Holistic Recovery: Widening the Net

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By Christine Calvert

A possible perspective that serves as a reflection of this time and space is that humans have become quite complex as we have evolved. And, where there is evolution there’s often space for a more dynamic relationship with all things.

And perhaps, as we evolve collectively, it’s a call for those of us working with addiction and mental health to also widen our net and perspective on recovery and wellness.

While we have beautiful foundational methods for addiction recovery to be utilized for recovery and abstinence, such as the 12 steps and solid therapy methods, there have also been so many people helped, including myself, by other methods of healing as we continue to grow on the recovery path. Mindfulness modalities, shamanism, yogic paths, expanded state work such as Holotropic Breathwork, or psychedelics done in safe and well-facilitated settings, etc. The list goes on. The wisdom of the ages still works for our current evolutionary needs- and maybe more relevant now than ever! Regarding the physical body- perspectives that integrate a strong biomedical approach combined with ancient wisdom, such as naturopathic medicine, Ayurveda, or traditional Chinese medicine; these are medicinal approaches that honor the whole person and look at the root cause of disease- and for some, appear to be essential for healing and wholeness for those seeking lasting and sustainable change. The body, for many of us, is often the last frontier in our healing process. I know this was my story- until I found Naturopathic medicine, which completed the Mind, Body, Spirit triangle of healing for me.

I do believe recovery is a calling for us to explore and expand into our fullest potential, our highest self has no glass ceiling- although our egoic self often forgets this eternal truth. The potential is endless. It’s promising to see the new research out on expanded state work and healing, natural medicine, and root cause cure perspectives, etc. What I personally love about so many of these traditions is their ability and willingness to trust that each person has intrinsic wisdom- an inner healer guiding the way. And, it could be assumed that this inner healer wants nothing but wholeness for us. This means there are methods that guide individuals home to themselves, rather than reaching outside for the answers. This is a form of radical self-empowerment- quite different from the disempowerment that our collective culture has embraced or where our addiction and trauma lead us. That, in and of itself, is an idea worth exploring. These are the methods that personally allowed me a life worth living and I will spend the rest of my life continuing this exploration and sharing these methods with others.

Christine Calvert is a licensed chemical dependency counselor and is a certified Holotropic Breathwork facilitator. She is the founder of Tribe, a conscious sober living home for men in Austin, TX, focusing on a transpersonal and holotropic approach to recovery and healing. She brings Holotropic Breathwork and other experiential workshops to mental health and addiction organizations seeking new approaches to recovery.

Her experience with the 12-steps, mindfulness practices, a variety of spiritual paths, and body-based psychotherapy inform her approach to working with others. She has a private practice (telehealth), and is currently completing her Naturopathic Doctor Degree in Portland, OR.

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