We, Not Me | What Make Maggie’s Different

by | Apr 20, 2023 | #Detox, #Free, 12 Steps, First Step, Next Step

Written by Lisa Kroencke, Executive Director

Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail…Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends- this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it.

-Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 89

As an organization that helps alcoholic women recover from alcoholism, it’s common to be asked, “is Maggie’s a treatment center?” or “Does The Magdalen House offer an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?” These are helpful questions to ask, especially when considering your options for help recovering from alcoholism.

We often talk about how we are not a treatment center or IOP, but what exactly does that mean?

1. Our services and programs are always free

The Magdalen House is completely free While most treatment centers require some form of payment or health insurance, at Maggie’s we require neither.

Our two main programs includeFirst Step, a two-week residential program, and Next Step, a three-phase non-residential program. Women who are seeking help for their alcoholism call for a phone screening for either and receive services at absolutely no cost.

Learn more about our programs and services at magdalenhouse.org/help

2. We offer Next Step, an alternative to an IOP

To compare Next Step to an intensive outpatient program (or IOP) is actually really misleading because Next Step is nothing like an IOP. An IOP usually costs money and requires several hours a day of continued counseling or therapy.

The best way to describe Next Step is that it is a structured program of peer-to-peer recovery education in a non-residential environment based on the 12 steps.

…it is a structured program of peer-to-peer recovery education.

3. We provide a social detox, not a medical detox

At The Magdalen House, we offer a social detox program rather than a medical detox. A medical detox, commonly found at treatment centers, is run by medical professionals who administer detox medications as needed. Our First Step program is peer-based and facilitated by qualified and trained staff members and volunteers, not medical professionals. If we have a woman wanting to come to our facilities, but she is need of medical detox, we refer her to one of our trusted partners. After completing a medical detox, she can then safely enter our First Step program.

4. The Magdalen House is actually a house

Another way we stand out from traditional treatment centers is that we do not look or feel like a medical facility. We are in a home setting with a small population of women. This setting helps our clients feel like they are part of a family and a community, which is exactly what we strive to provide for all alcoholic women.

We are in a home setting with a small population of women. This setting helps our clients feel like they are part of a family and a community, which is exactly what we strive to provide for all alcoholic women.

5. We exist to make recovery available for every alcoholic woman who wants help

All of our programs and services offer a place where our clients and visitors can be surrounded by women who have the disease of alcoholism and are actively pursuing freedom in recovery. These programs not only allow us to serve alcoholic women at any stage of their recovery, but we can also provide an environment where women can connect and belong to a community.

6. We offer a simple, proven spiritual solution that really works

Most, if not all, treatment centers focus on a clinical or medical solution. The Magdalen House offers one simple solution: a spiritual program of action. This is helpful and life-changing for women who have tried countless methods to get sober. Some treatment centers integrate 12-Steps as a portion of their programming, whereas we completely immerse clients in the spiritual program of action offered in the 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and nothing else.

7. Family visitation is available every Wednesday

Our data shows that our completion rates increase significantly with women who have the support of their families and loved ones. Treatment centers vary in their family visitation policies, some treatment centers restrict family visitation to once a month or don’t allow any visitation at all. While clients are in our 14-day First Step program, family members and loved ones can visit each Wednesday. Additionally, we have Community Partners, like Nexus, who offer services for mothers where their children can stay with them during treatment.

8. We offer a peer-implemented curriculum

Our program philosophy is simple and straightforward – a community of recovered alcoholic women is uniquely qualified to guide and equip newly sober women to find a solution.

…a community of recovered alcoholic women is uniquely qualified to guide and equip newly sober women to find a solution.

Rather than a “case management model” as seen with most treatment programs, The Magdalen House staff serve in a “milieu management” capacity overseeing a community of volunteers who deliver the curriculum. In a clinically oriented treatment program, the agent of change is the “counselor-patient” relationship; in our model of care, the “Recovery Community” acts as the agent of change.

So, we provide a space for women who are motivated for change to those who are living recovery at the highest level, making a life of recovery both attractive and within reach. Our strength comes from our collective wisdom, and our success is primarily based on our ability to involve the broader community in our mission to help women recover.

Finding the Right Option for You

While we offer services that help alcoholic women recover from alcoholism, we understand that each woman has unique needs and circumstances. We are so grateful for our Community Outreach partners, both in and outside of the recovery industry, who have become a resource for our clients and their family members by providing additional services outside of the scope of programs we offer.

We hope this better clarifies exactly how The Magdalen House compares to a treatment center or conventional rehab environment so that women and families seeking help can be more informed when making the crucial decision of where to find help. Whether you’re interested in our First Step, Next Step, Community programs or need help finding a more traditional treatment alternative, we are happy to help.