We believe that the effectiveness of the work we do stems from our theory that each persons journey is unique. We are convinced that a "one size fits all" approach can leave people at great risk of relapse. Many inpatient treatment programs don't go far enough in addressing the specific needs of the client. We address personal circumstances and tailor the clients journey for success. Some of our clients spoke out about their experience and gave permission for us to share their words. See their comments by clicking HERE.
During the "Level I" phase of our recovery program, clients may begin with one, and as many as seven, one-on-one coaching sessions per week during the first few weeks of their personally tailored coaching plan. Our experience tells us that no two addicted individuals have the same needs. For example, older adult women face different challenges in their addiction patterns than younger women or college students. Professionals, both male and female, present drinking and using patterns which may necessitate a different approach to a successful recovery coaching structure than with blue-collar workers, or stay-at-home moms. Yes, the disease of addiction and the way it grips its victims and eventually takes them to depths they could never have imagined, is well-documented and the stories are eerily similar, but... people are individual, and their paths to recovery are as different and individual as they are.
Consequences of alcoholism and drug addiction are real and must be addressed. Guilt and shame experienced by the addict does play a role in relapse. A variety of services are offered within our Recovery Coaching Programs. We believe that long-term recovery comes from a holistic wellness that cannot be achieved without full consideration of all aspects of of the addicted persons life and those closest to him or her.
Power of the Pearl.
A Personal Encounter and New Understanding: The Awesome Power and Message of Nature
A few years ago I noticed that a friend of mine was wearing a pretty pearl necklace and I admired it's classic beauty. Going forward I made note that she was wearing it every time I saw her. One day I commented that I liked her necklace and asked if it had a special meaning to her. She replied that she would tell me her pearl story when we had more time to chat, that really intrigued me and I was all ears when she tapped on my office door a few days later and asked if I had time for coffee and a chat.
She gave me a long look and began by saying, "I never feel like my outfit is complete without my pearl necklace. I never wear pearls without thinking of their unique origins. And when I ponder how pearls are formed, I can’t help observing the similarities between our lives and the uncomfortable yet beautiful process of pearl formation".
She shared her thoughts with me about the analogy of the pearls and her experience in real life and it was an amazing and powerful conversation that I have never forgotton and have shared many times. I spent some time researching pearls, how they are formed and why. The example my friend shared with me became more and more meaningful as I began to find that I could apply the pearl analogy in so many ways in my life and share it with my clients.
Enter the oyster, stage left. For whatever reason, the oyster shell sometimes gets pierced and a grain of sand – a foreign substance that doesn’t belong there – slips inside. Like the antibodies in our own immune systems that rush to the scene when bacteria invade the body, all of the resources of the tiny, sensitive oyster rush to the spot where the foreign body is irritating the oyster.
The oyster’s body releases healing fluids to soothe the pain caused by the irritant. These healing fluids would have simply remained dormant if this problem had not occurred. Over time, these fluids cover the irritant and the wound is healed. The result of this process over time? A pearl.
Adversity is a fact of our human lives. It sneaks in uninvited and unwelcome, bringing with it things that were never in our plans, happenings that just weren’t supposed to be there. Some experiences are mere irritants; others are major catastrophes that change the entire course of our lives. The way we choose to heal from our wounds will have everything to do with how “beautiful” we are when it’s over.
Some never heal because they allow bitterness to corrupt their spirits and rob them of the possibility of building a happy future. Others stay wounded because they refuse to acknowledge they have a problem, carrying the hurt all alone and not taking advantage of people who are willing and able to help. Still others get stuck in the endless pursuit of “justice” as they define it.
There is a better way. People who thrive despite setbacks in life are those who can courageously deal with them and determine to move ahead, no matter what. Here are five strategies to help people recover and overcome what life throws at them.
1. They recognize that adversity is normal. Instead of asking, “Why me?”, a better question is “Why not me?” After all, we each live in an imperfect world in which “stuff happens” and in which other people are free to make choices that affect us. “In this world, you will have tribulations…”
2. They aren’t afraid of their own emotions, but they choose not to be forever controlled by their feelings. Ignoring the feelings of grief and pain send those “underground”, only to resurface when some similar event triggers the memory. Neither do healthy survivors allow their negative emotions to rule their lives on and on. They find the balance. They acknowledge, feel, and express their pain, but then they do the things that allow them to move on. They don’t take their pain out on others, catching themselves in an endless cycle of anger and attempted revenge.
3. They focus on what they do have to work with, not what they don’t. Alexander Graham Bell once said, “Sometimes we spend so much time looking longingly at the door that has closed for us that we fail to see the one that has opened.” Yes, you should mourn losses…but then, as quickly as possible, assess what you do have. Look creatively at how you can use your existing resources to build quality back into your life.
4. They use the skills of letting go of the unworkable, the unchangeable, and the uncontrollable. The famous Serenity Prayer sums up this principle: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
5. They maintain an internal faith and hope that they will heal and will come out on the other side. Even after you have given up hope on a particular situation (which sometimes is realistic and advisable), never give up your faith that you can have a good life ahead. You can, with God’s strength and your good choices.
Like the pearl, you can be the radiating beauty that comes from the healing process.