A relapse prevention plan must address the specific needs, concerns, history and triggers of the client. The relapse prevention plan should not be generic in any way. Some clients come to DARA for the first time after one or more relapses following treatment in other rehab facilities. We assist these clients in recognizing their own specific relapse triggers, and then integrate the right kind of relapse prevention plan that addresses these triggers. Our goal is to set each client up for recovery success.
Developing a mindfulness based relapse prevention plan is one element of the individualized care plan the client receives at DARA. DARA believes that a mindfulness based relapse prevention plan provides the client with powerful tools to take with them into long-term recovery.
Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention
DARA’s mindfulness based relapse prevention approach teaches the client to be more aware of what they are thinking and feeling in the current moment. Instead of immediately reacting, it allows an individual to mentally pause, instead of immediately reacting. Mindfulness is a moment-to-moment awareness. For those with addictions, this awareness has often been lost in the drive to seek the next drug or drink. Learning to accept what is happening in the moment, without acting on it, is a critical relapse prevention strategy.
Research shows that cultivating mindfulness has specific benefits, including:
- Increased self-regulation of thoughts and actions
- Stress reduction
- Fear and anger modulation
- Improving relationships and communication skills
- Accept negative feelings without acting on them
- Increased sense of connectedness oneself, others, and to the experience of life
- Increased personal insight
- Ability to distinguish more clearly the difference between one’s thoughts and oneself
- Increased self-acceptance, calmness and self-compassion
- Increase focus
- Reduction of dwelling on negative thoughts
- Improved immune response
DARA’s Mindfulness Relapse Prevention Plan Approach
During the mindfulness based relapse prevention process at DARA, the client looks closely at their personal history. If work stress contributed to the use of drugs, then mindfulness techniques can be learned mitigate and control stress. If anxiety, anger, or family issues triggered drug and alcohol use in the past, then the relapse prevention plan will integrate specific mindfulness techniques that focus on these areas.
Because mindfulness techniques are utilized in the moment, they are exceedingly useful in helping those in recovery when cravings. All clients at DARA learn to observe their cravings for drugs and alcohol without automatically reacting or following through with the urge to use. Mindfulness is also helpful when dealing with episode of depression, or with negative thoughts.
There many mindfulness approaches that help clients in their recovery journey as part of the comprehensive relapse prevention plan. At DARA, mindfulness therapy is integrated throughout the treatment process, and includes group and individual mindfulness approaches.