Remember when you started that new ‘healthy eating’ diet and decided to cut out sugar or carbohydrates? How long did that last? Or the time when you decided it was time to get in shape and join the gym only to stray from your original intentions and wind up back at square one? Creating new habits and replacing unhealthy habits is a struggle. That struggle becomes even more challenging when the habit is not only ‘autopilot’ behaviors, but it is physically and/or psychologically addicting. You aren’t just swimming upstream against the autopilot machine, you’re also having to deal with the cravings and the holes that a former addiction (strongly seeded habit) left behind. Staying in recovery for an addicted individual involves establishing new habits, a process that is rarely easy for anyone looking to change their behavior.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that “among individuals with substance abuse disorders who get treatment, 40% to 60% will relapse within 1 year,”1 What this means is that the majority of people who desire healing and recovery from compulsive and addictive behaviors will need a relapse prevention strategy. Hannah House, our recovery home for women, includes a very intentional plan to help women build foundations for a life of abundant recovery. This plan and strategy include a program called the Genesis Process.
What is the Genesis Process exactly?
The Genesis Process workbook describes itself in this way: “The Genesis Process is a systematic program designed to train professional and lay counselors in Relapse Prevention by treating the person first and the disease second. Core material, laid out in a comprehensive, ten-unit workbook, focuses on identifying and working through underlying issues that drive compulsive addictive behavior. The Genesis Process is an integration of Biblical precepts for personal change, proven relapse prevention techniques, cognitive therapy principles, and the latest neurochemistry research relating to human behavior. If God or life makes you willing to change, Genesis can make you able. The Genesis Process is unique in that it goes after healing what drives self-destructive behavior rather than trying to control it.
Most addictions thrive in secrecy and isolation. Relapse prevention requires consistent, self-initiated accountability which means you follow through with meetings and commitments, begin to seek out a twelve step sponsor to work the steps with you, find a church to attend and find a friend to process your Genesis homework with after each session with your counselor.”
Brooke Brown, our first Hannah House resident who completed the Genesis Process says this, “The most helpful and healing part of Genesis was being able to open up, be vulnerable and willing to hear from a person who genuinely cares about me.” Brooke learned about the lies she believed about God, herself and others. She was able to replace those lies with the truth from God’s word. She also renounced the false idols in her life and is learning to entrust her identity to Jesus. Slowly, but surely, she is learning to trust again. The seeds which the Lord planted through each of the 10 Genesis Processes are beginning to produce fruit in her life, which will spill over the lives of her children.
The building block principles of this relapse prevention program (and of any habit change process) are:
- You cannot do recovery alone.
- To change what you do, you must change who you are.
- Every behavior, good or bad, is supported by your beliefs.
- Addictions create secrets which isolate you from God and others.
- The secret to recovery is gratitude.
- The bottom line of recovery is you have to learn to trust again.
Genesis means the origin or formation of something. Through the Genesis Process at Hannah House, we believe we are partnering with God as He helps to restore and transform these lives into something beautiful…something new…creating new beginnings for these incredible women and their families.
If you’re interested in becoming a mentor or you’d like to talk to someone further, email Jessica, Hannah House Supervisor firstname.lastname@example.org
Slomski A. (2014). Mindfulness-Based Intervention and Substance Abuse Relapse. Journal of the American Medical Association, 311(24):2472.