“Healing is less about “saving” or “fixing” and more about “allowing” ourselves to ease into the remembering that there’s a wholeness that has been there all along” -Emmanuel Dagher.
After years working in the treatment field, we’ve come to believe we as human beings benefit from a program that helps us “remember that there’s a wholeness that has been there all along”.
This means creating a healing environment grounded in respect and empowerment; where you begin to make your own decisions and choices again, and are encouraged to believe in yourself as whole rather than “damaged” or “defective.”
The Healing Environment
The word healing comes from the Anglo-Saxon word haelen, which means to make whole. A healing environment cannot be created through fear, working from a “one up” or expert position, or control and manipulation. It can only be created through respectful practices such as non-judgment, kindness, compassion, healthy boundaries and mutual respect.
We cannot demand respect, we must earn it. We cannot empower others, we can only create an environment that supports you believing in and empowering yourself to risk trying something new.
We must respect where you are in terms of your readiness to change, and remember that you can be afraid, wounded, stuck, sad, and angry. When you act out these emotions, and are labeled “resistant”, “noncompliant”, and “not caring”, it doesn’t encourage vulnerability.
We don’t view you through this lens. Instead of seeing you as addiction, an eating disorder, or depression; we see human beings who are suffering, You may suffer from those things, but they do not define who you ARE.
Labels tend to inhibit the creation of a healing environment. In contrast, “holding space” (being fully present with others without judgment) invites you to settle in and feel safe enough to let go of these adaptive behaviors. Holding space allows you to have your own experience without someone else trying to “fix it” or affect a specific outcome, which enables you to gain confidence in yourself as you work out your struggles yourself with the support of the group community.
This provides the foundation for you to begin to believe that you are good enough and can live a great life.
Structure vs Control
“Fear focuses on what you don’t want; love focuses on what you do want…Fear controls, love structures…Fear judges, and love notices.” -Becky Bailey
Intrinsic motivation does not rely on external pressure like fear, rewards/approval, punishment/disapproval from peers or health professionals. It exists within YOU, and is driven by interest or enjoyment in the task itself. This is the basis of self-determination theory. Contrary to rewards and incentives, research supports the idea that intrinsic motivation is stable and lasting as long as you are making changes based on what is enjoyable or compatible with your “sense of self”, core values, and life goals.
Establishing an environment that supports choice over control, and promotes intrinsic motivation has been a cornerstone for us at ILC. You need to feel a sense of choice and responsibility for your actions. To feel capable of achieving your goals. You also need to feel understood, cared for, and valued by others. Our staff understands this, and helps guide you along a path of change that is your choice.
We offer opportunities for you to learn by living life and being accountable (Real World. Real Life. Real Recovery.) You are supported in recovering faith in Self instead of looking to others for approval. We do not view the Self as a bad thing, something to be avoided, or shunned.
We believe that until we are in alignment with Self, we cannot be in alignment in life. What we ARE and what we DO are not the same. What we ARE is Human beings; reflections of our Creator. What we DO is largely inherited when we are born into this world. By supporting you in recovering faith and reclaiming your authentic self, life (recovery) becomes interesting again, and you become intrinsically motivated for change.
Our commitment is to support you the second you walk through our doors and jump start your journey by providing a healing environment, the highest quality of care, and a respectful space until you can reclaim it for yourself.
That’s how we roll. One day at a time.
LEE MCCORMICK, CEO of Integrative Life Center & HOLLY COOK, LPC-MHSP, Director of Program Development