As we continue in the More Responsive Care for Women with Addiction interview series, CEO Becky Flood shares more information on women suffering from trauma while in recovery. Flood highlights Seeking Safety in her interview with Dr. Joe Terhaar and how this model of counseling is used in New Directions for Women’s treatment curriculum.
Dr. Joe Terhaar is host to the national radio show on Voice America Radio entitled Overcoming Addiction: Hope with Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment.
Please click above to listen to this informative interview.
We have transcribed the third section of the interview for you below.
Terhaar: So I think we’re covering the concepts of these needs very well and you refer to that you address these needs. Tell us more about women who have suffered trauma which again on our show, our audience, my audience, knows well from our previous shows that there are many people suffering from addiction and trauma preceded the addiction. Then of course also addicts experience trauma as a part of the normal course of addiction. So tell us more about what New Directions does to support recovery from trauma.
Flood: Well I think we do many of some of the same things that other people are incorporating which are the best practices and promising practices in the addiction field. Our clinical team is all trained in Seeking Safety. Seeking Safety is the most research based trauma and addiction treatment curriculum. It was developed by Dr. Lisa Najavits and it is an actual curriculum based clinical service that is provided in tandem with the addiction treatment services, so if you are experience trauma simultaneously with the addiction we also have EMDR, mindfulness meditation, yoga and a lot of wrap around experiential services that research has shown supports with women in recovery from trauma.
Terhaar: Now, I want to speak to my audience. Folks, men and women out there, this is why I have Becky Flood of New Directions on this show right now. Because there are a lot of treatment centers that do not do this. They do not offer yoga to women. They do not offer EMDR. They do not offer Seeking Safety. There are many treatment centers, and some of them are big with big names, what they’re doing is living in the past and their belief is, ‘well if it worked for me thirty years ago, it will work for men and women today.’ If it’s a 12 Step facility, they are helping introduce and guide people through the first couple of steps of recovery but they haven’t changed and they have not evolved. We have research that shows very clearly that the more that treatment programs are responsive to the needs of the individuals, now that doesn’t mean letting the clients run the facility, no! But just as Becky’s talking about helping these women address the trauma, sometimes pre-dating the addiction and sometimes from the addiction. This is so critical because if you don’t … I’ve talked about it on the show many times, if you don’t address the trauma as a part of addiction recovery then the trauma will emerge in sobriety and it will undermine sobriety. So just imagine these women at New Directions who they’re learning that they have an addiction, they’re learning that they cannot use drugs, they’re learning, also, that they’ve experienced trauma and then they’re getting support for directly addressing that trauma. Anything else you want to add on that Becky?
Flood: The only thing that I could think of that I can very briefly say is that when you treat trauma and addiction simultaneously, research shows that the recovery rate over the extended period of time are exponentially improved.
Terhaar: I thank you and I appreciate you adding that. I recoil in a lot of frustration. I referred a gal, she had gone to a wonderful treatment center here in the western states and in fact one of the high points of that treatment center was when I sat down to talk with she and her husband about family meetings, they were already doing family meetings. That’s the high quality of family program that they had available. But what we saw over the three-four months that I worked with them was that her very severe trauma of origin was undermining her capacity to stay in recovery. So I called another treatment center, she went and they did not. I begged them to bring in EMDR, to bring in other trauma support therapies, they did not, and the treatment wasn’t successful. And that’s actually when I said, ‘You know what? I gotta call Becky. I gotta call Becky Flood and highlight and I need to work with New Directions more.’ We’re going to talk more about this folks right after the break. It’s fantastic how treatment centers can be more responsive to the needs of women. With CEO of New Directions Becky Flood. We’ll see ya right after the break.