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Q&A with Nikki Summers, Redpoint’s Clinical Program Director

By Featured, Therapy
Boulder and Larimer County Mental Health and Drug Rehab Q&A with Nikki Summers, Redpoint’s Clinical Program Director Photo

Our Teen Clinical Director, Nikki Summers, has worked in the field for 30 years. Fifteen of those years were spent specializing in teen clients and their families. We asked her to share some of her insights into this important demographic.

What do you think are the most important areas of focus when treating teens? 

  1. Family System. The family system is the training ground for skill development and healthy attachments. Parents must be equipped to assist their teens in the process of recovery. Redpoint provides weekly family therapy to support parents and educate them on effective ways to interact, bond, and communicate with their teen. In addition, family therapy focuses on enhancing the dynamics of the entire family system to create a healthier level of functioning and to increase the teen’s sense of safety. Healthy attachment, effective coping skills, and a sense of safety are key to a fulfilling life.
  2. Trust. Treating teens is challenging because they often feel misunderstood and unheard by adults. In addition, they often feel they do not belong in the world. Redpoint wants them to feel they are fully accepted and welcomed the moment they enter our door, which is why we strive to create a family-oriented environment with staff who are available to greet the teens when they arrive for programming and spend time hanging out with them before their sessions. We listen to them, hear them, and make every effort to understand them.
  3. Compassion. The prominence of shame in our society significantly affects teens, who often struggle with low self-worth. We understand that many support systems fail to model compassion and self-love. Redpoint focuses on empowering teens to feel worthy and teaching them how to be self-compassionate. We implement a strength-based approach by focusing on the teens’ strengths and positive attributes to assist them in recognizing their potential.

What do you think are a few of the significant problems affecting teens today?

  1. Social media platforms have created a multitude of problems, such as cyberbullying, addiction, isolation, body dysmorphia, low self-worth, depression, and anxiety.
  2. Our society is experiencing a rapid progression in the number of teens addicted to substances. The accessibility to drugs has increased, and the fentanyl epidemic poses a significant threat to our youth.
  3. The world is experiencing many humanitarian crises, such as climate change, economic turmoil, armed conflict, and racial crimes to name a few. These issues affect the overall sense of peace and safety of the population. The worlds’ youth are disproportionately affected by humanitarian crises because of their inherent vulnerability. These issues expose millions of teens to unthinkable forms of violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect, which affect their survival, growth, and development.

What modality do teens respond to most effectively and why?

Although I use a variety of modalities to treat teens, I believe they respond best to experiential therapies. Teens often struggle to share their emotions and verbalize their thoughts due to a fear of being judged or shamed. In addition, many of them have not be taught how to express themselves. Through various forms of experiential modalities, teens are given the opportunity to express their emotions in a less vulnerable fashion. When they have established a higher level of comfort with their peers and therapist, other types of experiential therapies are beneficial in reaching them on a deeper level and allowing their unconscious experiences to become conscious while increasing their awareness of the underlying causes of their emotions, actions, and thoughts.

With the unique challenges that teens face, having age-appropriate care for teens is necessary for the best approach to healing. At Redpoint’s Longmont location, we create a supportive and dedicated atmosphere of healing for teens to address the use of drugs and alcohol while still tending to their own daily lives. We are prepared to help you or your teen with dedicated, proven strategies, all backed by a community of support, caring, and understanding. Between our use of experiential therapies and proven strategies, we can help you create the best approach to helping you get wholly involved in your own sober transformation. For more information on how we can personalize a program for you, call us today at (303) 710-8496.

Involving the Family in Your Sober Transformation

Involving the Family in Your Sober Transformation

By Therapy

Addiction recovery is a familial journey, with every family member being affected by even one person’s use of drugs or alcohol. From damaged relationships to stressful home atmospheres and traumatic experiences stemming from substance use, families are intimately affected by addiction.

While many of those overcoming addiction may feel alone in their challenges or avoid involving their family due to preconceived notions that they are somehow “protecting” loved ones from its effects, these ideas can actually be detrimental to their overall recovery. Families are already involved and are integral players in the journey through addiction and sobriety. Making an effort to actively involve the family in recovery efforts can make for the most effective and comprehensive sober transformation.

Acknowledge the Effects of Addiction on Family

Families are among those most affected by addiction, and acknowledging the effects of addiction on families is necessary to effectively begin the healing process and incorporate them into recovery. Feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, and resentment are all prevalent among family members, and it is common for families to feel a complicated mix of these negative emotions and resentment along with love and the desire to support. Such a complex emotional state can be difficult to navigate, but understanding these effects is crucial.

