The Role of Gender-Responsive Treatment

“Gender-responsive” refers to a treatment plan which takes both an individual’s biological sex and their socially constructed gender roles into account, with full recognition of a given client’s self-asserted gender identity. It allows for a planned recovery cycle to address individual needs, which may not apply to other people, and in so doing to reduce the likelihood of a return to substance use. By incorporating such factors as a client’s gender, West Coast Recovery Centers and other progressive sober living facilities in the North County area have reduced the likelihood of a post-treatment relapse. The underlying causes of a given person’s substance use disorder are addressed as part of their therapy.

Gender-Responsive Programming in Evidence-Based Treatment

Evidence-based treatment modalities include such practices as dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, and counseling (among many others). Since a person’s life experiences will affect how they respond to such therapies, it makes sense to consider all aspects of a person’s identity in their treatment, including gender. Counseling and behavioral therapy aren’t the only evidence-based modalities offered by progressive addiction recovery centers in the San Diego area, either. Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, has made great strides over the last fifteen years. This is partly due to the availability of new types of partial agonists: medications which lack the level of inherent risk presented through the use of methadone. The fact that men and women respond differently to certain opioid-based medications makes incorporating a person’s social and biological identity all the more crucial, if a treatment cycle is going to be successful.

Holistic Treatment and Gender Responsiveness

sober living at OceansideHolistic therapies have a strong basis in the idea of combating addiction through mindfulness and self-empowerment. They are a critical part of WCRC’s approach to self-determined recovery, allowing individual clients to pursue those modalities which work the most effectively for them. Some examples of holistic therapies include art and music therapy, acupuncture, sound healing, and self-empowerment. The idea of recognizing and acknowledging an individual’s gender, as well as other aspects of their personal identity, is crucial to the effectiveness of these forms of treatment. They rely substantially upon building up and reinforcing a strong sense of self, allowing an individual to rediscover the strength and independence required to avoid a relapse. Gender-responsive programming is a big part of mindfulness-based relapse prevention, or MBRP, a safe and natural holistic therapy that is rapidly accumulating scholarly recognition due to its high level of effectiveness.

In a sober living environment where evidence-based and holistic treatment are combined in a self-determined approach, one that focuses on a client’s needs as a unique individual, the role of gender-responsive treatment is self-explanatory. The recovery cycle needs to incorporate as many defining aspects of a person’s self as it can, in order to successfully address the unmet needs which are informing and perpetuating their substance use.