Recovery is a process, not an event / To truly understand the crucial distinction between recovery and treatment one must first have a working appreciation of the dynamics of addiction, treatment and recovery.
Addiction, very simply stated, is a compulsive behavioral pattern repeated over and over again regardless of consequences. It could be said that when one "cannot not" one finds oneself in the grip of an addiction and/or dependency. "Cannot not" means that there is an increasing difficulty in "not acting out" the behavior in question. In other words, while the person may still have enough moral fiber left to know that they shouldn’t "do it", they have a difficult time "not doing it", or, if they still have enough will power to actually "not do it" they experience an emotional and psychological stress at the thought or reality of not being able to, or not being allowed to, "do it".
This is a valid appreciation of the dynamics of addiction, however, to truly understand we need to address the fuel. Why does a person need to “do it” over and over again regardless of consequences? What fuels addictions, the exaggerated unmanageable need to “do it”? The answer is a combination of psychological, emotional and spiritual stressors. Addictions start as stress reducers which then escalate to a self-defeating surrender to the stress-reducers. All addictions are born out of a need to calm down a discomfort within oneself. While genetics and the nurturing surroundings both have a role to play and must be properly dealt with, it is the internal discomfort with oneself, within oneself, which creates the need to self-medicate, that must be addressed. The discomfort needs to be addressed along with the emotional imprints and self-evaluations that are at the root of the discomfort. Imprints are emotional self-perceptions and emotional programs that can imprison us in a tailspin loop of self-limiting self-appreciation and their scripts must be re-written.
As for treatment, to get an appreciation of the main misconception, a hypothetical visit to an automobile collision repair shop will help clarify. When someone’s car is damaged in a collision the car is sent to the collision repair shop. The owner of the “damaged” car gets an estimate of projected repair time and cost. When done, the owner visits the shop and inspects the “treatment” the car received. If it passes inspection, the owner drives off with the treated car. Many people have this appreciation of “treatment centers”. Many want to bring themselves or their loved ones to be treated “repaired” and made like new again. Family members will often come to the family program to “inspect” the work done to make sure the client was “repaired”. Treatment doesn’t happen that way. Treatment should facilitate and nurture the client’s development and implementation of an effective life long life management system.
The second greatest mistake in treatment centers is that many centers seem to not have yet understood that addiction is a behavior repeated regardless of consequences. Many centers still offer a heavy medical, fear based treatment program, such as presentations like “this is your brain – this is your brain on drugs or this is your liver – this is your liver on alcohol”. Many treatment centers still believe that they will treat the client with either fear or educational components, hoping that if only the addict would or could understand the consequences. Treatment, based on the idea that the client can be “repaired” “treated” “fixed”, operates on a faulty premise.
How is Chatsworth’s rehabilitation, recovery program different? Chatsworth recognizes that recovery is what really works. Recovery is a process by which the addicted and/or dependent person is helped to incorporate into their life an effective life management system. Psychological, emotional and spiritual hygiene is the goal. Recovery is learning to practice the tools that become the alternate effective stress reducers. When recovery systems are incorporated the “need to do it” diminishes dramatically and recovery becomes manageable.
Chatsworth helps clients address their emotional imprints but most importantly helps them integrate techniques that allow them to re-write old scripts and old imprints. At Chatsworth we understand that a shift in self-perception is as equally important as an ability to appreciate those around us from a new vantage point. Healthy and healing relationship with self, others and life is what true recovery is about.
Recovery is the ability to experience a belonging and an ability to contribute from an inner place of authenticity. Recovery is an on-going journey of self-discovery as we appreciate that we are all works in progress. The ability to accept one’s humanity, as imperfect as it can be at times, and still be able to offer ourselves love and acceptance, that’s recovery in progress. Authenticity, serenity and ability to creatively contribute are what recovery is about.
As a result the compulsive addictive behaviors become manageable and recovery a new way of life. Recovery addresses the core needs to self-medicate, addresses the inner discomfort, begins the healing of the exaggerated need to self-medicate and allows for a natural long lasting on-going recovery process.
At Chatsworth Pavilion this process is designed to help each participant reclaim their inner compass and move from reaction to right action. The program at Chatsworth Pavilion helps our clients develop inner balance, inter-connectedness and the ability to experience healthier relationships with self, others and life, again true recovery.
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