Families may also be dealing with other effects of addiction. For some, home atmospheres can become compromised due to the emotional impact of addiction. Feeling as if an individual has to walk on eggshells, worry about the thinness of the walls, or otherwise carefully navigate what should be a comfortable home environment is a wholly stressful situation. Others may be tasked with financial burdens as addiction compromises budgets or loved ones miss work as a result of substance use.

Each of these impacts is profound, and incorporating the family means understanding their experiences with a loved one’s addiction to create the most honest and open atmosphere for healing to foster.

How to Involve the Family in Your Recovery

Effective recovery from addiction takes a family, and effective familial healing means getting everyone affected involved in sober efforts. Making an effort to create new traditions, activities, and more alongside each person’s family, whether connected by blood or the relationships developed, is necessary to begin a truly transformational journey to sobriety.

Explore New Traditions

One of the best ways to involve the family in a person’s sober transformation is to explore what activities and traditions can be established in a new sober life. A person’s former lifestyle may be intimately tied to the use of drugs or alcohol, and entire routines and habits may have been either consciously or subconsciously developed around their use.

Exploring new traditions, such as new ways to celebrate holidays or weekly rituals such as movie nights, game nights, and more, are all great ways to begin establishing new traditions in sobriety. Not only can families better experience these sober efforts themselves if they are involved, but it can also help families see the developing new lifestyles and intentions of loved ones navigating their recovery.

Stay Connected

Isolation is common among not just those previously engaging with drugs or alcohol, but their families as well. Involving the family in recovery means finding new and effective ways to stay connected. Daily or weekly meetings, family dinners, regular text chains, or scheduled phone calls are all great ways to involve the family in a person’s sober transformation, providing constant updates on each person’s progress and mental health while helping identify new stresses or challenges that may manifest. Not only can this continue to foster a more open and honest relationship, but also help families better support one another through challenges to maintain their hard-earned sobriety.

Sharing personal stories, anecdotes, or other regular conversations can further develop these communication skills while ingratiating family as an integral part of daily life and support.

Celebrate Together

Addiction can fundamentally change the attitudes and perspectives of celebration. However, celebrating together can help transform previous traditions. Families commonly harbor resentment, anger, and blame, even if they are aware of the difficulties their loved ones face in overcoming addiction. Working with family members to celebrate holidays or milestones together and revel in the strides made throughout addiction recovery can make these accomplishments more tangible for all. Exchanging gratitudes or gifts can help explore a person’s current identity and create new traditions that can challenge some of these harbored feelings.

However, celebrating together also means celebrating the accomplishments of family members as well as those in recovery for overcoming addiction. Taking a unified approach to healing and progress and celebrating each person’s goals as equally important is part of creating a truly transformative healing atmosphere.

Utilize Family Programs

Family programs are instrumental in helping families address and overcome the challenges prevalent throughout addiction recovery. These dedicated programs are designed to foster effective communication, honesty, and accountability in a safe atmosphere. Dedicated family programs can help not just educate families on the disease of addiction, but also help those in recovery address the impact of addiction on family members.

Family programs also provide education to family members regarding effective support practices while opening up those in recovery to the idea of accepting help and repairing these relationships, all while learning to properly erect barriers and create an atmosphere of honesty and accountability for a truly transformative sobriety.

Families can be amazing supports, but healing is always a group effort. At Redpoint, we understand the intimate, important role that families play in the recovery process, and the necessity for family members to embark on their own healing, for a truly transformed life. Our dedicated outpatient programs can instill the skills and strategies needed to manage your life with your family while continuing to focus on your sober efforts. With multiple locations across Colorado, we can help you find the place to begin your journey to healing with your family today. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us, call to speak to us today at (303) 710-8496.

Embracing Experiential Therapy in Recovery

Embracing Experiential Therapy in Recovery

By Featured, Therapy

Each individual will have a unique approach to effective treatment and recovery practices for overcoming the effects of addiction. Whether an individual is overcoming the use of drugs or processing the effects of alcohol on their life, engaging in the right programs, strategies, and experiences is crucial for a truly transformative recovery. Effective use of experiential therapy can make a huge difference in the efficacy of each individual’s treatment. Exploring the options available can ensure that each individual can create their best treatment and recovery plan.

What Is Experiential Therapy?

Getting actively engaged and involved with dedicated therapeutic modalities is essential to embrace their transformative effects truly. While education throughout the recovery process is essential, actively practicing strategies and exploring new experiences is necessary for effective sober change. Experiential therapy is a category of various strategies that help an individual get involved with their whole self to create the best possible approach to sobriety.

These therapies use various tools, activities, or other resources to empower those in recovery to explore past experiences, anxieties, depression, current stresses, new perspectives, and their best practices and health. By involving the whole self in treatment, each individual can better explore the most important and pertinent skills throughout recovery. They can also personalize their unique experiences in outpatient treatment and bring these skills into practice outside of a dedicated treatment setting.

