Kindness: People often come to treatment wounded by a history of negative interactions from important people. We will be the people they can rely on, by being accepting, gracious, receptive, dependable, kind, and fun. This will be an environment in their lives that feels safe.
Accountability: We must set a tone for boundaries, structure, and hard work. We are not being kind, nor helping them, when we put more effort into their treatment than they are ready to put forth. We can’t force someone into readiness when something is holding them back.
Before, During, and After: We learn about their before, hold a lantern during our walk with them, and stay within arm’s reach as they navigate their after. We aren’t a business office, we are an ally.
Fun and Humor: People won’t stay if it’s boring and bland. We want them to look forward to their time in group and leave feeling like they were a part of something not only meaningful, but enjoyable.
The Client Is the Expert: We don’t know their lives. The best we can do is offer ideas and concepts, listen, make guesses, and walk with them as they make changes they understand for themselves, as they are ready to make them.
Mind Their Pace: Recognize that clients come in at varying levels of readiness concerning anxiety, trust, vulnerability, assertiveness, and guardedness. Listen to find where they are, and adjust your approach to their pace.
Initiative: An internal drive to improve our services. Complacency is the enemy of growth and innovation. To quote Theodore Roosevelt: “Get action. Do things; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody.”
Treat the Whole Person: Clients have origin stories, relationship networks, health concerns, work lives, legal complications, and community needs beyond what we can provide. We must listen for all needs, and provide appropriate guidance where able.
One Foot in Comfort, One Foot in Challenge: Always have an eye on encouraging clients to be comfortable enough to maintain safety and self-care, but uncomfortable enough to grow. This goes for us as well.
Accessibility: Never use unnecessary clinical jargon with clients. It alienates connection and makes the process cold and sterile. We promote inclusion and engage interest in education. Rather than above, we are among them. We are in this life together.