By mid-life, we’re pretty set in our ways, even though some of those ways may be preventing us from realizing our true potential or the level of happiness in life we’d hoped to have by now. It’s easy to move through life without questioning our attitudes and beliefs and making sure they line up with our reality, and it’s easy to live with negative patterns of thinking and behaving without realizing it.
Substance use disorders make it even harder to evaluate our thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs. That’s because addiction changes the structure and functions of the brain and affects thought and behavior patterns. Recovery is largely about learning how to think and behave in healthy ways, and a holistic approach to treatment offers the best possible outcomes.
What is Holistic Treatment?
Addiction affects your mind, body, and spirit, and holistic treatment addresses issues in all three of these domains to provide a whole-person approach to recovery. A holistic treatment program will draw on a variety of traditional and complementary therapies to delve into the underlying causes of the addiction. These may include chronic stress, a history of trauma, medical problems or mental illness.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has identified 13 principles of effective treatment. One principle states that no single treatment is appropriate for every individual, and matching a treatment plan to an individual’s particular needs and problems is crucial for success. Another principle stresses that effective treatment will attend to the multiple needs of the individual, including medical, psychological, social, legal, financial, vocational and educational needs. Holistic treatment addresses all of an individual’s problems.
Common Therapies Used in Holistic Addiction Treatment for Midlife Adults
The range of therapies used in a holistic program helps you address your issues from a variety of angles. Common therapies in a holistic program include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Family therapy
- Art or music therapy
- Nature therapy
- Dance or movement therapy
- Yoga and meditation
Benefits of Holistic Addiction Treatment for Midlife Adults
Holistic addiction treatment for midlife adults is particularly helpful for three major reasons.
1. It leads to a higher level of self-awareness
When you’re more self-aware, you’re more attuned to reality and to your thought and behavior patterns. A holistic treatment program includes therapies that help you develop a higher level of self-awareness and mindfulness, which improves your quality of life and sense of well-being.
2. It helps you improve your relationships
By mid-life, many of us have spouses and children, and addiction causes major dysfunction and stress in the home. Through the various therapies in a holistic program, you will address family issues and learn healthy ways of communicating to improve the function of the family unit, leading to less stress and better relationships with those you love.
3. It addresses spiritual issues
Many people begin thinking more about spiritual matters in mid-life. What is the point of life? What gives life meaning? What is my purpose on earth? A major focus in a holistic treatment program is on helping you grow spiritually. It helps you discover your purpose in life, and it helps you find meaning in the life you have. It helps you make sense of your past, and it helps you learn to have fun and enjoy life again without drugs or alcohol.
Holistic Treatment Works
A holistic treatment program puts as much focus on improving your happiness and quality of life as it puts on ending substance abuse. Holistic treatment makes your life better in countless ways, giving you the tools and skills you need to not only stop using drugs or alcohol but also to make your life less stressful, improve your relationships and promote authentic happiness.