Developing Resilience As Part Of Addiction Recovery
In addition to recovery programs that are holistic and client-based, resiliency training is one of the key elements of the program. People with addiction have lost their ability to be resilient, and they lack the coping strategies to deal with the challenges and obstacles life throws in their path.
Often this lack of resilience actually comes from unhealed and untreated trauma that may have occurred throughout childhood. This type of trauma can be devastating and lifelong, but it can also be treated even later in life, and the client can develop coping skills and rebuild the resiliency to be able to bounce back when life seems to be going in the wrong direction.
The Heart of Resiliency
At its most basic, resiliency is the ability to see yourself as successful and with the power to overcome the obstacles in your path. It is a belief in your own power, but it may also be the belief in a power greater than you to which you belong. For some people, this power is God, Buddha or Allah, a Universal Energy, or a spirituality that creates a connection with the world around them.
There are several ways that resiliency can be developed through recovery programs. In many programs learning to have a spiritual side, which may be religious in nature, as well as different types of resiliency building exercises, are part of the training.
These exercises or activities can include:
- Identifying personal gifts, talents and skills
- Learning coping mechanisms that are effective
- Learning problem-solving skills
- Becoming more effective at communicating with others to find the necessary information and to make interpersonal connections that are positive.
Each program and each client will focus on different areas of resiliency training. Often for those in recovery, the hardest part of becoming resilient is in going back and addressing childhood trauma that may never have been discussed, acknowledged or processed. While difficult, this is the cause of most addictions, and doing this work will give you the ability to see yourself as healed, whole and empowered moving forward.
Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award-winning book The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse. You can take her quiz to find out if you are co-dependent or sign up for a 30-minute strategy session with Sherry. Check out Sherry’s new book “Love Smacked: How to Stop the Cycle of Relationship Addiction and Codependency to Find Everlasting Love”.