Life of Purpose fosters success in recovery and direction in the lives of our clients by providing truly specialized, academically focused substance use disorder treatment.
Life of Purpose is the first primary care treatment center on a college campus in the United States. With a commitment to ongoing research, we continually enhance, improve, and promote our model, and thus do the same for the lives of the people we serve. We advance the recovery movement as a whole by helping to improve the quality of life of individual members. We meet these objectives by providing world-class treatment in an environment that supports higher education and facilitates the establishment of collegiate recovery programs across the nation.
What Makes Our Approach So Radically Different
Educational achievement can redefine one’s life purpose. During early recovery, taking a single academic class can dramatically shift self-perception in a more positive direction for young adults.
We don’t want our clients to hold themselves small but instead reach further than they have ever done before. We don’t want them to become defined by the choices they have made in the past in the midst of substance misuse but rather learn from their past experiences and expand to grow maturely and confidently beyond them.
What makes Life of Purpose so different is the academically focused aspect of our program. Whereas the standard model of 30-day residential program tends to focus on having clients minimize their life, do things that are humbling and easy, and not stress themselves out, we encourage our clients to push the boundaries on what they think they can achieve. Young adults are a special population requiring focused motivation and tangible results in order to restore their confidence and feelings of self-worth in order to achieve long lasting sobriety.
For someone in early recovery working 40 hours a week at a minimum-wage job because of interrupted education, it is very difficult to envision a successful future. However, a student in early recovery working 30 hours every week at the same job while also succeeding in academics is energized by his or her new sobriety because that individual has the satisfaction, challenge and focus of working hard to achieve a much higher level of success.
Unlike the individual who had to abandon his educational goals, the Life of Purpose client who is taking classes has a real hope for a brighter future. With a professional degree in hand, this hope and confidence translates into a lifetime of sobriety.
Life of Purpose is continually enhancing and improving our groundbreaking academically focused model as we bring our unique vision to other communities. In doing so, we are promoting the advancement of the recovery movement – one life at a time – while leveraging the productivity and passionate advocacy of an entire generation.
How We Help Our Clients Succeed
We believe that no one should have to choose between their recovery and their education. Recovery and success, particularly in young adulthood, are not mutually exclusive.
The Life of Purpose treatment model is specifically designed to engage – and keep — teens and young adults intensely motivated to complete their educational goals and, in turn, stay sober. Our non-traditional therapeutic model of wellness empowers young adult clients to utilize every available tool of academic support in addition to evidenced-based treatment modalities in order to achieve self-efficiency and independence while actively forging their own pathways to professional success.
Additionally, we work closely with clients’ families to ensure they are involved in the Life of Purpose wellness model every step of the way. Family members are encouraged to come for joint sessions with their loved ones led by a highly trained therapist. For families unable to travel due to distance, we offer family sessions via video conferencing or telephone. Families are encouraged and welcomed to call Life of Purpose staff members at anytime with questions or concerns.
Substance use disorders often come with an enormous amount of shame that negatively impacts an individual’s self-esteem. Education alters this equation.
Many of our Life of Purpose clinicians and support staff are personally active in recovery while also pursuing undergraduate and graduate college degrees. These professionals actively model what it looks like for people of all ages to fully succeed in a purposeful life of recovery — not merely remain sober within a sheltered state.
*** For more information on our academically focused approach, read the article “Academic Disruption and Substance Use Disorders: University-Based Treatment Facilities.”
Published in the May 2016 issue of “Health and Social Work Journal” by the National Association of Social Workers, the article takes an in-depth look at our university-based treatment model and program outcomes as of 2015. Authors include: Lea Anne DeRigne, PhD, MSW, an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University; Andrew Burki, MSW, chief executive officer of Life of Purpose Treat¬ment Center; and Patricia Stoddard-Dare, PhD, an associate professor at Cleveland State University.