The Chronic Hope Podcast- Episode 1: Jaywalker Lodge
Tune into The Chronic Hope Podcast for candid conversations about addiction therapy and solutions. Check out the transcript from our recent episode!
Kevin Petersen: This is Kevin Petersen with The Chronic Hope podcast. I’m Kevin Petersen from Petersen Family Counseling in Denver, Colorado. I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Colorado and in Florida, as of probably Monday. I work with families that struggle with addiction and codependency. I’m also the author of Chronic Hope: Parenting the Addicted Child, and I also do family case management consulting and coaching with families that are struggling with addiction and how to handle things, especially during the coronavirus quarantine because everybody’s home. So,with me today is my old buddy, Ryan Silberberg. The director of admissions from Jaywalker Lodge. Hey, Ryan!
Ryan Silberberg: How are you Kevin?
Kevin Petersen: Good, it’s good to see you and hey,congratulations on your new baby.
Ryan Silberberg: Thank you very much, yeah, it’s exciting. She was a month old yesterday so we’re still in what I like to call the ‘pain cave’ but we’re coming out of that soon.
Kevin Petersen: Wow,that’s fantastic. What’s her name?
Ryan Silberberg: Skyler.
Kevin Petersen: What a beautiful name.
Ryan Silberberg: I have a three-year-old named River and one-month old named Skylar.
Kevin Petersen: Well that’s incredible,that’s absolutely amazing. So, hey today what I was really hoping we could spend some time talking about is your program and how it sort of handles and helps young men that are struggling with addiction, and how my program with family case management can complement that program. So, how about we start with you telling us a little bit about the Jaywalker Lodge.
Ryan Silberberg: Absolutely,thank you. Jaywalker is a residential extended care program up in the Rocky Mountains. We’re located in Carbondale, Colorado. We have four levels of care that encompass up to a year of treatment. I guess our goal is to treat the addiction and help somebody integrate back into community or intolife while addressing the core issues that are causing them to be at Jaywalker Lodge.
Kevin Petersen: Fantastic,when you say you have four levels of care, can you kind of walk us through each level?
Ryan Silberberg: Yeah, so anytime we bring somebody to Jaywalker, we start in our landing program. Its residential insurance terminology, RTC. It’s an assessment phase where we will basically build a treatment plan specific to each client’s needs. Following that we have our PHP program or our extended care program called the Lodge, which is a 90-day commitment.
Kevin Petersen: What is PHP? Tell us what PHP is?
Ryan Silberberg: Partial Hospitalization. The 90-day partial hospitalization program. Jaywalker is a private pay program but we do bill insurance for families for reimbursement. The lodge really is about building an identity as a man in recovery figuring out what you love to do, also while addressing the core issues that are causing the substance abuse. It’s 12-step based, so we’re teaching them the tools necessary to maintain long-term sobriety.
Following that we have our solutions program which is an intensive outpatient program, that’s a program where we’re really teaching those guys how to build their life around their recovery. So, we’re doing some educational vocational assessments with these clients utilizing your skills coach. In order to help them really figure out how to like I said, build their life around their recovery. So, a lot of plans they’re able to start off working on a part time basis and they’re able to go back to school on a part-time basis while still receiving 12 hours of clinical time each week.
Following that we have sober living and outpatient. Hopefully the clients are sober living, so we have four townhomes. There’s three guys in a townhome. We’re marrying what it’s gonna be like for them to get out of treatment and rent an apartment or a house with another sober man. So, they have about five hours of group a week and an individual session with the counselor throughout the week. So, from the time they get here to time man, they could be here nine months to a year. It’s really just kind of a slow integration back into life and yeah, I’m a Jaywalker alumni myself.
Kevin Petersen: Gotcha, gotcha. So, we’re talking about starting off in inpatient care, which is traditionally about 30 days?
Ryan Silberberg: Yeah,traditionally 30 days. I mean our landing program is not 30 days – it’s usually 3 to 21. For the most part we’re not looking to keep them there. We want to get an assessment done as quickly as possible while painting the entire picture. Our goal is really to identify all issues you know from anxiety, depression to sex and love addiction to eating disorder to whatever. So, the landing is really just – it’s where we get to know who we have and build a treatment plan specific to their needs and then we’re gonna transition them on into whichever program they’re gonna go into next.
Kevin Petersen: Got it, so we start them off in the initial phase. Then we go into the partial hospitalization. Then we go down to the IOP, then we step down to the sober living with outpatient care.
Ryan Silberberg: Correct.
Kevin Petersen: Fantastic and then you just mentioned that you are a graduate or an alumni. I guess we’ll use the alumni, nobody really graduates. Tell me about your personal experience.
