Founded in 2001, Journeys in Omaha, Nebraska provides substance abuse treatment for adolescents. This facility is a part of Catholic Charities, which began as a social service agency in 1926 to offer relief and rehabilitation to Catholic families. In the early days, the agency directed much assistance toward families suffering through the Great Depression and drought, which had devastated the area. Catholic Charities of Omaha began offering chemical dependency services in 1972. This particular program is specifically geared towards those ages 12 to 19. It provides a continuum of care that includes drug screening and assessments, residential treatment, an outpatient program, an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and community support programs.
Accommodations and Food
Journeys’ residential home is located in southwestern Omaha. Clients live, attend school and attend all of their therapy in the house.
The house is co-ed and has a total of 16 beds in seven double rooms and two single rooms. The environment is designed to be as homelike as possible with clients sharing dorm-style bedrooms with one other person of the same gender. The rooms feature twin-sized beds and dressers and there are two bathrooms designated for each gender. The house also has a living room, kitchen, nurse’s office and rooms for group and individual therapy.
Journeys also serves three meals a day provided through the state’s school lunch program. The meals and food are delivered by an outside food service, the same one that delivers food to schools around the state. Although the menu is set, Journeys does its best to accommodate dietary restrictions or needs. The organization also provides a nightly snack for clients who want a bite to eat after dinner. Residents take turns in helping clean the kitchen. Caffeine and smoking are not allowed on the premises.
Although there is no physical education class provided in Journeys’ on-site educational classes for the residential program, the organization does regularly offer recreational activities including board games basketball and regular walks. Also, clients have the opportunity to attend a local YMCA if they wish.
Journeys is not faith-based, clients are given the opportunity to attend church on Sunday if they wish.
Clients are not allowed to have a car therefore Journeys provides transportation to and from outside meetings, recreation activities or church.
The residential and outpatient programs are separated in the house by a series of locked doors as to prevent any of the programs from mixing.
Treatment and Staff
The intake process begins with a chemical dependency evaluation that is handled by an admissions counselor at Journeys. This evaluation determines the specific level of care the client may need and also assess his or her mental health needs to determine any potential co-occurring disorders. Detox isn’t available, but referrals can be made when needed.
The therapeutic group home residential program lasts for four to six months but clients can stay for as long as they need. The therapy consists of a mixture of group, individual and educational meetings. The group meetings are generally small and consist of a variety of topics and therapy techniques including education, coping skills, CBT and Motivational Interviewing (MI). The counselors also focus on trauma education in the groups but don’t encourage clients to process the trauma in the group setting and aim to focus on that in an individual meeting. Clients in the residential program undergo 13 educational groups a week as well. They are led by a staff member and cover addiction and substance abuse education. Individual meetings are offered once a week but can be more frequent based on the needs of the client.
Every 30 days, clients in the residential program have a meeting their family members, counselors, nurse and psychiatrist to discuss progress and current recovery status.
Journeys also focuses a great deal on the 12 steps. The facility hosts weekly 12-step groups and speakers, and the counselors also work through the steps in the group meetings. When clients enter the program, they are given an AA Big Book and are encouraged to find a sponsor during their treatment.
Journeys requires clients to attend in-house schooling Monday through Friday for four hours a day. This education is taught by licensed school teachers in a classroom and is designed to be a substitute for the actual schooling the clients miss while in the residential program.
Although the program is co-ed, clients are separated by gender for most group meetings and activities.
When clients finish with the residential program they are offered the opportunity to step down to the facility’s IOP, which runs for eight to ten weeks. The IOP meets three days a week for three hours at a time. These three meetings consist of one educational group and two group counseling meetings. The IOP program is co-ed as well and consists of roughly 18 clients. Individual counseling is available in this program based on the needs of the clients. Although the IOP does not have the 30-day check up meetings that the residential does, the IOP does still have regular family group meetings with the client, counselor and family members every other week.
The organization also offers an outpatient program that meets once a week for a group meeting. Individual sessions are available as well based on the clients needs.
The program is dual diagnosis and focuses a great deal on trying to heal any traumas the clients may have. Journeys has a psychiatrist on staff that sees clients twice a month and discusses their mental health issues. The facility has a part-time nurse on staff and doctor on call who can assist with any potential medical issues that the clients may have.
The counseling is handled by a mixture of LADCs and dually licensed substance abuse and mental health therapists. Also, all of the facility’s support staff have attended college and encourage college education to the adolescent clients.
Journeys also offers a community support worker program where a Journeys counselor member will meet a client in their home as they transition back into the outside world. The counselor aims to help provide the client with local resources that they can use to continue their treatment and encourages the client to engage in positive activities in the community.
When clients finish with the residential program, the counselors do help them transfer into another group home if they do not have a stable living environment.
Journeys also offers group family therapy meetings once every other week. These meetings are just for the parents and counselors, and are a safe environment for the family members to talk about what it is like for them to have a child in treatment. Occasionally, an outside group speaker will come in and talk to the group.
The residential program also hosts a parent night once a month, where parents eat dinner and spend time with the clients.
Journeys is a dynamic and comprehensive treatment option for adolescent clients in the Omaha area. The variety of programs offered treat clients of all backgrounds and recovery stages but also allows a smooth step-down process. The inclusion of 12 steps into the treatment process allows clients to become adjusted to outside support groups before leaving the program. Finally, the in-house schooling in the residential program allows clients to continue their education while in the program.
11111 M Street
Omaha NE 68137
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