The Road Ahead for La Ventana
We have made several strategic decisions over the past eighteen months in order to position La Ventana as a state-of-the-art treatment center offering expert and evidence-based medical and clinical care, along with the depth of compassionate care that is La Ventana’s truly extraordinary signature. As part of our comprehensive model of care we can now say we are one of the only treatment centers nationwide to be able to offer a complete continuum of care, covering all stages of recovery for both substance abuse and eating disorders. We offer Detox and Residential Treatment services (RTC), Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), and structured, gender specific Transitional and Sober Living Environments. Due to the complexities of addiction and eating disorders we believe that not only is the complete continuum of care desirable, but rather it is a crucial component of treatment for those who have lived the devastation and debilitation of these disorders to heal and sustain long-lasting recovery.
Eating Disorder Programs
La Ventana has been relentless in its mission to be able to serve males and females who suffer with both eating disorders and comorbid diagnoses of both substance abuse and eating disorders. In order to serve this population we needed more residential beds. In turn, we applied for residential licensing in our Santa Barbara (La Vista) home in October 2014 and our Thousand Oaks (Bruce Circle) home in August 2015. We are overjoyed to announce that we have been approved for residential licensing at both houses this week. These two additional licenses increase our residential eating disorder beds from six to eighteen. We now have a total of three spectacular and warm homes where we can provide our sophisticated and compassionate treatment for males and females alike, whether they suffer from an eating disorder or simultaneous eating disorder and substance abuse issues.
We have decided to provide our residential clients with PHP and IOP step down services in our magnificent Santa Monica and Santa Barbara locations. In these two internationally recognized and beautiful cities our clients can live in our transitional living homes and gradually practice their recovery, living life on life’s terms, growing and thriving with a healthier mind, body and spirit. Our Westlake Offices will remain as local PHP and IOP centers to continue to serve the local community needs when living at ones’ home is a safe and viable option.
Substance Abuse Programs
We have also made a strategic decision to increase the number of our substance abuse residential beds, not simply to be able to serve a greater number of people who suffer from the deadly disease of addiction, but rather to be able to provide higher quality gender specific substance abuse treatment. We believe gender separation is imperative in order to create a space that provides our clients with the essential feeling of safety needed to do deep trauma work and, consequently, heal.
We added another six beds to our Residential Detox Program in November 2015 giving us a twelve bed detox facility with two inviting homes next to one another. We applied for licensing at Cardiff Circle in August 2014 and became licensed in May 2015 (now our male RTC home). We applied for an additional license for Country Oaks in May 2015 and became licensed in September 2015 (our female RTC home). Now we can proudly say we offer gender specific housing for all levels of care within our substance abuse program.
We added a women’s sober living house in July 2015 and a men’s sober living house in October 2015 to support our full continuum of care philosophy and help our clients integrate back into life while practicing their recovery alongside the support of those who are on that same journey. Our vision was to have homes near our treatment facility (1408) so clients who have been through our program could immerse themselves in our alumni community. And should an alum become vulnerable and need booster groups or additional wrap around services and support, the La Ventana family would easily be able to envelop them back into our fold.
We are excited about this future for our company and with the hard work and dedication of our “La Ventana Family” we will move forward, prosper, and provide the distinguished treatment centers we were looking for eighteen months ago.
Steve and Diahann
Breathwork & Treatment
By Jude Weber MA, CPLC, LV Recovery Advocate
Did you ever stop and think about the power of your breath? I mean, Really think about how extraordinary it is and how it automatically works on your behalf. And did you know that our breath is not only unquestionably a key function of the human body to sustain life, it can be used (with intention behind it) as one of the most powerful, effective and easily accessible ways of healing the mind and body on a multitude of levels.
When you think about Breathwork, what comes to mind? For many people, the first thought is one of meditation, breathing into stillness, following the breath in and out to escape the hustle and bustle of our minds and daily stresses into a peaceful calm. And while it absolutely delivers that, the power of Breathwork goes way beyond the body’s process to simply relax.
