Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Sparky ()
Date: August 28, 2009 08:26AM

drbkas, first welcome to the forum! My question for you is from your own posting above:

QUOTE:"Choices has a very good success rate." UNQUOTE.

I am curious if you have actual 'success rate' data or if you are merely repeating what you were told at Choices or in Choices literature?

Many times 'data' is grossly inflated to make the point that "our program is the real-deal, everyone else's stinks". This is clearly for monetary reasons, as crass as that can sound to a true believer. (The D.A.R.E. program pushed by U.S. police departments as a great way to make kids get off drugs and live a drug-free life has the same success in general as DOING NOTHING. However, their claims for a "Very good success rate", while completely unfounded, "feels good" to people and more tax dollars are wasted on these public programs).

Thanks in advance!

Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: drbkas ()
Date: August 28, 2009 08:52AM

My statement that Choices has a very good success rate is based on my personal experience with them while my daughter was there for 14 months. I did not take statistics or calculations. I saw the clients and interacted with them on numerous occasions. I have contact with numerous faamilies who have loved ones there presently. So, it has been about 3 years of personal experience all together. Ironically, as I have stated before, even those that leave (and I consider leaving, i.e. successful recovery, to be the goal of every program), seem to be doing well.

I am not a Choices advocate, nor am I an antagonist. In fact, my daughter feels very much diffenently than I do after being there for 14 months. My points are just that it works for some, despite what questionable methods are used. I am done with defending myself in stating my opinions. Good luck to all in their life and recovery.

Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Jerry Curl ()
Date: August 28, 2009 08:59AM

I would say that Choices has a decent success rate for alcoholics, lower rate of success for moderate drug users, a but a poor success rate for food addicts, and a horrible success rate for sex addicts and hard drug users. It is not because the later addicts are incapable of recovery, but Choices makes the environment intolerable for relapse. If a client has a slip, or even gets close, the abuse is so bad that you try to get back on track by yourself, and we all know that doesn't work. I experienced this myself and watched many people go through this the 7 years I was there. For the long-term clients like myself, the abuse you receive after a slip or relapse is worse than the relapse itself.

I know that addiction needs to be taken seriously, I know that relapse needs to be dealt with, and I know that addiction clouds the brain and we need someone to help us break through all of that so we can recover. However, emotional abuse and community humiliation is not the answer. I was treated with more compassion in jail than in Choices after a relapse.

As a client for over 7 years, I would not say that I did not witness a good success rate.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/28/2009 09:06AM by Jerry Curl.

Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: baltimore jack ()
Date: August 29, 2009 01:58AM

As an outsider, it is hard to discern the relative merits of the Choices program. What is blindingly obvious to me, however, is that given the questions raised in this forum and elsewhere about this organization, its extremely high cost, and the open-ended nature of the commitment, there should be several independent sources involved before sending a loved one to Choices. At a minimum, a family doctor and probably a family lawyer should be consulted, both initially and on an ongoing basis, along with a trusted therapist. Given that the family is likely under great stress and vulnerable to being taken advantage of, and perhaps feeling like they are down to their last option, they should be sure that their loved one's best interests are the only priority. Let's face it, $5,000+ per month is an enormous amount of money, and there is great potential for mischief when someone is perceived to be ready and capable of making an open-ended commitment to provide ongoing payments of this magnitude.

Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: drbkas ()
Date: August 29, 2009 08:19PM

Just some fact and clarification. Everyone (although I am sure there is an exeption somewhere), either is referred to Choices by a therapist or signs themselves up. Remember, if you are over 18, you have to sign in yourself. Second, the $5000 a month is not the fee charged for therapy. Choices is an out patient facility, and about a third of the bill is for rent, food, etc. These fees are reasonable. When my daughter was there, I think we were charged $400 a month for rent. The care was, in part, covered by my insurance. As the client progresses, the therapy costs are reduced. What I found surprising, is that, believe it or not, the price at Choices is cheap compared to other treatment facilities. It cost about $28000 for one month at another facility my daughter was at. If you look around and shop, the treatment facilities are unbelievably expensive.

The issues, in my opinion, regarding Choices, and especially on this forum, are methods, results, and consequenses. The people who were there and walked the walk, can talk the talk. Their feelings are real, and experienced first hand. I have not walked in their shoes, nor seen with their eyes. They are experiencing real emotions and, in some cases, pain. People can read about it all, but will ultimately make their own decisions.

Lastly, and I have stated this before, while I have serious concerns about the entire process, given the results I have today,(a clean, sober, productive and wonderful daughter), I would send her there under the same circumstances. But I strongly point out, it is not for everyone, it doesn't always work, I am not happy about alot of the methods, and there are always alternative places that may be a better fit. Before anyone goes, or is sent, to any facility, they should do alot of homework, speak to alot of people, and possibly even visit.

Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Lady Pleiades ()
Date: August 31, 2009 11:08PM

Therein is the problem: they are not accredited as an inpatient facility and they are charging rent. An age-old problem, but the end really cannot justify the means. That is Maureen's primary problem, she sees herself as outside the boundaries and rules of what the rest of us have to live by. Textbook pathological narcissist.

Plus, there are just too many excellent and ethical professionals out there.

Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: scooter ()
Date: September 17, 2009 08:59PM

I am so thrilled to have a forum for people who have been through choices. I was there two months (went for only a five day program) and it was suggested by Judy Burch and Maureen, that I needed to stay longer. It was the most humiliating, degrading experience of my life. I have been in recovery for nine years. and I was shocked at the arrogance of the therapists, who are also in recovery.
After I left, I was not only shunned by choices community, but also back here in Baltimore. I left Judy Burch's group(without her blessing) and she told the other women to stay away from me. The feeling of being shunned by people in recovery was so painful.
Today, I am still sober, living with my three children, and have a wonderful job that I look forward to going to everyday. It has been 2 1/2 years since leaving choices, and I have healed quite a bit, but had nighmares for quite a while afterwards.
I am so grateful to connect with other people who were there and understand the insanity of it.

Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: Lady Pleiades ()
Date: October 23, 2009 04:46AM

I have thought a lot about this over the past couple of months because I cavalierly made the statement that I might, under some extreme circumstances, send my child to Choices. I have to say that, after thinking about it pretty carefully, I would never send my child to Choices. I just know there are so many other good treatment facilities and professionals out there.

Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: DunceCap ()
Date: October 26, 2009 11:35PM

This is my first post on the forum, but I have been reading it for a while. Some of my friends and "fallen commrades" turned me onto this place, where I feel I can speak freely.
I have been here at CCC for 17 months (still a 'client') and am incredibly angry, scared, and fed up with my situation.
I do have to claim responsibility for my immaturity and laziness; I am not blameless. And I also have to acknowledge that I have gotten some help here. I would not have been able to stay off of drugs, alcohol, and my eating disorder this long if I weren't physically suction cupped to the ground in Winter Park. I also have made some friends here, but those relationships have become very conditional as of late and are beginning to dwindle, which sucks but c'est la vie, right?
Like I saw someone else mention here, I am the kind of drug addict that is the flea on the animal at the bottom of the food chain. Just the other day, Beth mentioned to a group of people one of my more severe health consequences that few people know of (Hep C Symplex...a usually dormnant form of the virus). Just blurted it out. That can't be legal, can it? I mean...confidentiality, anyone? 12th tradition? Hmmm...weird concepts to teach and blatantly not follow.
In the same 30 minutes, she (Beth) read a letter that I had written to someone and got returned in the mail. Again. to the whole group. First of all...this letter got returned to the house I live in, NOT "The Ranch", thus not addressed to her in any way, shape or form. She also imitated me as she read, totally mocking me. I'll tell you something: I have never felt so stupid, paranoid, crazy, 'dangerous', 'predatory', juvenile, lonely, isolated, scapegoated or singled-out in my life. And for the low, low cost of $5K a month, you, too can be degraged to this point in sobriety!
I guess what I am wondering is if these things are legal (the letter and announcing my diagnoses). I have a slew of other experiences similar to this one, but these are the most recent and concerning. I need help! I am drowning!
Keep it real

Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Posted by: drbkas ()
Date: October 27, 2009 12:55AM

You are not such a dunce, so trash the cap! I understand everything you say. For whatever reason, the concepts a CCC sometimes turn to humiliation,exactly how you described happened to you. From a confidentiality standpoint, I feel it is NOT appropriate. But, in a group setup, as CC is, it seems to happen alot.

You didnt say how old you are. It make a huge difference. It is also important what your family thinks and knows as well. Do you have a supportive family? What are your plans for staying/leaving? Did you discuss any of this with your individual counselor?

17 months may be a long time for some, and not enough for others. But, if you feel the way you describe, it may be time to discuss Plan B, moving on. Plan B takes alot of time and planning, and you need to write it down, expound upon it, and start to see if it is realistic.

If you are over 18, and feel that there has been a violation of your privacy and health information, you may complain to the state board. This is a major decision, and not one to be taken lightly. I would recommend discussing it privately and calmly with Beth and your counselor, and explain your concerns. Be prepared to hear what you don't want to ,and maybe even have it manipulated 180 degrees. However, as I am sure you know, you are only able to control yourself and are powerless to control others.

You seem to be on a good path to recovery. I would look at what made you feel the way you do after living there for 17 months. You have certainly seen this behavior by them before, either to you or others. So what is it that seemed to bother you more now than before. Maybe something else is going on.

I wish you good luck in whatever you decide. Plan B awaits you sometime,either now or later. Get ready for it.

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