MFI in the Field: Kari White

The Case Against Cookie Cutter Treatment Programs

Cookie Cutter Recovery TreatmentIf you stay in the same place doing exactly the same thing, you will eventually get bored. This is as true in detox and recovery programs as it is in everyday life. And it’s the rationale behind MFI field trips.

“When they’re cooped up, clients get antsy,” explains Kari White, the counselor who heads up excursions.“Going bowling or to the movies helps anyone unwind. And it shows them that they don’t have to drink or get high to have fun.”

An alumna of A Woman’s Place, Kari remembers the importance field trips played in her own recovery in 2014. Graduating from the program and eventually joining the Mt Rubidoux counseling staff, she was happy to apply for her Class B license. The designation put her in the driver’s seat for outside activities.


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“Most of our clients have never been to a barbecue, sporting event, or amusement park without taking a cooler of beer with them or using their drug of choice,” she explains.“Going out while they are sober shows them the possibility of an enjoyable, full life after they complete the program.”

A weekly hike up Mt Rubidoux is a field trip favorite.

“On Thursdays, we drive to the bottom of the hill and then hike for about 45 minutes. When we reach the peak, we stay at the foot of the cross for about an hour. Some of the guys pray. Others sing or meditate. Sometimes, we have coining out ceremonies while we’re up there. Then we head back down the hill.”Mt Rubidoux Hike MFI Riverside

The practice boosts physical and mental health.

“One of the things I appreciate about my work at MFI is that we treat people right where they are. We don’t offer cookie-cutter/one-size-fits-all treatment plans. And that’s important because everyone’s journey is unique,” Kari says, adding, “We provide lots of different types of field trips and counseling programs designed to appeal to different personalities, needs and interests.” Personal Recovery Journey Riverside

In fact, administrators don’t randomly assign counselors to clients, but carefully consider parings, based on each client’s history and preferences. For example, one client struggled to overcome his addiction after the death of his daughter. He was assigned to Kari because she lost two children herself 12 years ago. As painful as the memories are, she considers it a privilege to share her own experiences to encourage others. Some clients have landed on Kari’s assignment sheet because their Christian faith is paramount, like her own. In such cases, she often points to Celebrate Recovery programs, which meld faith with 12-Step philosophies.

Detox Treatment Center Counseling MFI Mt Rubidoux“Client care is my number one concern. I wouldn’t be in this field if I couldn’t put clients first,” says Kari. “12-Step programs stress that to keep something, we have to give it away. And, for me, working at MFI is the ultimate way to give back.”

About MFI Recovery

Throughout ten facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Model for each individual client, creating a personalized treatment program. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-step recovery program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy.

Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment.

About Mt Rubidoux recovery

Our treatment center provides services to people who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. Located in the shadow of Mt. Rubidoux in the City of Riverside, we provide structured and supportive addiction treatment in semi-private, comfortable apartment-style setting. Monitored by professional addiction specialists 24 hours a day, our modern apartments offer a haven for healing during the rehab process. Living and recovering in our Mt. Rubidoux residential treatment facility means becoming healthy again. Our clients receive intensive treatment and learn new, healthy strategies to sustain recovery. To find out more, call today 866-218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at 951-683-6596. 

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