Name of Innovative Program:
Wellness Education, Recreational Therapy, and Restorative Practices in Behavioral Health Recovery
Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC
Name of Innovative Program Lead:
Tracey A. Smith, M.Ed. CTRS
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead:
Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC is committed to promoting recovery in emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing, empowering participants to make desired behavioral lifestyle changes. Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC vision is to assist participants to increase their awareness of healing strategies and techniques for different levels of burden through workshops, trainings and individual transformation sessions. The primary components of this work are Wellness Education, Recreational Therapy and Restorative Practices.
- Recreational Therapy uses recreational activities to tap in to the “Playful Spirit” and enhance participants’ healthy lifestyle and manage personal challenges. It is a non- threatening, non- invasive means to address behavior health challenges.
- Wellness Education introduces participants to a holistic approach to self-care. It addresses the mind, body, and spirit, giving opportunity to balance work, home, relationships and play.
- Restorative Practice is a collaborative, nonviolent form of communication that promotes conflict transformation. Participants develop a basic skill that reduces miscommunication and creates the opportunity for constructive change.
Creativity and Innovation:
Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC was born out of the need to integrate strength based programing into the behavioral health recovery process. As a Recreational Therapist I have extensive experience on inpatient and residential behavioral health units. In that setting there was an observable imbalance in the medical model treating ‘patients’ as their illness and not the ‘person with particular symptoms. The Wellness/Recovery model is the prevailing behavioral health approach in the country. Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC utilized this approach prior to the current movement and continues to use innovative approaches that are not available in the mainstream. Our implementation of wellness recovery principles infuses Recreational Therapy, Wellness Education and Restorative Practices to provide a holistic experience for participant personal growth. The creative experiential workshops engage even the most resistant participant using these functional approaches. These services have been provided for municipal, state, profit, non-profit and healthcare agencies. http://www.wellnesswrksllc.com
I have held leadership and administrative positions in behavioral health for over 20 years, functioning as Director of Therapeutic Programs, Acting Director of Rehabilitation, Director of Partial Hospitalization Program and Adjunctive Therapy Coordinator. My focus has been program development and implementation from the proposal phase to fully operational programs, hospital system wide merger of behavioral health services. As the owner of Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC, I provide services for a variety of populations. I have grown from being the sole proprietor to training other professionals, and hiring consultants/practitioners to expand the scope of services. My role in the leadership of this project is to continue expand the scope of services, broaden the client base and train other professionals in this model. My personal resilience and creativity support my ability to function as a leader and enable me to customize activities to meet the changing needs of participants, and society at large.
Wellness Works was founded in 2002. Since that time I have grown to Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC. Participants in the programs, in a sense become ‘Wellness Ambassadors’ as they share the benefits of their participation with their families and communities. For seven years I have provided Wellness Education and Recreational Therapy for OAS Core Services. Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC has received funding from agencies such as; The Office of Addiction Services, The Health Federation, the Phila. Anti Drug & Violence Network, Shoemaker Fund, E.M.I.R., Elizabeth Bogart Fund to name a few. Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC is community based. Participants are encouraged to practice techniques and principles to heal self, families and the community. An example of this is the Quakers Peace Leadership Institute students from Germantown High School, after experiencing the leadership workshops were then equipped to participate in wellness and peace community events.
We have developed a curriculum for participants in schools, addiction recovery residences, inpatient and outpatient programs. The curriculum has nine therapeutic modules that are culturally and trauma sensitive, promoting an atmosphere “safe place” where participants can explore their own issues of healthy living. The modules address depression, stress/anger management, self –esteem, lack of self-care, trauma, life skills, sexual health, and other recovery/behavioral health issues using modalities including, but not limited to social activities, character development, conflict transformation, empowerment assertiveness training, violence prevention, aroma therapy, Reiki, Tai Chi, Yoga, physical fitness, relaxation therapy, poetry, music, journaling goal setting, decision making, anger/stress reduction activities, spiritual growth and creative/emotional Intelligence. We are in the process of developing a professional staff training manual, (Wellness in the Workplace) and participant workbook for this curriculum.
Wellness W.R.K.S. LLC workshops promote the process and progress of healing. The workshops are experiential, interactive and project based. The combination of Wellness Education, Recreational Therapy and Restorative Practices and principles has assisted with participants increased resiliency, improved healthy lifestyles, development of positive life skills, and increased practice of peaceful behavior. Individual and group effectiveness is rated through assessments/self-inventory and standardized measurements. Participants have reported an increase in desired out comes. Here is what some participants have stated. “Since your workshops I am able to manage my anger better” The 40 Developmental Assets helped me feel better about myself” After Wellness in the Workplace professional development using the Wellness Self-Inventory staff reported “I am going to start taking care of myself”. Wellness W.R.K.S LLC –Wellbeing. Recreation. Knowledge. Spirituality, is an adjunct to providing clinical outcomes based on participant driven goals and objectives.