Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions – Shorewood House
When selecting a treatment program for you or your loved one, it’s important to vet through all aspects of the program to determine if it’s the right fit. Below, you’ll find our frequently asked questions. If you have a question we don’t answer on this page, please call us at (414) 977-5890 to speak directly with a member of our team.
The Philosophy of Shorewood House
While recovery is never easy, it is possible. At Shorewood House, you should expect a client-centered approach. What that means is, we won’t lecture you on what your goals should be. We will collaborate with you to determine what you want to accomplish and, together, we will build a plan to help you accomplish those goals. That plan will almost certainly include individual therapy and a mix of group therapies.
You should expect a set of rules and guidelines designed to help you and to help the whole house function well.
Finally, you should expect that this will be hard work – you may find you will experience emotions you’ve held at bay for a long time. But you should also expect that you won’t be alone in this. We’ve helped many thousands of women over the last 50 years. We hope to be able to help you too.
Shorewood House is run by Meta House, and Meta House has been offering exclusively women’s treatment since 1963. In our 50+ years of helping women get well, our outcomes have consistently outpaced national averages in helping women recover. In most years, between 70% and 80% of our clients who have completed our program have been able to achieve and maintain their sobriety with our help. While we unfortunately cannot promise success for you, we can promise we’ll be doing everything we can to help you become part of that very successful group of alumni.
Research continues to support our experience that women tend to do better in treatment when they are engaged in gender-specific treatment. When we say gender-specific treatment, we mean two main things.
First, only women will be receiving treatment at Shorewood House. Our experience and numerous studies have shown that women perceive female-only groups as more beneficial than mixed-gender groups because they provide women more freedom to talk about difficult topics such as abuse and relationship issues and to focus on themselves rather than on the men in the group.
Second, we’ve designed Shorewood House the same way that we’ve designed treatment for women. To focus on strengths and support—not punishment or shame. Over the decades we’ve been privileged to work with thousands and thousands of women—to learn from them and to be inspired by them. We bring this knowledge to this new program.
First things first: please don’t blame yourself. Although every year we see clients who succeed with us their first time in treatment, we also know clients who have been to treatment 2 or 4 or 10 times before they are able to get well.
We do think there are some things about our program which may be different than other treatment programs you may have experienced.
First, we are a women-only program. Both research and our own 50 years of experience have shown us how important this can be for women early in recovery.
Second, unlike some programs, we don’t pretend that one size fits all. We can’t build a treatment plan until we meet you and know what your goals are. Once we’ve learned what you want to accomplish, we’ll work with you to build a plan that meets your needs. While we won’t promise you’ll love everything we suggest, we can say we won’t waste your time in activities that aren’t meaningful to your recovery.
Shorewood House does not have a single “28-day” or “30-day” program that it offers for clients. Instead, we’ll be building an individualized program designed to meet your own recovery goals. That said, we do ask clients to commit to a minimum of 30 days with us. Many clients will be able to accomplish a lot in 30 days. We know other clients will feel more comfortable with 45, or 60, or 71 days in treatment. We’ll work with you to find the right length of stay that works for you.
No. We know the 12 steps can be helpful for many in their recovery, but we also know it doesn’t work for everyone. We’ll be working with you to build a treatment plan and a long-term plan that works best for you.
Residential treatment means that you live with us for a time period while receiving your treatment onsite. Our experience is that residential treatment can be a vital part of the recovery process for women who have not been able to achieve their goals in an outpatient program or women whose lives feel so out of control that they want the safety and support of residential program.
Our medical director is responsible for all the clients at Shorewood House—so up to eight women. Of the two counselors who work at Shorewood House, each will be responsible for no more than four women each.
Our program is headed by our medical director who is a licensed psychiatrist and also certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine—meaning she’s had specialized training in addiction and its effects on the women she sees. Our counseling team is also made up of masters-level counselors who have reached the highest level of credentialing in their field—either as a Licensed Professional Counselor (“LPC”) or as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (“LCSW”). Our counselors also have Wisconsin’s highest credential for substance abuse counseling, called a CSAC (certified substance abuse counselor). On occasion, we have masters-level students interning with our counselors, but we never assign a student as a primary counselor for clients at Shorewood House. Finally, we always have other caring staff on-site. In addition to state-required training, these staff receive on-going training in issues like trauma, women’s health and helping women recover.
