Trauma-Related Barriers to Treatment
Chris and Madelyn endeavor down a great conversation about trauma and the deep core concepts that we navigate in order to truly help individuals overcome these hurdles.
- A beautiful part of Madelyn’s story
- Is it treatment resistant or trauma resilient?
- Be curious – Ask all the questions you want during the treatment admissions process
- Barriers to treatment
“I couldn’t even see that at the time when I first got into treatment. I was thinking, that if I quit heroin I’m good, then I could move forward with my life. Now I don’t even see those parts of the story. I see the core wounding, I see the shame, I see the abandonment and what that leads to, and I see the cycle perpetuating over and over because I have ingrained this belief that this is my narrative. Drugs are not really a part of that. It helped blunt it a little bit, and it was more of a tool for what was really going on, a coping mechanism.”
hey everybody and welcome to another amazing episode of finding peaks your grateful recovering president and founder also known as the motivational specialist company cheerleader you name it whatever you’d like to call me i’m open to i am gracefully joined by my co-host counterpart guest here madeline padilla one of our great admissions specialists but even greater humans you know what time it is so i’m really grateful to jump in here we’re going to be talking about barriers to treatment as it pertains to trauma most certainly the microcosm of trauma which is shame but i want to start out our episode madeline had the opportunity to share with our alumni group as well as our inpatient clients last friday her personal journey and recovery and she sent me her story i was unable to make it unfortunately but she sent me her story and i just wanted to open the show with the last section of her story and kind of start that as a topic here and it was just absolutely framed beautifully coherent and trauma informed and it says in conclusion this is not a story about heroin or drugs this is a story about compassion grace and mercy i don’t feel grateful i feel redeemed and i feel free and i feel connected some days i wake up and wonder how this happened and then i see a familiar smile at the office someone asked how the week was i feel like i have come home and i get to work so i wanna i wanna start with that and you had a awesome opportunity i’ve heard a lot of feedback from clients and staff and just your story spoke to a lot of people um and the way that you framed it i just thought was so eloquent so trauma-informed and very intentional and in a way that just about everybody could hear it um what was that like for you to share it and write it writing it was kind of a panic i got asked the day before i’m like i’ll just type up a couple notes you know and then and then it became a process and i’m like whoa what what really did happen and i’m walking through my own process you know and that was awesome um sharing it was it was just cool to see how many people it was a little interactive like how many people have experienced this or what was this like and everyone raised their hand and and i was nervous going into that because i thought i’ve been to a lot of speaker meetings i kind of know what the setup is and i’m supposed to talk about 50 or 30 how it was and how it is now and all this like this context kind of came flooding in about what i’m supposed to do and i thought that doesn’t feel like me at all that’s not what happened i i have a story i know what the story is and i’m just gonna go with it and um do it a little bit differently no one had read theirs either off a piece of paper but i needed some notes i wanted some feedback from other people and um i felt accepted that people heard what i had to say and they did feel connected to it and it was so it was just really cool yeah that’s a beautiful thing it was very emotional yeah i can remember thinking i remember i um stood up and spoke at an aaa meeting in prescott arizona it was a salvation army i was like 14 months sober and i remember thinking to myself there is no way i’m ever going to be able to talk about anything other than what happened right and really what happened in my uh mind’s eye at the time what happened was drug addiction and you explained something much more intentional and much more robust and and i think your story and our story um speak very clearly to the cart coming before the horse yeah absolutely no and that’s what it is i couldn’t even see that at the time when i first got into treatment i was on the same track as you if i quit heroin i’m good and then i can move forward with my life and now i like don’t even see those parts of the story i see the core wounding i see the shame i see the abandonment what you know what that led to um i see the cycle perpetuating over and over because i’ve been graying this belief that this is my narrative i can see that yeah the drugs are not really a part of that then that helps blunt it right a little bit and that was more of a tool for what was really going on the coping mechanism for sure yeah and we were speaking before the show too and you brought up something very just something that i want to touch on here too and i’ve been guilty of saying this to folks who have come into treatment it’s actually a term and a concept we’ve used in behavioral health for many years and it’s this idea of treatment resistance right treatment resistance treatment resistance is trauma resilience trauma responsibility resilience yeah and i hate that term that someone’s resistant because one that you’re right it speaks to us actually