Addition Recovery Programmes – Addict Group Therapy, The 12 Steps and a Healthy Lifestyle

There are many addiction recovery programmes available to suffering addicts who are in need of in-patient rehabilitation. The most successful rehabilitation methods involve addict group therapy, a Twelve Step Programme and a healthy lifestyle. The combination of these three therapeutic tools establishes a healthy physical, emotional and spiritual basis to begin a life of recovery with a stable foundation upon which to grow.

Many rehabs offer addiction recovery programmes that do not combine all of these principles and whilst successful to an extent, the better chance at recovery seems to stem from group and individual therapy, a Twelve Step Programme and a healthy lifestyle.

Addict group therapy
Group therapy is a very effective approach to addiction recovery therapy, as is one-to-one counselling. When a person trapped in an obsessive and compulsive addiction becomes abstinent from that behaviour, many emotions will emerge from the empty gap which addictive behaviour has left in their life. Once 'clean', addicts no longer have a crutch to stop uncomfortable feelings from surfacing and the first three months are extremely difficult. The themes of the groups in addict group therapy tend to surround present issues and some past ones, but mostly the discussion deals with the difficult emotions which surface during early recovery from addiction.

Group therapy allows addicts in the group to relate to one another, challenge denial systems and emergences of addictive behaviour. Living in a primary care centre, clients spend a great deal of time with each other and have the opportunity to notice other’s behaviour that may be a danger to their abstinence. Sharing experiences, hope and relating to similar feelings and circumstances is extremely beneficial to clients as these provide support, hope and a realistic view of their situation and problems.

Individuals' counselling is the practise of assigning each patient to a counsellor who will see them on a weekly basis for a one-to-one appointment. In these sessions, the client will be able to explore issues through psychotherapy without any group members present. The session is usually half an hour to an hour long and is spent entirely focused on the client’s past and present feelings and experiences.

A Twelve Step Programme
The Minnesota Model of addictions counselling uses addict group therapy and individual therapy coupled with a Twelve Step Programme of recovery. The Twelve Steps were founded in the 1930's as a fellowship for helping alcoholics to deal with their alcohol addiction. Today there are many different fellowships to assist with all forms of addiction - NA for drug addiction, EDA for eating disorders, CODA for co-dependence, GA for Gambling and SLA for sex and love addiction.

The programme is based on spirituality, not religion and involves a daily programme of recovery consisting of Twelve Step meetings, literature, written work (working the Twelve Steps) seeking direction from more experienced members of the particular fellowship and giving support to the running of the programme by taking up service positions such as the librarian who sells literature at a meeting or cleaning coffee cups.

The programme allows any addict to deal with life on a day-to-day basis in a healthy and constructive manner whilst staying connected with other recovering addicts who are working towards a life of being abstinent and in recovery.

A healthy lifestyle
Regular exercise and healthy eating habits are the key to a healthy body and physical state. It has long been proven that a healthy body helps to ease depression and other psychiatric disorders, as well as increase self esteem, happiness and relaxation. When an addict follows a regular programme of healthy living, it is usually the first loving act they have carried out towards themselves.

Addicts in rehabilitation centres participating daily walks and a healthy eating plan are generally far more relaxed, happier and more motivated to take positive action in their lives. Healthy eating should incorporate each of the food groups into a person's diet. Cutting out food groups or avoiding certain foods is unnatural and likely to leave the client craving for whichever food group is missing. Diet should consist of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fruits. When eaten in the right balance, the body is able to benefit optimally from the increased energy and nutrition as well as heal from the damage caused by the addictive process.

Addiction is a very difficult disease to manage and requires vigilance and willingness as well as being open to new ways of doing things. For clients in rehabilitation centres participating in group and individual therapy, a healthy lifestyle and following Twelve Step Programme is a solution to their obsessive and compulsive behavioural traits. A healthy mind, soul and body are the key for successful abstinence from addictive behaviours.

Oasis Counselling Centre is a rehabilitation centre in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa and endorses healthy eating and a Twelve Step Programme as well as provides addiction group therapy and individual therapy and counselling for clients.

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