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
Dual Diagnosis/Co-occurring Disorders Treatment
These two terms describe a person who is not only addicted to drugs or alcohol, but also has a mental or emotional illness, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. Facilities that treat patients with dual-diagnosis or co-occurring disorders provide psychiatric treatment in addition to drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.
Some facilities have an addiction treatment protocol that all patients or clients are expected to follow, while others customize or individualize treatment based on a person’s unique needs and circumstances. Factors that may affect treatment decisions include age, lifestyle, medical conditions, type of drug, religious beliefs, etc.
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 360 Guide
ABOUT DARA THAILAND
With two locations in Thailand, DARA Thailand provides non-12-step based residential treatment to adults struggling with substance use disorder or co-occurring disorders. The facility does not offer medical detox and cannot proscribe medication, however clients can bring along approved medications that are already prescribed to them
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
DARA Thailand’s programs last four, eight, or 12 weeks. The facility employs evidence-based therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and relapse prevention training. The facility also utilizes SMART Recovery as an alternative to 12-step methods such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
Clients participate in group therapy, individual counseling, and family counseling, as well as holistic therapies including acupuncture, Tai Chi, massage, yoga, group fitness training, and nutritional programming.
Aftercare options are available to all clients who complete the program and include continued counseling via phone or Skype.
The treatment team includes clinical psychologists, addiction counselors, nurses, and personal trainers. To date, the 24 alumni who evaluated the facility's staff gave them below-average ratings.
Staff Experience and Training: 2.2/5
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
DARA Thailand provides clients with an upscale living environment in 40 air-conditioned villas featuring both private and shared rooms. Computers and cell phones are permitted, and there's free Wi-Fi on-site. Other amenities include swimming pools, a spa, fitness facilities, and laundry services.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
While more than three dozen former clients gave DARA Thailand mixed reviews on Rehabs.com to date, 24 alumni were polled on specific metrics. That group indicated that the facility's counseling options were limited and its holistic offerings were below average.
Holistic Offerings: 2.4/5
Counseling Options: 2.1/5
"Nice location, but program is very messy and lacks direction," J.S. wrote in a representative review. "No knowledge of other mental illness, the management have no time for clients, and don't relate to them...staff clueless with medication."
While still ranking below average, the facility fared a bit better when it came to its cost and its upkeep.
Facility Cleanliness and Upkeep: 2.7/3
However, a number of former clients specifically noted that while the price was competitive, the program did not measure up to what was promised. "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," A.S. claimed in a representative review.
However, DARA Thailand received positive feedback on Google, where it earned an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars based on five reviews. The four alumni who left comments described the facility as a clean, comfortable, and effective rehab with caring staff and nice amenities. In a representative review, Michael wrote: "My stay was fantastic - accommodation - environment - fantastic food were all there but the most amazing was the counseling staff - great diversity in education and backgrounds."
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
Of the four loved ones polled by Rehabs.com to date, two offered positive feedback while two offered negative feedback. Linda and T.R., who both sent their sons to DARA Thailand, praised the facility for its effective and immersive therapy, its helpful staff, and its communication with family members. "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)," noted Linda.
On the other hand, Brian (the husband of a former client) and D.H. (the parent of an alum) complained about a lack of medical staff and mental health knowledge, as well as poor communication and follow-through. "There was no follow up with me or my family despite the assurances from the call center," wrote D.H. "I feel it was really just a waste if money. "
Fees start at $4,995 for a month of treatment and $14,985 for 90 days. DARA Thailand accepts some private insurance plans, including Cigna, GeoBlue, and HTH Worldwide.
Published on February 2019
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