ACTIVITY BASED THERAPY PROGRAMS
Self-expression knows many forms, and oftentimes for addiction patients, speaking in one-on-one or even group therapy sessions is not the most effective form of expression. At California Palms, we recognize that many patients are most comfortable expressing themselves through interactive activities-based therapies that allow them to be uninhibited in their communications. These activities range from art to music, writing, gardening, exercise, and even cooking - enabling each individual to find an activity-based therapy that fits their own personal interests and abilities.
Shame, fear, doubt and confusion are just a few of the roadblocks patients face in trying to express themselves honestly, and activity-base therapies can help bring these thoughts and feelings out so that they can be addressed. Using techniques in art, music, fitness and expressive writing gives patients an extra outlet and gives our therapists extra opportunities for more in-depth observations of a patient's underlying issues. This can be critical in unearthing otherwise hidden mental health problems that can fuel an individual's tendency toward addiction.
In addition to the way in which these therapies can help address mental health challenges, they can also form part of the foundation for a more positive and productive post-treatment life. These activities can easily turn into passions and skills which remain with our patients for months or even years after completing rehab, giving them meaningful hobbies or even new careers that can help them avoid the potential trap of substance abuse relapse as they move forward with their lives after rehab. Much of the long-term success of those in recovery is based upon finding new and rewarding activities to replace the time they previously spent engaging in negative behaviors that were often accompanied by substance abuse.
The Palms Music Therapy Program gives veterans afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) hope in an unlikely place: behind the wood and strings of an acoustic guitar. The healing power of music helps soldiers cope. We provide veterans with guitars, or others instruments and a forum to learn how to play. We help those who served rediscover their joy through the power of music.
The Palms Art Therapy Program gives patients afflicted with PTSD hope doing art projects. The healing power of art helps the patient cope. We provide a forum to create. We help rediscover hobbies through the power of art.
Lifting weights has recovery benefits, it restores the brain’s balance of “happiness-inducing” chemicals like dopamine, which drug and alcohol abuse disrupts. Exercising douses the brain with dopamine. Our fitness rises, and our mood rises, too. In recovering addicts, there’s an added benefit with lifting weights and physical activity by returning the dopamine levels to pre-abuse heights. Many recovering addicts suffer also from insomnia, and weight training helps reboot the body’s sleep cycle over time.
California Palms offers Tae Kwon Do therapy in an effort to address the significant physical damage caused by substance abuse and to make patients aware of the connection between the mind and body in the healing process. Grand Master Naples an eighth degree master teaches Tae Kwon Do at California Palms.Our goal is to positively impact our patients' overall health and make them aware of the very real link that exist between the brain and the rest of the body. Tae Kwon Do is a Korean combat system that is most known for its flashy high kicks. The name translates as, to strike and break with feet and fist. Presently the most popular martial art in the world. When an individual is suffering from chemical dependency, every part of them breaks down, including their physical health. Chemical dependency quickly disrupts the brain’s natural chemistry and upsets the harmony between one's body and mind.
Boxing provides a release for pent up frustration and anger. Addiction and alcoholism are rarely solitary experiences but secondary experiences instead. Underneath the substance abuse are often years of suppressed emotional pain which need to be released in healthy ways. Unable to cope with the emotions, addicts and alcoholics turned to drugs and alcohol to provide solace from the pain. Boxing is an opportunity to create, focus, and release pain.
Drug and alcohol addiction breaks down the body to the point where it can't function normally. Exercise and fitness therapy are proven and effective ways to bring the body back to a natural, healthy balance. California Palms is equipped with a state-of-the-art fitness facility to help our patients develop a more fitness-oriented lifestyle. The combination of our rehab therapies combined with regular exercise will help to heal you from addiction and achieve lasting wellness. When a person exercises, their body naturally produces endorphins – the same chemical released into your system following the use of certain drugs or alcohol. Physical exercise can give recovering addicts a similar rush to the one they feel while actively engaging in substance abuse and can be a catalyst for lifestyle change. Exercise has the added benefit of giving our patients something else to focus on apart from their addiction.
Neurologist Dr. Holly Mogiano, M.D. teaches a horticulture class and works with our veterans at Earth Angel Farms greenhouse. Our on-site veterans gardens play a crucial role in helping veterans improve their mental health and in defeating their addictions. Therapeutic gardening gives patients the opportunity to get closer to nature; grow fresh fruits and vegetables for use in our cuisine; and interact with butterflies, birds and other wildlife attracted to the healing garden. Gardening can also provide veterans with an increased sense of self-purpose and self-worth, especially for those who have no close friends or family.
Recovery is a grueling process, and it takes time and dedication. Catching a good laugh from one of these comedians or any other funny person can be a nice reprieve from the stresses of the addicted life. Dave Robich, works with the California Palms to developed comedy therapy, where patients are encouraged to express themselves through laughter. Patients are taught comedy by Johnny Damm and Dave Robich and encouraged to express themselves on an open mike night held twice a month.
At California Palms, clean fun entertainment fosters the belief that sober fun is possible. Our programs integrate entertainment into the recovery process in a unique, effective manner by encouraging family participation at these events.
The therapeutic cooking program at California Palms helps addicted patients build confidence, learn new skills, sharpen their talents, cultivate healthy nutrition and gain a heightened level of independence. Therapeutic cooking not only contributes to the healing process - it also lays the foundation for healthier eating in the future. The California Palms cooking program encourages patients to use cooking as a tool for independence and personal development. Patients are guided by a chef and recreational therapist, and will be instructed in planning and preparing nutritious meals. This course assists recovering addicts in developing greater cognitive, physical and social abilities.
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