S.H.I.F.T Aftercare Services

About S.H.I.F.T.
Karen Cohen LMFT
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“Once the pink cloud is gone and the honeymoon is over, the real work begins”
Jay C., a recovering alcohol and cocaine addict with Bi-polar disorder.

SHIFT  is an out-patient service that focuses on hard to treat persons with episodic and cyclical substance abuse relapse.

SHIFT aftercare treatment is  for learning how to replace learned self destructive behaviors, thoughts and emotions by learning to  practice new skills and techniques in order to prevent on going unhealthy  patterns of behavior in daily life. Aftercare helps undo negative emotions, thoughts and behaviors by learning how to express and contain emotions, as well as improving inter-personal communication skills.  Individual, couple group and family counseling and support can help the individual to strengthen  his or her personal, familial, and professional relationships in order to enhance and maintain a better quality of life.


Statistics show that 60% of alcoholic & addicts relapse within three months of being discharged from treatment.


Persons with addictions and co-morbidity factors go through cycles of :

  • Heavy Use / Abstinence
  • Harm Reduction /Relapse
  • Manipulating therapy and rehabilitation programs and leaving against medical advice
  • Masking relapse from their families, physicians and sponsors
  • Sporadically attending self-help meetings and sober living programs
  • Medical non-compliance

Psycho-social factors that increase the risk for relapse

  • Family histories of alcohol, substance abuse
  • Psychiatric, psychological, and physical disorders
  • Moderate to major life stressors / Loss of familiar negative social contacts
  • Social isolation and lack of support from family and friends


What are the tools to help build recovery?


Self Help programs are the hammer and Therapy is the nail.


Aftercare treatment is necessary once a person has been discharged successfully or unsuccessfully from an inpatient or residential treatment program. Aftercare programs usually include weekly 12 step meetings, fellowship groups, sponsorship, and sober living. The key ingredients to a healthy recovery is structure and support. 


To sustain and maintain a HEALTHY RECOVERY  the individual has to develop his or her own treatment program that meets their OWN INDIVIDUAL NEEDS and not the needs of others. There is no such thing as cookie cutter approach to prevent relapse. 

Individuals who have five or more years are in full remission.  Similar to being diagnosed with diabetes or cancer. There is no cure for addiction.


Two step forward, three steps backward, four steps forward, and three steps backward. A recipe for a healthy recovery process is to  shift back and forth between old and new emotions thoughts feelings and behaviors in aftercare treatment.


Change is difficult.  Stress means change. Recovery from alcohol and other substances and  behaviors have to be managed through a ongoing relapse prevention programs. Otherwise it’s just a matter of time for the next relapse to occur.  To continue to move forward in on-going recovery he or she has to develop an awareness or insight into personal emotional factors, and interpersonal relationships. When someone stops going to aftercare they no longer need help, They will refer to themselves as  an “ex junkie” or “former addict.” are not used to identify a person in recovery. Persons who try to rationalize and justify  their  leaving treatment is often in ongoing denial. Using rationale for actions to pull  away from on-going participation in aftercare puts  someone at very high risk  to  relapse and chronically relapse with episodic and binge drinking.














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