CareForward Health

CareForward Health Review

I am writing to give you feedback on my experience at your program. (How I got to your program I am not sure, because I was originally emailed I would be treated at a program in Hemet, CA.) My first impression was this program is a cluster you know what, and congratulations the program stayed consistent in fulfilling my impression. There was chaos on a daily basis. It was hard for anyone to gain actual insight on their disease due to all the commotion and the constant adding then subtracting members to our group daily. It felt like I spent more time introducing myself and my disease to random people then actually gaining insight on my triggers, feelings and coping skills. I quickly learned this was a 12 step program which I tried to embrace, but did not fully understand or find helpful. I was told I needed to find a random sponsor at an AA meeting to guide me in my 12 steps. I refused, I have no idea who these people are, their background, criminal history, psyche or stability to trust them. If there would have been a list of sponsors who actually had background checks I would have no problem with this practice. To me this is very unsafe and disturbing! I am an intelligent, successful, educated woman with a great family and support system who somewhere along the way lost who I was as a person to drinking, and was ready to get the help I needed to improve my life as well as my family’s. My expectation for this program was to help me gain insight on my depression, understand my disease, be able to recognize my triggers and to learn the coping skills I need to live a sober lifestyle. I have to say I truly do not believe this was met and this program was a huge disappointment for me. | I believe I was to meet with my therapist once a week for 45-50 minutes to discuss issues in my life, depression and my addiction to alcohol, this did not happen. The first 2 weeks I met with my therapist Shabana it was for 15 minutes each. There were no real in-depth conversations. I was asked about random things, how I was feeling, if my meds were working, any issues with group and that was about it. The 3rd week I didn’t meet with her at all because of all the chaos of the group who transferred in from Lake Arrowhead. Makes you feel important right. My last week I met with her for about 20-25 minutes to talk about going home, A.A. and why I didn’t feel it wasn’t for me and a lot of other filler that seemed like an over a coffee break conversation. So lets just say therapy was really lacking in the clarity I was looking for. I also had 2 classes where there was NO instructor present in the room. | The food that was severed was sad to say the least, and many clients complained. I would send my husband pictures of random sandwiches I would get daily with 2 pieces of meat, lettuce and cheese on a hoagie bun and that was it. Now and then there would be a random side of chips, but usually not enough for everyone. Then after the complaining started you would receive a wrap from Trader Joes or a salad I believe I was served salad daily for a week, 3 times pizza was ordered from Pizza Hut pizza. We were however taken out to a restaurant twice when half of us were shipped to a different facility while the audit went on. I felt really bad for the vegetarians who sometimes went without or received food at the end of the day because the staff forgot to get something vegetarian. Towards the end there were granola bars and a few bunches of bananas in the morning, which was nice. I would bring a power bar each day just so I would have something I liked to eat to get me through the long day. | Let’s talk about that audit situation. You sent half of us to a building which was to be an out treatment program that wasn’t open for business yet, clear out of the way so CareForward wouldn’t look so chaotic, how do I know one of the counselors slipped up and told me. Which meant for some of us it was an extra hour there (which means missing our first class), an extra hour waiting for a ride back, and 2.5 hours in a van to get back to our living quarters due to the traffic in L.A. That sucked. Due to the extra time it took for us to get there we would miss the first class in the morning. Then on the second day we had to wait for Corrie Sloan (Executive Director) to have a melt down on us because the people in the building were unhappy with us sitting outside smoking. Let’s be clear it was not our choice to go there, everyone smokes and the melt down was totally ridiculous! Take some responsibility for the situation, it was in your best interest to not have all of us at the other building that’s why you moved us. Crying and trying to shame clients is NOT what should have happened! Oh and those who did stay there got wraps again from Trader Joes, some of which were expired. | The “Process Group”, was not really processing, it was a hot mess of people expressing emotions, some of which were provoked by those holding the class. Numerous times I felt uncomfortable by watching those in charge pushing buttons of clients. I even expressed this during a process group. I also do not feel it is appropriate from those instructing the class to question the motives of those coming for help if they do not agree with a comment/philosophy expressed by the instructor. It seemed like a defensive almost an attacking response, which conveyed the message, “Don’t question me!” I watched a grown elderly man express his lack of contact with the Psych Dr. and needed help because he would have trouble staying awake in class due to the meds prescribed to him keeping him up all night. He never got that problem resolved while I was there for 4 weeks. He also complained that he didn’t get along with his counselor and had asked/begged to switch with various people including Darin Bennet the Clinical Director, who did nothing about the situation and told him to go back to his counselor and talk to him. That is unbelievable and heart breaking, because he was really making an effort for sobriety. There were also 2 counselors who left in the 4 weeks I was there 1 of which had just started and was awesome. | I would like to give props to my counselor Cassie who I felt did care about me and would make time for me if I had a question or just needed to talk. Cassie’s groups were lead with professionalism, caring, and very heartfelt tendencies. She knew how to lead a conversation away from the negative and find the positive in situations. I would also like to acknowledge Christopher who was an awesome instructor and had great questions and insight for our groups. He is a gem! His positive attitude was contagious and he always had great insight to make you really think about the hard stuff and let it go. He has a lot of energy but is very calming at the same time! “The New Guy,” Roberto is fantastic, he cares for his clients, truly!!!!!!! He was not happy with the way we were being treated and went to bat for us with the upper management. His groups were good and he always kept a positive tone. To these 3 individuals I would like to say Thank you, because they kept me there even though I wanted to leave from day 1. However I do feel if you only have 1 or 2 of the 4 classes a day actually gaining insight is a disservice to your clients and very unprofessional, it wasted the other clients and my time. You even allowed staff from Lake Arrow head for a week lead classes who were scattered and had no idea how to redirect the conversation when they got off track.

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