Treatment is not recovery. Treatment talks about recovery, yes, but what would it look like to mirror recovery to the people we serve? Recovery is openness, a mindset. It is one of positivity, approaching the future optimistically. Recovery is learning versus hiding from our past mistakes, making healthy choices, and stepping into our true selves.
To mirror recovery, we must be flexible and fluid in our agenda. We must recognize that one client is going to be late, that another client may try and hijack the group, and yet another may have relapsed for the third time. Recovery dictates that we remain positive no matter what, but also not ignore unhealthy behavior or live in denial. Disease recurrence is like a tumor that has grown back—some get the disease worse than others.
Clinicians can create optimistic opportunities for clients and themselves. This is more than mere words, this is action; recovery is action. This is everything from hosting speakers so clients may bear witness to the possibility of a sustained life of recovery, to providing service opportunities. This is for the client with 2 weeks in treatment, to the client who is just coming in with 1 day under their belt, sharing how they did not think they could stay and could not imagine sustaining 1 week of sobriety or refraining from cutting themselves. It is building the chain of recovery, link upon link. We create the environment and culture that makes that possible.