Women and men bring unique issues to addiction and recovery. Perhaps a one size fits all approach to womens addiction recovery is less efficient in terms of rebuilding lives.
That is the focus of research done by Karen Dodge, who has put together a treatment program for women.
From Healing Headquarters;
"We believe, based on Dr. Dodge's findings, that the creation of strong emotional inter-reliances among women is essential to the feminine recovery process, an approach we have seamlessly melded with 12 Step treatment modalities." (That means building a strong support network among the women).
"Orchid is intended as a center for holistic women's healing. Here women begin a healing process that builds on an intense sense of community, with mutuality and compassion as vital elements of therapeutic enlightenment. Recovery comes more fully and easily to women who learn to rely on each other, an organizing principle Dr. Dodge refers to as "relational growth". At Orchid, we teach women to listen to voices that were previously dismissed, misunderstood, or simply ignored." (That sounds like lots of trust building exercises)
Given that many people come to addiction trying to deal with the emotional pain from a betrayal of some kind, usually by a parent or, for women, sexual abuse by a relative or domestic violence, the re-establishment of trust is a lynch pin of dealing with emotional pain.
For example, when I am feeling anxious, having someone to talk to who will listen helps me to feel better. The key is having someone who will listen when I need them to.
When someone is available like that and responds quickly I can rebuild my attachment trust that the world is basically a trustworthy place.
And as the listener, making a commitment to listen on an as need basis is a real mission, giving without strings.
"Drawing on an array of services, women usher in a new life at Orchid. The center allows women to bring their fears, questions, hopes, knowledge and experiences to the wisdom of the group, all the time acknowledging and learning from each others struggles and triumphs."
"Our goal is to sharpen and articulate what is useful from traditional treatment models, while developing original treatment modalities that speak more fully to the feminine experience."
The model being developed by Dr. Dodge relies on building strong, supportive relationships with other women which can weather changes and disappointments.
It includes the use of the Planetree design model which emphasizes lots of soothing sensory experience.
But physical design is only one of the nine components of the Planetree Model. The other components include human interactions, empowering patients through information and education, recognizing the importance of families and friends, spirituality, use of human touch, employment of the arts, allowing for complementary therapies, and recognizing the importance of the nutritional and nurturing aspects of food.
So a treatment program for women would focus on the inner feminine wisdom, and the outer wisdom of the 12 steps and relationships.
One of the 12 Steps, the 11th, focuses on daily prayer and meditation, in order to get a sense of what the Higher Power's will is for you, for today, and maybe a recovering person will have to check in more often for guidance.
I know I need to check into my inner wisdom more frequently than one time per day, because I can switch from serenity to anxiety frequently, and calming down involves breathing and prayer.
A tool I use frequently is HeartMath. Using either the hand held emWave or the PC Freeze Frame, I can change my physiology from stressed to calm in the proverbial "heart beat" as many times a day as I need to. With practice my body actually begins to stay coherent or relaxed because that is my natural state. Very healthy, and from a relaxed place it is easy to do my prayer for guidance.
Can this technique be taught to your kids for test taking, for example? You bet.
Once detoxification is done, it will be time to restore the neural networks by practicing skills which enhance neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. (That means brain fitness.) The following three tools are excellent. I find them very helpful in dealing with my own addictive brain and spiritual growth.