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Experiential Therapies

Why Offer Holistic Experiential Therapies?

That is a great question. If you have done any research on treatment programs, you will notice that most programs do not offer them, because they are expensive and not evidence-based. Typically only luxury rehabs that charge $1000 – $2000 per day will offer these activities. We offer them for a few important reasons. First, we want our clients to have a great experience while at New Dawn, and experiential activities are fun and different. Second, we feel it is important to give our clients new ideas about how they can spend their free time in healthy ways when they leave our programs. Third, we don’t think it is fair to put our clients in 12-step groups for two hours a day every day, because 12-step is not treatment, and is most effective only after someone graduates a program and is interested in ongoing support in their sobriety.

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Treating the Whole Person

New Dawn’s drug and alcohol rehab and eating disorders programs provide access to experiential therapies throughout the treatment process because we understand that treatment, while extremely rewarding and often life-saving, can also be mentally and emotionally taxing at times. We believe that treating the whole person, and not just the symptoms of their illness, are hallmarks of a successful treatment experience, and so we offer these holistic therapies as a way of healing one’s entire mind, body and spirit during the recovery process. Providing these extracurricular activities in combination with intensive group and individual therapy has proven to be extremely effective for our program participants.

Variety of Holistic Therapies Offered

We like to break up the intensive treatment schedules with a healthy combination of experiential therapies that are sometimes relaxing, often empowering, and always well-received. Most but not all of these classes are offered at all of our programs (see a program curriculum for details). An example of the experiential activities that we offer include: Equine Assisted therapy, Qi Gong, Acupuncture, Dance Movement therapy, Expressive Arts, Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga and traditional Yoga. All of our experiential activities are lead by licensed or certified specialists in their respective fields who have a passion for their work.

Equine Assisted Therapy

Equine therapy incorporates a therapeutic relationship with horses to generate emotional growth, and improved communication.

Equine therapy encourages self-awareness in program participants. Horses often emulate the behaviors and emotions of the participants through their body language fostering growth in non-verbal communication. The relationship with their equine partner can model the empathy and patience necessary to create positive, healthy relationships with their two-legged peers.

Health Club Access (Recreation Therapy)

Engagement in physical activity has shown to help those in early recovery improve sleep, increase confidence and motivation, and improve overall mood.

We encourage our residents to improve their health and wellness while at New Dawn by providing frequent visits throughout the week to our local California Family Fitness health Club. There they can enjoy all the facilities, including the pool, spa, sauna, and fitness equipment such as state-of-the-art treadmills, stationary bicycles, elliptical trainers, weight machines, and free weights.

Yoga

Relaxation Yoga is a group session that incorporates ancient breathing techniques with very simple stretches that are performed primarily in a chair.

Relaxation Yoga is a group session that incorporates ancient breathing techniques with very simple stretches that are performed primarily in a chair. This practice naturally and effectively brings relaxation to the body and calms the mind. In this class, emphasis is placed on conscious, deep breathing, and the power it has to positively affect our overall health. Some of the most important health benefits that can be achieved from Relaxation Yoga are the stimulation of the immune system, the soothing of the nervous system, and increased oxygen delivered to the entire body. This will all occur simultaneously.

The breathing and basic stretching techniques will become tools in developing and maintaining a general sense of well being. They will also prove to be an effective means of managing stress on a daily basis.

Acupuncture and Relaxation

The first hour of group is a quiet time for the participants to practice relaxing and focusing at the same time.

Very tiny thin needles would be placed on your ears to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms, anxiety, and stress. You’ll be guided to a very peaceful space in a sitting position.

The second hour is a time for movement. You’ll be surprised how each part of your body moves and speaks to you. You’ll find a way to get connected to yourself and others through movement, a very simple drawing, and words/voices. You will find vital energy in you, and a sense of being alive under your skin. It’s a fun time to play together as a group.

The Acupuncture Relaxation group concludes with hot tea and reflection.

Art Therapy

While traditional therapies and medicine do wonders in healing the mind and the body, our soul and spirit experience recovery on different levels of awareness.

Inherently ethereal, art therapies allow program participants to explore their recovery through the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to better understand themselves, their addiction, and the fulfilling life waiting for them in recovery. These creative forms of self-expression are inner resources for healing and clarity.

Life Coaching

A life coach aids their client’s relationships, their careers, and their day-to-day lives in order to achieve greater fulfillment.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy involves the manipulation of muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and skin by a trained, certified medical professional (massage therapist).

Many medical conditions can be treated with massage. It may be used in conjunction with standard medical treatment at medical centers. Massage is generally considered an integrated part of integrative medicine.

Studies of massage benefits have found massage can:

  • Help reduce stress

  • Lessen pain and muscle tension

  • Increase relaxation

  • Improve immune function

Reiki

By gently touching the body, Reiki practitioners are able to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, improve your body’s circulation, and encourage healing through energy.

Originally developed in the early 1900s, reiki was developed by Mikao Usui, who coined the word from the Japanese words rei, meaning “universal,” and ki, which means “vital life force energy.” Throughout the world, reiki is used to complement other forms of treatment in hospitals and hospices.

Tai Chi

While traditional therapies and medicine do wonders in healing the mind and the body, our soul and spirit experience recovery on different levels of awareness.

Inherently ethereal, art therapies allow program participants to explore their recovery through the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to better understand themselves, their addiction, and the fulfilling life waiting for them in recovery. These creative forms of self-expression are inner resources for healing and clarity.

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