By Sandy Baker
Addiction has many layers of challenges.
Initially, many people benefit from drug or alcohol detox, a process that removes the substances from the body in a safe manner. This is the physical component of addiction and one of the steps to getting sober. The emotional and mental components of addiction require attention as well.
Emotional support and therapy is one of the services we offer at The Ranch at Dove Tree. It focuses on providing you with the tools you need to manage the complications of substance use.
Why You Can’t Ignore Emotions in Recovery
You used drugs. Your body became addicted to those drugs. You’ve gone through detox, so why can’t it just be over?
Most people with substance use disorders struggle with a wide range of emotional trauma. Quite often, something caused you to keep using drugs or alcohol. It may be a suppressed trauma from childhood, a feeling of helplessness at work, or difficulty managing peer pressure in a college setting. These emotions need to come up to the surface and be managed. Otherwise, you may find recovery difficult and sobriety out of reach. Ignoring emotions is one of the reasons relapse happens.
Also, avoiding emotions is exhausting. No matter how much you focus on the tasks at hand and staying clean, those emotions will take a toll. You can fight them – through aggression, drug use, or avoidance – but they will still lurk until you learn how to process them in a healthy way.
What Happens in Therapy Sessions?
One of the components of the drug and alcohol addiction services you’ll have is therapy to help deal with emotions. During this process, you’ll work one-on-one with a therapist to talk about your past, your thoughts, and your future. At the heart of this process is being authentic and very honest with yourself about what you’re feeling. You need to talk about:
- What makes you sad
- What’s creating loneliness in your life
- What is stressing you
- How challenges in the past are still hurting you now
- Which setbacks have crushed your goals or limited your reach
Uncovering these areas means no longer denying the truth. Once you open up, talk about what happened, and learn just how much it’s hurting you, it’s possible to begin the recovery process.
Comprehensive Treatment Can Help You
While a lot of the work you do on emotional health is through individual therapy sessions, our team also offers:
Group Therapy: Often, the best way to understand what’s happening to you is to talk to other people going through it. Even if you just listen to their stories, you can see the reality of your own situation. When you share your own experiences, you open the door for others to tell you how they managed those feelings and difficulties.
Family Therapy: Denial of emotions and trauma isn’t just about you. In family therapy, you learn to listen to and value what each family member is feeling. You also learn how to open up about what’s happened to you.
Holistic Treatment: Stepping outside of addiction treatment and counseling and into enjoyable activities can also help with emotional healing. Whether it is through arts or even equine therapy, you’ll be working to develop skills while also exploring positive emotions and thoughts.
Emotional support and therapy may not seem important to you. Yet it is the foundation of managing the “why me” component of addiction. It’s also the most powerful way to minimize the risk of relapse. You don’t have to have a deep, dark secret from your past to have intense emotional pain. We all have overwhelming emotions at times. Safely expressing and working through those emotions are part of a healthy lifestyle. Our team at The Ranch at Dove Tree can help you on your journey to physical and emotional wellbeing.