Non-Traditional Therapies Being Used In Treating Addictions

Sue Llfurio Uncategorized 0 Comments

This week we are continuing the conversation about addictions because it is an epidemic in our country and people are dying every day.  Last week we dove into the world of addiction and treatment options and I shared some of my own personal story with you.  If you missed it definitely go back and read last weeks post.


This week I bring to you a continuation of the conversation about healing addiction with more than just the traditional methods.  Complementary and alternative medicine therapies are now being used to help people successfully recover.  Please enjoy this post from Sue Llufrio from Maryland Recovery Partners.


What else can we do?


Frustration!  That is the word that I used frequently when explaining what it was like to do groups and individual counseling with clients that were in treatment from addiction.  There must be more I can do.  Over a period of years, we have finally seen the appearance of alternative and complementary therapies to aid in recovery and finally treating the whole person; body, mind and spirit.


Treatment now is mostly using the PEMS model – treating the client Physically, Emotionally, Mentally and Spiritually in ways that some might shake their heads at.  And I will say that I don’t understand how all of it works, but it does.  I don’t need to understand it to utilize it.  I don’t understand much about electricity, but I use it all the time.


It is exciting to see how anxiety, tension, fear, sadness, anger, resentment, physical issues such as chronic pain, sleep issues, trauma, post-acute withdrawal to name a few, are being helped by using non-traditional therapies.  I am talking about Art, Aromatherapy, Acupuncture and Acu-Detox, Tai Chi, QiGong, Exercise, Dance, Drumming, Crafting, Games, Breathing, Tapping, Crystals, Light therapy, Reiki, Massage, Cranio Sacral Therapy, Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation, Coloring, Ear seeds, Journaling, Guided Imagery, Relaxation Techniques, Bibliotherapy/reading/storytelling and last but not least music.


There are many others including experiential therapy and psychodrama.  We learn it is just as important if not more important to look at how they do something instead of what they do.  (Process vs Content).


Learning about all the tools that are now available is just the first step.  Learning about them and how to utilize them in a therapeutic setting is essential.  Using some or all these things we see more growth at a faster pace.  All of this is about balance.  I wear a lanyard to hold my keys.  I also use this lanyard to explain and illustrate what balance is – calm, peaceful, centered BUT with just the slightest wind or something simple it throws it off balance and it starts swinging.  Most of the time the clients come in “swinging”, being so out of balance they don’t know which way to turn.


Once we find out what the issues are, utilize the alternative therapies, matching the therapy to the client that gives them the greatest response, it slows down the swinging.  It leads the to get closer to balance so they can sleep better, deal with feelings better, be able to sit in the groups to get the education about the disease and the recovery process that is necessary for the foundation of their recovery.


All these things coupled with the traditional education and counseling can aid clients to that Serenity they pray for in the 12 step fellowship meetings.  God, Grant Me The Serenity…..

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