Secular and Christian recovery programs both have the same goal: to help people recover from their addiction. They are both highly effective in helping people recover from their addiction. However, the styles of the programs are different. The biggest difference between a secular and Christian recovery program is a secular recovery program talks about recovery from a general perspective and a Christian recovery programs talked about recovery from a Christian perspective.
Other differences between a secular and Christian recovery program are:
• The Concept of the Higher Power
In a secular recovery program, the subject of the Higher Power is presented as anything that can restore you to sanity because they understand that everyone can have a different Higher Power depending on their religious beliefs, personal beliefs, past experiences with religion, and personal values. In a Christian recovery program, the concept of the Higher Power will be the Christian concept of the Higher Power, which is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
• Literature Used
A secular recovery program that uses the 12-Steps will use The Big Book of Alcoholics’ Anonymous and other literature published by the 12-Step Programs. A Christian recovery program will use the Bible as it the sole source for recovery guidance.
• Rules and Regulations
Christian recovery programs may have rules and regulations that are from Christian doctrine (e.g. attending religious services, certain clothing being prohibited, makeup being prohibited, opposite-sex sleeping arrangements, homosexual relationships, etc.). Conversely, a secular recovery program will have rules just to help maintain safety in the treatment center and keep everyone sober.
• Use of Christianity in Treatment
Both secular and Christian recovery programs will most likely use the same evidence-based psychotherapy methods. However, a Christian recovery center will incorporate Christian and biblical concepts in therapy. For example, if you are struggling with a childhood trauma, a secular therapist will tell you to look at the good that has come from it, and a Christian therapist may find a quote from the Bible to help you have faith there was a greater purpose to it.
Determining Which Type of Treatment is Right for You
The type of treatment that is right for you will depend on your beliefs and preferences. If you are a strong Christian, a Christian recovery program can greatly supplement your recovery. Being in a program with other Christians can help you find common Christian-related solutions. A Christian recovery program is generally good for someone who has a positive view of Christianity. Even if you are a Christian, you may wish to keep your recovery and faith separate, and that is totally fine. If you are seeking a Christian recovery program, make sure you find one that suits our beliefs because not all Christians subscribe to the same beliefs and rituals.
If you do not have a positive view of Christianity, subscribe to only some of or not any of the beliefs or rituals, or wish to keep tour faith and recovery separate, a secular treatment center may be better for you. A secular treatment center will strictly focus on universal solutions to recovery and evidence-based therapy methods. A secular treatment center will be more diverse, allowing you to explore a variety of perspectives.
How a Higher Power in Recovery Helps
The 12-Steps have been such a widely used formula in the recovery programs because it allows its subscribers to humbly admit, “I cannot do this alone; I need a Higher Power and other who have the same problem to help me.” Studies have shown that those who have believe in a loving Higher Power and willingly attend religious or spiritual services have an easier time psychologically. This may be due to the fact that belief in a Higher Power helps people know that they are not alone and there is a reason for everything in life.
Your Higher Power does not have to be a male or female god sitting somewhere on a throne or any other supernatural Higher Power. Your Higher Power can be anything on the inside or outside of yourself to restore you to sanity (e.g. the Universe, your recovery program, your sponsor, a gemstone, The Big Book, etc.). Do not worry about other people’s views of judgments. Lean on the Higher Power of your own understanding instead of trying to fight the Higher Power of other people’s understanding.
South Florida has many secular and Christian recovery programs. Contact one today to learn more at 800-737-0933.