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Verdun House on track to receive Accreditation

Posted by Pamala Proverbs on Aug 29, 2008 12:29:20 PM

Verdun House, a project of The Substance
Abuse Foundation Inc., is on track to attaining international accreditation for
its treatment programme from the European Association for the Treatment of
Addiction by early next year.  This is
thanks to direction from the drug rehabilitation charity Action on Addition out
of the United Kingdom (UK).

Two trainers from the UK based Action
on Addiction facility, Kirby Gregory,
Director of Client Services and Tim Leighton, Director-Centre for Addiction
Treatment Studies, were on the island recently for the second leg of staff
training towards Verdun House’s accreditation.

According to Gregory, his organisation’s
role is to offer treatment to clients battling with substance abuse, help
others who may be affected, such as family members, as well as to train persons
to become addiction counsellors.  Action
on Addiction comprises three residential treatment centres, three intensive day
programmes and programmes aimed at the entire family, including children.  The organisation also conducts a degree
programme in Addiction Counselling at the University in Bath, UK,
where students from all around the world benefit.

The two directors have been creating
developmental plans for the staff of Verdun House, which have included
interpersonal group therapy and motivational interviewing.  

“We find that Verdun already has a solid foundation and we
are simply trying to enhance it.   I am
very impressed with the Clinical Team and we hope that this training will give
the staff an opportunity to do further research and implement their own model
which is unique to their community,” said Leighton.

Gregory noted that accreditation gives
potential clients the confidence to entrust their well being to the institution
since it requires adherence to stringent rules and regulations and required
evidence of compliance with these. Clients could therefore be confident that
the staff are qualified and that they would receive the best possible

Gregory and Leighton said that Verdun has the potential
to become the model for drug rehabilitation in the entire region in the near
future.  They further remarked on the
impressive standard of basic education which most of Verdun’s clients possessed, as well as the
success stories that could be a source of inspiration for all clients.

“The men here in group therapy tend to
access their feelings more in comparison to those in Europe and America,” said
Leighton.  He also made mention of the
strong religious community within Barbados, which was evident at the
group therapy sessions.

Clinical Director at Verdun House, Jacqui
Lewis praised the two-man training team. 
She described the Motivational Interviewing training as a method which
allows for the different professional disciplines of the counselors to become a
cohesive method from which to work.

“The clinical team is thrilled and is
enjoying the training sessions. Everything being taught in these sessions is an
applicable method that gives us at Verdun House the opportunity and creativity to
develop treatment plans and approaches to better respond to clients’ individual
needs,” she said.

Lewis said she looked forward to further
training sessions with Action on Addiction which would assist Verdun House in
its preparation for accreditation.

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