COMMON DIFFICULTIES The women’s program has its similarities to men’s programs, according to Costa, but there are some general distinctions that stand out to her. Having spent the past ten years working in all-male facilities, Costa is quick to adapt as needed. Many of Costa’s clients ll a caretaker role outside of treatment - whether it’s taking care of children, signi cant others, family members, or anybody else, they look after others at their own expense. Drugs and alcohol, over time, become their coping tools for life’s stressful situations. “All of a sudden they’re not in that [caretaking] position anymore, and they realize how stressful it is to juggle everything,” says Costa. Other complications Costa frequently sees include children and nding childcare while in treatment, bad relationships, and a lack of housing options. Moses adds that in her experience, women have more nancial responsibilities and higher high school dropout rates, than men. Micah House employs a social worker and connects clients with resources to address the issues, and Costa’s practical counseling approach sets them up to conquer the real-life struggles that come their way. EMOTIONAL GROWTH Costa maintains that not all the gender-speci c differences are detrimental. She recognizes a higher level of emotion in daily groups, and is met with less resistance when working through feelings, emotions and effective coping strategies. “The men I’ve worked with downplay their emotions. The women just let it out,” says Costa. “I don’t know why it is, but these women, they’re a little more open at times.” The willingness and ability to express oneself and be open emotionally can create a more effective group for clients to grow and thrive in. And in the end, Costa wants to see every woman leave better off than she came in. “If I plant a rose, I’m expecting a rose to blossom,” she says. “I expect them to come in torn up, but I don’t expect them to leave the same way they came.”

As July came to a close , the new women’s outpatient program at Micah House proudly graduated its rst two alumni. As they enter into their next stages of recovery, equipped with tools and strategies to continue in their newly-ful lling lives of recovery, Counselor Gail Costa continues to lead women ve days a week, from 9 A.M. to 12:25 P.M. “There’s always been a need for high quality women’s programming, and we understand that it is different than men’s services,” says Deb Moses, Micah House COO. While there do exist numerous differences for women as a whole, the focus still remains on the individual client and her speci c needs. “It’s so important to meet them where they’re at,” says Costa. A typical day of programming balances the focus among informational lectures, group therapy sessions and practical process groups. The process groups in particular, according to Costa, allow clients to apply new strategies they pick up directly to life’s “current events.” “Whatever’s going on with them is what we talk about,” she says. “I like to use practical events to work through because that’s what they’re going home to.”



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