Restoring personal and social meaning
The process of recovery from mental disorder, or from any life-disrupting situation, can naturally develop if the optimal environmental and interpersonal conditions are provided. Our human body/mind systems are intrinsically oriented toward health and balance, but it is impossible to predict the extent of someone’s future recovery of health. Any successful treatment begins and ends with the caregiver’s hopeful attitude about the person’s potential for significant recovery. This attitude communicates a sense of trust to the person that his or her experience is valued, can be understood, and can be worked with. The art of basic attendance is to skillfully be with the person with maximal attentiveness and flexibility through the stages of recovery. Experience shows that at some point the person simply begins to respond positively to the healthy environment of the Windhorse team. At Windhorse Community Services, we place a high value on such a positive attitude of hope and workability.
Often the most painful aspect of mental disorder is the person’s sense of loneliness and alienation. One’s basic connection to self and others is in doubt and one ceases to recognize and trust oneself. When a person who is suffering in this way is in an environment that combines attentive care with the companionship of engaging people:
- That person can begin to relax and be curious about his or her experience.
- He or she can then begin to reconnect with a realistic confidence in his or her mind and actions, which naturally carries over into relating properly to the surroundings.
- This process can lead to a renewed appreciation for what one has been through and even forgiveness of oneself.
These gains, combined with abatement of symptoms, are the elements of genuine recovery. Reengagement with a meaningful life is then within reach, which is the ultimate goal of every Windhorse treatment.