Men and women can be driven to addiction through similar circumstances, but both groups experience addiction and recovery differently. As such, it’s beneficial for treatment to be customized to suit the unique needs of men and women.
1. It removes expectations.
Recovery requires vulnerability. Many men and women find it easier to be vulnerable and speak candidly about the issues they are facing while in the presence of members of the same gender. When men are with men and women are with women, there is no need to put on a facade to cover up your feelings.
2. It fosters open, honest discussions.
Frank discussions about life’s highs and lows help men and women understand that they are not alone in their experience. It reduces judgment and shame and leads to more compassion and understanding.
We can’t help but feel comfortable around people who are similar to us. Feeling comfortable and safe is critical to recovery since true healing requires you to make yourself vulnerable, confront your past and share your experiences.
3. It reduces romantic distractions.
The primary benefit of treatment for addiction is that it allows people to focus wholly on getting well. But when both genders are present, the opportunity for romantic distractions arises. Although a romantic relationship might serve as a pleasant distraction from what you’re going through, it’s ultimately a distraction that takes your focus off of what really matters: your recovery.
When men are with men and women are with women, it reduces the need to keep up appearances or feel like you have to impress the opposite sex. For many people, gender-specific addiction treatment offers one less distraction so clients can focus all of their time and energy on healing.
4. It focuses on gender-specific issues.
Both men and women face pressures related to family, work, relationships and self-esteem, but those pressures are different. In gender-specific addiction treatment, clients are surrounded by people who know from personal experience what it’s like to experience addiction as a man or woman while dealing with the societal and cultural pressures of their gender. Additionally, clients can focus on one gender’s experience instead of bouncing back and forth.
5. It facilitates bonding.
In gender-specific treatment, men and women can bond over shared experiences, and they also have the opportunity to bond over new ones. A strong peer network is critical to maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse, so gender-specific treatment often incorporates activities that strengthen such vital connections outside of the traditional group therapy setting.
At BRC Recovery, for example, residents participate in a range of relationship-building outings and activities, including:
- Group fitness classes
- Group meditation
- Bonfires and barbecues
- Trips to Austin, TX
Start Creating the Life You Want
Many men and women who are struggling with substance abuse benefit in BRC Recovery’s gender-specific environment and unique culture because it enables them to focus entirely on recovery. For more information about our gender-specific recovery services, contact a BRC Recovery Specialist at 1.866.905.4550.