Are treatment approaches missing entire groups of people that deserve to find support programs?

May 22, 2019 | by Tricia Parido | Master Coach at Turning Leaves Recovery Life and Wellness Coaching


I have received a lot of calls lately from people seeking to find a recovery program that will meet their needs. The most recent shared with me that they were turned away from a county mental health program they were interested in participating in because their severity didn’t match the counties protocol. The story was quite a bit longer than just that but left me perplexed.

So now I find myself asking, “Are the standard treatment protocols missing highly prevalent groups of individuals?” As an industry, the addiction treatment and mental health programs have the basics covered for those cases that meet the severity for higher levels of care, sure. However, what about the people who may meet diagnostic criteria but are highly functioning and their lives are not in a shamble? Or, where does the co-dependent woman or man with attachment issues who no longer know who they are outside of their roles in daily life that find themselves engaging in a multitude of addictive behaviors that don’t include illicit drug abuse or alcohol dependence engage in a program?

Sure, all the people I mentioned and other versions of struggling individuals can seek therapeutic intervention, weekly counseling, and even trauma work through EMDR. I believe completely in the importance of doing so. These therapies provide emotional healing for the underlying causes that have led them to where they are today.

The industry standards are teaching people with chemical addiction what it feels like to be sober and counseling them through past traumas. Which can also be said for individuals that face life with mental health disorders such as bipolar, and severe eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. But what about going forward?

Yes, there is a lot of transitional aftercare programs available, and they are becoming more and more commonplace, which is fantastic, for the standard treatment clientele. At Turning Leaves Recovery Life and Wellness Coaching I offer an amazing Treatment Transition to Life program that allows clients to engage with a personal Recovery Coach for a significant period developing crucial life skills.

Which brings me back to the not so normal clientele needing a more interactive and engaged level of guidance, whether that be in conjunction with or without any other therapeutic intervention. What are the treatment options for the person that wants to shift the momentum of their life from mundane daily chores and daily errands that habitually have become coupled with a bottle of wine, impulsive purchases, and overindulgence of sugary treats? Sure, there is an immense number of “retreat” style interventions, but can it really be expected that a jam-packed weekend (or week) filled with one successful speaker after another will ultimately help a person change their life long-term? Especially when most of the people I am describing usually don’t see the behaviors I mentioned as part of the problem. They just feel stuck, sad, lonely, and anxious. And ultimately, they just want someone to help them feel otherwise.

What I am getting at is this… treatment approaches need to be looking at a broader population. A lot of people are struggling. They just don’t all fit the same mold. But what I know to be true is that these individuals thrive when presented with the same approach as those that fit the images of addiction and mental health disorders that have been adopted by society.

I have, in my practice, made it my mission to provide effective programs that foster life long manageable and maintainable skillsets for everyone that I have mentioned in this article. Every client regardless of how their recovery needs could be classified is partnered with a Certified Life Coach, Certified Recovery Coach, Certified Food Addiction Coach, or a Master Addictions Coach. The coach works hands-on with each client during the Building Milestones curriculum period and throughout the designated program whether that is the Treatment Transition to Life, The Not So Normal Faces of Addiction, Life and Wellness Fitness and Nutrition or any other option that meets their needs.

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