Grief and loss are an unfortunate part of life and when a person is struggling with addiction, the toll that grief and loss can have on an individual can be catastrophic and a catalyst for further substance abuse. At the Last Resort, we believe that treating the co-occurring struggles of the individual is of the utmost importance and when these struggles are negated it can be a driver for relapse.
Whenever someone is struggling with addiction, their ability to regulate emotions is typically at risk, and when someone experiences loss it increases the individual’s inability to cope with this loss. Overall, the individual’s inability to cope and regulate their emotions can lead to further abuse and further worsening of their addiction. This is why we believe that addressing these co-occurring struggles is a vital and crucial step in the overall sustainment of long-term recovery.
Grief and Loss Trail Rides
The Equine Therapy program at the Last Resort is one of the ways we treat our client’s experiences of grief and loss. We have instituted a Grief & Loss Trail ride in which the clients have the opportunity to participate in processing their loss in a cathartic experience. The individual begins this process during the trail ride by writing a letter to the loved one they’ve lost, documenting experiences, and/or anything that they wish they had the chance to say to this individual. Next, they then go on a guided trail ride that ends with a processing session where they burn these letters. This is done as a metaphorical release and process of the person letting go and grieving the loss of their loved one. This is led by our Equine therapist and is an excellent way of processing these griefs and learning new ways to institute healthy coping mechanisms.
By learning to cope with loss and learning to institute healthy coping mechanisms the individual can work towards regulating their emotions and progressing in the stages of grief. In doing so, the individual can begin to manage their personal struggles in other areas of their life and overcome these obstacles without returning to their addictions.
Contact Our Grief and Loss Therapy Experts
We can help you address your grief and loss issues and move forward on the path to healthy sobriety. Please call or fill out a contact form to begin your journey.