One of Capstone’s strengths is our focus on the relationship between the individual case-load therapist and his or her resident and resident family. When you investigate any young adult or teen rehabilitation program, be sure to check out the structure of the program to determine if it allows time and focus for the therapist-client relationship to grow. This is especially important in situations of attachment with teenagers or young adults. Below is a description of the Capstone Module System. Each module has a different title and focus and is sequenced in a way to facilitate the most effective therapy experience. Each module’s topic is designed to be the focus of the group activities for the week as well as a bridge into one-on-one therapy, and vice versa. The individual therapy uses the module topic of the week to enhance individual therapy and then reconnect a synergy back into the group’s work.
Individual therapy with the resident’s personal therapist happens four hours per week for the whole program, except during Trauma Week and Family Week Intensives. The personal therapist makes a parent check-in call every week of the program except Family Week. This phone call lasts about an hour and is used to update the parents on their son, help parents work toward Family Week and guide parents through the process.
When a client’s individual therapist is out because of illness, vacation or other reasons, clients will continue to have their individual sessions with a different therapist. All therapists work with the entire population of residents in groups and adventure activities, so there are no strangers when a different therapist is scheduled for a one-on-one session. In fact, we’ve found that a different therapist with a little bit different perspective or personal style can often help the resident’s progress.
What is a Cluster and How is it Formed?
It is best to do admissions on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday as opposed to later in the week or on the weekend, although circumstances may dictate differently. We will do an admission any day of the year; however, an admission earlier in the week ups the odds of getting off to a good start as well as completing the program. It allows the young man to get connected to staff and fellow residents and become familiar with the schedule before the weekend. Weekends are a trigger for all residents at first, and we would rather have them grounded before they hit their first weekend.
This system accomplishes several important objectives:
- It provides an experience that is 90 to 96 days long for every client.
- It allows clients to build a support group to go through the tough challenges together in the core modules helping to build friendships that are separate from prior misbehaviors. This vital component to our program helps build a team atmosphere and facilitates a shared learning of coping strategies for teens and young adults.
- On the front end, it allows the new guys to get connected to the older guys who are about to graduate in a mentoring-type relationship.
- On the back end, it allows the old guys who are about to graduate to get to mentor younger guys who are just starting the program. This helps the younger ones get a good start and helps the older ones see how far they have come.
- Most importantly, the sequencing of the modules helps residents to slowly build healthy trust and become transparent with their hearts and their stories. In other words, to go to their cores. Trying to get the facts on the table from a resident too early in a program would at best produce unreliable information and at worst make him feel like he is being interrogated. This is how we get to the core underlying issues.
The effectiveness of the Module System is based on pacing and sequencing. The best explanation of it came from one of our residents, a boy from many years ago. He was a fine young man from Wisconsin, only 16 years old. He walked up to me one day and said, “Hey A, did you know that Capstone is just like a Crock-Pot?” I asked him, “How so?” He replied, “Well, you turn the Crock-Pot on low, you put us in it and you cook us real slow.” I laughed and said, “That’s awesome, James. I’m going to put that on the website and act like I thought of it, so people will think that I’m smart.” But he deserves all the credit!