The Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation was created by Executive Presidential order on September 22, 1866. A 355 acre piece of land was set aside with the intent that the last native Indian holdouts would have their own lands for fishing, shellfish harvesting, and hunting. Still very well connected to their history, Shoalwater Bay tribal members continue working to expand their influence and increase awareness of their tribal culture. Located on the Southwest coast of Washington state, the Shoalwater Bay Wellness Center has been providing outpatient substance abuse services to members of the Shoalwater Bay Tribe, local casino workers and residents of the Willapa Bay community since 2002.
Substance abuse services for adults 18 and over are offered at the Wellness Center in Tokeland, located on the Shoalwater Bay reservation. The center is small, with a few administrative offices. The protocol for admission into the outpatient program is an initial assessment followed by an intake appointment where the client is provided with a treatment plan. Groups only meet once a week for an hour, but if individual therapy or family group sessions are recommended, they are available and scheduled during the intake appointment.
A substance abuse counselor facilitates groups and topics include relapse, addiction studies and coping skills. There are two substance abuse counselors on staff and both are CBT in orientation. Groups are limited to six but can be as small as two. The length of treatment depends on the client, but the typical length is eight weeks. The Wellness Center offers a monthly support group for those who have completed the program. Individual sessions take place in one of the administrative offices and group therapy is held in the employee break room (definitely a no frills atmosphere).
Co-occurring disorders are treated at Shoalwater Bay, but are referred to the mental health clinic for a separate assessment. As this is a 12-step based program, all clients are required to attend at least two AA or NA meetings per week. Counselors also perform random urinalysis testing, which clients must agree to during the intake session. Although Shoalwater Bay Wellness Center does not provide detox or inpatient treatment, it does offer referrals to outside agencies.
Shoalwater Bay Wellness Center’s groups are small so there is the potential for close-knit friendships to be established—hopefully a good thing for those residing in the community or on the reservation.
Shoalwater Bay Wellness Center
2372 Old Tokeland Rd
Tokeland, WA 98590
Shoalwater Bay Wellness Center Cost: $728 (30 days). Reach Shoalwater Bay Wellness Center by phone at (360) 267-3408.
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Photo courtesy of Hans-Jürgen Hübner (Own work) [GFDL (https://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)