Recovery and religion: these two things often go hand in hand. But what if you’re not religious, or don’t consider yourself spiritual? What does this mean for your road to recovery?
Simply put, the word “secular” means nonreligious. Secular addiction treatment, then, is any form of treatment that’s not faith-based.
The Sanctuary is a holistic, non-12-Step drug addiction treatment center. We welcome people from all walks of life into our program, no matter what their religious or cultural backgrounds are. And we work closely with you to find the treatment approach that makes the most sense for you, taking your existing framework into account.
Let’s take a look at what options are out there, and how you can determine which is best for you.
Are AA and NA Secular?
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and other 12-Step programs were originally founded as faith-based recovery models, with guiding principles rooted in nondenominational Christianity. Today, AA and NA are much more secularized, with the intent of serving more people on their road to recovery. Just because you’re agnostic, atheist, or adhere to another religion doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t benefit from the 12 Steps.
Still, many of the steps in these programs are based on a set of spiritual principles. The main spiritual element is the idea that members must rely on an external “higher power” to be rescued from their addiction. Those struggling with addiction are also seen as being incapable of fully changing on their own – hence the belief that once an addict, you’re an addict for life.
Secular vs Faith-Based Recovery Programs
Those with other spiritual beliefs or nonreligious backgrounds may not completely resonate with the religious undertones in these programs. Because healing from addiction is already a challenging and vulnerable process, feeling even slightly uncomfortable in your treatment program can be a significant roadblock on your path to recovery.
There are many reasons why people might choose a secular addiction treatment program over a faith-based one. Some of these are:
- Feeling like they require you to act against your beliefs
- Not wanting to be further influenced while exploring your personal spiritual perspectives
- Having nonreligious worldviews
- Practicing atheism, agnosticism, freethought, or humanism
- Exploring new sources of meaning and purpose from a different perspective
- Preferring an alternative to traditional treatment programs
Secular models of treatment, including ours at The Sanctuary, acknowledge the power of addiction. But also believe that every person has their own power: the power of resilience, change, and adaptation to a life free from addiction.
Secular, Non-12-Step Addiction Treatment at The Sanctuary
We take great care to make sure our program is as inclusive as possible and make sure that you’re comfortable with the treatment process, no matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are.
If you’re looking for a safe space where your religious views are accepted:
The healing practices we employ are used as a basis for teaching, not in a religious context. You’re not required to have any specific religious or spiritual beliefs in order to benefit from our addiction treatment program.
Our practitioners are licensed professionals, each highly experienced in their respective fields. They approach treatment from a place of compassion, take the time to develop a rapport, use terminology that you’re familiar with, and speak to you in a way you can genuinely understand. Ultimately, this journey is yours – we’re just here to facilitate it using our collective expertise in various areas of healing.
If you don’t consider yourself spiritual or don’t have prior experience with alternative therapies:
At The Sanctuary, “holistic” programming isn’t just about the occasional yoga class. We believe that a program isn’t truly holistic if it’s not clinically and scientifically robust. All of our healing methods are method-based and grounded in science. We provide extensive addiction education and a complete library of research materials, which helps what you learn to make sense to your logical mind. Whether you prefer the language of science or that of spirituality, this integrative program speaks to the universal human experience that is addiction.
Whatever the case may be for you, your comfort and safety is a top concern for your therapists at The Sanctuary. You always have open permission to communicate your preferences – and we will always accommodate you accordingly.
Finding Recovery That’s Right for You
We know that the pain of addiction is very real and all-encompassing. But we also know that real healing is possible.
The Sanctuary at Sedona welcomes people from all walks of life, cultures, and religions into our rejuvenating space.
We’re here to guide you on a journey to discover the deeper causes of your addiction and to work towards complete physical, mental and spiritual healing. And the program we use to do so is completely customizable to your needs.
The road that led you into addiction is very different from anyone else’s experience. And so too is your path to recovery. No matter what path leads you there, everyone’s journey to an addiction-free life deserves to be celebrated.
Contact us today to get started on yours.
He is the Founder, Administrator, Counselor at the Sanctuary at Sedona.
He has a BA in Political Science and is currently Senior teaching staff at Four Winds Society, an international school of energy medicine. His credentials also include being an Ordained Minister; a Certified Shamanic Breathwork® Facilitator; a Founding Member Society for Shamanic Practitioners; a Member of Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology; a Member of the National Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies. [email protected]