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Mental Health

Yoga and Recovery

By | Mental Health | No Comments

How do yoga and recovery go hand in hand? Does yoga evoke spandex and tricky poses? Or do you imagine a yogi chanting by the side of a river in India seeking enlightenment?

In the context of recovery and addiction treatment, yoga has a profound impact. Yoga is an opportunity to engage sensory, non-conceptual awareness. In addition, it decreases emotional reactivity, increases relaxation, and shifts our concepts of self. Hence, it is a way to take ownership of ourselves, our emotions, and our thoughts. Recovery is about becoming who you are meant to be.

According to Khanna and Greeson,

“Addictions are born as a result of ‘mindless’ states involving escapist attitudes, automatic thinking, emotional reactivity and social isolation” (2013, p.3).

So, what is the antidote to isolation? Presence, conscious thinking, emotional regulation, and connection.

What’s one way to find that? Yoga.

At the Redpoint Center, we recognize that being in recovery means more than not using substances or alcohol. It is about a neurobiological and relational shift. Furthermore, it is re-engagement in life. This is why we have yoga classes in our treatment program. And it’s why we are constantly exploring more ways that we can amplify one’s sobriety.

Yoga and Recovery Work Together

What does yoga do exactly? There remains academic uncertainty as to how and why yoga “works.” This ancient practice has been changing lives for centuries. One hypothesis is that yoga, particularly the meditative aspects of the practice, shift our “default mode network” (DMN). Our DMN is comprised of brain regions that are highly self-centered and self-referential.

When operating from the DMN the brain is hyper-focused on self-narratives. This provides little space to gain perspective on one’s life or behavior. However, studies show mindfulness activities like yoga and meditation increase the functional connectivity between the DMN and other brain networks. Furthermore, this results in a decrease in our attachment to the “narrative self” and an increase in the ability to regulate emotions. Consequently, we feel calmer. This allows us to put ourselves and our lives into perspective. Perspective is key. When we get caught up in our past and our personal pain, it is easy to get swept away by stress. We are no longer in the moment when stressed. We are in the past or the present and this causes suffering.

Yoga, Stress, and Trauma Treatment

Research shows that yoga decreases overall stress. And stress is known to trigger substance abuse relapse.

“The relaxation response achieved after yoga may confer the ability to face situations in a relaxed state of mind.” (Khanna & Greeson, 2013, p.3)

The practice also increases mindfulness. In addition, this supports individuals to target mindless thoughts such as the automatic behavioral and mental patterns associated with craving. Furthermore, yoga is gaining momentum as a treatment for PTSD and trauma. Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk practices and teaches trauma-sensitive yoga. He believes that,

“The big benefit of yoga is that you learn to breathe yourself into body positions that are potentially very triggering, but by having the voice of your yoga teacher and having that deep attention to trying to breathe while you do the posture, you can detoxify that particular interoceptive awareness into a piece of safety… once that part of your body becomes a safe part, you become liberated (Van der Kolk, 2015, p. 3).

As we know that trauma and addiction are deeply connected. This growing methodology brings somatic awareness to our known methods of healing. And many are finding contemplative practices to be powerful in transforming PTSD, stress, and trauma.

Yoga gives us the regular opportunity to move the body, practice mindfulness, and often leave feeling more relaxed. And that alone is a gift we all could benefit from.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, mental health problems, we are here to help. Even if we are not an appropriate fit, we help you find what is the best solution for you and your family.

We treat adults and youth struggling with substance use disorder and alcohol addiction.

Learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Sources

Khanna, S., & Greeson, J. M. (2013). A narrative review of yoga and mindfulness as complementary therapies for addiction. Complementary Therapies in Medicine,21(3), 244-252. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.01.008

Van der Kolk, Bessel (2015). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York (New York): Penguin Books.

 

The Importance of Self Care in Recovery

By | addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

After being an addict and alcoholic for so long, a person can start to believe that they are not good enough and that they don’t measure up….at least that’s what I thought about myself.

It makes sense as to why a person can start feeling this way. For so long, while I was in active addiction, I didn’t take care of myself. I wouldn’t wear my seat belt all the time, I had the worst possible diet, and at times would I would even skip showering.

