This week on Voices of Courage, host Ken D. Foster is joined by Jessica Baum, a psychotherapist and the founder of the Relationship Institute of Palm Beach, Kay White, a Spiritual Life Coach and the Founder and Executive Director at Villa Kali Ma, and Danielle Hering, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 25 years of experience, to discuss healing, self-love, and the courage to live free from addiction.
Ken starts off the show with a brief description of today’s topic: increasing rates of addiction after coronavirus. He introduces guest Jessica Baum, founder of the Relationship Institute of Palm Beach and creator of therapeutic method Self-Full. Ken asks Jessica why she thinks addiction rates are increasing at this moment. Jessica explains displacement, job loss, and quarantine leads to boredom. People are trying to escape this void through self medication. Many people’s addictions have been discovered by family members during quarantine, leading to treatment centers filling up more than usual as well. Ken adds that losing identity, whether through loss of jobs or community roles, can create a void that may lead to addiction.
Jessica discusses her therapeutic method Self-Full - it’s all about a relationship with oneself. Her method helps people who abandon themselves to be present in their own lives, to connect their heart and brain, and to create internal flow. Learning how to meet your own emotional needs, self soothe, and increasing awareness of triggers can heal addictive tendencies and increase self esteem.
Ken asks Jessica what advice she has for those who are living with and enabling an addict. Jessica says these enablers are fulfilling a void of their own - usually a need to help or feel needed. What is underneath this behavior, why aren’t you practicing self-love for yourself? Letting someone suffer and struggle through addiction can be the catalyst they need for change, and the unhealthy support of an enabler can hinder that process.
Ken asks, can being selfless, as opposed to selfish, lead to addiction too? Jessica says many addicts are selfless. They often have low self esteem and give themselves away, and a lack of self love leads to their addiction.
Ken introduces Kay White, founder of Villa Kali Ma, a recovery program for women. Ken then welcomes Danielle Hering, a marriage, family, and trauma therapist at Villa Kali Ma who focuses on EMDR and breath work treatment. Ken asks Kay about her story, and she explains that she beat her addiction through treatment centers and intensive yoga, and decided to spend her life helping others fight addiction. She founded Villa Kali Ma to help women recover from addiction and trauma. Danielle explains she helps locate and heal the wound that causes patients to become vulnerable to addiction. Kay discusses how other members of the team contribute to healing: therapists for emotional healing and holistic staff for mind and body help patients feel comfortable and safe.
Ken kicks off this segment asking Danielle, how do EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and breath work help people heal? Danielle explains addiction is often a way of healing childhood trauma. With EMDR, you think about the traumatic event while using eye movement or touch to keep the brain working in two hemispheres. This helps you process the memory and understand that it is over. Kay explains how fear of a change and losing relationships can hold back addicts from going to therapy, but that committing to healing yourself through therapy can be the best gift you ever give yourself. Villa Kali Ma focuses on healing outside of or accompanying a twelve step program, for a holistic connection between mind, body, and spirit.
Danielle explains breath work, which is active breathing while lying down. This practice gets the mind and body to relax, breathing out releases bad feelings over time. Many patients will have epiphanies about self love or something they need to change in their life that they can then act upon. Villa Kali Ma only takes 6 women at a time to create a comfortable space for healing trauma with plenty of attention for each patient. The treatment the clinic offers will help patients feel more present in their bodies and more connected with themselves.