DARA Thailand in Chanthaburi, CA

Overall Rating

(3.7 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
Asia Health Co., Ltd. 110/56 Moo 11, T. Plubpla
Chanthaburi CA 92101

DARA Thailand Philosophy

Our Philosophy is summarized in two simple statements, first we believe in you, we believe in your capacity to have a recovery from addiction that suits you and is individual to you. We believe that each person has to find a recovery that works for them and that your recovery will be immensely more rewarding than your addiction.
From this emerges our second philosophy statement, this is actually a question that we use to determine every aspect of your treatment here. Our question is - will this, - whatever it is, enhance or detract from your recovery? Your recovery does not happen at DARA what you do before you come here and after you leave determines your recovery but at DARA we give you a chance to work out your unique recovery.
This starts with physical health and de-stressing. The physical program includes regular Thai massage, a physical activity program tailored to your individual capacity and excellent healthy and nutritious food. Mentally we have a focus on mindfulness and meditation with several sessions each week. The specialist staff here, physical therapists, excellent chefs and trained meditation coaches are committed to your physical and mental wellbeing.
Our mission is to make your time at DARA a unique experience in your life, an opportunity to focus on yourself and to prepare yourself physically and emotionally to develop your own recovery. This is something we cannot do for you but we can give you every resource we can to help you achieve it. We believe in you.

Areas of Specialization

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    The focus of cognitive behavioral therapy (also called CBT) is helping people to understand the thoughts and emotions that underlie their addiction with the goal of learning new, healthier and more productive ways to understand and express themselves.

  • Holistic Therapy
    Facilities that offer “holistic therapy” see and treat patients in the context of their entire lives and health status. They treat the “whole person,” not just the addiction.

Facility Highlights

Highly Qualified and Internationally Certified Clinical Team

Holistic Evidence Based Program

Affordable Luxury Addiction Treatment

Meet the Staff

Dr. Philip Townshend

Treatment Director

Photo of Dr. Philip Townshend

Dr. Phil Townshend is a Clinical Psychologist trained and registered in New Zealand. He has over 30 years of professional experience in a variety of settings including residential treatment facilities, Employee Assistance Programs, treatment of chronic pain, Maori mental health and private practice. However the addiction area, both substances and gambling, has been the focus of his career. Phil has had clinical, research, teaching and management roles in addiction in New Zealand and Australia. His PhD was in ethics and conflict in methadone treatment. He has extensively published his research on addiction topics in academic literature. Furthermore Dr. Phil is contributed his knowledge and expertise at numerous conferences on addiction. Phil is fascinated by the way the new neuroscience understanding is changing addiction treatment and the ways this can help individuals and families affected. The rewarding and humbling experience of working with people facing up to addiction and changing their lives is Phil’s motivator for working. He is fascinated by the many paradox’s in this area, the opportunity to keep learning and that there is no one right way to recovery. Personally Phil has a close family with a long term partner and three sons, and he enjoys most outdoor activities and reading.

Dr. Seamus McAuley

Director Clincal Coordination & Intake Assessment

Photo of Dr. Seamus McAuley

Dr. MacAuley is trained as a doctor at the University of London and then pursued a career in General Practice joining the Royal Air Force as a commissioned officer where he worked for 22 years in the UK and in conflict zones abroad. During his years as a General Practitioner he developed an interest in addiction and trauma as many of his patients were predominantly troubled by alcohol, prescription medication and other substances. Dr. MacAuley uses a holistic, person centered, solution based approach to work with his clients. His counseling career started with a placement in the prison setting, working with addicted offenders from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Following this Seamus worked with addicted health professionals within a therapeutic community setting, developing a twelve step recovery program which ran alongside and interlinked with a CBT based mindfulness and acceptance approach. For the past 3 years he has worked in residential rehabs in various roles. His key focus when working with his clients is the therapeutic relationship as the fundamental basis to establish trust and work successfully towards his clients goals. His interests lie beyond just recovery from chemical addiction and involve freedom from other compulsive process behaviors such as gambling, food, sex, love attachment, work and relationship dysfunction particularly intimacy anorexia and co-dependency.

Rehabs.com 360 Guide

Review by Rehabs.com Contributors

ABOUT DARA THAILAND

DARA Thailand has two locations in Thailand — the flagship facility on the island of and another in the town of Chanthaburi. Both facilities offer residential care for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, though they are not equipped to treat paranoia, suicidality, or delusional behavior, according to the website.

Medical detox is not offered on-site, but is available at Bangkok Hospital.

TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT

Both treatment centers utilize evidenced-based treatment approaches, based predominantly around cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) combined with 12-step philosophy and/or SMART Recovery. Other modalities include rational emotive therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing (MI), transactional analysis, schema therapy, intensive behavioral therapy (IBT), psycho-educational sessions, and relapse prevention.

To round out the program, DARA Thailand also offers family treatment, acupuncture, yoga, Tai Chi, massage, nutrition, and fitness support. Programs last four, eight, or 12 weeks.

The facility’s website notes that all programs come with free aftercare for life, which include periodic check-ins and revisits to DARA for five-day “tune-ups,” as well as post-discharge coaching.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

DARA Koh Chang employs an international staff of 50 people, including clinical psychologists, a medical doctor, numerous therapists and addiction counselors, and fitness trainers.

ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES

Residents of DARA Koh Chang sleep in air-conditioned villas, and some clients of DARA Chanthaburi stay in suites. At each center, rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, DVD players, and free WiFi. Each facility also has a pool, gym, meditation center, and library.

DARA takes clients all over Thailand. From Chanthaburi, residents go to tropical forests, waterfalls, fishing villages, and beaches. From Koh Chang, they fish, go island hopping, trek in the jungle, and tour holy temples.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY

Feedback from more than 20 former clients offer mixed reviews of DARA. Of the 24 alumni surveyed, the facility received low average ratings of 3.38 out of five stars for its leisure and holistic offerings, 2.67 out of five stars for its cleanliness, 2.1 out of five stars for its counseling options, and 2.2 out of five stars for its staff’s training and experience.

