Program Participant

A Family's Fresh Start

Elizabeth, a recent graduate of CHD’s Grace House in Northampton, is grateful for the team at one of the few residential recovery treatment programs designed for mothers in western Massachusetts. “They helped me get my life back together,” she said. “They helped me become a functional adult again.”

After she had relapsed and went into recovery, the native of Fall River, MA, had joined other moms—and their children—in this close-knit sober community that provided her with the clinical and supportive services she needed to be a capable parent to her three kids. She had stayed at Grace House with her baby—now 18 months old—and this summer she returned to the house for a picnic accompanied by her toddler, as well as her 12-year-old daughter.

The picnic was an event that included face painting, temporary tattoos, a water slide, and a snow cone machine—and a celebration of recovery as everyone took a break from the fun to listen to three guest speakers discuss how they overcame their addictions. Their stories were familiar to Elizabeth. “Losing your life and getting it back—and getting your kids back,” she said. “The whole process of learning about yourself—those three people went through the same thing I did.”

Zoe, one of the speakers, talked about the value of having a support team in her early days of recovery. “You don’t have to do this alone,” she said.

In a therapeutic setting, Grace House provides up to 14 families with a safe, nurturing environment where mothers and their children can experience success. The residents’ days are centered on recovery meetings, sessions with counselors, and group therapy. Some of the groups offered are Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Group Peer Support, Seeking Safety, Relapse Prevention, Early Intervention, Family Strengthening, Parenting, Trauma Recovery & Empowerment, Peer Advocacy, and Health and Wellness, as well as a variety of life skills groups.

Grace House also provides GED prep courses, yoga and other wellness practices, help for mothers in caring for and maintaining custody of their children, and tools for getting back into the workforce.

What Elizabeth found at the Grace House were individuals who cared, were invested in her recovery, and helped her deal with the impacts of trauma on her life. “They helped me get over—or rather, work through, the trauma,” she said.