The Matrix Model is a multi-element package of therapeutic modules that complement each other and combine to produce an integrated outpatient treatment experience. It is a set of evidence-based practices delivered in a clinically coordinated manner as a “program.” Many of the treatment strategies within the Model are derived from clinical research literature, including cognitive behavioral therapy, research on relapse prevention, motivational interviewing strategies, psycho-educational information and 12-Step program involvement.

Content & Methods of Delivery

The Matrix program is designed to deliver the information and the skills for the patients in form mostly group sessions and individual sessions. Each patient would be scheduled for 16 weeks program, which includes total of 61 groups (8 early recovery groups) & (32 relapse prevention groups), and 10 -13 individual group sessions.

  • The program is designed to treat patients with substance abuse and/or dependence for young adults (ages 18-25) and older adults.
  • During the first visit of a patient a 2-hour evaluation period is setup to spend time with client by gathering history and briefly introducing the brain model and stages of treatment to the client.
  • Patients are contacted in timely manner to update them regarding joining the program and to keep them engaged.
  • Each patient is provided with a patient manual to start with from day one of entering the program until graduation (patient manuals are placed in the facility and are handed to them after graduation).
  • Clients whom dropout from treatment a reassessment is conducted after 30 days.
  • A primary therapist conducts both the individual and group sessions for a particular patient and is responsible for coordinating the whole treatment experience (group & individual sessions).
  • The groups are focused on discussing patients’ written and oral responses to the questions.
  • The therapist maintains control and keeps the groups topic centered and positive with a strong educational element. Care is taken not to allow group members to share graphic stories of their drug and alcohol use.
  • Therapists specifically avoid allowing the groups to become confrontational or extremely emotional. Whenever possible the use of a co-leader who has at least 6 months of recovery is employed and chosen by the therapist. The co-leader serves as a peer support person who can share his or her own recovery experiences.
  • Upon completion of the treatment program members go through "graduation" that takes place in one of the groups. Each patient takes turns in expressing their thoughts about the graduating patient and the patient tends to receive a pin for completing the program successfully.
  • Urine testing is conducted randomly on a weekly basis. Positive urine tests revealing previously undisclosed drug use serve as points of discussion rather than incrimination.

Description of the Matrix Program

Group psychotherapy components in the matrix model involves early recovery skills, relapse prevention, social support, 12-step facilitation, and family education.

Some of the groups tend to have a co-leader (recovered addict peer mentor) to support other members through sharing interpersonal experiences. And the description of the group therapy is as follows:

Early Recovery Group

The "early recovery skills" is a 4-week group that covers different topics; it is designed for patients whom are in the first month of treatment. The group topics can be flexible by increasing the length of group session up to 6 weeks. Early recovery group is a didactic experience that focuses on coaching and teaching the patient tools to be used for recovery very much of basic skills. The reduced size of the groups allows the therapist to spend more individual time with each patient of these critical early skills and tasks.

Relapse Prevention Group

The "relapse prevention" takes place twice weekly and is a group that follows patients throughout their treatment period covering specific relapse prevention materials with an ideal group size of 10 patients. The purpose of the group is to provide a setting where information about relapse can be learned and shared. The topics are focused on behavior change, changing the patient’s cognitive/affective orientation, and connecting patients with 12-step support systems. Each group is structured with a consistent structure during which:

  • Patients are introduced if there are new members.
  • Patients give an up to the moment report on their progress in recovery.
  • Patients read the topic of the day and relate it to their own experience.
  • Patients share their schedules, plans, and commitment to recovery from the end of group until the group meets again.

Family Education Group

The "family education" is a 12-week program that covers different topics by which clients can attend with a friend or a family member. Family education group takes place once weekly and topics can be modified by choosing materials that may be suitable for the population. However, it is recommended to be conducted by a senior staff member to manage interactions.

Social Support Groups

“Social support” group takes place once weekly; it begins in week 13 during the last phase of treatment prior to graduation when clients are still attending relapse prevention groups in order to ensure that they feel connected before they graduate from the relapse prevention groups and continues after treatment completion. Group size varies and is continually changing. Social support group is the least structured group by which each patient is asked whether they would like to check in or require time to share an experience and each would take turns to do so. After the graduation period the social support group is free of charge for members to attend as a continuity of care process.

12-step Facilitation Group

“12-step” group takes place once weekly for one hour, by which a patient is chosen to lead the group and shares different life experiences. No therapist is present during the group, and this group is attended by Matrix clients only, and it takes place at the Matrix clinic.

Individual Psychotherapy Sessions

Individual psychotherapy sessions take place occasionally, which focuses on managing crisis, addressing needs of clients and checking on the progress of the patient’s individual goals. These sessions are critical to the development of the crucial relationship between the patient and the therapist. There are about 13 sessions that can be combined with conjoint sessions, including significant others in the treatment planning.

Individual sessions are vitally important for continuity of the primary treatment and to maintain retention of the patient in the treatment process.

Relapse Analysis: A specific exercise is used when a patient relapse unexpectedly or repeatedly and does not seem to understand the causes of the relapses. The optional exercise and forms are designed to help the therapist and the patient understand the issues and events that occurred preceding the relapse(s) in order to help prevent future relapses. This exercise is typically conducted during an individual session with the patient and, possibly, a significant other.

In all treatment programs, the psychiatrist will prescribe medications for detox or psychiatric problems whenever indicated.