Co-owner and family liaison of addiction recovery facility Desert Solace, Jerri Jorgensen was interviewed recently on the In My Head podcast about her experiences helping others overcome addiction.
Jorgensen said that she began her addiction recovery facilitation journey when she found out that her husband suffered from pornography addiction. Since his recovery, the two have opened a recovery center to help others find peace and freedom from addiction, just as they have.
Desert Solace’s program focuses on teaching coping skills not just to the person who is suffering an addiction, but to people within his or her support group so that the change can be sustainable. Jorgensen learned the importance of setting boundaries early on, and now passes that knowledge on to her clients and their families.
“Teaching them that boundaries are critical, and boundaries aren’t punishment,” Jorgensen said, is paramount. “(Boundaries) are for our safety. Because you can’t control anyone (other than yourself.)”
As the family liaison for Desert Solace, Jorgensen said one of the most important things she has to teach her clients is the difference between reaching for control and setting boundaries. Jorgensen, herself, learned the importance of setting boundaries early in her husband’s recovery.
“I (told him), … ‘I’m willing to take this journey with you, but I am not living with someone in addiction.’ I was just really, really clear. I’m also really clear about boundaries, and that’s something that I teach the wives that I coach,” said Jorgensen.
Another important lesson Jorgensen and her husband learned was that of nonresistance, or “letting go.”
“There is a universal law called ‘The Law of Nonresistance,’” said Jorgensen. “If we’re resisting,” she explained, “(We’re saying things like) ‘I’m not going to look at pornography, … I already said I wasn’t going to go there,’” In times like those, Jorgensen asks, “Where’s your focus?”
When letting go and allowing themselves to see their addictive behavior as one of a number of choices, Jorgensen said that suddenly “that’s not where (the addicted person’s) focus is anymore. Then (they) can turn (their) back on the darkness and focus on the light.”
Ultimately, Jorgensen has come to the conclusion that the best cure for addiction is reaching a place of acceptance and belonging.
“The opposite of addiction is connection,” Jorgensen said. “It’s connection to themselves, recognizing who they are at their core, without all the masks and all the stories and all the stuff that we put on ourselves. … It’s connection with our loved ones, with our spouses, with our kids.”
Jorgensen said that watching her clients move out of addiction and into stronger connections with their loved ones is one of the most powerful motivating forces behind her work at Desert Solace.
“We have guys that have graduated (from) our program and go, ‘Oh my gosh, my kids know who I am now because I’m present,’” Jorgensen said.
By opening Desert Solace, Jorgensen and her husband hope to help others move out of addiction and reconnect with themselves, learn to let go of their reliance on pornography and other addictions, and set good boundaries to help them move forward in their lives.
“I’m going to do what works for me,” said Jorgensen. “And what works for me in this stage is sharing my story and assisting other people that may be experiencing the same thing, and letting them know that there’s hope.”
Desert Solace is an inpatient addiction treatment center in St. George, Utah. Desert Solace specializes in the treatment of pornography and sex addictions. Additionally, they offer treatment programs for gaming, gambling and substance abuse. Their inpatient facility for porn, sex, gaming, gambling and substance addictions features professional, licensed counselors, a top-rated chef, equine therapy and more. Desert Solace believes in involving the client’s family in the recovery process.
1239 West 4200 North
St. George, UT 84770, USA
Note: Article contributed by KHTS AM 1220 & 98.1 FM