There was also a significant amount of positive feedback posted to Rehabs.com by former clients, with a number of reviewers praising the program for its life-changing nature. “DARA truly has been a life-altering experience for me. Not only were my one-to-one meetings of great benefit, but also the interactions that took place during group meetings were essential to my recovery. All of this hard emotional work was softened by good food, wonderful massages and a relaxed, natural atmosphere,” wrote A.A. in a representative review.

WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY

Linda, the one loved one surveyed by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing, gave the facility a highly positive review, awarding it five out of five stars for its treatment effectiveness and writing: “I feel that Dara rehab was able to make these issues run smooth with the clients best interest in mind. The words genuine and caring come to mind when I think of the Dara Rehab experience my son was given.”

FINANCING

According to the facility’s website, fees start at $6,995 per person for an all-inclusive, four-week program. DARA is in-network with AXA, Cigna, GeoBlue, HTH Worldwide, and International SOS.

Updated January 2017

Published on February 2017

User Reviews

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Amazing place and the staff was ace

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Very welcoming place with a beautiful view. All the staff were very helpful and supportive: the counselors, house keeping, kitchen staff, everyone extremely friendly, professional and helpful. Good value for money. PT was amazing, he is Dara's rock! I would highly recommend Dara's highly supportive programme to others. In fact, I already passed this information to a close friend.

Official Facility Response

The very second you arrive at Dara you feel safe and comfortable. This place has one objective and getting you sober and giving you the tools to stay that way. It blows my mind to read negative reviews ! I honestly think that they didn't go to the place i did. The program is beyond good. if you wan't help it is right in front of you! The food is great ( best fruit i have ever had in my life) . How can anyone complain about a private villa with a deck and outdoor shower. Laundry is done every day your room is cleaned daily by a great staff. The weekend excursions are fantastic.The staff is for the most part in recovery or very familiar with the process. They will be strict if a situation calls for it but they are laid back most of the time. In a place like Dara that feels like resort people tend to forget that they are in rehab and their will be rules and restrictions. If you don't understand that you should just go somewhere for vacation .

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Amazing, life- affirming, life- changing, REAL, challenging. Fantastic rapport with clients & staff alike. I have truly learned how to let go of negative people, the past & thoughts. A sunny future beckons!

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It sounds absurd but i really enjoyed my stay in DARA facilities. Stayed for two months and i know it could have been a lot worse if i had chosen a sub-par rehab over these guys. I can honestly say i owe you my life. I have been clean for 6 months now and knock wood, so far no relapses so their after-care is top of the line. The setting and accomodation was fantastic, Thailand is such a wonderful country to visit. Not sure if i could live there though. I wish they had more varieties of accomodation to choose from, it was a first come first serve sort of thing and i think the best rooms had already been picked, which was my only pet-peeve. Thanks to many others in my group that went through this with me and above all, thanks to DARA for facilitating this self-growth and accomplishment. I am clean and intend to stay that way because of you.

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My 24 year old son is about to complete his month at Dara. The changes in his perception and self awareness are astonishing. The treatment at Dara is second to non in my opinion, and has opened a door in his mind that I thought would be forever closed. The CBT, and group sessions have been really effective. I've never heard my son speak so eloquently about his former addiction, understanding the processes behind it, and be so excited about living a clean life. His focal councillor has been amazing. and my son respects him and has learned so much about himself from him. This is miraculous as my son had trust issues, and we never thought he'd open up, and absorb so much in a month of Sundays. The CBT has suited him perfectly. He's taken the bit in between his teeth and run with it to a point that he's showing interest in studying the process. This is amazing to us. The open aspect of Dara .. ie: phones when appropriate, and out side contact when not in sessions has been great, from our point of view, and for his too. It's enabled him to share in his development with family and friends. The excursions a lifeline to the outside that he's looked forward to, and has worked harder to make sure he gets on them! All the staff have been wonderful, from bottom to top. The schedule of work is intense - the down time nurturing and fun and safe - the food, accommodation and communication beyond good. My personal experience with admin has been that they are efficient, professional, amenable. I checked him in to Dara Koh Chang and was shown around and the place is lovely, clean, luxurious and a piece of peaceful heaven in which to aid recovery. We were collected from Trat Airport and taken to the Chanthaburi centre on the mainland, the day before arriving on Koh Chang, for him to be inducted into the programme, the staff were on point, helpful, not pushy when I had to make payment, and did all they could to make me feel relaxed. They fed me and transported me to my hotel, then came back the next day to take me and my son to the ferry and on to the Koh Chang facility. It's family and loved ones friendly - I didn't feel excluded in the short time I spent handing over my son into their care, in fact I felt that this effort by Dara made me even more positive that it was the right place for him to heal. And it has been - from start to finish. I have no complaints at all. I'd recommend Dara in a heart beat.

