A Legacy of Service
By Bob Day, MA, LPC
When I came to MARR as an intern in 2014, I thought that this was just a place to begin my journey as a counselor. I was certain that I did not want to stay in the addiction treatment field.
However, like so many of us who walk through the doors of MARR, I was struck by the sense of warmth and connection that characterized the way staff related to clients and one another. The openness, humility, and vulnerability that characterizes this place won me over.
I had the privilege to learn about MARR’s signature approach to treatment from some of the “greats” (though they are too humble to think of themselves that way). Doug Brush, Paul Thim, Dave Devitt, and Rick McKain were just some of my mentors and teachers who passed along what they learned from MARR’s four decades of providing long-term treatment to clients.
The legacy these counselors left is well known to our alumni, their family members, and the larger treatment community. How they treated clients, how they conducted business, and how they held one another accountable to the same principles that we ask of our clients–all of these make up the legacy that I am focused on carrying on. It is my goal that their years of service shape the way that we continue to provide treatment at the Men’s Center.
In addition to the attitude and tone that this earlier generation set, we will also hold fast to the basics of MARR’s core treatment elements. These core components have sustained this program and helped to transform countless people’s lives from 1975 until the present day.
We continue to emphasize:
- Therapeutic community – MARR has always relied on the community as the agent of change where our clients put into practice the principles of recovery that they have learned in day treatment. The fellowship and accountability that a group of peers provides is what allows the clients’ new approach to life to take root. At MARR, we treat and hold the community, and then the community treats the individual.
- 12 Step Centered Treatment – While we incorporate an array of therapeutic approaches, MARR’s program of treatment also requires clients’ participation in 12 Step fellowships and working through the 12 Steps with a sponsor, who is not a MARR staff member. Much of their group and individual work here also incorporates the step work that they are doing with a sponsor.
- Long-term care – The compulsive and destructive pattern of addiction often drives our clients’ behavior for decades before they reach us. We know that any sort of substantive change requires sustained exposure to a different way of living. If addiction is a disease of isolation, the solution must incorporate a long-term participation in something bigger than oneself.
There is much more to say, but in closing, I would like to share that I feel a strong sense of duty to continue carrying on the legacy that MARR is so well known for. Even though some of the faces around the Men’s Center have changed in recent years, the commitment to community as a way of life remains the same.
If you are a member of our community that hasn’t been around MARR for a while, please feel free to come back to the building, say “hello” and see about volunteering or sitting in on a group.
You’re always welcome here.