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"If you think differently, you’ll act differently.” It’s a huge tenet of counseling. Counselors challenge thinking processes in order to change behaviors.

Some of these thinking patterns are called cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are filters  we set up for recognizing patterns in the world, but they aren’t accurate patterns. We set them up for our self-protection, but they do more harm than good.

Cognitive distortions are self-defeating and self-fulfilling

If you don’t trust your wife because women can’t be trusted, she’ll probably leave because she didn’t like how you treated her. Proving to you that she can’t be trusted. The cognitive distortion filter may never let yourself realize that you created the situation yourself.

Perfectionism lies at the root of cognitive distortions and it’s a terrible taskmaster. Expecting perfection from flawed human beings isn’t nice. Being human means we do great things and we do hurtful things. We need forgiveness from each other and ourselves. Sometimes we’re in control of things, and sometimes not.

The 15 Cognitive Distortions

Filtering

Ignoring all the positive, only noticing the negative.

Polarized thinking

Also called “black and white thinking.” Things are either black or white, no shades of gray.

Catastrophizing

Focusing on the bad, ignoring the good, and predicting the worst possible outcome.

Overgeneralization

Believing that all experiences and people are the same based on a negative experience.

Jumping to Conclusions

Believing something about someone or a situation with little to no evidence to support this conclusion.

Global labeling/mislabeling

Turning one or two experiences into a blanket judgment. Like overgeneralization, but with emotionally-loaded and exaggerated language.

Personalization

Holding to a belief that you are responsible for anything bad that happens to you, at least partially.

Control Fallacies

Either everything is your fault, or nothing is.

Blaming

Holding others responsible for any negative event, instead of acknowledging your own role in a situation.

Fallacy of Fairness

Being overly-focused on whether everything is fair.

Emotional Reasoning

Deciding what is true and false based on your emotions.

Shoulds

Holding others and yourself to a high standard.

Fallacy of Change

Expecting others to change to meet your expectations or desires.

Always Being Right

Not allowing yourself or others to be wrong.

Heaven’s Reward Fallacy

Any good that you do will be rewarded in kind.

Do Any of These Sound Familiar?

I bet they do. We all engage in some of these traps from time to time. Especially when things are hard,it’s easy to fall into thinking patterns that don’t help us.

When cognitive distortions are directed at you

Some cognitive distortions direct inward.They’re about how you see yourself.

Control Fallacies, Personalization, Always Being Right, and Heavens Reward are all directed right at you--they make you your own punisher.

There’s a reason why the 1st Step in 12 Step Programs is recognizing you are powerless over your life--it’s to break through the barriers these distortions create. In AA, they call distortions  “Stinking Thinking.” They get in the way. They’re inflexible, harsh, and negative. They feed your depression, despair, and anxiety. They keep you from getting better.

Perfectionism keeps you from getting started

If 100 percent success is the only standard you have, starting becomes insurmountable. That’s why in recovery, there’s a “one day at a time” emphasis. Rather than “I’m never taking another drink again,” for a long time, the focus is “I need to get through today without a drink.”

In treatment, you’ll learn you were wrong about a great many things. You made a boatload of mistakes, and a huge part of any treatment plan is coming to terms with that, forgiving yourself, and making things right where you can. It’s a painful process, but an infinitely human one.

The purpose of treatment is to open yourself up to learning again. Cognitive distortions close you off from learning and growing. Even relapse is a learning experience if you can learn how to avoid your triggers the next time and find new motivation.

When you direct cognitive distortions at others

When I was a teen, my dad retired from his job and went off to law school, leaving my mom to work, take care of me, and get the house ready to sell. He’d wanted to paint the store room, but hadn’t. He left it for my mom.

She didn’t get around to it for the same reason that my dad didn’t--it was an overwhelming task for one person to do. But my dad came home for Thanksgiving irate. He felt betrayed that she hadn’t gotten around to painting this one little room that was loaded with stuff and lined with shelves that also needed to be painted.

He could’ve recognized  it was a daunting task. They could’ve embarked on this project together or hired a handyman. But because she knew how he’d react, she spent three months being overwhelmed by the prospect and afraid of his reaction. And he reacted exactly how she knew he would.

This is what our cognitive distortions do to the people we love. We put standards on them that we don’t apply to ourselves, and they get in the way of real and helpful interaction. They distort small things into something divisive and mean.

Cognitive distortions keep you from accepting the blame that actually is yours

Cognitive distortions not only cause you to bear too much of what’s going on in your life, they help you rationalize away the things that you really should take responsibility for.

  • When the world is NEVER fair...
  • When how you feel at the moment decides what’s right or wrong...
  • When you only see the bad...
  • When it’s always someone else’s fault…

...it doesn’t seem like your fault. You don’t have to be in control. Someone else made you do what you did. While part of that is true, it keeps you from changing your life.

At Spring Gardens Recovery, We’re Here to Help

At Spring Gardens Recovery, we set up our treatment program to give opportunities to be good to yourself and others.

Through counseling, support groups, and our various experiential therapies, you’ll learn to be more open with yourself and others. We’ll help you challenge the thinking patterns that don’t serve you and we’ll support you as you work toward change.