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I am from the United States and my son Chris was suffering from Opiate abuse. He had previously attempted to receive help at various rehabs in the United States but unfortunately was unsuccessful. When he felt as though he was ready to try again, he and his girlfriend looked into different options outside of the United States for various reasons. First and foremost the cost for any rehab comparable to Dara in the US is astronomical, and second, most of the programs that were affordable did not fit his needs or had a long waiting list. After much research they decided that Dara Rebab in Thailand appealed to him. The different approaches as well as the diverse programs seemed interesting and challenging. When the idea was presented to me (his mom) I was totally apprehensive. The thought of sending my 25 year old my son to Thailand was terrifying to me on so many different levels! The fear of the unknown always is. I called and addressed these concerns and questions with the Senior Intake Coordinator. She was so totally understanding of my apprehension and took the time to answer all my questions and then some. The fact that she herself is from the US was also reassuring and supportive. I believe I called her many times following that initial phone call, and never once did I feel like I was a bother or asking questions that were "silly". I cant say enough about the administration personnel, they never made me feel pressured and they were exceptionally helpful. I was ALWAYS able to reach either one of them at any time day or night (which was very challenging being the time difference was 13 hours). Everything ran smooth from the time Chris was picked up at the airport and transferred to his destination for his stay at Dara, to his exit. Their ability to counsel and change with the situation at hand was done without making anyone feel uncomfortable or troublesome. The counseling he received was equally remarkable, Since Chris has been home, his counselor has reached out to him (and me) with concerns for him and offered Skype sessions if needed. I could go on and on but the bottom line is that I would highly recommend Dara. As anyone who has an issue of substance abuse knows, the decision of going to rehab is a very delicate and freighting one. I feel that Dara rehab was able to make these issues run smooth with the clients best interest in mind. The words genuine and caring come to mind when I think of the Dara Rehab experience my son was given. I am pleased to say that since Chris completed Dara's program for substance abuse approximately two months ago, he is still substance free. My hopes and prayers are he will remain substance fee as we all know this is a day to day struggle that will be with him forever. I will always be thankful to Dara for all of their help and support they gave to not only Chris, but also to my family. God Bless Them!

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June and July 2015 I spent at Dara the clients were great, intelligent motivated and deeply sincere. The management and counsellors were the opposite frantically upholding their own jobs while forgetting to prepare for lectures, scrabbling to make ad hoc one on one sessions and endlessly push their own agenda. As I was informed on day one, addicts have low self esteem and big egos I didn't see that except with the counsellors. Classic narcissistic behavior. I wish I had never gone except for the clients and the lovely PT staff that made it bareable.

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HELLO EVERYONE!! After my recent experience at DARA I thought I'd write an honest review! Ok so basically all I have to say is this: Upon arrival you can choose to go to Koh Chang (the island) or stay in chanthaburi. I decided to stay in chanthaburi because I wanted to 'focus' on myself and not get caught up in the crowds. About 90% of the ppl opt to go to Koh Chang, so I cannot speak for the treatment there, only for my experience in chanthaburi. First of all, I can say that the food was above average and there was never a point where you would go hungry. In between meals, there is communal food to eat, mainly ham and bread to make sandwiches etc. The accommodation was FAIR, however, it was really annoying trying to kill all the mozzies at night time, it felt like a never ending battle haha. Anyway, there is a structured schedule that they provide each client and the day is broken up in numerous activities, with plenty of 'homework' to do. One thing I was concerned about is that it took almost 2 weeks for my 'individual counselling sessions' to kick in, and when they finally kicked in (onoy has about 2 of these a week) it was more like an informal chat and quite unprofessional. I guess I was expecting something a little more structured instead of general chit chat and the counsellor (not going to name names, he's gone now anyway) basically seemed like he really did not care about me or my problems. I think he had his own issues to sort out to be honest. The experience would have been much better if there were decent counsellors who actually knew what they were doing. There were other staff there doing their internships who I wasn't a huge fan of. This is because I think this particular female staff member was always on a power trip, and there was a general consensus amongst the clients (including myself) that she was just plain rude. I don't know, maybe she got bullied in high school or something and that's why she ended up like that. Now on a good note there were some pretty cool staff there. Four were amazing. Also the PTs were really awesome guys! I really enjoyed hanging out with both of them and they made the experience enjoyable. I must say that like any business, money is a big thing with these guys and they will make sure that you have paid, there is nothing outstanding, and they will suggest that you stay longer in treatment to get 'the most' out of it. A few people told me that they offer a week trial for free and if you like it, then you have the option to stay. Obviously, ppl who make enquiries who are not fully convinced get these offers, so if youre keen as beans, they wont offer you this. So i'd recommend you enquire about that first. Finally, I want to say that I have honestly met some AMAZING ppl (clients) in DARA that are now lifelong friends, and the experience was definitely worth it just in meeting them. Obviously the place has it's flaws, but if you are on a budget, then I'd probably recommend it. That's all i've really got to say. And that is my honest to God review of this rehab centre. I can say that since I've been back home, I have not relapsed, and I am still in regular contact with the clients that I met at DARA. The choice is yours :)

Official Facility Response

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My experience at DARA was life changing in more ways than just getting sober. Sure, this was the main reason I decided to embark on this journey, but what I found along the way is nothing short of a miracle. Drugs and Alcohol abuse take different tolls on addicts, but one thing we have in common is how your drug of choice warps the mind and your way of healthy thinking. I came to DARA looking for answers. Why am I an addict? Why am I so hopeless? Why can’t I stop? Why do I have such a low opinion of myself or why do I have low self-esteem? Through DARA’s group and one-on-one sessions I was able to find these answers and also answers to questions I hadn’t even thought of yet. The group sessions make me realize I’m not alone and my perception of myself is not how others perceive me. It’s the addict brain controlling these feelings and making me feel worthless. Being free of those demons is the greatest gift I’ve ever received! The program at DARA is very structured which is a testament to my successes towards recovery from alcohol and self-discovery. However, you get out of it what you put into it. DARA doesn’t simply give you a pill and a few days or weeks later you’re better. It doesn’t take a lot of effort but what it does take is for you to keep an open mind and be honest with yourself, your group, and the staff at DARA. Without accepting those principles you might as well stay home or look for other ways to seek help. But if you’re fully committed, DARA is definitely the place for you. It was for me and for that I owe DARA my life. Rehabilitation doesn’t have to be all work and no play. DARA’s schedule is very well balanced and offers plenty of time for Thai massages, meditation, exercise, weekend getaways to exotic places, and free time to just relax or reflect. Once I was fully emerged in the program I couldn’t wait to pop out of bed in the morning and start my day. Each day gave me something new and exciting which motivated me to put forth 100% towards the program. I am not getting paid or compensated to write this review. What I am getting out of it is the hope that at least one person will read this and get to experience what I’ve experienced and change their life forever. I will remember the clients, the staff, and my experience at DARA for the rest of my life. Thank you DARA for bringing me back to life. Special thanks to my counselor, for everything! She really made a huge difference in my life and for that I'm forever grateful. Michael

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I came to DARA not knowing what to expect and in just the few days that I was there I felt myself being transformed --and I was not even a client there! Just a supporting wife of my husband (who was the client). DARA is going a great job and on woman in particular especially is a gifted healer. She connects with her clients, imparts the message of the program very well and overall makes the transition toward healing as painless as possible. She was compassionate and professional in helping me de-stress as well. Thank you!! Also a big thank you to another staff member who went out of her way to take us to the Market. It was very kind of her and much appreciated. Thank you!

