What is alcohol rehab?
Alcohol rehab is an intensive therapeutic environment which aims to build a strong foundation for a sustained recovery from addiction. Routine and structure play a fundamental part in most treatment programmes, and days are packed with therapies, workshops and group activities.
Here at the Providence Projects, our structured schedule is intentional, because we know that recovery requires discipline. That’s why we place such emphasis on being accountable, reliable, and assuming personal responsibility for recovery, with each day following a full timetable from 9am through until 9pm.
It’s normal for anyone considering treatment at an alcohol rehab to question what they can expect, and what a typical day would look like. We have put together a sample itinerary below, to help debunk any myths of what goes on in rehab and to alleviate any fears you may have.
Typical morning activities
Rehab programmes usually start bright and early, so that clients get the most from scheduled activities on the treatment programme. Sessions and therapies will start around 9am, with a typical morning consisting of a reading, group therapy session and an assignment.
Group therapy sessions are a fundamental part of most alcohol rehab programmes, and they are a daily timetabled activity here at the Providence Projects. Research has shown multiple benefits to participating in group therapy: clients will build their interpersonal and communication skills, learn how to trust, develop honesty with self and others, and form meaningful relationships with peers.
As recovering addicts, we need to learn how to experience life without the emotional and psychological crutch of drugs or alcohol by our side. By sharing openly and honestly with others, we remove the power from our thoughts and gain strength and support through identification with others.
Following group, the next morning session may be an assignment, for example a ‘Consequences’ exercise or a ‘Life Story.’ Completing assignments on a regular basis teaches clients accountability, and enables them to reflect on the impact of their addiction on themselves and their loved ones. The aim is also to prompt individuals to consider what they want to change moving forwards, what they can achieve, and how they can do things differently in the future.
Here at the Providence Projects we know how therapeutic it is to put pen to paper, and to articulate the damage and chaos of the past. By writing an assignment and presenting it to a group, clients come face to face with the reality of their addiction, and how it has determined their current circumstances. Individuals will build their self-esteem and communication skills, and the identification they receive from others who have been in similar situations or can relate to their addiction helps all members of the group to feel less alone.
Following a break for lunch a typical afternoon will be packed with therapies, workshops, exercise classes and group activities. The timetable is intensive, but it is also varied, as we want to ensure clients are engaging with and interested in the programme at all times of day.
An afternoon at alcohol rehab might consist of an individual counselling session, followed by a relationship workshop or a self-esteem group. Holistic therapies such as acupuncture or reiki would also be on offer, as well as exercise classes such as boxing or running.
One to one counselling sessions are an integral part of our treatment programme. Clients are able to explore and address the underlying psychological factors which motivated their addiction, and avoid potential relapses in future.
Issues such as low self-esteem, negative core beliefs, childhood trauma or other co-existing mental health disorders are some examples of topics individuals explore. These sessions are highly personalised and confidential, and have proved extremely effective.
Our workshops cover a whole range of topics, from anger management, self-esteem and relationships, to the impact on family and significant others, and shame and guilt. These activities also focus on learning to identify and manage your feelings – as addicts we deny, minimise or try to alter our feelings – so in recovery we need to learn to feel and experience our feelings, rather than to fear them.
We believe in the importance of addressing the whole person when they come to us for alcohol rehab treatment: mind, body and soul. Holistic therapies such as acupuncture and reiki are beneficial methods of allowing the person to accept and integrate all the different parts of themselves.
After a full day of treatment, clients will have a couple of hours of free time to relax and unwind. This is often followed by 12 step fellowship meetings each evening. These mutual aid support groups are held within the community, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or Gambler’s Anonymous.
The sense of belonging and being a ‘part of’ that an individual will develop by attending regular meetings, getting a commitment, working the 12 steps and sharing their feelings with other recovering alcoholics, is often the cornerstone of an individual’s recovery and a determining factor in how successful they will be in their ongoing sobriety.
As well as 12 step meetings, evenings are often used as a time to build new friendships, work on assignments set by your therapist, and have some well needed relaxation time after a busy day in treatment!
Learn more about alcohol rehab at Providence
Top Tips for Ongoing Recovery
There are many things that individuals can do after leaving rehab to maximise their chances of successful and lasting recovery.
Talking and sharing
Talking and sharing honestly with people you trust is one of the keys to a successful and healthy recovery. When in active addiction, the tendency is to bottle up your emotions and use alcohol and drugs to cope with life’s problems.
Now sober, life can still present difficulties from time to time. That’s why it’s so important to talk about your feelings and practice opening up to other people, so that things don’t build up and become too overwhelming to manage alone. Confiding in someone you trust such as a close friend or family member can really help, or you may want to seek professional, confidential support from your GP, a counsellor or a therapist.
Whatever you’re going through in recovery, you need never feel alone. Fellowship meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous are another means of support, where you can share the struggles you may face in sobriety with other people who have had similar experiences.
Asking for help
Getting sober is by no means easy. But you don’t have to do it alone. Reaching out and asking for help is so important in recovery, and we understand that it can be difficult at first. One of the hallmarks of alcoholism is isolation: the illness wants you on your own, and this is all the more reason to practice asking for help when in recovery.
You can find what works for you, it might be simply calling a friend or checking in with your sponsor, getting involved in a new sports team or at a fellowship meeting. Ensuring you spend time with others and develop meaningful relationships can make all the difference. This way, if the day comes that you do need to ask for help, you have developed a strong and trusted support network of people who will be there for you.
Taking responsibility for recovery
It is not your fault that you are an addict or an alcoholic, but your recovery is your responsibility. Pointing the finger and placing blame on yourself or anyone else doesn’t help matters, it only creates negative emotions and prevents you from focussing on the task ahead – staying clean and sober and maintaining your recovery.
It is only by taking responsibility for your own life and actions, that you can build a successful recovery in the long-term. Recovery requires discipline and effort, it is a continued practice that you develop over time.
Exercise and diet
Research shows the hugely beneficial effect that regular exercise can have on a person’s mental and physical health, creating a natural high for the individual and releasing a whole host of ‘feel good’ endorphins. Here at the Providence Projects we offer a variety of exercise classes from yoga to boxercise to running clubs.
Diet is also important in recovery. Eating regular meals which are balanced and nutritious will help you to repair the damage done in active addiction, as well as helping with sleep, improving mood and mental health.
Fun in Recovery
And finally, remember to have fun! Recovery is meant to be enjoyed. It’s about learning to live life again, with a new sense of freedom and peace of mind. Ultimately, it’s about learning how to be happy and accept yourself and the world around you.
There are many ways to have fun, you could get involved with a sports team, hobby or activity that you enjoy, learn a new language, or find a cookery class or other creative outlet to express yourself. There are so many positive ways to occupy your mind and do something that’s kind for yourself and makes you feel good too.
Talk to us about support after rehab
Beginning the rehab process
We want you to know that there is a way out of the darkness. The disease of alcoholism will not want you to get help. It thrives on secrecy, denial, lies and isolation. It wants you alone and hidden away. Alcoholism doesn’t want you to take personal responsibility for your illness, or to share openly and honestly with others about your problem. But this is exactly what you need to do in order to start the recovery process.
If you’re reading this and think that yourself or a loved one needs help from through alcohol rehab, then please give us a call or fill out our quick and easy contact form. Our skilled addiction counsellors are on hand to discuss your treatment options, and find the best solution possible.
Above all, we want you to know that things can and will get better. You deserve recovery. You deserve peace of mind and serenity, and to live your life free from the prison of alcoholism.
Get help today, talk to our counsellors