Spiritual Practices in Recovery: Where the Magic Happens



“Sometimes you can only find heaven by slowly backing away from hell.”

Carrie Fisher


“We do recover” is a phrase that is used often to describe the optimism we instill to newcomers. We also share with the newcomers the work that is suggested to achieve long-term recovery.


Recovery is about more than just being clean and sober. Long-term recovery is also about how to learn the skills necessary to function without the drugs of choice. Developmentally human beings have an internal drive to accomplish a peaceful, fulfilling and purposeful life. This blog speaks to the spiritual process of long-term recovery that is augmented by best practice psychotherapy.


Science and spirituality both have the common desire to improve peoples lives. This is true in my opinion regardless of what religious orientation an individual philosophy offers. Research as it turns out shows that many of the spiritual practices that have been around for millennium and that are behind evidence-based therapeutic interventions create the changes in character, attitude and behavior that are needed in recovery. Science and spiritual practice it seems, cooperate in revealing the interventions that bring about the changes necessary to create fully functioning and thriving individuals.


What are These Practices?


Prayer and meditation help create the closeness necessary between us and the God energy. Adding the crossing of one’s hands in the Catholic Church, the dancing of the Sufis, or the kneeling and bowing of Muslim during prayer our behaviors in neurosciences discovered augment spiritual growth. Peer support groups, individual and group therapy, the practicing of gratitude as suggested in both recovery literature and positive psychology, practicing mindfulness in our daily lives, reading religious text and spiritual writings and being in service to others also aid the spiritual awakening. Teaching individuals to admit they need help with her dysfunctional patterns, being rigorously honest, confessing character flaws, learning how to make amends to others they have harmed and regularly seeking advice from a power greater than ourselves are further examples in living a spiritual life.


What Magic is Manifested?


Even this list is not exhaustive, it has been found through best practice research that we can achieve balance, experience inner peace, stabilize our thinking and emotional states, discover meaning and purpose in our life, activate natural resilience and persistence skills, heal past traumas, and increase social interest which opens a desire to serve others.


So Now What?


The thesis of this blog is the scientific evidence support the notion that long-term recovery embraces regular spiritual practices. Spiritual rituals found in recovery and also various religious Practices are an integral part of moving through early recovery into long-term recovery where we thrive, find purpose, and contribute our gifts to others.


Legitimate spiritual practice coupled with science seems to work together to verify the recommended recovery program that that has been followed for 75 years. In closing, offering that not only addicted individuals but everybody can benefit from spiritual practice as well is a reasonable conclusion.


If you or a loved one may be struggling with addiction, it is very important for you to seek out professional help as soon as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I may be of assistance to you or your loved ones. My website provides more information on my practice and how to contact me with questions or take advantage of a free 20-minute phone appointment.

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