What is emotional rehabilitation?

What is emotional rehabilitation blog post image.

Emotional rehabilitation is the strengthening of our inner ability to deal with such as a loss or significant change. It uses various methods to return to a healthy state of being. 

Our emotions are obviously an innate part of us. They are to help us live life on life’s terms, to deal and process certain things before getting back on with living.

But sometimes it seems as if they are just too painful. It is as if emotionally we can never get back to how we were.

Or perhaps someone has always felt just too emotionally raw.

Our emotions can be charged up because of such as a physical injury, an illness or a bereavement. Or feelings of loss often arise for those suffering from addiction when they realize how far away they are from the life they used to know.

It can also seem similar for someone watching a loved one deteriorate due to addiction or another mental health condition. Or an injury or illness.

Emotional rehabilitation can be thought of as very similar to the process for physical rehabilitation. But instead it is for the mind and emotions.

How long does emotional rehabilitation take?

Frequently someone who has been physically abused will say how their emotional wounds take much longer to heal than any physical injuries. For instance, many people who have endured an abusive relationship say this.

So it varies for how long each person takes to emotionally rehabilitate. It’s a fact though that without help from an experienced professional, someone may never get emotionally back on track.

Generally, any suffering like this will get progressively worse. Someone like this may struggle emotionally for years or even for the rest of their lives.

But for most people who seek emotional rehabilitation, the changes can be swift and profound. We have seen numerous guests here at Tikvah Lake make excellent progress and transformations on one of our individualized treatment programs, such as the 30-90 Day Personalized Treatment Program.

However, it is impossible to put a time on an individual’s emotional rehabilitation. This is due to many factors, perhaps especially what the person learned around emotions in childhood.

Then it depends on the scale of what might have caused any emotional disturbances. That includes such as how long ago it was, how long it went on or if it’s still a current issue.

Sometimes new pressures and problems can affect the emotional rehabilitation. For instance, the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic with its lockdowns and other restrictions on normal living has caused most people at least some degree of emotional disconcertment.

Then, everyone is different. Some people are much more sensitive than others.

It is for this reason that siblings growing up in the same dysfunctional household can be affected in vastly different ways. One may seem unaffected whereas the other turns to drugs.

So there are various factors that affect the time it can take someone to emotionally recover. These include:

  • Age. Older people often have more years of a particular thing that has emotionally affected them. It can also take longer for them to break habitual emotional patterns.
  • Gender. Traditionally men open up less emotionally. This can mean the emotional healing process is more difficult and takes longer.
  • The scale of the loss or aspect of it, such as the bereavement or the addiction.
  • The person’s self-awareness of their emotions.
  • Past ability to cope with emotions.
  • Openness to making changes.
  • How their regular environment is – for instance, if someone has young children there is likely to be less time to focus on their emotional rehab due to daily living demands.

Emotional intelligence

Most people learn about emotions and how to deal with them in childhood. This is because we have the “family blueprint” handed down.

Perhaps our parents were prone to focus on negative things. There seemed to be in the childhood home a never-ending air of impending doom. This most likely had gone on for generations.

But as children, we cannot possibly know there is an alternative to responding to life events in any other way than this. We think it’s the norm in every household.

By the time we do see there is another way we are usually hardwired in the family way. So then it takes great emotional awareness and a conscious effort to think and react differently.

But it is completely possible. Many people do achieve this.

It’s why some people in the Twelve Steps recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous say that AA could equally stand for Altered Attitudes. They realize one of the reasons they drank so addictively was to push down certain emotions.

One aspect of the Twelve Steps is that it can show you how to respond in an emotionally different manner. We introduce our guests to the Twelve Steps in our Personalized Treatment Program.

How can you respond to emotions?

A starting point in emotional rehabilitation is learning how to recognize emotions. Our expert team here will show how to acknowledge and be with feelings.

This is instead of struggling to ignore them or using ways to mask or numb them.

We show our guests to notice how their body is reacting to emotions. If there is immediate tension we explain how to do things that will help the body relax, such as by breathing techniques.

This way the vicious circle of emotions causing physical changes that intensifies each emotion can be stopped.

People going through emotional rehab can learn how the problem is frequently not the emotion itself. It is the attempt to resist it.

Often it is this that makes the emotions get out of control. So learning how to emotionally loosen up and to simply acknowledge the feelings is greatly beneficial.

Group therapy as we have here at Tikvah Lake is another excellent process for learning about emotions. For many people, it’s in group therapy that for the first time in their lives they learn how to accept their feelings.

Someone may realize they have always battled to think their way out of every situation. They learn that in fact it often helps much more to feel their way.

Many people learn the benefits of asking themselves why they’re feeling in a certain way. They learn to ask themselves what this emotion is showing them.

In fact, our emotions are often trying to guide us in a certain direction, so that we can live our most fulfilling life.

Lots of people feel alone with their emotions as if no one could possibly know how they feel and what they’re going through. But you only need to read some old books to know that all our ancestors experienced exactly the same emotions as those we have now.

With the support of our experienced team here, people can learn ways to deal with their emotions throughout life. This will allow them to efficiently handle any situation.

They can do this with a healthy confidence and a positive self-regard. For someone with addiction issues this all means they are much less likely to relapse.

We have great experience in helping people realize or restore themselves to a strong emotional state.

Find out how we can help you or someone you love by contacting us today.

About Adam Nesenoff

Adam Nesenoff has been working in recovery for over ten years.

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