For more than a year, Little Creek Outpatient Services has been licensed as an intensive out-patient program, and it is earning its license to operate as a partial hospitalization program. Pace is excited about being able to offer this higher level of care. “We will be able to help more people,” he says. Additionally, the outpatient program accepts medical insurance, including those on government-assisted medical care, such as Medicare or Medicaid, which also helps extend its reach.
In many ways, the outpatient services mirror those of Little Creek Lodge Recovery. Specifically, both programs emphasize the importance of personal growth, life skills, family participation, 12-step education and relapse prevention. That overlap is intentional, Bartos says. It not only allows alumni from the inpatient program to move nearly seamlessly to the outpatient program, but it also delivers on the promise of continued care and recognition that recovery is a lifelong process.
“Our goal and vision are to create a safe environment for our alumni and the members of our local community,” Bartos says. “Providing consistency is a way of ensuring that type of environment. We want to be an anchor and safe haven for people in recovery.”
Serving the Spectrum
The differences lie in the nuance of interpretation between how those elements are handled in inpatient versus outpatient. It’s well-known that recovery is a process. It is not an endgame. People in recovery, Bartos says, are either moving in a positive or negative direction. The outpatient program provides a place to talk about that movement.
“It is an environment where a person can assess, with the help of a professional, the progress — or lack thereof — that one is making,” Bartos says. “We also understand substance abuse disorder is a family disease, which is why we continue to provide family services at our outpatient program.”
The beauty of the outpatient program is that it serves people across the spectrum of recovery. People who have never been in treatment are attending. People who are not appropriate for inpatient find help through outpatient services. They are served through individual counseling or group therapy —sometimes both.
“Outpatient is another tool to meet the individual needs of people,” Bartos says. “It is our way of meeting a client where a client is in their life.”
Little Creek Outpatient Services stands out for two additional reasons. First, its counselors all have personal experience with early recovery. They have walked the road that their clients are walking. Not only are they credentialed, but they also have an intimate understanding of what recovery feels like, sounds like, tastes like, smells like and looks like.
Second, they recognize that long-term sobriety requires a spiritual shift. When asked to describe what marks such a shift, Bartos shares that it is a deeply internal process in which people in recovery move from a self-centered way of thinking to a more selfless way of thinking.
“Spirituality is marked by surrender, and when I say ‘surrender,’ I don’t mean giving up on life. I mean accepting who one is and what one’s relationship is to other people,” he says.