The discipline of martial arts is an overlooked in the recovery process of chemical dependency.
As a licensed psychotherapist, I come across many individuals who for one reason or another have become addicted to either prescribed drugs or "street" drugs. In addiction, the drug of choice becomes ones "lover" and the desire to "please" that lover overtakes every aspect on ones life. Although we have many researched based based psychotherapies and orientations to treat chemical dependency, the client must first "want" to make a change. The therapist is only a coach and can only re-wright the client's playbook in order to run a new play for a different outcome. However, the "coach" ie. therapist cannot run the play for them.
So what does this have to do with the martial arts? Everything!!! As a psychotherapist and a Master Martial Arts Instructor, I feel a personal responsibility to my students and my clients to offer them alternative methods of help to "slay the dragon" that rules their life. Since substance abuse is harmful to mental and physical health, healing, in mind, body and spirit is a must. One can go through the 12 steps program, Motivational Interviewing, and Relapse Prevention in a 28 day program, half way house, ot any other treatment facility, but until the individual makes up his/her mind to "run a new play" one gets what they have always gotten--failure.
This is where the martial arts comes in. In my school, anyone with a good heart and a true desire to train is never turned away. If one is serious in trying an alternative method or a collabrative effort with mainstreem medicine, then you have found the right place.
Drugs and alcohol can leave the human body in a position of weakness and poor ability to heal. Applying a Martial Arts program can improve both physical health and mental health. Some of the benefits associated with the Martial Arts are:
Reduction of stress
Increased muscle strength
Improved hand and eye coordination
These are the physical, but is does not stop here. What one learns on the mat applies off the mat as well. Respect for self and others, honor, integrity, self esteem, and the fact that God, Buddha or whatever one believes in does not create "junk." In her book, The Portable Therapist, Susanna McMahon, PhD poses a question to the reader, "What is good for me today?" I know that sounds selfish, but if today doesn't not work for you, it is not goig to be a good day for everyone connected to you. It is nor selfishness--it is self esteeem.
Martial arts focus on overcoming psychological challenges of addiction to mask the pain of the "human condition." Hey, we all are human and we all struggle with the "Human Condition," Google it! It is an eye opener. Applying the principals of the martial arts will help clear the stress, help the truma, control the cravings and re-invent oneself into an individual who believes that self worth and self esteem are greater than shooting "junk" or looking at the bottom of a bottle.
if this has hit home, call me: Master Ken Ducote, MA, NCC, LPC, Master Martial Arts Instructor at Black Dragon Martial Arts, LLC from the Tactical Hapkido Alliance/ Universal Taekwondo Alliance, Under Grandmaster Barry Rodemaker. I challenge you to give yourself 3 months. Come and see and experience a different way to recovery and a new and fresh self start. I am the only licensed psychotherapist in Ascension Parish who is also a Martial Arts school owner and Master Instructor. Feel free to drop in anytime Monday through Thursday night and visit us or check out our credentials both professional and in the Arts. Don't be fooled by cheep trophies and bling. If you are serious about a life changing endeavor, this is it.