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All About Wellness Programs

New Paradigm Recovery All About Wellness Programs

New Paradigm Recovery offers a wellness program to individuals enrolled in our Intensive Outpatient Program for Addiction Treatment, as well as for individuals enrolled in our Mental Health Program or those in individual therapy. While wellness programs have been tried and tested for many years in various clinical settings, many people have questions about what they are, how they’re used, and how they can help. Our amazing medical director, Anu Mathew, APRN, PMHNP-BC, answers frequently asked questions about wellness programs in general and ours specifically to help you learn about how a wellness program might help you.

When treatment professionals talk about a wellness program, what does that mean?

A wellness program typically refers to a structured plan or set of activities designed to promote overall health and well-being. These programs vary depending on the context in which they’re implemented, but they often include elements of physical exercise, nutrition, education, stress management techniques, mental health support, and other strategies aimed at improving one’s quality of life. Overall, the goal of a wellness program is to promote agency to individuals to take an active role in their health and make positive choices that contribute to their overall well-being.

In the context of addiction rehabilitation settings, wellness programs may be tailored to address the needs of individuals recovering from addiction. These programs incorporate therapies, counseling, and lifestyle interventions aimed at supporting recovery and helping individuals adopt healthier habits.

Is a wellness program something I have to do with a professional, or is it a self-led thing, or more like homework (things I do outside of the office when I’m working with a professional)?

All of the above. Often, wellness programs can take various forms, and they can be structured in different ways depending on individual needs and preferences. There are self led wellness activities where individuals are provided resources, guidance, or recommendations to pursue their own wellness goals independently. Individuals take responsibility to practice this on their own. Professional led wellness activites typically are facilitated by healthcare professionals, counselors, or other experts. Participants engage in structured activities, classes, or sessions led by professionals who guide them through various aspects of wellness, such as exercise routines, nutritional education, stress management techniques, and so on.

The “homework” type is integration within the treatment activity. Wellness activities are incorporated into a broader treatment plan developed by a healthcare or rehabilitation professional. In this scenario, individuals may receive guidance or homework assignments from their therapist or counselor to practice certain wellness activities outside of formal therapy sessions.

Do wellness programs vary widely, or are there some common elements you could expect to find in all wellness programs?

Yes, they vary a lot depending on who is delivering the care. Factors such as goals, organizational philosophy, target audience, resource availability, and other factors can make programs vary. However, wellness programs try to capture domains such as emotional health, physical health, life evaluation, work environment, healthy behavior, and basic access (Gallup Healthways 2013).

What are the goals associated with having a wellness program? In other words, what could I expect a wellness program to accomplish for my life?

The specific goals and outcomes of a wellness program will depend on the needs and priorities of the participants, as well as the resources and expertise available to support them. However, by promoting holistic well-being and empowering individuals to take an active role in their health, wellness programs can have a positive impact on many aspects of participants’ lives.

You can expect a wellness program to improve physical health through exercise and healthy eating; enhance mental health by providing resources and strategies for managing stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns; reduce risky behaviors by aiming to reduce smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, and unsafe sexual practices; prevent and manage chronic diseases; enhance quality of life; and promote healthy habits.

Are there limitations to what can be accomplished with a wellness program?

Yes, there are limitations to what can be accomplished with a wellness program, and it’s important to have realistic expectations. Complex health issues, cultural differences, individual differences, resource limitations, long term behavioral change all come into play. While there are limitations, they can still have valuable benefits for individuals and communities.

Who can benefit from a wellness program?

Really everyone. Honestly everyone who is interested in improving their health, well-being, and quality of life can potentially benefit from participating in a wellness program. Wellness programs are for each of us unique beings, as each of us are made of complexities that make us who we are.

What are some of the unique features of the wellness program at New Paradigm Recovery?

Here at New Paradigm, we offer holistic care that incorporates personally tailored treatment, education, and coordinated care services around the needs of each client and their individual experience of symptoms, side effects, and situations. We incorporate integrated therapies such as therapeutic modalities, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices. We emphasize stress reduction, peer support and community engagement. We also encourage and facilitate alumni continuing care.

Can it be customized to my lifestyle and needs?

Yes, many wellness programs, including those offered at addiction recovery centers like New Paradigm Recovery, can be customized to fit your lifestyle and individual needs. Ongoing communication, feedback, and a supportive environment helps facilitate customization.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines wellness as a holistic integration of physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of an individual. It’s not a destination but rather a continuum where people become aware of and make choices towards a more successful existence. Because it’s on a continuum you can start anytime. What we think about our health and our lives affects how we feel and act. We can directionally take charge of it.

Anu Mathew, APRN, PMHNP-BC, is Medical Director of New Paradigm Recovery in Viennna, VA. With more than twenty years of direct patient care treating the most acute and emergent medical conditions, Anu Mathew possesses the expertise, skill, and demeanor to assess client needs and prescribe effective treatment objectively. Anu is solidly grounded in the philosophy and use of Recovery Oriented Systems of Care — a pillar of highly effective holistic treatment approaches employed by New Paradigm Recovery and other leading treatment providers. Steeped in the practice of approaching patients as whole people and understanding that recovery from complex and chronic diseases requires changes throughout one’s life, Anu can prescribe practical interventions that support recovery for clients and family systems. Anu works with New Paradigm Recovery clients in its intensive outpatient behavioral health program and clients in its mental health outpatient program.

Works Cited

Gallup-Healthways. 2013. “2012 State of Well-Being: Community, State, and Congressional District Well-Being Reports.” info.healthways.com/2012wellbeingindex.

World Health Organization. Constitution of the World Health Organization. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/about/accountability/governance/constitution


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