Relapse Prevention Therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioural therapy. It primarily treats addiction and substance abuse but also treats mental health disorders like depression, OCD and more. According to a foundational study on Relapse Prevention (RP), the therapy “seeks to identify high-risk situations in which an individual is vulnerable to relapse and to use both cognitive and behavioural coping strategies to prevent future relapses in similar situations” (Marlatt & Witkiewitz, 2005).

Clients will participate in Relapse Prevention Groups throughout their inpatient stay, using evidence-based interventions developed by Terence Gorski as well as Marlatt and Gordon. These will require clients to review and identify the areas of their lives, behaviours and motivation to change as part of their ongoing recovery. These sessions are experiential as well as didactic, and provide clients with the necessary practical tools to implement whilst in treatment, as well as for post discharge.

Samarpan has implemented the Gorski-Cenaps model of Relapse Prevention as the main approach for this specific modality and this encompasses nine basic principles.  Each principle is complimented with a procedure or clinical technique that can be used to operationalize that principle with clients:

  • Principle One: Self-regulation is operationalized with a procedure for physical, psychological, and social stabilization;
  • Principle Two: Integration is operationalized by the technique of self- assessment;
  • Principle Three: Understanding is operationalized by a relapse education procedure;
  • Principle Four: Self-Knowledge is operationalized with a procedure of relapse warning-sign identification;
  • Principle Four: Self-Knowledge is operationalized with a procedure of relapse warning-sign identification;
  • Principle Five: Coping skills is operationalized through a procedure of warning-sign management;
  • Principle Six: Change is operationalized in a procedure for reviewing the recovery plan;
  • Principle Seven: Awareness is operationalized by a procedure of inventory training;
  • Principle Seven: Awareness is operationalized by a procedure of inventory training;
  • Principle Nine is Maintenance, which is operationalized by a comprehensive follow-up plan

All clients at Samarpan will be discharged with a Relapse Prevention Plan (Recovery Plan) derived from a process of collaborative work with the group, therapists and family involvement.

A relapse prevention plan is a vital tool for anyone in recovery. Having a plan helps you recognize your own personal behaviours that may point to relapse in the future. It also outlines ways to combat those behaviours and get back on track.

A relapse prevention plan is a written document a client creates with their treatment team and shares with their support group. The plan offers a course of action for responding to triggers and cravings.

Relapse usually isn’t a spur-of-the-moment event. Typically, it is a three-part process, including:

  • Emotional relapse
  • Mental relapse
  • Physical relapse

With a relapse prevention plan, it is possible to acknowledge and act upon certain feelings and events, in turn avoiding a physical relapse (which is the stage when someone returns to drug or alcohol use).

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