We’re here. Give us a call at (866) 286-5337 or contact us on our webpage.

The post Cognitive Distortions: Changing Your Thinking in Order to Change Your Life appeared first on Spring Gardens.

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By Magdalena Horn

Even back in ancient Greece, horses were used to help relieve both mental and physical pain. At Spring Gardens Recovery, we believe in its value as well.

What is Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy is a type of therapy tool that, as the name suggests, revolves around using horses in therapy sessions.

While it’s not a therapy by itself, it can help supplement other types of counseling. Aided by the animals, the focus is to help you build a new awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Sometimes referred to as Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapy (EAAT) or hippotherapy, is a form of experiential therapy, which focuses less on talking and more on actions, activities, and your own body movements.

While our first records of it come from Hippocrates, the therapy as we know it today was initially developed in the 1960s in Germany. It came to the U.S. when scientists in the 1980s introduced it after studying abroad.

For thousands of years, equine therapy has been used as an aid to recover from mental or physical illnesses that make someone feel disconnected from themselves. Equine therapy is highly successful at treating disorders like anxiety, depression, PTSD, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis.

Addiction Puts You Out of Touch With Yourself: Equine Therapy Looks to Fix That

Equine therapy uses a groundwork-based structure. Sessions focus on grooming the horse, walking alongside, and doing various activities together--all to build a close bond with the animal. The trust you build with the horse is powerful: horses are empathic creatures, highly in tune to the emotions around them. They pick up on your needs and respond to you.

That sensitivity creates a calming setting, free of scrutiny: they’re horses, they don’t judge. That helps strengthen your confidence. If you feel overwhelmed by traditional talk therapy, this can take off some of that pressure and help you open up.

How does it work?

Sessions are held by a certified equine therapist who guides you through interacting with the horse, and helps you see yourself in relation to the animal.

The calming aspect of working with animals, not to mention how it offers a chance for seeing yourself in the horse, opens up the door to rebuild skills that were depleted during your addiction. You become more aware of yourself not only in your relationship to the horse but also in your relationship to yourself and others.

While equine therapy isn’t a replacement for counseling and psychotherapy, it offers a holistic, hands-on way to strengthen what your other therapies are providing.

Equine therapy addresses issues such as rebuilding your self-worth, creating routines, being aware of your emotions, controlling harmful impulses, and reestablishing your sense of purpose--all with the unconditional love and gentleness of the horse.

Ultimately, it's all about self-reflection. The horse acts as a mirror for our good and bad feelings, reflecting how we see ourselves and how our behaviors interact with reality.

How can it help me?

Studies show that animal-assisted therapy lowers stress and pain levels. This is why we offer both equine therapy and pet therapy here at Spring Gardens Recovery.

Equine therapy is becoming more and more popular for treating a broad range of disorders. Because it’s been so successful, many recovery centers offer equine therapy either in their own facilities or by partnering with nearby resources.

Equine therapy offers a wide array of strengths and benefits, such as:

  • Helping to reconnect with one’s own emotions.
  • Becoming more aware of one’s body again.
  • Repairing interpersonal skills.
  • Learning to control harmful impulses.
  • Developing a sense of purpose.
  • Reestablishing a connection with the environment.
  • Creating routines.

...All with the love and unconditional gentleness of the horse. Addiction can cause these skills to suffer, and it helps to know you aren’t alone when you’re learning to rebuild.

That companionship is vital: horses are pack animals. Horses remember you as their friend, and they can read your body language as well. They’re even considered tonal creatures, which means that they can hear the difference between something said two different ways. Horses--especially therapy horses--are gentle, patient creatures.

Horses expect routine. They look for patterns in everything, making them wonderful at teaching how to establish good habits and healthy emotions--as well as teaching you how to recognize bad habits and unhelpful feelings too.

Horses make things better

Substance abuse disorder can leave you feeling inadequate, with low self-worth and confidence. In equine therapy, where you’ll learn how to to take care of the horse and bond with them, the trust of the horse rebuilds your confidence--and confidence is everything.

In addition, substance addiction often develops in order to cope with underlying pain. Equine therapy can help in the process of addressing what might’ve led you to drug or alcohol abuse in the first place.

Equine therapy has been shown to have success at treating anxiety, depression, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as schizophrenia and personality disorders.

What We Offer

Spring Gardens Recovery offers Equine-Assisted Therapy and is certified by both Eagala and PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). Therapy is conducted at an off-site facility.

Our program is currently on hold, but we hope to restart soon with our equine therapy sessions.

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equine-assisted_therapy

https://americanhippotherapyassociation.org/what-is-hippotherapy/

https://www.foundationsrecoverynetwork.com/how-equine-therapy-is-used-in-addition-treatment/

https://www.recoveryranch.com/articles/recovery-at-the-ranch/equine-therapy-drug-rehab-treatment/

-----------

Magdalena Horn is a writer and equestrian. She has worked with horses for several years and has assisted with equine therapy for children with developmental challenges and executive functioning issues.

The post Horsing Around? The Many Benefits of Equine Therapy appeared first on Spring Gardens.

