Holistic-Based Modalities

Holistic treatment is a term you see batted around quite often in addiction treatment these days, but rarely is this approach explained other than with a laundry list of therapies. Holistic therapy is related to the term holism, coined by J. C. Smuts in Holism and Evolution. It’s the idea that systems and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not just as a collection of parts. Indeed, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In treatment, the system is the human self. The properties of the system are the body, mind, and spirit. Referring back to our Whole Being Recovery Method, holistic therapies are therefore intended to treat the whole person, inclusive of mind, body and spirit, not just the addiction or mental health disorder.

Hugging a horse

At Avery Lane, the Holistic-Based Modalities we employ include but aren’t limited to:

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Yoga and Mindfulness

Stress is a major trigger of substance misuse for many women. Chronic pain, trauma, loss of employment, or marital problems — and sometimes just everyday problems — can women to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping. Giving them ways to relieve their stress is therefore an important component of addiction treatment.

yoga drug and alcohol treatment for womenYoga is a way of clearing the mind and relaxing the body, which makes it a natural therapeutic tool in addiction treatment. At Avery Lane, our program includes yoga classes that are designed to help women relieve and control stress, thereby removing a possible trigger for relapse. Yoga also strengthens the body, which provides additional health benefits.

Yoga also helps in the development of mindfulness. Women who are dealing with addiction are often unable to focus on the moment. Guilt about their past and worries about their future can rob them of life in the present. When experienced all at once, the problems of life can seem overwhelming. The practice of mindfulness trains women with addictions to let go of their pasts and futures so they can be fully present in the now. When they focus only on the present, their problems becomes more manageable, and they are able to learn to control stress. This can be an important component to achieving and maintaining sobriety.

Equine Therapy

Avery Lane partners with the Mearas Group, whose mission is to develop individuals, teams, and organizations by unlocking the untapped potential that exists in each one of us, by partnering with horses as guides. Through this partnership, our participants learn how to establish trusted relationships, inspire collaboration, effectively lead and motivate others, while acting in alignment with passion, purpose and meaning.

Equine Therapy ignites new insights in our participants, strengthens social and emotional intelligence skills, opens new pathways to learning and deepens each participant’s connection to their true passion and purpose.

Expressive Arts (TLAP)

The Tamalpa Life Art Process (TLAP) is a form of expressive arts that uses drawing, creative writing, and movement as a path towards healing. These modalities are used in collaboration with each other, each one informing and feeding another modality creating a rich and layered experience. Through creativity we can connect to the unconscious parts of ourselves and imagine new ways of being in the world. The creative process also gives us a place to learn more deeply about who we are, where we have come from, and where we want to grow towards.

The expressive arts group at Avery Lane will provide a place for each participant to explore who they are and their healing journey. This group will meet each participant where they are in their process and will continue to support them as they grow. It will provide a safe environment for each participant to be witnessed and receive positive reflection on their creative process. Each session will consist of a combination of movement, drawing, and journaling/creative writing that is focused on a specific theme such as finding resources, mask and unmask, and internal/external boundaries. These activities will be enacted individually, in small groups, and as a whole group to build personal healing through the connection to others and creativity. In the expressive arts group at Avery Lane we will be playing and creatively engaging with our own material on our healing journey. Throughout our creative process we will be tuning into how we are physically and emotionally affected and paying attention to the images and stories that arise.

The TLAP is beneficial when working with substance abuse and trauma through giving participant a way to find and harness both internal and external resources within their life, a safe space to express and embody their experiences, and a place to imagine and create new possibilities. This movement based expressive arts form provides both a deeper connection to one’s body and a way to creatively engage with one’s life. The expressive arts create a safe container to explore vulnerable areas in one’s life by engaging with one’s personal material through the use of metaphors, images, stories, and the imagination.

The creative process is a natural process of transformation, you start with your impetus and then transform it into a new form. This transformation process is one of the reasons why it can be such a powerful resource to use when working with difficult material. Through creativity we can take vulnerable personal material and use it as the inspiration for creating a piece of artwork that is related to us but is also separate from us. It allows us to be able to see, question, and learn from the artwork, which is outside of us, rather then looking directly at the very vulnerable and raw places within our being. This distance allows us to be able to see more clearly how this material affects and engages us and it also allows for only what we are ready to see to come through. The abstract and metaphorical quality of art means that we only see what is ready to emerge and what we are ready to work on within our lives.