News & Events

What happens at Odyssey House by Sharon Mestern

7 Aug 2015

What happens at Odyssey House

By Sharon Mestern.

The people who access our services often share a common group of symptoms. They are often from childhood trauma and trauma experienced prior to drug and alcohol abuse. There is often additional trauma during the drug and alcohol use. The trauma can be physical injuries such as acquired brain damage, broken bones, and acquired diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, nerve, artery, heart, liver or kidney disease that is directly related to the addiction. Odyssey House participants often have high psychological rates of distress that may include severe depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders,  psychosis.

The social implications are also enormous. People who need our service often have anger issues, have poor life and work skills, and cannot participate in normal day to day activities. However, there are others that are highly educated and need assistance in learning resilience

The interventions are multifactorial. They include trauma counselling, peer driven group work, specialist mental health education and interventions, vocational guidance and development, occupation skills development and training, and attention to the complex health issues.

The therapy component of the program is intensive. Members of staff are a mix of graduates who have obtained further vocational education, and staff that have a profession such as psychology, social work, or teaching. This blend of staff skills has proven to be effective. The participants within the services provided by Odyssey House receive assistance from a variety of theoretical frameworks, backed up by the lived experience of graduate staff. What sets odyssey House apart from other services is that staff work alongside the participants in any of the services. We do not service our clients, but nurture, teach, and support through a mastery model promoting resilience, self esteem and self determination. All of the rights and responsibilities, rules and regulations, and values that shape the boundaries of everyday life for our participants, also shapes the lives of members of staff. There remains a strong focus on learning and personal growth that is a shared experience amongst the participants and staff making Odyssey House unique.