The Formation Phase continues the discovery process, the deepening of relationships, and the intensive therapy, but adds the component of forming strategies, goals, vision, action steps, etc. to incorporate into the Finish-Strong Game Plan. Brain health; a paradigm shift in neuropathways to a healthy, balanced, and fruitful life; proficiency in Relapse Prevention and Relapse Comeback; the ongoing development of deeper, quality relationships with self, God, family, and friends; and a complete change in direction from the old life to the new, are the goals of Capstone.  In the Formation Phase, each client, his family, his therapist, and the Capstone therapy team, work together to develop the Finish-Strong Game Plan. This plan guides the client and the family in the first 2 years post-graduation. Having a solid game plan, and consistent adherence to that plan, is imperative for the graduate to reach a place in life of mature adult autonomy in all of the above areas.

Core Therapy Themes:

  1.      Family Week Processing / begin Relapse Prevention / Solo
  2.      Trauma Week 2
  3.      Inner Strength
  4.      Relapse Prevention / Game Plan
  5.      Sibling Intensive / Family Retreat / Graduation

Preparing for final phases of program, following Family Week clients begin to transition into Relapse Prevention. Core therapy continues including Trauma Week II, group, family, and individual sessions. During this time clients also will be participating in adventure activities where they will be given more responsibility and ownership. The group is expected to be transparent and willing to confront appropriately if necessary. Clients continue to work in 12-step meetings. Each client is expected to be able to look at themselves in the mirror and assess where they are in their treatment process. Clients are expected to gain confidence through leadership opportunities as well as to find ways in which they can help their group. 

During this phase clients will also participate in solo experience at Capstone that entails 3 days. The purpose of the solo experience is for clients to reflect on their time in treatment, prepare for relapse prevention and graduation, and to learn to handle time alone. A base camp is set up for staff like the hub of a wagon wheel. Clients’ individual campsites are set up about 50 yards away in a formation like the spokes on the wagon wheel where the solo staff can see the clients at all times. Each client has his area to stay in with his tent, equipment, food supply, and his Solo work. Clients return to the cabin each night. Each client’s therapist prepares three days of Solo therapy work. The Solo work is checked before a client returns from solo.

One of the goals is for the client and his cluster get prepared to graduate and make a successful life’s transition into the post-graduation phase. It is imperative in the Formation Phase that clients focus on their addiction/compulsive patterns and the development of their Weekly Game Plan Booklet. This booklet is basically their personal success strategy. The booklet includes their inclusive relapse prevention plan and much more.

The client participates in intense relapse prevention groups designed to increase their knowledge of addiction and their range of coping skills. Clients’ personal game plan book includes daily strategies to remain sober and live a life that is healthy, balanced, and fruitful. The clients will process through their behavioral contract with their therapist during this phase as well as participate in Relapse Prevention groups. These groups are designed to help prepare clients to face the challenge of being out of treatment.

This phase is also for parents so they can work on the Finish Strong Game Plan. This vital document is a specific plan for the two years post discharge; it has an offensive strategy and a defensive strategy. The defensive strategy includes a behavioral contract with a tiered system of consequences, aimed at equipping the graduate to take full responsibility for his life, and a very tight drug screening protocol. The offensive strategy focuses on the continued building of relationships, especially within the family. Another vital objective of this phase is called “Big Logistical Decisions” which targets the environment to which the graduate will return. Our rule-of-thumb is that, if the environment were an Olympic bar in the weight room used for the bench press, it must not be too heavy for the graduate to lift. 

The objectives of the Formation Phase include:

  1. Completing Relapse Prevention work:
    1. Participate in all Relapse Prevention groups
    2. Have a deep understanding of the daily Relapse Prevention Plan and the Escape Plan
    3. Knowledge of displacement and a daily plan for ways to displace the drug culture
    4. Understanding and acceptance of addiction, triggers, cross-addiction, cross-tolerance, etc.
    5. Develop an emergency card call list
    6. Ownership of their addition and future recovery
    7. Complete the personal Weekly Game Plan Booklet
    8. Process the contract and game plan
  2. Adherence to Capstone programming 
  3. Continued effort in treatment - a “continue to grow” mentality
  4. Willingness to comply with behavioral contract and aftercare expectations
  5. An awareness of what has to be different in their lives in order to maintain a life change
  6. Identification of main triggers and a strategy to deal with each
  7. Identification of main anchors and ways to feed the good dog in his heart
  8. Ownership of actions
  9. Displaying maturity within the group setting and with other clients
  10. Increased willingness to look at self in the mirror
  11. Taking more ownership in groups for the direction of the session as well as other activities outside of therapy
  12. Complete the personal Weekly Game Plan Booklet
  13. Complete Family Retreat

The final week ends with the Family Retreat on Thursday and Friday, with graduation on Friday. Parents work with the therapists and other parents to role play and trouble shoot the contract, game plan and problems that may arise as the son returns home.

If you or a loved one would like more information about Capstone Treatment Center, please call us today at 866-729-4479 for a free phone consultation or email

Continue to the Finishing Phase