MCRC Residential Recovery Program
The MCRC Residential Recovery Program (RRP) is a 7-month community support and training course offered by MCRC to residents of MCRC’s recovery houses. The purpose of the RRP is to support individuals who are committed to recovery to:
- Deepen understanding of the mindsets, experiences, and patterns that contributed to their addiction, including:
- Experiences of abuse and violence, both as victim and perpetrator
- Intergenerational trauma and analogous family dynamics
- Thought patterns and perspectives incompatible with healthy community engagement.
- Absence of healthy teaching and mentoring in specific life skill areas
- Take meaningful steps to address the root causes of those patterns, including:
- Genuine forgiveness and apologies to family and community members
- Learn and practice healthy emotional management techniques
- Seek and learn from community members who exemplify lacking skills
- Engage in both personal and local communities with the intention of resolving past harms and developing long-term relationships, such as:
- Mediated dialogues with family/community members
- Volunteering with local community organizations
- Healthy social interactions in circles that support recovery
- Move forward from RRP prepared and supported to succeed, including:
- Creation of clear plan for residence, work, and community
- Planned check-ins with RRP staff for at least a year.
- List of resources and people to reach out to in hard times
Towards these purposes, the Residential Recovery Program offers the following series of steps:
- Application and Interview.
This may seem trivial, but in fact is a core aspect of RRP. RRP is a voluntary program, and applicants must complete the application in full, and meet with a RRP interviewer. During the interview process, the applicant must explain why they wish to join, what their goals are, and what challenges may need to be addressed in order to complete these goals. The interviewer will lay out all the expectations of program participants and clarify any questions. If accepted, the applicant and the interviewer will set a series of initial personal goals that the applicant will work towards over the course of the program. These goals are subject to evolution as circumstances change, but the establishment and agreement of these goals sets the tone for the applicant’s time at RRP.
- Welcoming and Orientation
MCRC’s residential houses are not just living spaces. They are the community that holds the container of RRP. As such, moving in is not simply a utilitarian chore. When a new participant moves into a house, the house gathers, and welcomes them in with a small gathering.
At this gathering, the new participant waits outside the house. The other residents and house manager(s) gather outside as well. The applicant states their name and asks whether they can join the house community. The extant community asks the applicant what they are bringing to the house, and what of themself they are leaving behind. The applicant answers these questions. The community then welcomes the new resident, bringing them in to their new home. The new resident is oriented by the attendant house manager, and ideally, at least a few other residents are available to share a meal and welcome the new resident.
- Residency and Growth
Once welcomed into the house, the participant is a full house member with
all rights and responsibilities. These include:
- Abiding by all house agreements, with the right to propose revisions thereto in house meetings.
- Attending weekly house meetings.
- Weekly check-ins with house manager about progress and challenges around goals outlined during interview process.
- Attendance at monthly workshop series for all six months of residency.
- Good-faith attempt to understand and embody the values and practices outlined in the workshops.
- Continuing personal growth, such as:
- Therapy or Counseling
- Meaningful participation in a 12-Step program
- Alternative addiction treatment program
- Other demonstrable investment in personal growth
Upon completion of all six RRP workshops and residence for one month following each, a resident is eligible for Graduation. The graduation process is comprised of three steps. The candidate will:
- Write out a clear and honest Thesis of how they spent their time in RRP, including both successes and failures to meet stated goals, community engagement, and how they have grown over the course of the process. The Thesis should include where they see the work they have done in RRP (and before) taking them as they move forward, and how they plan to engage as a healthy and healing community member. The crafting of this Thesis should involve a house manager of the candidate’s choosing, and the manager and candidate should work together on at least two drafts of the Thesis to refine it’s content.
- Present Thesis to the current residents and house managers for review.
- Defend Thesis from questioning from residents and managers. This may involve answering questions about details of the thesis it’s self, or about the overall tone of the candidate’s work. Upon
- House residents and managers confer and cast blind vote on whether candidate has met requirements for Graduation. If 2/3rds support granting candidate Graduate status, then the candidate Graduates. Graduation mirrors Welcoming, with the Graduate naming who they are and what they’re offering to the communities they belong to and are moving into. Love and Celebration. Also a naming of grief as beloved resident of our community grows away from us.