Addiction negatively affects your self-perception, mood, motivation. and well-being. It can make you feel overwhelmed and bad about yourself, and at times it seems there is no way out.

When I finally got sober and had a significant number of clean days under my belt, I wasn’t sure what self-care meant anymore. I also internalized self-care as being “selfish”.  During my active addiction, I had been selfish for so long that the last thing I wanted to do was pay attention to the things that I needed.

I realize now that there is a huge difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself. What I learned was that you need to implement self-care when you get sober so that you can replace selfish, addictive behavior with healthy alternatives.

Once you are addicted to alcohol or other drugs, it is common to use these addictive behaviors to cope with negative feelings. Some even use these addictive behaviors as a type of reward system for themselves.

During my active addiction, it got to the point where I would tell myself, “I worked all day today, so I deserve to get high.” Or “my boyfriend made me mad, so I can get high to make myself feel better.”

Now, instead of using all of my time to get high, I take care of myself. I work out, do art, get my nails done, and take time out of my day to just sit and think. By doing this, I can change my own thoughts about myself and my life.

Now, the more I take care of myself and the better I feel, the more I want to keep that feeling going. I also know that in order to keep this positive feeling going, I need to keep working on myself, help others and maintain my sobriety.  This self-growth is an important part of self-care.

When I was using, I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone help someone else. Now that I take time out for myself, I have more positive energy to help other people.

I’m a huge fan of self-care now, if you haven’t tried it, I would HIGHLY recommend it…you’re missing out!

 

-Samantha

Why is Addiction Considered a “Family Disease”? 

By | addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

While those suffering from addiction are experiencing their own type of hell, the loved ones surrounding them suffer immensely, too. It goes without saying that living with an addict is incredibly difficult. 

When an addict begins to hurt their family, disrespect their siblings and parents, lash out, and challenge boundaries, the other members of the household also change their behaviors. Some may try and help the addict and protect them from getting into trouble, thus becoming the ‘scapegoat’. Others may take on the role of “caretaker” and attempt to compensate for the lack of care given by parents because the parents may be too busy trying to protect the addict. These are only a few examples of the dysfunctional roles that family members can take on when an addict is among them.

 In a recent study done at Texas Tech University, the saying, “addiction is a family disease” has taken on new meaning. Not only is the addict’s brain affected by the addiction, the family members’ brains actually change as well. What the study found is that members of the addict’s family have become sick as a result of the addict’s behavior. Just like when the prefrontal cortex of an addict shuts down when they are faced with temptation or are triggered to use, the family members’ prefrontal cortex  will malfunction when they are attempting to help the addict. Family members actually “crave” rescuing and care-taking of their addicted family member just like the addict craves their substance of choice. 

The conclusion of the study, which took place at Texas Tech, states the following: 

“The present study provides preliminary evidence that family members’ symptomatic behaviors associated with a loved one with a Substance Use Disorder  (such as fear-based behaviors), as hypothesized, may be related to altered brain functioning. Given these findings, problematic symptoms and behaviors may likely not decrease simply because the loved one struggling with a Substance Use Disorder finds abstinence or engages in a process of recovery. Should altered pathways be present in the brains of affected family members as has been found in individuals struggling with Substance Use Disorders, it becomes of great importance to help family members recognize their own personal need for support, ther- apeutic treatment, and/or recovery. Part of the recovery process should include family-based therapeutic support, and it is therefore important to make sure that the appropriate systemic and relationship training is available to helping professionals.” 

This study proves the necessity of the entire family getting treatment, not just the addict. Family members who turn to support groups such as Al-Anon or partake in family therapy have found great success in changing their behavior and learning “the three C’s”: You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, and you can’t control it.” If the addict is the only one getting treatment, and then goes back in to an environment where the rest of the family is still unwell, the addict’s likelihood for success goes down. The disease of addiction is viciously contagious, and it is important for everyone who is touched by it to seek help. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

Canine Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Addiction

By | addiction, Community, Media, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

Canine Assisted Psychotherapy occurs when therapists partner with therapy dogs to enhance the therapeutic experience.  As an Animal Assisted Therapist, I have seen the many ways that dogs can enhance the therapeutic environment through the human animal bond.

