No bars, no using friends, no passing the liquor store on the way to work and home, meals being cooked and served to you, cleaning being done (mostly) for you, and your time being dictated for you. Sounds great right? Well, this is generally what you can expect when you enter into treatment centers. On top of that, when you add in additional accommodations you may say that it is too artificial.
When you enter into treatment you are admitting to yourself and others that you can longer function in the current environment. Can you possibly alter the self and the environment simultaneously while remaining in your environment? Certainly. However, sometimes the problem is severe enough to warrant them being plucked out of that environment or, perhaps, they are not able to make the necessary changes in an outpatient setting.
Is it outlandish then to present an individual with a holistic healing experience in a one stop shop? Having a swimming pool, exercise room, kayaks to paddle around in the lake, and food that is abnormal to an ordinary meal are aspects that every individual could truly enjoy even if they are not located at one place. We call the environment that is at Top of the World Ranch a “bubble.” The bubble entails that one is safe, secure, and is away from danger. Can someone create a bubble within their environment when they leave treatment? Yes, by writing themselves a schedule, inserting the activities that are present at the Ranch, and practicing mindfulness when passing by a liquor store or a bar.
Some aspects of self can be revealed when the temptations are away from an individual. When distractions are absent, individuals have an open mind where they can accommodate and assimilate the relapse prevention techniques necessary to combat stressors that normally would evoke using behaviors. Removing oneself from the threatening environment and then equipping one to go back out to face the threats is an idea present in our world at large. Someone enters boot camp to obtain the skills necessary to go to battle. They are unable to do gain the skills needed to go to battle in their present environment.
The more beauty in a treatment center, the more opportunity for clients to work on their trauma. If an individual presents to treatment and the center lacks qualities that display trust, beauty, and security and individual will continue to conceal their trauma. Letting the protective barrier that they have learned to fend up potential threats requires a sense of security. While this may lead to an “artificial” experience, the opportunity for someone to process their trauma is absolutely worth it.
Treatment does not have to be an artificial experience, but rather an opportunity to set in motion the holistic healing methodology that is presented here. Once a routine is developed within the individual and the understanding of how alternative methods can make them feel, act, and think differently they are ready to reenter their environments. Nonetheless, the levels of care within substance abuse exist for this very reason. After stepping down from our inpatient/partial hospitalization program we recommend that individuals enter intensive outpatient program. It’s through the progression of the levels of care that an individual can acclimate to their environment while putting in motion the new variations that they have acquired through treatment.
If you have any questions regarding our center please feel free to call 309-623-4510.
Brett Vacek, LCPC CAADC