In the modern world, disconnection, distraction and divisive opinions can often inform our experience of relationships, family and community.
Just as food, clothing and shelter are essential human needs, so, too, is social connection. Biochemical and physiological nourishment occurs through human interaction enabling us to thrive.
Current neuroscientific and psychological research demonstrates loneliness, isolation and gaps in “social health” are contributing to deadly secondary medical and mental health pandemics throughout society, including increased addiction, suicide and chronic illness.
At SeekHealing we aim to nourish and cultivate the social connection that our brains desire by making such opportunities accessible. We provide welcoming spaces that create the opportunity to form deep, meaningful connections.
Relational Cultural Theory (RTC) explores how humans become more relationally complex throughout life, rather than individuated and autonomous.
RTC is built on the premise that human beings grow through and toward connection, and that we need connections to flourish, even to stay alive. It views isolation as a major source of suffering for people, at both a personal and cultural level.
Relational Cultural Theory provides an alternative to traditional perspectives on human development, viewing mental health and personal growth through the lens of interpersonal dynamics. Mutual empathy and empowerment are treated as paths out of isolation and suffering.
SeekHealing’s programs work to foster personal growth, mental health and a healthy relationship with substances through experiences of shared empathy and empowerment. Aligned with RCT, we focus on bringing individuals out of isolation. We help those in need build stronger, healthier relationships, and, by extension, strengthen the social fabric of our communities.
Before Polyvagal Theory, the two previously recognized nervous system functions were the sympathetic (“fight-or-flight”) and the parasympathetic (“rest-and-digest”). This understanding failed to recognize more nuanced ways the nervous system responds to stimulus. Polyvagal Theory helps us navigate relationships by identifying the “social engagement system,” which combines the sympathetic nervous system’s activating effect with the parasympathetic nervous system’s calming effect.
The social engagement system enables us to become more flexible in our coping styles, though we must feel safe to use it. SeekHealing programs feature two trained, trauma-informed facilitators, who create a safe space for participants to practice utilizing their physiological social engagement system. As such, SeekHealing helps participants retrain their nervous system responses to others. This facilitates their ability to create more meaningful connections and healthy relationships, thus improving their sense of well-being.
Attachment is a lasting psychological connection between people. Through attachment, deep and lasting emotional bonds form between people as they seek closeness to one another, feeling more secure when they are together. Attachment requires noticing and responding sensitively to another’s needs.
Attachment theory assumes that children need to form a secure relationship with a primary caregiver in order to attain the confidence to explore the world. It also suggests behavior is learned primarily through childhood experiences, rather than determined at birth.
SeekHealing provides resources for community members to form secure connections with each other by sharing how the state of their current relationships are not serving themselves and others. SeekHealing programs and resources promote healing from past experiences and help participants learn to connect more deeply in their current relationships.
Current research shows a strong relationship between trauma and severe mental health issues, including substance use disorder. Trauma-informed practice recognizes trauma symptoms and the role trauma may play in people’s lives. Trauma-informed practice provides more appropriate and accessible support to people who have experienced trauma.
SeekHealing’s programming was designed from the ground up to be trauma-informed, and is staffed by trained trauma-informed facilitators. Through SeekHealing’s outreach to organizations working in harm reduction, substance use recovery, mental illness and homelessness, our programming serves those who have experienced trauma, helping them feel safe, share their experiences, and connect with others without judgment, thus giving them space to heal, grow, and learn.
Growing evidence shows the connection between positive relationships and well-being. Positive relationships have also been shown to reduce the impact of difficult circumstances. A Relational Health model focuses on health as the result of many connected pieces of a complex social system.
SeekHealing provides facilitated connection, interactive skill-building opportunities, substance-free social events, and community-building volunteer, co-working, and work opportunities. We provide a social safety net for a community to combat drug use, mental illness, and deaths of despair.
Harm reduction is a set of practices and programs to improve the health and social well-being of those who use drugs. Harm reduction is also a movement for justice and human rights built on respect for substance users.
SeekHealing strives to meet individuals’ needs for social connection alongside their mental health treatment and recovery services. All SeekHealing programs are available to anyone, regardless of their choices around drug use. We meet you where you are, and serve you based on your individual needs.