Promises Austin in Spicewood, TX

Overall Rating

(3.9 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
840 County Rd 420
Spicewood TX 78669

Promises Austin Philosophy

Promises Austin provides drug and alcohol addiction treatment in a luxury setting. The residential rehab admits a limited number of clients at a time to ensure that each individual receives customized care and a personalized treatment plan. Evidence-based modalities are coupled with 12-step practices and holistic therapy to provide patients with a complete continuum of care. There are also plenty of amenities and activities offered to establish healthy, feel-good habits and ensure that the challenges and obstacles faced during treatment are handled and overcome in comfort.

Areas of Specialization

  • Luxury Amenities
    Promises Austin features luxurious resort-like amenities for maximum comfort during recovery. Clients are invited to take advantage of world-class culinary offerings, on-site spa services, gourmet cooking classes, therapeutic massage services, pool and jacuzzi amenities, and a four-hole putting green during their stay.

  • Therapeutic Recreation
    Clients are encouraged to participate in carefully selected therapeutic recreational activities for holistic wellness and lasting recovery. Program offerings include swimming, hiking, kayaking, volunteer work, cultural excursions, and more. Through therapeutic recreation, clients reinforce positive coping strategies and develop healthy habits.

Facility Highlights

Reality Therapy

Educational Lectures

Aqua Therapy

Meet the Staff

Jason Powers, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Photo of Jason Powers, MD

Dr. Powers joined Right Step and Promises Austin as chief medical officer in 2006. Originally trained and board certified in family medicine, Dr. Powers re-dedicated his career to helping addicts and their families after he personally faced addiction in 2003. He is now also board certified in addiction medicine and develops programs that help addicted individuals and their families embrace the healing path of recovery. Dr. Powers has been recognized four times as a top addiction doctor by H Texas Magazine, and is currently secretary/treasurer of the Texas chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and a local expert for The Partnership at Drugfree.org. Dr. Powers is also the author of the comprehensive book about addiction When the Servant Becomes the Master.

Mark Catalano, LCSW-S

Executive Director

Photo of Mark Catalano, LCSW-S

Mark Catalano is a Licensed Clinical Social Work Supervisor with 12 years experience in healthcare management and the delivery of treatment services for co-occurring psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. He was formerly the Clinical Director at Cedar Crest Hospital and Residential Treatment Center and Admissions Manager for Seton Shoal Creek Hospital in Austin. Mark received a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of Texas in Austin and has specialized training in the areas of trauma recovery, substance abuse, and mediation. Mark has consulted on and developed clinical programs for adolescents and adults at all levels of the behavioral healthcare spectrum. Mark also brings diverse project and people management experience to his role. He is a founding board member of a non-profit focused on leadership development. Previous management projects include behavioral health services within a network of primary care clinics, transitioning from paper charting to Cloud based EHR, and patient transfer protocols within a network of hospitals. Mark is married and the proud father of four. He is actively involved in his community through his private practice, volunteer work, and serving on the guest services team at his church. As often as possible he enjoys writing music and playing piano with friends.

Rehabs.com 360 Guide

Review by Rehabs.com Contributors

ABOUT PROMISES AUSTIN

Located in Texas's Hill country, Promises Austin is a luxury residential treatment center for adults, ages 26 and up, struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues. The facility has on-site medical detox, which includes massage and acupuncture.

TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT

The center’s website states once cleared by medical staff, clients in detox may actively participate in therapy sessions during their initial phase of treatment.

Residential treatment at Promises Austin is available on two separate tracks. Designed to address the "whole person," the 35-day program employs traditional evidence-based treatment, 12-step principles, and holistic therapies. According to the facility’s website, the two individual counseling sessions per week and the 10 hours of weekly group therapy utilize nearly a dozen integrative therapies. Residents can also arrange for ongoing meetings with staff specializing in areas such as nutrition, spirituality, trauma and fitness. The experiential therapies available include aqua therapy, breath work, yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

In the 60-day program, residents spend their time further exploring the underlying issues that spurred their addiction, with attention paid to co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Each month, Promises Austin facilitates an intensive three-day family program featuring educational lectures, groups, and activities for the entire family.

