Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Treatment Relationships

Because we accept both men and women in our program we face challenges.

And it's not uncommon for clients to strike up relationships within a week of meeting.

Experience shows that these treatment romances don't end well.

For example, we haven't heard good things about the last five client romances. There are many rumors about what's been going on since they left. And while rumor is not the most reliable source, it's a sign that something's not right.

We hear of drug use. Drug dealing. Fights. Arrests. Homelessness. We don't want these outcomes for our clients.

Once clients form a relationship that's what they focus on.

They don't hear what's going on in group. In one-on-one sessions they want to discuss their sweetheart instead of recovery. The relationship takes precedence over everything.

When I talk to these clients about the dangers of treatment romances they look at me as if I'm from another planet.