What the Research Says

90-Days to Change is a comprehensive, Total Life Approach to treating a variety of issues, offered by The Change Group, Central Virginia’s most cutting-edge counseling practice.  Rather than offer an exclusive focus on psychological interventions, it seeks to impact functioning across multiple spheres, including Biological, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual.  Interventions in each sphere include (but are not limited to):

  • Biological: Nutritional Awareness and Diet Coaching, Exercise Training, Yoga
  • Psychological: Individual and Group Therapy
  • Social: Group Therapy, Vocational Coaching, Social Cue Coaching, Characterological Development
  • Spiritual: Yoga, Meditation/Mindfulness, Virtue Coaching, Child/Family-Specific Religious Support

Here are some things we think you should know…

Models that integrate various spheres of functioning such as 90-Days to Change dominate the current treatment research, particularly as it regards addiction or substance abuse (DiClemente, 2003) (e.g., Griffiths, 2004).

In particular, adolescent addiction help should be of sufficient intensity and duration to achieve maximum changes of attitude as well as behavior, and target to multiple domains of their lives.  (Bukstein, 1994; Sanjuan & Langenbucher, 1999)

Treatment should address:

  • Recreational activities (biological) (Bukstein, 1994)
  • Co-existing psychiatric disorders (psychological) (Bukstein, 1994)
  • Vocational/educational issues (social) (Bukstein, 1994)
  • Spiritually sensitive and actively integrated (spiritual) (Bukstein, 1994; Morgan, 1998; Ringwald, 2003; Bubnack, 2007)

Non-addiction based research also supports the idea of multimodal and/or integrative approaches, either explicitly or implicitly, particularly for at-risk populations.   For example:

  • Criterion used to evaluate child well-being consistently supports evaluating across multiple planes, such as physical health, psychological health, social health, educational achievement and cognitive development (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, 2003), and spiritual or religious involvement (Lippman, 2003).
  • The nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that studies children at all stages of development, ChildTrends, studied 31 comprehensive programs targeted at youth development during the critical transition from adolescence to adulthood.  A vast majority of the programs assessed that used skills training designed to improve educational attainment, employment, substance abuse, and delinquency were found effective in at least one outcome.  For those programs that intervene with adolescents age 16 or younger, positive impacts on at least one indicator of education or career success were seen.  For younger youth, positive impacts were seen in education attainment, school attendance, school engagement, college attendance, employment, earnings, and welfare dependence outcomes (ChildTrends, 2010).
  • Emotional intelligence and exercise are positively correlated (Tsaousis & Nikolaou, 2005).  Yet, adolescents’ propensity to exercise is impacted by their perceived levels of confidence in physical education itself.  I.e., In order to exercise, adolescents need coaching to increase their sense of competence (Shen, McCaughtry, and Martin, 2008).
  • Nearly half of the adolescents in America feel that religion is an important part of their daily lives (Smith & Denton, 2005).  Strong religious beliefs and behaviors can enhance personal health and well-being and reduce risk-taking behavior, and thus can potentially strengthen future family functioning for young adults (Hair, Moore, Kuhfeld, & Sidorowicz, 2009; Child Trends, 2002).

The above examples but scratch the surface of the available literature suggesting integrative approaches are most clinically appropriate.  Ironically, however, precious few programs are as completely integrative in nature as The Change Group’s 90-Days to Change.

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Bubnack, T. (2007).  Is there room for Spirit in the field of chemical dependency treatment?  Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 7(4), 127-132.

Bukstein, O. (1994). Treatment of adolescent alcohol abuse and dependence.  Alcohol Health and Research World, 18(4), 296-301.

Child Trends. (2002). Religious involvement and children’s well-being: What research tells us (and what it doesn’t). Washington, DC: Lisa J. Bridges and Kristin Anderson Moore.  Retrieved from http://www.childtrends.org

Child Trends. (2010). What works for older youth during the transition to adulthood. Washington, DC: Alena Hadley, Kassim Mbwana, and Elizabeth Hair.  Retrieved from http://www.childtrends.org

Davis, G., & Stevenson, H. (2006).  Racial socialization experiences and symptoms of depression among black youths.  Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15(3), 303-317.

DiClemente, C. (2003).  Addiction and change: How addictions develop and addicted people recover. New York: The Guilford Press.

Griffiths, M.D., & Larkin, M. (2004).  Conceptualizing addiction: The case for a “complex systems” account.  Addiction Research and Theory, 12(2), 99-102.

Hair, E., Moore, K., Kuhfeld, M., & Sidorowicz, K.  (2009). Parent and family religiosity during adolescence: The influence on risky behaviors during the transition to adulthood. Retrieved from http://www.childtrends.org

Lippman, L. (2003).  Spirituality, educational progress, and positive youth development: 1st International Congress on Education and Spirituality. Sao Paulo, Brazil: Childtrends.

Morgan, O. J. (1998).  Practical theology, alcohol abuse and alcoholism: Methodological and biblical considerations.  Journal of Ministry in Addiction & Recovery, 5(2), 33-64.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative.  (2003).  National Survey of Children’s Mental Health. Washington, DC.  Retrieved from http://www.nschdata.org

Ringwald, C.D. (2003). Spirituality: An evidence-based practice for treatment and recovery.  Counselor, the Magazine for Addicted Professionals, 4(3), 32-37.

Sanjuan, P.M., & Langenbucher, J.W. (1999). Age-limited populations: Youth, adolescents, and older adults.  In B.S. McCrady & E.E. Epstein (Eds.), Addictions: A comprehensive guidebook. (pp. 477-498). New York: Oxford University Press.

Shen, B., McCaughtry, N., & Martin, J. (2008). Urban adolescents’ exercise intentions and behaviors: An exploratory study of a trans-contextual model. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 33(4), 841-858. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2007.09.002

Smith, C., & Denton, M. L. (2005). Soul searching: The religious and spiritual lives of American teenagers. Oxford: Oxford Press.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (July 29, 2010). The DAWN report: Emergency department visits involving underage alcohol use: 2008. Rockville, MD.  Retrieved from http://www.oas.samhsa.gov

Tsaousis, I., & Nikolaou, I. (2005). Exploring the relationship of emotional intelligence with physical and psychological health functioning. Stress & Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress, 21(2), 77-86. doi:10.1002/smi.1042