Spirituality is a deep and vast concept, that when channeled correctly, can play an important role in recovery. The term is often, and mistakenly, used interchangeably with ‘religion’, but any expert would know that the two are very different.
While religious beliefs and practices are centered around a God, spirituality, on the other hand, is more about a personal journey of one’s connection to the universe, or a higher power of some sort, and their quest for the meaning of life. Spirituality is more concerned with one’s spirit or soul, rather than their physical being or body.
Spirituality can be practiced in a number of methods; through holistic methods such as yoga, meditation, spending time in nature and through expressing oneself creatively. People in recovery from a substance use disorder are often at their most vulnerable point. Expressing yourself, opening up and feeling understood by other while also trying to adapt a new lifestyle can feel difficult. Finding your spirituality, however, is the beginning to discovering your yourself again and restoring your sense of purpose and self-worth.
At Lake Ave Recovery, we believe it is important to give our clients the opportunity to engage in practices and activities that support and strengthen their spiritual journey. We encourage everyone to keep an open mind and try not to carry with them their preconceived ideas about spirituality.
We are lucky to work with Erica Eckensberger, who is not only a licensed clinician but also an ordained minister with a Master’s Degree in Divinity. Having worked in hospice care for a significant part of her career, Erica truly understands the needs of vulnerable individuals who are in need of help. She integrates spirituality into group sessions through a variety of activities, such as drawing out Spiritual Journey Maps and creating Blessing Jars, as pictured below. Clients designed and decorated their individual Blessing Jars and filled them with notes on what they hope to let go of going forward. This was an amazing activity that allows clients to watch their progress and having something to look forward to. Erica is passionate about incorporating some level of spirituality into treatment and believes we are all holistic humans with a spiritual hunger that just needs to be expressed.