Before leaving the residential program, staff work with clients to prepare an aftercare strategy. Also, clients can enroll in Javelin Continuing Care, a 12-month relapse prevention program that pairs program graduates up with coaches who provide guidance and ongoing education.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

In its effort to deliver highly personalized treatment, Promises Austin reports a staff-to-client ratio of 1:5. According to the center’s website, its treatment team consists of medical and behavioral health care professionals with specialized training in detox, addiction, trauma, and mental health disorders.

ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES

Promises Austin’s website notes the 24-bed facility features a wealth of spa-like amenities — flat-screen televisions, a library with 12-step literature, a Jacuzzi, on-site spa, and a swimming pool are all available. Food is another indulgent perk at Promises Austin. The facility provides its clientele with gourmet meals, weekly cooking classes, and highly-trained chefs.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY

The more than a dozen alumni surveyed by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing provided mixed opinions of Promises Austin.

Alum Amanda called the staff “great,” and wrote to Rehabs.com: “Promises saved my life and gave me an excellent foundation in which to build my recovery. I have been clean for over a year with no relapses.” Similarly, alum N.I.H. found the program to be “immersive but not overwhelming,” and added, “the quality of the food cannot be overstated.”

On the other hand, a handful of alumni said that some of the extracurricular activities listed on the website were not available. Scott, who gave a one-star rating for treatment effectiveness, felt neglected as a client. “They do not care about you or what you are going through,” he said. “They don’t want to listen to you, they just want to check you off and send you on your way.” Others complained about the costs.

WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY

The three loved ones who were polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing provided mostly positive reviews.

Despite calling the center pricey, an anonymous Rehabs.com loved one rated it highly and recommended the facility to friends. “I don't think all of the perks are necessary to get sober," they wrote. Another anonymous Rehabs.com reviewer told of a family member who attended the facility for three months and “has been clean since.”

WHAT STAFF SAY

To date, the six staff members questioned by Rehabs.com had mostly positive opinions of Promises Austin. Four of them gave the center an average score of 4.25 out of five stars when asked if they would recommend the center.

They rated the center’s holistic offerings, family participation, and exercise and leisure the highest with 4.75 stars.

“Excellent clinician’s and staff -- many with personal recovery experience,” one staff member wrote as a strength. “Lovely facility with good creature comforts.”

FINANCING

According to the facility's website, Promises Austin accepts most PPO insurance plans and private pay

Updated March 2017

Published on April 2017

User Reviews

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Promises saved my life. As someone coming in with severe addiction and suicide being what seemed to be my only option, this place was absolutely the LIGHT I needed! My doctor was first rate with dual diagnosis. He took me away from my daily narcotic regime (which at first I hated him for) and put me on a new one that addressed all my issues, but didn't have the propensity for abuse. My therapist was the perfect combination of blunt realism and empowering positivity. The groups were powerful and eye opening. The fostering of "getting to the root of the illness/ addiction" so I could [understand] appropriate my feelings.... was (in MANY years of therapy) something no one had ever thought important for me to [recognize] learn. Promises is an all encompassing program. We attended [in] facility meetings, as well as a variety around town. The weekend outings were therapeutic, esteem building and gave me a chance to realize I could (a) HAVE FUN (b) ACHIEVE A NATURAL (adrenaline rush) . HIGH (c) BE PART OF A TEAM (healthy . relationships with others) (d) START TO TRUST (myself and others) As for the others... who had less than stellar reviews, all I can conclude is that maybe they weren't ready to do ANYTHING IT TOOK ( trust tyre process by turning their OWN will over even though they didn't like some of the requirements) to get clean. ....... oh they DID get one thing right though. The food is PHENOMENAL😄😄😄😄 Give this place a chance (I would have said SHOT.. but it seemed inappropriate😂)!

Official Facility Response

good food, good location. worse than worthless management, treatment program (treatment staff unqualified, authoritarian, and stupid), and "educational" programming. absolutely horrible place, not to mention it costs a fortune - for nothing. do not go uder any circumstance

Official Facility Response

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Great therapists & doctors & staff. Great family participation. Wide range of treatment and amenities. However, it was expensive. Promises saved my life and gave me an excellent foundation in which to build my recovery. I have been clean for over a year with no relapses.

