The philosophy of St Mark's is "The Family that Changes" and the primary aim of the St Mark's Therapeutic Community is to foster enduring personal growth and recovery.
These goals are accomplished by changing the individual's lifestyle through the therapeutic community working together towards helping themselves, to help each other. St Mark's treatment model is based around Te Whare tapa Wha, a Maori model which promotes the four pillars of health Mind, Body, Spirit, family and community.
The Therapeutic Community perspective holds certain shared assumptions and beliefs on what is healthy for personal and social living. These community teachings are based on a moral code of right living or living right. The daily practice of right living evolves in time towards a changed lifestyle and healthier identity.
The TC sees the individual in treatment as the principle contributor to the change process. Each individual must show motivation that they are open honest and willing in their recovery goals.
Mutual self-help or 'responsible concern' means that residents and staff alike act as facilitators, emphasizing personal responsibility and self-improvement and all take partial responsibility for the recovery of their peers hence "My recovery is your recovery".
St Mark's delivers the TC model using a multi-modal approach to treatment which includes Social Learning Theory, Cultural Approaches, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the input of our medical team. Other modalities used include motivational enhancement, Transactional Analysis, Psycho-dynamic Approaches and General Counselling. Bio-Psycho-Educational groups supported by Family and Systemic counselling are also utilised within St Mark's.
The programme includes individual therapy, group therapy, art therapy, education sessions, relapse prevention groups, anger management, assertiveness and continuing care groups. Residents are encouraged to develop better communication skills, self-esteem and life skills. Recreation and waiata/tikanga are encouraged in a supportive non-judgmental environment.
Residents complete a number of short and long term goals as part of their treatment plan. Attendance at Recovery Meetings i.e. Rational Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a requirement.
The aim of the programme is to develop open honest and willing participation so clients can learn from their own thoughts feelings, and behaviour. Emphasis is placed on enhancing the resident's strengths in order to make positive changes and open the door to healthier life-styles. "My recovery is your recovery" happens through taking self-responsibility by restoring cultural & family/Whanau relationships and being open to new learning. New skills for training and/or employment are supported and assistance is given where appropriate. Developing a relationship with a trusted mentor/sponsor in recovery is encouraged.
Other therapy is available in the form of art and musical activities. Recreation and exercise are important and include workouts in the gymnasium, circuit training, walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, tai chi, exploring nature in Marlborough as well as life skills, gardening on the property & vineyard skills.
Monitoring outcomes and a continue process of review of our service delivery is part of our practise and essential to maintain and run an effective Residential Programme.