We know for many clients, residential treatment is a necessary first step to a healthy recovery, but many clients benefit from continued treatment when they are ready to leave Shorewood House. We’ll work with you, your family (if appropriate), and any licensed professional with whom you’d like to continue to work to ensure a smooth transition. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we’ll work with you to find one.
Your life at Shorewood House
Yes. Warm, supportive staff members are on-site at Shorewood House at all times.
Shorewood is a small village next to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Shorewood has retained the beautiful trees and buildings of an old suburb, but has filled in with lovely small businesses and a diverse mix of community-minded professionals, students, families, singles, and senior residents. Shorewood maintains a helpful website that describes the village at shorewoodtoday.com. You can see our building on Google Maps and see pictures of our building on this website.
We know that a strong support system is an enormous benefit to women who want to stay healthy for the long-term. Because of this, we encourage clients to consider authorizing us to speak with the most important people in their lives about their recovery. Ultimately, this is each client’s decision to make, and we will communicate or not consistent with her wishes.
Visits with family, friends, and your children (if you’re a mom) are more than welcome. We know your family and loved ones can be a very important piece of you staying well for the long-term. You and your counselor will collaborate on when these visits work well—most often, this will be on the weekends when you will have more room in your schedule.
Unlike our main campus, Shorewood House does not currently allow children to move into the program with their moms. If this is a barrier to you being able to access treatment, please contact us to discuss potentially receiving treatment on our main campus. You can learn more by calling 414-962-1200 or visiting metahouse.org for more information.
We encourage you to get and stay connected outside of Shorewood House, because we know that a healthy support network can be a huge help for women healing and staying healthy long-term. We find it can be helpful to most clients to limit external appointments when first arriving at Shorewood House, but this is something you and your counselor can decide together.
On a typical weekday, you’ll experience a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, an experiential therapy (like art therapy, or yoga, or something else designed to meet your needs) along with some quiet reflection or meditation time built in to help you process everything you’re experiencing. We ask clients to dine together and to wake and retire at set times during the week. The weekends provide a little more downtime, but still in our safe structure. See a typical week’s schedule here.
You as our client are the center of the team. In addition to our psychiatrist and counselors, we will include anyone you identify as healthy and important to you on the team to the degree that makes sense for you and that you’re comfortable with.
We want to work with the families of our clients (however she defines family) because we know that families can be very important to the recovery process. We will provide some support to all families (unless our client directs otherwise) including education about the disease of addiction. For families who would benefit from a more intensive family program, we will help refer you to the right resource for your family.
At first, it may feel like you’ll have a lot of rules during your time at Shorewood House. That’s not an accident. We’ve learned that virtually all of our clients benefit from a healthy environment with a relatively strong and consistent structure. But we’re not setting rules just to set them. Our goal is your long-term recovery. You can access our specific rules by clicking here. Please let us know if you have any questions.
We know some clients benefit from a shared bedroom and for other clients a single room is best. We’ll work with you to come up with a plan that works best for you and that also works for our space.
We see healthy nutrition and eating habits as integral to the recovery process. All of the food we provide at Shorewood House is designed to help you build or maintain a healthy lifestyle. While we know an occasional treat works in a balanced diet, most of what you’ll enjoy at Shorewood House will be non-processed, healthy options. We’d be happy to work with you to accommodate any dietary restrictions.
Shorewood House is a non-smoking program. We likewise discourage caffeine and high-sugar foods.
We encourage our clients to treat tobacco like any addictive substance and to build into a treatment plan a goal of eliminating (or at least reducing) tobacco use. We know this is difficult, but research is disproving the old adage that women in recovery should “get a break” and be allowed to smoke. Research instead is demonstrating that clients who successfully quit smoking while in treatment see significant increases in their odds of long-term success in recovery.
Similarly, we don’t serve caffeinated, highly processed, or high sugar foods or beverages at Shorewood House because of their potential for cross-addiction.
Yes. We know exercise and being healthy overall can help you attain and maintain a long-term recovery. We’ll have opportunities for exercise built into your schedule throughout the week.
Please plan to bring with you no more than two-weeks of clothing (we have laundry facilities) and any personal toiletries or care items that are important. Please include clothes you can comfortably exercise in and, if you’d like to swim as part of your exercise/quiet reflection time, a swimsuit.
Please do not bring with you a large amount of cash, credit cards, or other valuable items.
