build trust with women
September 21, 2023 By Leah Malone

3 Ways to Build Trust With Other Women During Recovery


Some women in treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) have difficulty trusting other women. Past trauma, relationship issues, poor social skills, or other factors may make it difficult to trust others and engage in healthy interactions. Studies have shown that “(1) gender-specific services are critical in creating a healing environment; (2) the contributions of women who have experienced trauma in their lives can be an essential component of crafting effective services; (3) group environments are key to restoring trust and promoting healing; and (4) the most effective programs integrate trauma, mental health, and substance abuse services, rather than treating them separately.” Emerge Recovery TX offers trauma-informed care, peer support, and personalized treatment to help women build trust.

Why Do Some Women Have Difficulty Trusting Other Women?

Often, women have difficulty trusting other women due to past trauma. For example, a woman raised by an abusive maternal figure may have trouble trusting authority figures who are also women. The clinical team at Emerge Recovery TX is comprised entirely of women. Building trust in those circumstances may take time. 

Some of the most common reasons women have difficulty trusting other women include: 

  • Abusive female family members 
  • Traumatic events involving a female authority figure
  • Betrayal by a female friend 
  • Childhood neglect or abuse

Distrust of peers or clinicians affects recovery and peer bonding. The dedicated clinicians at Emerge Recovery TX offer compassionate and trauma-informed care. Clients are introduced to a safe and welcoming environment where they can learn to build trust with other women.  

3 Ways to Build Trust With Other Women

Trust allows women to take advantage of many support services. However, building trust takes time and effort. According to Medical Care, “Trust is essential to building and maintaining mutually respectful relationships, especially partnerships involving patients . . . in which there is often an inherent imbalance of power.” Emerge Recovery TX uses trauma-informed care and personalized treatment programs to help clients learn to rely on peers and their care team.  

#1. Build Trust by Treating Underlying Trauma

Underlying trauma causes triggered responses in some people. Difficulty trusting others is a symptom of trauma. Fear of being emotionally hurt or betrayed is common for women struggling with untreated trauma. Learning to trust other women often requires individualized trauma-informed care and therapy. Women build trust with their care team and peers by processing past trauma. Emerge Recovery TX offers trauma-informed care and trauma-specific treatments, including eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. All clinicians are EMDR-trained and provide extended services to clients who need additional sessions for trauma-related issues. 

#2. Build Trust Through Social Skills Development

Increasing social skills reduces anxiety and builds trust. Social skills reduce tension, improve communication, and reduce the risk of re-traumatization during peer interactions. Women who have difficulty trusting others use skill development to establish healthy social boundaries during treatment.

Some of the social skills people learn in outpatient treatment include:

  • Effective communication through active listening 
  • Nonverbal communication and body language cues
  • Using empathy to connect with others
  • Being assertive and setting clear boundaries
  • Interpersonal cooperation and problem-solving

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Group therapy is a therapy modality wherein clients learn and practice recovery strategies, build interpersonal skills, and reinforce and develop social support networks.” The community setting at Emerge Recovery TX is an excellent environment for practicing social skills with peers and clinicians. Clients are given the tools they need to experience positive social interactions with peers during group therapy and community activities. 

#3. Trusting Other Women by Actively Engaging in Treatment

To truly trust and believe in others, a person must choose to actively engage with them. Women in treatment trust more quickly when they actively participate in their recovery. 

A few ways to actively engage in treatment include: 

  • Focusing on building a solid relationship with care team members, support staff, and peers
  • Practicing empathy and compassion in every interaction
  • Challenging negative self-talk and replacing maladaptive behaviors with healthier alternatives
  • Learning to communicate more clearly and effectively

Trust is a two-way street and takes active engagement from all parties to succeed. Women in treatment can learn to trust and find support in one another by choosing to engage with peers.

How Emerge Recovery TX Helps Women Build Trust and Healthier Relationships

Emerge Recovery TX offers treatment programs by women for women. The clinicians are in recovery themselves and understand how difficult it can be to trust strangers. Your care team will work with you to establish trust and help you find healthy ways to practice relying on others. The goal of treatment is to create a healthier life and increase functionality. Peer support and encouragement help women in recovery establish the foundation for a life of sobriety. 

Women in treatment often have past trauma affecting their ability to make deep social connections with other women in recovery. Building trust takes time. The dedicated clinicians at Emerge Recovery TX provide clients with a structured environment where they safely explore building trust and making positive social connections. Clients are encouraged to support and uplift one another during therapy sessions and community events. Women have a special relationship with one another. Trusting each other strengthens the entire community and increases the effectiveness of treatment. Women in treatment learn to trust others by actively participating in the program and developing essential social skills. To learn more about our programs, contact our office today by calling us at (737) 237-9663.

About Author

Leah Malone

Learning to sit with uncomfortable feelings can be painful and disturbing at times. When Leah was able to see her behavior patterns and decided there was enough pain to be disturbed, she became motivated to make changes and accept the work that needed to be done to heal. She needed direction and had no clue how to heal on her own. Through a connection with God, authentic connection with others, honesty, willingness, and humility, Leah is now in recovery from addiction and trauma.

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