Sober living is more than a recovery program, or a form of therapy. It’s a state of mind, which uses intentional living as a means of making deliberate decisions to fight cravings. Through sober living, a person is provided with the necessary treatment and support to choose to let go of their addiction. It sounds overly simple—even a little far-fetched, at first. The success rate of mindfulness-based sobriety treatment, however, speaks for itself. It’s all about coaching: the difference between encouraging someone to exercise to lose weight, versus sewing them into a suit of clothes that might otherwise be a little too small for them to comfortably put on.
Choosing Sober Living
At West Coast Recovery Centers, sober living is part of the initial phase of transitional living, where it serves as a substitute for the traditional approach of intensive inpatient treatment. Transitional living provides the benefit of 24/7 support as a client’s needs require, instead of an on-site housing manager available for emergencies only. This approach takes a lot of the pressure off the client, allowing them to engage in a variety of therapies to see what works for them.
The first phase of sober living includes two weeks of adjustment, trust-building, and planning. Clients have a chance to settle into their living quarters, and are always in the presence of staff. This provides added support for managing early cravings, and it provides the opportunity for staff and clients to get to know one another. The same staff will be with the same clients for the duration of their treatment, providing support on an as-needed basis through the outpatient phase, and assisting with adjustments back into everyday life (such as helping to locate support groups, and arranging transportation services).
A Sober Living Environment
After the initial two-week treatment has concluded, the sober living phase begins to showcase the ways in which it differs from a traditional inpatient modality. Clients can move around more freely, to have visitors, and to attend community events outside of the facility. Minor responsibilities are added to each client’s daily regimen, including cooking and cleaning, to slowly help them adjust back to the pace of a typical modern lifestyle. This approach, allowing for the gradual building of coping skills, is something that traditional inpatient treatment frequently neglects.
Environment plays a crucial factor in the addiction recovery process, as it often does in establishing addiction in the first place. Taken together, many individually minor stress factors are frequently taken for granted, even by clinical professionals. The approach taken by WCRC, and by other facilities which rely on holistic therapy and mindfulness-based techniques, addresses the individual needs of each patient. The weight of responsibility is resumed gradually, while therapy is undertaken to uncover and confront underlying contributors to a client’s stress. Everything is done with a focus on the comfort level of the client; it can be important to push that boundary, but it is vital that it not be broken or disregarded.
Sober Living Therapy
A wide range of therapies may be employed during sober living. Clients are encouraged to attend support groups and related events, which are regularly held within the community. Dialectical behavioral therapy, which helps address the challenges that often lead to addiction, is a frequent part of sober living treatment. Other popular therapies include counseling, gender-responsive personal empowerment, and creative expression. Each of these types of therapy allows a person to express themselves, without judgment or reservation, in ways that they may not previously have had the opportunity to do. Clinical professionals help provide guidance on how to take advantage of them, and on how to perpetuate healthy, supportive behaviors after the conclusion of a treatment cycle.