The celebrated Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee has been pulsing with the hottest country beats for decades. A few years ago, Integrative Life Center established a presence in the famous musical area and quickly developed a reputation for being a place where addicts come to seek out real transformation. ILC’s website shows that it offers diverse programs for addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders, mood disorders, process addictions and other “self sabotaging behaviors that interfere with one’s ability to be the person he or she wants to be.”
Lee McCormick, ILC’s co-founder and CEO, was active in the in-patient care industry for 15 years prior to opening the Integrative Life Center. When speaking of in-patient care, McCormick stated, “It’s a powerful experience, energetic shift, and emotional opening. You’re taught a new perspective on what you are and who you are. The identity becomes unraveled.”
After years of experience in the industry, McCormick became convinced that it was problematic for addicts to leave the bubble of a powerful residential experience and abruptly enter the real world. He used a Shamanic lens to describe the exit from in-patient care explaining that the shift into the real world is like a mythical underworld. It is a state of temporal and physical limbo in which a person might not understand their identity or how to live life free from addictions.
McCormick came to feel that clients engage in a vital process of “recreating their relationship with self and world on day-to-day basis [in the real world] while they’re still unraveling.” Hence, ILC takes an integrative approach and places experiential therapies front and center in a primarily non-residential setting. This approach to treatment helps clients to methodically dismantle their current notions of identity and allows them to “expand into the truth of who they really are,” says McCormick. Specifically, clients are taught that their diagnosis is not who they are. They are also taught how to intentionally release that energy through ceremonial processes inspired by Native American and South American traditions.
McCormick expressed concern regarding the “official story line” that is offered when a person relapses after in-patient care. The story line, according to McCormick, takes on various shapes such as “relapse occurs because the disease is so powerful,” or “they aren’t ready to make a change,” or “they don’t want to change.” McCormick responded to this rhetoric saying “recovery treatment in this country has lost its relationship with true healing.” He insisted that healing, as it is viewed in this day and age, is relative to the suffering that was once experienced. He asserts that this problem is mirrored in the current relapse rates and in the industry’s focus on managing symptoms rather than bringing true and complete healing.
ILC welcomes everyone including but not limited to young adults and those who have relapsed multiple times. Many who seek help at ILC come with deep wounds, but are looking to integrate into the world. In providing diverse treatments that draw from many disciplines, ILC has added a fresh new harmony to Music Row.