Healing from the hard things you’ve been through can feel overwhelming. Between all the emotions, memories, and therapy options, it can be difficult to know where to start. Understanding the four dimensions of healing can help you establish a baseline for recognizing what areas in your life may require professional assistance and support.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains, “Recovery is characterized by continual growth and improvement in one’s health and wellness and managing setbacks. Because setbacks are a natural part of life, resilience becomes a key component of recovery.” SAMHSA goes on to explain that, while there are multiple elements to the healing process, there are four dimensions of healing:
SAMHSA describes the health dimension as, “Overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms, and making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.” Prioritizing health is vital when healing from anything. It is especially important when healing from something that has affected every part of your body physically, emotionally, and mentally. This can include experiencing intense emotions from:
Since the body works as a system, if one part is not functioning correctly, the rest of the system will eventually follow suit. This is why at Sage Recovery, we strongly believe in implementing holistic, whole-person health strategies.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) explains, “Whole person health involves looking at the whole person—not just separate organs or body systems—and considering multiple factors that promote either health or disease.” This ensures that clinicians consider any biological, behavioral, social, and environmental aspects that might be influencing the patient’s symptoms. As a result, customized care plans can be created to help the patient heal as healthily as possible, while also preventing future health concerns.
Next on the list of the four dimensions of healing is “home.” SAMHSA defines home as, “Having a stable and safe place to live.” Home looks different for everyone, especially for those who are struggling with mental health. For some, it means living with families or friends. Other times, ensuring a safe home environment may involve entering a residential treatment center to receive intensive support when healing from substance use.
Regardless of where home is, it is more important to emphasize that home is both a “stable and safe place to live.” This means it’s stable and safe in location, but also stable and safe physically, mentally, and emotionally. For those who feel unsafe at home, please contact emergency services immediately.
The third dimension of healing is purpose. According to SAMHSA, purpose involves “Conducting meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society.” Purpose is a very personal concept and will look different for everyone.
Some find deep intrinsic value in sharing their experiences with others. As a result, people often become peer support workers or volunteer at local shelters or treatment centers. Others lean into the creative process of sharing their story through art, writing, or music.
The fourth dimension of healing is community, defined by SAMHSA as, “Having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.” Humans are wired for connection. While some of us need more than others, healthy connection allows us to feel seen, heard, and loved by others.
This is vital to the healing process because when we are hurting or confused, often the instinct is to hide and isolate. Shame tells us to keep our struggles and difficulties in the dark – that we’d be unlovable if people knew the truth about us. However, healthy relationships will silence the lies we tell ourselves. They bring out the best in us, remind us that we’re not alone, and that we’re worthy of love.
Honest, healthy relationships may need to be rebuilt, especially if there has been past relational damage that has compromised trust. The good news is that relationships can be mended, though it may require time, patience, and counseling. Those looking to build new relationships with like-minded people who have been through similar experiences can research local group therapy sessions or alumni events from local treatment centers.
Here at Sage Recovery, we believe there are multiple pathways to healing. That’s why our master’s level clinicians have extensively trained in various treatment approaches. This way, we can offer you a customized treatment plan that suits your unique needs and goals so you can heal healthily. We offer several evidence-based treatments, such as:
In addition to evidence-based treatments, our clinicians also specialize in innovative approaches. These approaches are often combined with evidence-based techniques to create a more effective treatment plan. Examples of the innovative approaches we utilize at Sage Recovery include:
Here at Sage Recovery, we know how hard it is to take the first step towards healing. The steps might be difficult, but they don’t have to be taken alone. Our trauma-informed staff will treat you with dignity and respect as you heal from the hard things you’ve been through. Whether you’re trying to heal from trauma, anxiety, or substance use, we have something for everyone. We offer outpatient treatment for adults and adolescents, as well as residential treatment for adults. Our caring, empathetic clinicians are ready and willing to walk alongside you for every step of the healing process. Reach out to us at (512) 306-1394 when you’re ready. We’re here for you.