what’s going on and people should be resistant they’ve had experiences if any of our clients are like me and i know a lot of them are they have had they’ve had their trauma re-escalated and they’ve been re-traumatized in a place that was supposed to keep them safe and treat them with respect and treat them with integrity you know and all that stuff um and that’s not always the case at all so to come in resistant maybe a little bit cynical that that behavior makes sense right absolutely yeah absolutely and that that’s not a diagnostic code despite what people may think um it tells the story that something else has happened right what has happened right let’s talk about what has happened and and it makes sense that you’re feeling this way yeah and quite frankly if if somebody’s not coming in treat members what really scares me is the folks that come in and they’re like this is amazing this is great and we’re just not a tune we’re not present for the experience because even if we don’t have trauma we’re coming into an environment full of strangers who i’ve never met before and to your point a lot of people like we were talking about before i was down on campus meeting with a guy earlier he’s been to 20 treatments and 19 of those treated him poorly right and so that’s why when he comes into our program he’s looking around he’s scanning he’s not comfortable he’s kind of like give me some space until we do what we do in true peaks fashion and build that safety for the people that need it the most and your story just spoke to that so well it wasn’t anything that was wrong with you it was certainly something wrong with a provider not being trauma-informed not creating safety and not creating a space in which you could sink into your recovery oh absolutely i mean you gotta understand too like to to trust peaks was to kind of like gaslight my oaths right i will never allow myself to get put in this situation ever again if the little love i had for myself just to shred said never again never again i’m hitchhiking back to treatment center in california you know in a gown in socks you know i don’t know where i am they forgot me they forgot i was a client i swore to god i said never again and then i find myself doing it again but of course i’m a little guarded yeah i’m waiting for the other shoe to draw you know and that this kind of bleeds into even like the admission side of things where i talk to a lot of families that say i got so many questions but i i understand i just need to trust the process what does that mean trust the process leave no stone unturned ask every question let’s talk about it till you can’t talk about it anymore because this is how we’re weeding out what’s going to work and what’s not you know and if we can’t answer a question that should just be a big red flag just waving around and if someone tells you to just they use this terminology you know trust the process you’ve got to go with the flow you’re going to like to trust us whatever it is yeah to an extent once you feel safe you can do that right but we need to answer all the questions yeah yeah and really build that trust and safety and if you’re a family out there it’s like we do it with our clients i think one of one of our core values is be curious always right be curious be curious ask better questions and i would say the same for families when you’re looking for a treatment program ask all the questions and you’re right if they can’t answer it next phone call next yeah and we love that because we get we get time too to train people that can’t come here let’s check out a few places they’ll throw a few options out there right what are some questions to ask how many lpcs are there how many are there what’s the clinical staff member to client ratio that that gives me a good idea you know what’s going on there um do they do they abide by a 12-step model true are they willing to make that a billable service great question yeah figure it out yeah yeah and and then it’s it’s so cool because walking through that now we got a map going this place is all right yeah hey that place i see you right over there and then we actually have something to offer because our referrals are dead serious yeah they’re dead serious yeah and i love i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again that’s what i love about the admissions team is every single one of those referrals is very serious and very intentional we expect that client to be in good hands yeah even if it’s not with us that’s correct and that is so i’ve never been a part of a team certainly an admissions team that does that it’s literally like hey i gotta get up the phone hey i gotta get off the phone you know in the time and space that you all spend man listen first solve later yeah
yeah it never gets old but i gotta get that tattooed so yeah i want to chat about some of the barriers that presented themselves with you and why um just for the audience and especially specifically young adults mature adults that are coming up against this process and are becoming weary fearful disconnected um scared anxious that’s really informed and the barriers are consistent in your story and i just wanted to kind of elaborate a little bit on those barriers and why they were there in the first place and how you moved through them yeah okay well i want to start with again starts way way back way way back before i’m a legal adult before i’ve tried drugs before anything else and i i was in a lot of pain i was a difficult kid um difficult kid i was just in a lot of pain i’m gonna leave it at that yeah and my family they they just didn’t know what to do they