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Group 401

Martin’s Story

Horizon’s Brief Strategic Therapy (BSFT) program is aimed at improving youth (ages 13-19) behavior by eliminating substance use and its associated behavior problems. A nationally-recognized, evidence-based, short-term and problem-focused family treatment program, BSFT has been endorsed as a model program by several federal health and substance abuse agencies.

One of the first families to participate in the program was Martin’s family.
Martin started abusing marijuana and alcohol when he was barely a teenager. His dad had been killed when Martin was a little boy, and his mom, Lisa, raised Martin, his sister and brother on her own. She, too, is a recovering alcoholic.

Martin went through Horizon’s adolescent treatment program, but was soon back for counseling for other issues. By then, Horizon had implemented the BSFT program, and counselor Marcia Valente thought Martin and his family would be good candidates.

“Lisa is a wonderful mother and this is a great family that has had some difficult times,” says Marcia. “When I suggested the program to Lisa, she agreed to participate.”

Martin, his mother and younger sister and brother soon began the weekly counseling sessions that are part of BSFT. With BSFT, Horizon therapists create therapeutic alliances with each family member, and help them identify interaction patterns that allow or encourage problem behavior. They help the families improve functioning by emphasizing individual and family strengths, encouraging and supporting positive behaviors, enhancing parenting skills, improving communication within the family and learning to resolve conflicts and solve problems.

“The program helped create more awareness for me and my kids,” says Lisa. “It helped us all deal with feelings and issues, and realize we are all human and vulnerable. It helped me learn to set boundaries, and it created more awareness for us.”

“I saw how hard each family member was trying,” says Marcia. “They definitely improved their communication with one another, and I think the younger kids learned some valuable lessons.”

“The people at Horizon are very welcoming, very accommodating,” says Lisa. “Marcia was very compassionate and I have a lot of respect for what she is capable of doing to help people. This is a great program – much better than other programs we’ve tried.”

At the moment, Martin is still in school and looking for a job. He’s still struggling with his addiction, but now knows he has the support of his family and, of course, his counselors at Horizon.

Path To Recovery
The Path To Recovery includes true stories of consumers who overcame many obstacles with the help of Horizon Health Services to turn their lives around. Last names have been omitted for privacy.