mindfulness in a detox setting

Mindfulness in a Detox Setting

SoCal Detox
SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox editorial contributors include writers, editors, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals who are trained to create credible and authoritative health information that is accurate, informative, and easy to understand.

Presented by Joshua Kenyon, Executive Director SoCal Detox 


Mindfulness in a detox and a drug or alcohol addiction treatment setting.
This class was hosted by Pacific Solstice on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017. Video transcription below.

If you have noticed these signs in someone you know it may be time to get them help. For more information, call 1-888-590-0777. 

What’s the first thing that goes through your mind when you think of mindfulness?

Here and now. Being present. Fear. Empathy. Awareness. Meditation.

Anybody here have a mindfulness practice?

So today we are really going to emphasize the idea of momentum in reference to mindfulness. So, I’m fortunate to be the executive director of SoCal Detox and Ocean Ranch, and we have two facilities in San Clemente, two detox facilities. And also a residential treatment facility in Escondido area.

Really our job in early recovery is to help clients gain positive momentum in their recovery. So what that looks like in the beginning is finding stabilization. … finding stabilization, providing a comfort level where they can start to surrender, get back to that base level, and then start gaining that positive momentum.

Mindfulness is really just about momentum as well. It’s about how long we’re able to be present and how long we’ve been away. Today, we’re gonna go through that process. What that’s like, but first before we get into that, I just want to ask everybody, “Who here actually works in a detox?”

What’s the main common thing you see with clients inside the detox setting? 

“Racing thoughts. Physical instability. Impulsivity. … Anxiety.”

So when I first started working in treatment, that was the one common denominator that I saw; it was that everybody had anxiety. I had the privilege to start teaching people mindfulness practices to deal with that anxiety, and I saw that it worked. 

What is anxiety?

Anybody have a definition of anxiety?

“Worry. Sweaty palms. Racing heart. Adrenaline surge. Fear.”

If you were to define what anxiety was, those are symptoms of anxiety, but what would anxiety actually be?


I want to redefine what anxiety is so I can present to you a solution to anxiety in a different way that you might not have heard of before.

Anxiety is resistance to, or un-acceptance of, the present moment. Whatever it may entail.

There may be all kinds of things that our clients, or we, are going through in the present moment that we’re resisting. And we may be justified in that resistance. But it’s actually our resistance that’s causing the anxiety.

Does that make sense? Is everybody cool with that definition?

Alright, so if that’s the case, what’s the solution?

“Stay in the moment. Acceptance.”

So the solution is acceptance, so what we can do with mindfulness is we can just decide to get present on purpose. Right? So if we’re having a struggle with getting present and that’s causing anxiety, we can just decide, “I’m going to get present on purpose, right now.”

And the result of it is it gets rid of the anxiety. It might not get rid of the things that originally stimulated the anxiety, but it teaches us to relate in a different way to the anxiety.

Joshua Kenyon is the Executive Director of SoCal Detox and Ocean Ranch Recovery. He is a Qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Instructor through The Center For Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  He also holds a BA in Philosophy and is a graduate of an accredited CCAPP Drug and Alcohol Counselor program.

His background includes working in management with a Fortune 500 company, news-writing, teaching, nonprofit work with inner city youth, and working with adults with disabilities.  His passion is in helping others discover and return to their own autonomy through mindfulness practices.


Music: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music 

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