Official Facility Response

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My brother walked in as a horrible drunk and did the 90 day treatment. When he left there was zero follow up and he did not even have an AA sponsor. They could have just as well have dropped him off at a liquor store at the end of his stay. He did like the food but the treatment was hapless. When we were researching the facility they said there was a free ten day relapse plan. They bait and switched that to free relapse plan for cash only customers. This facility is not so much a treatment facility as it is a cruddy spa.

Official Facility Response

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its people were great but there was too much going on. my family member attended for 3 months and has been clean since.

Official Facility Response

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Joint Commission certified facility, comments from recent Joint Commission surveryor is that they could tell the staff here are passionate about recovery and committed to clients. The staff know their clients well and it shows. Comfortable setting but really strong program. Strengths: Holistic approach, medical model with strong 12 step components. Beautiful inside and out, spa, pool/hot tub, Brene Browns Daring Way certified shame resiliency curriculum. The first substance abuse curriculum based on positive psychology - Positive Recovery. Trauma trained staff and treatment options. EMDR, ETT. CSAT trained Psychologist, Nutritionist on staff. Equine and high ropes. 24 bed max, 26yrs and older. Weaknesses: Limited office space. One primary group room, smaller secondary group room.

Official Facility Response

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client/staff interactions.

Official Facility Response

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I think a rehab of the program and curriculum is needed putting more responsibility and accountability on the clients for their recovery. I think staff direction needs to be behind this change. Strengths: Excellent clinician's and staff - many with personal recovery experience. Lovely facility with good creature comforts. Weaknesses: Very little accountability for clients and they are not held to certain standards which will teach them what they need post residential. Under emphasis on 12 steps and the 12 step program. Over emphasis on program which may be helpful after a solid start on the basics is met.

Official Facility Response

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An overall good facility.

Official Facility Response

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great counseling and support. This is facility is very client oriented. The programs and staff are excellent.

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Very good facility.

Official Facility Response

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The staff is uncaring and counselors do not want to listen to your problems. I looked into the counselors background and found that they are trained in yoga therapy. Not helpful.

Official Facility Response

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • Meals & Nutrition
The nurses and the counselors are terrible. They do not care about you or what you are going through. ... Everyone has to fit in the same mold. They don't want to listen to you, they just want to check you off and send you on your way. The people listed on the website don't even work there. Half of what is on the website is a lie, but the food is great!

Official Facility Response

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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The therapists are unprofessional and the nurses are uncaring ... It is a beautiful place and the food is great, but the people who run the place are terrible. Keep looking for some place else that can help you. Good luck.

Official Facility Response

One of the current staff members came from a facility where my child was for over a year. I worked directly with this staff member and found her to be superficial and not very perceptive. Another psychologist involved was amazed that this staffer had the job responsibility she had, given her cluelessness.

Official Facility Response

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Bad place if you have problems. Don't go there if you need help. Only good for those who want to dry out and lay around.

Official Facility Response

Very unhappy with treatment. Not given the care they said. Many things are run by the clients without any staff there. It is completely about alcohol and not anything for drug addition.

Official Facility Response

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Not too big; less than 20 people, which resulted in individual attention. It was a very good facility but it was costly.

Official Facility Response

Strong clinical acumen for the most personalized care.

Official Facility Response

  • Accommodations & Amenities
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Great facility; however, I don't think all of the perks are necessary to get sober. It was very pricey.

Official Facility Response

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I went here for 35 days. It has been my first and only inpatient rehab. I found the staff caring and professional. The program was immersive but not overwhelming. The setting is gorgeous and the food absolutely amazing, really. The quality of the food cannot be overstated. The over 26 age requirement was (for me) essential and wonderful. I am currently sober two years after having gone there, but I am not going to lie and say it's been two years of continuous sobriety. But many of the tools I learned at Promises Austin (Spirit Lodge when I was there) have kept me "coming back" and motivated to keep trying for a better, sober life.

Official Facility Response

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Low census, over 30 clients. AA focused which was what really saved my life.

Official Facility Response

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Small and very personal. Great food. Not all the activities listed on the website were available.

Official Facility Response

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