Forms of Experiential Therapy

The term “experiential therapy” encompasses a wide array of skills, with each individual being able to choose and explore new options at each stage of their recovery. Finding the best practices will be a personal journey. Even if an individual does not reap the same benefits as a peer in one particular practice, it is always possible to adjust their approach to a new experience that can be more effective for their continued sober efforts.

Addiction uniquely affects each individual, and there is no “cookie-cutter” approach to change. Instead, finding the best collection of skills is necessary for each individual, with a dedicated recovery program being most effective when they are taken personally.

Art Therapy

Artistic outlets can be a great experience for those in recovery. For some, using art to express complex emotions or feelings that they may not have the vocabulary to express otherwise can be essential for processing these emotions and preventing them from building up in their mind.

Others may utilize art to form new communication strategies with family members, professionals, and peers. From expressing difficult emotions to exploring various artistic forms, each individual can find new modes of expression and create tangible representations of challenges and new perspectives to challenge and overcome the effects of addiction.

Using Meditation in Daily Life

Meditation can be a powerful skill to practice throughout addiction recovery. Having an opportunity to detach physically and emotionally from the stresses of daily life outside of the treatment facility during outpatient care can have myriad recovery benefits.

Using a dedicated meditation space can also empower those in recovery to practice mindfulness and explore their physical and emotional needs. Processing and relinquishing difficult emotions before they can manifest into other behaviors or taking a moment to acknowledge and work through urges and cravings prevalent throughout recovery is a powerful skill and experience for creating feelings of agency and control over the stresses of daily life.

Engaging in Psychodrama

Psychodrama is a unique and powerful form of experiential therapy where individuals are encouraged to act out scenes from their past and explore new perspectives and how these events may continue to impact their thoughts or emotions. Redpoint offers a dedicated six-week training in psychodrama to help those overcoming addiction better understand its continued effects on an individual. They can also process grief, trauma, and other personal challenges to continue engaging in a holistic form of healing while getting actively engaged with peers.

The Benefits of Somatic Experiencing

Somatic experiencing is a unique experience throughout recovery as an individual is guided not only through difficult thoughts and emotions but also encouraged and empowered to understand better how these feelings can manifest tangibly in their body. By helping individuals better connect their emotional state and physical body and attentiveness, they can better understand the connection between their emotional and physical needs. They can also embrace a more mindful approach to their continued health and sobriety. Professionals may use guided imagery, talking, and more in conjunction with a calming and safe environment to guide an individual through challenging feelings or memories.

There is never just one path to a healthy, sober future. Exploring the various opportunities where needed can ensure that each individual can create their own best recovery plan to use inside and outside a treatment facility. Each of these experiential therapy options and more can be instrumental in creating this individualized approach to sobriety. Working with professionals can help each individual create their collection of best practices for a healthy, sober future.

Experiential therapies offer new practices and ways to get involved in active recovery efforts. We at Redpoint are dedicated to personalizing your recovery program and finding the most effective experiences for your sober journey. We understand that no two journeys with addiction and recovery will be the same, and we are committed to providing flexible options, locations at Fort Collins, Glennwood Springs, and Longmont, and encouraging different avenues in which to explore how you can develop your best healthy and sober life. For more information on the experiential therapies offered that may benefit you or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about any questions or concerns, call us today at (303) 710-8496.

Embracing Family Support for an Effective IOP

Embracing Family Support for an Effective IOP

By Therapy

Addiction is a devastating disease that affects entire families, not just individuals. The use of drugs or alcohol can have significant repercussions on family life. The effects of their use can impact home atmospheres, relationships, and the mental health of all involved. Effective healing from addiction and its effects is a familial effort. Embracing familial support, as well as the benefits that the family can provide, is necessary to create a healthy and comprehensive approach to a new and healthy sober life.

Confronting the Effects of Addiction on the Family

While addiction can feel like a very isolating experience, it doesn’t truly affect an individual in isolation. Instead, it impacts everyone close to an individual, from friends and peers to work colleagues and especially family. Parents, siblings, and spouses are all intimately affected by the disease. Internalizing the profound effects that addiction has had on the family is necessary to best incorporate their support and healing into an effective intensive outpatient program (IOP.)

Loss of trust is common in families as lying or secrecy becomes more prevalent as a result of addiction. This can also foster a growing emotional distance even between spouses. The loss of trust can create a familial schism that takes time, effort, and professional care to mend.

Others may inadvertently affect the family in other ways. This may include forcing additional responsibilities upon family members or increasing their financial burden as personal budgets are compromised with the increasing use of drugs or alcohol.

