The META Protocol and Its Place at Roots Recovery

The META Protocol and Its Place at Roots Recovery

For those struggling with mental health disorders, typical treatment and therapy options are often insufficient for full recovery from mental illness. While very effective, these more traditional ways of coping with mental health disorders can cause individuals to become dependent on them. Dependence on this treatment or therapy can have negative financial impacts or cause an individual to feel stuck. 

In modern mental healthcare, new ways of coping with mental health have emerged. This includes the mindfulness and EMDR treatment template for agencies (META, sometimes referred to as METTA). At Roots Recovery, the META protocol is practiced and implemented in care for clients with mental health disorders.

What Is the META Protocol?

The META protocol combines mindfulness techniques and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), using a Buddhist approach to mental healthcare. This protocol helps clients and professionals target the root of substance abuse and/or trauma. 

Mindfulness techniques help those struggling with mental health disorders or substance use disorders (SUDs) regulate their emotions and bring themselves back to the present moment. With emotional regulation and staying in the present moment, someone can redirect negative thoughts or feelings into something positive. Over time, mindfulness practice can help individuals in their daily life without an intense focus on staying in the present. Eventually, clients develop a sense of peace and a deeper understanding of the self in order to cope and persist past daily struggles.

With the combination of mindfulness practices and psychotherapy, a broad range of clients can benefit from the META protocol.

Who May Benefit From the META Protocol?

Typically those who are recovering from SUDs and trauma-related mental health disorders, such as but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), benefit from the META protocol. Specifically for those recovering from SUDs and the rate of relapse after treatment, many professionals recommend incorporating trauma-focused therapy and/or treatment into the recovery program. These approaches are recommended for those with SUDs since the recovery process can co-occur with trauma. 

The META Protocol at Roots Recovery

At Roots Recovery, the META protocol helps clients form a deeper connection with themselves in order to heal. Through mindfulness techniques, the client repairs the connection between their mind, body, and spirit. This deeper understanding allows those in the program to gain a deeper understanding not only of themselves but of the root of their trauma and/or substance abuse. Rather than treating SUDs and PTSD by “fixing what is broken”, the team at Roots Recovery helps clients heal their entire being. This approach to care helps clients not only understand themselves but helps them address the root cause and persevere past it. 

In developing healthy coping mechanisms, especially through mindfulness practices, clients learn to cope with their SUD and/or trauma. These ways of self-driven coping allow clients to achieve their goals, continue on their journey of abstinence and/or trauma healing, and incorporate healthy habits into their daily lives.

Other programs at Roots Recovery that may also be beneficial to those with PTSD and/or SUDs are seeking safety, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and exposure therapies.

Mindfulness at Roots Recovery

At Roots Recovery, the mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) program helps clients practice introducing mindful awareness in their lives. When suffering from addictive trappings and/or tendencies, practicing mindfulness helps clients increase awareness of triggers, destructive habits, and their automatic responses to events or feelings. This mindful awareness then guides clients to reconstruct these thoughts and habits, helping them react more calmly and positively. MBRP is designed to help clients pause and observe the present moment before instantly reacting, teaching clients to observe their surroundings and choose a reaction to the present moment that serves them the best. Practicing mindfulness helps remove clients from their destructive habits.

While MBRP is typically introduced into programs of clients with SUDs, those suffering from traumatic trappings may also benefit from mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness for those with trauma helps clients stay in the present moment instead of letting thoughts and/or feelings take over their being. 

Practicing mindfulness long-term can allow clients to develop a sense of control over themselves, their thoughts, and their emotions to resist traumatic and addictive trappings. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing at Roots Recovery

EMDR at Roots Recovery helps clients replace negative emotional reactions to difficult memories with more positive reactions. In EMDR, clients will perform a series of back-and-forth eye movements, repeating them for 20-30 seconds. This is also referred to as dual stimulation where the client stimulates their brain with repetitive eye movement while also stimulating their emotions to a traumatic event. 

EMDR helps clients restructure their emotional reactions to events or feelings. When paired with mindfulness techniques in the META protocol, clients become more aware of their present moment, take up more space and time to react positively, and can break away from destructive habits and tendencies over time.

Here at Roots Recovery, we implement the META protocol into client programs. The META protocol uses mindfulness techniques paired with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) in order to help clients heal from their traumatic and/or addictive trappings. Often those struggling with substance use disorders experience trauma. When combined with an overwhelming recovery process, relapse is more common. The META protocol helps clients bring themselves back to the present moment, understand their thoughts and feelings on a much deeper level, and introduce healthier coping mechanisms into their daily lives for long-term, positive results. To learn more about the META protocol at Roots Recovery, please call us at (562) 473-0827.

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