The Surrogate Model of recovery has evolved for a period of 50 years. Created by and for the women who learn to live together as a family of strangers, created by necessity as a way to survive and thrive. This model offers instant safety and a forever refuge where coming for Sunday dinner takes on a whole new meaning. Creating a home for her soul she can come anytime with no strings attached except for the heartstrings that are woven throughout and built upon. There is no judgment and women are encouraged to “come home” when trouble comes up. Learning to take care of her sisters as an alumni gives her a sense of belonging to a ‘real’ family, one that she may never have had.

Discovering it was real and repeatable, I identified and mapped the model exactly the way the women had unknowingly created it over the years and called it the Surrogate Model of Treatment. Then I got busy and created an experiential manual for anyone interested in recreating this jewel of recovery evolution. This manual is also a detailed history of the program, and like a family album it brings back memories of times gone by.

The philosophy is uniquely balanced to provide stringent structure and genuine respect. Most of all it is learning to care for herself and how to accept love from others. She learns how to see who she really is guided by the counseling staff who are trained in this specialty program.

The year was 1970 and the accepted treatment was AA or other more confrontational methods of the day. Women do not do well with negativity. 50 years later the model has become a way of life for thousands. Creating a chosen family to guide each other through the hell of addiction and self sabotage to the other side is freedom, and a labor of love in itself . It is about respect, love and integrity. Women do better with positive reinforcement and assertive structure until they can create their own assertiveness and self caring.

Read the story, pick up the book, use what you like.

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