The emotional toll of addiction can be extensive. Pervasive feelings of anxiety, anger, depression, helplessness, and more are all common among family members of those challenged by addiction. IOPs can help each person address their unique journey with addiction, embrace familial support, provide family education, and take time to address the needs of family members and repair these relationships.

The Importance of Familial Healing

Each individual will have their own best practices and strategies for overcoming addiction. However, family members will also have their own needs in recovery. Embracing familial support in dedicated recovery programs can ensure that healing is an all-encompassing effort. It helps entire families understand and overcome the effects of addiction for a healthier and sober future.

Creating a Comprehensive Approach

IOPs in recovery are not just a single program, nor are they all identical. Combining IOPs with individual therapy, doctor visits to address physical health needs, and appropriate support outside the treatment facility is necessary for a transformative recovery. Utilizing the opportunities for professional treatment along with familial support and education is necessary for this transformation. IOPs provide support to both family members and create an effective and educated support network for those overcoming addiction outside the walls of a treatment facility.

Family Education and Support

Families learning to embrace their own self-care or engaging in dedicated support groups for families of those overcoming addiction can be necessary to process the effects of the disease on entire households. Not only can this give the family the best support possible. It also provides families with a space to explore their own needs and heal through their own challenges and traumas of a loved one overcoming addiction. Additionally, it ensures that a given household is facilitating the necessary changes and environment for all while navigating the challenges of addiction throughout an IOP.

This education is paramount throughout the recovery process, educating families on how to best empower change in loved ones overcoming addiction rather than enable self-destructive or risky behaviors. Family education can be essential in developing the best approach to establishing accountability and helping those in recovery remain accountable for their actions. Both parties are responsible for their accomplishments and overcoming challenges.

Rebuilding the Relationship

Education is important. This doesn’t just help to provide families with the best support strategies possible and process their own challenges but also to repair the effects of addiction on these relationships.

Rebuilding trust and understanding is difficult in recovery. Educating families about the effects of addiction can help them find new perspectives and reach a point of understanding to begin the process of forgiveness. Providing families and those in recovery with communication strategies, new perspectives, and exploration of daily practices in IOPs can be instrumental in helping entire families continue their dedicated recovery efforts while rebuilding an atmosphere of honesty and trust.

Families will all have to recover together to overcome the effects of addiction effectively. Familial support and education are crucial for creating a healthy and effective plan outside of a treatment facility. Taking time to support family members themselves is essential for both fostering comprehensive healing and developing the best environment to facilitate a continued sober support system to overcome the challenges of daily life.

The family plays an important role all throughout recovery and sobriety. Whether you are overcoming addiction yourself or are the family of those on their own sober journey, comprehensive support, education, understanding, and more are all part of an effective and comprehensive sober transformation. At Redpoint, we are committed to the healing of not just individuals but entire families and communities to create the most effective, sustainable change. From family support groups and education to personalized strategies in our outpatient programs, each journey with recovery is a concerted effort for familial healing. For more information on how we can create a recovery program that works best for you and your family, call us today at (303) 710-8496.

Spiritual Awakening Through Recovery From Addiction

By Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Featured, Longmont Drug Rehab, Media, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

Before I got sober, I had a pretty negative outlook on religion. I thought it was just a bunch of rules and regulations with no real substance. But as I progressed in my recovery, I started to see how spirituality could be an integral part of the process—something that gave me hope and helped me stay focused on my goal of remaining sober.

When I first entered recovery, the idea of finding spirituality through religion didn’t seem appealing to me. After all, religion had been something that caused me a lot of pain and hurt in the past. However, as time went on and I got more involved in the recovery community, I realized that there was something deeper to spiritual awakening than just dogma and doctrine.

The main thing that helped me make peace with religion was learning about the concept of “Higher Power” or “God” – whatever name works for you. This is an idea that can be interpreted in many different ways, but essentially it boils down to believing in some kind of power greater than yourself that can help guide you through difficult times and provide you with strength when you need it most. For me, this meant learning to trust myself and others around me—something that was incredibly hard for me to do before getting sober.

I also began to understand how important belief systems are for people in recovery. Having a strong set of beliefs can give us the foundation we need to stay on track with our sobriety goals and help us cope with life’s challenges without turning back to drugs or alcohol as a crutch. Even if those beliefs don’t include traditional religious values, having something like meditation or mindfulness practices can provide us with a sense of peace and connection that we might not have found any other way.

As someone who used to be skeptical about religious principles, I now understand how they can be helpful when it comes to recovering from addiction. It’s amazing how much we can learn about ourselves when we open our minds up to new ideas and experiences! Spiritual awakening doesn’t have to come from any one particular place; instead it’s an individual journey where each person finds their own path towards inner peace and joy. No matter what your beliefs may be, taking time each day for self-reflection can provide great insight into your personal journey away from addiction towards wellness and health!