did not know what to do and they talked to like a educational consultant which is a broker it’s a body broker for kids like something like that and they they got a referral from a clinician that never saw me right now so weird it’s educational consultants yeah you know what i’m talking about and they were convinced they were sure and they did this out of love they really did yeah they were preyed upon they believed that this unregulated teen treatment center in utah was like the answer to their prayers and they were they were so hooked on this idea that this was going to save my life that they had people come kidnap me right out of my home yeah um and zip tie you they they tie your hands even if you’re willing oh yeah they say we could do this the easy way or the hard way i chose the hardware yeah yeah i’m like let’s go hard that’s right that’s right and yeah they i got some knee injuries from that and so yeah and um they whisked me off to utah well now i have no rights and this learned helplessness kicks in there’s nothing i can do to change my circumstances there’s nothing i can do to have my voice heard okay so the core wound which was i’m not enough oh it’s integrating now it’s really like the stakes going in right and then later on i’m using drugs to cope with the trauma of what happened there right i trust another place that speaks to human resilience i asked for help again you know that that really is powerful yeah it really is once again the same experience and this just keeps repeating itself to a point where i’m like god i i can’t do this anymore and i’ll i’ll never trust again and um that is an act of god that peaks was at that um juncture yeah that’s a that’s unexplainable to your point though i i absolutely agree with your mom and your family really out of love because i’ve had i’ve been on the phone with your mom and she’s very coachable and she will do what the professionals suggest always sounds like you just had some tough professionals in front of that situation right but i do believe it was out of luck it was right and that that’s the you know talk about dialectics i’m gonna i’m gonna choose to hold both i i’m so i am so loved but i’m so hurt to this day i’ve done a lot of therapy i’m not over that i’m not over that you know and i need to work on that every day what’s the lesson there how could i help people um how could i educate people cause god
treatment in general this is an industry that has the potential to prey on the most vulnerable people ever yep they’re the most clay in your hand exactly and that kind that comes with great responsibility and i think it’s an incredible privilege too to be part of that process yeah it gives some meaning to my experiences too yeah i love that and it’s clear too and with with the barriers for change and those being so deeply rooted it’s it’s like as a as a developing human in this world there’s nothing more important than positive influential beneficial child adult relationships that’s right and there’s nothing more horrendous than negative ones right and we continue to foster those in a way in our early adulthood as well and bring those people close only to be hurt and hurt again i think you mentioned in your story but what was it that got you to a point to trust again because it wasn’t when you got to peaks no no it was most certainly some time in that milieu and i was probably closer to the time when you graduated yeah actually i think it started before i graduated but but there was a moment after i left and i knew that the insurance checks had stopped coming right this is a great test yeah right let’s see we’ll see now yeah like let’s see we’ll see what happens here oh people kept meeting with me kept talking to me you kept talking to me you know lots of people did um that’s the ultimate test in my book what happens after this like what’s the plan you know and that solidified just kind of put the put the clothes on that the doubts that i had and i felt that love a long time ago but that’s just what did me certainly yeah yeah and i’m grateful for the team around me because i’m just like oh you need help you need help let’s go come on yeah which create a lot of barriers for their progress right exactly as well don’t be that barrier yeah and i love that one of our our core values which i love we finally put these to paper right yeah do no harm do no harm not do harm if it justifies in the end or if it’ll help them out later it’s just it’s simple it’s just do no harm yeah and i love that it’s beautiful it’s great it absolutely is and it’s a it’s a real trauma-informed perspective if you can get there like it’s not tell somebody they did it wrong it’s not use use statements and i just love the way that we’re adopting really this compassionate lens and you can see people madeline much different than you know when we started or when i started in 12 step i was sitting down with a guy he’s getting ready to graduate actually tomorrow and i’m sitting down with a guy and he’d been to multiple treatment centers and i’m sitting there having a smoothie with him and about halfway through he looks at me and he goes it really doesn’t matter because i’m going to get high again anyway and i’m like buddy just but not today right but just not today and and i’m wondering that if you take care of your underlying causes and conditions maybe you have the openness to explore things in the future but just not today it’s been my experience if you take care of the underlying causes and conditions specifically the overwhelming intensity that’s running your life in the name of trauma you won’t have those intense behaviors no i