The Program has been specifically designed to respond to addiction's unique challenges. Dr. Daniel Selling, the Director of the Williamsburg Therapy Group, is an expert in addiction, having created the largest jail-based inpatient substance abuse treatment program in the country here in New York City. Since its founding date, the Williamsburg Therapy Group has grown to include 22 doctoral-level providers, including both psychiatrists and psychologists. Our Brooklyn-based outpatient rehab in NYC specializes in addiction, medication management, individual and group psychotherapy, and neuropsychological assessment.
Over the years, we have provided mental health care to our community. Many of the people we encounter have struggled with both mental health issues and addiction, often referred to as dual diagnosis. The Program at the Williamsburg Therapy Group is unique in that we have long specialized in providing individual and group psychotherapy and individual substance use treatment.
This project is an evolution of our group's mission to help people who are dual diagnosed make long term changes and find emotional wellness. Our hope in creating The Program was to develop a structured, supportive, and effective treatment program. However, this program will specifically address addiction's unique challenges in New York City. Implementing a substance use disorder program catered to New Yorkers will allow them to make impactful and sustainable changes.
The Program at Williamsburg Therapy Group is an intensive outpatient treatment program designed to help people struggling with addiction. Because addiction can profoundly impact all areas of life, the Program was designed to provide a higher level of care than individual outpatient programs. In doing so, people who are dual diagnosed can receive a more intensive treatment that helps them quickly make changes in a format that fits daily life.
This treatment structure helps us provide individually tailored support, as well as practical skills, healing, and a sense of community to help people make deep, concrete, and sustainable changes towards wellness.
At the Program, we recognize that the motivation to change substance use disorder is complicated. Even if someone isn’t sure about what they want, we provide a safe, supportive space for them to explore their options. This can give individuals a chance to see what it might be like to consider a life without the influence of addiction.
Because addiction is different for each person, we believe that the foundation of treatment is thoughtfully listening and collaborating with clients. This means helping people find directions that are personally relevant and take realistic steps for making long-lasting changes. This includes providing support, even when someone experiences mixed feelings about changing their relationship with substances.
The Program creates space for clients to talk about:
Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are two approaches we use to respect people's individual choices. Meanwhile, we create a non-judgmental space to explore new ways to imagine the future.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an approach that deeply respects a person's autonomy to make their own decisions while also focusing the discussion on imagining and exploring the benefits of a life without addiction. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an approach that helps people identify things that are important to them and begin creating a life consistent with these values. By becoming more psychologically flexible, a person can better adapt to the world around them and move forward towards their goals.
A central focus of the Williamsburg Therapy Groups approach has been its focus on helping people make real changes through the combination of supportive therapy and practical skills. The Program uses Relapse Prevention, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to teach clients a wide variety of practical ways to identify behaviors and mindsets that can keep people stuck repeating unhealthy patterns.
Relapse prevention is a skills-based approach to helping people learn ways to transition away from addiction. These skills include methods to raise awareness of behaviors and situations that increase the risk of returning to substances. It also teaches individuals how to build new habits that strengthen their ability to prioritize wellness and strategies to make wise decisions instead of impulsivity or reliance on substances.
Substance use often serves to provide relief for many of life's stressors and pains. For a while, substance use can feel like a helpful way to cope with overwhelming and painful experiences or as a way to experience pleasure and excitement. As a person begins to use substances more intensely, frequently, and with less restraint, addiction negatively impacts a person's life.
While relapse prevention directly addresses addiction behaviors, skills-based treatments, including CBT and DBT, help people deepen these changes. This is done by learning new alternatives for coping with pain and increasing joy in fulfilling and sustainable ways. Individuals will be learning to soothe emotional pain, reach out for support, and practice habits to protect their physical health.
These approaches have been widely demonstrated to help people make concrete changes in substance use, including various related struggles.
Related struggles include
When people learn and master practical skills, they can build confidence and optimism. Each week at The Program includes two hours of mindfulness, which is the skill of raising awareness of thoughts, physical sensations, and emotions.
Developing mindfulness helps people build connections with themselves and the world around them. It helps individuals gain clarity about values important to them. Mindfulness is a core skill of CBT-based treatments and helps increase a person's awareness of thoughts, emotions, and triggers to respond thoughtfully and wisely in risky situations.
Because addiction can be such an isolating experience and cause damage to relationships with family members and friends, the largest part of the program is dedicated to creating a sense of community through group support. Struggles with addiction are notorious for the risk of relapse and feeling discouraged.
We believe in creating sustainable structures and support groups to help people make initial changes and maintain habits that reduce risk and stay connected. By creating a safe, intimate, and relatable forum for people to talk about their addiction experiences, they can begin to create a new sense of community. In doing so, they form an essential connection for weaving a healthy network of support as they navigate life without substances.
When a person completes the program, they can continue treatment at Williamsburg Therapy Group. This helps create a sustainable source of mental health support and community for people to continue exploring emotional health issues and maintain positive changes.
The Program's ultimate goal is to help people achieve results and sustain change. To do this, we believe it is our responsibility to thoroughly understand and constantly improve how we provide support to our clients. From a client's first contact with the program, we identify areas that they want to improve and track progress to collaborate and tailor treatment to their specific struggles.
To ensure that treatment is truly tailored to each person, clients enrolled in the program will receive two hours of individual therapy per week. This allows them to apply the general skills and strategies learned in the group in specific and the most useful ways. Individual therapy can also serve as a safe, private space for clients to explore other factors that interact with addiction, including past trauma, relationships, identity, and emotional health.
To address the dysregulation and damage that substances have on physical health, the Program also includes one hour per week of body-based holistic treatments, including acupuncture, reiki, yoga, and massage therapy. This is designed to help clients repair and cherish relationships with their bodies and use physical awareness to help them continue making healthful choices.