At Hope & Grace Recovery Center, we feel it’s of the highest importance that our clients have the necessary education about how addiction has affected their lives and their physiology. Most addicts and their families cannot truly understand the complexities of addiction and the true concept of being addicted. This is because many people believe that addiction is a weakness, that it’s a character flaw, or a defect in morality. This couldn’t be further from the truth… Advances in science over the years have shown that true addiction is a real disease of the brain. While the initial decision to take drugs or drink alcohol is a voluntary one by most people, over time the brain changes and begins to challenge the self-control and ability to resist cravings and compulsive use of those substances.
At Hope & Grace Recovery Center, we educate our clients in exactly how their brain has been re-wired by their addictions. As a case in point, let’s use heroin as an example:
When heroin or other opiates travel through the bloodstream they attach to specialized receptors on the surfaces of brain cells. This attachment causes these receptors to trigger feelings of intense pleasure – tricking our brain’s reward system. When prescribed, opiates relieve pain through this process – but without significant pain to relieve – these types of drugs only motivate people to use them for the false pleasures they give. This isn’t the only area of the brain that is affected by using heroin. Our educational classes cover the problems within the mid-brain (which generates dopamine), the areas that create memories (triggers) and how the pre-frontal cortex is stifled (this part of the brain usually stops us from doing anything unsafe).
As people consume more heroin, the more their brain chemistry is altered – to the point that his or her brain begins to function normally only when heroin is present. At this stage compulsion, tolerance, dependence and withdrawal become the primary reasons that drive people to continue their usage and ultimately why addictions persist.
By giving our clients a deeper understanding about the nature of chemical dependency, we can help them strive towards best practices and even better strategies to pursue and achieve a lifetime of recovery from their addictions.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) uses strategies that are based on learning processes that play an immensely critical role when it comes to substance abuse and addiction.
Clients in CBT sessions learn to identify and correct their own problematic behaviors through a range of different coping skills that are taught to them.
Specifically, we explore:
- The positive and negative consequences and repercussions of continued drug use.
- How to recognize and cope with cravings and environmental triggers.
- Realizing and avoiding high-risk situations.
Simply stated, CBT helps clients recognize, avoid and cope.
- Recognize the triggered situation that makes them want to use.
- Avoid those situations if applicable.
- Cope with those situations if they can’t avoid them.
Research has shown that clients who participate in CBT will often use the skills they learn after they have completed treatment.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
For people who are struggling with addiction, therapists use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) because substance abuse can be classified as a self-harming behavior.
Addicts, because of their drug use, often suffer through many negative aspects in life like failed relationships, health issues and money problems. Despite all of these detrimental side effects to drug use, addicts will continue to use to escape their emotional and physical pain.
DBT gives people a way to find self-acceptance, while also realizing that they need to accept that change will happen.
In order to achieve this result, there are four skill-sets that clients learn with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
- Mindfulness – Teaching clients to stay focused on the present moment, instead of thinking about the past or future. Accepting their self and the circumstances around them – and being fully immersed in the present.
- Interpersonal Relations – Teaching clients how to set limits that will ultimately protect themselves and their relationships. Communication and conflict resolution skills also are covered.
- Emotion Regulation – Teaching clients how to diagnose, balance and withstand their emotions without being overwhelmed by them. This increases positive life-experiences and helps identify unwanted feelings and explores ways to change them.
- Distress Tolerance – Teaching clients how to cope with crisis, like losing a job or a death in the family. Life experiences that they are unable to solve, but instead must live through them without relapsing. Shows clients how to tolerate different levels of stress without running or hiding from them.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy used to help clients address the psychological aspects involved in their substance abuse issues.
This type of therapy helps to:
- Boost client’s motivation to end their substance abuses.
- Identify triggers that lead to usage.
- Learn new methods of coping with high-risk situations.
- Develops social systems within their own environments.
MI enhances the need for change and fosters a better therapeutic relationship with our clients and their clinicians.
By strengthening the client-therapist relationship, our clients are better able to examine their own situations in a safe environment. This encourages clients to take responsibility and accountability for their own recovery.
MI is a type of therapy that we use for those clients who are in the “early” stages of recovery. These clients may not want to be lectured or given actionable techniques to work on when they are contemplating their situations and may not be ready for change.
At Hope & Grace Recovery, we strongly believe that without a healthy lifestyle, recovery will not be possible. Because of this, we use physical therapy (gym workouts, regular exercise) to provide positive stimulation and mental improvements for our clients.
