Health Professionals Treatment 

Health professionals are some of the most respected individuals in society. Physicians particularly often hear the adage, “Physician, heal thyself.” The disease of addiction, however, does not have an easy cure. There is no prescription that can be written, no diet change that can be implemented, no exercise course that can be started that will, on their own, “cure” a health professional that is struggling to hold it together externally but falling deeper into a pit of despair on the inside. The Health Professionals Support Group at the Master Center focuses on helping participants control workplace stress, improve professional and personal relationships, and manage medical and psychiatric difficulties, in a safe and confidential environment. 

It is common for health professionals (physicians, nurses, mental health professionals, etc.) to be enrolled in a monitoring program while also managing their recovery from a substance use disorder. State Physician Health Programs (PHPs) access, support, and monitor physicians with mental, behavioral, medical, and substance abuse problems.

The Health Professionals Group meets once per week, for 90 minutes.

Music in Recovery Group

Music has been recognized as an effective form of therapy for a long time, according to the American Psychological Association. Research has also shown that music improves the body’s immune system function, increased the amount of dopamine that is produced in the brain and reduces stress by decreasing the amount of cortisol your body produces. Music itself is a therapeutic tool that can help facilitate, emotional, cognitive, and social change and growth. When used to support individual in substance use recovery, it provides a wealth of benefits, including:

  • Recognizing and accepting difficult emotions
  • Reducing stress and providing an outlet for relaxation
  • Promoting self-awareness
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Providing an outlet for self-expression

The Master Center offers a Music in Recovery Group once per week, for 60 minutes.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Group

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on teaching individuals how to live/cope in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with emotions and stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with others. The theory behind the approach is that some people are prone to react in a more intense and out-of-the-ordinary manner toward certain emotional situations.

People who are sometimes diagnosed with borderline personality disorder experience extreme swings in their emotions, see the world in black-and-white shades, and seem to jump from one crisis to another. Because few people understand such reactions, most of all their own family and a childhood that emphasized invalidation, they do not have any methods for coping with these sudden, intense surges of emotions. DBT is a method for teaching skills that will help this task.

DBT has also shown effectiveness for Substance Abusers, which incorporates concepts and modalities designed to promote abstinence and to reduce the length and adverse impact of relapses. Among these are dialectical abstinence, “clear mind,” and attachment strategies. Several randomized clinical trials have found that DBT for Substance Abusers decreased substance abuse in patients with borderline personality disorder. The treatment also may be helpful for patients who have other severe disorders co-occurring with SUDs or who have not responded to other evidence-based SUD therapies.

The Master Center offers weekly DBT Group Therapy sessions, following an 8-week format, during which people learn skills from one of four different modules: interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance/reality acceptance skills, emotion regulation, and mindfulness skills. 

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is the practice of helping someone’s trauma through sporadic visual stimulation. It seems that there is a relation in the rhythm of someone’s eye movements, like when they enter REM sleep, and the association of the traumatic memory. Having patients recall those memories, like most therapy, while stimulating their vision can help reprocess how that memory is stored and reduce the intense feelings associated with that memory. It has proven to be an effective treatment to help patients heal traumatic events, negative reactions, and other triggers.

The use of EMDR in addiction treatment results in the fact that a lot of addiction is tied to a past trauma. The belief is by treating this trauma, the person suffering from addiction will have less of a compulsion towards substances. 

Therapists at the Master Center approach a patient’s addiction from a trauma-informed perspective. This allows them to examine each case as an individual and look at the root cause and contributing factors to each person’s addiction. Because of this, EMDR can play a central role in addiction treatment.