 

Research has shown that Canine Assisted Psychotherapy can benefit people with:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Addiction
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Treatment Resistance

 

Dogs also provide unconditional love and acceptance and can promote health and healing when used in therapy. This type of experience provides clients with the opportunity to find self-love, self-acceptance, and can decrease stress and anxiety related to the therapeutic process.

 

Dogs are unique in that they provide immediate feedback to the people they interact with.  They can reflect emotions and in doing so can help people to identify their emotions and practice emotion regulation. This allows clients to practice healthy coping skills and emotion regulation skills within the therapeutic setting with the support of their therapist.

 

In general, the therapeutic experience can be stressful and overwhelming.  The presence of a therapy dog can help to decrease the anxiety clients feel during therapy.  Lastly, the physical activity and dog training that is associated with Canine Assisted Psychotherapy can help to improve physical health, communication, and frustration tolerance.

 

Some of the benefits of Canine Assisted Therapy include the following:

  • Strengthen the therapeutic alliance between therapist and client
  • Increase self confidence
  • Improve psychosocial functioning
  • Decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  • Decrease Stress
  • Improve communication skills
  • Better Mood
  • Improve anger management
  • Better physical health

 

As an Animal Assisted Therapist, I have seen the many ways that dogs can enhance the therapeutic environment through the human animal bond. The therapeutic experience can be stressful and overwhelming.  The presence of a therapy dog can help to decrease the anxiety clients feel during therapy.

 

Overall, Canine Assisted Psychotherapy can be a beneficial therapeutic practice for many people.  However, it is not for everyone.  Canine Assisted Psychotherapy will only be beneficial if the client is interested in dogs or enjoys dogs. It is important to ensure that both the client and the therapy dog can remain safe and benefit from the therapeutic encounter prior to engaging in canine assisted interventions.

 

The Redpoint Center is a substance abuse treatment center in Longmont, Colorado.  We are lucky to have our own therapy dog named Parker.  Parker is generally in the office on most days of the week and is happy to sit in on a client’s therapy session if he isn’t busy chewing on his toys.

 

For more information on Canine Assisted Psychotherapy please reference the following research:

  • Incorporating animal-assisted therapy in mental health treatments for adolescents: A systematic review of canine assisted psychotherapy

Melanie G. Jones, Simon M. Rice, Susan M. Cotton

  • Research on Benefits of Canine-Assisted Therapy for Adults in Nonmilitary Settings

Janet S. Knisely, Sandra B. Barker, and Randolph T. Barker

  • Patient benefit of dog-assisted interventions in health care: a systematic review Martina Lundqvis, Per Carlsson, Rune Sjödahl, Elvar Theodorssonand   Lars-Åke Levin

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

The Redpoint Center Staff’s Favorite Songs About Addiction, Drug Use and Recovery

By | addiction, Community, Media, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

Stories of addiction and drug abuse have worked themselves into our culture in the form of books, music, theater and songs for centuries.   Often times, a song we love is actually about addiction and drug abuse and we aren’t even aware of it until we take the time to really look at and listen to the lyrics.  This isn’t surprising, considering the fact that addiction and drug use is common among singers, songwriters and musicians that we listen to on a daily basis.  We also know of a multitude of extremely talented singers and members of popular bands who have died from addiction and drug overdoses., so it is not uncommon to find stories about drug and addiction in their music.

 

Just last month, the staff at The Redpoint Center, an outpatient substance abuse treatment program in Longmont, Colorado, shared their favorite movies about addiction and recovery.  We therefore found the next logical step was for us to recount our favorite songs about addiction, drug use and recovery.  The following is a summary of our musings, in no particular order, along with a link to the song and the staff member who chose it.

