The numbers tell a story. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million people ages 18 and up. Depressive disorders are a leading cause of disability in the U.S., and are 10X more prevalent now than they were 50 years ago (with the average age of onset shifting from 30 to 15 years of age). Moreover in 2015, the lives of more than 20 million Americans were impacted by a substance abuse disorder (with an average of 90 overdose deaths per DAY related to prescription pain relievers and heroin). And one study pegs the relapse rate at 91%. That is correct, 99 of 109 opiate dependent patients that had been admitted to a residential addiction treatment service for detoxification reported a relapse within one month.
As practitioners, how are we going to rewrite this story? The emergence of positive oriented treatment programs represent a starting point. Positive affect can be defined as the practice of being GOOD in attitude and effect. Resilience as the ability to persist in the face of adversity. A growing research base shows that these two variables can be taught and leveraged to the benefit of clients (with initial results indicating recovery rates that double as a result). Highlighting the opportunity. An opportunity I'm looking to explore with six dynamic souls during the spring semester. Dynamic souls that recognize the need to embrace a treatment modality built on the foundation of love. Dynamic souls driven to create the change we all want to see.