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Your loved one is in a rehab program. You’ve been down a long and tortuous road. There are a lot of things you could be feeling right now...exhaustion, relief, anger, pain, hope, sadness, worry…

The one thing you know is that sooner or later, your loved one will be home. What do you do between now and then?

Get Educated

Knowing about what addiction really is can help you understand why things have happened and what comes next.

For instance, it can help to know that Substance Use Disorder is a disorder of the brain’s reward system and it has both genetic and environmental components. The behaviors--even the lying, the lack of impulse control, and the manipulation--are all part of the disorder just as much as muscle aches are a part of the flu. This can be really hard to come to terms with. We’re used to behavior being a choice.

The type of addiction is also important. An alcohol addiction looks different than a meth addiction or a cocaine addiction. Process addictions like gambling or pornography also have their own sets of behavior patterns.

It helps to understand what is involved in the recovery process. When your loved one gets done with acute addiction treatment, they’re not cured. In fact, they’ll have to be aware of their addiction for the rest of their lives. Relapses happen and should be expected. Knowing what's normal and part of the journey can help you maintain hope.

Seek Support

You’ve gone through a lot--you’ve been hurt. Substance use disorder deeply affects your relationship and who you are.

When your loved one is recovery, it can seem like they are getting all the support and you are left licking your wounds. When they get back, they’ll probably also be attending some kind of support group frequently. What do you do?

There is support for family members. Al-Anon has been around for decades as a way to approach how to live with a loved one who is in an active addiction or who is in recovery.

Other groups include:

These support groups (and others) use peer support to help you process your experiences, learn to set healthy boundaries, and to recover from your experience.

Your spouse’s treatment program should also be engaging your relationship issues. Educating and treating the whole family lays a foundation for a successful recovery.

Consider finding a therapist

One-on-one support is also a great idea during this time. A therapist can help you process the pain and trauma you’ve experienced and then help you figure out how to deal with the future. Sometimes it is just good to have someone listen and affirm what you feel and be on your side.

Know your relationship is going to need work

Addiction batters relationships, whether it’s a marriage, a parent-child relationship, or one between siblings.

It’s not unusual for divorce to happen after the addicted person is through recovery. It hardly seems fair. You’ve walked by their side through all of it, dealt with being lied to and manipulated, and shouldered all the daily responsibilities for so long.

They’ve gone through treatment, they’re staying sober. Life is returning to normal. So why does everything explode now?

Because before, you were in survival mode. Now that things are stable, your brain says “Now I can be angry.” The pain comes flooding to the surface. Maybe you even want some kind of pay-back. What do you do with it all?

Both of you may feel like things should be normal now and not expect that you need to learn to trust again. You may not have realized that you have spent a long time creating patterns that helped you get through that don’t apply anymore.

Many couples have navigated these rough roads and come out stronger for it. They’ve learned to trust each other again once through the recovery process.

Realize It’s Not Your Fault

It’s so easy to feel to blame. You couldn’t prevent the addiction or control it, and you won’t be able to control the recovery process either. You can only participate in it and support where you can.

Spring Gardens Recovery is Here to Help You with Your Relationship

Throughout our program, we’ll work with you and your loved one to begin the healing process for both of you. In treatment, your loved one will be doing a lot of self-care and self-reflection--figuring out ways to handle relationships and daily life better. Your feedback and involvement will help that process.

You’re not alone.

Contact us to answer any questions about your loved one and the recovery process. Call 866-244-9556 or contact us. We’d love to help.

The post What Should I Do While My Loved One Is In Treatment appeared first on Spring Gardens.

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I’m working on developing a new habit. It’s a very simple one. I’m learning how to clean up after I eat.

For some of us, that’s pretty basic, but as someone who has had ADHD and sensory issues my entire life, my attention gets easily distracted. When my plate is empty or my tummy is full, my brain says “You’re done! Now go do something else.”

And throughout my life, my tendency to prematurely launch to the next task at hand has led to some pretty catastrophic problems.

The Inestimable Damage of a Bad Habit

Too often, I'll get up from the table and start doing other things. I come back to my kitchen for dinner, and look at the counter. Getting ready for dinner now means washing everything related to lunch. I also saw that I'd left the mayo and sandwich meat out. Spoiled($).

Suddenly, getting dinner ready seems huge and overwhelming. I'm angry with myself about leaving the food out. I'm hungry. Looks like dinner is drive-thru.

Then comes the morning. The kitchen mess is worse than yesterday and it’s going to be a busy day: dental appointment, errands, and projects are due. I shrug and we hit Chick-Fil-A ($). No time to deal with things later, either, so it’s going to be an eating out night, too ($$). In the back of my mind, I realize groceries are going to waste ($$).

What Happens Next

I can make this go on for over a week before I have no choice but to take a couple of hours to de-catastrophize my kitchen.

After a few days of this, another problem develops. I’m running out of money. I’m using resources that should be going to other places.

There have been times where a week like this means a couple of months of juggling categories to get things back on track again, including adding late fees onto my bills($).

I can’t even begin to contemplate the amount of food and money I’ve wasted over the years.

