In a recent webinar, Wasatch Crest experts discussed the many ways gender-specific residential treatment can benefit recovery based on the implementation of the model at Wasatch Crest. Some key takeaways are included below.
In mixed-gender therapy groups, clients often feel unable to be vulnerable and instead exhibit patterns of behavior that hinder their progress. This struggle to honestly open up about their experience is often rooted in significant childhood trauma, a common thread for both men and women. One striking observation upon introducing gender-specific residential treatment was the vulnerability displayed among clients, which significantly increased. For men especially, a marked shift occurred. The setting allowed them to open up about deeply personal experiences from their past.
Tailored Trauma Care
Within gender-specific settings, we’re able to really focus on the patterns of addiction that frequently manifest in one gender or the other. Often, both men and women experience trauma that influences SUD, however, the type of trauma usually varies by gender. In gender-specific residential care, our clients are able to process any trauma in a safe environment, enhanced by programming designed for their unique needs.
Topical Therapeutic Support
Women commonly serve as the primary caregivers for their children, making it more difficult for them to attend treatment. Gender-specific residential treatment can better support women facing this challenge by creating relevant programming and offering peer support from other female clients facing similar circumstances.
The gender-specific residential care model has also presented us with the opportunity to partner with organizations that work with men or women exclusively. One such group hosts retreats for women who were victims of childhood sexual assault.
For our male clients, we’ve introduced a six-week masculinity group that dives into cultural messages, strategies for responding to conflict, and ways to break harmful behavioral patterns.
All in all, gender-specific residential treatment allows us to provide highly targeted care to our clients.
In many co-ed treatment settings, men and women are more likely to compete with each other for the other gender’s attention. Gender-specific programming allows for deeper bonds to develop among clients by removing co-ed distractions and creating a sense of camaraderie.
Oftentimes men and women clients can benefit from similar therapeutic material, presented in different ways. Gender-specific programming empowers the clinical team to customize programming in real time based on how the clients respond to the curriculum.
A Continuum of Complementary Care
Clients typically attend our gender-specific residential treatment program for 30 to 60 days. From there, they usually attend our mixed-gender day treatment program for another 30 to 60 days. Day treatment programming is five days a week, seven hours a day. Many clients live in our gender-specific transitional living homes while attending day treatment, where they participate in group activities and receive mentorship from team members. Upon completing day treatment, most clients have found employment. They often choose to attend our mixed-gender evening intensive outpatient program which is three nights a week for three hours. Clients also have the option to attend the intensive outpatient program virtually.
The Advantages of Integrating Mixed-Gender Outpatient Care
Our mixed-gender outpatient programs complement the gender-specific residential experience nicely, as they allow clients to slowly reintegrate into more realistic social settings with the foundation of healthy relationship strategies they developed in residential treatment.