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How to get the most out of treatment


The first time I got into treatment it was just a giant sigh of relief, but now what?  You’re spending a lot of money and want to get your money’s worth.  You’re not working and need to be making money.  The following tips may allow you to avoid some of the major road bumps/pitfalls that tack on time to your treatment experience.  These tips give you a basic outline of how to get the most out of your treatment:

  1. Go in with an open mind.  Remember that what you were doing was not working, and that’s why you’re here.  Try this for a while, and if it’s not for you, it’s not for you.  It is worth giving treatment a chance.
  2. Do not relapse, do not cheek your pills, do not take someone else’s cheeked pills, and admit it when you’ve relapsed.
  3. Get a sense of the group before you share any more than an introduction.  You will be learning a lot from these people and don’t want to offset the balance of the group.
  4. Once you get used to the group and know who, what, where, and the when of it, share.  You aren’t going to get much out of anything if you don’t open up.  The only people I’ve seen show no signs of improvement are the ones who hardly opened their mouths.
  5. I’ve seen a lot of people not recognize major changes in themselves at the four to six weeks mark and become disheartened.  Ask your process group if they’ve noticed changes.  We often don’t see changes in ourselves as readily as others can see changes in us.  Just keep going. These things take time and your transformation will come if you follow the program and treatment advice.
  6. Don’t make any major changes in the first year.  Don’t cut your hair.  Don’t divorce your spouse (unless they are abusive).  Don’t leave treatment and live with that really cute boy who dropped out of your treatment center.
  7. Work the 12-steps and your treatment center’s program at the same time.  If you are struggling with a step, bring it into your process group.  If you are struggling in therapy bring it to your sponsor.
  8. Surrender! Don’t argue or think the steps or treatment won’t work for you and you are alone.  What makes you so different?  Sure, you’re different, but not that different.  I did this for about four months and gained nothing from any of the groups that really did apply to me.  I just thought I was so different.  I regret my mindset; I could have learned a lot.

Write. Journal. Draw. Photograph. Take notes.  In reality, therapy comprises a small portion of life, but it applies to your entire future.  You’ll want to apply the tools and remember the adages from your favorite therapists.  You’ll want to have the story of your process.  Taking notes in psycho-education or dialectical behavior therapy gives you an opportunity to get involved in your recovery.

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Filed under: Featured, Recovery · Tags: 12-steps, changes, process group, Recovery, rehab, relapse, therapy, Treatment, treatment center

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