Here’s Help has adapted its treatment components over the years. These changes were made to include innovative approaches that create, not only functioning members of society, but valuable contributors as well. Our goal is to facilitate socialization while increasing self-expression and self-esteem. We strive to achieve this while augmenting educational and vocational treatment objectives. The Alternative Therapies Program provides this exposure in the form of cooking as therapy. The focus is on socializing, learning to cook together, learning about food, the health benefits of food, how to shop for food, how to cook, how food affects your mood and the results.
The Culinary Arts Program – Cooking As Therapy
Here’s Help, Inc. is proud to announce The Culinary Arts Program, a 10-week (4 hours/day, M-F, 14 students per cycle) hands-on training session, combining classroom with cooking experience in Here’s Help’s industrial kitchen. In these Alternative Therapy Sessions, Students progress through achievement steps, and are given the responsibilities experienced in a restaurant environment (e.g. inventory/menu planning/kitchen management/event coordination). Curriculum includes preparation of healthy gourmet meals for clients in residential treatment.
“Cooking has therapeutic value physically, cognitively, socially and intrapersonally. Physically, cooking requires good movement in shoulders, fingers, wrists, elbow, neck, as well as good overall balance. Adequate muscle strength is needed in upper limbs for lifting, mixing, cutting and chopping. Furthermore, sensory awareness is important in considering safety while dealing with hot and sharp objects.” This is the therapeutic value noted by the Wall Street Journal.
Cooking as therapy is effective because it encourages creativity. Cooking also makes people feel good about themselves because it’s a way for them to nurture others. For most dishes, there is also a sense of immediate gratification. These days, health-care clinics and counselors across the world are using cooking or baking as therapy tools for people suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental-health problems. This type of therapy is often partly aimed at teaching healthy cooking and eating skills to people living tough, chaotic lives.
But it also functions as a method for stressed out users to focus on a task at hand, and feel satisfaction at completing a task. The reward of eating together as a group and the satisfaction of having cooked a healthy meal can become a rush of healthy self-inflation. It makes sense to think of cooking as therapy because food has a lot of meaning culturally, ethnically and religiously. It brings people together whether it is baking, cooking a meal, shopping for the food and certainly sitting down together and socializing. At Here’s Help, Inc. we believe cooking as therapy is an important part of helping young people find healthy joys and hobbies they can enjoy without the use of drugs are alcohol.