The Good Thing About Feeling Bad

By Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Featured, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

A potentially hollow greeting most of us hear on a near-daily basis: “How are you?” sets us up for failure without question. This is because most often we respond with “good,” “fine,” or my personal favorite “living the dream!” Unfortunately, the number of times I’ve answered this question I was not actually living the dream, most often I felt quite different on the inside but was too scared to answer their question honestly. When we hear this question, we so often have our “real” answer and one that we want to share, and due to social constructs and anxiety, we often avoid sharing any negative or “bad” experience when that is truly where we are at. Why do we do this? What makes us scared of living up to our authentic selves when given the opportunity by someone to share how we are doing? Unless it is the case where this person doesn’t want to know how we truly are doing (DUN DUN DUUUUUN). Although this may be true, the underlying experience of the question surrounds an underlying experience that many of us have in common, we don’t want to admit to others that we feel “bad.” 


When people share, they feel bad or “not good” has always left me with a strong question mark over my head, but something we all can admit we’ve experienced. Bad is a human experience that includes so much, including rejection, sad, grieving, anger, anxiety, and so much more. When we feel the tightness of our chest from anxiety, the hot sweaty rush to our head from anger, or the overwhelming heaviness that is grief; we boil it down to one simple word: “bad.” Although this word could come across as all-encompassing, it leaves out a strong long-term implication of each of these emotions, in that none of them are bad. Each of these emotions, although loaded with fear and stress, they serve very specific functions for our bodies, minds, and souls to help us grow, learn about ourselves, and develop resiliency for the future. My hope in writing this blog today is to identify where these fear-based experiences stem from, the factors that influence them, and in turn reframe the experience of these emotions away from bad and into a better understanding of how much good they can do for us in hopes of promoting better self-love and acceptance for all parts of our experience, despite how much they can hurt at times.  


What are good and bad emotions? Most stereotypically we often associate good with happy, excited, content, joy, love, or satisfied. We are taught to seek these experiences as our purpose in life, in that we should always seek to feel these things to be satisfied with life. When we have this expectation, black-and-white thinking is present, leading us to perceive any other experience to be bad. But where does this experience stem from? One major factor that is often discussed is underlying messages from the media that we consume. This has influenced the internalization of high expectations by presenting people doing well with strong connections, love, admiration, and self-confidence. When characters do not have this, we often experience the exact opposite, disconnection and hatred from others. Due to us being social beings, we fear the exile of disconnection. An example of this would be how movies and TV shows instill messages of how we “should” feel about emotions. Imagine the common scenario of a high school lunchroom and the new kid is walking around trying to find a spot, when watching it we feel our skin crawl and heart race in embarrassment for that kiddo. Inevitably that kid escapes the situation by skipping lunch, eating in the bathroom, or eating by themselves. In this, we learn not only the physical reactions to that situation, but we recognize that embarrassment is bad and something to escape. This situation is one among so many that we covertly learn how to feel each time we watch TV, a movie, or even listen to some music. 


Another major factor that influences this dichotomous thinking is attachment perceptions growing up. Our early experiences have a strong influence on the way we interact with both ourselves and others in that the messages we receive when expressing our emotions throughout our life. If I receive the message growing up that when I act happy, content, or calm I get to experience love, affection, and compassion from others, specifically parent or guardian figures. However, on the contrary, if I learn that if I show anger, fear, or anxiety and that leads to disconnection or personal failure, then I am going to avoid with every fiber of my being to stay connected to those around me by being “good.” Even if this comes with long-term consequences of increased anxiety, depression, trauma, and even physical problems such as heart disease or cancer. This strong aversion to any negative feelings will enable us to attempt to avoid sharing our negative feelings with others, because long story short, we believe it will end with rejection from others, leading to us rejecting crucial parts of ourselves. We hope for a better connection with others, but because we hide parts of ourselves, we end up disconnecting from everything and everyone. This rejection can make us walk away with stories or narratives about ourselves that are rooted in shame, negativity, and just aren’t true. 


One thing that is often lost when it comes to “bad” emotions is the incredible functionality of them and how much they help us. Whether it’s anger giving us the strength and adrenaline to state and uphold our boundaries and protect ourselves or sadness allowing us to recognize the underlying hurt and suffering that we hold, these emotions allow us to feel most connected to ourselves. On another side of things, they allow others to better understand what our needs are! If you’re with a friend or loved one and they begin to cry, we automatically know that they need connection and compassion. This is an innate human experience and the more these underlying cultural and attachment narratives tell us things like sadness or anger are bad, the more we disconnect from others, ourselves, and our needs. 