Ryan Silberberg: Yeah, my personal experience. I grew up in Southern California, a pretty normal family. Went to USD with my boy Kevin but pretty normal. No major traumas growing up, pretty dysfunctional family where alcohol was very accepted. But anyways,I really started my addiction in college. I will save you details but I went to six prior treatments before Jaywalker and Jaywalker was my seventh. I went to some really good ones. I take all the responsibility for my story. But you know the difference for me, there were a couple things.
Jaywalker. I was ready. I think at that time even though I was intervened upon and kind of forced into the treatment. I made the decision in the intervention to go. But you know Jaywalker – for the first time Jaywalker made recovery something that was enjoyable. So, it didn’t feel like something I had to do, so it was something that I wanted to do. I was having fun. I was doing things that I never thought I would do. River rub, rock climb, mountain bike, hike. So, I was able to incorporate a lot of the passions that I had lost through my addiction back into my life and then for the first time ever recovery became something that like I said it was enjoyable and I wanted to be.
Kevin Petersen: That’s awesome and one of the things you mentioned earlier was about the family that you grew up in. The dysfunctional family and you and I share that experience. I mean we share very similar experiences in that we both grew up in California. I was in Northern California; you were in Southern California. We both grew up in what I would call very traditional dysfunctional addicted families. That really didn’t know what to do with us or how to deal with us or what was going on or had other things they were paying attention to.
Ryan Silberberg: We were getting swept under the rug.
Kevin Petersen: Put the blinders on, yeah.
Ryan Silberberg: Out of sight,out of mind.
Kevin Petersen: Then they’ve sent us both to the University of Southern California, which by the way I have loyalty to on a level. I know you do to fight on like there’s no tomorrow. But then for me at least that’s where the wheels really came off and because I was put in a place where I had access to anything that I wanted 24/7 and things just kind of nutty. But where I was rolling with that is that when you mentioned having a dysfunctional family, and that’s obviously my expertise is working with families that struggle with addiction and codependency. Our companies have started working together for like the last six months or so. Can you kind of describe what family case management from an outside source – how that benefits you, your clients and Jaywalker?
Ryan Silberberg: Yeah, absolutely. No, I truly feel like family support is something that is completely invaluable. I mean it’s something that we as an organization really promote. It’s something that in my opinion if the family doesn’t do work simultaneously as the as the client is doing the work,their chance for success is not as high as somebody whose family is also doing work. Jaywalker does have a family program; it’s a family component. We work with families each week; we talk; we have an hour-long consultation with our HR family members talking about their loved one and also you know what we can do to help them.
But then you know really a case managers are really an extension of our clinical team, an invaluable resource forus to kind of really you know work with our therapists on what is happening with their loved one and then how do they process it and how do they change their approach, instead of reacting to everything happens.They can actively listen and pause when agitated and really change their trajectory and change their loved ones trajectory into hopeful long-term recovery.
Kevin Petersen: Exactly and what you were saying ,how I kind of compartmentalize it,when I work with families, I look at before treatment, during treatment and after treatment. So, it’s before, it’s how do we get the client into treatment and get them help. During,when you guys have a client up there at Jaywalker and I get the chance to engage with the family, one of the things I always try to help the family understand is that the clients in treatment, they’re okay. They’re being handled, they’re in the hands of the professionals, some of the best in the country. Now it’s time for us to focus on you, the family. Like you said, make those internal changes and shifts in the family structure of the family system.
Ryan Silberberg: You know, there’s a question that came up is how does Jaywalker utilize the family case management. For me as the director of admissions I often run into extremely resistant families. Our ideal client has two to three previous treatment episodes prior to coming into Jaywalker. Those families also have two to three interventionists or family case managers or whatever episodes prior to coming to Jaywalker and their experiences haven’t been good. It’s not to say anything about you knowing the people they worked with before. So, as I get a client into jaywalker and then we build the trust with both the client and families and we work to work with families on you know the dysfunctional family system. Through our family program and or just in our weekly conversations, they’re more inclined to take our recommendations for help and having somebody like Kevin has been an invaluable resource for us.
Kevin Petersen: I’m sorry, go ahead. I love working with your guys and you guys and your club staff. One of the best compliments I got from one of your therapists, DJ was when they had the last family weekend they had the fast family program. He was like, “Kevin, I could tell which families were working with you.”
