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Healing and Recovery: It’s a Matter of the Heart

three women walking outside experiencing healing and recovery

Emmanuel Dagher once said, “Healing is less about “saving” or “fixing” and more about “allowing” ourselves to ease into the remembering that there’s a wholeness that has been there all along.” After years of working in the treatment field, we’ve come to believe we, as human beings benefit from a program embracing Dagher’s thought. This means creating a healing environment grounded in respect and empowerment, where you begin to make your own decisions and choices again and are encouraged to believe in yourself as a whole rather than “damaged” or “defective.” Integrative Life Center strives to create a community where healing and recovery can occur for all struggling with mental health issues or substance abuse.

The Healing Environment

The word healing comes from the Anglo-Saxon word haelen, which means to make whole. A healing environment cannot be created through fear, working from a “one-up” or expert position, or control and manipulation. It can only be created through respectful practices such as non-judgment, kindness, compassion, healthy boundaries, and mutual respect.

We cannot demand respect; we must earn it. Empowering others only comes through creating an environment that supports you. It has to be one you believe in and empowers you to risk trying something new. We must respect where you are in terms of your readiness to change, and remember that you can be afraid, wounded, stuck, sad, and angry. When you act out these emotions and are labeled “resistant,” “noncompliant,” and “not caring”, it doesn’t encourage vulnerability. We don’t view you through this lens. Instead of seeing you as addiction, an eating disorder, or depression; we see human beings who are suffering,  You may suffer from those things, but they do not define who you are. Labels tend to inhibit the creation of a healing environment.

By contrast, “holding space” (being fully present with others without judgment) invites you to settle in and feel safe enough to let go of these adaptive behaviors. Holding space allows you to have your own experience without someone else trying to “fix it” or affect a specific outcome, which enables you to gain confidence in yourself as you work out your struggles yourself with the support of the group community. This provides the foundation for you to begin to believe that you are good enough and can live a great life.

Structure vs. Control

“Fear focuses on what you don’t want; love focuses on what you do want…Fear controls, love structures…Fear judges and love notices.” -Becky Bailey

Intrinsic motivation does not rely on external pressure like fear, rewards/approval, punishment/disapproval from peers or health professionals. Rather, it exists within you. It is driven by interest or enjoyment in the task itself. This is the basis of self-determination theory. Contrary to rewards and incentives, research supports the idea that intrinsic motivation is stable and lasting as long as you are making changes based on what is enjoyable or compatible with your “sense of self,” core values, and life goals. Establishing an environment that supports choice over control, and promotes intrinsic motivation has been a cornerstone for us at ILC.

You need to feel a sense of choice and responsibility for your actions. To feel capable of achieving your goals. You also need to feel understood, cared for, and valued by others. Our staff understands this and helps guide you along a path of change, that is your choice. We offer opportunities for you to learn by living life and being accountable (Real World. Real Life. Real Recovery.)

Healing and Recovery at Integrative Life Center

You are supported in recovering faith in Self instead of looking to others for approval. We do not view the Self as a bad thing. The Self isn’t something to be avoided or shunned. Instead, we believe until we are in alignment with Self, we cannot be in alignment with life. So what we are and what we do are not the same. What we are is humans, reflections of our Creator. What we do we largely inherited when we are born into this world. By supporting you in recovering faith and reclaiming your authentic self, life (recovery) becomes interesting again, and you become intrinsically motivated for change. At Integrative Life Center, we offer several therapies to help clients recover such as:

Our commitment is to support you the second you walk through our doors. Thus, we want to jumpstart your journey by providing an environment where healing and recovery are paramount. With the highest quality of care and a respectful space, you can reclaim your wellbeing for yourself. That’s how we roll, one day at a time. So reach out and contact us today at 615.455.3903.

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