Caron in Pennsylvania: 800-854-6023
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Frequently Asked Questions

1 Your Role
I want to learn about treatment options for:

2 Basic Information
The Person is:
years old

graduated high school

3 Condition Information
Caron Treatment Centers accepts patients aged 13 years or older. For more information on services available to those 12 and under, please learn more about Caron's Student Assistance Program.
I’m not really sure why I feel the way I do. Will the Breakthrough at Caron program be able to help me?

Yes. The Breakthrough program not only reveals blindspots for people who feel stuck, but also provides opportunities to begin important change within a supportive group setting.

Do I have to have a therapist (or be referred by a therapist) to come to Breakthrough?

Many participants come to Breakthrough without a referral or a regular therapist; however, it is highly recommended that they plan to see a therapist when they complete the program in order to follow through on the progress and commitments they have made to themselves. This is especially important for those who are early in their growth process. At times, and depending on individual circumstances, potential clients may be required to participate in a few sessions of individual therapy prior to attending Breakthrough. If an individual does not have a therapist in their area, one will be recommended. We also emphasize the need for using or developing a support system immediately after leaving the program.

Do women and men receive separate treatment?

No. To recreate the atmosphere of a healthy family, integration of men and women in the group support system is essential.

Can I attend the program with my spouse or a member of my family?

No. Breakthrough groups for couples exist, but this program is designed to address the issues of the individual.

Is 12-Step involvement required?

No. The Breakthrough program places emphasis on the concept of a healthy support system. Individuals can create that in any way that works for them.

What is experiential group work?

Experiential group work is any type of activity that involves action and may include art, music, psychodrama (role play), emotional expression, and guided meditation.

What is the goal of experiential group work? Catharsis?

Experiential group work looks at one’s patterns and attachment style from a real time, multidimensional, and multi-sensory point of view. Cathartic release of painful emotions alone does not lead to sustained positive changes.

I’m a little nervous for experiential group work. Will it leave me feeling vulnerable and defenseless after the program?

The screening process prior to attending the workshop ensures that all who attend are ready and able to do emotional work at their own pace. Also, participants always have the freedom to choose how far they want to go. The first day of the program is spent building a safe group environment. The remaining four days include activities that reframe past experiences and mistakes as natural and normal reactions to painful events in the context of loving human relationships. Group exercises help clients face losses and reduce shame while learning to rely on others. Once trust is established, each client can choose to participate in his or her own psychodrama, which highlights new aspect of the problems they face. By Friday, the group is thoroughly prepared to return to their lives.

What if I’m not a “group person”? Will I benefit from Breakthrough?

Many of the people who come to Breakthrough, and wind up benefitting from its unique approach, are concerned that they will not be able to open up. Nevertheless, Breakthrough groups foster intimacy that is uncommon to other social situations. Group work is very gradual and safe, transforming a room full of strangers into a close-knit family with every passing hour. This process is strategic, and has proven to be effective for all 30 years of the Breakthrough’s history.

Does Breakthrough involve any individual work?

Individualized work is done within the group support system. Two full days of the program are spent on psychodramas, where each individual has the opportunity to address individual needs and issues. From first contact through aftercare, we strive to meet the individual needs of each client.

Does addiction have to have impacted my life for the Breakthrough program to help me?

This program is for anyone interested in personal growth. Although the professional staff is very knowledgeable of most compulsive disorders, the Breakthrough workshop has no direct connection to addiction or Caron treatment programs.

Is Breakthrough a program for treatment of codependency?

Breakthrough addresses the patterns and issues that some would identify as codependency. Unfortunately the term is often misused or misunderstood today. The word codependency used to describe individuals who lacked differentiation and independence. Today, it means loving too much, lack of healthy boundaries, or enabling. Breakthrough is grounded in attachment theory, and we believe that the problems presented by adults who want to improve their relationships and strengthen self-esteem are best viewed from an attachment lens. Their need is not to become more separate, but to grow toward mature and healthy connections. It is natural to love and care for others, and Breakthrough focuses on finding balance in loving relationships.

Are all clients are expected to work on past family of origin issues as the means to change?
Breakthrough is a present-centered program. We examine early childhood dynamics only as they pertain to present challenges. We meet participants where they are, and focus on what they need in order to achieve the goals they have set for themselves.
Is Breakthrough is helpful for those with a severe trauma history?

Breakthrough is not meant to be the first line of treatment for those who have suffered physical or sexual abuse as children or adults. Those who have experienced trauma need to first participate in primary treatment with a therapist who specializes in trauma. Once an individual is emotionally stable, Breakthrough may be appropriate for him or her. Our trained staff will help you identify the best time to attend during the intake process. Many, but not all, Breakthrough participants have experienced trauma, in some form, in their history.

Is Breakthrough is a substitute for those who need inpatient mental health or addiction treatment?

No. Breakthrough is a voluntary, non-emergent, intensive personal growth workshop. Breakthrough is not a medical or psychiatric facility.The program is not equipped to monitor serious emotional distress or self- injurious behaviors, nor is it an alternative to psychiatric or addiction treatment.