What is Women’s Sober Living?
“Sober living” describes a structured environment where women live while attending intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) or partial hospitalization programs (PHPs). Sober Living residents are available for clients who have graduated from their recovery program, but wish to stay temporarily in transitional housing.
Sober living housing offered at FHE Health provides substance-free surroundings (zero tolerance) for women in recovery. Women share all household chores and perform therapeutic duties meant to strengthen their ability to one day live independently. House rules governing Women’s Sober Living at FHE are strictly enforced and household tasks are expected to be completed according to schedule. Visitors are welcome to visit during specified hours.
Controlled environments like our Women’s Sober Living incorporate a variety of holistic, individual and group activities conducive to empowering women with the skills they need to lead a sober and productive life. By preventing access to things that can “trigger” relapse–people who use addictive substances, stressful situations and environments facilitating drug use–Women’s Sober Living allows women to focus on themselves, their psychological and physical needs and achieving program goals essential for improving their sense of self-worth and self-identity.
Support for Women in Our Sober Living Program
FHE Health offers a strong support structure for sober living clients (aftercare, outpatient clinic, PHP and IOP). Sober Living participants spend their days in counseling sessions, group therapy sessions and educational classes that teach coping and anger management skills.
Physical activities are also an essential component of our substance abuse recovery programs. Patients have time to walk around the grounds, swim or enjoy sports games with other house members. Nutritional meals are provided to help restore client health. In addition, Sober Living offers meditation classes and activities recommended by counselors that support the successful completion of this program.
In addition to our many diversified forms of psychotherapeutic counseling techniques, FHE Health offers spiritual counseling for women who feel they would benefit from faith-based support services or other alternative spiritual beliefs. Exploring different forms of healing therapies often helps clients explore a specific kind of spirituality that they find to be empowering, relaxing and helpful in the recovery process.
The Importance of Spirituality for Women in Recovery
Each client responds differently to our comprehensive therapy options. Some do well with cognitive behavioral psychology (CBT) while others benefit from examining and resolving past issues that contribute to anxiety and guilt, as assessed in psychotherapists or psychologists.
Some women find that traditional therapies are missing something they need to achieve sobriety and heal their physical and psychological selves. They may feel a desire to connect with the essence of who they are and discover deeper meanings to why they exist and where they are going in life.
Clarifying the spiritual self may also help patients learn more about the power of perceiving events in a positive manner regardless of their consequences. Spirituality does not necessarily focus on one of the three main religions in the world– Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Instead, it is considered to be independent of mainstream affiliations and tends to embrace beliefs and philosophies associated with Taoism, Buddhism and yoga meditation. Spiritual counseling may also incorporate art therapy or music therapy, depending on what type of therapy a patient is interested in and what feels most comfortable for them during treatment and recovery.
Following detoxification and the completion of an individualized recovery program, women at FHE are fully in touch with thoughts and feelings they may have previously been afraid to face. With the acceptance of memories and emotions that were once too painful to process comes a new, energizing desire to experience something deeper, something richer and more profound than just day to day existence. With the encouragement provided by our spiritual counselors at FHE Health, patients are better equipped to face life as a sober and healthy human being.
Women with Dual Diagnosis
Clients participating in Women’s Sober Living who have been diagnosed with a mental health issue are provided with medication management services and counseling necessary to help them with their depression, anxiety, panic disorder or other mental health problems. Dual diagnosis clients are treated for their specific mental disorders as well as their substance addiction by psychologists and addiction counselors. If psychoactive medications are prescribed, they may also meet regularly with a psychiatrist to ensure the medications are working to positively improve symptoms and contributing to their recovery.
How Addiction Affects Women Differently Than Men
Addiction tends to impact women psychologically and emotionally more than men. Many women are driven to addiction after suffering sexual abuse as a child, physical abuse as a wife or girlfriend or other trauma-causing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. A high percentage of women who choose to participate in our Sober Living program are fighting addictions to prescription medications; particularly pain and anxiety drugs they abused to help them escape depression, low self-esteem, self-worth and severe anxiety.
Women face a myriad of challenges men do not while in recovery: complex relationships with their mothers, divorce, feeling tremendous guilt and shame because they cannot care for their children, constantly worrying if their children will forgive and love them following treatment and dealing with the stigma of being a mother and an addict. They may also have to deal with long-term health issues due to their addiction, such as liver disease (for women recovering from alcohol abuse); breast cancer; heart/circulatory disease (alcohol and stimulant abusers) and nervous system damage (opioid abusers).
Recovery is hard enough without the additional stress of coping with a chronic illness. In addition, medications may be needed to alleviate symptoms that could promote cravings and relapse. Depression and anxiety are common psychological problems accompanying a recovery aggravated by physical illness.
As part of our Women’s Sober Living Program, FHE Health helps clients with ongoing health problems learn how to cope and come to terms with a chronic conditions. We do this educating clients about how to live a healthy lifestyle through life skills and stress management counseling and the principle understanding that chronic illness can be treated and kept under control without compromising the recovery process.
Why is Living in a Structured Environment So Important to Successfully Reclaiming Sobriety?
Structured environments like Women’s Sober Living provide recovering drug and alcohol abusers with the stability, support and understanding they need to begin leading the kind of goal-oriented, satisfying life they want and deserve. While staying in one of our residences on campus, clients will learn effective coping and emotional management tools to significantly improve their ability to achieve lifelong sobriety in the real world. FHE Health treats each client with the utmost respect, dignity and compassion they deserve.
Structured environments allow recovering individuals to lead fulfilling days. They participate in counseling sessions, outdoor activities, volunteer work opportunities and also enjoy time doing healthy creative pursuits. Living in a sober home also prevents clients from interacting with family members and friends who are users or enablers. For many clients, participating in our Women’s Sober Living is the first time they have lived somewhere where they are not surrounded by users, drug dealers and places that encourage addiction, such as neighborhood bars, specific street corners where users and dealers hang out and even homeless shelters.
Our residential substance abuse treatment housing is a safe, therapeutic environment in which clients can focus solely on healing themselves. Our addiction therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists provide thorough and accurate assessments of clients entering the program to ensure individualized treatment plans address the needs of the person. Our treatment philosophy upholds the idea that addiction is a biopsychosocial disease requiring an empathetic, holistic approach by professional addiction therapists who understand exactly what clients are thinking and feeling.
Learn more about Sober Living for Women at FHE Health by calling us today.