A Day At Anatta – The Anatta Module – A Counsellor And Client’s Narrative And Experience

Alcohol Addiction in India
May 4, 2020
Fear of Missing Out
June 24, 2020

A Day At Anatta – The Anatta Module – A Counsellor And Client’s Narrative And Experience

The module is Holistic, Voluntary, exclusive, individualized for Single client treatments and tailor-made for the same at a Destination of choice.

All primary therapeutic modalities are completed prior to lunch.

WAKE UP TIME TO BREAKFAST

The programme is Non-regimented

Aim - the individual experiences the freedom to decide when he/she sleeps or wakes up. Initiates and evolves self -discipline and responsibility.

The day begins with a Meditation lasting about 25minutes called the Kundalini for the morning ,which is a wake up meditation. Every meditation is active, cathartic and psychotherapeutic.

Aim – Slow the intensity, frequency and duration of thoughts. To enhance the practice of being in the present. To increase a state of awareness thereby not dwelling on the past or being apprehensive about the future. To release suppressed and repressed emotions and physical cellular memories of painful incidents of the past.

Through the meditative processes, the addictive patterns are made conscious and dealt with, the stubborn emotional memories and habitual patterns of thinking emoting and behaving that get stored in the body get released. Compassion towards self and self love develops and evolves.

Eg. Clients have shared that as a few weeks passed they experienced their thoughts slowing down. Any emotion that would in the past linger and trouble them dissipated quickly.

Observations - physical restlessness subsided. The ability to focus at any task at hand improved. Insight into one’s self and one’s emotions improved. Calmness surfaced.

This is followed by tea with the counselors which can go on to a Counselling session for over 2 hours at times.

  • Eclectic modes of counselling are adopted individualized to each client.
  • Self-disclosure is the foundation of any of the counseling activities
  • This can happen anytime of the day or night the duration of which is dependent on the issue at hand that the client faces.
  • Residential counselors are available 24/7

Aim - Self - disclosure sharing through experiential counsellors enables the client to identify with one’s own experiences and proves inspirational and motivational to do what it takes to not find the need to use.

Client Experience

I generally start my day between 5:30am and 6:00am. I’m able to comfortably go down and make a cup of coffee and bring it to my room where I am able to sit on the balcony and enjoy the morning coolness. Sometimes substituting the patio out front if there is another client awake.

  • This early time spent alone gives me time to put myself in the mindset of beginning my day of recovery and bringing forth the energy I'll need.

After doing my first meditation (Kundalini) I’m able to sit with one of my counselors and share with him/her whats on my mind or anything that may be bothering me. Often it leads to some struggle that I have had in my past. Mornings are good for me, it seems to flow more smoothly. Also, other clients may be sharing as well and I get to relate to their experiences as well the counselors.

  • Kundalini is a powerful meditation that helped me clear my thoughts as well as helped to give me an energy boost in the morning. It helped me overcome my inhibitions so I could share my thoughts more easily with others. Early on I realised that the more I shared the more I was able to relate to others and get a better understanding of the problem and the actual truth behind it.

BREAKFAST TO LUNCH

Reading
  • Books on the subject of Addiction and its various facets including sharings of those who experienced addiction and have gone beyond them.
  • Books on self-help and spiritual growth based on experience.

Aim - Understanding oneself in the light of one’s life and experiences away from the substance opens up the individual to new experiences.

Audio Visual aides –

Sharings regarding addiction or videos relevant to the topic, self-help, spiritual discourses etc.

Time and Duration - Completed before lunch, duration can vary as per the topic.

Aim - Identifying with one’s own life experiences while using, stimulates honest introspection of one self. And initiates desire for self -growth.

Introspective Journaling

Format of writing the perceived painful incident in detail and separately labelling the emotions felt during the incident and being aware where one is responsible in the process. Every writing session is followed by a short meditation comprising of Indian Classical Instrumental music with periods of silence in between. This enables the emotions that have surfaced during the writing to settle without being suppressed or repressed again.

Apart from core individual issues, primary common issues of resentments and fears are dealt with. Sexuality, which, at most times is the most common reason for slips and relapses is dealt with very openly and healthily at Anatta.

Aim - Developing a detachment of the lingering emotions from the incident of the past leading to the development of new neural networks of perceiving, thinking and behaving and assuming responsibility for one’s life .

The journey of self – discovery through honest writing though initially painful , becomes exciting and helps to identify the patterns of ones perceptions of life events and identifications with the persona after substance use . Acceptance of self surfaces. Identifications are broken and life is looked at, emotions experienced and dealt with realistically.

Eg. A client shared that due to the writing he changed so much, through a 180 degree internal transformation that he could not believe that he was that person whose experiences he had written about .

Client Experience

Soon after I would freshen up have breakfast with everyone and begin my writing. I usually pick a spot where I am not disturbed, outdoors if aloud and weather permits. Immediately followed by my second meditation (Art of Listening).

  • Since meditation was the easiest and most enjoyable for me, writing was probably the most difficult. Though it was the most essential part it was the most painful. Writing incidents from my past whether it was resentments anger or guilt it was uncomfortable but eventually liberating. I realized that I didn’t have to understand or question it I just had to accept it.

Usually around this time all are awake and doing their respective things and I have more time to sit and have some coffee and have a leisure conversation and/or more sharing may happen. Anytime between 9am and 11am a counselor will take me to the gym which is close by and may either join me or wait for me to do my workout or swim laps in the pool.

