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12.09.2019

What are the Biggest Differences Between a Secular and Christian Recovery Program?

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 detox and/or 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.

What Is Christian-Based Counseling?

Christian counseling is one of the oldest forms of treatment for addiction tracing back to 1784. Dr. Benjamin Rush observed individuals who had overcome their addiction through faith, and this led to widespread Christian revivals focusing on addiction treatment. Christian counseling is based on the biblical principles that surrendering to God’s will, instead of relying on human will, is the best way to overcome addiction. Christian counseling can also be especially beneficial for individuals who were once spiritual in helping those individuals rebuild their faith.

What Is Secular Counseling?

A key component of secular recovery methods for addiction is finding a sponsor or mentor to help with counseling and accountability. A mentor can be a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a life coach, or a committed, compassionate individual. The basis for secular recovery is accomplishing sobriety through willpower, making healthy choices, and intentional social connections, such as weekly support groups. Secular counseling is ideal for individuals who value self-belief over traditional religious beliefs.

Determining Which Type of Christian 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. 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.

We live in a world where both types of recovery centers can coexist peacefully. Especially since they cater to discrete interests and lifestyles within society. Christians should rejoice that this fine alternative to traditional recovery programs exists, and secular folks should not feel the need to scoff at a complementary methodology if it’s helping people get better.

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. This is 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 other people’s understanding.

Elements of a Christian Recovery Program

If you have decided that a Christian detox or residential rehab is better for you than a secular recovery 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 several times a week in the rehab center. They may also 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 recovery rehab the Higher Power will be focused on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

A Note on Individualized Assessments of Treatment Facilities

While these assessments of contrasts between are representative of current trends in the recovery industry, it is important to remember that these are still far-reaching generalizations in a lot of ways. In the same way that no two secular facilities are identical, not all Christian centers are alike either. In addition to catering to different denominations, these centers also ascribe to their own mission statements. Individuals looking for addiction counseling should research the core tenets of a facility. This will help to make sure their program is a good fit personally.

Christian Rehab in Florida

If you or a loved one are facing an addiction of any form, and faith is important to you, then there is no reason to fight this battle alone when highly esteemed Christian recovery centers are available.

Our staff is available round-the-clock to welcome you to our facility. You needn’t be a Florida resident or a Christian. Clients come to our program from across the country.  With the grace and wisdom of Jesus Christ, you can gain lasting freedom from addictive substances. We understand dependence and have the resources to help you break the cycle. Start your healing process today.

South Florida has many secular and Christian recovery programs. Contact one today to learn more at 844-903-2111.