When many of our clients enter our recovery center for the first time, they are in need of physical fitness. Their bodies have regressed while they were addicted to substances. By instituting a physical fitness routine, our clients can see themselves improve with their own eyes.
This helps boost, not only their self-confidence, but also their self-esteem. With a strong body, comes the mentality that exercising is not “part of their routine” but is now a way of life.
Physical therapy will also help fill the void that recovering addicts need while they begin to realize that life offers more than just substance addiction.
12-Step Fellowship Groups
At Hope & Grace Recovery Center, we want our clients to attend 12-Step meetings.
Because there will be few places in their sober and clean lifestyles that they’ll find honesty, courage and support when they need it most.
These types of self-help groups are important resources for recovery because:
- They are very effective.
- They are free and available everywhere.
12-Step meetings can be found in approximately every country, city and state. You can even find them on cruise ships!
By realizing you’re not alone in your addiction, these types of groups are extremely eye opening. People from all walks of life and every profession attend 12-Step meetings.
Anyone can have an addiction, and by meeting people who are going through the same thing, our clients realize that they’re not isolated and there are places they can go to ask for help when they need it.
12-Step meetings also help our clients:
- Believe that recovery is possible.
- Realize that sober lifestyles can be more fun than they previously thought.
- Learn new techniques for lasting recovery.
- Understand that what they are going through is normal.
- Find a safe environment where they won’t be judged for past transgressions.
- Stay aware of the consequences of their addictions.
- Realize that they’ll never be able to use again, no matter how clean, sober and good they feel.
- Understand that no matter what, they will always have a safe place to go.
12-Step meetings are a proven source of hope, confidence, strength, safety and guidance. All of these things are what people who are in recovery from substance abuse and addiction need.
This is why those of us at Hope & Grace Recovery Center will continually request that our clients attend these types of meetings.
Relapse Prevention Therapy or RPT
Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT) teaches clients at Hope & Grace Recovery Center how to recognize the warning signs of relapse (the breakdown of the goal to stay in control, clean and sober).
Our therapists use RPT to help clients understand and maintain sober routines while coping with daily emotional issues once they return home.
In these sessions, clients are asked to recount the typical events that led to their usage. Their therapist will help identify warning signs and triggers, specific to them, that can lead to relapse.
RPT helps our clients realize their triggers and stressful situations so they can better cope during difficult times.
By developing problem-solving skills to deal with high-risk situations, difficult relationships or other types of stress – clients find alternative ways of coping rather than returning to addiction.
Stress comes in all shapes and sizes and is a common trigger for ex-addicts to begin using again. Learning how to combat stress helps our clients continue with their recovery without the fear of relapse.
At Hope & Grace Recovery Center, we teach our clients how to listen to their bodies and become aware of signs of stress so that they can take steps to relax. If stress is left unchecked or is poorly managed, recovering addicts may go back to self-medicating and addiction.
While stress is always going to be a part of our lives, how we deal with and acknowledge it can help clients learn how to effectively manage stress levels. And we promote stress management through healthy lifestyle routines and therapeutic sessions.
A few of the more practical ways to deal with stress that we teach our clients in recovery are how to…
- Manage their time and their daily routines.
- Let their emotions out through open communication with friends, family or their therapist.
- Identify triggers and stress in advance by planning ahead.
- Take care of their bodies and minds with regular exercise and mindfulness.
- Get a good night’s sleep to promote optimal energy levels.
- Choose an activity that will immediately lower stress levels – like walking, reading, or exercising.
- Take a deep breath and empty their minds of negative thoughts and feelings.
Biofeedback Therapy is basically a treatment in which clients learn to control the emotional and physical realms within themselves. This type of therapy is non-invasive and does not involve drugs or medications – which makes it highly suitable for addiction recovery.
During a therapy session, clients will have electrodes attached to their skin and the information gathered is sent to a monitoring computer. By viewing the measurements taken by the computer, therapists are able to pinpoint when clients are having issues with muscle tension, anxiety and stress during question and answer sessions.
By identifying these stressors, our therapists are able to work on relaxation techniques and mindfulness activities with our clients to help regulate their tension.
Over time, our clients are able to notice their own behaviors and are able to control them without being monitored by using the given techniques.
Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT)
Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT) focuses on our client’s present and future circumstances and life-goals. Past issues, or why they came to treatment, are not discussed during this type of therapy.