  • Doing my workout at the gym gave me the opportunity to release my anxiety/stress and helped also with building my endurance and perseverance. I always felt more calm and had a sense of accomplishment afterwards.

We would usually watch a video or 2 before lunch and discuss any relevant issues. I enjoy reading, so often I would read books recommended to me by the counselors.

  • Reading and discussing issues from our video’s for example Father Martins Chalk talks or Ted talks dealing with procrastination, awareness, mindfulness and elasticity of the brain would further my knowledge and give me more tools and techniques for my recovery.

After my morning routine we all have lunch together and enjoy each other’s company.

LUNCH TO EVENING MEDITATION

Entertainment On a daily level –

Going to the gym/ swimming as might be the choice are carried out. Sharing can happen over a game too.

Most clients would not rest in the afternoon .

Hence we could have sharing sessions on any particular topic which could go on to a impromptu Counselling sessions blended in .

The professional pool table would be where we would gather and play various games of pool . Indoor games or outdoor games like table tennis are also indulged in.

At around 4 pm the afternoon mediation of Nadhbrahma is facilitated. This especially aides in slowing the thoughts, relaxing the mind-body, establishing focus , raising awareness and promoting calmness.

Client Experience

Around 4pm we start our next meditation (Nadhbrahma) which last an hour and then have some free time to play billiards or table tennis. On occasions one of the counselors may take us to a nearby mountain for a trek or hike.

  • Nadhbrahma is a wonderful meditation which helped me get centered in my head. It would help me get focused on being in the present and stop my mind from wandering so much. In doing this I was able to better listen to others and enjoy more moments that I may normally miss if my head was not clear. I was better able to get a clear picture of where I was and where I needed to be.

EVENING TO BED TIME

The Evening meditation would be at around 7 pm for about a little over an hour. This particular one enhanced one’s awareness of the observer behind our actions. Hence, while dancing, watching a video, listening to music, following a guided meditation, being aware of the observer. In Addiction, this enabled one to become aware of the addictive thoughts , one’s patterns of perception and emoting.

This is followed by dinner which can be followed by a Karaoke session and or movie nights or games.

Client Experience

Our final (Evening meditation) concludes around 8pm and we have a lovely dinner. We usually all agree on a movie to watch or we may do karaoke after our meal.

ADDITIONAL ANATTA THERAPEUTIC ENGAGEMENTS

Hypnotic Regression Therapy

Three sessions are recommended. Method is Clinical Hypnotherapy based regression therapy.

Incidents which have been extremely painful emotionally that have been repressed by the mind are brought to the conscious mind and dealt with in a safe, accepting environment.

Every client without exception, has benefitted from this therapy and has experienced a feeling of freedom from the weight of certain emotional experiences.

Yoga and Pranayama

Specific Yoga asanas and Pranayamas are individualized to each clients requirement and willingness.

The asanas enable one to balance the interior hormonal balance and circulatory harmony . The core muscles are toned better and strenghtened. Recovery is faster from physical discomforts.

Breath correction techniques correct a lot of emotional imbalances too as most individuals do not breathe correctly. The breath and emotions are closely linked – one , affects the other. Correcting the breath and watching it creates a sense of calm .

Eg - Clinical Observations – individuals who mouth breathe are always overtly anxious individuals who go into intense anxiety states easily, have paranoid traits, are suspicious and insecure.

[The Client’s perspective has not been given here as the above therapies have very subconscious and subjective experiences and results which cannot be explained.]

ANATTA OUTPUT

About once a week or two

Meals out, movies, treks, shopping are all included .

A Long-term residential client , once he reached month 3 depending on the progress he has made therapeutically, would be allowed to go out on his own given a car, money to go to the mall, movies, meals , shopping etc. If there were any challenges he/she faced, the conducive environment of the counselors were always present back at the facility to guide them.

This freedom and trust might not be soon available to the client once he goes back home.

Aim - This is to break the associations between using and fun. Also to develop skills of socializing, decision making, responsible use of freedom, learn to face failure and succeed again . Experiencing and living joyful and fun filled moments created the confidence that one can be happy and totally enjoy activities without resorting to a “high”

This is the true output on behalf of the client- wherein he/she could truly experience being on one’s own without someone to watch over. This builds confidence and trust in oneself and the experience of simple pleasures of life of what might appear simple to others , without finding the need to use.

Eg - Clients have shared that going out on a picnic without a case of alcohol in the boot was unimaginable earlier

Another client shared that not smoking a joint before and after a movie felt strange.

Singing karaoke without alcohol was inconceivable to many.

Clients have also shared being daunted, what will I do alone? But experiencing the same would always take them a step ahead in building self- confidence and experience to stay sober .

Client Experience

Maybe once or twice a week we may go out to the mall to do some shopping and have a meal or 2 out or even see a movie.

  • Along with the day to day activity of learning and understanding I was most thrilled to be able to use what I learned. To see and feel the confidence inside of me in the outside world and to be able to gain that trust from Anatta when they finally let me go out on my own.
  • I would go out on my own in my third month of stay, to the mall , meals or movies, treks and gym. I had a car and money at my disposal.
  • This experience of being on my own, practically living my life the way I truly wanted it, built up my confidence and trust in myself, that I could make it once I go back home.

CONCLUSION

Thus Anatta’s Alternate Life Therapy programme entails a holistic transformation of the individual, who re-joins life as a productive, collaborative member of society who has learnt to live realistically . A true re-habilitation.
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