 

  • Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind- This song is the title track from the rock band’s self-titled debut album that was released in 1997.  Despite the easy going and peppy pop sound of this song, it is actually about using crystal meth and the shiny looking outside of people who are sick and hurting on the inside.ur medical director, Dr. Honor Ashbaugh.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beINamVRGy4

 

  • Under the Bridge by The Red Hot Chili Peppers- “Under the Bridge” appears on the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s fifth album, titled Blood, Sweat, Sex and Magik. Anthony Keidis, the rock band’s lead singer, wrote the lyrics of this song to depict feelings of loneliness and despondency, and to relay the impact that a heroin addiction had on his life.  This song was picked as a favorite by our clinical director, Nikki Summers, and therapist Quddus Maus.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLvohMXgcBo

 

  • Hurt by Nine Inch Nails- Hurt is a song that appears on Nine Inch Nail’s second studio album, The Downward Spiral, released in 1994. The song includes references to self-harm and heroin addiction.  Others contend that the song acts as s suicide note written by the song’s protagonist.  Nonetheless, the entire album is about a period in the singer’s life when he abused drugs and fell into a deep depression.  This song, and the cover by Johnny Cash, was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s founder, Cody Gardner.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPz21cDK7dg

 

  • Hurt cover by Johnny Cash- In 2002, Johnny Cash covered the song “Hurt”.  Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails lead singer, said he was flattered when Johnny Cash wanted to cover this song, but was worried that it was a “bit gimmicky”.  After seeing the video, however, which was best music video of the year by Grammy’s and CMA Awards, Reznor liked what he saw.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt1Pwfnh5pc

 

  • Soul to Squeeze by The Red Hot Chili Peppers- “Soul to Squeeze” was released as a B-side on the The Red Hot Chili Peppers “Give it Away” and “Under the Bridge.” It was then released as a single in 1993.  “Soul to Squeeze” Is thought by some as depicting the entire mental process between addiction and recovery. It focuses heavily on what recovery has to offer rather than glorifying or self-deprecating the addictive thought process.  This was picked  a asfavorite by The Redpoint Center’s Drew Dyer..

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XcN12uVHeQ

 

  • Lost in the Cold by Twiddle- “Lost in the Cold” was also picked as a favorite by Drew Dyer. In his own words, the song reminds him of “grabbing onto the fear of recovery and facing it rather than hiding from it.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0NyOcf7h8c

 

  • Heroin by The Velvet Underground- The song “Heroin” was released by The Velvet Underground on their 1967 debut album called The Velvet Underground & Nico. The song was written by Lou Reed and beautifully depicts heroin use and abuse.  The song “Heroin” neither endorses nor condemns the use of heroin, which has made it a troubling song in the eyes of some listeners.  This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s wellness coordinator, Shane Niemeyer.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFLw26BjDZs

 

  • Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth, by The Dandy Warhols- This song was released in 1997 on the second studio album released by The Dandy Warhols, called The Dandy Warhols Come Down.  The song, according to front man Courtney Taylor-Taylor, was written about his girlfriend (at the time) who got addicted to heroin while he was on tour. This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center therapist, Desmond Cohen.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APrpB-i4d_E

 

  • Down on the Bottom by The New Basement Tapes- Down on the Bottom was the first song recorded by The New Basement Tapes on their album titled “Lost on the River.” The lyrics were written by Bob Dylan in 1967, and are interpreted to be about drinking and hitting rock bottom with nowhere to go but up.  This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s Katie Fischer.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXXEG6kY96E

 

  • You’ll Never Walk Alone by The Dropkick Murphy’s- This song first appeared in a 1945 musical called Carousel. It has been covered by many different bands and musicians, and appeared on The Dropkick Murphys album “11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory” when it was released in 2017.  This song, explains bassist and vocalist Ken Casey, came on when he was leaving a wake for a friend who had overdosed on opiates.  It summed up to him how he was feeling at the time- sad but knowing that there is hope. This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s therapist Stephanie Winkler.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8SK8JHKn1k

 

  • Lover I Don’t Have to Love by Bright Eyes- “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” was released by the American, Indie Rock band as a single in 2002. The Redpoint Center’s family advocate, Taylor Cole, picked this song as a favorite about addiction and shared her words.  “I listened to this song throughout the throws of my addiction when I was touring with a band the year before I got sober. I knew I was an addict and I was not ready to get sober. I wanted to put myself into so much pain it would force me to get sober or I would just not make it. Every time I listen to it, I remember that feeling and am grateful that I don’t have to live like that anymore.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuXkhE0VMcw

 

  • Staying Alive by Cursive- The song “Staying Alive”, by Cursive, was also picked by Taylor Cole as her favorite song about recover. She quotes, “Bad ass song that makes my insides feel warm and fuzzy. Choosing life and looking forward.”

