Students who arrive at Chrysalis Therapeutic Boarding School with substance use or abuse as a part of their history are folded into to our Recovery Group. The group meets once a week for an hour and also attends weekly community based AA meetings. We are very excited about the Seeking Safety curriculum we have recently began utilizing with our recovery students.
Seeking Safety is an evidence-based model of treatment that combines a hybrid of influences from various therapeutic sources. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is strong component of this curriculum and there is a respect for 12 step and present-focused therapy to help people attain safety from trauma and/or substance abuse. It directly addresses both trauma and addiction, but without requiring students to delve into the trauma narrative, thus making it relevant to a broad range of people.
Seeking Safety includes a strong emphasis on gaining awareness into one’s life and learning healthy coping skills. The program addresses a wide variety of treatment topics which makes the curriculum extremely engaging. My top 10 favorite topics to discuss with our students are:
- PTSD: Taking Back Your Power
- Detaching from Emotional Pain (Grounding)
- When Substances Control You
- Asking for Help
- Taking Good Care of Yourself
- Community Resources
- Setting Boundaries in Relationships
- Self Discovery
- Healing from Anger
- Life Choices
As we seek to help students gain insight and commitment in their recovery we also implement frequent art therapy projects. Last week’s art therapy assignment was very powerful for both our students and staff. Each student was asked to create with color and paint how they felt when they were craving a substance or trying to obtain substances. This was indicated on the top of the paper. On the bottom they reflected through color and paint how they feel when they have felt serenity, peace, contentment or a natural high while being sober. Each student was asked to share their painting and we processed this experience as a group.
I appreciate the privileged I have to work alongside these courageous young women as they battle the negative impact substances have had in their life.
– Leslie Fowler