Four Circles Recovery Center Celebrates Two Years of Cutting-Edge Addiction Treatment for Young Men and Women

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In recognition of its two-year anniversary, Four Circles reflects on how far addiction treatment has come, and how much further it can go.

The substance abuse field is relatively young, so there is always room for improvement

Four Circles Recovery Center, a state-of-the-art addiction treatment program in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, is celebrating its two-year anniversary this month. Specializing in the treatment of 18- to 28-year-olds, the program has proven highly effective in treating young adults with addiction and co-occurring mental health issues.

According to Jack Kline, MS, LPC, LCAS, NCC, Executive Director of Four Circles, the center owes its impressive record and high retention rate, in part, to its unique treatment model that combines traditional substance abuse treatment and wilderness therapy. In addition to building communication and teamwork skills in the wilderness, Four Circles' clients frequently return to base camp, where they practice independent living skills, attend 12-Step meetings in the community, and interact with other individuals in recovery.

"Our approach has been exceedingly effective for both young men and women. We are uniquely positioned to give clients the 'wake-up call' of wilderness therapy as well as the counseling services and tools to stay clean and sober permanently," says Kline. "We are the only wilderness program out there that teaches daily living skills and helps clients acclimate to being in a community setting prior to discharge, so the transition onward doesn't come as such a culture shock. That gives each individual a chance to see how recovery will look for them - not just in the wilderness, but back in real life."

But it's not just the model that makes Four Circles such a success - it's the way the staff uses the model. According to Kline, the blend of wilderness therapy and traditional addiction treatment allows the clinical professionals to evaluate clients' progress, understand their emotions by observing their behaviors, and examine the way they interact in a recovery community that requires them to balance daily living skills with the 12-Step process.

"By living and working with these young people day and night, both in the unfamiliar wilderness setting and familiar base camp environment, we can go beyond words and 'talk therapy' and actually see how their substance abuse and co-occurring issues impact their daily lives," explains Heather Schnoebelen, M.A., the clinical manager at Four Circles.

Executive Director Jack Kline also attributes much of the program's effectiveness to high-quality, consistent clinical care and the ability of its clinical professionals to treat both substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues. Clients work with the same therapist throughout the program, both in the wilderness and at base camp, and have ongoing access to top-notch therapeutic services. All therapists have master's degrees, are licensed clinicians, and either have, or are working, to become licensed clinical addiction specialists; most field instructors are certified wilderness first responders; and everyone, from field staff to management, is continuously working to better themselves personally and professionally.

"In just two years, we have established a strong national reputation for clinical excellence," states Kline. "Our therapists travel all over the country to attend conferences, develop new skills, and improve the quality of their services. Their hard work has helped us make a name for ourselves in a relatively short period of time."

Four Circles takes a strong family systems approach to addiction treatment, helping parents get involved in the recovery process, set and enforce boundaries, and serve as role models for healthy living. Each family speaks with their loved one's primary therapist at least once a week, receives a family workbook and suggested reading list, attends a 2-day family workshop at the end of the program, and can participate in an extensive, 90-day aftercare plan.

With a strong foundation in place after just two years, the staff at Four Circles hopes to continue delivering superior addiction treatment to young adults for many years to come. By continually seeking out feedback from clients, families, and referral sources, and following the latest research, Four Circles is continually striving to improve the way it delivers its clinical services.

Since its inception, Four Circles has made widespread enhancements to its treatment services, including a ropes challenge course, separate treatment tracks for men and women, and community service projects. Clients also participate in a sweat lodge experience and other native traditions that help them connect with a higher power. Most recently, the clinical department incorporated a healthy living component to the program, which includes martial arts and yoga.

"The substance abuse field is relatively young, so there is always room for improvement," notes Kline. "One of our hallmarks is that we're never satisfied with the status quo - we are always evolving and finding new ways to provide the highest quality clinical services and state-of-the-art treatment when it comes to substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues."

Four Circles Recovery Center is an innovative addictions, substance abuse, and co-occurring mental health disorders treatment program for young adults ages 18 to 28 that combines a traditional counseling setting with a series of wilderness expeditions. Four Circles employs the most effective, cutting-edge clinical modalities with an underlying traditional 12-step philosophy to create the foundation for sustained recovery.

Four Circles is a proud member of Aspen Education Group, the nation's largest and most comprehensive network of therapeutic schools and programs. Aspen Education Group offers professionals and families the opportunity to choose from a variety of therapeutic settings in order to best meet a student's unique academic and emotional needs. Aspen Education Group has been profiled by major news and television organizations around the world, including U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and People magazine, as well as on CNN, ABC's 20/20 and Good Morning America, NBC's The Today Show and Dateline NBC, National Public Radio and the syndicated television show Dr. Phil.

Aspen is a division of CRC Health Group, the nation's largest chemical dependency and related behavioral health organization. For more information about Aspen Education Group, visit or call (888) 972-7736. For more information about Four Circles Recovery Center, please visit or call (877) 893-2221.


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