Crossroads for Women Clients Reflect on what Women-focused Treatment Means to Them

Crossroads for Women talks a lot about substance abuse and mental health treatment that is specifically geared to women and their unique issues. That’s what we’ve been doing for 35 years. But, what does this really mean?

We recently took some time to talk to clients in our outpatient, halfway house and residential rehab programs about what women-focused treatment means to them. Here are some of the responses:

  • It means women working with a staff of all women trying to better their lives and figure out how to live life for the first time, being the people we want to be, the women we are on the inside, not who we turned into while using/drinking.
  • “Women-focused” treatment attends more to emotional problems…there are certain “expectations” that come with being a woman, so “women-focused treatment” helps and attends to that area in life too.
  • Treatment that involve women issues, like children, work, relationships, etc.
  • A place where women feel safe, whether it’s talking about their addiction or their mental health issues.
  • It means women with women, working together in our struggles. A lot of women go through the same difficulties and have been in the same situations in life, different than men.
  • It means that men and women are not emotionally the same, so being with just women I can get the emotional responses I need to recover and be honest enough to share my deepest memories without being judged and not focus on good, nice looking men!
  • It means treatment geared toward women’s issues – a women’s environment  – geared to understand the conflicts a women with addiction faces. It feels good to not feel alone – that other women are struggling with many of the same issues.
  • It’s about feeling safe and not alone. Not feeling like you are the only woman who is struggling with this disease and that other females deal with the same issues.
  • A program where you can express your deepest, darkest secrets; not having judgment that sometimes women feel with men around. I am learning to trust women and see myself in a lot of them.

Have you experienced women-focused treatment for substance abuse? What does it mean to you?