“Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone.”Anonymous
One of the numerous therapeutic groups offered to Ironwood students of levels three and above is a group called Recovery, which is held every Wednesday at the Farmhouse. This group focuses on helping students who struggle with addiction and PTSD on their journey to recovery, hence the name. Recovery group is a safe environment in which students who are battling these challenges can share their experiences and find support among their peers. During recovery group, students learn more about the science behind addiction and PTSD so they can gain a better understanding of how and why they are affected in their day to day life.
Recovery group is crucial part of the program for students who struggle with addiction and PTSD. One of the hardest parts about both addiction and PTSD is the feeling of isolation that often accompanies them. This is why it is especially important for students who are on the road to recovery to know that they are not alone. Recovery group offers students a space that they can safely discuss their struggles, as well as motivate and inspire each other to overcome them. It provides them with the sense of community and support that they need in order to recover. Another thing that students gain from recovery group is a greater apprehension of the science behind addiction and PTSD, so they can better understand how and why these experiences affect their lives. Though recovery group is extremely beneficial to students who struggle with addiction and PTSD, the student has to be ready, willing, and able to change and recover in order for it to be effective. Students can sometimes be in denial about their addictions and PTSD because they are unwilling to accept the reality of their condition. If this is the case, then recovery group can be an uncomfortable setting for them; they may chose to reject the help offered in the group, or they may do the opposite, and become dedicated to their recovery. It is the individual that decides how beneficial recovery group is to them and their program.
Though recovery group is not available to students after they have graduated from Ironwood, there are many programs like it outside of Ironwood that are open to anyone battling addiction and PTSD. Many students who find recovery group beneficial go on to participate in programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and/or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) after they graduate. It is said that “listening is often the only thing needed to help someone;” this saying is often true for people who suffer from addiction and PTSD. Many are able to attribute their success to these programs, because these spaces allow them to share their experiences and find support among others.
I, myself, am an active participant in the Ironwood recovery group. I know, firsthand, the impact that these programs can have on a person’s future. Recovery group is a significant aspect of the program for some Ironwood students that struggle with these issues. It is an environment where students can be open and honest, and an opportunity for them to become motivated and inspired by the experiences of other students.
*Thank you to this Farmhouse resident, who hopes to transfer knowledge about one of the many therapeutic groups held at Ironwood. We find it interesting that her quote revolves around “listening” and this word/skill reference seems to keep showing itself to us here at Ironwood in recent weeks and months. There is likely good reason for this and perhaps we can all give this some thought as we enter this early November weekend.