The Change Companies

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A Summary of "A Response of Beneficiaries to My New Life"

In search of a permanent support tool that would serve program participants (beneficiaries) admitted to their adult rehabilitation programs, The Salvation Army collaborated with The Change Companies® to customize a series of Interactive Journals that would assist beneficiaries with physical, mental and spiritual rehabilitation. These Interactive Journals would not only address specific program needs and the needs of the individuals, but would center around the Christian values and spirituality of The Salvation Army. Key findings are described below.

A total of 257 beneficiary surveys were collected from 19 centers from the Eastern USA Territory of The Salvation Army. This survey gathered information regarding the feelings and attitudes of the beneficiaries' journaling experiences.

Ninety-two percent of beneficiaries described the Journal as worthwhile and helpful in their rehabilitation while less than 10% of respondents found the Journal difficult to understand. The majority of comments described how the Journal helped the end users learn more about themselves.

"This journal has helped me look at myself and to look at both my faults and my good points. It has helped me to see what needs to be changed and some worthwhile things about myself."

"Thank you for helping me find myself."

Over 75% of respondents reported that the Journal helps them to share what they think and feel with others.

"I feel as though it's like having my own personal counselor."

"Brother alcoholic, please read this Journal. I can't begin to tell you how it has affected my life. If you really take this information seriously, I promise you, you will change. If you could see me now, my life has changed so much since I saw you last. I believe that this material gave me insight."

Interactive Journaling® provides beneficiaries not only with alcohol and drug education, but also involves an experiential writing process that guides the user toward lasting behavior change. Sixty-four percent reported that they learned the most from the pages that asked them questions.

"It's everything you want to know about staying off drugs."

"I have a Journal that digs into my addiction and the reality of how horrible things were for me. Through the years I blocked a lot of pain, hurt and anguish out, but working on this Journal, it reminds me of how things really were. I do my best to be honest when writing or answering questions even though sometimes it brings tears to my eyes."

Finally, Interactive Journaling® is used by The Salvation Army as an engagement and change-based tool for beneficiaries during their program and as a continuing care resource as they transition into independence in the community. Beneficiaries found the Journal to be a key resource that guided their efforts toward lasting behavior change throughout their time in the Adult Rehabilitation Center.

Responses from the survey show that three out of four beneficiaries plan to continue using their Journals after leaving the Adult Rehabilitation Center.

"It gives me a chance to look at myself and see how I've grown in my recovery."

"I'll keep it forever."