Although recovery is an individualized journey for each client, creating a support system is a vital part of recovery for everyone. Support systems exist in many different forms. These include internal and external support systems. Internal support systems come from the communities within a recovery facility. External support systems are made up of close friends, family, and other loved ones outside of a treatment facility. Internal community support is significant in the recovery process because having this creates a safe space for clients to heal without judgment. Knowing one is validated, supported, and encouraged by others who understand the recovery process and addiction is important for healing.
At First Steps Recovery, we prioritize creating this communal bond between clients through holistic healing therapies and group therapy. We believe that creating this spirit of community support among clients is an important part of the healing process.
The Importance of Internal Community Support
While external support systems are essential for the recovery journey, having internal community support is equally important. Peer support, for instance, is when clients can give and receive nonprofessional assistance and guidance. This allows clients to open up a safe, welcoming community where they feel comfortable sharing struggles and successes. Pairing this with individual clinical therapy or treatment helps clients support each other through their addiction recovery journeys.
For group therapy, specifically, each facility takes a different approach depending on the desired outcome. The approach can also vary depending on the unique participants in the group. However, many facilities implement a version of group therapy that encourages motivation, social skills, psychoeducation, and skill development. At First Steps Recovery, group therapy is implemented into clients’ treatment plans to help them rebuild and strengthen the life tools they lost to addiction.
Implementing Community Support Through Holistic Care at First Steps Recovery
First Steps Recovery helps clients develop a support group with each other as well as with staff members. This encourages a safe space for healing at the facility. This supportive atmosphere also allows clients to feel comfortable reaching out to each other after treatment is over.
While forming relationships with staff members may be easier in individual therapies and treatments, clients form connections with each other in group therapy and treatment. These group settings allow clients to understand each other, provide insight, and create a space of healing for each other. Key social and interpersonal skills can be developed in these clinical group spaces.
Community support is formed through holistic care as well. Some of the holistic treatment options that foster community include the recreation program, the field trips and outings program, and the wilderness experience program. These holistic services bring clients together to experience new and sometimes uncomfortable situations together. In doing so, they form deeper connections. They also develop key life skills such as communication skills, social skills, and leadership skills.
The Recreation Program
Recreation at First Steps Recovery allows clients to explore the natural beauty that exists outside of the facility. In a group, they experience the natural beauty with Yosemite National Park as a backdrop. This program encourages clients to stretch, breathe, move around, hike, and explore the natural world around them. This helps clients to learn new ways to connect with nature and themselves. The recreation program also encourages clients to experience these new scenes together. The sense of community allows clients to develop bonds with each other as well as build collaborative, cooperative, and leadership skills.
Field Trips and Outings
The field trips and outings program encourages clients to pair their recovery treatment and therapy with sober activities such as swimming, movies, and barbecues. Learning about and practicing sober activities help clients understand that they can still enjoy life without alcohol or substances. Doing these activities as a group also helps people develop interpersonal relationships with others to gain support and encouragement.
The group setting also allows clients to socialize and try new things in a nonjudgmental, safe space. This community support gives clients a safe space to create relationships with others without pressure and possibly develop new hobbies and passions.
The Wilderness Therapy Program
The wilderness therapy treatment program is another program centered around outdoor activities. In a group format, clients experience the natural gifts of nature in order to connect more deeply to their surroundings. Clients heal their whole selves through a unique approach that uses nature to foster self-growth and self-discovery. Often growth, discovery, and reflection can be uncomfortable for clients. In the group setting, though, clients are put into a non-judgmental and safe space to heal.
The wilderness therapy program helps clients confront challenges head-on and helps them regain basic skills they lost to addiction. They are encouraged to work on low self-esteem, anger, anxiety, depression, leadership skills, communication skills, helplessness, and responsibility alongside peers.
Here at First Steps Recovery, we encourage clients to build community support with each other. Many clients feel isolated and alone due to their addiction. Often people do not feel comfortable opening up to others. Creating a safe and understanding environment is crucial for the recovery process, and we encourage clients to create that with each other. In group therapy and holistic care, clients are provided with tools to create community support. Holistic options like recreation, field trips and outings, and wilderness experiences put a group of clients in nature together. There they can develop communication and social skills while guiding each other on their journeys. Call First Steps Recovery at (844) 489-0836 to learn more.