Principles of

Effective Treatment

Novation Center provides daily person-centered and individualized treatment to meet the unique challenges of each person’s recovery experience. Novation’s clinicians use components of three modalities of therapy that are among the most researched and evidence-based approaches available in clinical therapy:

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5 Basic Steps to Successful Treatment

There are five basic steps to successful treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.  It is helpful to ensure these are being engaged.  If there are challenges to seeing success in treatment, it may be necessary to review these step to see if something is missing or has been inadequate.


Detoxification from drugs or alcohol is the first thing that needs to be done.  This may sometimes require medical attention and is often more easily done and more successful with medical attention.  This is especially true with detox from alcohol, benzodiazepines and barbiturates.  Detox from these things without medical support may lead to seizures or delirium.  It would be critical to see a doctor before stopping.  Coming off most other drugs can be uncomfortable but generally does not carry the same risk above.  The discomfort from withdrawal can be so great it drives someone back to using.  Medicines can help relieve that discomfort and increase the chances of success.

 Behavioral Counseling

Addiction begets dysfunctional coping.  It is also often preceded by dysfunctional coping.  This includes intolerance to stress.  If we don’t work on those things, we will be back to the substance use.  In fact, the substance use is often a faulty attempt at coping with the underlying dysfunction.  We take away the substance use and now we have taken away the coping tool.  This needs to be replaced with other tools.  Getting into therapy to identify the stress and dysfunction and start working on the tools to cope is vital to lasting success.


There are a number of medications that have shown to help reduce the risk for cravings and relapse.  If these risks are there and getting in the way of effective therapy, medications should be explored.  They do not work alone but as tools to help the therapy.

Evaluation and Treatment for Mental Health

If depression, anxiety, trauma or other mental health concerns exist, they too need to be addressed.  It is important to have a full evaluation to explore these things and develop a treatment plan.  This may include other forms of therapy and medication.

Long-Term Follow-up

Treatment needs to be viewed as a long game.  For some this may be life-long.  Generally, it should be considered to be engaged in structured and professional support for 18 to 24 months.  Treatment will gradually be tapered back over time.  This may go from residential treatment to intensive outpatient treatment to groups and individual therapy.  It will remain important to stay engaged on a weekly basis.  This helps keep one attentive to triggers and stress.  It also maintains accountability.  Coming to a group will help both accountability to self and to peers.  

Novation's Approaches to Health and Healing

Treatment of Behavioral Health and Substance Use

With our psychiatrists and licensed therapists, we treat co-occurring disorders. Psychosocial assessments and treatment plans begin from day one. Medications and therapy will be utilized to address individual needs. We engage the outpatient team throughout treatment so the transition out of residential treatment is as seamless as possible.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are integrated to each individual’s treatment plan to combat the common development of negative and destructive thought and behavior patterns. This research-based modality allows the patient to explore what thoughts and behaviors perpetuate patterns of self-defeating thoughts that continue to drive addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Patients and therapists will actively work with the CBT model to seek alternative ways to think about the self with the goal of recovering from the pain of destructive thought and behavior patterns. Smart Recovery is CBT model  used at Novation Center.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a cornerstone of our person-centered care and individual approach to treatment. DBT is the most researched, validated and published evidence-based treatment for individuals with co-occurring disorders that need support beyond typical talk therapy.

DBT operates with compassion, clarity, and collaboration in gaining skills for increasing emotion regulation, building distress tolerance, increasing mindfulness, and increasing interpersonal effectiveness.

Matrix Model

The Matrix Model is an evidence-based model specifically addressing the unique needs of individuals entering recovery. Components of the Matrix Model address the areas starving for attention in the life of the person in recovery. Examples of this are External and Internal Triggers, Boredom, Anger Management and Repairing Relationships. The Matrix Model focuses on continued engagement each day of recovery. This can include individual, group or family therapy sessions and educational groups within a highly focused, time-limited program.


Mindfulness is a proven modality to help mood disorders, anxiety and substance use disorders. It is a valuable tool for anyone to exercise in today’s fast-paced and hectic world. Mindfulness at its core is about being aware in the present moment without judgement. Practicing focused awareness can significantly improve stress tolerance and lead to greater satisfaction in life experiences.

Family Therapy

Family therapy addresses the inherent and often historic needs of guests and persons in their lives impacted by the dynamics of addiction. Family dynamics that have been developed to solve problems can, in the face of addiction, strengthen and increase problematic patterns. Novation staff incorporate Strategic Family Therapy and Solution-Focused Family Therapy into working with family members and guests. Center Customized approaches to family therapy include weekly meetings and multiple telephonic contacts.

12 Step Program

The history and success of 12 step programs is spread across the globe. At Novation, there are multiple opportunities each week to attend and reflect on the 12 step principles, guidance and fellowship. Guests are encouraged to explore this approach and incorporate any and all principles from it that strengthen the focus on long-term sobriety and the benefits of a supportive, peer-based community.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan

Developed in 1997, the Wellness Recovery Action Plan represents an organic, personalized and “self-designed” approach to get well and stay well. Using the best ideas for prevention, intervention and crisis planning, WRAP focuses on strengths and successes to predict and effectively intervene in challenging times.

Movement Therapy

We all move through our days. Movement Therapy integrates focus and mindfulness into opportunities to deepen awareness of and frequency of this overlooked and often neglected aspect of ourselves. Through expert coaching – the practices of stretching, yoga, and exercises that increase range of motion, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular strength are incorporated into a customized plan for movement and wellness that begins withing the first 72 hours of guest stays at Novation and is practiced daily.


Novation Center guests have expert-prepared meals and nutrition approaches.
A nutritional assessment meets individualized needs, preferences and goals for overall health and wellness and dining pleasure. At all other times, our kitchen is stocked with healthy snacks and beverages.

Physical Fitness

Physical fitness comes in many forms. At Novation, the primary focus on physical fitness is restoration of a wholistic balance of muscular strength and energy. Professional experts work with guests to provide a curated plan of action to regain levels of endurance, strength, flexibility, and well-being.