For some people, it’s not food, it’s paying the bills, getting to sleep at night, or going to the grocery--or all of the above. It’s amazing how a simple habit that takes 5 minutes can save so much time and stress.

The Way to Change a Habit

In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear describes how habits develop.

In our day to day life, we encounter cues--an event that we respond to. In my story above:

my cue, a messy kitchen. A cue triggers a craving--a desire for stress relief. My response--eating out, brings relief, at least temporarily. Relief is the reward.

Cue → Craving → Response → Reward

A habit is formed when the cue happens often and the response brings a strong enough reward.

Those of us struggling with addictions know this cycle well, but every living creature deals with this routine every day.

Habits are generally good things. Having routines in our lives means that we don’t have to devote mental energy to every aspect of our day. It’s just something we do. A habit is a bad thing when our response to the cue is something that doesn’t actually solve the problem, or worse, brings harm.

A Simple and Effective Way to Create a Habit

Developing a new habit or breaking one can be a lot of work. There’s a key principle to understand. You can address the habit at any of the above stages:  Cue, Craving, Response, or Reward, but one of the easiest places is at the Cue stage.

If you want to begin a habit, you create a new cue. If you want to break one, you change the cue or make it invisible.

That’s one reason why many choose a residential program for starting their recovery. They remove themselves from their regular life cues that lead to substance use.

Tie a New Cue Something You Already Do on a Regular Basis

One of the biggest challenges with building a new habit is making it happen. James Clear recommends tying a new habit to something that you already do. Studies have found one of the most important factors in developing new habits isn’t motivation, knowledge, or willpower--it’s clarity.

Start with an implementation intention. This is a simple statement that structures what you do:

“When I finish [OLD BEHAVIOR], I will [NEW BEHAVIOR].”

So for me, “When I finish eating, I will put my dishes in the dishwasher.”

You can even do something called “habit stacking.” Habit stacking is creating a chain of behaviors based on this above formula.

“When I finish eating, I will put my dishes in the dishwasher.”

“When I finish putting my dishes in the dishwasher, I will put away my meal prep stuff.”

“When I finish clearing my meal prep stuff, I will wipe down the countertop.”

I know I’m going to eat a meal, so that is the anchor for everything else. I’ve outlined the steps so I don’t have to decide what I’m going to do next. It’s all laid out. I don’t have to think about it anymore.

How Habit-Building Relates to Recovery

Addiction, mental illness, and executive functioning disorders--like my ADHD, go hand-in-hand with each other. They all contribute to difficulties with daily life-functioning. We tend to struggle with getting things done, and we also struggle with keeping things going. We also tend to lean on stress-relief options that don’t really solve the problem.

While you are in treatment, there is a lot of hard work to do. You will be doing a tremendous amount of thinking and emotional processing in therapy. Creating systems like habit stacking for handling the basics lets you put your energy where it belongs--the recovery process.

As you’re preparing to re-enter your life, we work together to understand your cues and figure out how to deal with them so that you can either avoid or reshape the cues that trigger your substance abuse.

But also, learning how to balance the basics sets a good foundation for the rest of your life. Putting routine issues on automatic lowers your stress. You can devote your energy to bigger issues, keeping problems from spiraling out of control.

Spring Gardens Recovery Works with You to Create Your Habit Foundations

That’s why any good recovery program includes real-life skills as part of your treatment plan.  Be careful. Some programs only give lip-service to this. At Spring Gardens Recovery, we believe setting up good habits and life skills are an important part of your recovery.

Give us a call today at 866-244-9556 or contact us online and we will be happy to tell you more about why our recovery program is a good place for you.

The post Little Habits, Big Differences appeared first on Spring Gardens.

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Transition (n.): When life throws something at us that significantly changes our direction, altering how we view ourselves.

Sometimes it’s a good thing--graduation, marriage, parenthood, promotion, retirement.

Sometimes it’s not--a spouse dying, “empty-nest” syndrome, losing a job, being a victim of crime.

Transitions can be triggered by either something good or something bad, and they can change you.

Entering Recovery is a Huge Transition

Generally, we remember that one thing that made us seek recovery. We see how things end up and we do not remember where it started. We have entered a transition period; a period in which we know something must change

Stage 1 of Transition: It Starts with an Ending

According to William Bridges, author of the book Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, a transition starts, whether by choice or not, when something forces us to distance ourselves from who we currently are:

  • Graduation means you’re no longer a student.
  • A wedding means you’re no longer single.
  • Divorce means you’re no longer married.
  • When you’re fired, you no longer have that career.

Something may have occurred in your life that made you decide to consider recovery. Whatever it was, it made you realize the price for your addiction was too high. Before you have a new beginning, you must have an ending.

We have to let go of the old in order to embrace the new

As you go through the Ending Stage, you start to separate yourself from that part of your identity. It’s not uncommon in this stage to feel sad, angry, depressed, overwhelmed, and confused. It’s because you’re grieving.

