What are holistic treatment centers ?

It is always somewhat difficult to generalise about the nature of treatment centers, as they can vary widely both in terms of location, clinical staff, treatment methods and clinical programs. An holistic treatment center is a term that can be applied to many so-called normal or ordinary treatment centers, but the term holistic tends to imply a sort of whole person approach that can appeal to many people, but in reality needs to be thought through and analysed quite carefully.

An holistic treatment center will offer a wide range of approaches to dealing with the nature of alcoholism and other types of addiction. A treatment center or rehab of any variety will have its own experience and clinical approaches to alcoholism and other types of addiction. Many a rehab treatment center will have borrowed some of the principles and literature of Alcoholics Anonymous and adapted them to their own programmes.

An holistic treatment center will sell itself in part on the nature of its therapeutic programs, but also on a sense that it is addressing the whole person, not simply an addiction or a part of an addiction.

A rehab or treatment center will address primarily the issue of a person’s alcoholism, and also that of a person being addicted to drugs, both described and illegal. In addition a rehab may well address other types of addiction such as gambling, food, sex addiction etc.

A holistic treatment center will often take all of these addictions and lump them together, and present a program that deals more with the nature of the individual than with their specific alcoholism or other addiction. This is not to say that this is the right approach, simply that it may be a different and seemingly more attractive way to deal with the nature of some of alcoholism.

It is likely that an holistic treatment center will see alcoholism more as a life skills type issue rather than a specific illness, needing to be addressed by the by a 12 step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous, or by a number of the principles that organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous embody.

A word of caution needs to be flagged up about the concept of holistic treatment centers. This is not to say that there is anything specifically wrong with any holistic treatment center in itself, but simply that there is an aspect to them that needs to be considered.

The term holistic can seem much more attractive than simply the term rehab or treatment center, implying a more sensitive and caring approach to the individual and the nature of their alcoholism. It is certainly true that someone who is an alcoholic needs to be treated with dignity and respect and needs to be able to address their alcoholism in a safe and secure environment.

Any rehab or treatment center that is going to be effective must respect this. An holistic treatment center can certainly be true to this, and needs to be judged not simply on whether it is holistic or not, but what that really means in person. A holistic treatment center will offer, or probably offer a range of non-therapeutic approaches to alcoholism as well as a number of proven treatment methods.

These can be of benefit in terms of addressing physical and nutritional needs, but need to be done in the context of effective proven therapeutic techniques as well.