Why Do We Need Therapy?
How Do I Find Therapy?
During COVID-19 quarantine, music is vital. While we experience these uncertain times, many are grappling with anxiety. In addition, we feel stress about the future. On top of this, we have an unprecedented amount of free time on our hands. It is in times like these when people with mental health disorders and addictions struggle. Furthermore, with the isolation, it becomes easier for the brain to drift into a negative headspace. A great way to feel connected throughout the chaos is music. Studies show that music has a positive impact on our mental health. Also, now, more than ever, musical artists are releasing music to entertain and provide hope to all of us stuck inside wondering what to do next. It’s a perfect time to crank the tunes.
As rates of suicide, suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder rise in Colorado, and the United States, more teen addiction treatment expands. Furthermore, parents seek teen addiction treatment that also provides mental health counseling and professional support for the family unit. Hence, families, in general, are more aware of addiction and mental health concerns and their systemic nature. Therefore professional addiction treatment that supports the entire family is key.
Although the teen addiction treatment paradigm is generally the same as adult: Residential, PHP, IOP, OP, etc., the needs of adolescents vary significantly from adults. While, for adults, the predictive factors for recovery are employment, financial stability, community engagement, duration of use, the intensity of use, marriage, parenthood, mental health treatment, etc., for youth there are different predictive factors.
For teens and adolescents, the factors that support positive recovery are: educational engagement, positive family influences, positive peer influences, pro-social leisure activities, etc. In addition, high school drug and alcohol use and abuse concerns, as well as rates of youth mental health and suicidal ideation, drive deeper concern. Teen addiction treatment centers need to respond to these specific needs. Furthermore, teen treatment needs to provide options that don’t just treat the symptoms but address the cause.
Hence, both adult and adolescent care require professional support but teen treatment requires family integration.
It’s important that parents receive professional support during the teen addiction treatment process. When an adolescent is struggling it impacts the entire family. In addition, there is often a previous trauma or behavioral pattern that informs destructive habits. Consequently, parents need guidance and therapeutic care during treatment. Along with professional support, parents need tips on dealing with teens when it comes to teen rehab treatment.
Here are some simple tips to remember.
At The Redpoint Center, a teen and adult addiction treatment in Boulder County, Colorado, we offer specific treatment programs that address the individual. In our adult program, we focus on practical recovery tools so clients maintain their sobriety while living in the community. For our youth treatment program, we focus on family relationships, educational support, leisure activities that expose teens and young adults to healthy habits that do not involve substance use. In addition, we provide parent support groups and parenting workshops. Parent counseling is a key part of any good treatment plan. Compassionate care treats clients holistically, meeting them where they are.
“It’s important to treat the individual compassionately, based on where they are in their lives.”— Cody Gardner, Founder of The Redpoint Center.
As always, when considering a treatment program for your loved one, it is recommended to ask questions about how that treatment center will specifically address your loved one’s needs.
Self-care in recovery is key. After struggling, a person can believe that they are not good enough. And they may feel they don’t measure up. This is what I thought about myself.
In active addiction, I didn’t take care of myself. I wouldn’t wear my seat belt all the time. In addition, I had a bad diet. Furthermore, at times I would even skip showering.
Substance use disorder negatively affects self-perception, mood, motivation. Also, it can hinder personal well-being. It can make you feel overwhelmed and bad about yourself. Hence, at times it seems there is no way out.
When I finally got sober I wasn’t sure what self-care meant anymore. There were mentors to show me the way, including our founder at Redpoint. 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 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, I take care of myself. Self-care in recovery means 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, the better I feel, and the more I want to keep that feeling going. I also know that in order to keep this positivity, I need to maintain awareness, 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. Don’t miss out. You deserve to be truly happy.
Is addiction a family disease? What does this mean? Those experiencing addictive behaviors are suffering on their own. And their loved ones suffer immensely, too. It goes without saying that living with alcohol addiction or substance use disorder is incredibly difficult.
When someone using alcohol or drugs begins to hurt their family, they may have various behavioral symptoms. They may show disrespect to their friends, siblings, or parents. In addition, they might lash out, challenge boundaries, or project their emotional struggles. Furthermore, other family members may modify their behaviors to manage the stress of it all. Some may try and help the individual using drugs or alcohol to protect them from getting into trouble. Thus, becoming the enabler. Others may take on the role of caretaker and attempt to compensate, providing care that may be lacking. These are only a few examples of the dysfunctional roles that family members might play.
