Professional studies, as well as experts in the field of drug abuse, state that longer treatment programs are crucial to ending the relapse-rehab cycle. NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) researchers referred to well-organized and conducted 90-day programs as “the gold standard” in treatment. Dr. Harry Haroutunian, director of the licensed professional program at the Betty Ford Center, was cited as saying that the first 28 days largely consist of coping with withdrawal symptoms and establishing a relationship with a is often afterwards that therapists discover other problems that if not identified and treated, can bring the person back to their drugs. Capstone’s program averages between 90 and 96 days.

Read more on the research about 90+ days in the LA Times Article, “The 30-Day Myth”

We do not expect an overnight behavior change. It is a slow process because, as current research clearly demonstrates, it takes the brain a long time to heal and form healthy neuropathways. One former client called Capstone a “crock pot”, a very good metaphor for the pace of change expected. There are specific expectations and objectives that need to be met to progress through the program; lasting change occurs slowly and in increments that often are three steps forward followed by two backwards. We look for net gain over time and allow for each individual client’s pace of growth and difficulty of struggle.

Over 90 percent of clients admit and graduate according to the original schedule, in other words, without a delay or therapeutic extension.  The clients who stay longer than their original scheduled time, less than ten percent, do so because of several reasons including; a request by the client and/or family for further therapy work, a therapeutic extension recommendation by Capstone and agreed to by the family, or a behavioral misconduct delay.  Again, the total from all 3 categorical reasons is less than ten percent.

At any point in treatment, if a client is not ready therapeutically to move forward, or has a trend moving in a negative direction behaviorally or attitudinally, the client and family are clearly informed. Clients will know if their “trend” of behavior is moving in the direction of a therapeutic extension or a delay, and will be given ample opportunity to turn the trend around.

Capstone’s programming flows through the following Phases, the first three as a client and the last one post-graduation; (1) Foundation Phase à (2) Fundamental Phase à (3) Formation Phase à (4) Finishing Phase. They are fluid in the sense that they flow from one into the next, building on the previous but, also by overlapping with each other. Each has specific objectives.

Capstone gives a strong consistent focus to Individual Therapy, Group Therapy, and Family Therapy throughout the program. As the client and his family work through the phases of the program, the following describes the THE DAILY and WEEKLY SCHEDULE templates in which the clients will focus on the themes.

The client receives 6 hours of individual therapy during Individual Intensive Weeks (I-Weeks) and 3 hours during Module Intensive weeks (M-Weeks). I-Week and M-Week alternate every other week.  This system has a stronger focus on individual therapy in I-Weeks and group therapy in M-Weeks, but provides both individual and group therapy every week.

The client participates in 10 +hours of Therapists-led group therapy in I-Weeks and 20 hours in M-Weeks. 
clients participate in client-led 12-Step meetings several times per week.

“How Capstone utilizes the 12-Steps”  

The parents receive a minimum of one phone contact session per week. During Family Week the families will receive over 35-40 hours of family therapy. The total number of family hours during the treatment process is over 60.

Each day the client will spend 1.5 to 2 hours with their puppies. At least an hour of that time is spent in Canine Therapy or “puppy time” in which the client trains, plays, and connects with their puppies. The clients have a time in the morning and in the late afternoon where they care for their puppies’ needs for food, water, health, and a clean kennel.

Five days per week, client workout on weights and cardio exercises for 1 hour.  The cardio equipment includes Curve treadmills by Woodway, Precor recumbent bikes, a SciFit upper body ergometer, and Elliptical trainers.  The weight workout is a cardio circuit, mostly done on Hammer Strength equipment.  This workout lasts for approximately one hour and is conducted on M-T-Th-F-Su.  The research on the brain shows that 45 minutes of cardio, or aerobic exercise, per week is one of the most productive ways to heal the brain and stimulate neuronal repair and growth.

Two days per week are Adventure Days. One day on the ropes course focusing on therapeutic goals and one day off campus participating in Outdoor Adventure activities as a part of Displacement Therapy. The time on the ropes course is designed to help clients learn to problem solve, work together as a team, communicate, set and achieve goals, and individually learn to handle stress, fear and discomfort in new more productive ways.

The goal for Displacement Therapy on Friday off-campus Adventure Days in teaching the clients to fish, rock climb, kayak or canoe, cave, hike, and train their dogs, etc., is to help them find new hobbies and interests that they can enjoy after treatment as displacements for the old life behaviors.

Saturday is Work Day.  Each client is given a chore or set of chores for which he is personally responsible.  It could be building a fire pit, picnic table, or outdoor stairs, and other landscaping projects.  The clients are given instruction on how to do their chores, the proper non-power tools for the task, and ongoing supervision and coaching by the Saturday staff.  If they accomplish their chores they earn a pizza, soda, and a movie in the evening. If you ever see Capstone’s facility in person you will see many evidences of Work Day.

Sunday is a day for family visitation (although most clients don’t have parents visit because they live too far away and are already making three trips to Capstone including Admission, Family Week, and Family Retreat/Graduation), spiritual groups, communion to those that choose to do so, extra puppy time, more free time activities, and the workout.


Continue to Foundation Phase