What Are the Benefits of Person-Centered Therapy for Healing at the Cellular Level?

Addiction Recovery Publishing Addiction Recovery June 12, 2024

What Are the Benefits of Person-Centered Therapy for Healing at the Cellular Level?

One of the most important factors that come into play in recovery is the concept of “acceptance.” This is also a major aspect of person-centered therapy. The creator of person-centered therapy, American Psychologist Carl Rogers, said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” This willingness to change is the cornerstone of recovery.

What Does Healing at the Cellular Level Look Like?

Dr. Carl Rogers also said, “The facts are always friendly; every bit of evidence one can acquire, in any area, leads one that much closer to what is true.” Getting to that truth is part of what it means to heal at the cellular level.

Healing at the cellular level is about holistically healing the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self (“holism” meaning whole). Also, healing at the cellular level is about addressing all of one’s issues in tandem rather than focusing on one piece at a time. For example, one cannot heal the body if the mind is not at rest, and if the mind is not at rest, one cannot find emotional stability, and if one is controlled by one’s emotions, one won’t have the ability to focus on their spiritual principles. Everything is connected.

Healing at the cellular level also means leaving no stones unturned. This includes getting to the root/core causes of one’s addiction and/or mental illness.

What Does It Mean to Get to the Root/Core Causes of Addiction And/or Mental Illness?

It is not enough to simply address one’s external struggles (negative actions or behaviors). No, it is critical to get to the issues that cause those behaviors to happen in the first place. These are underlying root/core causes that must be worked on. They can arise from many different places, but often, they are related to untreated trauma and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Trauma is far more common and affects way more individuals than many people may realize. According to the peer-reviewed journal Psychological Medicine, “General population studies have shown that a large proportion of people in developed countries have been exposed to at least one TE [traumatic event] in their lifetime (estimates from 28 to 90%), with the most common events being the unexpected death of a loved one, motor vehicle accidents, and being mugged… Another important issue is that many people with a history of TE exposure have been exposed to multiple TEs.”

These underlying issues (whether they are related to trauma or not) must be a core focus of one’s recovery plan and treatment. One of the means to focus on these underlying issues is via person-centered therapy.

What Is Person-Centered Therapy?

Person-centered therapy is all about motivation and positive growth. According to the peer-reviewed thesis, Person-Centered Therapy (Rogerian Therapy), by Doctors Yao and Kabir, “This form of psychotherapy is grounded in the idea that people are inherently motivated toward achieving positive psychological functioning. The client is believed to be the expert in their life and leads the general direction of therapy, while the therapist takes a non-directive rather than a mechanistic approach.” Also, “As the client explores their feelings, they will gain a clearer perception of themselves, leading to psychological growth.”

In explaining his process, Dr. Rogers was once quoted as saying, “In my early professional years, I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now, I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?” This relationship became central to his process in person-centered therapy.

Person-centered therapy is also about mutual respect and empathy. According to the International Journal of Person Centered Medicine, “Person-centered care promotes health by providing the experience of an outlook of unity in the therapeutic alliance, which can later be generalized beyond the alliance. An outlook of unity fosters well-being by activation of a synergistic spiral of increasing self-directedness, cooperativeness, and self-transcendence.” Also, “Only about 15 % of the variance in treatment outcome is attributable to specific techniques of different psychotherapeutic schools whereas about 85% of the variance in psychotherapy outcomes is explained by common factors shared by different approaches.”

This “outlook of unity” is, of course, not the only benefit of person-centered therapy. There are a multitude of others.

What Are the Benefits of Person-Centered Therapy?

The benefits of person-centered therapy can be seen in all essential aspects of healing at the cellular level. They address physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. The following are just a few of those vast benefits:

  • Can be particularly helpful for anxiety and depression
  • Helps with the stages of loss and grief
  • Can strengthen the trust one has in oneself and others
  • Helps with communication skills
  • Brings about a better sense of self-awareness
  • Leads people down the path of “self-actualization”
  • Helps with healthy sleep and eating patterns
  • Builds self-reliance, self-motivation, and self-esteem
  • Leads to better acts of self-expression
  • Helps with relationship-building
  • Can reduce feelings of self-harm and suicidal ideations

As one can see, these benefits and outcomes can be essential for those seeking a life away from active addiction. These benefits are also positively compounded when person-centered therapy is used in a comprehensive treatment plan.