Official Facility Response

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The program and staff are wonderful. The grief therapy I had identified and calmed my fears. The CBT classes and Group Therapy sessions were especially informative and helped me change my thinking process. The small size of the group and the facilitation styles of the counselors certainly led clients to complete openness and honesty. I especially appreciated the individualized programming and having had a voice in how I wanted to work on my recovery. My counselor took my needs into careful consideration and tailored a treatment program that addressed both my alcoholism and my grief. She obviously cares for me and my progress as a person, and not just a number to churn through rehab.

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I am forever grateful that I chose DARA for treatment for my addictions and for DARA providing me the tools that I lacked in order to lead a sober and happy life. I have never felt as strong and empowered to lead the life I've dreamed for. DARA exceeded my expectations in every way. DARA taught me to become accountable and responsible for my actions in a loving way. The level of professionalism displayed by all staff is exemplary. I am a professional who has been fortunate to travel extensively and I had high expectations. I would have paid a lot more now that I know what a fantastic and effective facility this is. I will recommend DARA as a treatment to anyone I meet who seeking help for their addiction(s).

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food, environment, staff were all strengths. perhaps counselor/client ratio could be improved. It was a good environment that helped me to learn more about myself while dealing with addictive behavior and learning to modify my behavior through cognitive behavioral therapy.

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As of this writing, I am ​156 days clean and have returned to DARA for my refresher program after ​having ​being in treatment at DARA ​for 9 weeks late last year.​ So, ​I came to DARA following 10 years in active addiction with illegal and controlled substances​;​ a 6 month spiral with a cocktail of drugs and alcohol abuse; and hitting a rock bottom after a suicide attempt. I was als​​o formally diagnosed with ADHD and Bi-Polar II disorder which I had been questioning due to my addictive state and circumstances at the time of diagnosis. ​​Having been through the DARA program, ​I will be categorizing my review as follows:​ ​Program I found the program at DARA to be very helpful for me. The structure from the morning until the afternoon is what I had been lacking for quite some time, and gave me a feeling of purpose and motivation in my recovery. There was also just enough personal time to myself in order to reflect on my situation and get to know my peers. ​​Group therapy​ and Psycho-educationa groups​ Group therapy in DARA was one of the core aspects that aided in my recovery process. It was in group therapy that I began to explore myself while gaining a sense of being understood and understanding with my peers and counsellors. Psycho-educational groups i.e. topic groups Before coming to DARA and attending these groups I really had no idea what addiction meant to me. It was in these groups that I learnt about addiction and how to stay clean. ​Work with my Counselor and Clinical Team:​ My counsellor went above and beyond her call of duty and made me feel as though she genuinely cared about me as a person. I felt as though she was able to put into words what I could not express myself and gave me many ways to target and work on my barriers. She helped me challenge the diagnoses I came into DARA with. She escorted me to Manarom hospital in Bangkok 3 times to see a psychiatrist there, and put together a case for me by having my medical records sent over from Australia. She was very thorough in her analysis of my diagnoses and case against their validity; and as hoped my diagnoses were fully dismissed. In addition we worked on my self-esteem, depression, constructed a relapse prevention plan and recovery plan. The clinical team provided professional support and great insight into my addiction and recovery process. Food and accommodation The food in DARA was delicious. Ranging greatly form meal to meal I always looked forward to eating. Accommodation is second to none. I stayed in both Koh Chang and Chanthaburi and loved my villa and room, it definitely is comparable to staying in a resort or a 5 star hotel. Daily cleaning of my living space as well as having my laundry done for me was also a pleasure and one less thing that I had to worry about. ​​DARA Family online network​ and Aftercare Support Since leaving DARA I have been in touch with Gem and have felt supported and connected throughout my whole process up until now. ​I am also still in touch through online media with my peers. FINAL THOUGHTS DARA ​is without a doubt the reason why I ​am able to remain clean after discharge. I walked away with knowledge, support, friends for life, and a motivation to work on myself in a way that I did not think was possible before. I don't even have the words to express how much my time at DARA means to me in my life; and I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to begin my recovery with the DARA family.

