David Lawrence Centers Expands its Holistic Wellness Services, Extends Healing to Children & Adult Clients

David Lawrence Centers Expands its Holistic Wellness Services, Extends Healing to Children & Adult Clients

Naples, Fl – When children and adults enter treatment at David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC), Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit behavioral health treatment center, they don’t always expect to enjoy spending time with furry, four-legged therapist, reaping the calming benefits of yoga or tapping into their creativity through art.

But for Dinah, a former DLC Crossroads residential recovery client, spending time with horses was her favorite part of being in treatment. “It felt very comforting, very calm and peaceful,” she shared.

Now, thanks to a generous $30,000 healthcare and mental health grant from the Collier Community Foundation, DLC is expanding its holistic care which includes animal-assisted and expressive art therapies, fitness, yoga, and meditation for children and adults receiving care in its intensive treatment programs.

The Collier Community Foundation grant will support DLC’s ability to engage with its holistic community providers to offer regularly scheduled, professional holistic wellness activities onsite and at the partners’ locations. The grant will also fund the purchase of necessary equipment, appropriate clothing and shoes, and materials to ensure clients can participate in the programming.

DLC works with several community partners to provide these specialized services including Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC), which brings its miniature horses to DLC weekly.

Animal-assisted therapy

Every time the horses visit, children and adult clients rush out to greet them. Together, they can take a break from their intensive therapy services and spend time grooming, petting, and painting the horses. They also walk the horses through obstacle courses and jog with them.

The time allows the clients to forget about their stressors. Plus, they can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of being outside in nature and practicing mindfulness.

“When the minis came in, everybody had a smile on their face,” added Dinah.

Nancy Dauphinais, DLC’s Chief Operating Officer and a horse owner, said that aside from the emotional benefits, equine therapy helps people open up. “Those who are hesitant to express themselves in traditional talk therapy or who may be nonverbal will connect with an animal and start sharing,” she said.

Dauphinais added that the Wellness Program helps clients better understand themselves, their symptoms, and how to manage their emotions. “This allows them to practice healthy coping and social skills while in treatment with us. It increases their chances of achieving and maintaining life-lasting wellness and recovery.”

Yoga and recovery

Part of the grant funding will also pay for weekly yoga classes at Yoga House for DLC’s Crossroads residents. Yoga can be a powerful tool for people going through major life changes and recovery. Studies have shown that by helping reduce perceived stress and anxiety, yoga modulates stress response systems. The practice can also decrease physiological arousal such as heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.

These self-soothing techniques—especially when combined with socializing through fitness—can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses. Additionally, it can help people manage anxiety, depression, and substance use challenges in a supportive environment.

Cory Webster, who sought treatment at DLC five years ago after spiraling into opioid addiction, stays sober by helping others as a DLC Peer Recovery Specialist and through her regular yoga practice as a yoga instructor.

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“My underlying problem was that I was disconnected,” said Webster. “I felt unworthy and not loved. Once I realized I could be my authentic self, honest and comfortable in my own skin, I was then able to connect with others.”

Webster admits that the yoga community is a big part of the connection she feels today. Fittingly, the word yoga translation in Sanskrit is “unite.” Yoga can help individuals in recovery let go, have faith, and open themselves up to receive the love and support around them.

How to support DLC’s holistic wellness services

“Most clients cannot afford wellness services, making donor funding critical for our ability to provide these evidence-based, treatment-enriching activities to the growing number of children and adults in our care with acute needs,” said Scott Burgess, DLC Chief Executive Officer. “On behalf of the more than 1,000 children and adults who will benefit from these expanded holistic services, we offer our sincerest appreciation to Collier Community Foundation and their donors for their steadfast support.”

DLC Holistic Wellness Services are complementary and not generally covered by state funding or private insurers. DLC relies strictly on donations to fund these innovative, evidence-based programs. For more information or to donate, visit DLCenters.org or call 239-455-8500.

About the Collier Community Foundation:

The Collier Community Foundation™ is a tax-exempt, public, charitable organization established in 1985 to increase and focus on local private philanthropy. Today, the Collier Community Foundation manages more than 850 funds, works with hundreds of nonprofits, and has granted over $328.1 million to nonprofit organizations, community programs, and scholarships. Informed giving. Powerful results.®  Learn more at colliercf.org or call 239-649-5000.

About David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health

Southwest Florida nonprofit David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) is a national leader in providing compassionate, advanced, and exceptional mental health, substance use, and integrated healthcare solutions available for children, adolescents, and adults. DLC’s innovative treatment includes inpatient, outpatient, residential, and community-based services – a comprehensive system of care funded by community and government support. Each year, DLC serves 9,000 people through over 341,000 treatment sessions.

Nov 21, 2023 | Blog, Mental Health, News & Events, Press Releases

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