The Role of Alternative Therapy

It is important for people to get treatment for substance abuse and any dual diagnosis issues they may have. When they enter a new facility, they are there to learn about their condition, what they need to do to help themselves, and how they are going to make their way through recovery. However, what is less considered is the more spiritual and inner-soul aspects of recovery. This is where alternative therapy comes into play.

What Is Alternative Therapy?

Any therapy that exists outside of the traditional individual and group therapies is considered “alternative.” In recovery, people focus on training their bodies to avoid their addictions and their minds to come to terms with their situations. However, rehab programs have come to realize that this does not cover the whole person.

For many people, there is still an underlying feeling of unease. It is a need to feel more comfortable in their own skin and allow themselves to get to a point where they feel spiritually right with their situation. This is above and beyond simple acceptance of responsibility; it is acceptance of self. People need to know that they are safe and that they are allowed to express their true feelings that have been building over time.

Examples of Alternative Therapies

There are many examples of alternative therapies. In the eyes of the recovery community, it is up to the individual to decide precisely which therapies apply to them. It is important for people to find what works for them and what makes them find that inner peace that will help them through recovery and the rest of their lives.

Equine Therapy

It is said that one of the best ways to find a sense of inner peace is through various forms of animal therapy. One of the most well-known is equine—or horse—therapy. This can include:

  • Grooming
  • Riding
  • Assisting with care
  • One-to-one quiet interaction

For some people, these may seem like mundane tasks. However, for those who are involved in the recovery process, this type of activity can have a soothing effect. There is something special about being up close and personal with such a majestic and gentle creature. Not many people have the chance to be around horses, but we are taught just how amazing they are. It can be transformative for people who can spend time with them.

Expressive Art Therapy

Some people have pent-up emotions that they are unable to express through even the strongest of talk therapies. Expressive art therapy has been shown to assist in ways that other therapies cannot.

The idea behind expressive art therapy is that through a non-verbal medium, people can put their innermost feelings out into the world. However, this does not mean they will be on display for everyone to see. It simply means that people will externalize the things they are having difficulty expressing. Often, this can be through painting and drawing. A blank canvas holds untold stories and is simply waiting for someone to put a brush to it.

Some people may say that they are not great at drawing or have never tried painting. They may think that because of this, expressive art therapy will not work. However, it is not about being “good” at art. As a purely emotional medium, art is whatever makes the creator feel things. It is a way of describing one’s fears and hopes in a way that may only be understood by the individual themselves.

There will be a point where the instructor will sit with the individual and discuss what they have created. This will not be an interrogation. It will simply mean that they will be asked to describe what they are feeling and how what they have created gives meaning and voice to those emotions.

Tai Chi

While some people are interested in strict meditation, others may find that a more physical form of the practice can present a more rounded experience. Tai chi is, at its core, a non-contact form of martial arts. It is a way of slowly moving the body into specific poses while focusing the mind inwards.

For people who have dealt with heavy substance abuse, there may have been a lack of physicality for a prolonged period of time. This personal neglect has led to physical and mental atrophy that must be addressed, and both should be addressed simultaneously. Tai chi provides that outlet.

The physical motions evoke a smooth tide lapping over the edges of a calm sandy beach. Inner thoughts also ebb and flow to the motion and are allowed to drift in a way that direct talk therapy cannot provide. Meditation may feel restrictive, while tai chi is freeing and can be a positive force for healing the entire individual.

Alternative Therapy at Twilight Recovery Center

When a person chooses to become a resident at Twilight Recovery Center, they are making a decision that will impact the rest of their life. Part of this decision involves giving oneself over to medical professionals who will ply their craft and provide various therapies in an effort to facilitate the recovery process.

Alternative therapies play a large role in the program. With Twilight Recovery Center’s unique situation on a beautiful tropical beach, activities are not limited to the indoors. In fact, we pride ourselves in the beachside therapies we provide. Our residents not only know the feeling of productive therapy, but the joys of fresh air, beautiful views, and a sense of inner peace.

When someone arrives at Twilight Recovery Center, they can expect the best traditional therapy we can offer. In fact, our program boasts a staff of medical professionals who are trained to provide top-notch individual and group therapy. However, this is not all we provide. Recovery is more than just meetings. At Twilight Recovery Center, we firmly believe in healing the entire person. This means mentally, emotionally, and physically. To that end, we provide a variety of alternative therapies that exist solely to bolster the individual and their well-being, from yoga on the beach at sunset to tai chi and expressive art therapy. All of these and more are here for our residents to explore. Call us at (888) 414-8183.