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09 Apr Recovery Tools Targeted for Women

Last month our posts were dedicated to showcasing the unique addiction recovery treatment options available to men seeking to overcome addiction. This month, we’re showcasing the unique treatment options that are available to women. It’s important to have these gender-specific options available, for men and women react to addiction differently, and therefore it can take different approaches to make for successful recovery in men and women. Read on to learn about some of the addiction recovery tools that are commonly available to women seeking treatment for addiction today.

Gender Specific Treatment

Gender-specific treatment, of course, offers the same benefits for women that it does for men. In a gender-specific treatment environment, women are free from the embarrassment or self-consciousness they might face in a mixed-gender setting. Moreover, many women fear being in the minority when enrolling in addiction recovery programs. While addiction is something that affects both men and women in considerable numbers, it can still offer some women comfort and peace of mind to have the option of gender-specific treatment. Finally, gender-specific treatment eliminates the possibility of complicated romantic involvement cropping up within a support group, which can add undue stress to the addiction recovery process.

Addressing Female Issues

Men and women tend to face different underlying issues with addiction. For men, struggles with emotional intimacy and anger management can often be found at the root of addiction, while for women, these struggles tend to take on the form of PTSD or disordered eating. Struggles for men tend to be more outward while struggles for women are more inward-focused. Here are some of the other female specific issues that often lie behind addiction:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Shame
  • Low self-esteem
  • Stress
  • Past sexual or physical abuse

A treatment program designed for women is equipped to treat these particular issues underlying addiction, and it can also help women bypass the obstacles keeping them from receiving addiction—domestic needs, guilt over taking time for oneself, social stigma, etc.

Individualized Aftercare

After rehab is complete, women face different challenges, everyday stresses, and relapse triggers than men do. In addition to gender-specific treatment, women can take advantage of gender-specific aftercare to help carry them through the early stages of recovery after rehab is complete. This type of aftercare can involve support groups and 12-step meetings, all carried-out in a secure, female-oriented environment.

Betsy Firth is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She graduated from Purdue University. She began her career in residential treatment in 1984. Betsy’s professional passion is in assisting others to heal from trauma or disruptions in attachment. She is certified in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) for increasing ability in emotion regulation and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for resolution of traumatic memories. She has found great satisfaction utilizing these skills and abilities in helping those who suffer from the disease of addiction.

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