At Touchstones12 we encourage a solution focused approach to working at life. The main support programme here at Touchstones12 in general comprise life skills, education, fresh air, voluntary work and alternative therapies. At the project we offer our clients a multi angled approach that is more in keeping with everyday life. Ultimately, we are aiming to empower and socialise our client group so they become more confident and more attuned to manage their daily lives.
It would not be reasonable or expected that all clients will follow a single route to recovery, therefore the Touchstones12 support plan is adaptable to an individual clients needs.
Touchstones12 offers an abstinence, violence and theft free based recovery programme. Abstinence from alcohol, drugs and various forms of mind altering chemicals is mandatory. Abstinence from violence and theft is mandatory at all times during a stay at Touchstones12, any infringement of these basic but central rules may lead to instant dismissal. Client participation in daily activities is a condition of residency. Returnees will be assessed to define the aims and objectives of residency. If a client should choose to reapply, he/she will be subject to a renewed application and a full reassessment.
Touchstones12 does not run a clinical programme and further we do not directly provide any primary forms of counselling. A point to note, there are no medical staff working at the project. Each client is an individual and they will require different levels of treatment; some of our clients will choose not to receive any form of clinical counselling throughout their time at the project. All of our clients will be offered counselling assessments in line with their individual support plans and informed choices will be made. People take time to level out and come to terms with their own state of mind before they choose to seek more specialized and specific forms of counseling. Take away the substances and the underlying issues that a client needs to address are like magnified versions of those found within the normal population. To explain further our clients are substance misuse based, but in practice Touchstones12 does not directly work with people who are using substances; conversely we work with abstinent individuals who require a diverse range of specific forms of counselling such as bereavement, debt, gambling, domestic abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, child services liaison and others. Ten percent of our client group will require a mental health assessment to consider deeper seated mental health problems; which in turn could be a major contributory factor for their substance misuse. In practice the project functions as a central hub, a supportive holding ground from where a person can develop enough self esteem and confidence to identify and seek out specific forms of help that will effectively meet their own personal needs.
The Touchstones12 drug and alcohol recovery programme is designed to be adaptable on an everyday basis, however the aim of the programme is to effect both behavioural and cognitive changes, to move a client from their destructive way of thinking and behaving towards a life style that can ultimately only be formed from and within the clients own frame of reference.
Ultimately we believe that individuals have to want to change themselves - technically individuals must have a motivation to want to change their own life in order to succeed. The client can only change his/her self.
At Touchstones12 we do not badger, label or prescribe the way people live or think about their lives and their futures, rather we value people as they are. Touchstones12 emphasise human experience, choice and creativity, we encourage positive growth, focusing on a person’s unique potential for personal growth, self-actualisation and self-realisation.
Although the programme is basic, it will provide a client with some of the tools and information they require to achieve independence. Ultimately we do not want to institutionalize individuals. Therefore we aim to provide a mix of experiences to aid recovery and life skills training to enable individuals to achieve independent living. In practice we aim to create a socially interactive environment that encourages people to develop and integrate with society in a more natural sense.
Recovery at Touchstones12 is worked towards within a safe, supportive yet challenging environment. Someone once described a counselling session as being akin to a ‘safe emergency.’ Being a client at Touchstones12 is very much akin to living in a safe emergency.
Realism, it is unrealistic to assume or even to aspire to believe that in a short time period that Touchstones12 will achieve good results with every client. Our client group has an extensively broad range of complex life issues that underlie many years of substance misuses and chemical dependency. Most of our service users have been known to other services for decades! In reality, six months of residential support will only be a chance factor for those who are mentally capable and motivated to want to change.
Touchstones12 does not offer any guarantees and makes no unrealistic claim about being able to help or cure any individual of their problems. The risk of succeeding in abstinence is entirely in the hands of the client; the project is effectively powerless and therefore not responsible for any choices that a client may make in line with the misuse of substances and/or alcohol. Fundamentally the project is an abstinence based supportive environment that will give individuals the space and the time to both reassess and reconsider their own personal position in life. In sum Touchstones12 accept no responsibility for any client or former client who chooses to misuse substances and/or alcohol.
Touchstones12’s service users are drawn from all areas of society and are those who are suffering from an alcohol and / or drug dependency problem. The majority of service users come from the North Wales area although empty beds may be filled by local authorities commissioning services from the North West of England. Our order of priority for intake of service users, as per our Referrals and Allocations Policy, is as follows: (a) People from the Borough of Conwy (b) People from North Wales (c) People from all Wales (d) People from the rest of UK to seek funding from own local authority to attend the project.