The decision to accept treatment for drug or alcohol addiction is a brave one, and you should commend yourself for taking that first step. Now that you’ve said yes to treatment, you have to find a program that’s right for you. Gender-specific treatment is one of the options from which you can choose.
A Look at Gender-specific Treatment
Gender-specific treatment means that your program will be composed of all males or all females. The theory behind this type of treatment program is that women tend to think differently from the way men do. As a result, they have different reasons for abusing drugs and alcohol. When therapy and treatment is divided by gender, professionals have the opportunity to address those specific needs in both individual and group settings.
Different courses of treatment may work better for men than women, and vice versa. The facility can implement those programs when the group is entirely made up of one gender. Furthermore, some women are more comfortable expressing their innermost thoughts in front of other women only, and some men feel the same about men. This type of treatment program can offer a level of comfort that mix-treatment programs do not.
How to Determine If This Option Is Right for You
Before you commit to any path of recovery, make sure it’s the right fit for your present and future needs. Choosing a program that makes sense for you is important because otherwise, you could end up failing. When you’re no longer engaged in the program, you can quickly lose interest and end up back where you started. This issue can also arise if you’re uncomfortable with a mixed-gender program, but end up attending one anyway.
Only you know yourself well enough to determine if this program is right for you; however, look at all facets of the situation. Consider whether or not you grew up in a religious or cultural background that emphasized the segregation of genders. Perhaps you’ve strayed from those religious or cultural traditions or customs. When you’re going through rehabilitation, old feelings may arise. Remember, you’re on a journey to find yourself. If you were constantly inundated with gender segregation as a child, you may find yourself more comfortable in a program that follows this pattern.
You do, however, have to consider your own personal beliefs. Some people believe staunchly that differences don’t exist in the way the two genders handle problems, face challenges and tackle struggles. If that philosophy sounds like yours, then this type of program probably isn’t for you. Even when you’re feeling open-minded about the philosophy, you could find you quickly become resentful toward it. Part of treatment is opening your mind to a new world of health and wellness options. However, that doesn’t mean this is the time to completely change your philosophical, cultural or religious beliefs.
You should also consider how you interact with the other gender. Forming social bonds while in a treatment program is an important part of the process. When you feel as though you’re a part of a community, you’re often better able to tackle problems; you know you have people on whom to rely. In fact, some individuals leave therapy with friendships that turn into romances down the road. However, finding a romantic partner shouldn’t be the focus of your treatment program. You must consider how you tend to act when you’re around the gender to whom you’re attracted. If you tend to constantly seek out romantic relationships, be sure to factor that into your decision. If you’re heterosexual, a gender-specific program may be a smart idea; if you’re homosexual, it may not be the right option.
You must bring your own ideas of gender identity into this decision. Right now, the LGBT population is finally receiving the voice they’ve so desperately longed for and deserved, and you may be a part of that population. Participating in a gender-specific program when you’re transitioning might make you feel uncomfortable; or, it can act as a source of empowerment for you. On the same note, you may also be currently figuring out who you are in terms of gender. You may feel as though you aren’t sure which gender you want to identify with, or you may feel that you don’t identify with either gender. You could also simply feel that you don’t fit into a preconceived notion of gender. If that’s the case, then a program divided based on gender probably isn’t the right fit for you.
If you’re unsure, speak with a representative about the specifics of the program. Learning more about what day-to-day life will be like inside of the program will better help you to determine if this course of treatment makes sense for you.
Where to Find Gender-specific Programs
If you feel a gender-specific program is the right fit for you, you can easily find one available. Consult with your local rehabilitation centers and religious centers for recommendations. When conducting preliminary research into a facility, find out if programs are available by gender. Sometimes, you may find out that the program is partially gender-separated and partially gender-integrated. For example, you may have counseling sessions with members of your own gender; however, social activities may involve members of both. Whether or not that works for you depends upon your specific needs and your comfort level.