Every Mother should be given Hope and Solutions to heal from Traumatic Experiences
A mother and a child’s bond starts from pregnancy to birth, to eternal life. Every moment spent together is very special and essential for the child’s growth and mental health. But what if the mother gets abused or addicted to a certain substance and becomes blind to everything else she sees? And the child gets affected and everything just falls down in its place?
One of the most challenging journeys in life is changing and recovering from a very traumatic experience such as abuse, homelessness, and especially primary substance use disorder. And if you are a mother who is also held captive by addiction and now wants to work on yourself for the sake of your child’s future and well-being, please continue reading. Jenn Unger, from The Center For Great Expectations, is here to provide you with professional help that you and your child need. Moreover, they have multiple programs designed to help mothers and their children to safely withdraw from substances and support them in meeting their recovery goals which will be briefly discussed in this feature.
What is CGE?
The Center For Great Expectations or CGE is a mission-driven organization located in Somerset, New Jersey. They started in 1998 in a two-bedroom house, with a single bathroom donated by Immaculate Conception Parish. At this present time, they have built two residential facilities with over a hundred employees and multiple programs available to treat the vulnerable population - one for adults and their children needing long-term treatment for substance use and mental health disorders; the other for pregnant and parenting adolescents with co-occurring mental health disorders and their children.
The CGE team
Their team is what we call a cohesive team as they support each other and do their work as a team. Each member has different roles in supporting the health and well-being of the people in need. They come in different specialties, direct line staff, residential associates, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. According to Jenn, their work is one of the most difficult to do and involves a lot of effort as they are to supervise, support, and guide individuals consistently.
In this feature, Jenn Unger also discussed four out of five programs available in the organization that are to meet the needs of each patient.
1. Adolescent Program
This program is a residential treatment program for pregnant and parenting adolescents and their children. They use a holistic trauma-informed approach that they call the Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE study where different mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual experiences that happen before the age of 18 are diagnosed. The results are studied by the professionals and are shown to the patients thereafter. Through this, they will know how severe the trauma has impacted their mind and body today.
“The higher the ACE score, the higher the severity of a range of different things that can happen.” - Jenn Unger
2. Adult Women’s Program
This long-term residential “mommy and me” program serves homeless, pregnant, and women parenting children up to age five with substance use disorder. Their program is guided by their model called the Trauma C.A.R.E. Model which is designed to foster a culture of safety and nurturance, provide trauma-attuned treatment, facilitate relationships that heal attachment wounds and empower those we serve to participate in their own healing process.
3. Roots to Recovery Outpatient
This program is an outpatient program that provides a safe place, a safe presence, and a safe path for people in recovery for substance use/co-occurring disorders and mental health issues. Similar to the Adult Women’s Program, they also use their Trauma C.A.R.E. Model to help the patients who are in need.
4. Katy’s Place Child Development Center
This center is an on-site licensed child development center that provides professional childcare by teachers who are trained in trauma-informed interventions appropriate for young children. This purpose is to have each mother work on their recovery while their child is cared for in a safe and nurturing environment.
“When moms are in care from eight to three o'clock with us in the program, the children are doing a lot of developmental work.” - Jenn Unger
The recovery process depends on the client’s situation. It might be shorter or even longer than you think. It will not only take you days but it will take you months to fully recover as you may come across a lot of setbacks or relapses; which is normal in the recovery period. In spite of that, do not be discouraged. Just continue to work on yourself every single day and work with a team that will help you to fully heal and recover from the traumatic experience that you have come across.
With all this being said, The Center For Great Expectations makes it possible for you and all the great mothers to heal and change for the better. They have the appropriate programs that will help you understand the cause of your wounds and help you progress while giving your child a program that will help them with their development.
ABOUT JENN UNGER
Jenn Unger is a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed clinical drug, an alcohol counselor and a certified clinical supervisor. She is the former Program Manager of the Adult Residential Program in the Center for Great Expectations. And was recently promoted to be the Clinical Director which is the role within the center as she oversees all clinical programs.
So if you are in the depths of abuse or substance use disorder and are seeking help to change for the sake of the ones you love so dearly, Jenn and her CGE team can help you with that.
Reach out to Jenn Unger here.