Using Mindfulness to Help Socially Isolated Clients in Recovery

By Julie Kraft, LMFT, and Rebecca Williams, PhD

Here is a simple mindfulness exercise to help your clients reengage with their recovering self that you can use during your remote therapy sessions:

Why You Decided to Recover: Sit quietly with your journal. Begin by closing your eyes and breathing deeply. Give yourself a few minutes to become relaxed and centered. As you become more peaceful, set an intention to be guided toward honesty and clarity in this moment. Make a list of the reasons you decided to recover. What was happening with your family, friends, work, finances, and health as a result of your addiction? What was your addiction stealing from you? Consider times you felt ashamed, frightened, worried, regretful, and frustrated in your addiction. Write down as many reasons you can think of for why you decided to change your life.

Your Gratitude List: Using your journal, write down as many things you can think of that you are grateful for. It can be as simple as enjoying a hot cup of coffee or waking up clear headed in the morning. 

Say this affirmation to yourself: “My recovery is a priority today, because it’s worth it.”

Julie S. Kraft, MA, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She has been working in the fields of addiction and mental health since 2008. Julie is an adjunct faculty member at the University of San Diego, where she teaches systemic treatment of substance abuse. Julie has a private practice in San Diego, CA, where she works to help her clients find all the gifts that they deserve.

Rebecca E. Williams, PhD, is an award-winning author, consultant, and clinical psychologist specializing in healthy recovery from mental illness and addiction. Her work focuses on building resilience and embracing well-being. She is associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and program director at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Health Care System.

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