Christian Recovery Theory and Methods
Many rehab facilities employ faith-based and Christian theology to support their rehab. One of the reasons for this is that coping skills and behavioral mechanisms in recovery mirror lessons from the bible.
The concept of a higher power has been linked to recovery from abuse since the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1935. One of the core tenets of AA is admitting one is powerless to overcome addiction on their own, and must call upon the aid of a higher power to overcome addiction.
There are many scriptures in the bible that address healing and renewal. In Romans 12:2, these topics are both addressed with an emphasis on healing of the mind, which is appropriate to addiction, as it is a chronic disease of the mind.
Romans 12:2 (AMP): And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed and progressively changed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Christian recovery also addresses the cultural component of substance abuse and addiction. The material world encourages drug and alcohol abuse as a way of fitting in, or being cool, having fun or getting high, with no regard for the consequences to you and the ones you love. The Christian philosophy is a contrast to these choices. Christianity encourages living a selfless life, where God loves people and accepts their imperfections while challenging them to live for others and on a path that is more fulfilling. It’s a difficult path as it calls people to stop abusing drugs and alcohol, but the payoff for Christians is serving each other, and a fulfilling life, as well as eternal life in Heaven.
Choosing the Christian philosophy will give you the spiritual support and moral strength to help in overcoming the temptation to use substances. The Alcoholics Anonymous mission is based on the notion that addicts have to admit that they are powerless to overcome addiction on their own, and must rely on the aid of a higher power to overcome their addiction.
Through Christianity, believers have a constant renewal of life. Asking forgiveness of sins, God heals them time and time again, renewing their spirit and making their lives new again. Ezekiel 11:19 states, “And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. I will take from them the heart of stone, and will give them a heart of flesh.”
Even though Christs asks us to “love each other as you love yourself,” people suffering with addiction might have a difficult time embracing this concept. Recovering addicts who are Christians can turn to the scriptures for inspiration and strength. Also, many churches have programs and group meetings for those struggling with substance abuse addiction.
Benefits of Christian Addiction Treatment
Many Christian treatment centers off a non-denominational approach that focuses on the core tenets of Christianity. This integrated rehab approach gives patients a well-balanced recovery plan. Regardless of your faith, religion or belief system, you can still benefit from Christian based addiction therapy. Some of the benefits of Christian therapy include:
Spiritual Care – Typically comprised of Christian clinical therapists, ministry and spiritual leaders along with a board-certified medical staff.
Integrated Treatment Approach – This approach heals the entire person—mind, body and soul. In integrated treatment approach, we acknowledge that all three of these aspects of the being are connected. When the spirit suffers, the mind and body do as well. Integrated treatment approaches are healed on all three levels, mental, spiritual and physical.
Individual Treatment – The most effective form of addiction treatment is individual treatment. Person-to-person with therapists and medical professionals.
Peer Support – Peer support is also a strong component of Christian treatment. Christian and faith-based fellowship with peers is an important part of healing and leaning on that support system to overcome temptations to abuse drugs or alcohol.
The Christian Treatment Difference
Christian rehab approaches differ from traditional addiction rehab in that it focuses on healing and strength that is faith-based or comes directly from God. This approach, combined with the 12-step program, which is also faith-based, will guide patients back on to a path of love, faith, peace and self-respect.
Strength that Is Unwavering
Drug and alcohol addiction is one of the most devastating and painful diseases for addicts, their family and loved ones. Faith in God is the cornerstone of Christian recovery. In Christian recovery, patients are introduced to sober living through the teachings and philosophy of Jesus Christ.
Daily scriptures are also helpful to overcome day-to-day challenges in addiction. Scriptures are a source of hope and inner strength. It’s this hope that provides patients with the unwavering strength they need in the face of temptations to use drugs and alcohol.
In group and individual Christian therapy, recovery professionals apply scripture verses in counseling to help restore and heal patients. Reconciling them to God, and giving them the foundation of strength and faith as coping mechanisms to overcome the temptation to use drugs and alcohol.
Christian rehab treats more than the symptoms of substance abuse. By combining counseling, faith-based teaching and medical science, it builds a strong foundation for long-term recovery. Recovery is a life-long battle as there is no cure to addiction. Christian treatment really focuses on two main goals: Providing a long-term treatment for patients and teaching patients how to live according to the teaching of Christ as a means to create a more fulfilling life for themselves.
Christian Addiction Recovery
Here are additional tenets of Christian recovery that also support the values of alcoholics anonymous and the 12-step program:
Recovering addicts learn to accept help in overcoming their addiction, and are taught to not try to do it all alone. Patients learn to resist peer pressure and negative influences when they make decisions. Christian therapy patients learn to reject negative thoughts and habits that may lead to alcohol or drug abuse. They experience God through fellowship. They gain freedom from past hurts and traumas by addressing core issues through the lens of faith. They restore healthy relationships with family, friends and co-workers. They establish boundaries and recognize how to distinguish God’s will from their own. They abandon self-defeating habits and patterns that can lead to relapse.
Making the decision to enter Christian rehab is one of the most important decisions you will make on your path to recovery.
What Is the Process of Christian Addiction Therapy?
When a substance abuser enrolls in Christian therapy, the first step is the same as traditional therapy—detoxification. In detox, the patient is cleansed of the toxins in their body so they can begin rehab.
In the detox phase is also when Christian therapy begins, as this is when patients are assessed and their custom treatment plan is created. The Christian model of assessment is to assess with love. Understanding the patient’s addiction recovery needs at a systemic level is the beginning of all change (body, mind and spirit.)
In the assessment phase is when the root causes are treated. Christian therapy addresses the reasons for addictive behavior, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Triggers, patterns, genetics, and areas of trauma are all assessed. Our methods don’t focus on the past. We go back to the past only to reclaim areas of the heart and soul that are adversely affected from using and that are under the influence of pain and lies. Healing requires emotional feeling, recovering addicts face the feelings that had been previously masked through using drugs or alcohol. All remedy derives from the forgiveness and healing power of Christ as well as the knowledge of the constant presence of God’s grace that can help us do what we’re not able to do on our own. All the awareness gained through this process helps us overcome past injuries with a redemptive focus.
The next phase in rehab is to equip recovering addicts on how to walk the Christian faith practically. Setting goals and carrying them out with Christian morals allows patients to leave their recovery prepared with practical ways to live a life of sobriety in a Christian fashion. A personal relationship with God and spiritual growth is encouraged through the worship and devotional time.
A relapse prevention plan will also be set in place to identify triggers that may tempt patients to use again. This is typically included in the family program of Christian therapy. No matter what type of therapy is used or how successful the therapy is, triggers will always exist and there will always be potential risk. They must be openly acknowledged and addressed with actionable plans.
Patients also develop relationship skills. The model of God’s creation is relationship. Christians believe that the love and relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit. Their love and relationship is a unique being in the triad of the Holy Trinity. All therapy programs stress relationship, and none more than the family therapy.
The final step is a plan for life. A comprehensive plan is created and reviewed by family members, if appropriate, to assure the accountability, expectations and safety of the addict and family members.
Call 512-253-1535 for more information on Christian recovery, and how to find a treatment center near you that employs Christian methods and teachings.