, particularly children, and education on how to become a ‘straight mum’.
Anger Management / Self Esteem
Mothers attend Anger Management & Self Esteem courses run by the Salvation Army.
Fresh Hope also provides ‘hands on’ practical education on anger management.
Throughout the program the mothers are taught to manage the home. Cooking, maintenance, painting, gardening moving furniture, cleaning, purchasing food, catering for gatherings develops essential life skills along with self confidence, time management skills and decision making.
The first Wednesday of the month, our finance officer works with the mothers as a group and individually in developing a budget, which includes a fortnightly spending budget, paying off any existing debts, developing goals for their life after Fresh Hope and saving towards those goals. By the end of the program mothers are able to develop a Budget, have develop a habit of saving, and are hopefully debt free or paying off large debts and have saved money towards bond guarantees and rent required after their graduation.
Card making, fabric painting, sewing, and scrap booking give the mothers an opportunity to be creative, learn new skills and create items and presents for the children and others, fostering their self esteem and creative skills.
Vocational Assessment & Further Education
During the third stage of the program the mothers are required to find part time/ casual employment and/or commence further education.
Relationships are discussed early in the program. This often takes place in group and individual sessions. During the third stage of the program the resident’s family or support persons are invited to attend the “Family Fun” program. This involves six (6) sessions held once a month.