While there are now many recognized routes to successful recovery; common to all, is the understanding that we are part of a bigger picture. Regardless of the chosen recovery program, it seems crucial for clients to feel that they have a connection to this bigger picture. In some cases, this is the only understanding necessary to develop a spiritual belief system.
Long term sobriety is very difficult to maintain without adopting the belief that everyone is accountable to something, or someone, greater than themselves. Unfortunately, many clients come in to treatment having had negative experiences with religious absolutism in their families of origin.
Some clients are open to the idea that they can explore spirituality out of the context of religion, while others express firm resistance to the idea of discussing anything related to a higher power in any context. Twelve step recovery programs mention God, or a “Power greater than ourselves,” in 6 out of the 12 steps. For clients who have been the victim of religious abuse, or part of a family who believed in religious absolutism, getting them to understand spirituality without their long held negative views of religion can be complex.
Regardless of the path chosen to recovery, developing a spiritual concept is critical to maintaining sobriety. As a clinician working with clients in recovery; fostering an environment where clients can become open to developing a spiritual concept is critical to their success.