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• Can you be spiritual without being religious?

• How does “faith” help someone in recovery?

• Is recovery more than just abstinence?

• Where is God in my recovery?

This series of training courses addresses the important role of spirituality in recovery from substance use disorders. Each course benefits both the treatment community and faith community in their efforts to assist persons suffering from substance use disorders by making a clear distinction between the spirituality needed for recovery and the religiosity that so often hinders recovery. Whether you provide treatment services or recovery support services you need to know the difference between true spirituality based on authentic faith and religiosity based on toxic faith.


Course Descriptions:

Alpha Facilitation

This course is designed to train the student in the use of the Alpha Series as a counseling tool for individual and small group application. The structure of the Alpha Series is explained in a recovery support context so that the student learns the skills needed to utilize this series as an effective counseling tool. Key concepts for recovery are emphasized and offered as appropriate goals for a recovery support plan. 


Relational Counseling and Empowerment

This course provides the student with the personal, communication, and relational skills necessary to support those in recovery. Emphasis is placed on the personal preparation necessary to support others by confronting inappropriate behavior, comforting those who are hurting, and supporting the weak in recovery.

In addition, this course includes an overview of ethics and confidentiality issues as they are defined legal and professional guidelines. The student is encouraged to establish healthy boundaries and given the personal strategies needed to maintain those boundaries in their service to others. 


Utilizing the !2 Steps in Grace
(Recovery in Grace)

This course is built on the AA founder’s model for using the 12 Steps as a pattern for living the spiritual life.

The Steps are explained thoroughly and in order. The emphasis is on the role of each step plays in the process of utilizing the power of God’s grace to resolve the issues and problems people encounter.

Spiritual principles are applied in a personal and relevant context. The learner will gain a solid foundation in the use of this tool for helping others. 


Recovery Coordination

This class introduces the student to the case management skills necessary to find the appropriate community resources to assist their client with the variety of personal and relational problems encountered along the road to recovery. The student will learn the array of services available for their client and the family within the local community. In addition the most common laws and legal issues encountered by the counselor will be explained to enhance professionalism. 


The Faith Factor

This course is designed to promote confidence in discussing the client’s religious beliefs as related to their own recovery. The student will gain the ability to explain how spirituality enhances recovery and objectively differentiate between spirituality and religiosity. Using the spirituality of AA’s 12 step program as a model, topics include the historical role of faith in recovery, the Judeo-Christian ethic and personal worth, cognitive restructuring, emotional management, and identification of personal needs. 


The Cycles of Addiction

This course presents an overview of addiction, recovery, and relapse. Current research and best practices are explored for a better understanding of the disease concept of addiction. The class includes an overview of the stages of the addiction progression; an explanation of the recovery tasks and role of the recovery programs, comparing medical, Christianity and 12 Step treatment models of treatment; and relapse prevention as understood using the Gorskie Model for relapse prevention. Students will gain a working knowledge of the issues faced by those suffering from substance use disorders. 


Addicting Faith

This course gives the student the ability to recognize the difference between toxic and authentic faith. The emphasis is placed upon recognition of the signs and symptoms of religious addiction and developing a plan of recovery from spiritual abuse. Topics include: the origin, focus and results of toxic faith; common beliefs of a toxic faith system; characteristics, roles, and rules of a toxic faith system; shame-based identity and the loss of hope. The roots, symptoms, and progression of religious addiction are discussed; and the religious performance trap, approval addiction, and relapse clarified. 


Co-Occuring Disorders

Approximately 70% of people with chemical use problems are also dealing with a co-occurring mental disorder. This course will provide practical information to assist the recovery support counselor in determining how to best serve persons recovering from a combination of addiction, mental illness and emotional problems. It will empower you by removing the “mystery” and identifying how to provide the best support for someone in this complex situation. Basic addiction and mental health theory and diagnosis will be explained and the complex service systems in the medical and treatment arenas will be reviewed. 


Faith Based Recovery Support Services

This course defines the faith based continuum of recovery support services, identifies faith based tools and best practices for recovery support services, and seeks to integrate treatment models and recovery support services. Emphasis is upon recognition of similarities between traditional prevention and treatment services and faith based support services; clarification of recovery support services as an adjunct to treatment services, and re framing secular models to address spiritual issues. 


The Journey to Freedom

This course presents a working model for faith based recovery support services offered in a residential or community venue. It includes a discussion of the orientation, regeneration, and empowerment phases of recovery. Practical as well as theoretical issues are discussed to acquaint the student with the goals and strategies. 

Pharmacology I

Students will develop a working knowledge legal and regulatory issues involving drug use and and mis-use, and abuse while gaining insight into the complexities facing health care, recovery and law enforcement professionals. A basic overview of the biochemistry of the brain and nervous system will be provided in simplified form so that each student, regardless of educational background, can understand how drugs work to alter these systems. While all drugs of abuse will be discussed, much emphasis will be placed on the rapidly growing problem of prescription drug abuse, what is motivating that abuse, and the cultural and socio-economic consequences that follow. Although the course is designed primarily for the recovery professional, anyone interested in the problems of drug abuse and recovery is encouraged to attend. 


Pharmacology II

While Pharmacology I focused on the bit-chemistry of the nervous system and the legal categorization of drugs of abuse, Pharmacology II will focus on the therapeutic categorization of prescription drugs of abuse as well as many other drugs commonly encountered in co-occurring clients. 


