Treatment Approach

The treatment approach at Diamond IOPs are based on 12-Step facilitation and the relapse prevention and treatment model developed by Terence T. Gorski, an internationally recognized expert on substance abuse and mental health. Twelve-Step programs were initially created for people struggling with alcohol use disorder. The first such program—Alcoholics Anonymous—employed the same basic principles and concepts used in all the other programs based on it. They are now widely used for a variety of substance use disorders and addictive behaviors. Using the 12-Step approach in outpatient therapy is essential to a healthy and lasting recovery.

Marc Galanter, MD, is a professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at the New York University School of Medicine. He looked at the medical efficacy of the AA method and concluded,

“Professionals and treatment programs that maintain a Twelve Step orientation are increasingly finding that this approach is compatible with the variety of psychotherapeutic and pharmacologic approaches now available.”

Galanter also analyzed the psychological benefits of the spiritual aspects in the 12 Steps. “The Twelve Step approach to recovery is distinguished from professionally grounded treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy by one of its most prominent features: It conveys a system of values that extends beyond just being abstinent.”

It’s the spiritual awakening that 12-Step programs aim for that take them beyond medical treatment. However, the prayer and meditation called for in step 11 can still yield a measurable medical effect. “I had been struck by how committed AA members could draw on prayer to bolster their sobriety in the face of triggering circumstances,” Galanter writes in What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

In his 2016 report on addiction, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy accorded 12-Step facilitation and other recovery support services an important role.

“Mutual aid groups and newly emerging recovery support programs and organizations are a key part of the system of continuing care for substance use disorders in the United States.” The report also states that “well-supported scientific evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of 12-step mutual aid groups focused on alcohol and 12-step facilitation interventions.”

The other main pillar of our treatment approach is relapse prevention. Diamond IOPs use a treatment model developed by Terence Gorski that has been recognized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as one of the three "best known and most respected treatment approaches in the United States."

The key to relapse prevention is to understand that relapse usually happens gradually. It may begin weeks before the recurrence of drug or alcohol misuse. The goal of therapy is to help individuals recognize the early warning signs of relapse and employ coping skills accordingly. Gorski has broken down relapse into multiple phases that include a return of denial, defensive behavior, and depression, leading to loss of control and eventually to a relapse episode.

Gorski’s Developmental Model of Recovery (DMR) consists of six progressive stages—transition, stabilization, early recovery, middle recovery, late recovery, and maintenance. Each DMR stage has a primary focus. Having a primary focus for each stage doesn’t mean that other issues are ignored. It means that emerging problems are dealt with in the context of the current stage of recovery.

With the right support and treatment, relapse can be prevented and recovery stabilized. Our approach is flexible and tailored to the individual needs of the patient. We use small therapy groups with up to ten participants. That way therapists and patients are able to focus on individual concerns and still employ the support of the group.

Diamond IOPs allow people in recovery to meet their life’s daily obligations while getting their addiction under control. Therapy sessions take place at one of our facilities several times a week with a variety of therapies designed to stabilize the patient’s recovery.