Posted on August 5, 2016 by Laura Fuller
By: Aubri Clements, MSW, LCDC-I| NeuroPlasticity Specialist
PNP and the therapeutic component have very different, yet equally important roles in the treatment process here at Origins. I joined the Origins family as a member of the PsychoNeuroPlasticity (PNP) department, which focuses highly on building healthy coping skills, neurological healing, and transformation. This can be anything from breathing techniques for anxiety management to guided imagery for trauma, to Neurotherapy to disrupt negative thought patterns. The therapeutic component is then the forum where these coping skills are applied to the client’s specific situations and needs. After being at Origins for about a year, I enrolled back in school to get my Masters in Social Work and was afforded the opportunity to complete my internship as a clinical intern on the men’s campus. Due to the fact that I continued to work in the PNP department while completing my internship, I was provided a unique glimpse into how the worlds of PNP and clinical healing merge together to create a safe space for healing.
There are many, but one of the most prevalent examples of this blend of PNP and therapeutic services is when it comes to healing from trauma. A great number of the clients that come through our doors are carrying some form of trauma with them. Just like any other experience one may have in life, trauma molds perceptions of self and the world in which we live. These perceptions can often manifest in ways such as anxiety, low self-esteem, or difficulty sleeping. All of which impede the healing process, and make it difficult to move forward in recovery. For example, if a client presents with high levels of anxiety because of childhood abuse they may need to work on feeling safe and grounding coping skills. PNP would create an individualized treatment plan that centers in interventions such as; learning about one’s unique stress symptoms, calming breathing techniques, guided imagery to create a mental safe place, and the use of essential oils such as lavender which has a calming effect. As the client learns these new coping skills, the clinical team takes these coping skills and assists the client with practical application. This may look like taking the client for a walk and doing some deep breathing after a difficult phone call with a family member, or possibly utilizing the mental safe place the client has created in order to relieve heightened emotions while processing a past trauma with EMDR or another avenue.
As it is very well expressed on our website, part of the Origins philosophy is that “One of the most prevalent factors that occurs with addiction as well as other destructive lifestyles is the erosion of the brain function. One of the primary needs is the underlying healing of the negative neurological patterns and the successful transformation into new life and awareness.” We strive to create a space where one’s body, mind, and spirit can heal. The immersion of PNP and clinical treatment is a wonderful example of this.