Tag Archive: emotional healing

  1. Music Therapy in Addiction Recovery

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    Music has a powerful effect on the human psyche and our moods. It can be employed as entertainment or as therapy.  Music therapy has been shown to help people manage a variety of conditions, including—and especially—addiction. It’s an expanding field in the realm of addiction recovery and deserves a closer look for anyone looking for effective and alternative treatment methods for addiction.

    Music Therapy comes in many forms and helps to;

    1) help reduce stress levels by encouraging the relaxation response

    2) lower blood pressure and treat hypertension

    3) lessen the symptoms of depression

    4) provide cardiovascular benefit

    5) help improve communication abilities for people with autism (or related disorders)

    6) help people better cope with anxiety problems (life-skills)

    7) aid with meditation

    8) improve concentration levels

    9) encourage a more optimistic state of mind. The individual will be able to benefit from this increased positivity even after they have stopped listening.

    10) boost the body’s immune system

    11) reducing muscle tension

    12) help women cope better with the pain of labor.

    13) help people who are suffering from chronic pain.

    14) reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness

    15) help lessen symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

    16) relieve boredom

    17) increase spirituality

    18) provide emotional release


    Music Therapy in Addiction Recovery

    Music therapy isn’t as simple as letting patients hear their favorite songs; the music must be used in a controlled way. A music therapist is specially trained in using music to help a patient properly process emotions and work through blocks in treatment. The exact course of treatment—how the music will be used and why—is something that must be carefully decided. Each client is different and the way they respond to music will vary.  Different traumas and psychological states will require different methods of therapy. The therapy may or may not involve some type of music creation or performance.  Often it’s a listening endeavor that accompanies reflection, counseling, and actively processing the recovery process as the brain works to unlearn a dependency on substance for a healthy lifestyle.


    The Power of Music

    A lot of us take music for granted. We enjoy it, but we don’t realize just how large of an impact it has on our lives. Music can have a huge influence on emotions and mood–not just while we listen, but forever after. Happy songs can lift spirits; sad tunes can lead to despair; and for some people, it’s actually the opposite. What makes music so special is that it allows people to communicate their moods in a non-verbal or non-logical way.  It’s intuitive and flexible. Words can’t cover everything. It can be difficult to explain a mood; music can express it exactly.


    Music and the Psyche

    Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship. It helps people better manage physical, emotional, or cognitive problems. The client is encouraged to interact with the music in different ways such as listening, singing, dancing, or writing their own tunes or discussing lyrics. It’s not randomly assigned; it plays off strengths and weaknesses with a focus on healing and the rebuilding of a strong core self, one that can process the traumas of the past that led to addiction and build a strong emotional and creative foundation for the path that lies ahead.  Sober living will require emotional fluency and a creative mind to overcome the triggers, cravings, and temptations that will cross one’s path, as well as to navigate the emotional turmoil of rebuilding a sober life.

    Music can be a key to that ongoing, lifelong process.

    For more information about transition services and aftercare programs for teens in recovery, contact Sustain Recovery today.


  2. How To Forgive The Recovering Addict In Your Life

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    How To Forgive The Recovering Addict In Your LifeHow Do You Forgive An Addict?

    Drug relapse and recovery may be connected, and failure may be the key to success, but the cycle of addiction is so draining, and so disheartening, it can be hard to accept all that. After all of the lies and betrayal, we have a difficult time forgiving, or even wanting to try. How can you truly forgive someone, anyway? Forgiveness feels like saying “No problem, you didn’t do anything wrong.”


    What Forgiveness Is Not

    Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing bad behavior, denying your emotions, or sparing the addict from the consequences of their actions. You don’t have to abandon your pride to forgive. The process of forgiveness may seem difficult in the face of everything you and your family have suffered; however, it’s a vital step for recovery. In order to heal, adolescents must learn to forgive themselves, while adults must learn to forgive them. Otherwise, all that fear, anger, and resentment will keep us stuck in the same destructive loop.


    Forgive But Don’t Forget

    Even after adolescents accept the physical, emotional, and financial damage they cause, a dark cloud can loom overhead for the friends and family who tried so desperately, for so long, to put them back on track. If you’re holding onto these bitter feelings, try to understand that they will only hinder your ability to have a full and healthy life. You don’t have to forget the past, nor should you. What you can do is learn the lessons available, set boundaries, and hold to them.  Forgiveness means letting go of the anger inside of you so that you can find inner peace.

    After someone hurts you, it’s natural to want to hold onto that pain as if it’s evidence. You want to show that person how much you’re suffering. But why allow an outside force to dictate how you feel within your own skin? It only hurts yourself.


    Forgiveness Is A Journey

    Resentment is not only a waste of time, but a major obstacle to overcome if you wish to achieve your goals. Once you quit enabling an addict’s disease and control your actions and thoughts, your path to freedom will become clearer and more attainable. Just don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself. If you find yourself holding onto a grudge, at least you’re aware of it and working on it. Resentment is just stale pain; it’s time for it to go.