 

 

  • Suicidal Thoughts by Biggie Smalls- “Suicidal Thoughts” was the last song on the debut album, “Ready to Die”, released by Notorious B.I.G. in 1994. Although not strictly about addiction, the song was listed as very meaningful to The Redpoint Center’s founder, Cody Gardner, who states that he “used to write the verses of this song on all his notebooks” while in rehab.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4M8GjgfG9k

 

  • Alive by Sia- “Alive” is the lead single from the Australian singer songwriter’s 7th studio album, titled “This is Acting.” The Redpoint Center’s admissions director, Rachael Messaros, notes that this song is one of her favorites about recovery. In her words, “On my 6th sobriety birthday I put all of my songs on shuffle, and this song came on. I cried because I was like, holy shit, I survived.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2NgsJrrAyM

 

  • Billy Walker, by Israel Darling- Billy Walker was released in on the album by Israel Darling titled “Dinosaur Bones & Mechanical Hands.” This song was picked as a favorite by one of The Redpoint Center’s therapists, Jay Fullam. In his own words, “I heard this song when I got sober at an open mic.  It really stuck with me and I listened to it regularly during my first year of sobriety.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2rS0chMWFw

 

  • Needle and the Damage Done by Neil Young–“Needle and The Damage Done” first appeared on the Harvest album which was released in 1972. This song was written by Neil Young to describe the destruction caused by the heroin addiction of musicians he knew, including his friend and Crazy Horse bandmate, Danny Whitten. It previews the theme of a later album, “Tonight’s the Night”, that expresses Young’s grief over the subsequent overdose deaths of both Whitten and Bruce Berry, who was a roadie for Young and Crazy Horse. This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s Executive Director, Donnie Hagenbart.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd3oqvnDKQk

 

 

  • Rehab by Amy Winehouse- Rehab appeared on Winehouse’s second and final album, Back to Black, in 2006. The lyrics are in fact autobiographical, and describe Winehouse’s refusal to enter into a rehabilitation clinic for substance abuse and addiction. The song won three Grammy awards at the 50th Winehouse, as most know, subsequently died of alcohol poisoning on July 23rd, 2011.  This song was picked as a favorite by one of the Redpoint Center’s adolescent therapists, Bridget Camacho.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUmZp8pR1uc

 

  • Mansion by NF- The song Mansion, by NF (which stands for Nathan Feurstein) is a song on this American rapper’s debut album, titled the same, which was released on March 31, 2015. This song was picked by The Redpoint Center’s Samantha Jackson. In her own words, “I like this song because for so long I was in my head about a lot of things and I thought keeping that to myself was a lot safer than talking about it or getting help. Also, I thought using was a good way to take care of my problems, but it just acted as a temporary fix. This song is a good reminder to myself that I don’t want to be in such a dark place again. It also puts me in the mindset of when I was still using and how much I didn’t like what I was doing.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF5QE3-ox4o

 

 

We hope you enjoy this compilation of The Redpoint Center staff’s favorite songs about addiction, drug abuse and recover.  If you think you or your loved one might have an addiction or problem with drug or alcohol use, The Redpoint Center can help.  Please call us with any questions, as we’re here to help.

 

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

EMDR and its Role in the Treatment of Addiction

By | addiction, Community, Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

Helping To Address Trauma During Addiction Treatment

The Redpoint Center is a trauma focused substance abuse treatment center in Longmont, Colorado. We understand that trauma is a risk factor for addiction and substance use disorder. Our treatment of trauma is key in helping individuals recover from their addictions. We use several different types of treatments for trauma, which differ from talk therapy.  One reason talk therapy doesn’t effectively address trauma is that those memories are stored in the hippocampus, part of the mid brain. Our talk therapy doesn’t effectively access these memories stored in the mid brain—it tends to involve utilization of our frontal lobes.

 

Using EMDR to Cope With Trauma and Stress

EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy is a helpful tool used to treat trauma. It helps us access and process memories stored in the mid brain. Our use of EMDR is expanding, and helping more people with issues that are causing them distress. We’ve found that people with substance abuse issues commonly have a history of trauma, struggle to cope with stress, and often benefit from EMDR.

