In 2002, the founder of Bridgeway Treatment Services realized that a drug and alcohol recovery program could go beyond the average services of providing education and therapy around addictive behavior—it could incorporate Buddhist philosophy and teach clients to be mindful of their behaviors and emotions. While the founder no longer works with this outpatient program, the concept has remained the same.
Treatment and Staff
Bridgeway Treatment Services is located in a three story brown building on a busy road near downtown Bellevue, Washington. The city of Bellevue is directly east of Seattle, a 15-minute drive on the highway over Lake Washington. From this inconspicuous office building, Bridgeway offers three phases of outpatient treatment: an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) (Phase I), relapse prevention or OP (Phase II), and continuing care (Phase III). Each phase emphasizes educating clients about addiction as well as allowing them to work on self image, interpersonal communication and emotional expression. There is no detox and limited dual diagnosis support.
IOP or Phase I clients attend two three-hour groups a week for three months. In the course of three months, they are each required to meet with an individual therapist for six one-on-one sessions. There are two texts that clients in IOP work with: a DBT workbook and another CBT/DBT oriented workbook called Out of Control that helps with understanding and controlling emotions.
As may be expected, Phase II is less rigorous than Phase I. For six months, Phase II clients meet for a 90-minute group once a week. In this relapse prevention group, clients work with two texts that aim to help them become more mindful from a Buddhist perspective, learning where their attachments lie and about the nature of suffering as a result of attachment: An Introduction to the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path to Understanding and Mindful Recovery. The goal of this phase of treatment is to encourage clients to find happiness in the present.
Phase III is the continuing care group. For the first few weeks, clients attend group twice a week and then scale down to just one group a month. These groups are less formal, no reading required. Clients are meant to share what’s going on in their lives and any emotional challenges they’re facing in sobriety. Although there is less structure, a particular group may still be focused generally on a specific issue like self-esteem, assertiveness, compassion or communication.
Bridgeway has a small full-time staff; the owner, who has a Master’s-level degree in social work, a license to practice clinical social work and a professional degree in chemical dependency, provides therapy to individual clients and their families. Most of Bridgeway’s other full time staff are female and are all licensed to treat chemical dependency. Even Bridgeway’s office manager is a chemical dependency professional. There are no psychiatrists on staff, but Bridgeway also employs a Master’s-level therapist and social worker to work in a consulting role as mental health supervisors.
Bridgeway offers two hour structured drug and alcohol assessments. During that time, a counselor takes the client’s vocational, personal and legal history as well as their entire history with drug and alcohol use and mental health. On the second Saturday of every month, Bridgeway offers an eight-hour Alcohol and Drug Information School (ADIS) from 9 am to 4 pm.
Bridgeway also runs a two year deferred prosecution program for DUI and DWI offenders. These clients are mandated to start at Phase I. After the first nine months of Phases I and II, they spend 15 months in Phase III in lieu of a sentence and the permanent existence of the offense on their record.
Bridgeway Treatment Services offers a unique, spiritual approach to recovery; potential clients seeking more than the perfunctory didactic program may find the emotional exploration proffered by Bridgeway’s program refreshing. At the same time, straightforward assessments and ADIS educational classes are available here, too. The Bridgeway Treatment staff is small, but each member is experienced and well educated about addiction.
Bridgeway Treatment Services
410 Bellevue Way SE # 2
Bellevue, WA 98004
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