In the 35 years since it first opened its doors as a local drug and alcohol treatment center, Walden House has evolved into a national leader in developing strategies to help addicts recover and maintain their lives. Today's Walden House helps to treat more than 3,400 men, women and children each day, while giving the challenge, the focus and the compassion necessary for people to change their lives and reach their full potential.
Walden House engages, heals, teaches, trains, houses, clothes and feeds people with alcohol and other drug addictions in San Francisco and throughout California. Often these people are the most difficult to reach: the mentally ill, people with AIDS, emotionally disturbed and abused adolescents, the socio-economically deprived and the homeless.
Many are convicts of the past who see no future. Others have suffered a unique social pain due to their ethnicity or sexual orientation, leading them to drug abuse and dead ends. Some are addicted mothers, struggling to raise their children.
The not-for-profit Walden House provides a full-continuum health care system specializing in all aspects of addiction services including detoxification, comprehensive medical care and mental health services. Clients receive legal, educational and vocational services as fundamental parts of their treatment. Walden House promotes a culturally sensitive treatment environment which is designed to foster the open communication, self-help and empowerment of each person within the context of the greater community.
Many addicts come to Walden House by way of the streets, jail or prison. With backgrounds characterized by extensive family dysfunction, they never had the opportunity to develop the social skills necessary to live harmoniously in a community. The family-oriented, peer support emphasis of the Therapeutic Community (TC) is invaluable in teaching clients honesty and mutual accountability. Walden House utilizes this treatment approach in both residential and day treatment settings, depending on each client's unique needs.
Several "groups" focus on specific issues to further teach clients how to interact appropriately with friends, family, co-workers and society at large. Almost all clients participate in Caseload Groups where the universal themes of behavior, trust and respect are explored. Individuals with problems controlling anger participate in the Anger Management Group and the Conflict Resolution Group. The Young Adult Group deals with issues specific to people aged 18-24.
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