How we help Your First Day Your First Day at The Living Room Welcome. It may not feel like it at the moment, but you really can get abstinence recovery from addiction. Whatever you are addicted to, or however powerless you feel, we know recovery is possible. We have supported over 3000 people who have entered The Living Room services with a range of addictions including alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, destructive and obsessive relationships, hoarding, obsessive compulsive disorder, over-spending and running-up debts, over-eating, under-eating, self-harming and excessive internet use such as gaming and porn. If you can identify with any of these, then book an appointment to see if we can help you. Our daytime services are free. “Quite simply The Living Room saves lives on a daily basis. And not only that, but it returns seemingly hopeless cases to society, who then go on to give back.”– Graduate of The Living Room First Visit At your first visit we need to get to know you and understand the problems you are facing. You will have an initial assessment with an experienced counsellor which will last up to an hour. This will take place at 9:15am in Stevenage or 9:30am in St Albans and Watford. Once you have been assessed, you will be invited to attend your first group session on the same day. You will then be asked to attend The Living Room for five days a week (4 in Watford), as recovery is a full time job. What is an initial assessment? Read more The counsellor will complete our paperwork with you, hear your story and make sure that we are the right service for you, noting what support you have received in the past and what position you are in now. Having this initial discussion is vital, to work out how best we can support you. If another service would be more suitable, at this time in your recovery, we will signpost you to another service, with your agreement. Our expert counsellors have lived experience of addiction, and so understand what it is means to struggle with obsessions, anxieties, compulsive behaviours and feelings that you may be experiencing as a result of your addiction. Morning Group Therapy Session 10:30 – 12:00 Read more Our morning group therapy sessions explore the difficulties that people are facing during their recovery. Counsellors will facilitate the group to find solutions, to deal with issues arising. People in the group will be at various stages in their recovery and be reassured that everyone was newcomer, at one time. In the first few days you should not feel under any pressure to talk or contribute, but if you feel able to, you can. All the people in the group will introduce themselves and will be there to make you feel welcome. People will share their stories and help you realise that you are understood and will be accepted - you will know you are in the right place. Lunchtime 12:00 – 13:00 Read more Our morning group session runs from 10.30 to noon and then there is an hour set aside for lunch. Our centres are near to shops and eating places which is where some people will go whereas others will bring a packed lunch. Afternoon Session 13:00 – 14:30 Read more In the afternoon the issues raised in the morning will be explored to find solutions. We run facilitated workshops, show appropriate films and media, with the aim of equipping people with tools to use to cope. What Next? Your pattern of attendance will be planned together with your allocated keyworker, to gain the most from your recovery journey. If you have any questions, concerns or queries, speak with any counsellor or your keyworker. They are there to support your journey and know that the strength of the group will help you to do that. "The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection." Johann Hari I hope that has given you a clearer idea of what to expect on your first day so that you feel empowered to take those first steps to achieving long term abstinence and recovery, from what has caused turmoil in your life. My team and I look forward to helping you with your journey. Adrienne Chief Executive If you are unable to access one of our centres, there may be other services in your area that offer support to you, including 12-Step Fellowship groups: (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon Family Groups, Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), etc). Try to keep an open mind and lean on the support of others who have achieved recovery themselves.