Even as you  separate from this part of your life--there’s so much to mourn:

  • You may have to walk away from friendships that keep you in your addiction.
  • Coping mechanisms that no longer work.
  • The new quiet may give you time to truly mourn relationships that were destroyed along the way.
  • The sense of control that you thought you had--over life, over pain, over so many things--is gone.
  • You might have experienced losses--your job, your marriage, your health.
The Five Stages of Grief in Recovery

Grief is a normal, healthy reaction to loss, and you need time to go through it. It helps to understand the natural stages of grief.

According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, an expert in the study of grief, there are five key emotions that a person goes through during any grief process:

  • Denial - We’re not ready to face reality.
  • Anger - The loss makes us angry. We feel like it “shouldn’t be happening.”
  • Bargaining - We still try to negotiate away the loss--either with God, ourselves, or others.
  • Depression - Empty feelings, awareness of great loss, pain.
  • Acceptance - Doesn’t mean sadness is gone (or any of the other emotions) but we are adjusting to the idea of moving forward.

The grief cycle is a good and normal process. It’s also hard, but we can’t avoid the work just because it’s hard. Many who’ve relapsed tried to jump over the Stages of Grief. They think they can go from being an addict to embracing prosperity without giving themselves due time to heal.

It’s also not a linear process--you don’t just go from stage to stage. You can feel acceptance one day, but then an anniversary or an unexpected reminder can throw you back into depression or anger. Over time, the grieving process does get easier and less dramatic.

So during this stage, while you are grieving and unsure of who you are going to be at the end of this transition process--be gentle with yourself. Let yourself feel what you are feeling. Make sure you have a solid support system as you navigate this new beginning.

Stage 2 of Transition: The Neutral Zone

William Bridges calls the 2nd phase “The Neutral Zone” because it’s the time between.

In our fast-paced culture, we don’t always appreciate this stage that resides nebulously between The Ending and The New Beginning. We stand on one side of the street gazing at the other side, but we don’t give much thought to how we get across. We forget that how we cross the road determines if we safely make it.

This stage can be especially hard in recovery. In the stillness, we hear the message that we’ve tried so hard to keep quiet. We take time to face them--sometimes to challenge them, sometimes to affirm them. Other times, we let them roll over us like water over a duck’s back--because sometimes those voices lie.

“We need this time,” William Bridges emphasizes, “...the way that an apple tree needs the cold of winter.”

This stage is necessary to help you gain perspective, becoming comfortable in your own skin. That’s why at Spring Gardens Recovery, we incorporate meditation and mindfulness practices in our clients’ treatment plans. It’s also why we make sure you have solid relationships with our counselors and staff so that you’re supported through this time. Your support group also plays a huge role in helping you navigate your Neutral Zone.

Stage 3: A New Beginning

The Neutral Zone doesn’t last forever. As you approach the end of it, you start to see a future. There is life on the other side of rehab.

Men and women have gone through this journey before. Like them, you'll find ways to redefine yourself and thrive.

Stage 3 is the stage that is most visible because it’s the end of the transition process. It’s full of promise. It's the one we can't even imagine at the beginning.

In Stage 3, together with your family and your support team:

  • You'll develop strategies for encountering and avoiding triggers.
  • You'll determine what new skills you'll ne
  • You'll evaluate your key relationships and decide if and how they can move forward.
Transition is Necessary for Recovery

An effective recovery program doesn’t just give you some skills to stay away from alcohol or drugs. The counselors and staff of a high-quality recovery program recognize the journey that you need to take. They accompany you through it, respecting the fact that it is your unique journey.

At Spring Gardens Recovery, we shape our entire program to support you through this transition.

We’re with you the whole way.

If you’re looking at your life and realizing that it’s time for a change, please contact us here on this site or give us a call at (866)244-9556.

The post The Journey of Becoming New: Recovery & Transition appeared first on Spring Gardens.

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What does “self-care” mean to you?

For many people, it means time at the salon, a massage, a great meal out, or that longed-for vacation.

Most people define self-care as “doing something nice for yourself that helps break up the stress and make you feel good for a while.”

Some people cry “Self-care! I deserve it!” while throwing money around they don't have on things they don't need. Shopping, an expensive meal, or some other "treat" becomes a way to forget their stress for a brief moment.

But when they’re done, the same situation is still there--and with that money gone, the stress level skyrockets.

It’s fake self-care.

Substance Abuse is Fake Self-Care, Too

Why did you start drinking or taking drugs?

90 percent of our residents here at Spring Gardens Recovery have trauma in their past. The odds are that emotional and/or physical pain is involved:

To quiet voices in your head that carry the awful messages that you heard growing up.

To forget terrible memories that won’t go away.

Or to escape from yourself for a while and feel good.

Maybe it’s because you were promised that the prescription would help you control the pain, only it doesn’t. The medical field is only starting to realize (far too late) that they violated their main tenet: “First, do no harm.”

For many of us, alcohol or drugs have been our “self-care” -- letting us forget what we really feel for a while -- anger, depression, anxiety, self-loathing, pain, nothing.

But most of all, when all of this is trauma-related, drugs and alcohol let us forget we’re stuck in our grief and don’t know how to get out.

At Spring Gardens Recovery, We Believe The Answer is Real Self-Care

As you can see from our home page, Spring Gardens Recovery offers services like massages, organic foods, yoga, and a peaceful environment.

We’re not pretending we’re an all-inclusive resort, hiding the fact that there is hard work ahead. The truth is, these services hold an important place in your recovery:

  • You’ve spent a long time engaging in behaviors that harm you. You need to practice learning how to be good to yourself. Recovery isn’t about self-punishment. It’s about becoming healthy -- your mind frame is a huge part of that.
  • The body and the mind are connected. Positions, pressure points, etc., can release memories and experiences and make them easier to talk about. They can calm an overactive mind and replace stress with peace and serenity.
  • Yoga, organic food therapy, and massage are just a few of the services we offer that actively help your body to detox. 
When it comes to self-care, we have a long-term vision, too.

Learning to be nice to yourself is one thing. Learning to succeed is self-care, too. That’s why we incorporate Life Skills Training into our intensive therapy program.

  • You'll learn to prepare nutritious meals that will nurture your body and reduce your cravings.
  • We’ll work with you on your finances and teach you how to manage them.
  • If you need to, we’ll explore new career and life goals and help you figure out the path to get you there.
  • You’ll learn new tools for being aware of what you are feeling and for managing your stress, so you can have greater control over your life and your relationships.
  • You’ll develop better ways to communicate what you’re feeling so that your relationships can grow stronger.

As Brianna West writes, “True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.”

Real Recovery Self-Care is Doing the Work

In order to recover, there’s a lot of hard work to do:

  • Together, we’ll create an individualized program that will address your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.
  • You’ll be in intensive individual and group therapy where we’ll look at the journey that brought you here--addressing your history, your trauma, and your grief.
  • We’ll also identify the situations that could trigger a relapse and together, we’ll set you up for success.
  • You’ll be eating, exercising, and contemplating -- becoming physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy.

But you're the one doing most of the work -- learning to care for yourself and learning to build a different life.

True self-care.

At Spring Gardens Recovery, we’ll help you find the tools you need to build that life.

Give us a call at 866-244-9556.

The post The Importance of Self-Care in Recovery appeared first on Spring Gardens.

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You may have heard through the news that several treatment centers and drug rehab facilities in Florida have been found to be unethical. This can be discouraging to those in need of treatment services. Certainly, some treatment centers have ethics and integrity, but how can you tell? Who can you trust?

If you are a family member, friend, or loved one of someone suffering from addiction, you want the best for them.  This includes helping them find an ethical addiction treatment center that is focused on the well-being and recovery of their clients.

How are Some Treatment Centers in Florida Unethical?

There are a several ways some alcohol and drug rehabs turn out to be “shady.” Many are guilty of what the industry calls client brokering—where a client is asked to enter a treatment facility and receive a monetary kickback. This can happen when an employee of the facility solicits a client to enter their treatment center.

Additionally, there are several treatment centers that will seek out brokers in order to fraudulently admit clients to alcohol and drug rehabs on the promise that they can get money or gifts for doing so. In turn, the rehabs pay the brokers a kickback while the treatment center makes money off the back of the client. Due to drug and alcohol rehabs get paid by insurance companies for each individual in treatment, client brokering has become a huge multi-million dollar scam against insurance companies.

Another unethical way that some addiction treatment centers function is through falsely advertising services provided on their website or advertisements. For example, some rehabs and treatment centers may offer a form of treatment called dialectical behavior therapy or DBT , which is an evidence-based intervention that mental health professionals in substance abuse treatment use.  Unfortunately, upon arriving at the facility, a client may find that the company does not offer this intervention or there is not a current qualified staff member to conduct a session.

Another ethical issue found in some treatment centers is that their staff is comprised of unlicensed, uncertified staff, or active using staff. Due to the challenging nature of working in the field of addiction, some professionals find it difficult to stay sober themselves. Some staff may even use on the job, which will create chaos and provide a unsafe environment for clients.

The horrible truth of the matter is that these issues do exist. The very unfortunate issue is that these unethical operations often put a tarnished name on the treatment and stop people from seeking out help they need.

How Can I Tell if a Treatment Center is Ethical?

If you are unable to meet the staff in person or tour the rehab facility, it is best to call and ask certain questions of admissions.  In doing this, you will get a general idea of whether or not a treatment center is looking out for your best interests.  Some questions to ask might be:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Can I speak directly with the clinical director?
  • Are your staff trained?
  • Let’s go over the services you list on your website- can you tell me if you still offer them?
  • Are there security cameras at the facility?
  • Do you have testimonials?
  • What is your aftercare treatment like?
  • Do you offer family sessions?
  • Has anyone ever overdosed on the property?
  • Has the facility ever been a part of a legal proceeding?
How Spring Gardens Recovery Differs

The very essence of our practice at Spring Gardens Recovery is focused on ethics and integrity. We pride ourselves on offering all services and treatments we advertise on our website. Our staff is comprised of highly trained professionals, who facilitate individual, group, and ancillary sessions with mindfulness and spiritual centering.

It is unfortunate that treatment centers in Florida have received a bad reputation because of a few “bad apples.” However, at Spring Gardens Recovery, we are focused on helping those who want to recover from addiction in a spiritual, mindful, and ethical setting.

We are available 24/7 for any questions about our program, what a typical week looks like, our amenities, or any other general inquiries. We invite individuals and families to tour our beautiful facility and meet our staff.

If you are seeking treatment yourself, we understand that this can be overwhelming. If possible, have someone you trust call the rehab, so they may help you make a decision for the most appropriate treatment facility.

Please call us at 866-244-8013. We are here to help.

The post Drug Rehab Ethics in Florida appeared first on Spring Gardens.

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If you are looking into attending a drug and alcohol treatment center for help with addiction, a common question that many people have is the cost. Alcohol and drug rehab can be expensive if you’re paying out of pocket—which is why having insurance is a viable option.

What if you don’t have insurance, or if your insurance doesn’t cover all the services? How will you know if the treatment center you have chosen accepts your insurance? These are legitimate questions to find out answers to, prior to attending rehab.

What Exactly Does Insurance Cover at Rehab?

What your insurance provider covers for drug and alcohol addiction treatment varies widely from plan to plan. Many providers will pay for a portion of treatment, and some will cover almost all of the costs, while others cover little, or none. In order to safely understand the specifics of your individual plan, call the number on your insurance card and speak with a representative.

The insurance provider can tell you exactly what your plan will cover in the phases of treatment (some may cover detox only and nothing more), how many days they can cover, and what your co-pay portion will look like.

If you can’t get through to an insurance representative, a treatment center admissions person will submit your insurance card to see what your plan covers and the expected co-pay.  You will need to supply them with some personal information such as date of birth and home address, and they will get back with you as soon as they can within normal working hours.

Why Can’t a Treatment Center Tell Me What Type of insurance to Buy?

An addiction treatment center cannot advise people what insurance to purchase because it is illegal to do so. (It falls under solicitation and trafficking laws, also called in slang term, “body brokering”).  When visiting the drug and alcohol rehab’s website you should be able to see a list of insurance companies they work with. If the insurance you have happens to not be listed on the website, a quick call to the admissions person will enable you to find out about the plan.

An admissions representative will also be able to help you with any questions that may arise, such as:

  • Does my insurance cover all phases of drug and alcohol treatment: detox, residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient?
  • Does my insurance cover medications that may be prescribed and if so, what are they?
  • Does my insurance cover any outside specialists that I may need during treatment?
How to go to Treatment Without Insurance

If you have no insurance, your options may be more limited, but it is not impossible to get treatment. Try not to get discouraged and stay patient in the process.

  • There are state funded resources which offer treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, but there can be a long waiting list. Calling in daily to see if a space has become available will increase the chances of getting in the treatment center sooner.
  • There are times throughout the year where private insurance companies have open enrollment, and you can try and get a policy that covers treatment.
  • Paying out of pocket can cost several thousand dollars, though most facilities will negotiate a price with you that makes it affordable.
  • Ask the rehab if you can pay on a sliding scale or make a payment plan. There are also scholarships and grants available that can help pay.
  • Borrowing money privately, on a crowdsourcing site or apply for a loan are addition options.
What are the Functions of Insurance Agents and Brokers?

Insurance agents and brokers are people who work between the buyer (you) and the insurance companies. An agent is a person who is the representative for more than one insurance company, while a broker is designed to assist the buyer. Brokers are there to help you find the most appropriate insurance plan that covers your needs at a reasonable price. Brokers need to be licensed to sell insurance and fully understand the policies and regulations of the state they work in. A broker is to never promise the insurance buyer any incentives—such as rewards for going into treatment for drugs and alcohol. This is highly illegal and should be reported.

The Cost of Not Going to Rehab

When looking at the price of alcohol and drug rehab verses the overwhelming cost of continued substance abuse—there is no comparison. The toll that it takes on family and friends, health, well-being, and quality of life, is exponentially greater than the monetary price of getting addiction help that lasts.

There are several groups around the world that support abstinence, but many times people need more than a meeting. With insurance, people seeking recovery are fortunate to have options that will help pay for treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

Don’t let the fear of finances deter you from saving your life.

Call Spring Gardens at 866-244-8013 to discuss your options.

The post How Insurance Can Pay for Addiction Treatment appeared first on Spring Gardens.

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As you screen rehabs for your best fit, maybe you wonder, "How long does addiction recovery take?" This common question answers differently for each person. Much depends on how you approach treatment, whether you engage in your rehab program, and which treatment program you enter. After all, your individual recovery focuses on what helps you build your best future, not what works for others.

How Long Does Addiction Recovery Take?

Go back to your question, "How long does addiction recovery take?" You probably ask this question, not because you have a specific deadline in mind. Gaining lasting recovery is not like dieting to lose weight for a special event. Instead, you seek long-term change after a ravaging period of substance abuse.

The reason why you ask this question is likely for hope. You want to see into your future, just far enough to inspire yourself for improving your life. So under these terms, asking "how long does addiction recovery take" helps you muster energy and motivation for a brighter future.

Simply remember that addiction recovery is a lifelong process. When you leave your rehab at the end of your program, you hold no guarantees for sobriety. To achieve the lasting recovery you want, you must keep working on your recovery and use what you learned.

