Native American healing techniques – a holistic
While the damaging effects of drug and alcohol abuse ravage the body, mind, and soul of all people in the same manner — not distinguishing between race, color, or creed — the healing process can vary among cultures and spiritualities. Such is the case with New Day’s cornerstone holistic recovery program. It’s an optional program, but about 50% of New Day’s non-Indian clients choose this course of healing. That’s because New Day doesn’t base the treatment on a person’s skin color, but on their spirituality.
“In our holistic approach, we teach clients how to examine their values and beliefs, many times handed down from generation to generation,” said Phillene Whiteman, a licensed addiction counselor at New Day. “Your feelings and thoughts are based on your values. What you value and what you think determines your behaviors, and your behaviors become a reality. And all of that happens at the speed of light. That’s how quickly it happens…in the blink of an eye.”
That’s pretty deep.
Marcus Red Thunder, New Day’s cultural coordinator, also believes in the holistic approach. “I like it because it’s not just about treating one area. It includes physical wellness, emotional wellness, mental wellness and spiritual wellness,” he said. “It all blends together. I’m giving them tools that they can believe in other than drugs and alcohol.”
Clients learn about themselves and figure out why they do what they do. The goal is to discover the reasons behind alcohol and drug misuse and to concentrate on the emotional, physical andspiritual foundations that cause people to do what they do.
The next step involves incorporating Native American ceremonies and cultural symbolism into the healing process.
It focuses on a person’s spiritual being – a creator, a God, Buddha, or a Great Spirit or Holy Spirit. In other words, New Day’s approach is to focus on connecting people to their higher power, whomever that higher being may be.
New Day individually customizes care to adapt to each person’s cultural and spiritual preferences. Care is further divided into Youth and Adult programs, maintaining two separate and distinct lines of treatment.
And New Day’s treatment extends far beyond a single person. They offer educational programs for individuals, families, and communities. “Once we heal an individual and get a family healthy, that will influence an entire community,” Phillene said.
Native American Culture Enrichment
• Medicine Wheel (signifies the four “seasons” of
recovery – a never-ending process)
• Talking Circle (a type of group therapy)
• Sweat Lodge (a spiritual cleansing and “rebirth” of a person)
• Smudging (a purification process that uses medicinal plants)
• Drum Group (a purification process that uses sage)
• Equine Assist Experiential Therapy (the use of
horses for therapy recovery)