Program Philosophy

Treatment Modalities

“Motivational Interviewing is not a collection of techniques, it is a way of being with a client “
William R. Milller and Stephen Rollnick
The gold-standard for care in treating opiate addiction is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). Waterstone has combined this standard of care with a core philosophy of providing compassionate and cutting-edge treatment available to anyone in need. Because opiate addiction is life threatening and chronic, our model is designed to provide as much access to services as possible in an outpatient setting.

WCC's unique model utilizes a number of evidence-based therapy approaches in tandem with proven medications. An overview of core therapy modalities are presented in the tabs below. A partial list of medications is also provided under the Medication Assisted Treatment drop-down below the therapies. Our compassionate clinical staff deploy these tools and medications in a flexible, highly individualized manner. We don't consider these practices to be mere 'techniques', but modes of interpersonal relations addressed to a specific goal.

In addition to our core MAT program ("Fresh Start"), integrated psychotherapy services are also available independent of addiction treatment programs (see Our Services).

Core Models

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is a counseling approach that helps individuals resolve their ambivalence about engaging in treatment and stopping their substance use. This approach aims to evoke rapid and internally motivated change, rather than guide the patient stepwise through the recovery process. At the WCC we believe every individual is capable of succeeding but simply getting in the door can be the hardest part so we value Motivational Interviewing and Motivational Enhancement Therapy in order to help the client feel safe, comfortable and as committed to their recovery as we are. Motivational interviewing principles are used to strengthen motivation and build a plan for change. Coping strategies for high-risk situations are suggested and discussed with the patient.  
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of psycho-therapeutic treatment that helps patients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors. CBT is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders including phobias, addictions, depression, and anxiety. Cognitive behavior therapy is generally short-term and focused on helping clients deal with a very specific problem. During treatment, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior and emotions.
The PCRP is a method of developing and monitoring recovery goals specific to an individual client. These goals are developed out of the assessment process and are a collaboration between treatment team and client. Goals are linked to life ambitions to reinforce the connection between recovery and obtaining a desired quality of life. This approach furthers long term motivation beyond simply a fear of consequences related to use, typically found in early recovery.

PCRP’s are used routinely in individual and group therapy as “living, breathing documents”, not perfunctory paperwork and not cookie cutter in nature. This PCRP drives the care offered at WCC.

The single greatest tool at our disposal in the fight against addiction is the therapeutic relationship we foster with our clients. The culture at WCC is one of open honesty and we are free of judgment or punitive approaches. A relapse means we work harder on the Person Centered Recovery Plan to avoid future setbacks. Clients are encouraged to talk openly in group psychotherapy and individual psychotherapy about any setbacks. Recovery plans are shared openly in group and there is trust and caring in the group process.
All clients begin with individual sessions with our counseling staff, at which time a full psychological evaluation is complete. We do a multi-session assessment to create a clinical formulation aimed at helping us understand the interdependent nature of addiction and mental health symptoms. Additionally, we feel it is important to gain a comprehensive history of the presenting problem to best collaborate with the client in treating it, whether the client is seeking help for depression, trauma, phobia or addiction. This helps us determine any underlying issues that may be complicating the recovery process.  It also helps us determine who the support systems are for the client and how they can be a part of the treatment process here at WCC as well as in their personal lives. Individual therapy is offered as a routine component of the program, based on clients’ needs and wants. It is also provided for those in times of distress. Groups are at the heart of the clinical model of the Fresh Start Program. Group culture is developed to allow open, honest, caring, and meaningful exchanges. Many clients with long term sobriety provide ideal examples of hope for new clients. Clients faced with setbacks may have already seen another group member go through this process and their coping skills help overcome this challenge. They draw strength from this process and no longer feel they are alone. Shame and guilt act as barriers to recovery. Practicing open discussions in groups helps alleviate the inner dialogue of shame and guilt. It also reinforces positive behavior that becomes a goal throughout the recovery process and beyond. With peer and clinical group support, a setback does not have to become a full-blown relapse. Members share their recovery plans in groups and gain personal insight from each other’s recovery process.

Richard Goulding, MD

Thomas Abbenante, MD

Marc Bono, Psy.D

Service Region

Waterstone Counseling Centers serve New London, New Haven and Middlesex Counties, Connecticut. The medication component of our MAT program requires a regional service area, however, our unique Integrated Psychotherapy services are available to a non-local community through telehealth solutions and our interactive education platform.

Compassion. Hope. Trust. Respect. Strength. Recovery