Holistic-Based Modalities

Holistic treatment is a term you see batted around quite often in addiction treatment these days, but rarely is this approach explained other than with a laundry list of therapies. Holistic therapy is related to the term holism, coined by J. C. Smuts in Holism and Evolution. It’s the idea that systems and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not just as a collection of parts. Indeed, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In treatment, the system is the human self. The properties of the system are the body, mind, and spirit. Referring back to our Whole Being Recovery Method, holistic therapies are therefore intended to treat the whole person, inclusive of mind, body and spirit, not just the addiction or mental health disorder.

Hugging a horse

At Avery Lane, the Holistic-Based Modalities we employ include but aren’t limited to:

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Summer Lan Franco
MA, MFT-t, Primary Therapist

Summer Lan Franco loves working with people to facilitate recovery from substance use disorders, disordered eating, mental health issues and complex trauma. She earned her BS in Nutrition and Food Science from California State University Chico and MS in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of California. She has worked in community-based and private practice settings. Her approach is personable and sincere. Summer believes in helping people rediscover their true selves by uncovering barriers that stand in the way. Her warmth and earnest interest in others’ wellbeing are always present in the work she does with people seeking help. She has experience with trauma recovery, substance abuse recovery, codependency, family issues, disordered eating, treatment for anxiety and depression, and working with personality disorders.

Alaina Dunér
Office Manager, Sound Healing Group Facilitator, Reiki Master

Alaina Dunér is a Sonoma County native. She studied sociology and outdoor adventure programming for two years at Loyola University of New Orleans and Warren Wilson College. In 2016 Alaina was on a recreational skydive and had a crash landing that resulted in her fracturing multiple vertebrae in her spine. Since her accident, Alaina has emersed herself in understanding the nuances and complexities of health and spirituality. She is passionate about supporting clients through Reiki and Sound. Since taking a pause from university, Alaina has become a certified Reiki Master Teacher in the Tibetan Usui system, an Ayurvedic yoga instructor, a health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and a trauma informed sound facilitator. At the end of 2022 Alaina will attend Southern Utah University to complete her bachelor’s in aerospace and aviation with an emphasis on rotary flight.

Yoga and Mindfulness

Stress is a major trigger of substance misuse for many women. Chronic pain, trauma, loss of employment, or marital problems — and sometimes just everyday problems — can women to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping. Giving them ways to relieve their stress is therefore an important component of addiction treatment.

yoga drug and alcohol treatment for womenYoga is a way of clearing the mind and relaxing the body, which makes it a natural therapeutic tool in addiction treatment. At Avery Lane, our program includes yoga classes that are designed to help women relieve and control stress, thereby removing a possible trigger for relapse. Yoga also strengthens the body, which provides additional health benefits.

Yoga also helps in the development of mindfulness. Women who are dealing with addiction are often unable to focus on the moment. Guilt about their past and worries about their future can rob them of life in the present. When experienced all at once, the problems of life can seem overwhelming. The practice of mindfulness trains women with addictions to let go of their pasts and futures so they can be fully present in the now. When they focus only on the present, their problems becomes more manageable, and they are able to learn to control stress. This can be an important component to achieving and maintaining sobriety.

Equine Therapy

Avery Lane partners with the Mearas Group, whose mission is to develop individuals, teams, and organizations by unlocking the untapped potential that exists in each one of us, by partnering with horses as guides. Through this partnership, our participants learn how to establish trusted relationships, inspire collaboration, effectively lead and motivate others, while acting in alignment with passion, purpose and meaning.

Equine Therapy ignites new insights in our participants, strengthens social and emotional intelligence skills, opens new pathways to learning and deepens each participant’s connection to their true passion and purpose.

Expressive Arts (TLAP)

The Tamalpa Life Art Process (TLAP) is a form of expressive arts that uses drawing, creative writing, and movement as a path towards healing. These modalities are used in collaboration with each other, each one informing and feeding another modality creating a rich and layered experience. Through creativity we can connect to the unconscious parts of ourselves and imagine new ways of being in the world. The creative process also gives us a place to learn more deeply about who we are, where we have come from, and where we want to grow towards.

The expressive arts group at Avery Lane will provide a place for each participant to explore who they are and their healing journey. This group will meet each participant where they are in their process and will continue to support them as they grow. It will provide a safe environment for each participant to be witnessed and receive positive reflection on their creative process. Each session will consist of a combination of movement, drawing, and journaling/creative writing that is focused on a specific theme such as finding resources, mask and unmask, and internal/external boundaries. These activities will be enacted individually, in small groups, and as a whole group to build personal healing through the connection to others and creativity. In the expressive arts group at Avery Lane we will be playing and creatively engaging with our own material on our healing journey. Throughout our creative process we will be tuning into how we are physically and emotionally affected and paying attention to the images and stories that arise.

The TLAP is beneficial when working with substance abuse and trauma through giving participant a way to find and harness both internal and external resources within their life, a safe space to express and embody their experiences, and a place to imagine and create new possibilities. This movement based expressive arts form provides both a deeper connection to one’s body and a way to creatively engage with one’s life. The expressive arts create a safe container to explore vulnerable areas in one’s life by engaging with one’s personal material through the use of metaphors, images, stories, and the imagination.

The creative process is a natural process of transformation, you start with your impetus and then transform it into a new form. This transformation process is one of the reasons why it can be such a powerful resource to use when working with difficult material. Through creativity we can take vulnerable personal material and use it as the inspiration for creating a piece of artwork that is related to us but is also separate from us. It allows us to be able to see, question, and learn from the artwork, which is outside of us, rather then looking directly at the very vulnerable and raw places within our being. This distance allows us to be able to see more clearly how this material affects and engages us and it also allows for only what we are ready to see to come through. The abstract and metaphorical quality of art means that we only see what is ready to emerge and what we are ready to work on within our lives.

Sunnie Skillman
Energy Worker

Sunnie has worked within the field of Energy Psychology for over 20 years and has been trained in a number of healing modalities, including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Access Consciousness. She has been using the tools of Access Consciousness for 23 years, teaching classes and working with clients using various hands-on energy body work techniques. She specializes working with clients who have symptoms of PTSD and assisting in clearing where trauma is stored in the body.
Sunnie brings her personal experience with trauma healing as well as her kind and
caring energy to support the ladies interested in working with other healing modalities
at Avery Lane.

Nicole Collins,
AMFT, Primary Therapist

Nicole Collins entered the field of healing after receiving her BA from Colorado State University
in Human Services, which led her to work in domestic violence. Following her beliefs and
passion in the body-mind-spirit connection and the Intelligence of the Self-healing power, she
got her MS from Touro University in Vallejo. She believes that addiction, alcoholism,
depression, the things that push against your joy, calm, serenity, and sense of security, are
powerful and baffling. Still, there is something unique inside of you that is ready to push back
against it all. The fear, anxiety, depression, and trauma that press against your head and chest
are real, but they should not define you. She feels her role is to help you find the resources
within to overcome the challenges and suffering that life may bring. She specializes in trauma,
substance abuse, LGBTQIA+ community, matters of belonging, helping individuals heal in their
relationships within themselves. In your work together, she will meet you where you are and
support you in reacquainting you, with all parts of yourself, including your inherent wisdom.

Erin Miller, RADT
Recovery Counselor

Erin is a Registered Alcohol Drug Technician, Certified Recovery Coach, and Certified Clinical
Trauma Specialist-A (Trauma and Addiction). She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in
Psychology and Addiction Studies at Aspen University. Through her personal experience with
alcohol addiction and recovery, Erin was inspired to support others on their recovery journeys.
She brings kindness, compassion, and encouragement to her work at Avery Lane. Erin lives in
Sonoma County with her husband and their two adventurous children.

Laurel LeMohn
Recovery Counselor

is a Mendocino County native. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in 2014 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University. She has been a Recovery Counselor at Avery Lane since October, 2021, and works from a trauma-informed, psychodynamic, and humanistic lens. She has had a desire towards helping others since she was young and looks forward to working with you as you transition your life into one where you are thriving and proud to be living.