With SFT, our clients are asked to construct a vision of what they want to accomplish in the future. Then we work with them to decide and determine what skills, resources and research they will need to achieve in order to make that vision a reality.
SFT focuses primarily on:
- What our client’s life-goals are.
- What life would be like if they accomplished those goals.
- Any foreseeable problems that may happen while pursuing those goals.
Change is constant. Up until now, our client’s lives have not changed much, if at all, since they began using. We help them understand that change will continually happen and that it doesn’t have to be scary.
By predicting their future, and any issues with pursuing that future, our therapists work with their clients by dissecting these problems and lowering the fear that is associated with sober living in the outside world.
By helping identify positive directions for change in their lives and how to achieve these changes, SFT allows our therapists to construct a future without substance addiction for each and every client to believe in and attain.
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on mindfulness. It teaches our clients that they can engage in positive behavior when having difficult thoughts or dealing with unwanted emotions.
ACT helps reduce dysfunctional thoughts, like, “I’m a failure,” or “I’ll never amount to anything” – by helping clients stop obsessing over them. This type of therapy also encourages clients to stay fully conscious of the present moment by developing coping skills to deal with issues right now.
During an ACT session, clients will openly identify the negative thoughts they are having about themselves. Our therapists will then begin instructing them how to understand that these are just thoughts and not reality.
Our therapists work side by side with clients in ACT, which allows our clients to acknowledge that we’re all human – and that we all seek to walk the same path towards compassion, acceptance, empathy and respect for one another.
Individualized Therapy Sessions
At Hope & Grace Recovery Center, our Individualized Therapy sessions consist of building our client/therapist relationships for the continued treatment and recovery from substance addiction.
Our therapy sessions help clients learn about their:
During our Individual Therapy sessions, our clients are taught how to:
- Take back control of their lives.
- Respond to stressful or challenging situations.
- Deal with issues through healthy coping skills.
Group Therapy Sessions
In many cases, alcohol abuse and substance addiction leads people into lives of complete isolation. Group Therapy helps clients reconnect with people (who have the same issues) and helps them realize that they aren’t alone in their recovery.
At Hope & Grace Recovery Center, our group therapy sessions cover a wide range of initiatives. A few of the advantages to group therapy are that they:
- Provide positive support from peers to abstain from continued usage.
- Reduce the feelings of isolation.
- Show new clients that it IS possible to recover by seeing others in different stages of treatment.
- Teach coping skills by talking with other clients and hearing their stories.
- Provide feedback about morals and values of a life without addiction.
- Offer a family-style environment – “We’re all in this together!”
- Provide encouragement, support and continued reinforcement
- Help clients relearn the social skills they’ll need for everyday life with all types of people.
Group Therapy sessions can also be used to confront clients who are continuing harmful, toxic or unhealthy behaviors. They add discipline and structure to new routines and continually instill the hope that addiction can be overcome.
Family Therapy Sessions
At Hope & Grace Recovery Center, we often hear from families that they don’t need help or therapy for themselves because the family member with the addiction is finally in treatment.
However, we firmly believe that addiction affects the whole family and not just the individual.
Family therapy sessions provide support for everyone in the family, not just the addict. These types of sessions are also immensely important for their recovering loved one as they will boost their chances of success in treatment and in their future, sober lives.
Family therapy sessions are also appropriate for significant others, friends, co-workers or anyone who aren’t technically family – but have been affected by the addict’s addiction.
There are many benefits of family therapy sessions, a few of them are:
- Improving the mentality of the whole family unit.
- Allowing family members to improve their own well-being.
- Improvements in family communication and relationships.
- Helping families avoid enabling behaviors.
- Understanding co-dependent behaviors between family members and how to address these issues.
- Preventing addiction from spreading to other family members.
The overall goals of family therapy sessions are to strengthen the entire family (and friends) into a support network to decrease the influence of substance abuse and addiction for each and every member.
In the early stages of recovery, our clients at Hope & Grace Recovery Center often experience a rift or division between their mind and bodies that can become unbearable.
Through the use of massage therapy, we bridge that gap by giving our clients a deep sense of relaxation. This, in turn, alleviates their pain and increases their vitality, mental agility and dexterity.
By adding massage therapy into our client’s daily or weekly routine, this type of therapy reduces Cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in their bodies which decreases:
Once massage therapy is a part of their normal routine, our clients tell us that they increasingly enjoy these sessions. They help them relax and feel good without the aid of abusive substances.