    Interested in family counseling sessions? It’s never a bad idea. Check out our website to get a sense of our available programs and give us a call.  We’ve got solutions for adolescents who are ready to get back into the world after rehabilitation.

  3. Letting Go of Anger and Releasing the Past

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    Letting Go of Anger and Releasing the PastPutting aside the struggles, anger, shame, and guilt associated with trauma, abandonment, abuse and neglect is difficult for anybody who has experienced such travesties. Nonetheless, letting go of negative emotions, like anger, is a critical part of healing. In order to move forward and live a fulfilling, spiritually centered life, we have to come to terms with our painful pasts. This is no more true than for an adolescent in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

    Letting go is a perplexing process. Emotions cannot be seen or touched- they are intangible. How is it then, that we hold onto, and have to let go of, something we can’t even see? We have to first find these emotions. Though they won’t materialize, they will manifest. Once we work with counselors and therapists to identify them, we can bring them to life and release them. The fourth step of AA’s 12 steps especially helps in this process by taking stock of all harms done to us.

    The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states that resentments are fatal to an alcoholic trying to recover. In the infamous list of 12 step promises it is shown that by doing “the work” of recovery, “we will not regret the past nor choose to shut the door on it.” Overcoming the difficulties of what has happened to us, by our own means or by the hands of others, is necessary. Challenging, overwhelming, and painful- but necessary. More importantly, it is possible. All too often, young adults in recovery leave out pieces of their story. Unwilling to face them head on, the pain lingers, anger grows, resentment festers. Until these experiences are processed honestly, there will be an ongoing compulsion to drink and use drugs to escape the pain, guilt, and shame.

    True recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism involves much more than just putting an end to drinking and drug use. An adolescent recovering from addiction needs to adopt a whole new outlook and way of living. Sustain Recovery Services in southern California helps young adult recovering addicts and alcoholics to regain their lives through long-term sobriety. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information.

  4. Healing a Broken Heart

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    Healing a Broken HeartBroken hearts are not just the province of poets and love-sick teenagers. Modern psychotherapy has recognized the traumatizing effects of events that can lead to deep depression and misery, such as the death of a loved one, a job loss, abusive experiences, and the dissolution of a relationship. Some individuals pursue counseling as soon as they experience one of these events. Others will self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to ease the pain that accompanies a heartbreak. If individuals in this latter group devolve into drug or alcohol addiction, breaking that addiction will not be sufficient to heal them completely and to keep them on a long-term path to sobriety. That addict or alcoholic will also need to heal his broken heart.

    A broken heart often leads to resentment, which locks an addict or alcoholic into a pattern of remembering, reliving, and retelling painful events. A person who holds onto festering resentment will use drugs or alcohol to soothe painful memories, rather than confronting and getting past those memories. As those memories embed themselves more deeply into a person’s psyche, he will focus his energy increasingly on his own internal problems.

    Healing a Broken Heart

    An addict who wants to heal a broken heart must learn to let go of the pain. He can do this first by allowing himself to feel and experience that pain fully. Pain that is buried becomes the seed for resentment that holds an addict back. An addict should experience the full amount of anger, rage, disappointment, and any other emotion that the painful event has created. Allowing the pain to come out will also connect the addict with compassionate counselors and therapists who can sympathize with and help him get past his pain.

    Addiction recovery programs often focus on the power of forgiveness. An addict needs to forgive himself and the people who might have hurt him to recover from his addictions. The same holds true to heal a broken heart. As difficult as it can be, an addict should forgive the person who caused his heartbreak. Forgiveness allows an addict to end any blame games and to shed the mantle of victimhood. Recovery programs also encourage addicts to make amends with individuals that they might have hurt themselves. Forgiveness and atonement will go a long way toward healing a broken heart.

    Forgiveness and Mindfulness

    True forgiveness can take time. It will be easier for an addict who live in the present moment to forgive the individuals who hurt him and caused his heartbreak. Meditation and prayer can help an addict to achieve the mindfulness required to live in the moment. Meditation will also help to focus an addict’s mind on the positive elements in his life.

    Lastly, support from family and friends and a healthy lifestyle that contributes to positive physical health will help create a positive mindset to heal a broken heart. Recovering addicts who participate in 12-step recovery programs will have substantial experience with third-party support and healthy living. Individuals who are not in one of those programs can incorporate these elements into their own lives to treat a heartbreak.


    A broken heart can cause more pain than a physical injury or serious illness. Drugs and alcohol might mask the pain temporarily, but that pain will come roaring back when the effects of drugs and alcohol wear off.

    Please call Sustain Recovery Services at (949) 407-9052 for more information and suggestions on how you can heal a broken heart in a positive and long-lasting way.

The people at Sustain Recovery are truly passionate about their work. They put all their love, energy and spiritual strength in to it. They continue to support me today as I continue my ongoing journey in my personal recovery. I now have over a year of sobriety, my own apartment, a job, true friends and a support network that is always available to me. Although all that stuff is great, what matters most today is that I love myself and have the ability to love others. Thank you to all who had a hand and heart in Sustain Recovery

© 2023 OCTLC Inc.