Mindfulness is a gathering of the mind from scattered thought, to focus on the present moment. At The Villa Treatment Center, we teach mindfulness via guided meditation.
This form of therapy in addiction treatment focuses on the mind and brings awareness to ourselves. As we gather our thoughts, learning to calm our anxious mind and refocus on what’s happening inside our bodies, we can then venture to the issues that radiate outward; we learn to understand who we are, how we feel and what we need.
Meditation Focuses the Mind
Meditation helps us to focus on our current state of being. Addiction often stems from emotional blockages in our mind-body-spirit connection. When we numb outer experiences with drugs and alcohol, we block any emotional reactions that need to be expressed. Blocking our emotions, further cuts off our communication with friends, family, and the rest of the world. Substance dependency is a crutch that we lean on when we are unable or unwilling to communicate.
The Substance Dependent Mind
When the mind is clouded with drugs and alcohol we isolate ourselves and forget how to interact with the outside world; we become hypercritical of ourselves, anxiety intensifies, and our thoughts are often negative and difficult to manage. Meditation can help to clear the mind and regroup our thoughts, directing them to a more positive place.
Through years of substance abuse, the brain becomes dependent on that substance to function. The mind is trained to obsess over the addiction and allow it to dominate our thoughts and behaviors. Addiction is the loss of control over drugs, alcohol, and addictive behaviors. Through addiction treatment and alternative therapy, we essentially try to restructure our thought process to remove drugs and alcohol from its central position of control. As we are allowed to find alternative ways to move beyond our substance dependency, we can learn to refocus our mind on the things in our lives that have lost focus and need our attention.
How do we refocus the mind?
To work on refocusing the mind, we need to remove any trace of drugs and alcohol in our system. At The Villa Treatment Center, every client goes through a detoxification to help them remove the lingering effects of alcohol and drugs from their body and mind. Depending on your particular drug and the frequency of use, the method of detox will vary.
The brain learns dependent behavior concerning drugs and alcohol. Over time, the mind believes that it is a necessary component for life, comparable to oxygen. It is essential that our brain is entirely separated from harmful substances in order for us to turn our thoughts away from toxic behavior and towards how we shall re-train our mind to function without our drug of choice.
Once we have gone through detox, we offer individual counseling and group counseling sessions via 12-step programs and other spiritual alternatives. Through counseling, we work through any underlying issues that may have led to addiction and recommend meditation therapy to help our clients quiet and refocus their mind.
How We Do Meditation Therapy
Meditation therapy is taught in a group setting with an instructor. Mediation therapy is relatively quiet since we want to teach mindfulness and inflection. The class begins by finding a comfortable position on a mat and learning to focus on your breathing through intensive breathing exercises. During breathing exercises, we focus on active breathing and the way our bodies feel as we bring the breath in deeper to relieve any stress, anxiety, and tension. We also learn to become aware of the body and how the body feels as we find our comfortable and relaxed positioning.
During our meditations as we learn to experience mindfulness – or gentle awareness – of the present moment. We learn to listen to the body and become more aware of certain feelings we carry with us. We learn to identify those feelings, embrace them with compassion, and apply the acquired skills in meditation to gently release them. As our practice grows, we apply these skills of compassionate embrace and gentle release outside of meditation. Instead of requiring drugs and alcohol to numb emotions, we will know how to identify the feelings and how to deal with situations that cause them. We learn what our emotional triggers are, and through active counseling, how to alternatively express ourselves.
At The Villa Treatment Center, we combine this meditation therapy with our intensive outpatient, residential, and partial hospitalization programs to provide alternative methods of emotional healing and mindfulness. In combination with residential and other support based treatment programs, this treatment helps lower the chance for relapse, boosts confidence, and fosters self-empowerment.
If you would like to learn more about our meditation treatment offering, call The Villa Treatment Center. Our intake staff is available to talk through our methods for successful recovery with you.