Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

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

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The TLC Difference

There are many great treatment programs for those in recovery.

Some are fancy. On the beach, catering to the rich. Psychiatrists. Private rooms. Massages.  Fine meals. Mint on the pillow.

At the other end of the scale are programs available to those on government insurance. No fancy housing. Five or six to a room, large groups. Limited one on one counseling.

So how is TLC different? Where do we fit in the scheme of things?

In terms of amenities we're somewhere in the upper third. Adequate housing with two clients to a room. One on one counseling at least once a week. Groups five days a week. Recreation facilities. Massages. Fitness programs. Yoga. Facials and massages. Art classes. Movies and field trips. Meditation training.

But beyond program structure and amenities we're different from other programs.

And that's because 98% of our staff members are in recovery. And some of them have been with TLC for 20 years and longer.

The board of TLC didn't sit down one day and say let's start a program and make money.

TLC Treatment Clinic evolved because we wanted to offer more services to our clients. The answer was to open a state-licensed clinic.

So the clients who live with us have an advantage. They're surrounded by a staff that knows recovery on a personal level. Our staff can relate to clients because they're working on their own recovery. They sense when someone's about to relapse and will confront them.

At our clinic there's no bureaucracy. Clients can talk to a counselor - or the CEO - by just knocking on the door. There are no artificial barriers to communication.

For us it's more of a mission than a business. And our stated mission is to help recovering substance abusers rebuild their lives.

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