Many rehabilitation facilities aim to transform and heal relationships around addiction. With this in mind, Grateful House was started for alcoholic women in 1958; The Way Back Inn was founded in 1974. The two organizations merged in 2002 and today they provide just about every level of care from a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) to extended residential care for men and women ages 19 and up who suffer from alcohol, drug, and gambling addiction.
Accommodations and Food
Though it maintains residences in Chicago and Forest Park, The Way Back Inn’s main facility (where IOP, PHP and extended residential care are all housed) is in Oak Park, a Western suburb of Chicago, Illinois. The Way Back Inn borders the 245-acre Thatcher Woods, a public forest oasis in the suburbs.
The Way Back Inn is a two-story, traditional style white clapboard house. A brick fireplace and upright piano give off a cozy ambiance, but the modern furnishings and hardwood floors keep it from feeling like Granny’s house. The home can accommodate 10 residents at a time. All rooms are shared, usually two to a room, but there is one larger apartment-style room that can accommodate four. Meals are prepared by a registered dietician.
Treatment and Staff
The Way Back Inn takes addiction recovery science seriously. Evidence-based practices are what it offers for therapeutic interventions, groups and education. Theiteam has advanced degrees in mental health and addictions counseling and participate in continuing education programs throughout the year. The medical director is a board-certified physician; the remainder of the staff is made up of a clinical psychologist, Master’s-level counselors, LPCs, professional certified gambling counselors, CDACs and a Masters of Science-level registered dietician.
Potential clients must be 14 days sober before entering The Way Back Inn. There is no withdrawal support or detox treatment, and no basic inpatient program; boarding is available here regardless of the level of care a client chooses.
Each client at The Way Back Inn receives a personalized treatment plan that incorporates Motivational Interviewing (MI), group therapy, individual therapy and CBT. Groups sessions are 30 percent educational/lecture-style learning and 70 percent therapy/processing. PHP residents engage in 20 hours per week of group therapy and four hours of individual therapy; IOP clients get nine hours of group and one to two hours of individual therapy per week; the extended residential clients still get two hours of group and one individual session. Long-term residents (four to six months) are required to find a job and practice life skills—time management, budgeting and saving money—in order to actively move towards being contributing members of society and responsible family members. An introduction to the principles of the 12 steps, meetings and sponsorship supplement the schedule at every level.
The PHP schedule is the most intense. Days start at 9 am with a check in and educational materials review. From 10 am to noon, process groups focus on different issues each day. Clients break for lunch and then attend a 12-step meeting until 1:30 pm. A second process group runs from 2 to 3 pm. Individual or family therapy sessions happen from 3 to 4 pm before an hour-long educational lesson. Another group or 12-step meeting follows this. Dinner is served at 6 pm and then clients attend a process group until 9 pm, after which they return home.
Short of detox, clients can expect to have all of their recovery needs met for the duration; The Way Back Inn has the staff to support difficult cases, dual diagnosis clients and people with behavioral addictions. This program is unusual in that every level of care has the opportunity to live on campus, so a step down in treatment doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the safety of the nest. This could be comforting at a time when the rest of life feels turned on its head.
The Way Back Inn
104 Oak St
Maywood, IL 60153
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