Utilizing Person-Centered Therapy in a Comprehensive Treatment Plan

Treatment should never just focus on one modality. This is where many treatment facilities and recovery centers fall short. They only offer broad overarching recovery plans that are not designed on an individual basis.

The ideal types of recovery plans take a comprehensive multi-angled approach that utilizes as many means, methods, and modalities as necessary to help clients get to their underlying issues and heal at the cellular level. For example, an individual may find self-actualization and personal growth in a recovery plan with a foundation of person-centered therapy but be lacking in other essential areas. These areas can be filled by more experimental therapies like ketamine therapy, experiential therapies like nature immersion therapy, and holistic wellness approaches like yoga and meditation.

Person-Centered Therapy and Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine therapy is not as new as many people may believe. It has actually been around since the 1960s. Yet, it has faced many roadblocks due to social stigmas. 

However, it has now found a resurgence due to more and more studies pointing to its efficacy. According to the scientific journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, “Although initially developed as an anesthetic, over the past several decades ketamine has been revealed to have greater potential in the field of medicine. A growing body of literature has demonstrated the clinical value of ketamine across diverse settings, with emerging roles in pain medicine and treatment-resistant depression. Concurrently, efforts to uncover the mechanisms underlying ketamine’s actions are providing researchers with new insights into the relationship between consciousness and anesthesia.”

Ketamine therapy can help build upon self-actualization and personal growth, which is offered by person-centered therapy. It also offers many other benefits. A combination of person-centered therapy and ketamine therapy may be particularly helpful for people struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and substance use disorder (SUD).

Studies associated with the efficacy of ketamine and other psychotherapies were reported in the peer-reviewed journal Cureus. According to Cureus, “Seven studies included patients with alcohol use disorder, one study focused on heavy drinkers, and three studies elaborated extensively on alcohol withdrawal. The overall proportion of patients achieving abstinence and reduced consumption was most favorable in people receiving combination ketamine and psychotherapy treatment… Ketamine may be an effective therapeutic modality for people with alcohol use disorders who fail to respond to FDA-approved first-line agents.” Another therapy that can be highly beneficial is nature immersion therapy.

Person-Centered Therapy and Nature Immersion Therapy

Personal growth can also be acquired by the way in which one interacts with nature, and personal growth is not the only result of those interactions. According to the National Park Service, “Physical activity in a green space can improve cognitive control, short and long-term memory, and overall brain function… The mental and attention restoration achieved from walking in nature can improve performance on tasks in school and at work.” Also, “Exercising in nature leads to greater health benefits than performing the same activity indoors.” Of course, just as self-actualization is not the only benefit of person-centered therapy, improved cognition is not the only benefit of nature immersion therapy. 

According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Besides physical health improvements, nature exposure can bring about positive influence upon psychological constructs such as boredom, friendliness, well-being and liveliness. However, across more than one hundred studies on nature/wildlife exposure, stress mitigation has been shown to be one of the most consistent and important psychological benefits.” Also, “While cognitive restoration and physiological well-being are the prominent and renowned benefits of nature exposure, there is one important construct that is often overlooked in environmental psychology research studies – that is, the human-nature relationship; also known as connectedness to nature (CN).” The benefits are vast.

It is also true that interacting with all of the amazing nature that Hawaii’s Big Island offers on land is not where nature immersion therapy has to end. The beautiful Pacific Ocean of the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island also offers a variation of nature immersion in surf therapy.

Person-Centered Therapy and Surf Therapy

Many people who engage in surf therapy soon discover that they start to “find themselves” while engaging in the activity. Dr. Rogers once said, “The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.” This type of experiential therapy offers a positive opportunity for change.

