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.
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.
Meet the Staff
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
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 Editorial Review
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.
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.”
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
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