In a recent study at Texas Tech University, the saying, “addiction is a family disease” took on new meaning. Not only is the addicted brain affected by the substances. In addition, the family members’ brains actually change as well. The study found that family members suffer as a result of the addict’s behavior. The prefrontal cortex of one using substances shuts down when faced with temptation or triggered to use drugs. Research shows the family members’ prefrontal cortex malfunctions as well. Hence, studies validate that addiction is a family disease. Parents and siblings can actually crave patterns. They seek to rescue and care-take their addicted family member. Therefore, this is similar to the substance abuser who craves their substance of choice.
The conclusion of the Texas Tech study, 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, therapeutic 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 concept of addiction as a family disease. The entire family needs to participate in treatment. Family members who turn to support groups such as Al-Anon or partake in family therapy find great success. Consequently, they are able to change their behavior. Also, families learn “the three C’s”: You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, and you can’t control it. If the alcohol or substance user is the only one getting treatment, it’s a vacuum. And then they go back into an environment where the rest of the family is still unwell. Hence, the individual’s likelihood of success goes down. The disease of addiction is viciously contagious. Therefore, it is important for everyone 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. You are not alone. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more, call us 888-509-3153.
Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy utilizes therapy dogs in mental health and substance abuse treatment with profound impact. Many of us love animals, dogs in particular. In addition, we’ve learned that canines can enhance the benefits of therapeutic modalities. As an animal-friendly program, we see the impact animals have on our clients each day. Furthermore, there are many ways that dogs affect us through the human-animal bond.
Dogs provide unconditional love and acceptance. This can promote health and healing when used in substance abuse and mental health therapy. Also, this positivity provides clients with healthy bonds. The connection creates an opportunity for clients to feel self-love and self-acceptance. Furthermore, animals can help decreases stress and anxiety. Hence, this is positive for the therapeutic process.
Dogs provide immediate feedback. And they connect on nuanced levels. They can reflect emotions. Also, they help people to identify emotions and practice emotional regulation. Therefore, this allows clients to practice healthy coping skills. This is enhanced with the support of a clinical therapist.
The therapeutic experience can be challenging and stressful at times. A therapy dog can help to decrease anxiety. In addition, time with animals can increase feelings of well-being. This value is significant. As a result, physical activity and dog training can help to improve physical health, communication, and patience.
It is important to ensure that both the client and the therapy dog are comfortable. Also, it is key to ensure that both will benefit from the therapeutic encounter. Consequently, this happens prior to engaging in canine-assisted interventions.
At Redpoint, we are lucky to have our own therapy dog named Parker. Parker is generally in the office on most days of the week. He is happy to sit in on a client’s therapy session if he isn’t busy chewing his toys.
Studies reveal the efficacy of animal-assisted modalities. In conclusion, animals have a positive impact. Our furry friends bring love and more!
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, or mental health concerns, we are here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol abuse. Learn more about our program. Call us any time 888-509-3153.
More information on Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy:
Melanie G. Jones, Simon M. Rice, Susan M. Cotton
Janet S. Knisely, Sandra B. Barker, and Randolph T. Barker
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.
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 is a powerful tool for healing trauma. Studies show that trauma is a risk factor for addiction and substance use disorder. In addition, treatment of trauma is key for individuals to recover from addiction. At the Redpoint Center, we use several different types of treatments for trauma. These modalities differ from talk therapy. One reason talk therapy doesn’t always effectively address trauma is that the memories are stored in the hippocampus, part of the midbrain. Talk therapy doesn’t effectively access these memories stored in the midbrain—it tends to involve the utilization of our frontal lobes. Furthermore, trauma is often stored in the body, requiring somatic attention. Hence, EMDR is a powerful intervention.
EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy is a positive tool. It helps us access and process memories stored in the midbrain. Our use of EMDR is expanding and helping more people with issues that cause distress. People with substance abuse issues commonly have a history of trauma. In addition, they struggle to cope with stress and often benefit from EMDR.
Research shows that EMDR causes changes in brain chemistry that reverse the damage caused by trauma or acute stress. Bessel van der Kolk, an expert, and researcher, in brain chemistry and trauma, shares several brain studies to support this approach. His PET scan photographs of the brain before and after EMDR sessions show the benefit.
The PET scans of one who is remembering trauma light the amygdala in the brain. This is part of the limbic system that is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory. The amygdala is activated when one experiences trauma and acute stress. It is the “smoke detector” that scans the environment and lets us know of a threat or event that is relevant to survival.
When people experience a threat the amygdala becomes activated. The frontal lobe, where cognition and understanding take place, is quite dim because the amygdala is more heightened. Hence, when people are experiencing “normal” day-to-day happenings, the frontal lobe is bright and outshines the amygdala.
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 neurobiology. 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 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. Consequently, they are better able to process information.
We know addiction is connected to acute stress and often trauma. Once a client has dealt with trauma and acute stress through EMDR, he or she is better able to cope. Therefore, they experience healthy relationships, cope with stress, and live a happier 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.