What does Conscious Recovery Work with a Client look like?

Conscious Recovery is a book, a workbook, an online resource and a curriculum. The Conscious Recovery treatment program is more like an experience, rather than a training. It isn’t really about the client, but about the clinician. Many clinicians are trained to diagnose and treat clients, and may mistakenly believe that they have all the answers. But with the Conscious Recovery process, it’s less about putting a client through the program, rather it’s more about how to take the client on a journey into their wholeness.



When a clinician is listening to the client and nodding their head but at the same time diagnosing the person in the back of their mind and coming up with solutions, all of that shows up in the energy field that exists between the client and the clinician. When clients are seeking treatment at perhaps the most difficult and painful time in their lives, in a way, they also have the answers within them, but the paradox is that they cannot find the answers by themselves. As a clinician, or a counselor, or a tech, they need to define for themselves what is the role they play in the client’s recovery.



Most clients, when they are in early recovery, are in a state of fight or flight. When they are in this mode, their first instinct is to look for danger, which is about a future moment. In some cases, when a client is living in a trauma response, they are living from an experience of fear and pain from their past. In both cases, the present becomes painful to live in. They are afraid to be in the present moment because that is where they experience the pain. At such a moment, the clinician who is working with the client can only be present in that moment in an authentic way if they had done enough work themselves that they don’t go into flight or fight as a response. A clinician cannot allow a client to go deeper than they have themselves, especially if the clinician has an unhealed wound themselves. So they must have done enough of their own healing work.



In traditional recovery circles the clinicians can be very intellectual about brain chemistry, about trauma, about triggers, etc. but if they lack personal experience or passion, that may translate into the energy field around them. With the Conscious Recovery process, 80-90% of the communication happens in the energy field. How the clinician views the client plays a big role in the client’s feeling safe in the recovery process. A Conscious Recovery clinician is not trying to fix someone because they are not broken. They are there to hold space, allowing a naturally authentic energy to arise.

Northridge Detox Center
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