sat there and told them i said but i go have a glass of wine today if i want but i’m choosing to sit with you madeline he came alive he was like oh my gosh you just gave me so much hope he clicked yeah cause he’s like i think that’s the trauma to be like i have this special allergy on this unique thing that only i have and i have to succumb to this hard edge this traumatized hard edge for the rest of my life and i love that we’re allowing people space and grace to be like it doesn’t have to be like that absolutely more people are recovering since we’ve started this approach over the last two or three years this holistic approach is to treat people well and guide them into their individual recovery process we talked about that the the last episode but you’re here so i’m just going to share because i’m so excited about it right that that this belief that people’s behaviors make sense right and that i am statements are powerful they hold power um like neuro science power right like real power and you you take someone to a meeting every day that’s their culture and they show up and they say i’m an addict i’m an alcoholic every day right they do that for 90 days what does an alcoholic do chris right they drink what is that what stays top of mind right exactly so it’s just so it’s it’s we have to go farther than that we have to offer the most vulnerable people more than that that’s not good enough no that’s not even close not at all no way yeah and this idea too is incurable i have an incurable disease i’m going to challenge that i’m going to challenge that um i believe in a full recovery i believe in a foreign i believe in a full recovery i’m not gripping on praying to god i don’t slip off this narrow path the world is wide open for me and if it was any more limited it’s just not enough yeah so i love it because i feel like just like you it’s like we’re driving down a five lane highway today and i got room to move over i can get in the hov lane i get in a slow lane i have a lot of options and it did feel like and we’ve talked about this on other episodes and i’m coming up on 14 years so we’ll visit it in another episode as well it’s just like i don’t want to succumb to being that small today nope and if somebody chooses to engage in a 12 subway life that’s great but let’s take care of the business first that’s right so that you can not survive in 12 steps right and that’s the difference that i’ve seen with a lot of people that are taking care of themselves what i mean by that is getting with a master’s level clinician getting a doctor getting a good group of recovery people around you and working on yourself that’s right get to work yeah and a sponsor is great a mentor is great but that is in our experience it’s adjunct to the people these are all right right we need to distinguish between what is foundational and what is ancillary if we cannot do that we don’t have a we don’t have a real program you know what’s the foundation what’s the extra stuff yeah we love the extra stuff absolutely we do all the exercises exactly right but um is that going to carry us through trauma right oh no yeah that acute detox is not going to change for you it’s going to get you take a nap and i love that too because it used to be i mean up until not too many years ago i mean the primary foundational process was the 12-step way of life and so it’s not it’s not to sit in here and say this is wrong a.a has been a beautiful thing for many many years it’s just taking what we have the advancements and the progressiveness and every all the information that we have and utilizing it and aaa and 12-step can still be a really great value proposition we just got to take care of the meat and potatoes first because you get a lot in my experience in the alcoholics anonymous or 12-step way of life you get a lot of people surviving and happy to do it that’s right i was happy to do it as well but if you give yourself some space and grace and explore some of that underlying stuff in a safe place i think what people will find out that life will open up beyond their wildest dreams yes you know oh yeah and that’s like uh and that’s where i was telling madeline before the show it’s like you look like you’re thriving oh yeah and she was like yeah yes because i’m no i’m no longer okay with you know the eight and a half the 8.2 the 7.8 out of 10 in my recovery you know so it’s always just enough though it’s different than that that that void i need more no it’s always enough but it’s always getting better yeah yeah how does that work that’s right it’s so interesting i love it and it’s this ability to navigate and have choices and be heard and be seen and feel safe in my body and go hey i’ll go to a dharma meeting with you today absolutely i’ll check out a 12-step with you yeah or we can just hang out here and eat some dinner i love it and the connection’s happening mm-hmm all the way through yep yeah i love it that’s the meat and potatoes that’s the meat potatoes that’s the meat potatoes well that went really quick um that is all we have today our show is wrapping up i am so grateful to be back on with you i was telling madeline before the show she’s one of the guests co-hosts um regulars here that really gets me thinking about trauma gets me thinking about recovery in a different way and i’m just so grateful to have you on absolute miracles here so find us on all of your stuff instagram podcast tick tock tick tock i’m the brand ambassador madeline threw down a great tick tock the other day an amazing meditation check it out we got like 70-something likes on that bad boy until next time thank you all peace