Holistic and Experiential Therapies

May 3, 2018 / News

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Wells House is excited about the potential benefits of holistic and experiential therapies to our patients, who are new in recovery and awaken every morning to face that struggle of whether to drink, use a drug, or stay committed to their
recovery. The more tools we can offer them to help their recovery, the better their chances of not only surviving the devastation of substance use disorder, but going on to live healthy lives as productive members of their families and the communities in which they live.


There is a growing recognition of yoga and meditation as effective forms of adjunctive therapy for recovery from substance use disorders and relapse prevention. Increasingly, trauma informed yoga has been proven to help individuals heal spiritually and emotionally. A new Georgetown Law report states that because
the effects of trauma can be physical as well as emotional, “mind/body” interventions such as yoga are uniquely able to address special populations, such as people in recovery. The specific yoga components of regulated breathing, and learning to stay in the moment, are valuable relaxation and recovery tools. As the only halfway house/intensive outpatient recovery program in Frederick, we seek to provide as many
treatment opportunities as possible to our patient population of up to 29 men and 20 women. Yoga Instructor Shelley Pentony explains “trauma lives in the body and has no voice. Breathing and the specific trauma informed yoga poses help release the trauma the body is storing. Trauma informed yoga poses are designed to help calm the body and release stored up stress. This type of yoga uses gentle verbal cues, respectful of the
individual’s need for personal safe space. Trauma informed yoga can empower individuals in recovery and teach them healthy ways to self soothe.” Shelley’s trauma informed yoga sessions for our patients are held here on site. One-hour sessions are held on Friday mornings; for up to 12 people per

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Thank you to our partners at Sol Yoga for assisting us in making this recovery tool available to our patients.



We are very excited to announce the continuation of our Process Painting Project in 2018. The Process Painting classes are facilitated by Rebecca Laughlin M.F.A.

Process Painting is painting experienced in silence, using only tempera paint and paper, during which the painter explores the Creative Process rather than directing one’s attention on how the painting will look when completed. The intent is for the painter to become aware of their True Self as they experience how to quiet the mind that wants to both assign meaning and control the outcome. This unique painting process can be transformative —creativity flows and the unbridled joy of free expression is experienced.

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Process Painting can be particularly helpful for individuals in recovery from substance use disorders, giving them the opportunity to quiet the mind’s constant chatter and being guided by creative instincts, absent of preconceptions. Women of Wells House @Gale Recovery reported feeling calmer, less stressed, more receptive to people and circumstances, and experiencing a renewed, positive focus on their recovery.

Rebecca earned a B.A. in Art Education and a M.F.A. in Painting from American University in Washington, DC. Rebecca completed Master Intensive Training in Process Painting with Michele Cassou, co-founder of the Painting Experience in San Francisco, CA. Ms. Laughlin has been facilitating Process Painting workshops for the past several years in area art centers and at her New Moon Studio in New Market, Maryland. She has been on staff for several years; she is the Financial Administrator for the Wells House @Gale Recovery.


We will be offer six-week Music Therapy sessions to our male patients in Frederick. The sessions are be provided by therapists at Noteable Progressions Music Therapy Sessions, led by founder and director Darcy L. O’Daniel (shown here pulling some musical instruments together for a session). Several studies have identified a positive relationship between music therapy and healthy self soothing and a reduction in anxiety, depression and stress among persons in recovery from substance use disorders. Sessions will be held starting in the Spring and extend into early Summer. We thank the Delaplaine for supporting our holistic approach to recovery.

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