About the Program at Shana's House

The path to living sober can be hard and painful, which is why developing a supportive network during recovery is imperative.  While treatment centers and halfway houses can be successful initially, immediately returning to the real world can be jarring.  Some newly recovered individuals are not ready, and premature re-entry can be detrimental, resulting in possible relapse, depression, or even self-harm.

For many recovering addicts, it is essential that they are eased back into their lives gently, with a cache of tools and support that will assist them in facing their triggers, while keeping their recovery as a top priority.  Women's houses, like Shana’s House, provide the necessary transition from treatment center to real life.  We help those in recovery re-enter their lives feeling prepared to face the pressures without jeopardizing the sober living they have worked so hard to achieve. 

Using a 2-phase approach, residents are able to heal physically, emotionally, and socially.  They can also enhance their professional/academic career, preparing for a stronger re-entry to their lives.  Through our program, our residents will learn how to embrace new habits that will help them master sober living.

Phase 1:  Baby Steps towards Living Sober
Phase 1 is the very beginning phase of the program.  Women are usually fresh out of rehabilitation and early in their recovery.  Often, the resident is extremely vulnerable and is in a critical stage of maintaining control over their addiction(s).  For an outsider, the steps they take may not seem very significant.  However, in the resident's perspective, these are massive leaps toward self-responsibility and autonomy.  Shana’s House is able to successfully balance that fine-line of providing enough healing to lead residents toward the path of self-sufficiency and recovery without becoming overwhelmed, which could cause discouragement and abandonment of the program. 

Over the course of Phase I, each woman will progress through Orientation, Junior Residency, and Senior Residency status based on their own unique progress toward well-defined goals.

Phase 2:  Staying on the Path of Sobriety and Self-sufficiency
The next phase of our program focuses on strengthening the recovery process, while helping residents become more independent.  This phase is for residents who have accomplished their goals in Phase 1 and are ready to progress to the next step. 

Phase 2 residents will continue to have weekly individual and group therapy sessions, random drug-testing, on-site case management, and family work.  We aspire to help those in recovery establish self-reliance, while maintaining the network of support they built during Phase 1.  Our goal is to establish a foundation for a seamless transition into the real world. 

Maintaining Sober Living with Continuous Care
Staying sober is a lifelong process that doesn’t end when the resident finishes their recovery program.  It is an ongoing battle that requires constant support and vigilance.  Our women's sober living home offers Continuing Care Services for any alumnae who has reentered their local community after completing Phase 1 or Phase 2.

Research has shown that structure and accountability during the first two years of recovery can dramatically improve the odds of successful sobriety.  Shana’s Sober Living House aims to help alumnae find sobriety in everyday life by providing structural services such as:

  •  Private sessions with a case manager (weekly)
  •  Individual assessment of needs
  •  Regular drug testing
  •  Access to Shana’s House recreation activities

We are committed to the success of our “graduates."  Shana’s House provides essential resources, support, and coaching beyond the initial Phase 1 and Phase 2 programs.  Our goal is to help women struggling with addictions achieve a healthy, sober lifestyle.  Through Shana’s Recovery House, alumnae can build on their recovery to strengthen interpersonally, while maintaining an addiction-free lifestyle.

Other Services to Encourage Living in Recovery

Intensive Outpatient Programs
It is highly beneficial to explore various recovery options to meet each of our resident's needs.  There are a number of high-quality Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) in the surrounding area that can provide a wealth of experience.  We offer safe, secure transportation to/from those services.

Individual Therapy
Many addictions stem from psychological trauma which, if left unhealed, can lead to relapse.  Licensed therapists will work with residents to explore the underlying layers of these traumas, and work through them to heal from the inside out.  

Using a familiar, trustworthy therapist can strengthen the recovery progress, which is why we encourage residents to continue with the same professional.  If the resident does not have a therapist, our Case managers will work closely with each resident to find a therapist that is a good fit and meets their needs.  It is essential that each resident feels secure and comfortable with their therapist, allowing for a strong therapist-client alliance to process personal issues.

Psychiatric Services
All residents will have access to psychiatric services.  A minimum of one session per month with the assigned psychiatrist is expected.  If psychotropic medication is needed, it will be managed by the psychiatrist and monitored by Shana’s House staff.  All medications are kept in a locked safe in the staff office.

12-Step Meetings
The northeast has one of the strongest concentrations of 12-Step recovery programs.  We strongly encourage residents to commit to a “home” meeting and find a sponsor within two weeks of their first meeting.  A sponsor will provide guidance and support for recovering addicts “working the steps,” which is an essential tool for successful recovery. 

Random testing to encourage a drug/alcohol-free lifestyle
We have a zero tolerance policy for drug/alcohol use at Shana’s House women's recovery home.  To maintain a drug/alcohol-free environment, there will be random testing 2-3 times a week (urinalysis and/or breathalyzer).  This will deter relapses and help maintain a safe, sober living environment for all of our residents. 

Building Executive Functioning Skills
Residents are given the opportunity to create healthy habits to improve their own self-care, which can include:  time management (and follow through), budgeting, community living, mindfulness, and moderation.

Recovery through Nutrition and Wellness
Nutrition plays a larger role in recovery than we may believe.  Incorporating a food intake of nutritious and well-balanced food is the foundation of good health.  Proper nutrition provides the body with energy, strengthens the immune system, and helps rebuild and repair organ tissue. Because many addicts have damaged their vital organs during their addiction, healthy eating provides them with the basis they require to begin restoring their bodies.

Nutrition also affects mood and practicing healthy eating habits can both chemically and physiologically change one's brain structure. As a result, neurotransmitter production, such as serotonin, can be increased through nutritional eating, resulting in enhanced mood and behavior. 

The Shana’s House Chef prepares healthy, locally-produced gourmet meals daily for Phase 1 residents.  Dinner is served each evening in a family-style manner to encourage relationship building among residents. 

Phase 2 and independent Phase 1 residents can learn to achieve culinary autonomy through meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking.  This way, when residents transition back into their lives outside of Shana’s House, they will be prepared to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Activities and Recreation
Outside interests that stimulate the body, mind, and spirit can have an enormously positive impact on a recovery program.  They also balance out the intense work of recovery by encouraging relaxation and play.  Shana’s House offers a multitude of activities to appeal to a wide range of interests including:  yoga, meditation, swimming, weight lifting, aerobic exercises, cooking lessons, painting/pottery workshops, among others.


Shana's House, Westport, CT
(203) 254-1182