Freedom: Fostering Autonomy and Independence

Freedom: Fostering Autonomy and Independence

One of the best predictors of any individual’s success is the strength of their belief that they have the competence to achieve their goals as well as the belief that they have the agency to make the changes necessary to be successful. Within the context of addiction, however, this recipe for success can be stifled which can leave the addict in a state of powerlessness and without confidence. This then begs the question of, “when is the appropriate time to begin allowing more freedom in order to facilitate a sense of autonomy and agency over their lives?” Unfortunately, there is no play book or specific guidelines that answers this question with a specific answer.

For some addicts who have already engaged in a treatment program before, and who have a deeper understanding of the necessary foundations of a solid recovery program, it may be advisable to support them by allowing more independence in their routines. On the other hand, an individual who has never been through any type of treatment program previously, and who has no knowledge of what it will take to obtain and then maintain sobriety, it may be more appropriate that they remain under a higher level of supervision in order to prevent the impulsivity associated with early sobriety. While these may be the extremes on both ends of the spectrum, it accurately illustrates the reality that no one, other than possibly the suffering addict (but not likely), can identify exactly the time to impose less structure or when to lessen the constraints on the newly sober addict. The obvious and easy solution to this problem is to transfer responsibility of decision making over to professionals in treatment facilities to work in conjunction with the addict in order personalize their program.

The problem with this, however, is that treatment facilities almost always operate under one over girding structure whereby all addicts are run through the same sequence of treatment regardless of where they might be personally. The management of individualized programs is too difficult for facilities who might be housing anywhere from 6-60 clients at a time. There is another solution, however, and the problem was identified by Hired Power in their search for an alternative treatment option that highlights and focuses on the individual needs of each client. Personal Recovery Assistants and continuing care managers work in collaboration with other addiction professionals in order create a balanced structure of allowing autonomy and independence but while also ensuring a focus on accountability and stress management. Hired Power can provide help for the specific needs of our loved ones today!