Portage therapeutic community treatment approach emphasises self-help and the creation of family-like support systems. Using a number of therapeutic techniques, including role modeling and group counseling, Portage staff members help participants learn to shape their own values, develop a realistic perception of their lives and increase self-respect. Through individual treatment planning and case management, residents learn to identify their problems and develop the skills and competencies to address them.
In an environment where mutual help and peer support prevail, the therapeutic community approach will let you develop your strengths and confront your difficulties. Members of the therapeutic community, who just like you, want to develop a positive lifestyle, will support you in your efforts by providing the framework and the necessary encouragement to prepare for the demands of today's society. The environment itself becomes an agent for change that will enable you to feel in control of your life. Your efforts and the help of your peers are the primary elements for change at Portage. Portage employs several therapeutic techniques, including role modeling, social mobility system, groups and individual meetings and learning experiences, all designed to support you in working toward your goals.
Portage offers a number of evidence-based tools which have proven to be of a significant benefit to Portage residents. You are encouraged to use them during your program. They will help you increase your self-esteem, help you develop a realistic perception of yourself and others, and adopt new strategies. These tools are effective in combination with the experiential learning that the Portage environment provides. You will become familiar with these tools during educational groups and community activities. Here are a few examples:
- Workshops and groups
- Feelings management
- Community meetings
- Learning experiences
- Reflection and introspection
- Plan of care
The therapeutic program that is used at Portage will help you identify the source of your drug addiction problems through therapeutic activities. During your stay you will develop 21 competencies which you will put into practice every day. During the course of treatment you will find that you have more and more tools with which to handle different challenges. You will also note that you are developing a wide range of strategies for achieving your goals.
The treatment plan is one of the tools which will help you address the priorities that you identify as difficulties or needs in your life. This process of treatment planning requires you to re-examine, and update your goals on a regular basis. Your treatment plan will deal with the themes of substance abuse, physical and mental health, personal development, social and parenting skills (where applicable), interpersonal and family relations, and social reintegration, among others. This plan, which you will create in collaboration with your case worker, will be drawn up at the beginning of your program and will be revised periodically.
The Portage program has distinct phases: the evaluation phase (pre-admission), the residential treatment phase (which may be external at some centres), and the social reintegration and aftercare phases. As you complete the treatment phase you will begin the social reintegration phase where you will receive aftercare support follow-up.
The treatment phase includes different steps that you will go through during your stay. At each step of your program you will belong to a different peer group and have different expectations to meet. You will get to the next step once you reach the expectations and receive the consent of your peers and counsellor.
You will notice that your days are very structured in order to encourage active participation in the program. A hierarchical system facilitates coordination of the clinical program and community management. It is the members of the community, through different responsibilities and supervised by the counsellors, who coordinate community life and manage the daily activities.