Spiritual Issues in Recovery


Spirituality and religion are such private areas of conversation.

With so many variations in how people conceive of their spirituality this might seem like a risky and somewhat irrelevant focus to include in a recovery treatment program serving a variety of clients and client types.

Spirituality and religion are such private areas of conversation and many times seem loaded with risk to be included in a medical treatment program. There is however much empirical evidence that supports the necessity of spiritual inclusion in recovery. It has become the responsibility of the alcohol treatment program to ensure patients have resources available to help them reinforce a deep spiritual connection in order to achieve the best recovery results.

Underlying a fair amount of the mental health and personal concept issues that many addicts struggle with is a feeling of disconnectedness from the rest of the human race. This can be a rational sense that is drawn from an early history of abuse or rejection or it can be a personal paranoia. Either way these are problems that can be treated by mental health professionals using cognitive behavioral therapy and other tools. Added to that sense of isolation is oftentimes a sense of being betrayed or let down by important people in the addict's life.

This can be a significant trigger factor in an addict's struggles with recovery. The ability to draw safer boundaries while still establishing healthy relationships is a skill addiction recovery programs strive to teach. Recovery centers set in place strategic parts of the recovery program that will encourage patients to co-mingle and work together to support one another. This becomes a way for the program to prepare the addicts for re-entering society and forming safe relationships. It also helps prevent the lessons of therapy from being purely theoretical. These experiences allow the patient to actualize the lessons quickly making them more likely to stick.

Beyond feeling connected to other humans it's been proven that the sense of a greater power is something addicts truly benefit from. Some people postulate that this is simply the result of removing one addiction in favor of another addiction (to religion). However it is not necessary for an addict to participate in religious services in order to realize the benefits of spirituality.

Exploring nature enjoying creative activities and practicing mindful meditation are all ways that recovering addicts and alcoholics have expressed their connection to the world. Helping the patient who may not be familiar with his or her own style of connectedness or of expression is something the staff at a world-class recovery program will emphasize as a learning opportunity.


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