When we enter recovery for our addiction or compulsive behavior, we typically receive therapy as part of our treatment. The one-on-one time we spend with our therapist, as well as our peers in group therapy, is invaluable in improving our relationships with other people. We soon come to find, however, that therapy isn’t the only avenue for changing our attitude. Just about anything can be therapy when you make it therapeutic; the only exceptions to this statement are 1. Our addictions, and 2. Behaviors that harm ourselves or others.
What, exactly, are the fundamentals that make therapy, or anything else, therapeutic?
There Are Several Shared Traits:
- Authenticity: We connect with what is genuine in other people, in ourselves, and in the activities we perform. If you’re a born decorator, for example, painting a room in exactly the right color can be an authentic expression of your creativity – even though this same task might be tedious or even unimportant to someone else.
- Positivity: This means we view other people, ourselves, and our situations in the most positive light possible. Positivity helps us to remain grateful. Doing a sink full of dishes can be therapeutic if we regard it as an act of self-care and love for our family.
- Being “tuned in”: When we’re fully engaged in what we’re doing, we give it our best effort. When we relate to other people, this manifests in our willingness to listen actively. When we’re reading a book or watching a movie, we feel a therapeutic satisfaction in relating to the characters.
- Establishing trust: This key component of psychotherapy is also essential in our everyday lives, and not just in our relationships with loved ones or colleagues. Often, we build trust by having a pet, or being around livestock or horses, for example. Sometimes, it’s about learning to “trust the process,” such as when we sit down to write, paint, or create music.
- Making it enjoyable: Even when you’re faced with a difficult task – drafting a report for your boss, cleaning the oven, and yes, working with your therapist – it doesn’t have to suck just because it’s hard. Make it your goal to find something to laugh about, and inject a bit of levity into the task. If you keep your sense of humor, you’ll find that there’s fun to be had along the way.
The Lakehouse Treatment Center understands the worlds of active addiction and active recovery. Years of comprehensive experience have helped us build a unique program focused on changing lives and rebuilding families. From detox to sober living, The Lakehouse program focuses on learning how to live and have fun again- a treatment experience like no other. Call us anytime: 877.762.3707