Ryan Silberberg: As we progressed through the year-long continuing with Jaywalker, it became ever clearer to them that they need to really kind of change their perspective and really change the way that they’re approaching their loved one. As we put time between the client’s last drink and for me, it’s especially like for most alcoholics-like if you take away the alcohol from us, we become worse. You become more restless irritable and discontent as well. It gets directed directly towards the family, the people we love the most. How they respond and how they react will make every difference in the world for their loved ones long-term success into recovery. Left to their own devices, they’re not going to change. They need help, they need somebody to kind of hold their hand and walk them through and change their trajectory just like we’re changing their loved ones trajectory.
Kevin Petersen: Absolutely. By the way we’re getting a little bit of love from around the country. We got a “Hello” from Troy Meijer in Utah at Brighton. Then my buddy Rex, who works here in Jacksonville, who works for Lakeview Health. Then Kelsey Huberty. Who’s Kelsey? You gotta tell us.
Ryan Silberberg: Kelsey is an amazing individual. She is one of the therapists over at Momenta, which is a women’s trauma treatment center in Glenwood Springs and they’re doing absolutely amazing work and she’s one of my favorite people of all time.
Kevin Petersen: One of my favorite people of all time, Jodie Bull’s just popped in and said hello and gave us a little love bug too. So, I really appreciate you explaining and helping people understand why family case management is so critical and I think you and I both know that we spend a lot of time with families that drop the client off at treatment and think that’s-we’re good, it’s all done, problem solved. That’s the great danger is that the last thing we can do is put someone in your program for nine month or a year and really change not just the drugs and the alcohol but who they are, how they behave, how they live and then bring them right back into the same environment with no change in that environment. Dena and Burt from San Francisco saying hi, oh my gosh we’re drawing a national crowd. Christian, oh my goodness.
Ryan Silberberg: One of my best friends.
Kevin Petersen: So, you know I guess we’re kind of getting started to wrap up a little bit here but you know long term, how do you see the coordination between a family case management team like mine and the Jaywalker team? How do you – let’s say we’ve already planned the intervention and we’ve got the guy at your place and he’s ready, but now he’s ready to go home. How do we look at the reintegration home and how that can work and we’ll finish up there?
Ryan Silberberg: Yeah, I mean any time a client leaves Jaywalker, it’s not goodbye. I mean Jaywalker alumni program is something, it’s really our fifth level of care. But you know we do absolutely anything and everything we can to set every client who’s returning home up for success. That is really making sure that the family is working with somebody, making sure the client is – I rarely send them back home unless you know it’s usually just sober living in an outpatient. We were really trying to help them build a community of-a recovery community and wherever they’re returning to. So, you know it’s something that we see about 80 percent of our clients stay in in the Carbondale Rhoyne Fort Valley area for at least a year outside of treatment. That being said, once you’re a Jaywalker, you’re a Jaywalker for life. So, our alumni have access to all of our clinical team and they have access to anybody and everybody at Jay Walker. When they do decide that they need to move on from the Rhoyne Fort Valley, we walk them up for success. The great news is we’ve been around for 15 years now, we have alumni all over the country. We really draw on 10% of our clients from the state of Colorado. For me, it’s an easy way to refer and get hooked up with some of our alumni. Then our case manager and therapists and sober living outpatient to make sure their families understand the importance of working with somebody like Kevin. Especially now because their loved one is not 2500 miles away; they are now in their backyard. That is oftentimes a huge trigger point for relapse and so absolutely an invaluable service that we utilize regularly.
Kevin Petersen: Thank you, I appreciate you saying those things. If I can get it up on the screen, you gave me this amazing quote. “Over the years, I have worked with countless families who have used their own coach as a resource to get their loved ones better. I think that Kevin Peterson is one of the finest I know. He has guided many Jaywalker families to new waters. Which has helped both the addicted addict and the family to get and stay in recovery. I would recommend Kevin to anyone.” Man, that’s so kind of you and you know I feel exactly the same way about Jaywalker and the levels of care and the way you guys handle things.I appreciate you joining us today,I appreciate your time and last question and it’s obviously the most important question -it’s a two-part question. One, when will we have college football and that’s number one and number two, how well will USC do this year?
Ryan Silberberg: I think USC is gonna surprise a lot of people. I do not imagine fall without college football. So, whatever they have to do, football in general.I mean whatever they have to do to make it happen, they need to do. Whether that’s no stands, no fans in the stands, whatever. I need to be able to watch football. I am now I’m watching games from like 1976 on reruns. So, like I need sports back in my life. It is hugely important yeah and I really do miss it. I just hope everybody stays safe and hopefully we can get through this quarantine and this Covid, because it’s driving me crazy.
Kevin Petersen: Yeah, I’ve watched as much South Korean baseball as I can handle. Ryan, thanks for your time man.I love you buddy,you’re one of my absolute favorites and fight on.
Ryan Silberberg: Thanks everybody, have a great day, fight on.