Surf therapy also offers many other benefits. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Carefully planned water activities tailored to the needs of the individual can contribute to correct psychosocial and cognitive development. The International Surf Therapy Organization summarizes the benefits of adequately indicated surf therapy as follows: improved physical health and mobility; improved mental health, including reduction of specific symptoms, such as posttraumatic stress and depression; improved well-being (strengthening of trust and confidence, encouragement of independence, resilience and protective coping strategies) and improved social skills.”

Person-Centered Therapy and Horticulture Therapy

In recovery, people grow via new experiences. Dr. Rogers explained, “In a person who is open to experience, each stimulus is freely relayed through the nervous system, without being distorted by any process of defensiveness.” One new experience that can bring about profound change is the experience of getting one’s hands dirty and cultivating the earth in horticulture therapy.

Horticulture therapy is an experiential therapy that offers a myriad of benefits. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “People’s interactions with plants, through goal-orientated horticultural activities in the form of active gardening, as well as the passive appreciation of nature, could be therapeutic to people with mental disorders in many ways. First, horticulture could have emotional benefits, such as reducing stress, reducing psychiatric symptoms, stabilizing mood, and increasing the sense of tranquility, spirituality, and enjoyment. Second, it could help people to reduce fatigue and restore attention and cognitive ability.”

There are also benefits like improved self-esteem, increased communication skills, and creating a sense of belonging. These are benefits that both mirror and boost the benefits of person-centered therapy, as well as benefits that complement holistic healing practices like yoga and meditation.

Person-Centered Therapy and Holistic Healing Methods Like Yoga and Meditation

A therapy like person-centered therapy can majorly benefit from holistic practices that help to center a person. Two of the most prominent practices that can offer this are yoga and meditation. Also, there is a reason why they are the most prominent – because, over the years, they have shown the most promise.

The benefits of yoga are hard to understate. According to the International Journal of Yoga (IJOY), “Regular practice of yoga promotes strength, endurance, flexibility and facilitates characteristics of friendliness, compassion, and greater self-control, while cultivating a sense of calmness and well-being. Sustained practice also leads to important outcomes such as changes in life perspective, self-awareness, and an improved sense of energy to live life fully and with genuine enjoyment.” Also, “The practice of yoga produces a physiological state opposite to that of the flight-or-fight stress response and with that interruption in the stress response, a sense of balance and union between the mind and body can be achieved.”

Dr. Rogers once said, “When I look at the world, I’m pessimistic, but when I look at people, I am optimistic.” Not only can this optimism be greatly increased via meditation (particularly self-optimism), but the pessimistic worldview can be greatly decreased.

Like yoga, meditation’s benefits are vast and varied. According to the International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda (AYU), “During the process of meditation, accumulated stresses are removed, energy is increased, and health is positively affected overall. Research has confirmed a myriad of health benefits associated with the practice of meditation. These include stress reduction, decreased anxiety, decreased depression, reduction in pain (both physical and psychological), improved memory, and increased efficiency.” As one can see, it is not a stretch to see the similarities in the benefits of person-centered therapy and holistic healing practices like meditation.

The Importance of Growth at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we understand the importance of personal growth and forward momentum in recovery. This is why all of our recovery plans focus on positive progression.

In continuation of highlighting the wisdom of Dr. Rogers. He once said, “The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” The same is true with recovery.

Recovery is about the process, not the past. It is about the journey, never the destination, and there is no better place to start that journey than right here with us at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab.

Person-centered therapy is an exceptional modality to focus on growth in recovery. Also, growth and forward momentum is essential when it comes to achieving long-term recovery. The key is to understand that the ability to recover is innate within oneself, and many people just need help discovering it. If you feel like you or a loved one are struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or co-occurring disorders, we can help get you on the road to long-term recovery right away. No one should go through the recovery process alone. You can do this. For more information about person-centered therapy and other types of effective treatments, please reach out to Exclusive Hawaii Rehab today at (808) 775-0200.