The Whole Person Approach to Women’s Recovery

By November 2, 2023November 22nd, 2023Whole Person Approach
treating the whole person

What Is a Whole Person Care Approach?

Women are more than their addictions. Any woman is secretly more resourceful and resilient, much larger in spirit than she may initially appear to be.

When treating someone with mental health problems, addictions, or trauma, it’s important to keep in mind the larger part of them that’s still well. Deep inside the most troubled, hurt person, there is a mysterious part that’s completely fine.

There is a wholeness inside each of us, a memory of who we are in our completeness, and, at the same time a prediction of who we can become. This part knows the way out of misery, back into health and wellness.

At Villa Kali Ma, we say we treat the whole woman, not only the disease. We have regard for the true self that waits only for her chance at full flowering. The whole person care approach takes into account that we are multidimensional, multifaceted beings with vast stores of hidden treasures inside us at all times.

What Are Some Important Factors in Treating the Whole Person in Recovery?

whole person approachTreating a whole woman means shoring up strengths and fortifying what each woman has going for her. Even in the worst of times, a woman may still have her intelligence, her feelings, her courage, her humor, her creative inklings.

Many times, there may be some positive resources inside her home environment, her work, and her family relationships. These are all assets that can help her face what must be faced to get better.

We consider the context of a person, including different life roles, where she’s from, what she eats, what her body has to say, and what her moral values are.

Taking the larger view of a person’s wholeness, we can see patterns of connection, where problems truly originate.  The threads of disease entangle in multiple areas of our lives – our sexuality, our love relationships, our parenting, our culture.

A woman’s inner wholeness is an incredible resource, touching on what makes her unique as well as what she shares with all others.

What Are Co-occurring Disorders in Addiction?

In the field of mental health, the term co-occurring disorders is used to describe the case when we are suffering from more than one kind of trouble.

Mental health struggles often go hand in hand with addiction. When living in your skin is already a challenge, the sticky webbing of addiction can take root quite easily, promising relief.

Conversely, the habit of addiction leaves a residue of mental health troubles in its wake. States of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem are the legacy of any substance.

What Are the Elements of Treating the Whole Person in Recovery?

Treating the whole person in recovery means activating different facets of a person’s larger self as a recovery resource. It also means looking to different parts of a person’s life, such as living environment, work life, marriages, and family relationships, for hidden strengths and clues to how to get better.

Better Thoughts

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a modality we use at Villa Kali Ma to address the thoughts we think and the worldviews we hold. Looking into the vast resources of mind and thought, we find a powerful portal into change. Negative, distorted thoughts create misery, but truthful, loving thoughts create health.

Healing the Nervous System

EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, and Parts Work are modalities that address the deep biological imprints left by trauma. We use these at Villa Kali Ma to help women free themselves from the impacts of past events.

Learning to Relate

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy helps women learn to have softer, more manageable experiences of their emotions. It helps us regulate and express our wants and needs in relationships. Through DBT, Villa Kali Ma helps women experience freedom from drama while staying richly engaged with feelings.

Community Is the Cure

12-step programs and other recovery community involvement help women experience being valuable and connected, worthy of receiving the support they need. Over time, these communities help women realize that they are worthy and wise enough to help others recover, as well, which provides life with greater meaning.

How Does Treating the Whole Person Work in Terms of Treatment?

At the beginning of whole-person treatment, it’s important to prioritize the physical body. Detoxifying from addictive substances is best done in the context of basic safety and supervision by professionals. Villa Kali Ma provides a secure and comfortable environment for a woman to first find and stabilize her sober state.

Once basic sobriety has been established, it’s important to begin with healing the mind, emotions, and physical body of toxic beliefs, painful emotions, and destructive habits. This stage may involve the removal of some aspects (toxic relationship patterns, old negative beliefs, etc), as well as the installation of new ideas and ways of thinking about life (better thoughts about oneself, forgiveness, and moving on, for example).

Before leaving a residential treatment facility, it’s important also to address all aspects of practical life that surround a woman’s experience, things like work life, family of origin relationships, marriages, and parenting topics. Home environment, exposures, and triggers all need to be looked at very pragmatically to come up with a useful plan for living.

Villa Kali Ma Can Assist Women With the Whole Person Approach to Recovery

Villa Kali Ma Can Assist Women With the Whole Person Approach to RecoveryVilla Kali Ma is a healing center that takes a multimodal, open-minded approach to healing each woman as an individual. We treat the woman herself and all that is within and around her.

Recovery is ultimately about joy. There is a life after addiction, mental illness, and trauma. That life is a good one – rich, creative, connected, and meaningful.

Each woman’s life is unique, and won’t be the same as anyone else’s. Even though we have many things in common, we are each divine and irreplaceable in this world. Finding the special story that is ours only to love and to keep close to our hearts is the gift of all the work we do in treatment.

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