RRP presents one workshop every month. There are six workshops which run in a set order so that any residence of seven months is guaranteed to cover all six workshops with one month of residency following each. These workshops represent the core mindsets and practices that MCRC believes are necessary to lead a healthy life, and are intended to help residents develop the skills and perspectives to not only maintain their recovery, but to thrive and lead rich, full lives. The six workshops are:
Our experience is a blend of two things. The world around us, and how we experience it. Many people believe that how they experience the world is a function of the world itself, as is represented in the phrase “That made me mad.” The reality is more often the opposite; how we think about the world creates the world around us. This workshop is intended to help participants gain agency over their own thoughts and emotions. There is a core emphasis on Gratitude. Concludes with individual mindset plan that may include such practices as:
- Daily Gratitude
- Spiritual Practice
- Yoga & Stretching
- Greeting the Day
- Breathing and Mindfulness
Many challenges in our lives can be traced back to miscommunication. Grounded in Nonviolent Communication and the Harvard research represented in “Difficult Conversations,” this workshop seeks to help participants:
- Gain concrete skills in how to clarify and identify their own emotions and thoughts
- Clearly and effectively express these thoughts and emotions
- Actively and empathically listen
- Identify common communication fallacies and respond kindly
- Plan for growth in communication skill over time
Our culture teaches some dangerous and harmful patterns around relationships, both platonic and romantic. This workshop seeks to supplant some of these harmful beliefs and patterns with healthier and more constructive approaches to human interaction. Covered within this workshop are concepts of:
- Humanization and Interpersonal Respect
- How to communicate clear needs, expectations, and boundaries
- How to think and speak about others in ways that support health and wellness
- How to flirt without being disrespectful or obnoxious
- Resources for relationship support moving forward
- Work & Finance
This workshop covers:
- Professional dress and presentation
- Workplace behavior and decorum
- Application and Interview skills
- Financial management and budgeting
- Resources for ongoing financial and workplace support
- Home & Food
Maintenance of healthy home space and healthy dining are foundational to healthy living. This workshop covers:
- Interior design, lighting, & basic Feng Shui
- Tips for cleaning and maintaining cleanliness
- Buying, preparing, and cooking healthy foods
- A delicious meal
- Meal planning
Simply avoiding drugs and alcohol is not a full life, and puts all the focus on what we don’t want. Finding things we really enjoy doing is a core part of being a happy, healthy human, and adds joy and beauty to recovery that makes it far more resilient. In this workshop, which takes place entirely outside, we will:
- Play a lot of various games
- Discuss which ones we like most, and why
- Create plans to integrate more play into our lives
These workshops provide a framework and focal point for the houses to work towards over the course of each month. Following the workshop, check-ins and meetings can refer back to the principals and practices covered in the workshop, and our continuing recovery can begin to integrate and lean on these practices. In order to Graduate, residents must complete every workshop and demonstrate the principals and practices therein.
The RRP is a combination of highly personalized support from the program staff and implementation of the best practices in the field as outlined by the Principles of Effective Treatment outlined by the NIDA. Our residences comply with NARR standards and the RRP seeks not only to meet these standards, but to embody the spirit that both the NIDA Principles and the NARR standards point towards.
Graduates are expected and supported to stay in relationship with MCRC. Part of their departure is a plan to check in with a house manager once a month for the first year, and once a year thereafter.
Graduates may move out immediately following graduation, or may stay on as Resident Graduates. Resident Graduates are subject to all the same policies as Residents, except that they are not required to attend monthly workshops, though they are encouraged to do so and more than welcome.
In the case of the house being full, the order of people to be asked to leave to make room for new invested applicants is as follows:
- Residents who are not abiding by house policies and investing in RRP
- Resident Graduates
Residents in good standing may not be asked to leave to make room for applicants.
MCRC’s Resident Recovery Program is, at it’s core, a community of people who are passionate about supporting each other. This entire program is our attempt to help each other out, and create a community that best serves us all. As such, we’re constantly looking for feedback and working to revise and hone in on exactly what supports recovery, health, and wellness. If there are pieces that you think we’re missing or could do better, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org