The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations is a long-term residential substance abuse treatment center for adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17. Founded in 1986 by seven tribes (“seven nations”) in Washington State, the Healing Lodge’s original mission was to serve Native youth suffering from chemical dependency. After the program started admitting non-native clients, they began receiving additional state funding which helps assist financially challenged clients. In 1996, The Healing Lodge relocated to a new facility in Spokane Valley. Set against 50 acres of unincorporated land that includes natural woods, the campus provides the perfect setting for a Native-American based treatment program.
Accommodations and Food
The Healing Lodge has a 45-bed capacity. There are three wings, two for males and one for females. Each has a 15-bed capacity, and overseen by three counselors. While a few individuals receive private rooms, most clients share dorm-style rooms with three to four other roomies, in the same age bracket.
Residents are served cafeteria-style and dine inside a spacious dining room furnished with round tables and large windows that provide ample sunlight. As a gender-specific program, the males eat at separate times than the females. The kitchen offers three hot meals per day, and three snacks. There is a salad bar during lunch and dinner, stocked with fresh leafy greens and veggies. A sample day’s menu includes waffle sticks for breakfast, spicy chicken breast served with rice, fruit and salad for lunch, and sloppy Joes for dinner. Beverages include fruit juice, herbal tea, water and milk. Sugary drinks like soda and Kool-Aid are served just once a week. Those on vegetarian or special needs diets can be accommodated, but require a doctor’s note.
Treatment and Staff
Since The Healing Lodge is an intensive inpatient program, potential clients must meet certain criteria. These include no serious medical conditions and no severe mental health issues. Those with co-occurring disorders such as depression and anxiety can be admitted into the program. Those with more serious conditions, such as schizophrenia, cannot be treated. The admissions department requires the completion of a two-part application, along with documentation such as a recent chemical dependency assessment, a physical exam and mental health evaluation. Upon approval, clients receive an admissions appointment or a waiting list slot.
Treatment length is typically between 60 and 120 days. The treatment program includes a rigorous schedule of group therapy, individual therapy, music therapy, art therapy, family therapy, a rites of passage ceremony (upon program completion), and Native-based therapy such as singing, smudging, and praying. The Healing Lodge has 12-step and Celebrate Recovery meetings on the premises. Clients are required to attend at least two meetings a week.
In addition, clients are assigned a clan that includes a group of counselors. The Sage Clan helps male residents, while the Pelpalwichiya Clan focuses on females, and the Cedar clan helps those with co-occurring disorders. The Sage clan includes recreational therapy, while the Pelpalwichiya clan provides specialized education on topics such as parenting, child rearing and female health. The Cedar clan provides medication management and dual diagnosis support.
Using an evidence-based approach, specifically DBT, group topics include chemical dependency education, life skills, anger management, coping skills and relationships. Residents are taught academics at the Sinpaqcheen School on site. In the mornings, all residents attend school. Life skills coaches offer around-the-clock monitoring. They teach youngsters day-to-day basic living skills such as doing laundry.
Staff includes CADCs, chemical dependency counselor trainees, Master’s-level mental health counselors, and a family education specialist.
On campus there is a large gym with a weight room, and outdoors there is a medicine wheel and several healing circles. Recreational activities include basketball, lifting weights, softball, and hiking.
The Healing Lodge has a recording studio where clients record their own songs, picking a genre of their choice—rap is very popular. In addition, the rehab recently filmed a video called, The Healing Path, a fictional account of one teenager’s recovery process at the rehab.
Besides providing residents, both native and non-native, a chance to absorb the healing qualities and spirituality of the Native American culture, this rehab offers a comprehensive evidence-based approach, recreational therapy and a chance for young people to rediscover themselves through the creative arts.
The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations Location
5600 East 8th Avenue
Spokane Valley, WA 99212
The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations Cost
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