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Bangkok April 12, 2016 """""""""A journey to Dara Rehab Koh Chang and how to get to go to SHANGRILA ( not the hotel chain ) or paradise and get back with a revised mind"""""" In January this year 4 great friends invited me to go on a journey to paradise. That was to go to rehab for my identified clinical depression and the increased alcohol this had led to. A tough facing of reality but that's what your best friends are for. They told me that they had consulted with the "unfriendly devil" but that he was against the journey as he wanted to keep me in his control. Clever as these friends are they had however also consulted with my designated lead Doctor - an extraordinary well educated and accomplished Professor of Neurology at one of Thailand's best university hospitals - Siriraj, as well as a psychiatrist at the top end private Thonburi hospital. There are many top quality private hospitals in Bangkok but I personally rank Thonburi as the best both for experience of the medical team but also as very cost / benefit effective After living for over 25 years in SEAsia I was fully aware of the very high level of advanced medical care available at very reasonable cost. But mental health is not as well understood as in other parts of the world. So I was somewhat skeptical and thinking of Betty Ford was obviously not on the financial menu. I did substantial research and reference checks on Dara and on the background and education of the counselling team as well as the medical support, and was totally convinced that I had found the key to Pandora's box - but still a bit anxious to commit. Well I did initially arrange a 4 week stay - and when those weeks were about to expire, extended for 2 more weeks and then 2 more weeks - all in all 8 weeks of fantastic professional treatments in all respects. I could have stayed forever but life outside this sanctuary was calling. The quality of treatment was astounding - with a wide variety of topics covered in lectures as well as group interaction - all very relevant - the 2 that I personally appreciated the most were the CBT ( cognitive behavior theory ) and relapse prevention discussions. Relapse is a major challenge and Dara's approach to making this clear and transparent was fantastic. But what of course made this all work was the personal assigned key counselor that would meet with the client ( the Dara designation instead of patient ) 2-3 times or more per week in private sessions and be available at all times when needed. That said all other counsellors were approachable and extraordinarily helpful - one never needed to make appointments just approach in passing and get a 5 minute check in and or a time to meet up if more time was needed. For me personally the openness of Dara to support my wish to try to get off anti-depressant medication as well as anxiety medication was a key benefit I did not anticipate. This wish was clearly supported by my Neurologist and he told me that doing it in the Dara safety environment would be much more beneficial to me than doing it as an outpatient back home. It worked very well and in a fully controlled "tapering off trial" I said goodbye to two powerful medications that I hope never to meet or need again. I obviously also said good bye to the alcohol challenge. However The most mind changing experience to me at Dara was working on the concept of mindful behavior and thinking. It may be unfair to mention any of the top team by name but so be it - my warmest thanks to Khun Nath for his many hours of guidance and vision providing me with an inner strength I knew I had but could not always find. Khun Nath helped me find the way. And yes so did my fantastic key counselor and the Counselling Director who on several occasions guided me in so many ways and always with compassion and care and did this without any scheduled sessions - simply observing my progress. On a final note THE SUPPORT TEAM IS FANTASTIC - reception - food - fitness - yoga - meditation and good fun are all delivered and available. Accommodation is very very nice in individual cabins ranging from shared via single to top of the line private pool villas. Again food is amazing and deserves a special mention - I gained 5 healthy kilos in 8 weeks and transferred most of that to muscle and brain mass. And not to mention COST - there is absolutely no reasonable way to compare Dara's very attractive pricing with other global options - it is a simple no brainer for your calculator. Former adjunct professor in marketing Thammasat Univetsity business school MIM program Goodwill Ambassador for Copenhagen

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I find it interesting that all the recent reviews of Dara at the top of these lists are right above the one that the "Management" put up to note that they were being attacked by an online smear campaign. All the recent ones are in the last couple weeks, funny that all the negative ones were weeks apart and all the new "positive" ones are on the same day or at least in the same week. Scroll down and don’t just read the first few. I was a client at Dara on Koh Chang, or should I call myself a revenue source which is how they treated me, I hadn’t arrived 5 minutes and it was immediately, “how are you going to pay your bill? “Credit card machine is waiting”, we tried to pay with my credit card and it was declined, I hadn’t informed my bank that I was traveling overseas. They pretty much treated me like a criminal and wouldn’t let me leave the office until I had called my bank and ran the card again to pay my bill, this is after 36 hours of traveling to get there. All I wanted to do was go to bed, after that it all went down hill from there. I only stayed 2 weeks. All the staff couldn’t care less about you after you pay your bill. Rooms are nice but thats about the only positive thing I can say. If you want to get clean I suggest giving this place a miss, there has to be better places with people who actually care about you and not only if your credit card will clear.

Official Facility Response

Hello Jeff, We are sorry to hear you feel this way and would like to apologize for your inconvenience. The reason we have to run the cards if we do not have a deposit is that we had quite a lot of unpaid bills that we had to write off. It is our policy that 50% deposit is paid before arrival and 50% upon arrival. I am truly sorry that you feel like a revenue source as USD170 a day is subsidized and we are not bound by our shareholders to make profit from this. We have asked our Alumni and some current clients in DARA to help us to bring up their experience here, that is the reason why you see these reviews after we issued our official statement. I would like to offer you to bank your two weeks remaining treatment. Please send us an email through our admissions channel and we will arrange for that.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Its hard to put into words just how grateful i am to all the staff at dara fro what they've done for me. I've been cared for, exercised, challenged, looked out for, entertained, massaged, listened to and encouraged. I am particularly thankful to 3 staff members in particular for supporting me through the INEVITABLE ups & downs i experienced here. For the first time in sucha long, long time i feel hopeful about the future.