Before we get into all the healing that is possible, a little education: Breathwork or Pranayama, is known to be one of the most practical and quickest ways to tap into parts of your brain’s nervous system, which is normally beyond your control – or not under your conscious control . Breathing is the only thing you can do both completely consciously and unconsciously. It is run by the two different sets of nerves and muscles, by the voluntary system and involuntary system. As a result, it offers the only opportunity to get into, and influence, the involuntary nervous system. The disturbances in the involuntary nervous system are responsible for a great deal of illness. The sympathetic system, which revs things up and prepares us for emergency and fight or flight, and the parasympathetic nervous system which does the opposite, have to be in balance. For most people in our culture, the overall tone of the sympathetic nervous system is too high- environment & stress are both contributing factors. Regardless of the different opinions of whether Breathwork is considered a simple practice or an easy one or not, it would be safe to say that breath work is a powerful force as it can stir up, and bring to the surface, unresolved emotional issues and traumas. That being said, years of living imprisoned by the past, Breathwork can be a profound means as a catalyst to process and heal these issues so that the freedom from the chains of disease and addiction can actually be ours.
There is a huge range in styles of Breathwork just as there are many uses of Breathwork, which produce various effects on the nervous system. There are yoga breathing styles or pranayama style- more conducive to stress relief and inducing calm, such as a healing breath. In the opposite direction under the Breathwork category, there are specific stimulating styles, producing a catharsis or an intense emotional release called Holotropic Breathwork. Holotropic Breathwork uses music as a catalyst to access deep emotions, unconscious thoughts and release tension accompanied by deep circular breathing. Circular breathing is where you don’t take a pause at the end of your exhale- you inhale again right away. The Breathwork we are talking about here is a 2 stage active breathing technique that is quite different than the traditional meditation and mindfulness practices.
So, now you might be asking yourself, how can Breathwork help me? For starters, this Breathwork is unique in the sense that your own breath and body’s intelligence will bring forth the healing experience that it needs in the moment, and, each experience will be both personal and different each time you engage in the Breathwork. It has the ability to quiet the analytical, rational mind that is constantly seeking protection from emotional pain. All of the stored emotions in our body create physical and mental disease and illness and as we know, this state of life can easily lead to a multitude of addictions. When we engage in the practice of Breathwork, the breathing process allows us to meet head on the old traumas, stored misbeliefs and misinterpretations of who we believed we once were. One of the gifts of Breathwork is that it can uncover things in a matter of minutes that might otherwise take years of talk therapy to get underneath. When these experiences take place, and they do more often than not, walls break down and layers peel back and we begin to feel the connection with the deepest parts of ourselves that we once might have not been able to face, or might have even run from. When we free ourselves of these past energies and layers of anger, sadness, grief, fear, etc., we can thrive in our own lives and in the world, living our true essence at our highest potential.
Note to self: The breathing will lead you to the exact energetic experience that you are ready for and can handle. Whether an emotional release, rejuvenation, relaxation, or escape from the monkey mind, you will be guided by your own body’s desire to receive exactly what it needs. It’s an opportunity to practice letting go and trusting your body’s inherent wisdom to be your guide. For the maximum benefit, it is important to remember that by allowing yourself to be in the experience, wherever it might take you- suspending judgement- not resisting it- surrendering to what is moving through you, is ideal for a most powerful experience.
What kinds of breakthroughs are people having through breathwork? While Breathwork provides a very personal experience for each person, it has enhanced the quality of people’s lives by:
*supporting recovery from addiction *aiding in trauma *relieving levels of pain *releasing anger *relieving anxiety and panic *shifting depression *improving the quality of sleep *opening up to deeper intuition and insights *diminishing negative thoughts & fears *releasing stress *feeling a deeper connection with one’s self and others *embodying self love
And if none of those apply to you, it’s an amazing way to energize and detoxify your system, flushing out the old unwanted and unserving emotions to support your health and vitality- Even the ones that you might not even know you are holding onto until they are gone!
This is just a snapshot of the full spectrum of what Breathwork can do, so we invite you to experience it for yourself through La Ventana’s upcoming events in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara.