Read about some of the experiences from the clients of First Step
Treatment Feedback – Client Experiences
At first I was apprehensive about attending the group only because I didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed group from the beginning because it was a place where I could express my emotions and feelings without being judged. The counselors were very supportive and have a nice way of bringing out each person’s thoughts in a non-threating way. I learned that I will need tools to not drink as I had before. I have not used alcohol in the last 32 days and will continue that path. (Hopefully) I also realized that I am not alone with my legal issues and they will pass. Treatment has changed me to realize my drinking is very serious and must be treated.
I came to First Step treatment because I needed to complete treatment so I could get my driver’s license back. When I first came to group I figured it would be the same as the last treatment I did for my second DUI. As I progressed in the groups I was pleased to find out that it was not like the first one. Instead of a lot of videos and class like therapy, I felt like I was part of something, kind of the way I feel when I attend AA meetings. Having two counselors were better than the one that I had last time, there was more of a one on one feeling. The most helpful thing I got was I got back on track with my meeting attendance, I was starting to attend them less and less, my past proved that this is a bad thing, I plan on replacing the groups with more meetings!
I came to First Step to fulfill the terms of my probation with the idea that I could still use as long as I didn’t test positive. I had no intention of staying clean. After I tried to stop using on my own to avoid positive drug screens, I experienced a harsh reality of not being able to stop. I am glad I was enrolled here because it gave me accountability until I wanted to actually stop using. When I became willing, group was a place I could share about my problems and feel genuine care from other members. Holly was excellent at pushing me to participate and making me feel an important member of the group. If there was one thing I could change it would be to have each group member tell their story on their second session. We did this at a treatment center and I know for me, it made me feel exponentially more comfortable.
I approached group with this idea that I’d be a “normal” person amongst a bunch of weathered alcoholics. Upon listening to other people, perspectives and stories, none of which in my opinion are categorized that way – I encountered a lot of self-reflection in a light I’d never seen before. I’ve realized a lot of what makes my drinking a problem and are the reasons why what Jessie calls “triggers”; anxiety. This has been the source of my teenage drug use, as well as multiple personal problems and group has inspired me to take action and address it. Yes, I expected the subject matter to be repetitive and at no point was a topic repeated without necessary elaboration. The stories of my peers were so diverse it was inspiring to realize that people resort to the same means of copings despite the difference in background, but we are all capable of alternative means of coping. I love that my last class addressed “denial” because I have been internally confronting my battle with denial throughout my experience here.
A DWI brought me to First Step. At first I was very upset that I had to come to a group but I ended up liking the atmosphere. I also enjoyed hearing people’s stories. I feel that I will never forget this experience.
When first coming to group, my opinion/thoughts of the sessions were very poor. I felt as if I was in elementary class talking about feelings and drawing, but, as time passed I became respectful for what First Step Services does for individuals as well as for myself. I have learned a lot about me and what could/are my triggers to consuming alcohol. I enjoyed revisiting my values in life and how I would feel if they were to be taken away. I feel this class will make me more responsible and thoughtful to my wellbeing and people/work. I have realized that it’s my fault that I’m here and need to deal better with stressors this life throws at me. I hope others will learn from my mistakes, and become aware it only takes one time to change your life! Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react!
I naturally viewed First Step as a mandatory inconvenience. I also did not thing I had a problem. The more I opened up as the groups went on, the more opportunities for self-reflection arose. Although it is not major, I definitely should slow my drinking down. The group members and activities at First Step have allowed me to learn new methods to control my habit and new ways of thinking to look on the bright side even when it gets tough. Jessie was a great leader and did an awesome job maintaining and guiding the open, positive atmosphere in each group.
The treatment was imposed on me when I was sentenced in federal court in 2005. My first impression of my counselor was great. Her demeanor and disposition was very professional with a personal touch of caring about me as a patient. First Step Services helped me because I was able to reveal things that had an impact on my life that I was unaware of. My counselor put me at ease and the more I revealed the more I learned about my psychological make-up. In learning this I am now able to identify what I need to work on to make me a better person, and to help me to make a positive contribution to society.
When I first started First Step I wasn’t sure what to expect. I really do appreciate everything I have learned. I leave here feeling better, more energetic. The most helpful thing was being open and hearing how others can relate to you, realizing that you’re not alone makes it easier, not as tense to what to open up because there is no judgment. Treatment has changed me in ways I didn’t think it would. I am healthier, I go to the gym more, my home is more organized. My lifestyle has changed, who I surround myself by. I realized I don’t need to go downtown just to have a good time.
I came to First Step to take care of my DWI that I got in 2010. When I first came in I was super nervous, but the First Step staff made me feel really comfortable. My first thoughts were that group wasn’t going to be beneficial to me, yet after time went on I started to open up and get the most out of a bad situation. The coping mechanisms that I learned here, I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
I came to First Step because the court ordered me to complete counseling and I really didn’t want to do it. When I first came here the counselors were very warming, understanding and helpful in a timely manner. The groups were completely different from my first impression. I thought it was going to be lectures of how things are bad and that I can’t do it, but it was more based on discussions of my experiences. The counselors were great and very open minded because everyone has a different situation. Overall it was a great experience; I would want to comeback but only to visit! Thanks Jess!
Initially, I was met with what I presumed to be hostility. I thought everyone was against me, and I thought I was in store for a horrible treatment. What I thought was hostility, was actually a form of “Tough Love.” Overall, treatment at 7; 7, to me is being nice. Both counselors were extremely understandable and very “nice”, for a lack of better words. The only thing I could/ can complain about is just the counselor’s opinion at times. Sometimes they’re opinions are so close-minded it was near impossible to take them seriously. This of course, was on such a minimal level it was only noticeable towards the end as counselors. They have to be able to justify their opinion or something “they’ve heard about” other than that, exceptional treatment. One, request obtain more comfortable chairs. Sitting in the same place for an hour or two it helps to have something comfy.
I was brought to First Step Treatment facility because of a DWI I received after I wrecked my motorcycle. My initial impressions of the counselors were good. My assessment was not very pushy and I was made to feel relaxed. During group the counselors made group enjoyable for most of the group members. What I thought was most helpful was hearing the group members stories and their issues. I learned that there are others with more issues than I have. I also learned I was not alone with mistakes I have made in my life. Treatment has changed me to realize that we are all human and that we make mistakes. If we learn from our mistakes, we can move past the present to the future. I know treatment has made it easier to talk about my feelings. Most everyone in group was friendly to including the counselors. I had a great experience here at First Step and I thank everyone that has helped me through this process.
The counselors and group made me feel extremely welcome and comfortable throughout the program. My experience in group opened my eyes, taught me a lot, and reminded me of all the blessings I enjoy in life. I will certainly be more aware of my own struggles, risk factors and triggers, and will also be more aware and open to helping others who may benefit from what I’ve learned through this experience. I’m grateful to the counselors and group for their guidance, and for allowing me opportunities to “talk out” my own challenges, questions and thought processes.
I was referred to First Step by my DOT assessor due to failing a random drug screening. I was reluctant about starting the group sessions due to financial problems from losing my job. Before starting I had made up my mind on quitting smoking Marijuana. Being in group has really helped me solidify my actions on reaching my goals. I have enjoyed everyone’s feedback on the discussions in group. I liked that it was more than just about substance abuse. Talking about family and other relationships has helped me think about other things I need to work on in my life. I’m ready to get my job back and move on with my life. Big thanks to Jessie and Bill for being great counselors.
My first thoughts were that there wouldn’t be anything I could take from class because I had quit drinking a long time ago. Despite that, I have learned valuable things for myself and others. I learned techniques to say no, I also learned that I can use my mistakes and corrections to help my friend going through similar events.
What brought me to First Step was a DWI charge in 2010. I didn’t know what to think about the group at first, then I began to like it and enjoy every night. Hearing people’s problems and battles they were dealing with in everyday life. The treatment helped me a lot and made me feel good every night I left. The Counselors were great and I hope to stay on the same road I’m on now.
My first impression of group was that I was in a room full of the same type of people as me. In fact I am the same as many, but, different than them all as well. I have met some really great enlightening people, people who share the same walks of life, passions, and ambitions as I do. I have learned a lot from the counselors, but at the same time I feel like I have been able to teach in a non-purposeful manner. I feel like it’s a good way to vent, release, and get rid of the weekly stresses and temptations. I have been directly affected in more ways than I am able to explain. Thanks for the support, and I appreciate what each of you has done for me.
What brought me to First Step was my DWI. Before attending my first group I was very nervous and had no clue to what to expect. My first group was very nerve racking because I get nervous talking in front of groups of people. My first impressions of the counselors were, they seemed very inviting and caring. Through check-in in my first group became a little more comfortable. I quickly realized that I was not the only one who was in for what I was in for. I learned a lot about myself and realized that there were many things within myself and around myself that I needed to change. Hearing other group members tell their stories was an eye opener to work more on myself and my education. I have appreciated everyone’s open mind and honesty. First Step is an amazing place. Thank you, Ms. Phyllis and Ms. Cynthia for everything.
On day one there was a great deal of anxiety about what to expect, but on my final day parting will be a little bitter sweet. I am fully supportive of the life lessons and tools this setting provides. The stories have been moving, thought provoking, and have given me hope. My time here has encouraged me to self-reflect on the reasons that I am here. I have learned the lesson to simply say no thank you especially if saying no to someone else is ultimately saying yes to my best interest and well-being. I am a firm believer that things do happen for a reason and that our trials, failures, triumphs shape our character. I think my DWI was Gods way of throwing on the emergency brake and forcing me to stop, assess my life and the importance of filling it with people that encourage self-growth and betterment. I hope I continue to be receptive to the lessons this situation has to offer and that it will be a stepping stone for those around me rather than a stumbling block. I’ve learned the importance of facing this issue head on, not victimizing myself; to accept that it is okay to make mistakes in life and it’s up to me weather I allow it to define me or if instead use it to improve myself, my decisions, and my future.
The reason I am in group is because of drinking and driving. I’m not even sure why I chose to drive considering the fact that my brother just wrecked my car in 2009 from the same thing. My initial impression of group was I am not an alcoholic so why do I need to be in this group. The counselors were very informative and I did learn things about myself that I didn’t know. Treatment has changed me because I have not used alcohol since I have been in my group sessions it was hard not to go hang out with the girls on ladies night and have a glass of wine and even when I did go I did not have any alcohol and was very proud of myself. I would like to thank First Step for my experience and to also thank my counselors you ladies did a great job.
First Step is a very organized and professional group. It is easy to see that they are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all their clients. Group IOP is a special experience that allows those of us in need a change to really know and understand ourselves and others that are going through difficult times. You’re not alone.
What brought me to First Step was a new job celebration that went too far. For a long time I always felt that I can drink and drive because I will trust myself behind the wheel before anyone else. I always felt like this could never happen to me and I would never get caught. This has truly been a wake-up call, especially hearing the VIP speakers come in and tell their stories. I think Mr. Raymond, Ms. Phyllis and Ms. Cynthia for bringing a lot of different things to my attention. The open discussions were very helpful. I learned that I can go out and have a good time without abusing alcohol. This experience has changed me because it gave me a reality check to let me know “oh yes this can happen to you too.” I feel God put you in certain situations in life to get your attention.
I was brought to First Step by a DWI. First and foremost I would like to thank my counselors, Ms. Cynthia and Ms. Phyllis for everything. You ladies have been very nice and helpful with my treatment. You always answered questions willingly and thoughtfully. This program has helped me see that I’m not alone in this struggle of addiction. Group is an army of me. What has helped me the most is to sit back and listen to what others have to say. I take what others say in and make relations to it whether it is a positive or negative outlook. As far as coming back; a lesson lived is a lesson learned. Sobriety is a big part of my life, and will continue to be every day from here on out. I must obtain/sustain supremacy of mind, body, spirit, and most importantly of self; to stay on this path, mind over all. Every decision made in life begins with you. Making good/better decisions is inevitable to me for my survival/well-being and that of my family. Sometimes standing for what you believe in means standing alone. As long as I have a leg to stand on I will fight for what I believe and most importantly my family. Who’s got more heart than you? No one; of all the questions I’ve asked my-self, this is what I must prove. If your heart’s not in it you will fail. As far as addiction goes, end the fight before the fight ends you. Of all the lies I’ve told, this is the least untrue. I have learned that this is going to be a life long struggle, but it doesn’t have to be a daily one. To build a mountain takes a long, long time. Use what you’ve learned like a catapult, and load the cannon when you need to fire. Sober way of life is the only way of life and I’m finally okay with that. As a parent I am a mirror to my child; meaning my actions and the choices I make reflect on her. Despite the fact that she’s never actually seen me drunk/high, the shadows will only hide so much. Proud to stand in the light and reflect positive things in her direction. Once I removed my mask, I saw myself for who I truly was, the person I was meant to be. I no longer dodge mirrors and lurk in the shadows. I face myself and life one day at a time and no longer worry with what I can’t control. Take your blinders off and see each thing for what it truly is and see what life is really about. It’s a blessing to be alive. I’ve spent my whole life dying and I’m ready to live.
My reason for coming to First Step is due to my May 3rd DUI. Before my DUI, I was NOT happy and unsure about how I wanted to live my life. Before May 3rd I was depressed, worried, staying out all night, sleeping all day, and not an active member of my family or the world. Now since my DUI I feel like I have a new view and feeling on life. I value my family, my friends, and the air I breathe. I look at my DUI as a good thing; a second chance. My treatment here at First Step has been that of support and caring. I am very grateful to all of my counselors here at First Step. My counselors have supported me in bettering my foundation to strive. The information I learned from my 16-hour ADETS class has really given me the information I need to make informative decision about drinking. Coming to group has showed me that I am not alone and that we are all in it together. After all the time, after all the money, and after all the heart ache; I am grateful for my DUI! My DUI saved my life!
First Step wasn’t bad, but the amount of hours I had to complete was frustrating. Bill/Jessica were my counselors and I think they did an excellent job with group. Topics and activities were both entertaining but educational as well. Thank you greatly for dealing with me and my behavior at times. Your time was much appreciated.
I came into this program after getting in trouble at school. My first day of coming in I picked a nice seat in the corner, crossed my arms and tried to be invisible. I didn’t think this program would help me in any way, shape, or form. I just wanted to go through the motions and be done with it. After listening to people for a while and seeing how well they treated each other and how much fun they were having while being sober. I caught myself starting to actually listen to what people were saying appose to just hearing the words. I started to relate to the experiences that were being shared and I caught myself actually sharing myself. As the weeks trailed on I actually became friends with quite a few of the people there. I actually started looking forward to going to these meetings I had once dreaded. My family and friends started noticing positive changes in me shortly after that and honestly I did too not just in my personality but how I felt as well. If you come into this program with an open mind you will be amazed at what it can do for you.
A DWI brought me to First Step. My initial impression was to ‘Get this over with.” However, after sitting through 7 groups I have absorbed a lot of useful and helpful information. It is very therapeutic hearing others talk about how alcohol or other mind altering substances affected them. I have learned to look at my ‘triggers’ and understand that alcohol is NOT needed to have a good time. Expressing you-self and accepting that it is a problem is what First Step has taught me. Thank you to all the people in group; especially to Cynthia and Phyllis!
When I started coming to group I felt a little out of place. After being here a couple of times I started feeling more relaxed and comfortable. Phyllis and Cynthia are amazing counselors. They really helped me find out a lot about myself and how to better deal with the things in my life. I have found that my substance abuse was a way to not deal with things. Also I have realized my triggers and ways to better not put myself in those situations. This group has helped me in many ways; I am going to take what I have learned and try to apply it to my everyday life. I do realize every day is a struggle, but I will take it day by day.
I first came to First Step as part of the process of a DUI. I entered the group to do what I needed to do. However through Phyllis, Cynthia and the group sharing I was afforded an opportunity to look at myself and learn new skills, or re-examine known skills and apply them to my life where I am at today. Phyllis and Cynthia and their gentle, sometimes subtle but always direct facilitation of group have given me so much and I am truly grateful for them and the process of First Step. What began as a chore, almost resentment has been a gift. Don’t get me wrong I would never put myself in the situation that brought me to First Step again, but group, Phyllis and Cynthia have allowed me and at times, forced me to look at myself so that I will become a person that will not experience the shame and embarrassment that my DUI brought me. A gift that I will be able to share with others, thanks.
I have never considered alcohol use a big part of my life, yet getting a DWI made me aware that even drinking occasionally can result in me making bad decisions. I believe the group sessions I have attended taught me that alcohol impairs my judgment and I do not want one time occasions to turn into another DWI. I have picked up great tips on how to better deal with triggers, especially dealing with my friends. I thought the counselors were very positive and encouraging. That defiantly helps me
I learned a lot through First Step. I learned about triggers, stressors, pathways that lead to addiction, and ways to negate all of those. When I first attended groups I was guarded and did not know what to expect. As time went on I became more comfortable and opened up about my life and situations I have been through now. First Step has helped me with more than just conquering the marijuana issue I previously had, I’ve learned about how to handle family situations and how to better myself as an upstanding, law abiding citizen. I am confident that I will never get in trouble again and I owe a lot of it through the services of First Step. My mind set is one hundred times different/ better than it was when I first came to group. My counselors Phyllis and Cynthia have really educated me on life, struggles, trials, tribulations, addictions, abuse, and how to stay positive. I am forever in debt to my counselor’s and First Step. I am glad to say my life as a whole is headed in the right direction.
I came to First Step on a referral from a coworker for a DWI. I found the staff to be courteous and helpful and the facility to be neat and organized. Groups were well run and interesting to be a part of. I learned a lot about ways to cope with negative patterns of alcohol abuse. It was helpful to hear stories and ideas from people from different walks of life. I was reluctant to share at first, but the group and counselors were friendly and inviting and I felt comfortable by the end of the first meeting. I already made a committed to abstaining from alcohol well prior to starting my treatment here, but it was a useful reinforcement more the less.
When I first came to group I was kind of taking it as a joke. It was just something that I had to do for court. I never really planned on stop drinking while I was driving, but after the first group I really started getting insight into my life. By the second group I started realizing how much of my life I had wasted by drinking. So after the second group I stopped drinking cold turkey. Thanks to Bill/Jessie and the rest of the group members, and me being sober, I got so much insight into my life that I realized how much faster I can progress and be successful in my life without drinking. I learned that with me alcohol was just a tool to help me be entertained while doing nothing. When you’re doing nothing you’re not progressing and just wasting time out of your life.
For me, First Step treatment was invoking. Although my life has changed dramatically in the last two years due to life choices of my own knowledge is good. Getting to know your down-falls on what’s happening to you can be important. The counselors at First Step have been extremely helpful. They seem to genuinely believe in the cause and seem to know who they are talking to. Looking inward and getting to know yourself and checking in on yourself and your motives for doing things is helpful and these groups give you tips to do that.
I have been attending Saturday groups at First Step because I was charged with a DWI. I was told that that I needed to enroll in order to obtain my limited driving privileges so I could drive to and from work. I obtained that and a couple of weeks later got my regular license back. I have not been convicted, and although I hope I won’t be, I know that I will be okay even if I am. Attending group has shown me that getting a DWI don’t mean you’re a bad person. People make mistakes and the important thing is to learn from your mistakes. I will never drive after having even one drink. It is simply not worth the risks to me or others. Phyllis and Cynthia are wonderful and caring counselors. They have shared some very important information about alcohol abuse, the steps that lead to abuse, and the reasons people abuse (including unhealthy family relationships and stress.) Alcohol abuse and dependence is a gradual process that can happen to anyone and legal problems caused by drinking are a sign that indicate a person may have problems with alcohol abuse. I’ve thought a lot about my use of alcohol, and although I’m not an alcoholic, I’ve realized that it is a problem because it’s definitely causing legal problems. This problem will not progress. I want to live a healthy and happy life and I never want to be in this situation again.
I came to First Step after being convicted of my second DWI as I needed treatment to be able to get my license reinstated. Fortunately I had quit drinking about a year and a half before coming to First Step after having met up with an old drinking buddy I hadn’t seen in eight years. He had destroyed his liver and kidneys from the heavy drinking we did. That was my ‘wake-up call’ that I had to stop that behavior or I would wind up like him. I made a point not to treat First Step as something I had to just go through the motions of. I believe in life we should capitalize on opportunities and I viewed First Step as an opportunity to learn from my counselors, who did a great job of keeping group fun and positive; and to learn from perhaps teach something to my peers in the group. I feel like I accomplished both.
I came to First Step because I received a DWI in December. My lawyer recommended I take this treatment because I would have to because of court. When I first started with this treatment I was hesitant like I have been through something like this for a past DWI and it was all videos of deaths caused from drinking and driving. This was so different through. Jessie/Bill we4re very energetic and made these groups interesting to attend. We learned about alcoholism and addiction and ways to cope. I would recommend this group to anyone who needs it.
Actually First Step was a great experience. I’m not going to stop coming; I’m going to come back on Monday’s. I really learned in group things about myself that I really couldn’t see. I learned that if you be honest with yourself first and accept responsibility for your actions; to learn from your mistakes and don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again and to always stay open minded. Think about what you’re going to lose before you pick up. Think about other people you would affect before you use. I also learned that we are somebody no matter what our circumstances may be. Thank you Jessie you are a great counselor and I really hope that your job not stay at one level hope you prosper and be great in your line of work.
A DUI arrest brought me to First Step. When I walked through the door I felt apprehensive about opening up to the group, however as I participated more I felt more comfortable and began to realize that I was not alone with my addiction. I learned that I do not need alcohol and can live without it. Coming to the meetings changed my views on life and made me realize what triggers set me off. I would like to thank the staff at First Step for being open minded and patient with me. Thank you so much Charles, Holly, and Bill.
I came to First Step because my transportation asked me to find something convenient for my home to work route. First Step was the treatment center closets to my work, so it became easier to get to group since I stated here. I have been to group at other facilities before coming to First Step, and First Step has proven to be the most interesting, professional, and useful treatment center of all of them. My initial impression of the group and counselors was that the people involved take these matters seriously and want to see people change for the better of themselves in their future. I learned much about myself, including things that trigger use, situations to avoid, and how to reduce stress. I also learned ways to use my time and money more efficiently as well as positively. I learned about other people’s ideas toward dealing with the same circumstance. Learning about other group members and ways they can deal with abstaining from use was most useful in that I now have a broader outlook on dealing with harmful situations in the future. I enjoyed every group session here at First Step and thank you.
I came to First Step because I had a DWI. The group was very open and welcoming. I think the most helpful thing was the format of the check-in, break, and lessons. Another good thing was the fact that everyone was at different stages so new people had good examples of how to interact. I learned a lot about my-self from listening to other people share their stories of their mistakes and their recoveries. I really enjoyed the stories of people spending more time with their families. I know also how that has been good for me and my family. The treatment has been good for me because it has made me more thoughtful and aware of how bad behavior affects others. It has also made me more aware of how I feel when other people interact with me I am more honest and open and less protective and guarded about my feelings.
What brought me to First Step was a DWI. I was devastated that it had happened, but it was time for me to pay the consequences for my actions. My first night coming was not that bad, it was my friends last day and having her support helped me a lot. Coming to group every week has taught me to control my drinking not letting it control me. Restraining from drinking while in group I thought would be hard, but it was not. First Step helped me deal with some issues that I was having and also helped me realize that I didn’t need to drink to have fun. Life is fun as long as you know how to be safe about it.
A DUI had brought me to First Step and was voluntary with the reference of a coworker. The most helpful to me was the feedback from the counselor and other group members. The exercises we did in group were fun and had a purpose to them, such as using powerful words like “willpower” another helpful and has been most helpful is using “refusal” skills and for me not so much to other people but using it for myself. I learned in group about myself how not to keep bad things bottled up inside, but how to bring it out by speaking to others which I have always had a hard time with. Treatment from coming to group has changed my thinking process quite a bit, like knowing high or low risk situations, using refusal skills and knowing my values which help in everyday situations. My first impression on my first night at group was, I thought this is corny and weird but it was the interaction that made it all make sense.
When I first came to First Step I was upset for having to have to take treatment. I was mostly ashamed for I used to be the one out of all my friends that would scold everyone for drinking and driving. At first when I started coming to group, I was really shy and my anxiety would go off. I have very bad social anxiety and I have stopped taking anxiety medication. Honestly because of check in I was forced to be vocal. Phyllis and Cynthia were also very caring and warming facilitators. They have made the experience wonderful and therapeutic. First Step has helped me stay abstinent from smoking and drinking which has helped me not go out and party. It has helped me spend more time with my son and become a better father and better my life.
I wasn’t really expecting anything from group. What could I learn that I hadn’t already known? Surprisingly, I learned more than I thought. I learned that I was very fortunate that I didn’t hurt anyone with my decision to drive after drinking. And that I was lucky to be charged in the states rather than El Salvador. Even though the process I long and expensive, I’m grateful to still be alive. Group members made it easy to share. No one seemed to be judgmental and it helped me feel more comfortable. They were very supportive. IN few group sessions I learned that there are many positive ways to deal with stress, so I don’t have to feel like I need to drink. Also I found better methods when it comes to communicating. I don’t need to feel guarded and hide behind my sarcasm and I know that some people do not take kindly to sarcasm. Phyllis and Cynthia were great. They were easy going and patient with everyone. The group was supportive and respectful. I enjoyed the 3 hours, two nights a week sessions and I’m going to miss open and care free environment. I plan to make better decisions and be more open with family and friends when I feel angry, upset depressed or sad. I will consider all consequences and actions will cause before I do them.
Well when I first came to First Step my initial thought was this is some Bull xxxxx. I felt is was Just a way to make money. I was angry disappointed in myself and very anxious to get through with everything. About half way through my groups I had a change of heart when I met the inspirational speakers and saw the effects that were done on their lives. It was an eye opener and I realize how important it is for some sobriety. I spoke with a man whose addiction impacted someone else’s life and now he is clean an d I see the struggle he faces day to day to stay clean. This program is very important and I learned that I don’t have to be a part of a inner circle I can be alone and it is OK. I really appreciated the counselors for being so understanding and polite throughout my experience here at First Step.
My experience at First Step has been very helpful since I first received my DWI I have learned a very important lesion about substance abuse and most importantly about drinking and driving. Groups that I have attended have opened my eyes to issues. I have in my life and issues that I still need to work on. I learned that being sober is a lifestyle and is not something that just happens overnight.
I liked the group. I learned a lot and it went by fast….way too fast
A Graduate Reflects
I feel like I just finished running a marathon. As my wife tells me whenever the topic arises (she ran 5 of them the year before we met), completing one depends more on mental than on physical stamina. Nonetheless, although I feel unequivocally and wholly exhausted, I am happy to return to the chaos of my “normal” life. Of course, this doesn’t in the least diminish my deepest appreciation for your caring guidance during these past few months as I began to understand the myriad factors that have contributed to my present circumstances.
I have often marveled at your unfailing ability to create a serene and inviting environment for group sessions, regardless of the identity or number of the participants, whose atmosphere is filled with understanding, safety, and compassion. Of course, this flies in the face of a possible opposing assertion that confining a seemingly incompatible group of strangers to close quarters for three hours while expecting them to share some of their most intimate life details would be unproductive at best. On the contrary, I have discovered that the juxtaposition of my personal situation with those shared by my peers has helped me obtain a quiet and humble appreciation of my many blessings, and so I now feel empowered to continue on my way much happier and confident than if I had tried to reach this point unaided.
Although the completion of this program surely points me in the direction of happier prospects, I also feel somewhat sad. This is because after having made perhaps unconscious but significant connections with some of my peers, I wish I could experience the joy of witnessing their developing stories, including their possible transformation into living and breathing masterpieces consistent with their unique and precious nature, in spite of their past. Douglas Adams’ off-hand existential caricature in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe that “life is wasted on the living” seems strangely appropriate here. Personally, I have no intentions whatsoever of wasting any more of my life.
Graduate of the First Step Program.
I didn’t like or enjoy the idea of treatment. While I still believe that It’s not a completely ideal method of addressing substance abuse or DUI, I do believe that I’ve gotten a good deal out of it. Jessi and Bill were helpful and insightful.
What brought me to First Step was ignorance on my behalf and a few bad decision. I learned that getting high wasn’t important in life and that I didn’t need it. Treatment changed me because I learned many life lesions and learned from people life stories. I will stay sober and learn from my mistakes. Thank you Bill and Jessi
During the time I was here, I worked on the 3 goals set prior to starting group. I got more out of group than I thought I would. I think the counselors did outstanding job and I may come back to visit.
At first I was insulted and generally felt I didn’t need to be there. However, you reap what you sow and that works both ways. I’ve recognized things in myself that I need to do work on in order to avoid repeating the mistakes I’ve made. Although I’m not “glad” to be where I am, this experience in “Group” has been one of the more positive events in my life. Jesse and Bill make a good complimentary team. As for ”Group” itself, I’ve been amazed at the similarities that have brought a diverse group together. I’ll carry the “go System”/Stop System” with me forever and continue to work on that balance. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the group. Once I revealed my story, I was amazed by the volume of support from various members. The counselors were very knowledgeable le and extremely helpful towards my road to recovery. Group has shown useful tools which I can utilize in the future. The session that had the biggest impact was stress relieving tactics. I have learned how to handle life’s events by applying these tools. Blowing off tension by exercising, eating healthy being empathetic to others and take deep breaths.
I came into group optimistic. I came in with an open mind and heart. I wanted to learn how to become a better person and to improve my habits and my life. I learned several “tools” from the counselors and group members that I can apply daily. I have used this group as a way to guide the fight in growth and self improvement.
I came to First Step after being arrested for a DWI. Upon first attending group, I was apprehensive and nervous. By the end of the check- in my first group these feelings were gone. I found it much easier to cope with the hard times ahead and to stop felling guilty and disappointed with myself. Treatment at First Step helped me to realize how I can get through my issues and use many different means to recover. I also learned about my triggers and how they can be avoided. In all, I am happy that I had the sessions and services available to me during my hard times. All of the staff was personable helpful and did a great job making me feel comfortable being in group.
Like so many others, I came to First Step as a last resort to free myself from addiction and reclaim my life. I was physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually broke with only a glimmer of hope. In desperation I faithfully attended group meetings, two times a week, for three months, and as time went on, the hope that I might restore my health grew more and more. When I graduated, I had obtained the needed tools to live a clean and sober life, but there was something missing.
During my treatment, I came to rely on the caring, concern, love, acceptance, and honesty apparent at every group meeting. I became very fond of the counselors and my fellow addicts and would miss them dearly, and a part of me wanted and needed to stay. Gratefully, as all graduates are invited to do, I can attend as many groups as I wish for a mere $5.00 a session. There’s a saying that you get what you pay for, but occasionally you get much more. Some seven months after graduation, I still come back one to two times a week to commune with my second family and experience the wisdom of the counselors and senior group members. I recollect my own suffering through the pain of newcomers, and joyfully watch as they strive and attain healthier and happier lives. Yet, the greatest benefit is that I can express myself honestly in a safe and loving environment in hopes that my experience, strength, and hope will benefit others.
My initial impressions of First Step were both a sense of embarrassment and a though I wasn’t going to get much out of the “group” meetings. Quickly I found the counselors to be very knowledgeable and understanding to the needs of every individual. I also saw that they treatment everyone the same yet different as ones needs were noted. I did enjoy the family feud game and found that it was a great way to emphasize learning and unde3rstanding the subject manner. I do absolutely feel my decision making process will be different in the future. I know that I will put a plan together for any evening activities that include alcohol. I have learned that a $25.00 cab ride is a lot cheaper and not to mention safer than taking a chance with my life and someone else’s.
My DWI Conviction is what brought me to First Step Services. From the very first day I came in with a positive attitude to take something positive away from this experience. My initial impressions of the counselors were that they were all helpful and concerned for our well-being. I thought that they did a good job of interacting with the group and getting every member involved with the discussion. The most helpful part of the process was the open dialogue that I engaged in with the group. It was refreshing to share experiences and relate to others with similar circumstances. I learned that my irresponsible actions affected not only me, but those close to me as well. The treatment has left a lasting impression on me as I move forward.
The first time I stepped into First Step, I was a little uneasy because I was not sure what I was getting myself into. After meeting my first counselor Glen, I was a little iffy still because he did not seem to into it. When I showed up to my first real group I met Cynthia, Phyllis and Amy and they seemed really cool and I felt like I would learn something. While working through the groups I learned that my weakest moments are with my closest friends and I enjoy smoking when I am in pain. Treatment honesty never changed me but I feel like I gained some knowledge about myself and how to recognize when I am craving. I might not stop smoking all together but I will definitely make me watch myself if I ever do it again.
Initially, when I looked this facility up, I didn’t think I was doing anything but trying to finally pay and do the 20 hours to get my license back. I came in with a get it done attitude, not planning on taking anything from it. However, I learned that everyone (myself involved) needs a wakeup call. God did not give us the ability to reproduce without giving up real life examples. I learned that if you make a mistake and you never learn from it you will forever spiral in the same direction. Learned my lesson and changed my way after I made my mistake and didn’t’ continue down that path. I also learned I have other issues that I need to deal with. I’m proud of myself for finally accomplishing this task. I enjoyed meeting Amy and Cynthia and the other lady Phyllis. Although Cynthia’s was my favorite, her approach was realistic. Amy was down to earth and IU related to her as well. Then content could have been better however but overall it helps others. I learned I have a lot to live for and that as long as I know right from wrong and learn from mistakes I can be successful. Thank you for helping me reaches my goal. A costly one at that was worth it.
I first came to First Step Treatment because of a DWI Charge. I am still in the process of completing this case. My impressions of the counselors and group were positive. Everyone who leads group (counselors& interns) is friendly and professional. The group members are compliant and open about their cases and treatment plans. It was helpful for me to meet other DWI clients and learn about their situations. It was helpful to discuss stress and responsibility because that is partly what brought me here. I learned that I am not invincible and I cannot always control my alcohol consumption and it can get me in trouble and put myself and others in danger. I learned that my actions affect everyone around me, not just me. My actions speak to my character as well. I feel changed because I do not desire to get drunk or to drive if I do.
