In order for any transitional program like ours to work, each young adult must first read as much as they can about it, enough to begin to understand that, if he/she enrolls, they will be able to start to:
- move forward with their live
- not “regress” but actually “progress” just like everybody else their age
- finally achieve some real growth and happiness.
As much as it may be possible, they must be able to feel some small degree of excitement about the possibilities that lie ahead for them in that program. They must believe there could be “a light at the end of the tunnel” and know that appropriate individualized structure, oversight, continuum of care and compassionate support will be afforded them, there.
At the OPI Living programs this is accomplished by “weaving” together:
- Our highly therapeutic program, including group and individual psychotherapy, psychiatric management of medications, one-to-one life skills training, special groups (Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy), etc., with
- the choices each young adult makes for how he/she wants to start moving forward in the real world.
We start this exciting process of engaging Prospective participants with the simple packet of information we send (or e-mail) to him/her, if everyone agrees it is appropriate to do so. This accompanies the informational packet that is sent to parents/sponsors.
The young adult’s packet includes a questionnaire that asks questions such as “What do you see yourself doing in a year, three years, five years?” “What are your interests?” “What do you want OPI to do for you?”
But it serves a greater purpose:
It helps that young person to start thinking “Maybe this is FINALLY where I can start figuring out what I want to do with my life.”
Upon joining OPI, they immediately meet with our Departments of Educational Services, Career Development, Volunteer Services and Extra Curricular Activities to establish THEIR part of their Individualized Treatment Plan (ITP). Where appropriate, we help them make arrangements for finishing high school or decide what college courses to take and how to enroll. We help them get a part time job or begin a career path. What kind of volunteer work do they want to do? What do they like to do for fun? (Parents/sponsors are involved in this decision-making).
In some ways, each participant’s schedule is different from any other (because it focuses on their individual goals) and their schedules are the same (everyone is in individual and group psychotherapy, one-to-one life skills training, etc.).
The result is to be able to communicate and feel a supportive connection and love for one’s self, peers and family: This ultimately is what we hope to achieve through our participant/team interaction and the multiple opportunities that exist at OPI and the greater Los Angeles Community.