Official Facility Response

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I’ve been to treatment centers in America seeing as that is where I am from, but I’ve never experienced a level of dedication like I did with DARA. I am talking everyone involved from the kitchen, to housekeeping, to the PT staff. The clinical team is always on standby after group for additional sessions if need be. If you need more than two therapy sessions a week, they are there to provide them. My days consisted of sleeping in an extremely comfortable bed with cable that includes HBO and CNN in the room (Chanthaburi location), going to breakfast, having groups up until lunch with breaks in between, a group in the afternoon, then I would play badminton in the afternoons with the PT staff. I even got to play soccer with clients and staff one day a week at an incredibly nice football pitch in the neighborhood. The soccer was always the highlight of the week, so much fun! I spent 7 months in DARA and I was only able to do that because I had so much to keep me occupied while staying there. We had daily evening group activities as well. The gym also helped me pass time (I lost 12lbs), as well as a really nice TV room. Some days after group, I would get together with the Thai staff and have ping pong tournaments if it was raining outside and we couldn’t play badminton. The level of care is so high at DARA. I get emotional thinking about it. These people saved my life, I was the addict of the hopeless variety, and their patience in helping me realize my denial, and also understand my addiction and where it derived from was what really made the difference in a successful journey in recovery for me. The clinical team really knows their stuff, and I was presented much more information on addiction and effective communication than I ever have in an American treatment center. The clinical team in Chanthaburi...they all have their strengths and different approaches to therapy and what a successful team they are! Their level of expertise is unmatched I assure you. They work together in perfect unison, and I really developed a special love and appreciation for these guys. My eyes tear up when I think of how they really reached out a helping hand so many times for me and other clients. They are so understanding and they care so much about what is going on for the clients on a day to day basis. I would highly recommend this place for anyone who is seeking to recover from alcohol or drugs. Not only is it affordable in comparison to the US, it is comfortable. The key word being comfortable. Think in terms of level of comfort vs. price. Another place with this level of dedication would be hard to come by. I thought I only had a drug problem going into DARA, but I came out with a whole new positive perspective on life and coping skills to deal with life on life’s terms. I couldn’t have had that experience at just any other treatment center. I will offer one slight suggestion: choose the Chanthaburi location for your stay. It is a close knit community, far more comfortable as far as accommodation goes, better weekend excursions, sometimes Wednesday night trek’s into the town’s night market, and is far more helpful because of the extra activities. On Sunday mornings we went for walks around a park in Chanthaburi or visited the Cathedral. It has a much more therapeutic environment. Of course, this was my unique experience of the place. I spent time in Chanthaburi AND one month on Koh Chang, and after that one month on Koh Chang I couldn’t wait to get back to Chanthaburi. Other than that I don’t know what to say, they have healthy food and it is delicious on top of being healthy. They have quality care, and I’ve never slept on a better bed. Do yourself a favor, get to this treatment center and get the help you need. What’s wrong with treating yourself with some relaxation and/or fun activities at the same time? No one said treatment has to be punishment. If you have questions or need clarification and you want to talk to me, an ex-client, who has found happiness in recovery.

Official Facility Response

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DARA truly has been a life-altering experience for me. Not only were my one-to-one meetings of great benefit, but also the interactions that took place during group meetings were essential to my recovery. All of this hard emotional work was softened by good food, wonderful massages and a relaxed, natural atmosphere. I cant thank DARA enough! P.S. Bigger choice in served meals would be a place to improve. Being a picky eater i had to settle for salad a few times.

Official Facility Response

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I would not hesitate to recommend Dara as a first class treatment centre in every respect, (especially with reference to the counselling). The staff, (at all levels) is amazing, brilliant and fantastic. Congratulations on a successful team! Daily program, accomodation, food, fitness facilities together contributed to me having a very positive experience. Thank you Dara!

Official Facility Response

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When my family asked me to go to rehab, I was very skeptical. I thought that I would end up on a hospital bed like I often saw in Hollywood movies. However, once I arrived and discovered the environment and the facility in which I was beginning my treatment, I was more optimistic about the idea of treatment. I am one of those who decided to change after arriving in rehab. I will never be thankful enough to this institution for not only helping me with my addiction but also successfully working with me on my depression, anxiety and social phobia; conditions that are now under my control. I sometimes feel that I can safely say that it saved my life. It offered me a holistic program (mindfulness, meditation, 12 steps, CBT, personal training, yoga, counseling, massage), integrating both the CBT and the twelve steps approaches in two very different campuses located in areas that are equally beautiful and interesting. I spent 5 months at the rehab in question and I can say that I left a changed man, putting in question some of the disputable values and questionable beliefs, I had developed as a consequence of my addiction and discovering a new way of life promoting respect for others, myself, and being mindful of the environment we evolve in. My counselor generously went the extra mile and guided me throughout my journey. I cannot stress enough on how grateful I am to her and how much I sometimes feel I owe her. She genuinely cared about my progress which was very therapeutic and motivating; a life coach for whom I developed the utmost respect and admiration for her remarkable dedication to clients. DARA rehab helped me enjoy the small things in life, loving “others” and enabled me to see the world from a more human perspective. Also, having evolved with clients and counselors from all over the world with different backgrounds was very enriching. To conclude, the fact that the centre was located in Thailand; a fascinating composed of a people from which we have a lot to learn from, from a civic and spiritual point of view also contributed to making my experience unique. Something that marked me forever and that I have learned in this country is the idea of respect and treating others like we would like to be treated. Simple yet of meaning and therapeutic.

Official Facility Response

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I want to thank the staff at Dara for the patience and knowledge they have bestowed on me. Thank you to one staff member in particular for "getting me". Its a great place to heal. x Kelly

Official Facility Response

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My overall experience here has been very enriching. The atmosphere is very positive, the staff always helpful, and the surroundings beautiful to the point of awe inspiring. My only worries have been with my therapy & my road to recovery. I would highly recommend DARA to everyone in need of help to change their lives.

Official Facility Response

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I checked myself into Dara just over a year ago. I have been clean from alcohol and drugs ever since! The treatment I received was superb. The care and attention given by their team has changed my life in ways I never expected. The care and commitment from my focal counsellor was second to none, she put her heart and soul into the job. I was able to overcome many issues I had surrounding my childhood and huge regrets from my past. The staff there focused on the deepest issues I had and came up with a personal plan for me to tackle these. I also had some physical issues health wise and they accommodated to all my needs. I learnt a great deal from the CBT classes provided within the program, along with mindfulness and awareness which I still use everyday. The four week program was very detailed and well presented. The staff worked very hard for clients to understand the importance of relapse prevention. Also learning how to deal with sobriety and the hardships some face going into toxic environments when leaving treatment. Extra one on one classes were offered for clients who wanted to go into more depth on particular subjects. The fitness team were extremely dedicated and worked very hard to achieve the goals I had set for myself. Along with water workouts in the week that were a great way to start the day. We also had the option of extra group activities, such as swimming in the ocean, walking outside of the center and yoga classes etc. They also focus on nutrition and healthy eating which is something I have now become very aware of. I can say whole heartedly that choosing this particular treatment center is one of the best things I have done in my life and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Official Facility Response

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You are doing great work, all of you, at DARA. Thank you so much, especially one staff member in particular. You are fantastic!

