What I Did to Enhance Recovery

By Alice Holstein, Ed.D.

These ran the gamut, from those that cost money to those that cost little to those that cost nothing.  Many of them could be implemented in a “wellness center.”


Naturopathy to balance my body with food supplements and diet

Mindfulness practices (with a group that meditated together, did walking meditations combined with support for one another)

Attending lectures that highlighted alternative healing approaches

Herbal treatments with a Chinese medicine practitioner

Healing circles at an alternative church

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): see internet under this name for explanation

Medical intuitive and Swiss energy healer

Japanese energy healing

Craniosacral therapy

A healing group based upon beliefs and meditation


Group spiritual direction

Reiki circles

Group meditation

DMDA support groups (Depression and Manic Depression Association)

Depression Anonymous support group

Informal healing that included hands on healing and support

A medicine woman


Myo-facial healing, a form of bodywork energy healing

Zone (foot) therapy

Hellinger Constellation Workshops (see internet for multiple listings about this)

Inspirational/educational videos, particularly Joseph Campbell

Extensive reading in depth and transpersonal psychology, fields mostly beyond psychiatry

Forgiveness practices

Concentrated work on my diet

Grief work and ritual (self-designed)

Grief support group

Shaman practitioner


Exercise (swimming, walking, fitness center)

Walking the mandala at a spirituality center

Lectures on Mysticism


Conferences (several, such as “Spirituality Reflected and Hellinger)


Specific research on PTSD

Self-help exercises from Deepak Chopra and other material


Gratitude exercises

Writing attempts to clarify and integrate my thinking/discoveries

Collecting significant research that fortified the development of a new view of mental illness, healing methods, change of attitude, etc. that I periodically reviewed

Reading meditative material

Caseworker counseling over several years

Hospital therapy groups

Drumming circle

Support Circle diagram that showed me the support I didn’t think I had

Inspirational/educational cassette tapes


*Most important of all is the intention to get well. Because of that I think that doors kept opening to me, or I sought them out. Self-responsibility and a searching attitude is key to enhancing recovery. Many of these things did not cost money!

Another key is openness to what comes your way in the form of “small” acts.

Caroline Myss, Medical Intuitive, author and healer said this about healing:

She wrote, in an e-mail message about the nature of service and why people are drawn to be of service after surviving a crisis-------------She received 1300 responses and said she was “broken open” by their content. “I had the realization for the first time of how profoundly powerful the force of love, generosity, compassion, kindness and the non-judging heart truly is. These letters were filled with accounts of people who literally decided to not commit suicide or pulled themselves out of despair and broken-spirited crisis of being homeless because one human being smiled at them with respect or held a door open for them. That single act was enough to breathe life back into the soul of another human being. I was stunned by how little it took on the part of one human being to do so much for another.”

I had many such moments. I call them miracles and know that my life was saved literally hundreds of times. Never doubt the power of the light you carry inside and the importance of everyday human interactions.