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New visions of me: Finding joy in recovery with women who are homeless
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There is an increased need to explore the importance of fun, play, and pleasure's role in recovery. This article describes New Visions of Me, an intervention with women in New Haven, CT, who have experienced homelessness and co-occurring disorders to find new ways of bringing pleasure, play, and joy into their lives, which are often overlooked by people with co-occurring disorders and their providers. Of particular importance are the lessons learned during the project. For 6 months, 8 female clients of a New Haven homeless shelter worked with 4 peer mentors in recovery and 9 staff members to develop the New Visions program, dedicated to creating opportunities for fun. Participants were asked to brainstorm a list of things they would do if they had unlimited time, money, and freedom in order to (1) try something new, (2) take care of themselves, (3) reconnect with the childlike parts of themselves, and (4) connect with other women in recovery. While engaging in something fun may require new skills and be challenging at times, the benefits to individual clients and recovery communities is immeasurable, particularly when clients and staff collaborate on program development and implementation.
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services