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Motivating Young Men in Recovery

Fred Keane, LCSW

Executive Director of Clinical Services

  There are a variety of challenges that young men in early recovery face. Many are not “voluntary”, but rather have been compelled to enter treatment as a result of outstanding legal issues or owing to family interventions. It has been found that clients younger than 26 are more likely to be in pre-contemplation and significantly less likely to beat contemplation, action, or maintenance stages than adults in the cohort ages 26 to 45 (Sinha et al, 2003). Thus, there are issues regarding motivation, engagement, adaptation to structure, and acceptance/adherence to program guidelines and norms. In fact, challenging guidelines is in many cases to be expected as a form of challenging authority and limit testing. We meet these challenges by incorporating a variety of approaches and interventions that are designed to build rapport and trust, and to engage the young men in our care. Our curriculum is broad based (life skills, evidence based practice, community living, 12 Step, recreation, etc.), and is provided in group and individual settings. Care is individualized, integrated and coordinated for the purposes of promoting self-discovery, uncovering internal motivation, fostering growth and ultimately self-efficacy. The early stage of drug treatment is foundational and certainly includes education about addiction and its issues and consequences. Clients will engage in group and individual work: changing thinking and behavior; relaxation techniques; family dynamics; communication; wellness and recovery planning; self-care; building a sober network – to name just a few topics. Clients experience a safe environment where a person-centered, strengths based approach predominates. Participation is the norm. Clients receive the support and positive reinforcement they need as they begin to use the skills and strategies they have learned. And as clients progress through intensive outpatient and through the phase system, new challenges and opportunities are identified – as their readiness and ability to meet new challenges and opportunities grows. This work is best approached and accomplished by a concerted effort and collaboration. This includes not only therapists and case managers, but also families. We appreciate your concerns, your efforts, and your involvement – and we seek to support that as well. ……………………………….. Fred Keane is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 10 years experience in treating clients with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. He has held Program and Clinical Director positions at several in-patient settings ranging from medically supervised detox to long term residential. Fred believes in a person centered, strengths based approach and in fostering a safe and purposeful environment, conducive to clients building solid foundations for further growth. His experience is that early engagement, collaborative care, and educating and empowering clients with life skills and tools is a model for success. To this end, Fred has incorporated motivational interviewing, family work, cognitive behavior therapy, the Seeking Safety model, mindfulness practice and solution focused therapies in his program development efforts. Fred is a graduate of Colgate University and received his MSW from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. He has also been adjunct professor at Fordham teaching the Practice With Substance Abuse course to MSW candidates. Additionally, he has taught the Integrative Seminar and been a faculty advisor to MSW students at Fordham GSSS, and has mentored numerous masters level interns in their field placements.