Dr. Mark Schwartz Of Harmony Place Monterey Fights Against Chronic Relapse

Dr. Mark Schwartz Of Harmony Place Monterey Fights Against Chronic Relapse

If you have ever known of someone who has had their first struggle with substance abuse, then got help and recovered well, only to fall into addiction again and repeat the cycle, you’ll know what Chronic Relapse looks like. Dr. Mark Schwartz of Harmony Place Monterey is the Clinical Director of this outstanding, award-winning facility, and he also knows what Chronic Relapse looks like, and how to treat it successfully.

In the wider community, those without personal experience of behavioral disorders and mental health issues tend to believe these problems simply result from a deficit of willpower. But being misunderstood, even stigmatized, generates the social isolation which compounds the problem for the one suffering alcohol or substance abuse. Dr. Mark Schwartz and his professional team of experienced therapists have a thorough understanding of the nature of addictive behaviors, the symptoms, and underlying causes, and can work through these issues with the client right down to the causal factors. 

“Recovered” Patients Can, and Do, Relapse

Statistically, clinicians agree that interventions often produce only temporary recoveries, and the client’s control over their problem proves to be short-lived. While this fact in itself may seem devastating for the patient who had emerged from a treatment program with great optimism, the lapse can be dissected to reveal agencies and triggers that can now be addressed.

Addictions may initially take hold as the result of a set of circumstances, a pattern of thinking, a preconditioned action, or a habitual response. But the addiction and linked behaviors often persist long after the original cause was removed. The behavior is now illogical and irrational and threatens the mental health of the individual. Due to the in-depth nature and complexities of behavioral disorders, recovering patients commonly experience setbacks or a relapse, but this is not the end of the world. Instead, it is an opportunity to analyze which factors were present that contributed to the re-emergence of addictive behavior. This becomes a task for the patient, carried out with guided help. Data is gathered on the details of how, where, and why a relapse occurred, and this information forms an incremental understanding of the inner self and begins the basis of future permanent abstinence and sobriety.

Unmasking the Role of the Substance Being Abused

As the patient builds this new level of self-awareness in their striving toward healthier living and relationships, a useful degree of honesty about their thought responses emerges. For example, they can express their fear of change as perhaps a feeling of loneliness, and of needing the “comfort” of the alcohol or substance. So the addiction becomes unmasked as a substitute for solace and companionship. Social contact is shunned, and isolation results because the comfort of the substance is trusted above relationships with real people. The outcome is a pattern of self-centeredness where the client allows their real relationships to become damaged. A significant part of successful recovery, strengthened against relapse, will be learning how to connect with people again genuinely.

As each stage of recovery is built up, layering a foundation that will resist relapse, emotional health is addressed. Turning to a substance for comfort can be a symptom of having become distrustful of others. This self-protecting behavior and assigning false motives to others becomes ingrained, but Harmony Place Monterey’s program participants are taught to self-soothe in positive ways that bring a healthier outlook. Ultimately connecting with one’s “true” self through a process of facing feelings of inadequacy, self-hate or perfectionism eventually brings about self-acceptance. If an episode of relapse does occur, the client will now have a sense of accountability and tools that provide insight into developing further resilience and can integrate the personal lesson learned without being overly dismayed at the set-back.

An Award-Winning Psychiatric Care Facility

The innovative work and effective holistic approach toward mental health by Dr. Mark Schwartz of Harmony Place Monterey have received award-winning formal recognition over the last four years. Harmony Place Monterey focuses on mental health issues such as depression and addiction recovery pathways as a treatment center. Offering a variety of treatment delivery formats such as outpatient hours, partial hospitalization, and a transitional care program, the qualified experts at Harmony Place Monterey aim to restore their patient’s power to live fulfilling and productive lives.


Ruth Chacon