Yes. You and your counselor will work out the time during the day you will be able to use your personal device.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept pets at Shorewood House. However, in compliance with state and federal laws, we will welcome any appropriately registered service animal.
Am I eligible for Shorewood House?
Shorewood House treats women who are suffering the effects of drug and alcohol addiction and who want to get well. You must be at least 18 and ambulatory for this program. Shorewood House is not a medical-detox facility, so depending on your medical needs, you may need to go to a detox facility prior to admission. If you call us, we can help you determine if that’s necessary in your case.
Many (though not all) women who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction have also lived through some awful things. Many of the clients we’ve worked with have survived childhood sexual or physical abuse, similarly violent events as adults, or have witnessed violence against others. For some women, experiencing events like these can contribute to their substance abuse problems. We have decades of experience building a trauma-informed program to help you heal.
Yes. The Shorewood House program is a dual-certification program, meaning we can help clients who have both a substance use disorder and a separate mental health need. We’re experienced at working through how the two issues are impacting each other and how to help you build a treatment plan that addresses all of your needs.
At Shorewood House, we believe that medication-assisted treatment can play a vital role in helping some clients get well. While every client is different, the appropriate use of methadone, Suboxone, Subutex, Vivitrol, or many other drugs will never prevent a client from receiving treatment at Shorewood House.
Yes. Under the supervision of our staff, we’ll encourage you to take any approved medications. As part of that approval process, our medical director will conduct a review of any prescription medications you are taking to make sure we’ve got a good plan for you and your needs.
Yes. In many circumstances we’ll gladly accept pregnant women into Shorewood House. In our decades of working with expectant moms, we’ve seen how important treatment can be to helping you deliver a healthy baby and take the right steps for your own health. Please contact us to talk about your circumstances—if we can meet your needs, we’ll be so glad to welcome you.
Yes. The cornerstone of our philosophy is respect for each individual who we serve. We know no two people are alike and that our differences can be some of our greatest strengths. We pride ourselves on being a woman’s program, but we know gender isn’t binary. If you identify as a woman, we believe our program will be a good fit for you.
We’ll be happy to talk with you about your individual circumstances, but generally we recommend not working while you’re in residential treatment, especially in your first weeks with us. We’re going to be working with you to accomplish a lot, and the hours that you are away at work can make it harder to accomplish those goals. As for school, we’d be happy to work with you to talk with your school about options to get well now and still keep you on track with your educational goals
Shorewood House is not a faith-based program, but we value and respect the belief systems of all that we serve. We know that spirituality or organized religion can be a vital part of recovery for some women, and for these women we’ll work collaboratively with you to incorporate those elements into your treatment plan. For women who do not consider religion, faith, or spirituality as important to them, we will likewise honor and respect your beliefs and build your treatment plan with you accordingly.
Getting Started at Shorewood House
We generally try to admit clients Monday-Thursday and before 11:00 a.m. We find this tends to lead to the smoothest experience for new clients and for us. But we also know that special circumstances come up, and we will do our best to meet your needs. Finally, how soon we can admit you also depends on how many clients are currently with us. Please call and we’ll be able to let you know the first possible admission appointment.
Before your first day at Shorewood House, you’ll talk with a member of our staff so we can get a brief history of your use and help you determine whether you would benefit from a medical detox before your admission at Shorewood House. We’ll likewise ask you to visit a physician for a physical that confirms you are free of tuberculosis (“TB”) or other communicable diseases. We’ll also discuss with you signing releases to permit us to speak with your primary care doctor, or your psychiatrist or therapist (if you have one). Finally, we’ll need to make payment arrangements and to have you sign our admission agreement.
Paying for treatment at Shorewood House
We are in-network for individuals insured by Trilogy and UBH. We can also help talk to your insurer about out-of-network benefits if you are insured elsewhere. It can be helpful to have your insurance card handy when you call us. Your insurer may also require us to have a signed release of information to talk with them. Sign a release here.
Yes. While we are not able to offer any discounts for the first 30 days at Shorewood House, we offer significant discounts for clients who want to access residential treatment on our main campus. Depending on your financial circumstances, treatment on our main campus may cost 30%-50% less than the cost of Shorewood House. You may even qualify for treatment without any out-of-pocket cost. Please call 414-962-1200 or visit metahouse.org for more information.