By Scott Kiloby
The approach at the Kiloby Center involves not only private and group sessions, but also ongoing skills training which provides tools for people to use throughout the day, all day, to help them live in the present moment in an accepting, self-loving way. This skills training is an essential part of the program.
Our culture tends to focus on counseling or therapy as a means to “fix” people, rather than to train them to be more mindful and present throughout the day. This “fixing” mentality, which relies on a therapist or counselor to “fix” a client is less than desirable when treating conditions like addiction, anxiety and depression. To be fair, not all counselors, therapists and clients prescribe to this model. However, the “fix me” approach is still deeply engrained in our culture, due to our focus on one time fixes like diets, pills and medical treatments that promise to alleviate long-held mental, emotional and physical issues in one fell swoop but fail to deliver in the long term. The key to a truly transformed life is to provide clients with tools that continue to help them throughout the day, all day – long after they leave our program.
As a result of this pervasive “fix me” mentality, many who come to the Center are under the mistaken presumption that our work ‘in private and group sessions is designed to fix them, relieving them of the responsibility to be present with their experience in between sessions and once they leave the center. We find this counseling or therapy model to be wholly inadequate to meet the complicated suffering that is involved with addiction, anxiety and depression.
What we do at the Center with regard to skills training is train people to be present in the moment always. Our private and group sessions often go very deep, unearthing and penetrating through long-held self-limiting beliefs, addictions, anxieties and troubling thoughts and emotions. Certainly, the group and private sessions are critical to our work at the Center. But the skills training is where the rubber meets the road.
What happens between sessions while clients are on break, at lunch or sleeping in the residential facilities is equally as important as the private and group sessions. Training clients to perceive their experience in a mindful, loving and accepting way during this off time helps them continue that practice once they leave the program. Skills training involves daily support helping people rest in the present moment, use tools that help them take the charge out of painful thoughts and emotions, as well as many forms of important body work that clients learn to do on their own. The body work helps them get more in touch with and release the emotions and sensations that drive self-destructive behaviors. This kind of training takes the focus off of “please fix me” and places the responsibility back on the client to implement these tools throughout the day, regardless of where they are or what is happening in their lives. We have seen this approach truly transform peoples’ lives. We have seen it work so well that skills training has become central to our philosophy at the Center.
To quote Lisa Meuser, a Senior Facilitator of Scott Kiloby’s work who helps run the Aftercare meetings for clients at the Center:
“Research shows that it can take between 21 and 66 days to learn new habits or behaviors, which makes sense because neural pathways become stronger the more they are used. Therefore, if I want to change an aspect of my life, I need to not only learn new information, but also actually engage in the corresponding new behaviors, repeatedly.”
New behaviors are started from the moment a client enters our program. And the daily skills training over a long period of time has been shown to help new habits and behaviors to form and continue long after the program ends.
When you place the skills training within the context of deeply transformative private and group sessions as well as body movement (Yoga, Aperioga) and deep somatic work that we do at the Center, it is a profound recipe. It doesn’t fix you. It shows you that you are not broken. It shows you a new way to perceive your thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, relationships and even the world itself. If you are considering participating in our program, make sure you are ready to dive in this deeply The reason our program works is because of the intensity of it, including the ongoing daily support with skills training. At the Center, we don’t want to simply provide you with a 30 to 90 day program which involves a short term fix. We want to provide you with simple, doable tools that continue transforming you for the rest of your life.