Research has shown that EMDR causes changes in the brain chemistry that reverse the damage caused by trauma or acute stress. Bessel van der Kolk, an expert and researcher in the field of brain chemistry and trauma, has performed several brain studies. His work involved taking PET scan photographs of the brain before and after EMDR sessions.

The PET scans of someone who is remembering trauma show the amygdala in the brain to be well lit. This is part of the limbic system (in the mid brain) that is responsible for emotions, survival instincts and memory. The amygdala is well lit when trauma and acute stress exist. It is the “smoke detector” that scans the environment, and lets us know if there is something going on that is relevant to survival.

When people experience a threat, the amygdala becomes activated and is well lit in a PET scan. The frontal lobe, where cognition and understanding take place, is quite dim because the amygdala is more activated. When people are experiencing “normal” memories, the frontal lobe is bright and outshines the amygdala.

 

Studies About the Benefits of EMDR

In one study, van der Kolk had several individuals go through EMDR sessions. Before the sessions, the PET scans showed a brain in a trauma state. After the EMDR sessions, the brain appeared normal when the client was bringing to mind the same stressful event. The memory was no longer held as a traumatic memory but as a normal, processed memory.

We found another study where van der Kolk showed that subjects with a complicated traumatic history, after six EMDR sessions, had greatly reduced PTSD symptoms that continued to decrease even more for up to six months after the study.

We do not know exactly how psychotherapy affects the brain’s neuro-biology. However, we do know that when people are upset, their brains cannot process information normally. EMDR is similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

During REM sleep, the information from the day is being processed. When people experience trauma, the amygdala becomes hyperactive, and stores the traumatic information and memory. This makes it difficult to process this information. EMDR creates the same stimulation that occurs during REM sleep. This assists the brain in processing the trauma or issues related to stress.  The end result is that people see disturbing information in a new and less distressing way.

 

Getting Started with EMDR in Your Treatment

We know addiction is connected to acute stress and often trauma. Once our client has dealt with trauma and acute stress through EMDR, he or she is better able to experience healthy relationships, cope with stress and live a more successful life.  In addition, people can recover from addiction since they are no longer, or less affected, by their distress.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. Learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, by calling 888-509-3153.

The Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter

By | addiction, Community, Media, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

It is a common occurrence amongst therapists to joke that if they bring their clients to tears then they know they’ve done something right. We believe that laughter can be one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. 

Other reasons why laughing is therapeutic:

Connection: Laughter increases one’s ability to be close with others, and is an expression most often used in a social context. We are 30 times more likely to laugh if we are with another person. Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott said we laugh “to show people that you understand them, that you agree with them, and you are part of the same group with them. You’re laughing to show them you like them, you might even love them. Laughter is doing all that emotional work for you.”

See what else Sophie has to say in her Ted Talk Why We Laugh

Nervous System Regulation: laughter reduces sympathetic nervous system activity (fight or flight response) and increases parasympathetic system activity, which can relax the whole body, thus reducing the impact of stress on the body and mind.

Read more about laughter and the nervous system here.

Perspective: it offers a new way to look at a situation and

“Humor and laughter can shift perspective and change the way the our mind views or experiences an event.”

Emotional Health

Emotional health, but physical health have been linked to laughter as well.  Norman Cousins, who wrote Anatomy of an Illness (1979), describes his experience using laughter to help him live a longer, and more pain free life while suffering from an illness affecting the immune system. According to Cousins:

  • Laughter:
    • Releases endorphins in the brain that fight physical pain.
    • Protects our immune systems.
    • Increases antibodies that fight infection.
    • Increases natural killer cell activity. Natural killer cells attack cancerous cells in the body.
    • Improves cardiovascular health
    • Activates neuro-chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, acting as a natural antidepressant.

And one final thought; did you know there is something called “Laughter Yoga”? Make sure to check out this Ted Talk by Dr. Madan Kataria, the pioneer of Laughter Yoga, which is now a worldwide practice for improving overall health and wellbeing.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

How to Help Someone Struggling with Thoughts of Suicide

By | Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment

According to a report released by The Centers for Disease Control, suicide rates have risen in all but one state in the United States between 1999 and 2016. In more than half of all deaths in 27 states, the person who committed suicide had no known mental health condition when they took their lives.