I was a patient at First Step due to my DWI. I immediately felt welcomed and comfortable sharing my story. Every session, I was educated on work and I learned what to do in situations where I feel unsafe. Bill and Jessie were fabulous instructors that taught us in fun, exciting ways that made me actually eager to come to group. They challenged me to think in ways I had never thought before and to cherish my values day to day. Each group was a joy to be in and I never dreaded a moment.
Initially, the DWI was just causing punishment, but after I got over the anger and shame of the situation I realized that maybe it happened at an opportune time to get myself back on tract. I shifted my attitude to be positive and I think the groups really enforced that. I really think it was beneficial to focus on myself as a individual and learn how to better myself. I learned a lot of important aspects of myself that can better all aspects of my life stay positive and more forward.
What brought me to First Step was getting DWI. Initially I dreaded coming to classes on Mondays and I didn’t like participating in class. I learned that the more you participate the better you feel about yourself. It helps to get your situation and ideas off your chest. I believe that most helpful think I learned were prevention techniques and ways to say no. I can use these things to avoid situations in the future. Treatment gave me a better outlook on my situation and helped me learn from my downfalls. Learning from these things and letting them not happen again is the most important thing.
Since I’ve been here in the program I have enjoyed it. Obviously the first class had me a little nervous but a reality set in I was fine. The reality that I speak of is that in which we all have issues, bug, small, or in between. I have never felt that I had an issue but while in group I did realize why I drank so much. That is something I’ve been able to deal with while also gaining different methods to do with stress.
I was arrested for Assault and have to do DOSE and alcohol treatment. I was a little nervous at first but after a few groups I felt at ease. I felt very calm because I am around people that have the same problems and thoughts. Cynthia was very calm and so funny. She is serious at group but knows how to have fun. Phyllis is very strong and has a heart of gold. I will never forget them and Ray. I have learned that I can us the tools not just for drinking but in everyday situations. Also that speaking with others about common problems does help. I made a major mistake, and I took responsibility for what happened. I came here to do the program with a good attitude and I have learned from my group sessions and my AA meetings.
I came to First Step because of A DWI conviction my second, which occurred in April 2011. I waited such a long time to complete treatment for financial reasons. I found the program and the counselors very helpful. Phyllis and Cynthia do a excellent job creating a safe open and nonjudgmental atmosphere. I always felt that I could speak my mind freely about addiction or any other subject. The presentation that was given by the speakers from the victim’s advocacy group were particularly effective. I’m sure I’ll remember their stories whenever I’m around alcohol. As for how I’ll apply the lesions from group in the future, I do think I’ve gotten to a secure place regarding abstaining from drinking and driving. The stories I’ve heard in group will help to reinforce my strategies for maintaining sobriety and safety. I’ve also learned a few signs of addiction that I’ve seen in friends and family.. What I’ve learned in group will help me to help them in the future. I’ve learned quite a bit about myself and about addiction and will be sure to carry these lesions with me going forward.
Martha and Bill were fantastic. I was very skeptical coming to group but I ended up really enjoying it. I think it made a huge impact on my situation and other aspects of my life. I think the activities were really important and allowed me to think of things I don’t typically think about. I also felt it was really important to hear the stories of others. I thing hearing that others especially people you don’t “expect” to be in this situation, older people, professionals are going through some things similar and learning from it will really help me put it in perspective. Thank You
“After just a few sessions of outpatient treatment, patients become much healthier physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally… begin to practice a spiritual life that they never knew existed for them.”Graduate of the First Step program.
I enjoyed discussing my feelings and experiences openly and to get to know the
other people. I have worked very hard to achieve sobriety on my own, but it was
very helpful to have an outlet for my feelings and concerns. JLG
I like most of the activities that are planned for the group sessions. Some are
more helpful than others. Counselors make sure to keep things up-beat. I feel
like religion and/or faith was different for me than some others, and and that it
made me uncomfortable at times, but it was good food for thought. All in all, a very
productive and positive way to spend time in treatment. Great speakers were
also a highlight of this program. AS
Court made me attend First Step Substance Abuse treatment in order to get my
driver’s license back. At first I was a shy and timid because I didn’t
know anyone, but after I kept attending a few groups it became something
different than I originally thought. Everyone was open about their experiences,
and I learned a lot from the group members, such as making healthy decisions and
learning how to stop when you need to avoid more problems. I learned and
listened to what people were saying and what they were going through. It was a
good experience for me. SY
Substance-Abuse treatment at First Step was great. There were good mentors and
great people in group. I like how open and honest everyone was. The group
served as an eye-opener for me, and I learned that my problems were not as small
as I thought they were, but they weren’t that much bigger either. Treatment change
me for the better and help me to prioritize and refocus on the more important
things in my life and how vulnerable we all really are. RS
My experience with First Step was very positive. It opened me up to the idea of
not just working on me, but helping others! I recommend to people to share, you
get much more out of it.