Official Facility Response

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My Son was a patient of Dara earlier this year. Initially I was impressed by the website and the phone conversations (and the low price), but it's very clear that there are no bargains in rehab. This rehab felt like it cut corners where it could despite the fact that the call center staff told me that my sons treatment would be subsidized by $10,000. I'd say that was just marketing spin. After relapsing soon after he got home, he explained that the rehab experience was more like a summer camp and he did not feel that the staff cared about him and he received very little therapeutic benefit from being there. In terms of facilities and food, he said that was good, but sharing a room was not good for him personally. There was no follow up with me or my family despite the assurances from the call center and I feel it was really just a waste if money. I see quite a few similar posts about Dara...and quite a few posts to try and bump up the score. I'm sure there are better rehabs out there.

Official Facility Response

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This website was brought to my attention by one of the other Patients that was in Dara when I was there. The place is very poorly run. This is my third time in rehab so I know a bit about what a rehab should be and Dara is just a holiday camp. I did not get 2 private sessions per week as management contend. I had to share a room with a psycho and generally the place is tired and run down. I cannot recommend Dara on any level...Avoid at all costs.

Official Facility Response

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I really enjoyed my experience at Dara. I learned so much in a positive, healthy way. The staff and councellors are very caring, and helpful (and knowledgable). I would recommend Dara to friends & family. It was better than i expected - a beautiful facility, great food & most important - great teachings and program. Also great clients! I met so many wonderful people from all over the world.

Official Facility Response

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Very good experience. The staff are lovely and very helpful. Dara has made my time at rehab great, ive learnt alot about addiction and myself and cant thank them enough!

Official Facility Response

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It’s been a superb experience. I had no idea that i would be this fulfilling. I would recommend it to ones seeking treatment. The group sessions helped me more than anything and im grateful to having had such a good group of peers to work with.

Official Facility Response

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Perfect soft landing for recovery. What could be better than a rehab in paradise. Yay to DARA! Great quality of therapy, very understanding staff and great accomodation in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I would highly recommend DARA to anyone who feels like they are in a pit without a way out. I know i did and DARA was excellent in bringing back the woman i had forgotten that i am.

Official Facility Response

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Great experience and thankful for my treatment here. Great staff, comfortable living to help with much needed recovery. Highly recommended!

Official Facility Response

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This post is from the DARA management and treatment team In response to the recent online smear campaign and attacks against us. These statements are factually wrong and therefore not written by actual DARA Alumni. As for example we still provide 2 one on one sessions per week to every client and do log these against signature. Its noticeable that these attacks began after DARA made some personnel changes and dropped its entry level price to US$4999, this was a deliberate action by our owner who is in recovery to reduce financial barriers to treatment and was not directed at other Thai treatment providers. The DARA program has never been stronger, we have a great staff team and are continually developing our treatment program. Check us out on dararehab.com.

Official Facility Response

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nice location but program is very messy and lacks direction, no knowledge of other mental illness, the management have no time for clients, and don't relate to them, getting there is really difficult, staff clueless with medication. This was a return visit, what a difference a year makes. massive turnover of staff, and none of previous management there. Most clients are disintrested, The place has become a budget dumping ground, with double up rooms and from adnission to dischrge very chaotic. Lots of us were fortunate if we got oe counselling session a week. They seem more interested in PR as opposed to taking care of clients. I was very dissapointed to see how this place had changed, and not for the better. Avoid

Official Facility Response

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Dreadful

Official Facility Response

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Staff were not motivated Only received 1 one-on-one session per week Group sessions were too big Food was poor quality. While it was very cheap, I had to share a room which was not very comfortable. My Therapist was ok ,but with only a single individual session per week, I do not feel that I got what needed, and they even asked me to stay another month. Disappointed.

Official Facility Response

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As a recent return to DARA, it is unrecognisable to how it was 18 months ago. The standard of program and staff is shocking. There is a strong undercurrent of dishonesty within the management and marketing, and clients no longer matter, rules arent enforced.

Official Facility Response

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Nice website, Everything flows down from the top, and the management is not committed to or interested in clients, only money. The operation is very chaotic and disorganised

Official Facility Response

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it is cheap but Poor quality of staff, no consistency, rules not enforced, very unsecure, staff not motivated, limited one to one sessions, I think the management are blind to what is really going on in the Rehab, they seem to want to try and make things look good, but their own dysfunction has sadly saturated the whole organization. The price really is not good value, $10000 for a single room, there are a lot better options around wth functional programs. It was from what I heard, a very good place up until last year, but seems like a lot of very negative changes and not much interest in clients.

Official Facility Response

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Brilliant, insightful, dedicated counsellors. Great P/T, yoga, meditation, massage. Fabulous food and accommodation and great activities in free time. I found Dara truly extraordinary. The team of counsellors is strong, dedicated, insightful and professional. Additionally, the PT/Yoga/Meditation department is fantastic and the staff make life comfortable and convenient for all clients. All in all, Dara is an exceptional experience which I found inspiring, invigorating and thought provoking. It helped to make me feel whole, worthwhile and prepared for the outside world again. From the moment I arrived I felt safe and, above all, cared for. I loved DARA, it is an amazing place to achieve sobriety and learn the tools to maintain it. Thank you so much for being really wonderful.

Official Facility Response

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Nice Island, management are a huge detriment to the place. I was really excited about going to DARA when I read some of the reviews and testimonials. However, when I got there I soon realiized that this was all past history with none of the previous management still working at DARA. I was told that there had been a huge turnover of staff since June, and the program had been totally chaged. A lot of clients did not know who was leading the centre, and Senior Managers spent most time avoiding clients. I was very dissapointed with what was on offer, and felt conned by what was on offer.

Official Facility Response

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No rules, Unsafe. I am saddened to see how the place has gone from a brilliant facility to an absolute mess in only a few months. A lot of old Alumni are very angry about how the refresher was taken away, but also that the place is now run by people who have no idea what they are doing. I know a number of Alumni have gone back into treatment, elsewhere as opposed to the place DARA has become.