So, if I learned to hide all my negative feelings growing up and disconnect from myself does that mean I’m just screwed? Of course not! The beauty of the situation is there is still time to change our perceptions and embrace all parts of ourselves using corrective emotional experiences. This comes in two different forms, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Interpersonal corrective experiences come from our interactions with other people, meaning giving all parts of ourselves and specifically our nervous systems experiences that challenge the underlying narratives. For example, if a child grows up experiencing emotional neglect from their parents when they experience anger, shame, or fear, they could walk away with the belief that they are undeserving of love or there is something innately wrong about them. This can enable this child throughout their life to disconnect from others by pushing them away or using substances/behaviors to rupture relationships. This happens because these underlying narratives are so strong that they convince us all the way down to our innate bodily experiences that we will be rejected, so we need to push them away before they can hurt us. A corrective experience can look like allowing our example person (whether still in childhood or as an adult) to experience both their negative emotions (e.g., fear, anger, shame) and still retain the relationship and not experience rejection. Although this is a vulnerable experience, over time it can change the underlying narrative if they experience negative emotions and still get their needs met. On the other side of this intrapersonal corrective emotional experiences stem from our internal experience and can look like strongly internalized self-love and compassion. Essentially giving the same acceptance and care from our example of an interpersonal corrective experience and make it all our own acceptance and compassion of ourselves when we feel negative. 


These experiences show the beauty and “good” that comes from “bad” emotions. Although we can be taught by family, media, school, and friend groups that these bad emotions are something to avoid or to be shameful of, they are the innate thing that helps us grow. The more we reject parts of our own experience, the more we disconnect from ourselves and others and in turn, the worse things get. I encourage anyone reading this to be more curious about your negative emotions. What are they there for? How do they make you feel physically? Get to know and accept all parts of yourself and I hope the negative parts feel lighter because of it. 


Staying Sober During the Holidays

By Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Featured, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

The holidays can be a joyous time of year for most, but for those struggling with substance abuse, it can present a unique set of challenges. With the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be easy to slip back into old habits. However, with the right strategies, you can stay sober during the holidays and still enjoy the festivities. There are many ways to stay healthy and happy during the holiday season, from attending support group meetings to setting realistic goals for yourself. By taking the time to plan ahead and create a solid foundation for yourself, you can stay sober and enjoy the holidays without the risk of relapse. With the right attitude and the right tools, you can make the most of the season and have a sober and happy holiday.


Learn To Enjoy Yourself

When we let life pass us by while we’re focused on our next drink, we miss out on a lot of things. Substance abuse doesn’t just impact your health, but it also impacts your relationships, your finances, and your ability to be productive and happy in life. By letting your drinking consume you, you miss out on all of the other aspects of life that make it worth living. Spending time with friends and family, exploring new hobbies, or pursuing a passion are all great ways to let go of the stress of the season and just enjoy the moment. Creating new traditions or building on old ones is another great way to focus on enjoying the season. By taking time to appreciate the traditions you grew up with and adding your own spin to them, you can create new memories to cherish for years to come.


Focus on Gratitude

One of the best ways to stay happy during the holidays is to shift your focus from negativity to gratitude. Instead of dwelling on the stress of the season or the fact that you don’t have enough time to get everything done, focus on what you have to be thankful for. This can be as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for each day or setting aside time to help someone in need. By taking time to be thankful for the things in life you have, you shift your focus away from being overwhelmed by the things you don’t have time for or the things you’re lacking. This can help you stay grounded and use the holiday season as an opportunity to give back to others.


Use the Time to Give Back To Others

While the holidays can be a great time to spend with loved ones, it can also be a busy and stressful season. By taking the time to give back to others in need, you can shift the focus of the season away from your own stress and create a positive impact in the world. Whether you volunteer at a soup kitchen, collect toys for children in need, or help make decorations for someone’s house, giving back at this time of year is a great way to stay healthy and happy. The holidays are a perfect time to do this, as many organizations are in need of help during this busy time of year. Taking the time to help others is one of the best ways to stay focused on gratitude and stay healthy and happy during the season.


Let Yourself Get Swept Up in the Season

While it’s important to stay focused on staying healthy and happy, it’s also important to let yourself get swept up in the holiday spirit. By letting yourself get lost in the season, you can make the most of the festivities while staying sober. You can do this by creating a fun holiday schedule for yourself, setting goals for the season, and accepting help when needed. By setting goals for yourself during this busy time of year, such as attending a certain number of events or finishing a project you’ve been working on, you can use this as a motivator to stay on track with your health and happiness goals. Being open to receiving help when needed is another great way to stay happy and healthy during this busy time of year.


