Why are gender-specific therapy options important for recovery?
Gender-specific treatment at Mariposa Center, a non-profit that provides recovery and mental wellness treatment in Southern California, has been an important part of our services since our inception in 1977. Some of the most important benefits come from open lines of communication and targeted treatment opportunities. We’ll explore those benefits in detail below.
Easier, More Open Communication
One essential benefit of gender-specific therapy and counseling is that the lines of communication are more open.
Mixing genders in a group therapy environment can create communication barriers that can be difficult to overcome. For example, some women are in therapy to recover from physical or emotional abuse by a male spouse or partner. They may not feel comfortable discussing their experiences with other men – nor should they be expected to.
Similarly, men in recovery groups that include women can struggle to express vulnerability or discuss past trauma with women present. Also, both genders often have an easier time developing and expressing empathy in same-sex groups than mixed ones.
Targeted Treatment Opportunities
Men’s and women’s treatment needs for mental health or substance use disorders are rarely the same. Differences in physiology and brain chemistry, for example, mean that some approaches will be more effective for women than men and vice versa.
Women in recovery, for example, may need an approach to treatment that considers issues related to hormones or fertility that do not apply to men. Men facing substance abuse or mental wellness challenges will also be better served by treatment that addresses all of their interrelated concerns with appropriate programs and services.
Research has also found that men and women experience recovery differently. Moreover, specific treatment approaches according to gender can impact outcomes.
In short, many of the fundamental concepts behind therapy and mental wellness are the same. But gender-specific programs are more likely to be effective because they are more attuned to the person receiving treatment.
Why Mariposa Center Offers Gender-Specific Therapy
Mariposa has always been dedicated to the well-being of our community’s women, children, and families. Further, gender-specific therapy options have been an integral part of our offerings since the beginning.
“As one of the first and only women-specific substance abuse treatment programs in Orange County, we believe gender-specific treatment programs are critical. Women in particular who have a history of trauma or abuse are more likely to recover in gender-specific treatment programs that address these factors.”Dr. Krista Driver, LMFT; President & CEO, Mariposa Center
Mariposa Center is dedicated to empowering women, men, and families who want to make healthy and positive changes in their lives. From individual treatment to group sessions to equine therapy, all of our programs are designed to give participants the best possible chance at a stable, successful sense of self.