Belief in a Higher Power has been a part of addiction recovery since Alcoholics’ Anonymous was founded in 1935. In modern times, rehab centers for addiction have emerged. Certain types of rehabs exist to cater to specific populations. One of those certain types of rehabs is Christian rehabs. If you are considering a Christian alcohol rehab, you may be questioning if a Christian alcohol rehab is better than a secular alcohol rehab. The simple answer is it depends on each person and his or her personal belief system.
There are no general differences in quality between Christian and secular rehabs. Both types of rehabs must meet the same standards by law and most likely offer the same types of therapies. The only difference is a Christian rehab will be providing tools for recovery that are based in the Christian perspective. If you are a strong practicing Christian or the Christian ideology simply sits well with you, a Christian alcohol rehab may certainly benefit you because it will be centered around the Higher Power of Your Understanding. However, if you are an agnostic, atheist, or non-practicing Christian, a Christian rehab might not be the best fit. Which type of rehab is better for you will vary upon what you are comfortable with. While many of the principals taught in a Christian rehab are universal and apply to different faiths and levels of religiosity, the Christian concepts may be hard to ignore for those who do not possess that worldview.
The Elements of a Christian Alcohol Rehab
If you have decided that a Christian rehab is better for you than a secular rehab, here is what you can expect:
• Medical Detox and Evidence-Based Therapy
A myth about Christian or faith-based rehabs is that they only use religion and no scientific-based treatments. For most Christian rehabs, that myth is not true. Most of them use medical detox and evidence based psychological therapies in conjunction with Christian principals. For example, staff may pray over you during the detox process or your counselor will talk about turning childhood traumas over to Jesus during cognitive-behavioral therapy.
• Religious Services
Christian rehabs may host religious services one to several times a week in the rehab center or provide transportation to a local church. Whether or not attending some or all of these services is mandatory depends on the rehab center.
• Biblical Principals
Since the Bible is the basis for Christian principals, it will often be quoted and read in group sessions. Your counselor may also use it during individual sessions.
• Christian-Based Policies
Christian rehabs may have certain policies that are aligned with Christian beliefs (e.g. certain clothing, literature, or makeup being prohibited; mandatory attendance of religious services, or affection between opposite sexes being prohibited). The policies will vary upon Christian rehab. Some may have more traditional rules while others will have less rules and only use universal Christian principles in treatment.
• The 12 Steps in a Christian Perspective
In a regular 12-Step Meeting, each member is allowed to have the Higher Power of His or Her Own Understanding. However, in a Christian rehab, the Higher Power being discussed will be strictly focused on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
How Belief in a Higher Power Aids in Recovery
Even if a Christian rehab is not for you or you do not have any religion at all, belief in a Higher Power of Your Understanding is beneficial for recovery. Recovery is a difficult process that is full of uncertainty. Having faith in a Higher Power (e.g. God, Jesus, the Universe, nature, Allah, the recovery program itself, etc.) can help put some of your fears about the future to rest. A saying that many people have in recovery is “Ask for help every day, and do not worry about who you are asking.” Instead of thinking of a Higher Power as someone who is taking control over your life or sitting on a throne judging you, think of your Higher Power as a best friend to walk with you and provide loving guidance on your journey through sending you the right people, places, things, and events at the right time. Belief in a Higher Power can also help you put your past in perspective to help you heal from traumas.
Twelve-Step Programs are spiritual, not religious programs, which means they are about having an awakening to your own personal spirit. Their focus is not on worshiping a particular Higher Power or making you adhere to a certain religious doctrine. Because they are a spiritual program, they are designed to help you find the Higher Power of Your Understanding. When you take a look within yourself, you will be able to find your personal Higher Power and build a bridge to that Higher Power as you see fit. For some people, religion may play a major role in their spiritual journey while others may do better without it.
Both Christian and secular rehabs exist in the South Florida region. Contact us at 800-737-0933 today.