Dealing with people in recovery for addiction, mental health disorders, or a dual-diagnosis of the two is a complicated process. While some are attending a recovery facility in order to get a better grasp of their own situation, others may be there due to legal obligations or familial pressure. Depending on the person, they may want to simply be told the steps they need to take to get better and outline their day accordingly. However, telling someone exactly what to do doesn’t always lead to success. Instead, it is important to help each person discover their own recovery path by guiding conversations and asking pertinent questions in order for each person to discover their own answers. While telling someone an answer is one way to approach recovery, it is much more impactful for the person in recovery to discover the answer on their own and internalize what it means to them specifically.
Why Direct Instruction Can Lead to a Difficult Recovery
There are a number of reasons why simply telling someone what to do can cause problems through their own recovery process. Recovery is a very personal journey, as each person begins to address the various ways in which addiction and mental health issues have impacted their lives. As someone begins to recontextualize these aspects, it is done through a framework of self-actualization, as with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Discovery and identity are major aspects of this self-actualization, and giving someone direct instruction can compromise not just the discovery process, but it may also lead to a solution that is less personalized or adapted to the individual than someone may need, and this can make their path through recovery a bumpier journey.
Utilizing direct instruction over guiding questions can also put the professional in a difficult spot, as people may begin to blame professionals if the instruction doesn’t yield the immediate results that someone expects. Not only does this make someone’s recovery from addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders more difficult, but it also can deteriorate the trust between the professional and their client. While some patients may benefit from direct answers, depending on certain questions as well as their own relationship with a professional, using direct instruction as the center of someone’s recovery plan can cause a myriad of issues with even a slight hiccup during recovery.
The Importance of Self Discovery in Recovery
Guiding someone using pertinent and introspective questions can have an incredibly powerful effect on a person, especially as they are guided to confront their own conceptions about their lives, drug or alcohol usage, or overall physical and mental health. While being told that someone has anxiety can cause a person to become defensive, discovering that they may have anxiety themselves can help open them up to trying new recovery outlets, as they have a personal reason to want to address their own mental health. Being told that someone has a problem can prompt an antagonistic response, while confronting the possibility within one’s self can instead prompt a genuine desire for change.
Asking questions and having someone come to their own conclusions based on evidence and reflections can also be empowering for the patient. For some, coming to their own conclusions about their alcohol or drug usage can be their first experience with having agency over their addiction or mental health disorder. Experiencing this agency and self-discovery can open someone to more approaches, as well as the ability to internalize their own need and desire for recovery.
Their Answers Create a Starting Point
The answers that someone may come to through the use of guided questioning can be a starting point on their own. When someone is addressing their addiction or mental health disorders, it often has its roots in something very deeply ingrained in someone. The answers that someone may come to is actually each person creating their own basis for a therapy plan and can help someone begin to address the core parts of their identity that are most important to them. Latching onto the pieces of evidence provided, and challenging each patient to address their conceptions in a new light, can help each patient begin to create their own image of recovery. That image of a healthy, possible future can motivate someone through even the most difficult times in recovery.
Direct instruction can compromise the inherently personal and fluid nature of recovery from addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses, and it falsely implies that there is just one single way to overcome many of the issues that someone may face in the process. However, a person’s self-discovery can instead help them think of their own, individualized paths that may be pertinent to them. It can also leave them more open to utilizing a trusted professional when it comes to challenging their own perceptions in a new light. In this, recovery has already begun to take its first step towards addressing the peak of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, as well as any of the mental health issues that may arise due to addiction, Alta Centers is here to help. Alta Centers provides a place for each person to begin their recovery journey and creates a luxurious, comfortable place for someone to take their first steps through the difficult detox process. Priding itself on its sense of community and usage of music, film, entertainment, all in conjunction with a sober party mindset, Alta Centers can help you realize the many aspects of life that can be experienced while free from drugs or alcohol. Located in Hollywood, California, the freedom and luxury that comes with the city are present to help you take your first steps towards a healthy, sober future. For more information on how Alta Centers can help you, or how each of their programs can be catered to your own needs, call us today at (888) 202-2583.
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