Your Treatment Stage

Treatment starts the day you stop abusing drugs or alcohol and enter detox services. You should not go "cold turkey" or try to quit your addiction on your own. Instead, you need support, care and therapies to prevent deadly relapse. So once you decide to get this critical help and enter that program, your treatment begins.

Your treatment approaches your addiction as a disease of your body, mind, and spirit. So you need a wide range of treatments and therapies for all of those aspects of your being. The physical hold your substances have on you then stop in detox. But you still experience psychological symptoms like cravings and triggers that rehab treats for your true, lasting wellness.

In rehab, you learn about your addiction as a chronic, relapsing disease. At the same time, you go through an array of therapies. Your individualized treatment plan guides you through rehab, helping you set and achieve specific goals for recovery.

Early Recovery from Addiction

There is another answer to the general question, "How long does addiction recovery take?" This answer relates to early recovery from your addiction, the time period when you practice what you learn in treatment.

During this phase, you feel "fragile" and new to sobriety. You must focus and use what you learned to avoid relapse because of cravings, daily stress, triggers, temptations, social pressures, and family problems. In essence, you learn how to live well during this time. You also practice having fun and socializing without using drugs or alcohol.

Once you stay sober for at least 90 days, you enter the maintenance phase of your recovery. During this next phase of your life, you focus on using everything you learned in your first three months of recovery. You must work hard not to feel overwhelmed or stressed by your life changes. At this time, you benefit from community support and other healthy people around you.

Addiction Treatment You Need for Lasting Recovery

For your lasting recovery beyond the maintenance phase and into advanced recovery, you need help from quality addiction treatment programs. Therapies and treatments important to your strongest sobriety include:

  • Licensed detox and residential rehab
  • Amino acid and pediment IV infusions
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Medications as needed
  • Quality amenities for comfort and peace

Spring Gardens Recovery in Spring Hill, Florida provides all of these services in a peaceful, upscale environment. Contact Spring Gardens Recovery at 866-244-8013 for the in-depth answer to your question, "How long does addiction recovery take?" You will love the answer and your new life gained with Spring Gardens Recovery's help.

The post How Long Does Addiction Recovery Take? appeared first on Spring Gardens.

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New Year’s Eve has become a celebration that involves alcohol. It’s no longer about watching the ball drop or spending time with loved ones. For many, having a drink or champagne flute in hand at the stroke of midnight is a must. In contrast, there’s First Night 2018.

How First Night 2018 Can Become Your Game Changer

Leave it to artists to figure out that the status quo needed a makeover. As far back as 1975, a group decided to create a different experience. They wanted the welcome of the New Year to be a celebration of art and music. A festive vibe was possible without a drop of alcohol.

The initial celebration took place in Boston. Since then, it spread like wildfire to other cities, too. First Night 2018 is sure to have at least one representation in your city or the next largest one. In addition to art lovers and aficionados for counter-cultural movements, these celebrations also appeal to celebrants with alcohol addiction.

Holidays are a Prime Time for Relapse Danger

Relapse triggers abound. There are the family members that you see every year around this time. You associate meeting them with having a glass of alcohol in your hand. Some interactions result in stressful situations that create their own sets of triggers.

There are plenty of tips out there for having a sober First Night experience. They run the gamut from bringing along an accountability partner to planning your exit just before the ball drop. However, what happens if – in spite of your best efforts – something goes wrong? On the other hand, maybe you’re looking at First Night 2018 as your challenge to quit drinking altogether.

Overcome Substance Abuse or Relapse with Professional Help

The first step on the road to sobriety is detoxification. You withdraw from the alcohol safely. Medical monitoring eliminates the pain that you might otherwise experience. Most importantly, it ensures a safe experience.

Detox is vital even if you relapsed. It helps you get back on track and deals with any cravings you might be experiencing. Remember that this is a fluid arrangement. If you don’t need an entire week to withdraw, you can move on to the rehab portion of care a lot faster.

For a relapsing client, a two-week stabilization may be the right path. You get back on track. Because you know what coping skills didn’t work for you, therapists assist you in determining new ones. The advantage of this setup is the level of customization that goes into the treatment.

If you’re undergoing substance abuse treatment for the first time, commit to a 30-day stay after detox. It’s an excellent way of immersing yourself in the therapeutic setting. Besides that, it enables you to explore coping skills and trigger responses. Most importantly, you receive immediate feedback that helps boost personal growth opportunities.

Treatments include:

  • Amino acid IV infusions that assist with stabilizing the brain chemistry for neurotransmitter release
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy that gets to your reasons for using alcohol as a chemical crutch
  • Emphasis on rest, relaxation, and meditation to release stress and adopt healthy stressor responses
  • Family therapy, which enables you to communicate openly with loved ones who want to see you heal
  • Group therapy as a way to enjoy peer support and accountability for sobriety
Now is the Time to Get Help

Don’t wait until First Night 2018 to reach out for help. Today is an excellent day to get the help you need to quit. Discuss the various addiction treatment programs with Spring Gardens Recovery intake specialists. Call 866-244-8013 today.

The post First Night 2018 appeared first on Spring Gardens.

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