With all of the festivities, family gatherings, and temptations, it can be difficult to remain committed to sobriety. However, with the right strategies and support, it is possible to stay healthy and happy throughout the holiday season. By developing self-awareness, having an open dialogue with family and friends, and creating a safe environment, those in recovery can stay on the right track. This article will explore the different strategies for staying sober during the holidays, and how to stay healthy and happy while doing so.

Meditation for People Who Hate Meditating

By Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Featured, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

Most people are aware of the benefits that mediation brings; reduced stress and anxiety, increased self-awareness, improved memory and sleep, just to name a few. Nobody is going to argue that focusing the mind and practicing mindfulness isn’t a good thing. The problem is that for many, the path to finding that quiet place seems to be very narrow. A lot of people have an idea in their head about what mediation is: sitting quietly, alone, and turning off your thoughts for extended periods of time. While this is certainly one method that many use to practice mediation, the reality is that it does not work for everybody. The good news is that there are an almost infinite number of ways that someone can practice getting out of their own head and practicing mindfulness. Here are just three examples of meditative practices for people who hate meditating.

Mindful Cooking

 This isn’t the hurried meal that gets thrown together after a long day at work. It’s crucial to not rush when practicing mindful cooking in order for it to be a contemplative and soothing activity. Just as you would make time to exercise, set aside some time to prepare a meal. Consider cooking as a form of self-care rather than a duty. By approaching meal preparation in this manner, you may immerse yourself in it rather than just concentrating on getting it done. The goal of meditation is to enjoy the journey.

Of course, you get to eat what you make. That is the best aspect of mindful cooking. Traditional meditation certainly has many health advantages, but those advantages are not often as apparent as the immediate enjoyment of a wonderful meal. Feel good about yourself since you not only made time for yourself to unwind, but you also prepared a satisfying meal. The best way to nourish both your body and mind is to thoughtfully prepare your food.

The process of cooking a meal intuitively incorporates all five of the senses. Be intentional about paying attention to them during the activity. The sounds of the knife hitting the cutting board, the smells of the onions sautéing, the feel of the dough in your fingers. Cooking a meal is the perfect space to connect with yourself and your surroundings using your senses.



 Mindful exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Even though rhythmic exercise alone can help you reduce stress, the benefits increase if you practice mindfulness at the same time.

In order to engage in mindful exercise, you must be totally present in the moment—paying attention to how your body feels rather than your regular cares or anxieties. Concentrate on the feelings in your limbs and how your breathing accompanies your movement to “switch off” your thoughts.

Focus on the physicality of each step when you’re walking or running, for instance—the sensation of your feet contacting the ground, and the rhythm of your breathing as you move. If you find that your mind starts to wonder, try to bring them back to your breathing and movement.



A good jigsaw puzzle can be captivating, whether you’re finishing it by yourself or with family or friends. They also promote mindfulness and assist with brain function, which are both long-lasting advantages. Being mindful involves paying attention to our bodies’ current activities and our feelings. In today’s quick-paced, technologically dependent environment, it’s a useful ability to have.

The level of thought, patience, and focus required by puzzles is sure to stretch the intellect. It’s meditative and enjoyable to focus while sorting among the pieces or gazing at the image for extended periods of time. Our brains release dopamine as we put two puzzle pieces together, which enhances our motivation, mood, and memory.

Spending hours putting together hundreds of puzzle pieces may seem like a mindless activity but can in fact be a great exercise in mindfulness if some intentionality is incorporated. Think about the challenge in front of you and understand that no external or internal factors are going to affect the end result of this project in front of you. Allow yourself to get lost and forget what time it is, enjoy your heart rate slowing down. Enjoy the process.



Asking For Help in Recovery

By Addiction, Featured, Mental Health, Therapy

Asking For—and Accepting Help

Asking for help is not easy. In a lot of ways, it means letting go. In addition, many of us were taught to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Asking for help might feel like the opposite of self-reliance. But that’s a myth. What’s more, it’s one we need to break.

For many in recovery, the term surrender is common. But what does it really mean? Surrender is usually experienced involuntarily at first. We find ourselves in the midst of another personal mess, bender, hangover, or some other mistake. As a result, we are helpless—our egos bruised so much that for a single moment we surrender to the thought: I need help. As time passes, however, it is all too common for our tough exterior, ego voice, to kick in and say, “I can handle it. I’ll never get that bad again.” This leads us to the same cycles of addiction and isolation. So how do we accept support?

Mental Health, Substance Use, and Why We All Need Help

No one wants to struggle and feel like they can’t do it alone. Culturally, it can make us feel weak or impotent. Also, vulnerability is scary. It takes courage to share our pains and sorrows. But when we find ourselves in this position, momentary surrender can save our lives. And asking for help provides a gateway to vulnerability and courage. Our society today praises independence, being self-made, and fighting for what we earn. It feels good to be responsible and on top of our own lives. However, as many experience in addiction or mental health struggles, pulling yourself out of these dilemmas alone can feel impossible. In earlier times, the individual could not survive without the tribe. The safety, camaraderie, and power of the group allow for the conditions of survival. Biologically, we are no different than our ancestors. Sometimes, we need people. And it’s truly okay to need help.

