Our Common Ground (OCG) is a mental health and drug and alcohol counseling facility in Palo Alto, California that provides short-term, 90- to 120-day residential treatment as well as long-term residential treatment for anywhere from six months to one year. Since opening in 1988, OCG has provided safe and structured services to more than 3,000 individuals in the San Mateo County and greater San Francisco Bay area.
Accommodations and Food
In this 32-bed facility, four residents share a gender-separate room, with two shared bathrooms in the women’s unit and two bathrooms for men. Each resident has a bed, desk, dresser and closet. Rooms are reserved for sleep and study and residents are encouraged to socialize in the communal library area instead or to work out together in the facility’s exercise room.
Meals—which meet dietary standards and offer healthful choices— are prepared and served in the cafeteria. But residents can also select some approved “comfort foods” and snacks if they’re somewhat healthy and not “junk food.”
Treatment and Staff
The fundamental treatment approach at OCG is Therapeutic Community (TC), a highly structured, participatory group-based technique that emphasizes positive peer interaction and integrates the client’s skills, needs and abilities into a treatment and rehabilitation plan.
Evidence-based, self-help techniques emphasize personal values such as honesty, trust and responsibility with a focus on long-term, lasting recovery. Counselors offer and share solutions for conflict resolution, anger management and emotional stability. Dual diagnosis is conducted off-site, after which clients with co-occurring disorders can be accommodated at OCG.
Family participation is encouraged through the weekly OCG Family Association workshop. EMDR trauma services are available to help residents work through issues that may prevent them from progressing in recovery. AA meetings are offered and off-site detox can be arranged.
The staff-to-client ratio is one-to-four. Professional staff are experienced in psychiatry, certified drug and alcohol counseling, nursing and social work. A psychiatrist and psychologist are on site 24/7. Twice a year, a multicultural/diversity expert conducts staff training.
Outpatient treatment is offered at both the Palo Alto and Redwood City facilities. Outpatient clients must commit to treatment at least three days a week for three hours, including a minimum of one group and one individual session each week.
Re-entry, transitional supportive housing is available for employed non-residential clients.
OCG Recovery Radio can be heard from 4 pm to 6 pm (PST) on Tuesdays at https://www.blogtalkradio.com/ocgradio. The on-air call-in phone number is (646) 564-9909.
Services for Spanish-speaking individuals and those who require American Sign Language are also available.
While somewhat strict and structured in its residential rules, OCG nonetheless offers short – and long-term residential treatment with a large participatory, family component. With the Therapeutic Community model, clients can expect intensive group and individual sessions that emphasize the values needed for lasting recovery. It is not uncommon for former clients to return to share their stories of how Our Common Ground helped them achieve recovery success.
Our Common Ground
2560 Pulgas Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94303
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