Heart of Trauma

Redefining Fun

When I work with younger people in their journey of recovery, one of the first roadblocks I encounter is combating their very destructive ideas about what fun and excitement looks like. I once had a mentor of mine describe insanity as changing our goals to meet our behaviors! To most individuals, running from police, getting beat up or exploited sexually, using chemicals and being on the verge of overdose and... Read More

Nourishing the Body, Nourishes the Soul

The Refuge – A Healing Place is a residential treatment program, in Ocklawaha, FL, that specializes in substance abuse, Trauma, PTSD and co-occurring disorders. The program is 12-step based with a strong  emphasis on holistic and experiential modalities that include Equine, Somatic Experiencing®, Art Therapy, Massage, Meditation, Acupuncture and an array of other body based and experiential treatment approaches. 

Healing Through Experiential Therapy

When an individual experiences a traumatic event it can impact the emotional, physical and spiritual state of that person. As a survival mechanism, the body and mind tend to disconnect to allow the person to cope with the unwanted experience. While traditional talk therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can be helpful, experiential therapies allow the individual to access various parts of the brain not traditionally accessed by talk therapy.... Read More

The Healing Ability of Gratitude

By: Brennon Moore, MS, CTT, CADC-II   An addict can come to The Refuge and spend months, maybe  even years,  and do every assignment, attend every group and  process their past trauma  until their lips fall off, but they will  still need to work hard at their recovery  every day, starting the  moment they leave our property. In my experience, it  seems  that once a person changes the wiring of their... Read More

A trip home: A Lesson in Transgenerational Trauma

I recently had the opportunity to train an amazing group of professionals at a hospital in eastern Oregon, and it had me driving right through the town where I grew up! I decided to take a little detour through the main drag (about a 5-minute endeavor) to enjoy a little nostalgia. When you drive through my hometown in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon, you will see murals of the local... Read More

Miracles Happen Here

By: Denise Cannon Director of Nursing, The Refuge – A Healing Place I had made up my mind. I was set out to write a blog on Transformation in Recovery. As I started to review this process I realized as I look all around me how hard everyone works and contributes to make this happen. I am sure you have heard the saying it takes a” village” to raise a... Read More

Healing Trauma Through Somatic Experiencing

By: Kelly Benedict I have chosen the topic of Somatic Experiencing because I am a trauma survivor myself and this was the most effective method with which I healed. When I first started working at the Refuge as a house manager I was overwhelmed with the extent of pain I heard on a daily basis.  I was overcome with a sense of love, and wanting to help all these wounded... Read More

Healing Our Inner Child

By: Angela Smith Therapist, The Refuge – a Healing Place Inner Child therapy is vital in understanding how we have become who we are. The first thing I tell anyone approaching inner child work, is that it is NOT about blaming, it is about understanding. Our experiences in childhood have an impact on who we become as adults and how we learn to approach relationships.  Our own security is tied... Read More

Finding A New Tribe

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves  I have years of education, months of additional and specialized training and my own personal experiences in recovery from addiction and childhood trauma, but to some clients, I’m just another person with a position of power, and trusting me can be far... Read More

To The End Of A Smoke

By: Lisa Hicks, RN The Refuge – A Healing Place I am not writing this to tell you all the horrible details of smoking because you already have that information. We hear it on the television, the radio and the concerned relative. I am pretty sure it is common knowledge that smoking is harmful to your health. I am not going to bring guilt or shame upon you as many... Read More

Grieving at Warp Speed

By: Cheryl Bailey Therapist, The Refuge – A Healing Place In this western culture we live in there seems to be more and more pressure to get more and more done faster and ever more efficiently.  More and more, faster and faster.  To just do a job well is no longer enough.  If you met your goals this year, there will be an expectation that you accomplish even more next... Read More

Music’s Play on Fantasy: Are Lyrics Just Lyrics?

By: Sarah E.S. Watt, LMHC, CSAT Candidate Therapist, The Refuge – A Healing Place As a soon-to-be certified sex addiction therapist and a mother to a 2 and a half year old, I have begun to look at the culture of modern music a bit differently.   See what was once simply fun and catchy pop music becomes a bit more concerning.  Songs like “Blank Space” (2014) by Taylor Swift or... Read More

When the Phoenix Falls

There is one thing the media and sports fans love: A comeback story. We’ve all seen the pieces: dramatic music, flashes of childhood pictures, a high school coach or two talking about “raw talent!” Fast forward to times of trouble, flashes of news clippings reporting an athlete’s DUI, public misconduct, violent behavior or all-around misbehaving. Then, redemption! A year off, a secret trip to some treatment center on the beach... Read More

Working Through Legal Issues In Treatment

By: Mark Rosen Case Manager, The Refuge – A Healing Place Clients with legal issues in treatment typically experience anxiety and fear about their current and future outcomes.  Admitting to treatment alone can be an unnerving process, but imagine entering treatment with legal problems, and you believe that you might be facing incarceration after successfully completing treatment.  With effective communication, letter writing, and excellent advocacy on behalf of the client,... Read More

When Medical Trauma Becomes More Than A Broken Leg

By: Kristen Smith, LMHC Therapist, The Refuge – A Healing Place I have worked in the field of trauma therapy since the mid 1990’s. As a survivor of spiritual, emotional, mental, physical and sexual abuse, I did not become fully aware of also having a medical trauma history until Friday January 9, 2015.   I was aware of my medical injuries as a child, yet not aware of their impacts.  As... Read More