Quieting the Ego

The ego is the voice in our heads that defines our sense of self and the surrounding world. It assigns this meaning based on the past. Furthermore, the ego is influenced by childhood experiences and can impact the way we feel about ourselves and others. In addition, if we are not aware of it, it can drive our behaviors, sometimes into the ground. Depending on what kinds of experiences we had as a child, how we were spoken to, and what beliefs were instilled, we may have a healthy sense of balanced ego-awareness or a distorted one. When the ego is distorted, through abuse, neglect, emotional abandonment, or unhealthy attachment, it is traumatized. This trauma influences our lives. It can isolate us, it can mean we project our fears and insecurities onto others, it can tell us we’re not enough. Therefore, when we dwell in the ego state, we isolate. We don’t ask for help or reach out when hurting. Studies find that extreme self-reliance can be detrimental to our well-being, especially for our youth.

Asking for Help in Recovery

For those of us in recovery, the ego surrender is a part of healing. We let go of the hardness, the layers of protection, the false beliefs to soften towards ourselves and others. Consequently, this allows us to give ourselves a break, and to accept help. We surrender to our humanness. The fellowship in substance abuse programs or AA reminds us of the tribal connection, where we could find help around any corner. Therapists and addiction specialists dedicate their lives to helping others because they truly love doing it. Helping others is their greatest joy. The reality is that we all need help sometimes, and it is there for us, if we surrender to it.

If you are starting to awaken to your sense of self and wondering if support might help, know that you are not alone. Help is available. Whether it is a family member, a trusted friend, or a professional mentor, clinician, or therapist, don’t be afraid to reach out. Don’t let your inner voice or resistance dominate. It is in vulnerability that we find true courage.

Redpoint Center Blog Do I Need Therapy

Do I Need Therapy?

By Mental Health, Therapy
It’s not always easy to determine if we need therapy. And what does it even mean to need therapy? While it would prove beneficial if everyone processed their experiences with a skilled professional, many do not. Furthermore, there are some who may need it more, or sooner, than others. In addition, trauma and the processing of traumatic experiences can make support even more necessary. Of all those who struggle, research shows 57.2% of adults with mental health issues do not receive treatment. Some people may be afraid of trying therapy because they don’t understand how it will help them. It’s also possible they feel the stigma around mental health struggles. Consequently, there are some who think they are “weak” for needing to go to therapy. The truth is, getting therapy is not shameful and may improve your life a great deal.


Why Do We Need Therapy?


Some people get therapy to help them cope with anxiety and depression, substance use disorder, or a stressful event happening in their life such as divorce. Others may seek professional help to learn to navigate everyday life more effectively or to learn how to take better care of themselves. Attending therapy is nothing to feel shame around, though our culture has at times marginalized mental health concerns. Attending to one’s self is an admirable act, as it demonstrates self-awareness.


When mental health issues are left untreated, all parts of a person’s life may become more difficult. Hence, this can mean it gets too difficult for someone to attend school, get to work on time, complete tasks. Once life is impacted, this can mean it is time to seek therapy. If family or friends begin to express concerns about one’s mood or lifestyle, this also might be a good time to seek a professional.


Life is difficult at times for all of us. In recovery, we often say that pain happens but suffering is optional. Can we avoid suffering entirely? No, of course not. But having the support of a skilled mental health expert, who’s familiar with various ways to support the process, can be life-changing. A therapist is someone to bounce things off of, to receive feedback and guidance from, and to feel supported by.


How Do I Find Therapy?


OK, now we know it’s OK to need therapy. If you have insurance, you can usually go online to the insurance’s official website and find a provider who takes that insurance. You can also ask for a referral from someone you trust, like a doctor or close friend. Depending on the type of support you need, there are different approaches that may benefit you. For example, if you are in relationship struggles, having a therapist who understands attachment theory is a great place to start. If you are experiencing trauma or traumatic stress, a therapist who specializes in trauma is best. Think of a therapist as a wise friend who only wants the best for you. If you try it and don’t like it, try another therapist. Maybe therapy can help you get out of a rut or it will become a lifelong part of your routine, either way, it’s definitely worth a solid try.


If you or someone you love is having a hard time, you are not alone. There are resources available to ensure you get the guidance you need. Our team is available to assist you so feel free to contact us at any time. We are here for you.

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Redpoint Center Blog Do I Need Therapy

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