By RALPH MURPHY, MDIV, MSSW, ACSW, LCSW
There is an open group discussion about successful self-maintenance of a healthy path to recovery every Monday at 1pm at Analenisgi. Anyone is welcome to join the group no matter what issues they bring to the table. The focus of the group is development of a personal Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).
WRAP was developed by Mary Ellen Copeland as a way to take charge of her own behavioral health. She developed a way to organize a plan that attends to her symptoms every day and promotes wellness.
Copeland, MS, MA, was a masters level therapist working with persons with behavioral health challenges, and she found her “many years of high achievement and life enjoyment turned into confusion, frustration and pain.”
She was diagnosed with manic depression, and in an attempt to take control of her own symptoms, she “uncovered ideas and strategies that, while often very simple and very safe, have the capacity to create major life change.”
There are five 5 elements in the plan: 1. Daily Maintenance, 2. Triggers, 3. Early Warning Signs, 4. When Things Are Breaking Down, and 5. Crisis Planning.
“I use the WRAP plan consistently myself,” said Copeland. “It works for me. When things are starting to go down the drain, my friends ask, ‘where’s your WRAP?’”
Members use the group to help and support each other in developing ideas for each section in their WRAP workbook . The group discusses what personal choices have been most effective in the past, and encourage each other to stay with their plans.
Group members take a good look at their strengths and focus on how to use their unique personal skills to maintain on the wellness path. The group has also found that there are many traditional rituals in the Cherokee culture that have been a source of strength and assurance. The key to success is discovering personal strengths and focusing on positive outcomes.
Anyone wanting further information about this group can contact Analenisgi 554-6550, or drop in to the group meeting on Mondays at 1pm.
Ralph is a child and family therapist with the Analenisgi program.