Addictions and High Risk Behavior
Most people with addictions are suffering from unresolved traumatic events or chronic conditions. The underlying impulse toward destructive behaviors -- drug, alcohol, high risk behaviors -remains until the trauma is resolved and the chemical imbalances treated. We offer a short course on neuroscience as essential in understanding the addicted individual. When negative life events are resolved, the resulting chemical imbalances realigned and Self Care is in place, the results are resiliency, a greater sense of well-being and strategies for successfully addressing the negative life events that will come to all of us.
For years, Yvette was psychologically abused by her mother and later sexually molested by a family “friend.” Both Bob and Russell are war veterans whose combat experiences were brutal and traumatizing. Sue’s early abandonment by an abusing father was the foundational event that surfaced while she was recovering from colon cancer treatment -- the highly stressful medical treatment that saved her life also triggered PTSD. None of these people made significant progress with addiction or resolving symptoms of severe stress until the underlying trauma was resolved. Yvette had shock treatment for three years and many drugs were tried. Nothing remediated her paralyzing symptoms and thus, began her push toward drugs and alcohol for relief, until she experienced trauma resolution at Ashlar. Bob and Russell were also highly medicated by their doctors in attempt to eliminate the terrifying symptoms of PTSD. Working with the Ashlar program provided the longed for relief. (Names in above paragraph were changed).
Applicable in any recovery setting, Ashlar Programs offer an innovative, best practices approach to recovery from trauma and addictive behaviors that enhances motivation and commitment to sobriety and self-knowledge.
To insure success of our work, we also address chemical imbalances with our licensed Medical Nutritionist in consultation with our client’s primary care physician. This approach is considerably more successful than traditional recovery programs.
Ashlar methods are compatible with The Twelve-Step Program: for example, the narrative (Telling your Story); capacity building ('Passing It On') as service to others in the larger world (Giving Back). Like 12 Step, we know that family education is important. Assessment and trauma resolution is offered to them in a Life Line group. A major component of our psycho-education for families is teaching the most recent neuroscience that underlies addiction. Our highly effective educational materials are cartoon based created by a staff member and former client.
We utilize arts processes to deal with themes of Grief, Redemption, Reclamation, and Reconciliation. The arts processes are Spirit Houses, Pillars of Wham Bam Pow, (specifically for our combat vets) which when completed continue to offer healing for the individual and her/his community. See our webpage for further explanation of arts processes.
Self-care practices are significant in empowering those in recovery to strengthen the parasympathetic nervous system which has been weakened by stressful events or traumatizing. For this we teach The Calming Breath and/or provide on-line resources to access these processes.
Our peer mentors have all been through the program and all have experienced significant relief and the mental clarity the program provides.
Our training includes: The exact form of the training will be created by Ashlar and Program Director from our hosting facility.
- 2 weeks on site – followed by monthly Check-ins or availability for emergencies.
- Four hour class alternate days -- with an houir of "homework."
- Our staff will be available to individual staff members on the days between training.
- Current neuroscience including epigenetics – trained narrative arts specialists.
- Biochemistry of addiction – medical nutritionist.
- Traumatic stress techniques, a synthesis of methods – trained Ashlar staff.
- Applying which method to which client – Ashlar staff member.
- Trouble shooting.
- Resolution of nightmares or dreams – sand tray work – Jungian perspective.
- Arts process for Redemption, Grief and Reclamation, Writing through the Body.
- A demonstration group using the Life Line.
The entire program is spiritually focused in a Jungian context. The goal for our own program participants is that they continue practices that lead to resilience, and well-being, are productive community members and can engage in creative. In short, we hope they will have internalized what we have taught and will teach others toward having meaningful and fulfilling lives.