Core Beliefs

© Social Model Recovery Systems, Inc. 

1. We believe that everyone contributes to providing a safe and nurturing environment; we treat each other with consistency, predictability, and respect.

At the very foundation of a social model program is the environment that is created to support each participant. Change may best occur when participants feel nurtured in a safe, stable, and enriched setting. This environment is predicated on communicating with one another in an open, honest, and clear manner.


2. Everyone is expected to role model healthy behaviors.

We are all examples to others; our actions influence those around us. We role model healthy behaviors through encouraging positive self-esteem and understanding appropriate boundaries. We strive to conduct ourselves in a responsible manner that demonstrates growth and change.


3. Each person is treated with dignity and respect.

We are able to respect and appreciate the individual's uniqueness. It is our differences that make our communities strong. Members within our communities are acknowledged as each individual potentially offers a positive contribution.


4. Everyone advocates for individual growth and community change.

Advocacy is the process of learning more about oneself and the communities that surround us while promoting mutual change. As we learn more about our relationship with the communities we serve, we are better able to contribute to growth and change.


5. Everyone's life experience is valued.

Staff and participants contribute by bringing their strengths and weaknesses into their interactions with one another. Although some have many years of education, some have not finished the ninth grade, some come from wealth, and some come from homeless shelters, education and life experiences are equally valued. We think as individuals and succeed collectively. We see the individual as an integral part of our social system. Social model is the unique interaction of individuals and their experiences.


6. Self-disclosure, when appropriate, is beneficial.

Self-disclosure may play an important role in developing trust or understanding and instilling hope. Trust is the stepping stone that allows an individual to contemplate making changes. Self disclosure can establish and maintain an empathic relationship that gives the participant the sense of being understood. Staff must exercise discretion when contemplating self-disclosure. Appropriateness is best tested if all three of the following questions are answered as "yes":

  1. Is the intent of the self-disclosure to enable positive change in others?
  2. Will it create an environment that fosters trust and hope for the participant?
  3. Are the appropriate professional boundaries being maintained?

7. The primary relationship is between the participant and the program community rather than with an individual staff member.

In our social model settings, the emphasis of recovery is based upon the relationship between the participant and his or her environment (including other participants and staff as a whole) whereas in a medical model of treatment, the emphasis of treatment is based upon the partnership of the patient and his or her doctor.  It is the collective and integrated team of employees and participants more than one individual member which creates the ideal social model environment. It is the healing created by everyone's accumulated knowledge, collective experiences, and cohesiveness that make the social model process work. Although individual interactions between single staff and participants are supportive, it is the group interactions which prove to be of greater benefit.


8. We seek to understand and accept our own limitations.

We remain open to the views, truths, and experiences of others; it is humility which allows us to listen to what they can offer. When we concede that we do not have the answer to every question, trust can begin when we seek out others who may provide additional insight.


9. Our responsibility is to provide an environment in which participants discover their personal choices; we believe that only the participants have the ability to choose to recover.

We create an environment which promotes trust, advocates change, and allows individuals to develop hope. The power of recovery lies within each participant. We provide the tools (i.e., strategies, shared experiences) to the participants so that they are able to discover their personal choices.


10. We offer resources for the individual and communities to develop and implement change.

We share information between individuals and communities. We challenge systemic conditions and social disparities which threaten a healthy environment. We encourage and facilitate the on-going collective effort of a dynamic staff, willing participants, and the community.


11. We seek to create meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with the community.

We pursue opportunities that develop helpful and healthy relationships with communities and individuals. Relationships of support, assistance, and encouragement within the community create partnerships that benefit each person and the community as a whole.


12. Recovery is an individual choice and an ongoing process; it is demonstrated, measured, and strengthened by community involvement.

Recovery requires a change in lifestyle; the rate of change for each individual and community varies. Community involvement may include family, peers, neighbors, or any other group.