Archive by Author

Summer Olympics Goal Completion Contest

23 Mar

In honor of the Summer Olympics our theme for 2012 is “Going for the Goal.”  Every time an individual completes a rehabilitation goal they are awarded a paper “Gold Medal”.  These medals will hang on the wall in the community room for the entire year.  Special privileges, such as being first for lunch and trips, are part of the recognition of their hard work.  Currently we have several goals completed for 2012 and we anticipate many more in the months to come.

The idea of providing public recognition and privledges for goal completion has worked well in the past.  We are hoping to tie into the excitement of the Summer Olympics and also use this as a tool to increase client awareness of new events and help them stay excited about going-on in the world around them.


December Happenings

23 Mar

Key Point PRP had several celebrations in December.  The holidays were kicked off with a gift exchange sponsored by Mountain Christian Church.  Each client selected a random gift and had the opportunity to “steal” a gift from another client.  It was an exciting morning with presents being passed around and around. Some of the presents clients left with were sweatshirts, gift cards, Raven’s merchandise, perfume, and many other special gifts.

At the end of December clients were recognized for the completion of rehabilitation goals during the past year.  Each month the individual who completed a goal was awarded a paper brick with their name on it.  This symbolized their “Recovery at Work” – the theme for 2011.  As a group 117 goals were completed.  Several clients completed 4 goals each!  These achievements were celebrated with noisemakers and sparkling grape juice.  One of the clients said a toast for the group.

Some November Happenings

16 Dec

On Wednesday’s in November you could find Aberdeen clients going on a road trip to the Key Image Salon located in the Key Point PRP in Dundalk.  Many clients have taken this opportunity to receive hair services for little or no cost.  Clients have had their hair dyed and styled and men have had their hair cut and beards trimmed.  Everyone comes back feeling great with their new look and they have all received positive feedback form the other clients.  Thank you to our Dundalk Key Point office for providing this valuable service to our clients!

In early November Brenda Merrill and Liz Tutino attended a lecture on Art and Addiction at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.  The lecture was presented by Dr. Jack Henningfield, PhD, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Patricia B. Santora, PhD a Senior Public Health Advisor at the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.  The presenters described their Innovators Program which was developed to educate, prevent, and control substance abuse through art. Many moving pieces of art were displayed and it was clear that using art in substance abuse education captures the intense emotions of those who have family members with substance abuse issues or are substance abusers. Key Point has purchased a copy of their book Art &Addiction for use in MISA classes.

Key Point had a community Thanksgiving on November 23rd.  Mountain Christian Church very generously donated funds so that a traditional Thanksgiving meal could be catered by Bob Evans.  All the clients had their fill of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy.  To contribute to this holiday meal clients went shopping on Tuesday and purchased cranberry sauce, apple cider, pies, and whipped topping.  During the month of November clients were daily encouraged to write down one thing they were thankful for.  The items were written on a piece of paper and a “Gratitude Chain” was hung for all to see.  Each day the chain grew a little longer and during the Thanksgiving celebration all the clients read one of the strips of paper.  Many clients then stood and expressed what they were thankful for.

October Events at the Aberdeen PRP

18 Nov

Hayride – Happy Feet – and Halloween

By Liz Tutino

Early on October 20 clients went to Brad’s Produce in Churchville for a hayride.  It was a gorgeous fall day to pick pumpkins and everyone enjoyed the bumpy hayride through the fields.  For one client this was the first hayride she had ever been on and for another client being on the farm reminded him of happy memories of when he worked on a farm.  Everyone picked a small pumpkin and several clients decorated their pumpkins as centerpieces for our tables in the community room.

Our Advisory Board was very active planning the Halloween party and the monthly off-site trip calendar.  This committee typically involves ten or more clients.  Client participation is always encouraged and the PRP has quite a few clients with excellent communication and leadership skills which they utilize on this committee.  Many people wore costumes for the Halloween party including members of the ACHIEVE research study from Johns Hopkins – they were a hit as Batman and Robin.

On October 28th Dr. Lynn Yukofski, a local podiatrist, came to Key Point to offer on-site podiatry services.  7 clients met with Dr. Lynn and reported how great their feet felt after seeing her.  Dr. Lynn provided education on foot care, trimmed nails, addressed calluses, and offered education on diabetic foot care. She also wrote a prescription for one client and provided a brace for another.  The client who received the brace commented that “it is helping tremendously, especially when I exercise.”  The PRP is planning for Dr. Lynn to come on a regular basis.

The PRP welcomes Wanda Moore as our new Kitchen Manager.  Wanda has had many roles at Harford PRP including van driver and counselor and party planner.  In addition to overseeing the kitchen and serving breakfast and lunch Wanda supervises 15 Key Point clients who work at the PRP as dishwashers, servers, and cleaners.  Key Point offers these vocational opportunities to help clients build skills so they can work in the community.


Monika Butke participated in two seminars at Sheppard Pratt.  One lecture was on “How to Talk about Spirituality” with your clients and the second one was on nicotine addiction.  Monika shared the material in the nicotine addiction seminar with clients in her MISA class. They had an interesting conversation on the effects of nicotine on the prepubescent brain and how that may affect mental illness.

