Programs at The Healing Lodge

Inpatient treatment at The Healing Lodge places residents in an educational and pragmatic setting using a variety of techniques. By incorporating truly innovative programs that meet the youth where they’re at, treatment at The Healing Lodge reinforces daily practices that foster respect, honesty, generosity, hope, and strong cultural identification. Our programs help empower youth and enhance their lives.

Residents at The Healing Lodge may be involved in some or all of the following activities:

  • Chemical Dependency Education and Process Groups
  • Individual and Group Chemical Dependency and Mental Health Therapy
  • Educational Activities
  • Life Skills Instruction
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Culturally Relevant Therapy
  • Family Education and Counseling
  • After-Care Planning
  • Music/Expressive Arts Activities
  • Rites of Passage Ceremony
  • Social Justice Curriculum


Neuroscience suggests that regular cardio and weight training can reduce anxiety and depression by 50% without medication, which are often precursors to drug use. That’s why residents at The Healing Lodge participate in physical and athletic activities that promote good health. Recreation is provided in a variety of ways, such as weight lifting, basketball, volleyball, running, and softball. Residents complete at least one hour of physical education activities every day, of which they receive school credit for.

At The Healing Lodge, we make a conscious effort to keep our recreation program flexible so we can meet physical fitness needs, and really tailor programs to individual youth’s interests. Our Athletics Program gives residents opportunities for growth and improving health, while teaching valuable lessons and offering a positive alternative to drug and alcohol use.

Music & Expressive Arts

Whether it’s hip-hop or country, young people love music. As a part of our effort to reach the youth where they’re at, The Healing Lodge uses an Expressive Arts Program to engage our residents with song writing, music development, and recording alongside traditional treatment. Through this program, residents get the unique opportunity to write and produce their own song – within any genre of music they’d like. Through this process, the youth are able to express deep feelings and emotions that may otherwise not have come out during their treatment process. This program often gives them additional tools to help them along the road to recovery.

Studies show that the same neurotransmitters triggered during drug use are also stimulated by music, and that music helps with concentration and memory difficulties that have resulted from drug use. The Expressive Arts program has been a particularly effective tool that helps residents explore their trauma differently, and engages them in a neurological way that moves the setting of their treatment from superficial to profound. The program allows residents to leave the Healing Lodge with great pride and a sense of accomplishment in the work they have created.

Develop a Music & Expressive Arts Program

We have received many inquiries about how to develop a music program at other treatment facilities. There are several elements needed in the development of a music program for mental health or addiction treatment in order to effectively enhancing youth engagement in treatment.


Finding the right talent is the most important aspect of the program. This goal can be reached in a number of ways and is dependent on your resources, location, and organizational culture. We recommend hiring or contracting a part-time:

  • Audio engineer to mix and record songs
  • Producer who is skilled at creating beats and working with lyrics
  • Musical who can assist the client in the actual performance (rapping or singing) of the songs

It is important that these individuals can gain the trust of the residents, and work with counseling staff to support a therapeutic approach to treatment.


Engineers and producers usually have their own preferences in software and equipment, so it would be best to consult with them. Cost for the entire setup shouldn’t be more than $4,000, and will most likely include:

  • Software Applications: Cubase Studio 5 or Pro Tools (based on engineer’s preference)
  • Computer: A system that can handle the large files developed for songs
  • MBOX
  • Microphone


It’s best to set up the program in an isolated place so as not to have sound interference while recording. To prevent echoing, the walls of the recording studio and recording booth should be covered in acoustic sound proofing (i.e. reflection pieces, blankets, egg cartons, etc.)

Social Justice Program

The Healing Lodge uses a unique curriculum to support our Social Justice Program, which places youth empowerment at the core of treatment. Many youth who come to The Healing Lodge suffer from many forms of internalized oppression, which manifests in a sense of powerlessness and helplessness. Through the Social Justice program, residents learn to solve problems of injustice in their lives, and how to become change agents and transformative leaders by working towards a just society though helping others. This approach lets youth to experience authentic personal power as opposed to a model of power by dominance. As they take a stand for those less fortunate than themselves they experience vicarious healing and empowerment.

Sinpaqcheen School

The Sinpaqcheen (prounouced “Sin-pak-cheen”) School is an accredited Washington State alternative school within Spokane School District 81. Through the school, credits are earned in Math, English, Health, Physical Education, and Social Studies. Sinpaqcheen nurtures a flexible, caring environment where the individual needs of each student are taken into consideration. We encourage youth to bring work from their home schools so that we can keep them on track to return to their regular education program.

The Sinpaqcheen School focuses on American Indian History and Current Events, Poetry and Fiction Writing, and Mathematics during each student’s residency. We publish a student literary magazine named “Native Pride,” and offer students an opportunity to read their written works out loud for staff and family in a “Coffee House” type environment. Opportunities are offered for those residents who wish to work toward their GED and several students each year test and receive their diploma while in treatment.