Developing a Holistic Model of Addiction Recovery – Pt 1
by Robin Perry Braun
I have been involved in addiction counseling/ministry for almost 30 years and I am a holistic energy practitioner. I am grateful to have beaten a fourteen-year battle with an eating disorder and my ex-husband has battled sexual addiction for forty years. I saw my family devastated by the effects of addiction and spent thousands of hours and dollars on healing and therapy. In my tenacious belief that nothing is incurable and pursuit of tools that work, God led me to become a holistic practitioner. Remember, we are a tri-part being, a spirit with a soul in a body. Addiction is a stronghold in all three areas.
Problems in addiction recovery models
One of the problems I have seen in all addiction recovery models is that they tend to only focus on one of these three areas. If you go to most treatment clinics, they believe if we get them a little therapy and let them detox from their “drug”, they will have a jump start on healing. People come back from 30 days in a pricey treatment center and report they smoked 4 packs of cigarettes and drank 3 pots of coffee a day in there while they were in “recovery”. If you know anything about brain chemistry, they were just trading out one addiction for another. Frankly, addiction is seen as so hard to recover from, the “experts” really tolerate lesser addictions. But this does not address the real issues. Most of them know this but, like doctors, don’t know how to heal the cause, they can only treat the symptoms. (Pick the bad fruit)
Addiction is not a cause, it is a symptom. Think of a tree that has rotten roots, it will keep producing bad fruit. Picking off all the bad fruit hoping the next batch will be better will only end in disappointment and disillusionment. Like the allopathic medicine model to treat disease in the US, most addiction recovery models are symptom-focused. I like the elements of the 12-step model and its attempts to get deeper to the roots, and it probably yields the best results overall in statistically “recovered” addicts and still we are looking at a maybe 12% recovery rate.
The Spiritual Approach to Addiction
The Charismatic church makes its best effort to address the spiritual. The problem lies in the well-intentioned but wrong belief that addiction is just demonic. Statistically speaking, casting demons out of someone with an addiction does not produce long-term results. There are many reasons (which will be addressed later). The client just ends up in more despair, believing his/her condition is hopeless. I have heard many testimonies of people instantaneously freed from addiction. But they have been delivered from the cravings. The deeply rooted issues that led to addiction are slow changes and shifts. Our physical body and soul are not wired to shift that quickly, it is a daily and gradual process (which will also be discussed more in depth in future parts)
The Nutritional Approach to Addiction
The nutritional experts believe if you just eat super clean and exercise, all addictions are abated. Again, experience and statistics do not prove this out to be true. It helps and especially if you are addicted to sugar and food etc. Many of these people just become compulsive exercisers and trade their substance addiction for a food and exercise compulsion.
The Psychological Approach to Addiction
Psychologists say it is just an emotional disorder that can be addressed in therapy. 12-step focuses mainly on the thought processes and lifestyle which are two of the primary components. But go to any 12-step meeting and you will see chain-smoking and large quantities of sugar and caffeine being consumed. Also, these people often have to make 12 step their god even after many years of weekly and even daily meetings just to stay sober/clean.
A Spirit/Soul/Body Approach to Addiction
I believe and have science to back this up, that we have the tools to heal the spirit soul and body and get free from addiction. But we have to address the emotions/thoughts, diet, brain chemistry and the spirit to be successful. I have yet to find a treatment center that does all of these. This model would incorporate alternative treatment techniques (including energy medicine) inner healing/deliverance, emotional release and reprogramming, education on diet and healthy lifestyle with reprogramming techniques, and education on mindfulness and emotional processing. I have seen good fruit come when people use a holistic approach to healing whatever issue they present including cancer, anxiety, depression, addiction, obesity and more.
Statistics for the US: 50% of Americans will experience some form of cancer in their lifetime. More than 50% battle obesity. We are the most depressed, anxious, overweight, addicted (almost the highest) ADD/ADHD and medicated country in the world. There is a well-known saying that goes: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results” We qualify then, as insane in our western allopathic model to everything we do. It isn’t working. Magic pills don’t work no matter how much you believe in them. In the next parts I will go into the working parts of this six-faceted process.