How Conscious Recovery Can Help You in Addiction Treatment

Content reviewed by Gillian Bieler, LCSW, CSAT, Clinical Director

Conscious Recovery is a program that substance abuse treatment centers like Casa Palmera have incorporated alongside their evidence-based and experiential treatments. The Conscious Recovery curricula and philosophy was founded by a man named TJ Woodward who specializes in addiction treatment and recovery. He is also an inspirational speaker and bestselling author. Woodward has spent over two decades working on this unique approach to viewing and treating individuals with an addiction.

Spiritual Awakening and Conscious Recovery

Guided by clinicians rigorously trained in Conscious Recovery curricula, this program is spiritually-oriented and seeks to guide patients to discover the perfection of their inner spirit. Through a profound spiritual awakening, you will come to realize that you are not flawed and damaged. The way you think of yourself and your struggles will shift from self-denigration and blame to loving self-care and acceptance.

Experiencing an addiction to drugs or alcohol can make you feel like there is something fundamentally wrong with you. You might wonder why this had to happen to you or feel like you’re in too deep and you’ll never get better. According to the core philosophy of Conscious Recovery, you are just the opposite: “You are a whole and perfect spiritual being. You are not broken. You are unharmed & unharmable.” This quote from the Conscious Recovery website sums up the program’s overall perspective of patients in treatment and recovery. You are much more than just a lost or hopeless soul.

Acquire a New Perspective on Addiction in Conscious Recovery

The underlying philosophy of Conscious Recovery is not just for patients; it’s for clinicians to adopt as well. When both parties can come together and see addiction in this unique way, there is room for real growth and deep healing. The Conscious Recovery website explains that this new perspective on addiction has five guiding principles that will lead residential treatment and recovery work:

  1. Underneath all addictive behavior is an essential self that is whole and perfect.
  2. The addiction itself has never been the “problem” but was a strategy that has lost its effectiveness.
  3. Treating addiction must go beyond addressing symptoms and get down to the underlying root causes of destructive behavior.
  4. The root causes of addictive behavior are unresolved trauma, spiritual disconnection; and toxic shame.
  5. There is a pathway to permanent freedom through the adoption of spiritual practices and principles.

Cover All Aspects of Your Recovery

What’s great about this program is that it covers the full continuum of your recovery. Not only does the program have curricula that can be used alongside inpatient services, but curricula for outpatient programs and tools to assist in aftercare are also available. The residential curriculum includes topics like authenticity, perception, communication, relapse triggers, living on purpose, self-love and acceptance. The outpatient curriculum dives a little deeper into the spiritual self and will teach you about healing unresolved trauma, spiritual disconnection, practicing spiritual principles, owning your power, and more.

Once enrolled, you will have access to a variety of resources to help guide you throughout treatment and recovery. These include:

  • A Conscious Recovery handbook
  • Study groups utilizing the book Conscious Recovery by TJ Woodward
  • Access to online Conscious Recovery video courses
  • Weekly clinician-led group discussions

Why Does Spirituality Matter for Conscious Recovery? 

You may be wondering why a focus on spirituality matters. Maybe you’re not that spiritual now and never have been. Embracing spirituality could be a game-changer for you because you may come to discover your values and true purpose in life. You might find meaning in things you didn’t before and establish deep connections with people and places, filling you with hope and determination. This subjective experience can be a life-long and rewarding process of self-discovery.

Through practices like gratitude, you may gain a sense of grace and positivity about your situation. This approach is especially powerful for those working to replace negative emotional habits that stem from false narratives. Maybe you feel like the world is out to get you. Do you ask yourself, “Why does this always happen to me?” Recovery can involve unlearning stories of victimization; these stories make you feel like you are the target for all bad things that happen.

You can practice gratitude by evaluating the things in your life that you are happy you have. Write these down in a journal or make a list to review as often as you need to be reminded. This will give you the strength you need to avoid falling into cynical thought patterns that can make you lose hope and become vulnerable to depression, which is one of the most common triggers of relapse.

Conscious Recovery is a unique and integrative program that seeks to change the way clinicians and patients view addiction. This program is based on discovering your spiritual self so that your recovery is guided by a deep understanding and compassion. It seeks to do away with harmful thought patterns that say you are imperfect or damaged. Are you looking for a deeper meaning in life and values to help guide your decisions? Contact us today to see if this program is right for you. 


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.