Monday, October 30, 2017

Zen Recovery Path :: Art Therapy :: Halloween

Author: Sifu Matt Carver

Expressive Pumpkins.
The Use of Art Therapy in the Addiction Treatment Process

Art therapy is a form of experiential therapy, an approach to recovery that addresses emotional and spiritual needs through creative or physical activity. It is not necessary to have a background in the arts or artistic talent to participate; individuals only need to be open to the experience and to engage actively to benefit from these sessions. Many clients find that art therapy is a relaxing and enjoyable way to address some of the more complex aspects of treatment. Creative activity provides a way to process some of the stressful emotions and anxieties that can emerge during treatment. Post treatment, activities like painting or drawing, can be used throughout the individual’s life as a way to express feelings, explore creativity, and reduce stress.

According to Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, clients can use artistic activities to uncover the feelings of guilt, unmanageability, or shame that led them to treatment. Zen Recovery Path therapists often use fluid media, like paint, to help clients experience the sensation of being out of control, which in turn helps them admit their need for sobriety.

In our most recent Art Therapy group session, the clients participated in a seasonal project to carve and paint a pumpkin that best suits their personality. Enjoy the gallery of photos.

Monday, October 23, 2017

weekly theme :: PERSONAL IDENTITY

You are an individual, uniquely created with a soul and spirit that has emotions, intellect and will, all residing in a human body.  

This week at Zen Recovery we will explore the concepts of what is Personal Identity —
Personal Identity is a mixed bag.  Genetics plays a small part.  Gives us some basic patterns and boundaries. We then borrow heavily from our immediate family and caregivers, making those first few neural connections hardwired.  Environment plays a factor.  As do role models, movies, characters in books we read, t.v. shows, etc.  All of these outlets we pull personality details from and apply to our own patchwork personality or identity.  But is this the real you? 

Certainly, there must be more to it.  If our personalities are a gumbo medley of odds and ends then we should be able to change our recipes at will.  Just find new ingredients and source material?  Maybe so.  Always seems harder in practice, to try to change who we are.  If we pretend to be someone or an aspect of someone long enough, will be become what we pretend to be?  Kurt Vonnegut would likely agree. 

Finally, are we our egos?  Are we multiple egos wrapped up in wads of skin and bone?  Or is there more to who we are? Who is the essential “I”?  Where did it come from?  And where is it going?

We would like for you to join our discussion, Call us at (800) 759-1930

Monday, October 2, 2017

weekly theme :: DISCOVER the Well Before You are Thirsty

Author: Sifu Matt Carver

Nourishing our bodies with viands (food) is an obvious way to sustain life and improve the quality of our lives.  What we put on our plates and eventually into our mouths determines the quantity and quality of what that nourishment fuels: production of skin cells, bone, blood, thoughts, emotions and life itself. 

In the exact same way, how we nourish our minds is of equal importance.  The people we choose to be with, the thoughts we choose to entertain, the things we seek out to watch, the “input” we receive on a daily basis, the patterns we establish on a daily basis.  The quality of these things affects our mental health and ultimate wellbeing more than anything else.  It’s always about getting the preverbal ball rolling — once you get motivated, you’ll notice it makes for a big difference.

This week we will learn different ways to nourish mind and body.  From basic nutrition to how we receive the outside world, we will break down and explore what we allow into our sphere of being and how we manifest that sphere and expand its reach and influence. 

In the I Ching there is a hexagram called “Ching”, which means The Well.  The Well is a vital resource in every culture on the planet.  Buildings change, dynasties change, governments change, but the Well remains a lasting fixture on the human cultural landscape. It is a limitless source of nourishment for all.  The Well supplies water, the cornerstone of life.  The Well is also extended as a metaphor for our Minds and suggests ways in which we can draw upon those flowing resources and manifest the life we choose to grow and live. 

You can spend a lifetime 
and still never come anywhere close 
to exhausting the resources
that are inside of you.

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks within, awakes. – Carl Jung