Breaking bad habits through local program

February 21, 2012 8:50:54 PM PST
Breaking bad patterns and living a happier, fuller life - that is the goal of a program in Berks County.

Whether you are going through a bad breakup, are struggling with problems from the past, or you feel stuck in a vicious cycle where you keep making the same mistakes, therapists at this unique center say they can help.

Beth Janis says her life is on the right track now.

She's getting her Masters in social work at Kutztown University and she says her family has noticed a change in her for better.

It all started at a restored mansion in Berks County.

Three years ago, Beth enrolled in their "Breakthrough at Caron" program.

Director of the program and a licensed counselor Ann Smith says people come from all over and stay 5-and-a-half days to break through problems or patterns that are holding them back emotionally.

"This program is really for anyone who is emotionally stable and feels stuck, wants to change their life, wants to change the way they do relationships, wants to be a better parent, wants to learn how to let go or resolve problems they've had from childhood," Smith said.

She'd always identified herself as a daughter, a wife, and then a mother, but 10 years ago some of that was abruptly taken away.

Her parents died and her 25-year marriage ended.

"For lack of a better term, it was a very contentious separation and divorce, it was not an easy process," Janis said.

She felt she was losing control. She didn't know how to deal with her grief and because of this her relationship with her kids was suffering.

Then she got into another relationship thinking it would make her happy, but the problems were still there.

Then through intensive group workshops at Caron she and others learn to tap into their feelings and what drives their decisions.

Smith says it's not just talk therapy.

"We use action methods which makes things move a little bit faster. They will actually re-enact using things like psycho drama, role playand they get to looking into some of the patterns that they had in their relationships," Smith said.

Beth says the work is a process and it's difficult, but it showed her why she gravitated towards certain relationships and why she kept facing the same issues.

That awareness and validation of her feelings helped her let go of her past and move forward with her future.

"Breakthrough was really life-changing for me. It really brought into full vision and focus everything that I have been looking for my entire life," Janis said.

And Beth plans to help others like her in the future.

She says it is never too late to reclaim your life or reinvent yourself.

The breakthrough program costs $2,750. It is not covered by insurance.

Smith says Breakthrough at Caron is not a quick fix but it helps many people speed up the work that can be achieved with psychotherapy.

The therapy in this program is described below:

With each day, defenses are gradually lowered and honest feelings emerge. Group activities and experiences, and the relationships developed in the group enable participants to identify and release painful feelings of the past and break old dysfunctional patterns. Experiential, action methods and techniques such as Psychodrama, role play and family sculpture are important program components. Each person leaves with specific direction for follow-up care and a referral to a therapist, if they do not have this established as yet.

Although a referral from a therapist is not required, this program is intended as an addition to outpatient counseling where individuals may address deeper issues in order to accelerate their progress toward personal goals. For more information, visit: or call 1-800-213-7834.

For other resources dealing with addiction(alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex) or mental health issues, visit:

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