The Foundation Phase includes orientation, assessments, non-medical detox, program procedures, acclimation to schedule and activities, and discovery of therapy issues. During this phase the most important change is the client's brain and body begin to clear up, not only in detoxing, but in the benefits of sleep, aerobic exercise, and good food. They get comfortable with the other clients, the staff, and the daily schedule and sort of begin to settle in. This allows the trust bridges with staff to begin a solid foundation, especially with his primary therapist.

During the Foundation Phase, the young man transitions into residential programming by learning the practical information and procedures of daily life at Capstone, while building a therapy base from which to go into core therapy.  This includes; cabin set up and guidelines, workout protocol, Canine Therapy – War Dogs Documentary – Water Dog Training videos, Work Day, adventure activities, and schedules. This is facilitated by Program Staff. The therapists facilitate; Core Model therapy intro, mentoring (as the mentored by clients about to graduate), addiction education, brain basics, ropes course intro, 12-step education and meetings, assessments i.e., PTSI, Mindfulness Education, time-line, and process / chemical addiction cycle, in other words, a broad base overview of the language of treatment.

The goal of the Foundation Phase is to first, lay the ground work for the crock-pot effect of the 90+ days of treatment and second, to create an atmosphere that is conducive to the discovery of the core problems that need to be addressed for each client / family and to begin constructing and implementing a therapy plan. Discovery is an ongoing process through all phases but begins here.  The client is introduced to specifics about the program and the expectations while in treatment.

The objectives of the Foundation Phase include: 

a. Development of treatment plans and treatment goals
b. Finish detoxing and getting their head cleared so they can begin to think, feel, and interact
c. Initial presentation of core concepts and begin applying them to self and family
d. Discovery and naming of arrows and core issues related to self and family 
e. Begin developing a trust relationship with their Personal Therapist, and other therapists and stafff
f. Develop a working relationship with staff
g. Complying with and understanding program rules and guidelines
h. Understanding of why they were admitted to the treatment program and begin taking responsibility for past and current actions.
i. Client growing in his ability to name and discuss issues with therapist as well as increased ability to communicate and identify real issues 
j. Understanding the progression of treatment and complying with program guidelines
k. Bonding with puppy and taking ownership for care and training of puppy
l. Begin understanding addictive patterns and issues
j. Begin to develop healthy connections with the client community through mentoring activities. 

Mentoring is a component at the beginning and the end of treatment. On the front end, it is designed to begin the positive influence by fellow clients in the community who are at the end of their treatment experience.  Clients who are near graduation mentor the new admissions as a part of learning how to get out of themselves and help another human being, which will model the 12th Step and be paramount to their success after Capstone. For the newer clients, “mentoring” by those about to graduate, is very encouraging and helps them to buy in to the program.

The Foundation Phase at the beginning and the Formation Phase at the end of the program, serve as bookends to underpin the core treatment experience.  The front-end is more of a foundation and transition into treatment and the back-end functions as a final preparation to bridge back into real life. Remember, graduation is not the end of the battle but instead it is tagging first base, and getting on first is a paramount achievement. The journey to home plate (where the son stays on a healthy track on his own) takes the next two years or more. This is how long it takes for the brain to heal and reprogram the neuropathways to healthy patterns, including the paradigm shift of living and thriving in the presence of an addiction.

Admissions that occur on the first week of a four week rotation become Cluster “A” and those that are from the second week are Cluster “B”. The third and fourth weeks are Clusters "C" and "D." These four week clusters go through the core therapy weeks together, including Family Week. There are advantages and disadvantages in admitting in the first two weeks, as well as in the last two weeks of any four week rotation, but by graduation they balance out and benefit each client equally. The total time in treatment will vary from 90 to 96 days depending on what day of the week the client is admitted. Each cluster will have the same tentative graduation date, and will be evaluated monthly for clinical appropriateness. 

The date that a young man admits to treatment has to be determined by the need of his situation. The admission date should be the soonest he can get into treatment based on that need. To delay is to risk the “Last Hurrah Phenomenon” which is to risk the son.  When a young person gets the idea that they are going to treatment for 90+ days, and they have some time before admission, they think in illogical terms; “I’ll just have one more good time.” This has ended catastrophically before and cost the life of a son. So we schedule admissions based on need and arrange the clusters in a way to give all client an equally beneficial experience.

The clients who admit earlier in a month, A and B Clusters, get more time in the Foundation Phase. This enhances their transition into treatment as well as their beginning of the treatment experience. Clients who admit later in a month, C and D Clusters, have more time in the Formation Phase. This helps them in game planning, being mentors, and preparation to transition into the post-graduation phase.  This staggered rotation at the beginning and end of treatment produces a net gain that equals out by graduation for both clusters. A/B Clusters gain more at the beginning and C/D Clusters gain more at the end. This also creates the opportunity for the combined clusters to go through the core therapy weeks together, resulting in a tremendously more impactful experience through the relationships within their community. This is the main benefit to the clients and their families.

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 Fundamental Phase