In 2016, nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in The United States. Particularly alarming are the statistics showing that in 2016, over 115,000 suicide attempts by adolescents were reported in U.S. hospitals.

The general thinking on the cause of this rise of suicidal ideation in teens and adults seems to have its roots in a lack of mental health treatment in the U.S., a rise in Substance abuse, alcohol abuse, and drug addiction, and a continued rise in the connection between cell phones, social media, and depression.

According to a 2017 study, teenagers are more likely to consider suicide when they spend more than 5 hours per day on their devices. Even though teenagers are considered to be under more pressure at school, this does not turn out to affect depression rates among those studied.

It’s important to know that there are things you can do if you know someone who is struggling with suicide:

  1. Reach out for help, suicidal ideation/depression/and substance abuse are treatable conditions. If you know someone who is struggling, they don’t have to suffer in silence. Google mental health treatment near me or addiction treatment near me to find a local resource. Tell the person they do not have to be ashamed, this is something that can be resolved.
  2. Drugs and Alcohol. Some drugs and alcohol generally act as depressants. If the person saying they are suicidal or depressed is a regular user, getting help for addiction and alcohol use can change depression and suicidal ideation.
  3. Take threats seriously. If someone you know says they are suicidal, contact your local non-emergency line and have the professionals assess them. Other resources can be found here.
  4. Listen and share. Listen to the person who is saying they are suicidal, share your feelings and let the person know that you care about them and are willing to walk with them as they get help.
  5. Get outside. If someone is claiming they are depressed or have had suicidal urges in the past, fresh air and exercise can quickly change their outlook.
  6. Weapons. If you have weapons in the house, they should be removed immediately. Suicide by firearm is the main method of suicide in the America.

At The Redpoint Center we know that suicide and addiction or alcohol abuse go hand in hand. Out staff are professional trained to handle mental health crisis’s, substance use and abuse, and suicidal ideation. We specialize in working with teens, young adults, and adults who struggle with these co-occurring conditions.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, depression, or substance problems, call us at (888) 509-3153 to speak with a highly trained admissions coordinator. If our services don’t fit, we will personally help you find resources that do.

Anthony Bourdain,
Why It Stings.

By | Mental Health

For me, and many other Americans this year, the news has been tough. Political and social unrest, polarizing extremists’ groups, gun violence, hurting families, impossible situations, natural disasters and so much death. For most of my adult life, I have asserted a great effort to stay informed, and up to date on the events happening in our country and around the globe. The process actually helped anesthetize the sometimes-overwhelming feeling that I have no idea what is actually going on, and worse yet, have no control over any of it.

Yet, about a year ago, I came to terms with the reality that my religious-following of the headlines was actually negatively impacting my quality of life; that many of the issues plaguing my consciousness had no direct impact on my life and ability to live it well. So, I pulled back, and have greatly reduced the amount of time and mental real-estate I give to the news.

The results have fared me well, and have allowed me to stay informed with less emotional attachment to whatever is going on.

That is, until I read the headlines this morning. “Anthony Bourdain, dies after apparent suicide at age 61”. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and for a brief moment refused to believe it was real at all. Much like the response to the death of friend or family member.

His death and the tragic loss of Kate Spade, and the vast number of unnamed souls who felt the cloak of darkness too heavy to withstand, are indeed growing in numbers each day. And to be honest, largely, I’ve grown numb to the reality of the suffering endured by these individuals and their families; the emptiness and the hopelessness that must saturate them entirely.

So why, Anthony’s death? I mean, I loved his show, his style and demeanor were impeccable, and he seemed to be living the life most people dream of. But the same could be said for many artists and heroes of mine that have fatally lost their light to mental health or drug addiction; but the news of those losses was usually met with that all-too-familiar numbing sadness. So again, why Anthony? Upon further inspection, I’ve found the death of Anthony so disturbing because I relate to him on some very deep, very personal, levels.