Thanksgiving and Christmas Festivities

20 Dec

This Thanksgiving the PRP was treated to a Thanksgiving Feast.  A roast turkey dinner, featuring all of the traditional favorites including stuffing, mashed potatoes, and three different pies, was provided by donations from members of Mountain Christian Church in Joppa. Clients and staff gathered and shared the wonderful meal as a community.

Clients designed a Thanksgiving Banner in art class.  It was hung in the community room and clients wrote about the things they were thankful for and posted it on the banner.

Clients and staff are looking forward to our annual Holiday Party.  The morning will be spent playing Christmas themed games.  We are then going to have a delicious baked ziti and meatball lunch prepared by Fortunato Brothers in Abingdon.  Afterwards clients will play a gift exchange game where they can “steal” presents from one another. This is the third year we will be having the gift exchange and everyone always enjoys it.  Donations for the lunch and gifts have been provided by members of Mountain Christian Church.

Book Review: The Angry Book

28 May

By Liz Tutino

The Angry Book is a psychoanalytical view of the emotion anger.  The author describes anger as a basic human emotion similar to hunger or thirst.  When anger is not appropriately expressed and is distorted it can cause many serious consequences such as poor mental health, poor physical health, and damage to relationships.

How we repond to anger is learned at a very early age because children learn how to deal with anger by receiving and recording what goes on around them, by repetition, and by imitation.  If anger is not expressed in healthy ways individuals learn to block the anger.  the author discusses three blocks to feeling and showing anger.  The first block to expressing anger is the “don’t make waves” syndrome.  This mistaken belief states that if I don’t show anger then you won’t show anger either.  “Since being universally loved is seen as the only way to be safe in the world, anger — especially anger that causes retaliation by the other fellow — is of course seen as a terrible threat” (Rubin, 13).  the result of this belief is that an individual always plays the “nice guy” at a terrible cost to himself.  The second block to anger is the emotional isolationist.  This person believes that they cannot show anger because if they did that would show they actually care and if they care they might get hurt.  A third block is the need for control.  People who have this belief feel that angry feelings or a show of angry feelings are evidence of loss of control.

If an individual has any of the mistaken beliefs that they cannot show anger they they have to distort or repress the natural flow of the emotion.  This results in creating a kind of reservoir of repressed emotions that lead to emotional problems.  The author calls this “perverting” the anger.  By using defense mechanisms anger can be twisted or perverted in the following ways:

  • Put down — an automatic response that is conditioned so you won’t feel anger
  • Putting it off — if you delay the anger long enough it will go away
  • Putting it on — removing the anger from the actual event or person and putting it on something safer
  • Diluting it — intellectual rationalization that the anger is not that important
  • Freezing it — removing and deadening the feeling of anger and all other emotions as well

Perverting anger makes it destructive to our mental health and creates a slush fund of distorted emotion that is looking for a way out.

The third section of the book talks in great detail about all the different ways we twist anger and distort how it is expressed.  Some examples of this include: anxiety, depression, guilt, overeating, sleep and no sleep, compulsions and phobias, denial, self-sabotage, obsessive rumination, and physical health concerns.

The fourth section of the book concentrates on why it is important to know and accept angry feelings.  Acknowledging the angry feelings will help change the twisted ways anger is expressed and leads to better health and relationships.

The fifth section of the book lists 103 questions that can be used in therapy to help a client discover what they are angry about and to open up so they can healthily extend both loving and angry feelings.

TRIBES! — New Class

1 Feb

By Liz Tutino

(Liz & Jeff run this class on Thursdays)

Reality TV has inspired a new program at the Aberdeen PRP. On February 11, 2010 TRIBES will make its debut. TRIBES, an acronym for Team up for Recreational, Intellectual, Bonding Exercises, fosters teambuilding, socialization, and intellectual stimulation in a fun environment.

Twice a month at the PRP clients will gather in groups, designated by a specific animal, called “tribes.”  A series of interactive group games will be played and teams will score points based on their performance.

In January clients previewed this concept and played three games.  In the Number Game each member of a tribe was given a digit from 1 -5.  The MC called out a 5 digit number and teams had to arrange themselves to display that number correctly.  The first team to arrange themselves in the correct order won and scored points.  This was played for several rounds and quite a fun competition developed. The second game was a baby food guessing game.  In this competition one member of the team was selected to taste 10 jars of baby food and identify the contents. This was not an easy task as everything tasted the same! Points were given for each correct answer and bonus points were given if tribes could beat a staff member also doing the tasting.  The third game is called the “Ah, Um Game.”  Each team selected a representative and they were given a topic.  They had to stand up and talk about that topic for one minute without saying “ah” or “um” This was a tricky game and only one tribe scored points.

In February tribes will be scoring points doing similar activities.  The tribe that scores the most points each week will gain the privilege of getting meals first and getting on the vans first for trips.  Points will accumulate for the month and at the end of the month the tribe with the most points will be treated to lunch or another exciting prize.