Sobriety is an ongoing battle that requires an individual to continually make efforts and adopt new coping strategies to pursue a healthy, sober lifestyle. Even those who have graduated from dedicated recovery programs will still experience new stresses, urges, and cravings in their personal and professional life.
Recovery isn’t something that “ends.” Instead, it is an ongoing process to alter one’s mindset and behaviors. Ongoing outpatient therapy is crucial for maintaining the sober transformations made in detox and residential programs.
What Is Outpatient Therapy?
Outpatient therapy is a type of therapy that allows an individual to still navigate their daily life, tending to personal responsibilities, work, and living either on their own or with family outside of the walls of a dedicated recovery facility. The extra freedoms allow those navigating their sobriety to embrace life in the outside world, but doing so involves risks and responsibilities when it comes to managing urges, cravings, or other threats of relapse.
For some, outpatient therapy can be an individual session with professionals to analyze developing stresses and develop new techniques, while others may embrace a group effort in order to meet with peers and like-minded individuals to further one’s sober goals.
Those engaged in an outpatient program will have a great deal of agency when it comes to scheduling their daily lives. However, this also comes with a greater sense of accountability, and an individual will be tasked with balancing their own personal time between work and regular attendance to outpatient individual or group sessions in order to maintain one’s hard-earned sobriety.
The Benefits of Outpatient Therapy
Outpatient therapy is a way to balance one’s continued recovery efforts with their changing lives outside of a dedicated treatment facility. It can be impossible to predict exactly which stresses may be most prevalent in one’s daily life or how one may emotionally respond to stressors or triggers in an environment that may not be curated for sobriety, such as the workplace or exposure to media. Outpatient therapy is a program to help those navigating their sober lives continue to develop new strategies while balancing a sober lifestyle and newfound freedoms and stresses.
These programs can accomplish this in a number of ways, depending on one’s needs and goals.
Maintaining a Social Circle
Balancing personal, professional, and recovery life is a delicate act, and it is important to stay connected with like-minded peers and supports to maintain a focus on one’s continued sobriety. Outpatient programs allow those in recovery to build a sense of connection and belonging with peers, creating new strategies and relationships that are paramount for a continued healthy and supportive social life.
Facing the Trails of Sobriety Together
Peers and professionals in outpatient therapy programs understand the new struggles that come with balancing the various aspects of one’s life. Discussing with peers the trials of workplace stressors and life outside the recovery facility can provide the most nuanced, direct support for coping with these unique challenges. This kind of shared experience can further promote practical strategies for managing urges, cravings, and stress amidst external forces.
These programs can also be instrumental in easing the transition between residential care and one’s continued sober life. Re-engaging with the real world can be intimidating, and change can come quickly. Outpatient therapy programs can provide an additional resource so that one can step back and process these changes in a safe environment, working through the transition effectively.
Building an Effective Schedule
Outpatient therapy programs can also help individuals practice structuring and scheduling their time. Time management is a crucial skill in addiction recovery, and outpatient therapy programs can be the cornerstone for building an effective sober routine.
However, they can also be flexible, allowing individuals to create a consistent schedule that acknowledges work and recovery simultaneously, either by offering evening outpatient meetings after work or morning sessions if one works in the evenings. This way, one is never left feeling isolated in their continued recovery journey.
Managing Slips and Relapse
Outpatient therapy also ensures that one continues to focus on their sobriety. These programs come with an established support network and plan for managing slips should they occur. This regular support can allow an individual to take action to best refocus on their sober efforts and continuously help an individual recognize the potential signs of personal struggles or vulnerability in one’s sobriety.
Graduating from a detox or residential treatment program does not mark the end of one’s recovery journey, and one’s sober efforts should be ongoing. Recovery is a lifelong endeavor, and continued outpatient therapy programs are essential for managing the unique ways in which stress, urges, cravings, and other trials may manifest throughout one’s sober life while providing a community of kinship and support.
Ongoing outpatient therapy plays a crucial role in sustained sobriety, and we at Hawaii Island Recovery are dedicated to supporting your sobriety each step of the way. From detox and residential programs to outpatient care, we provide a unique, personalized program for you. From dedicated drug and alcohol inpatient treatment centers to aftercare programs, our unique approach to Hawaiian rehabilitation involves a supportive community of peers inside and outside of our recovery facility, along with a consistent resource to help you at any stage in your recovery. Whether we can help you where you are or can help you find the right resources for your continued success, Hawaii Island is committed to creating an accepting community of ongoing support. For more information on how we can help you at your stage of recovery, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your needs, call us at (866) 390-5070.