Official Facility Response

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It's testimonials prior to new management. New Management don't care, are clueless and more interested in trying to use old testimonials to gloss over the current mess. The level of competence in current staff is exceptionally low. This was a fantastic facilty for a number of years, but under new management it is now run by people who don't care, As a an old Alumni, the changes and dysfunction of the place is heartbreaking and many of the old alumni will not return to DARA. I am glad to be given the opportunity to warn people of the reality of what the place has become.

Official Facility Response

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The place is wierd, The centre just doesn't work

Official Facility Response

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The group and counselling rooms are adequate. The website looks good. The layout of the facility is very hilly, and it is poorly lit at night. Patients seem to leave the facility very easily, and there isn't a lot of ocncern shown by managemt. Staffing levels are very low, and most staff are from 3rd world countries like India and Philippines. Very little consistency in the program, with minimal rules or enforcement. I found a lot of the staff were demotivated, and there is a massive turnover of staff at the facility and discontent. The facilities were very depleted, and run down and gym often had broken machines. The PT staff were often sat around playing on phones and the PT manager sat in his office. The content of the program seems to be disorganised and staff don't look like they know what they are doing or understanding of the material. The admissions staff oversell what is really on offer. Very limited skill set in the staff team, and the cost of the place is misleading.

Official Facility Response

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Strengths include: CBT, 12 steps, Yoga, Massages, therapeutic environment, reasonable price, Well trained counselors, great quality of food, Holistic recovery approach, paradisiac location, Mix of recovering councilors and clinical counselors, Remarkable Focus on underlying psychological issues, staff members going the extra mile, professional and friendly local staff members, clients from all over the world, Very cosmopolitan counseling team, 5 star hotel service, Very attentive to the way clients are medicated/no over medication such as in other rehabs or areas of the world, great extended care/ social reinsertion program, detox in luxurious hospitals, Thailand being a fascinating country, up to date treatment approaches, advanced class/gym equipments, studying materials, councilors constituted by both genders, ages and countries of origin, good atmosphere, 0 tolerance for racism, attentive to clients demands for program, administrative adjustments, great personal trainers. Weaknesses: Psychiatrist based outside the rehab. When my family asked me to go to rehab, I was very skeptical. I thought that I would end up on a hospital bed like I often saw in Hollywood movies. However, once I arrived and discovered the environment, facility in which I was beginning my treatment, my idea of recovery was more optimistic. I am one of those who decided to change after arriving in rehab. I will never be grateful enough to this institution for not only helping me with my addiction but also successfully working with me on my depression, anxiety and social phobia. I sometimes feel that I can safely say that it saved my life. I spent 5 months at the rehab in question and I can say that I left a changed man, putting in question some of the disputable values, questionable beliefs, I had developed as a consequence of my addiction and discovering a completely new way of life promoting respect for others, myself, and being mindful to the environment we evolve in. It also helped me enjoy the small things in life, love others and enabled me to see the world from a more human perspective. Also, having evolved with clients and counselors from all over the world with different backgrounds was very enriching. To conclude, the fact that the centre was located in Thailand; a fascinating country made up by a people from which we have a lot to learn from, from a civic and spiritual point of view also contributed to making my experience unique. Something that marked me forever and that I have learned in this country is the idea of respect and the treatment others like we would like to be treated. Simple, full of meaning and therapeutic!

Official Facility Response

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Strengths: The sport fitness, yoga programs , Food and facilities Excellent treatment if self-motivated. Weaknesses: Possibly too comfortable Too easy going if you are not sufficiently motivated. It is pure luxury compared to 90 percent of rehabs food, room massage and fitness all A1 With the right counsellor and motivation it is great

Official Facility Response

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Some good counselors, Day is well though out, beautiful setting. No psychiatrist, not so strong for non addiction issues, facility is far from main city. I had a good experience at Dara. It was a serious commitment. I also got my Padi diving license while there. It is a great place for reflection.

Official Facility Response

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CBT program is second to none. All staff very welcoming and attentive to all client needs. Beautiful location and atmosphere. Highly trained counselling team. Client rooms could be updated. Stronger internet connection needed. Sometimes there can be some inconsistencies between staff regarding rules. They have a high turnover of staff which doesn't help. The food could have a bit more variety, especially for vegetarians. On the whole I would highly recommend it to any friends or family.

Official Facility Response

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Personalized Treatment Program. Peaceful place to be able to gain mindfulness. Good team of counselors ("most of them" not all of them being great at their profession and very insightful and proactive and helpful). International aspect of clients&therapists. Almost reasonable prices. Language problems with Non-treatment related staff (i.e.Kitchen staff, housekeeping etc...) and not well mannered. No variety of snacks and drinks available 24/7 as promised on Website. Only certain spots have good internet connectivity around the facility. No physician around the facility. Not very well organized on issues requiring medical / MD attention or prescription medication.

Official Facility Response

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Koh Chang center located in a nice place but Counsellors need to be improved. I was welcomed worse than a criminal, didn't have a proper attention, the only counsellor that had a proper qualification was busy to treat me. The minute I arrived I enter to leave as the person who met me was rude and only cared for me settling the bill, which he rushed me to do. And I wasn't high or on withdrawing, sa, I was pretty a normal polite person to deal with. Counsellors seemed to be very unhappy to be there and were rude and unprofessional, telling you that they will attend to your issue and never do. Same goes for the manager. When I wrote a complain to him he replied to me that I probably should leave ( without refund) if I don't like it. In the end when I lost my key to the room he, personally and very rudely charged me $100 to make a copy. ( though they do tell you a lot how much they care) my counsellor was telling me how much she would like me to write to her how I'm doing and that she would love me to write her if I need any advise, I never heard from her since

Official Facility Response

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Very strong, It was a very good experience for me

Official Facility Response

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