Motivational Counseling

This class is designed to review the basics introduced in the Relational Counseling class and expand the student’s knowledge base to permit more effective facilitation of personal change. Using the transtheoratical “Stages of Change model by Prochaska & DiClemente and Miller and Rollnick’s “Motivational Interviewing techniques, real life examples and experiences are provided and elicited from the learners experience make this practical “hands on” experience for the aspiring or practicing counselor. 


A Healthy Identity

This class provides a biblical foundation on which to build a healthy self-image based entirely upon our new identity in Christ. The good news of our union with Christ is applied to the daily task of allowing ourselves to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. An identity based on the absolute truth of God’s word gives the student not only persona encouragement for themselves, but also a practical means of helping others. 


Biblical Self Awareness

This course provides the student with a basic understanding of human beings from a biblical perspective. Insight is offered into our basic needs (physical, personal, and spiritual); the nature and quality of our emotions, and the vital role of the conscious and unconscious mind. In addition, students are given practical answers to meeting our needs, managing our emotions and restructuring our beliefs. 


Secular/Sacred Synergy

The goals of this training are:
1. To help prepare you to play an active part in forming better partnerships between faith and community-based providers (Substance Abuse and Mental Health).
2. To improve your understanding of the community and faith based resources in this area, how to access and use them.
We will do this by two methods:
A. Learning about what each area has to offer.
B. Organizing your feedback about your experience working with hurting people.
This training will be an interactive process experience directed toward exploring how to use each area most effectively.
If you have experience in attempting to help hurting people in our area please write out that experience in this format:
The Issues:
The Resources:
The Results:
Please include the resources that you attempted to work with, that did not work out and why, in your situation, they did not.
Come prepared to contribute and to receive.


Recovery Support Counseling Synergy

Have you ever wonder, when you were trying to help someone, if you were “saying the right thing?” The core competencies of effective counseling can be used to complement the guide lines given to us in scripture. While the leadership of the Holy Spirit is always our guide in this class you will learn Biblical and secular counseling models to give you more confidence and help you offer more effective support. 


The Heart of the Problem

In order to solve any problem it is helpful to understand what is fueling the problem. Just treating the symptoms may give some temporary relief, but often makes the problem worse. This class will help you identify the problems associated with addiction (and other issues) more clearly, to empower a solution that works. The flow chart presented and discussed illustrates the lifestyle of law and grace as opposed to a lifestyle of grace and truth. 


Codependency and Boundaries

These two words are used in every recovery program available. They have as many definitions as “addiction”. As Christians what do they these two words codependency and boundaries mean to us? How do they affect me the person? I believe God desires to use me to help? All these questions and more will be answered in this five hour course. 


Emotional Sobriety

Feelings are the primary reason given for negative behaviors but now the behaviors are causing problems too. What are “feelings, where do they come from and how do I get control?” “If it feels bad does that mean it is bad?”
These are just a few of the questions that are answered in this series of teachings.
As with all of life’s concerns the solution is a process that requires God’s power and our cooperation.
The painful emotions of resentment, fear, grief, guilt and shame will be highlighted; however the focus of the teaching is a deeper understanding of the personal application of the solution. 


Trauma and Abuse

What constitutes trauma and abuse and how does it factor into recovery counseling?
These experiences affect the human life in all three arenas; body, soul and spirit.
The affects must be addressed for quality, long term recovery to be experienced.
As with all of life’s concerns the solution is a process that requires God’s power and our cooperation.
This teaching addresses these issues and the solution for each of the arenas affected. 


Addiction and Recovery  / “Diagnosis and Treatment”

Anyone can encourage and even support but true counseling occurs when someone speaks with a person they respect and believe knows more about the issue than they do. A true counselor must be able to identify, understand and then recommend the most effective intervention to help to resolve an issue. This class offers the basic information required to define the “Recovery Support Counselor’s” role apart from other supportive and encouraging people. It is the foundation for all of the other clinical classes and  is a required core curriculum class for anyone seeking a diploma as a Faith Based Recovery Counselor.  Come and learn a practical model for helping others.  It is recommended that the learner take this class prior to taking the Co-occurring Disorders (Duel Diagnosis) class that will be offered next month. The addiction/recovery model presented here will provide the basis for dealing with the other issues frequently encounter when working with life controlling issues.  


Families in Recovery:

Addiction rips families apart. The restoration of the family depends on the Grace of God in the same way the addict’s recovery does. Desire for restoration, the motivation of love, and tools are needed to bring restoration. The Families in Recovery class provides practical tools to demonstrated God’s love to one another.  


Surviving Adolescence-Working with Children & Youth 

Controlling a teenager is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree.  Research shows during adolescence, parents and mentors need to help kids answer 4 very important questions: 1. Who Am I? 2. What Do I Need? 3. What is My Purpose? 4. How Do I Relate to Others? This course provides tools to assist families, counselors and mentors in helping kids answer these questions.


Relapse Prevention

As with all phases of the disease of addiction, Relapse has predictable and identifiable stages. The foundation for this class is the recognized “Best Practices” model developed by Terrance Gorski.

The student will learn the stages of relapse, the symptoms associated with each stage and the leading interventions to prevent the progression of relapse.


Connecting the Dots: A Picture of Recovery

This class provides the student with a detailed picture of what genuine recovery looks like. By connecting the concepts and principles of AA’s Twelve Steps to the biblical concepts and principles of the Alpha Series a clear view of recovery as a lifestyle rather than mere abstinence is developed. Knowing what genuine recovery looks like enables the student to understand and apply the spiritual technologies needed to sustain a lifestyle that is far more satisfying than addiction. “Connecting the Dots” offers a spiritual but not religious picture of a healthy and functional lifestyle of maximum service to others.