The healing process can be a tricky concept to wrap our heads around. Every person is different, so every person’s healing journey is also different. However, three important qualities can significantly impact the effectiveness of healing. Qualities such as patience, flexibility, and resilience are required to withstand and endure an effective healing process.
Patience is one of the most important qualities of the healing process. There’s a reason for the common saying, “Time heals all wounds.” This is because all healing takes time. Whether you’re healing from a cut on your finger, a broken bone, or significant trauma, it will inevitably take time to heal. Passing time may feel painful and counterproductive; however, that is often when the most healing occurs.
For example, physical therapy can be a painful experience, as the patient has to re-teach their body to move in certain ways that used to be easy. Muscles stretch and tear and contract. While this can be very painful, the body must get stronger. The same can be true of our emotions and feelings; it may be difficult now, but it doesn’t mean it’ll be this way forever. Sometimes, things have to be broken down so they can be rebuilt properly. Being patient through the healing process may sometimes feel impossible, but remember that it’s worth the lasting healing that follows.
Combining multiple resources may also help the healing process be more effective. For example, if a clinician is trying to help someone recover from substance use disorder (SUD), the clinician may use both evidence-based and innovative techniques. They may combine the following techniques to create a personalized treatment plan for their patient:
These complementary approaches ensure that the patient is treated as a whole person rather than only being treated for their symptoms of addiction. Statistics show that this approach and a good support system and patience can set the patient up for a more successful recovery.
Being flexible is another vital quality in the healing process. Flexibility will look different for everyone, as everyone has different personalities, goals, and motivations. As a result, it is important to be as flexible as possible to ensure healthy healing.
Flexible healing may look like taking a mental health day off of work and responsibilities for some people. This could allow the nervous system and brain to rest, which is extremely important to overall health.
For others, flexible healing may look like changing treatment providers or therapeutic approaches utilized in treatment. If a technique is not working or is uncomfortable, asking for a change is okay. It’s also okay if healing doesn’t happen overnight. As we’ve already discussed, healing takes time. Habits must break, toxic patterns must be redeemed, and neural pathways must be rewired. It all takes time and might be a trial and error process to find the most effective approaches. Furthermore, flexibility and adaptability are useful qualities in the healing process and everyday life.
Resilience is another valuable quality in almost every area of life, but especially in the healing process. How we respond to adversity and setbacks is an ongoing challenge in life. Yes, we need to be patient and flexible, but those qualities won’t be helpful if we can’t press on, especially when it gets hard.
As the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) explains, “Resilience is the ability of individuals to not succumb to adverse experiences and is the typical response to adversity.” Yet, the HHS also highlights that there are conflicting views on whether resilience is an inherent quality or if it’s a skill that can be taught.
An article in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology argues that resilience will vary based on each person. It poses that there may not be a “right” way to cope or react to something; rather, the effectiveness of a coping tool depends on the person. In this section of research, they refer to the concept of “regulatory flexibility,” stating that while there isn’t a specific way to practice resilience, there are three factors of flexibility that tie into someone’s ability to be resilient. The three factors of flexibility include:
The good news in all of this is that there’s hope for healing. Even though patience, flexibility, and resilience are important qualities that help get through the healing process, exhibiting them perfectly all the time is not a requirement. The even better news is that it can be done with others.
Here at Sage Recovery, we know there are multiple healing pathways. Each person’s healing journey is unique, personal, and important. That’s why we create customized treatment plans so patients can explore treatments and approaches that work for them. In addition to individualized treatment, we also offer the following services:
No matter how much healing may be needed, it’s never too late to ask for help.
Here at Sage Recovery, we know how hard it can be to heal from the hard things you’ve been through – but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. We know how many roadblocks there are, and we also know how to help you overcome them. Whether you need outpatient care, an intensive outpatient program, a partial hospitalization program, or residential treatment, we can help. Our masters-level clinicians are experts in their fields and extensively trained in providing trauma-informed care. This ensures that you will always be treated with dignity and respect. We know how much courage it takes to want to heal and we can help you along the way. Reach out to us at (512) 306-1394 for more information.