Letter from Dr. Rose
In launching Life’s Journey Center in 1996 my desire was to combine the treatment of alcohol and drugs with the treatment of process addictions while addressing the co-occurring disorders all at the same time. In working toward the completion of my (MFT) Marriage, Family Therapist internship hours, I realized that I could not treat individuals with long term addiction issues on an outpatient basis, nor could I influence anyone to stop the cycle of insanity that they live in. My intuition, ethical responsibility and cultural sensitivity set in motion my opening of the Life’s Journey Center.
A prevalent lack of understanding continues to exist today regarding addictive disorders and the underlying co-occurring mental health issues that drive them. The myths and misconceptions surrounding chemical dependency have saturated not only our society as a whole, but also the individual seeking treatment and change, affecting their family members and loved ones. When the aspect of addiction is perceived as the only problem and treatment issue, a formula is set up for relapse with unpredictable time frames and outcomes. This insures the individual continues to suffer, the denial is reinforced when the mental and behavioral health issues are left untreated.
The severity and other factors of an individual’s illness are based on many different components: age of onset, childhood-adult trauma, all resulting in spiritual injury forcing the individual to experience chronic disturbances with their feelings, thinking, and functioning. Recovery is not just about abstaining from mood altering substances and or self destructive behaviors, it is about getting to the core of the issues that trigger the need to escape and numb one’s feelings and reality. In order to transform their lives our residents learn to process their pain and fears while embracing self love, self respect, with courage and a commitment to their sobriety and emotional well being. In treating the whole person and changing negative behavioral patterns transformation occurs. This adjustment causes the individual to live a life with integrity, rebuild relationships with family and friends which is crucial to enhance their overall recovery.
My greatest gift is my faith and with faith I have seen that all is possible. With my professional background and experiences working with individuals who are afflicted with chronic suffering, I see that they have been introduced to only a portion of the solution. Unfortunately this produces intensified shame, guilt and inadequacy. They are depleted physically, spiritually, and mentally, feeling shame and guilt for their inability to retain recovery. Many have been on the verge of suicide and still not able to ask for help. It is unrealistic to expect addicts to first hit bottom and then ask for help. The tragedy is that while family members and loved ones are waiting for a bottom to come, many die.
Life’s Journey Center cares about the end result for you and your loved one.
Rose Tijerina-Swearingen, Ph.D.