Stimulate the Body and Mind
There are a number of holistic and alternative therapies that are being used for rehabilitation purposes which clients have attributed to their success. Trying new methods that promote overall well-being can prove beneficial in the recovery process. Substance abuse disorders affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain, and in order to restore equilibrium, alternative therapies can be extremely helpful. Not only do they help to stimulate the body and mind, but they can incite new passions within clients that can help them discover a side of life they never knew about.
In 1979, Jon Zabat-Kinn introduced mindfulness meditation as it is used in Western medicine today and developed a psychotherapy treatment known as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MSBR). This psychotherapy treatment aims to assist those with chronic pain or mental health disorders to rediscover a happier life. Mindfulness meditation can be practiced in a group setting, where experiences can be shared among participants. It can also be practiced alone in any location, from the comfort of your own home to secluded spots in natural settings.
Mindfulness is beneficial for anyone at any point of their journey. It creates an inner spaciousness which allows you to not over identify with your thoughts or feelings. This in turn strengthens your internal resources, enabling you to process the various stages of your treatment in a grounded, integrated way. The relaxation techniques mindfulness teaches can be a powerful tool during withdrawal and when any urges arise.
Experiential therapy mimics events through the introduction of props, arts and crafts, sound imagery, and other stimuli to recreate past experiences for the client. Through these recreations, clients are encouraged to identify their emotions and understand the underlying emotions they associate with different events in their lifetime. An experiential therapist will serve as a guide to explore these emotions with the client in a safe environment that will not inflict any more trauma onto them. Experiential therapy is meant to allow clients to live up to their full potential and let go of negative emotions from the past. It is also often used in conjunction with other therapy techniques to offer a complementary approach to rehabilitation.
Expressive Arts Therapy
Offering a connection between psychology and the creative process, expressive arts therapy encourages clients to experience growth and emotional healing through a creative outlet. Where art therapy usually just focuses on one particular creative outlet, expressive arts therapy allows clients to explore a number of different art forms such as; painting, sketching, dancing, acting, poetry, musical instruments, and any other creative outlet that could be of service to them. This is a chance for clients to explore what they find beautiful in the world, what their struggles and conflicts are, and try to connect and integrate deeply.
One of the most empowering feelings is to reclaim ownership over your body when it feels like your body has belonged to someone else. Some clients who have recovered from substance use disorders report instances of feeling trapped in their own body, as if it belongs to a stranger. A powerful tool to overcome these sorts of feelings and explore the possibilities of your own body is through yoga therapy. By promoting self-care and overall well-being, yoga therapy uses specific yoga practices that target areas of ailment within clients, both mental and physical. The health benefits of yoga are supported by doctors and yoga therapy is becoming increasingly commonplace for rehabilitation purposes.
Person centered therapy is a talk therapy method that focuses on how clients perceive themselves consciously. Rather than have a counsellor project their own perception of the client’s subconscious, person centered therapy allows the client to engage in thought provoking self-reflection practices. Therapists will provide a warm, welcoming environment that will allow for honest reflection by the client without fear of judgement.
Emotion focused therapy, also known as EFT, is a method that emphasizes that emotions are a dominant factor in what composes someone’s identity. This method allows the client to come face to face with their emotions, with the belief that suppressing negative emotions and lacking emotional awareness are harmful to the recovery process.
The Goal of Holistic and Alternative Therapies
We address each client’s rehabilitation journey in a personalized way, which aims to offer a comprehensive and unique approach to their needs. In every case of substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder, or mental health disorder, clients require different levels of treatment.
Many clients are in a vulnerable position with regards to relapse following detox. Clearly, for a large number of people, there is still an urge to use drugs after detoxifying and this needs to be addressed. This means that ongoing treatment after detoxification must be used in order to give the addict the best chance at a successful and sustained recovery.
Holistic and alternative therapies seek to give those who have suffered from substance use disorders a new lease on life by giving them the opportunity to discover newfound passions or explore the things that used to motivate them to get out of bed in the morning.