Throughout his career and public life Anthony spoke with candor about his history with drug addiction, depression and that underlying angst that many of us feel. I identified with Anthony’s insatiable thirst for exploration and his inexcusable desire to connect with folks that are often overlooked; to learn from them, rather than impose himself onto them. He did this with so much style that it helped me, and countless others take these steps ourselves.

His image was powerful, attractive and compelling. But that is just it. An image, a presentation. No doubt genuine, because I believe that is who Anthony was, but clearly not complete. I understand this conundrum on a cellular level, and I think most of America does as well. In recent years, our culture has developed an obsession with image, presentation, and our own personal “brand strength”. And hell, we’ve gotten good at it.

The disparity between the content each of us push out on our social platforms and the staggering CDC statistic that tell the truth of where we are at, as a society is confounding. The CDC reports that in 2016 there were over 45,000 suicides and over 46,000 fatal overdoses in our country, and it is my estimation that the majority of these fatalities we’re “unexpected” and that those lost, suffered in silence.

I am not a sociologist or a dignified health care professional, I am just a guy who knows what it feels like to live in the lonely place between what people see and how you feel. I also know what it feels like, to have a brain that steers you away from joy and truth, and what it is like to swim upstream from that darkness every day. I know what it feels like to feel hopeless and out of options. And I know what it feels like to fantasize about turning it all off, for good. I remember the pain of eye contact and the lethargy of a smile. I didn’t know Anthony, and the chances are that I don’t know you, but from one fellow to human to another, if you are struggling, I know what that feels like.

And if there is one thing we have done well as a society over the last decade, it is open up a conversation about these issues. Indeed, we have so far to go, but I can see the progress we have made. And despite what it may feel like to be suffering in this way, or to love someone that is, we must all understand there is always hope; and the path to healing may be narrow, but the trailhead is open for anyone willing to take that walk.

So, if you are reading this, I urge you to inquire within and honestly ask yourself how you are doing, and to consider looking past the presentation of those around you, and ask them how they are doing. This is a time where we must get honest with one another, and to champion each other’s health and vitality. Here in Longmont Colorado and, more broadly, Boulder County, we know that suicide and addiction are inexorably linked. No one should have to suffer in silence. if you are in search of a listening ear or just someone to talk to please call us at 888-509-3159 or the national suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

There is always hope.

-Taylor

About the Author

Taylor Gibler brings a diverse skill set to Redpoint Center’s team, hailing from a background in the non-profit sector, marketing/brand development, and in behavioral health intervention. Taylor’s professional pursuits were born out of a sincere desire to help marginalized groups and at-risk populations. In his early 20s, Taylor joined a Honolulu based non-profit, that used surfing as a way bring a positive force into difficult situations. Taylor has been apprenticing under one of the most highly sought-after interventionists in the country and has been formally trained and certified in multiple modalities of intervention; maintaining and growing in his ability to help guide people to a path to recovery.

Our Team for Drug Addiction Recovery

By | addiction, Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment

Our team at The Redpoint Center is diverse in practice and unified in purpose.

Because each of our clients is unique and will respond to their treatment as such, the team at The Redpoint Center offers multidisciplinary therapeutic interventions, each designed to meet and to heal individuals in a way that yields lasting change.

The Redpoint Center was created with a vision. A vision to help those struggling with substance use disorder to find long term recovery. I believe that each person caught in this epidemic deserves access to high quality, trauma informed, recovery oriented care. The days of being stigmatized need to come to an end and this country can stand up and proclaim that each person is valuable and should be given the opportunity to recover.

We are a handpicked team of dedicated individuals who have never hesitated to pick up the phone in the middle of the night for someone who is struggling. A group of people who have demonstrated the highest level of ethical compass and endeavor each day to help each person who walks through our doors.

The Redpoint Center is an outpatient substance abuse treatment facility that seeks to empower its clients to live meaningful lives of Community, Purpose, Recovery. Our team of licensed professionals understands the complex challenges associated with starting anew, and collectively provide a diverse set of tools to safely navigate those challenges.

Our goal is to foster healing through the cultivation of practical recovery skills, the addressing and healing of past-trauma, and by building a strong community around each of our clients.

If you have questions about The Redpoint Center’s program or would like to speak with an Admissions Coordinator, please don’t hesitate to call (888) 509-3153.

 

MEET THE TEAM