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July 2013 | Suzanne Wolf
A Retrospective of the Adolescent Residential Program’s
CORE TEAM JOURNEY
Our Core Team members shared the following feedback:
How has the Residential program changed since the Sanctuary Model has been incorporated?
As a Sanctuary Certified Program we are committed to Growth & Change. Where could we grow as a Sanctuary Certified Facility?
- I have seen a significant shift in Residential since Sanctuary has begun to take root, especially in the past year. Not only is it becoming commonplace in terms of hearing and using Sanctuary terminology, but the concepts and their meanings are coming to life every day via how staff are relating to each other and to the residents. Initially, there seemed to be a resistance to the idea and the ideals, but the more they are being practiced, the more individuals seem to be internalizing the commitments. I feel that our program is not only Sanctuary in word, but also in deed.
- The program is more trauma-focused, especially since it has changed to short term and the therapy is more intense. An example of how the program is more trauma focused is that staff are now thinking, “What has happened to you?” rather than, “Why are you acting like this?” We are also reviewing trauma histories at team meetings and using Sanctuary terminology in our treatment, which has helped in Community Meetings, Red Flag Meetings, and being more open in our communication.
Share a success story that is Sanctuary related.
- I am fairly new to Sanctuary and especially the Core Team. I feel like there are positives to the model, but I have experienced frustrations as well. I feel being able to openly communicate has been wonderful. It allows us to take the bandage off of things that are real issues and fix them from the inside. However, I feel like Growth and Change should always be occurring, and I think we need to continue to work daily on truly following the commitments. As a frustration, I sent an email asking for feedback and did not get a response.
- We had two male residents in chapel one evening, and I read a story based on a Tolstoy work. The residents took the opportunity after the story to be open with one another about their relationship and difficulties they experienced with one another. I was able to note the link with Open Communication. There was nothing forced about the connection; it just flowed.
- The Sanctuary Commitments have helped me to help others in many ways. I have learned how to embrace conflict by helping others avoid passive aggressive behaviors. Instead of avoiding conflict. I’ve learned how to look at conflict as a means of Growth and Change through being open, nonviolent, and in check with my emotions.