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In Photos: Denver's 'tough love' therapy aims to turn lives around

 Reuters 14 December 2019

In Denver, Colorado, a ‘tough love’ therapy programme at drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, Peer 1, uses unusual methods to encourage participants change their destructive lifestyles. The therapy comprises sessions from family group therapy to confrontational group accountability sessions and trust-building exercises. Consequences for rule-breaking participants range from having their heads shaved publicly to being thrown out of the program and sent back to prison. "It’s kind of humiliating but it forces them to rethink their actions," said one expert. Includes photo series. (640 Words) - By Rick Wilking and Brian McGee

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Dominic G., his head freshly shaved after he endured a "mass haircut" discipline at Peer 1, kisses his daughter Kiersten (R) on Kid's Day in Denver November 7, 2019 as his other daughter Shaniah, watches. A mass haircut is a discipline applied by the entire Peer 1 Family to clients who are having difficulty supporting the programme.Credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Blindfolded Peer 1 clients are moved though the Ft. Logan National Cemetery by Terry Keahey (L), a former Peer 1 client, now working there as a client care aide, during a blind faith trust exercise in Denver September 15, 2019. The exercise in the cemetery is meant to show one of three choices the criminal addicts have: death, back to prison or stick with Peer 1 and recovery.Credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Jonathan C. (L) holds his "issue card" with other new Peer 1 clients in the orientation phase, in Denver November 2, 2019. The issue cards are constantly carried by the clients as a reminder of their inappropriate behaviours and to identify key concepts in the programme.Credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Peer 1 client Chris E. sits silently in a mirror box during a mirror monad meditation session at Peer 1 in Denver July 22, 2019. Mirror monad forces the client to look as oneself and reminds them they cannot escape themselves. Monad is standing or sitting to attention staring at a wall, the client is not allowed to talk, move or come off monad unless directed to do so.Credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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A Peer 1 client wears a "therapeutic benefit" paper hat he made to remind himself of his bad attitude and to show his willingness to ask his Peer 1 brothers for support at Peer 1, a Therapeutic Community in Denver July 14, 2019.Credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Peer 1 clients stand silently facing a wall during a monad self-discovery meditation session with a chalkboard that reads, "You can only blame yourself for your actions" at Peer 1 in Denver July 22, 2019.Credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Shane P. weeps while sitting on the hot seat being confronted by his Peer brothers in a "game" at Peer 1 in Denver November 3, 2019. A game is a group exercise that calls attention to poor attitudes and behaviours. Shane P. has spent half his life - 18 years - in prison.Credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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The stash drop board shows a message reading "I stole money from my 8-year-old brother's piggy bank for cocaine" at Peer 1, a Therapeutic Community in Denver, Colorado, June 16, 2019. Stash is another word for a secret.Credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking


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