For over 33 years, The Magdalen House has provided a safe place in North Texas for an alcoholic woman with no money and no insurance to get help through our Social Detox program. Alcoholic women in recovery have attended meetings, classes, and workshops at The Magdalen House, frequently as alumna or otherwise recently sober, trying to “stay close to Maggie’s” out of a desire to find newly sober women to help.
But what about sober women seeking a more structured program – those who didn’t need or qualify for Social Detox but desired something more than meetings? This was a question we thought a lot about in 2019, and ultimately led us to develop the Next Step program to provide support, education, and accountability to alcoholic women. After a successful beta program group launched in the fall of 2019, the word was out. With no public announcement (outside of this blog), the word of mouth continued to grow and by March 2020 we had added a second group. Now, in July we’ve added a third group, totaling 26 Next Step participants and a waitlist of five – all before the official launch of the program.
Through The Magdalen House Next Step program, alcoholic women receive a structured alternative to a traditional clinical out-patient treatment, at absolutely no cost, where they will ultimately learn how to use and apply the 12 Steps in their everyday lives.
While Next Step was created to be an in-person program with no plans to offer virtual services, the global pandemic pushed us to adapt. Chloe Cramer, Director of Programs, and Stephanie Crawford, Next Step Coordinator, have revised the program to an entirely virtual format. While we plan to resume most of the Next Step program to in-person once we are able, the adaptation of the program to a virtual format will allow us to continue offering virtual-only groups to alcoholic women outside of our local DFW community.
The program will officially launch with the implementation of a database and additional staff member to help facilitate additional groups later this year.
Next Step FAQs
Frequently asked questions about The Magdalen House Next Step program.
What is the Next Step program?
Next Step is a three-phase, non-residential program for alcoholic women. Participants are provided with support and structure to sustain sobriety and grow in long-term recovery from alcoholism. The program takes approximately three months to complete.
Who is Next Step for?
Next Step is for an alcoholic woman who (any of the following):
- is newly sober, OR
- experienced a recent relapse, OR
- has long-term sobriety and is seeking to grow in her recovery
What’s required of a woman who wants to participate in Next Step?
Like all of our programs, Next Step is entirely voluntary. We ask that women interested in Next Step have a desire to learn and grow in their recovery, while actively participating in the program. Requirements include:
- Primary addiction is alcohol, AND
- 72 hours of sobriety
If these two criteria are met, she is eligible for a phone screening.
What are the three phases?
Each phase of Next Step is about one month.
In Phase 1, Next Step participants focus on building a foundation in their 12-Step program, and in The Magdalen House community. In this phase, each woman will begin by getting a sponsor if they don’t have one, pairing up with a “Big Sister” who is in Phase 3, attending a set number of Maggie’s meetings each week, and attending a designated Next Step Accountability Group once a week.
In Phase 2, Next Step participants will focus on being of service and giving to others. In this phase, each woman will attend a set number of Maggie’s meetings each week, attend her designated Next Step Accountability Group once a week, and begin a four-week mentorship with an assigned Meeting Chair. During her mentorship, she will learn how to “carry this message,” as outlined in Step 12, where each week, she will have more responsibility, followed by direct feedback from her mentor. By the end of Phase 2, she will have completed the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and be an official backup Meeting Chair for The Magdalen House meetings.
In Phase 3, Next Step participants will focus on learning, and growing in, leadership. In this phase, each woman will be paired with a “Little Sister” who is in Phase 1 or 2, share her story with women in the Social Detox Program and Maggie’s Women’s Group, and chair a Maggie’s meeting on her own. She will continue to attend a set number of Maggie’s meetings and her designated Next Step Accountability Group each week until she graduates. At that time, she will have a regular commitment to “carry this message” to.
What is the Next Step Accountability Group?
Each Accountability Group has about eight to ten alcoholic women. During this weekly meeting, participants share what Step they are on, if they met weekly assignments, the last time they spoke with their sponsor, how they are staying connected to other alcoholics, what they’re doing to help others, a highlight of the week, and more.
It is not only an opportunity to be held accountable, but it also allows participants to build fellowship with more alcoholic women in recovery.
How does Next Step differ from other recovery services at The Magdalen House?
With the addition of Next Step, we now have three core recovery services at The Magdalen House:
- Social Detox gives alcoholic women the tools – the 12 Steps – to begin on a journey of recovery.
- Meetings, classes, and workshops provide opportunities to learn about and practice the 12 Steps.
- Next Step teaches alcoholic women how to use and apply the 12 Steps in their everyday lives.
Is Next Step only for Social Detox Alumna?
Social Detox is not a pre-requisite for enrolling in Next Step. Next Step is open to all alcoholic women.
Is Next Step required after Social Detox?
Social Detox Alumna are not required to enroll upon completing their 14-day stay, but they are encouraged to consider the option.