Hawaii Island Recovery in Kailua-Kona, HI

Overall Rating

(4.4 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
75-170 Hualalai Rd c311a
Kailua-Kona HI 96740

Hawaii Island Recovery Philosophy

Hawaii Island Recovery is the Big Island’s premiere residential drug and alcohol treatment center. The facility offers a comprehensive continuum of care in a comfortable, tranquil, and serene setting. Evidenced-based treatment modalities are combined with holistic and experiential therapies (such as the program’s unique Dolphin-Assisted Psychotherapy) to give clients a well-rounded recovery experience. Individualized treatment plans, a low-client-to-staff-ratio, and compassionate care pave the way for a full and lasting recovery from addiction, co-occurring disorders, and chronic pain.

Areas of Specialization

  • Wild Dolphin Assisted Psychotherapy
    Experiential therapies are intended to inspire insight and healing through one’s own exploration of their feeling state relative to a new experience. Unique the world over, Hawaii Island Recovery’s Wild Dolphin Assisted Psychotherapy is a powerful experiential therapy that interfaces our clients with wild dolphins in the open ocean. Imagine the intelligence of a creature that approaches us by choice in its natural environment, motived by curiosity and a mutual affinity to seek out our company. Our likenesses are many; we share in common rich and complex inner worlds, we are sentient, self -aware mammals who experience a wide spectrum of emotion and foster deep attachments. To look a wild dolphin in the eye, is to feel the presence of something extraordinary. That is what will define your WDAP experience, what YOU feel at that moment. Maybe it will transform you, ignite feelings of joy, aliveness, gratitude, and calm. The experience is yours to uniquely discover.

  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desenzitizaion and Reprocessing)
    Hawaii Island Recovery provides an array of coordinated therapies to address the individual’s specific needs, issues, and problems that occur together with and contribute to his/her addiction. These include anxiety, depression, mood swings, issues of self-esteem and self-confidence, fears, excessive guilt, indecisiveness, lack of goals, low motivation, relationship issues, etc. One of the evidence-based therapies utilized is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR utilizes the brain’s own healing power to resolve traumatic memories that contribute, without the person’s awareness, to present symptoms and problems. Trauma is easily recognized in the events such as natural disasters, accidents, acts of violence, rapes, deaths, etc. that are diagnostic criteria for PTSD. But trauma may also be evidenced by any event in the past that has a persistent negative effect in the present.

Facility Highlights

Fitness and Nutrition

Hawaii Island Recovery clients have membership at a fully equipped gym and receive on-going personal training from a Licensed Personal Trainer. They attend TRX and yoga classes to build strength, stamina and flexibility while improving coordination and motor skills. Our chef works with clients to support their nutritional needs and also provides cooking instruction on healthful, simple meals clients can prepare on their own. Clients are responsible for planning and preparing nutritious weekend meals under the supervision of staff.

EMDR, Dual Diagnosis,CBT, Hypnosis

awaii Island Recovery provides an array of coordinated therapies to address the individual’s specific needs, issues, and problems that occur together with and contribute to his/her addiction. These include anxiety, depression, mood swings, issues of self-esteem and self-confidence, fears, excessive guilt, indecisiveness, lack of goals, low motivation, relationship issues, etc. One of the evidence-based therapies utilized is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR utilizes the brain’s own healing power to resolve traumatic memories that contribute, without the person’s awareness, to present symptoms and problems. Trauma is easily recognized in the events such as natural disasters, accidents, acts of violence, rapes, deaths, etc. that are diagnostic criteria for PTSD. But trauma may also be evidenced by any event in the past that has a persistent negative effect in the present.

Wild Dolphin Assisted Psychotherapy

Unique the world over, Hawaii Island Recovery’s Wild Dolphin Assisted Psychotherapy is a powerful experiential therapy that interfaces our clients with wild dolphins in the open ocean. To look a wild dolphin in the eye is to feel the presence of something extraordinary. That feeling will define your WDAP experience, what YOU feel in that moment. Maybe it will transform you, ignite feelings of joy, aliveness, gratitude, and calm. The experience is yours to uniquely discover.

Meet the Staff

John Hibscher, Ph.D.

Clinical Director & Psychologist

Photo of John Hibscher, Ph.D.

Dr. John Hibscher received both his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Prior to moving to the Big Island in Hawaii in 1997, he had a private practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he also consulted to a variety of hospitals, organizations, health facilities, and government agencies. Dr. Hibscher maintains memberships in the American Psychological Association, the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and Hawaii Island Psychological Association. Dr. Hibscher has 35 years experience as a clinical psychologist, utilizing evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), to treat a wide variety of disorders and problems. As Clinical Director of HIR, Doctor Hibscher oversees all psychological treatment.

Eliza Wille, MS

Program Director & Animal Assisted Psychotherapy Specialist

Photo of Eliza Wille, MS

Eliza holds a Master's Degree in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from The University of Hawaii at Manoa. During her undergraduate work, Eliza worked at renowned dolphin research facility through the University of Hawaii Psychology Department. For nearly ten years, Eliza was involved in cognition and learning research with captive dolphins while also particpating in field research on non-captive marine mammals whenever possible. Her understanding of dolphin behavior and her years of facilitating interactions between humans and dolphins, combined with her credentials in psychology, uniquely qualify her to oversee our Dolphin Assisted Psychotherapy program. In addition, drawing on years of Equestrian training and involvement with therapeutic horsemanship, Eliza also serves as our Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Specialist. Her familiarity with horses has enabled her to create a safe and enriching therapeutic experience for Hawaii Island Recovery clients.

Rehabs.com 360 Guide

Review by Rehabs.com Contributors

ABOUT HAWAII ISLAND RECOVERY

Located on the northern tip of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, the residential rehab Hawaii Island Recovery provides treatment for adult men and women struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders such as anxiety and depression in a tranquil environment. Medically-supervised detox services are available on-site. It is one of only 5 facilities in Hawaii to offer residential detox.

TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT

Hawaii Island Recovery uses multiple evidence-based, holistic, and experiential treatments to treat a variety of conditions. The facility is exclusive, limiting its patient capacity to eight clients at a time. Each client participates in an individualized program designed to mix treatment options for optimal results. Because of this, the length of stay varies on a person-to-person basis, however, programs run 30, 60, or 90 days depending on the chosen treatment options. It is one of 16 long-term residential facilities in the state.

Individual counseling, group therapy, and 12-step meetings form the backbone of treatment plans, and residents are encouraged to get sponsors and participate in service work. Diverse therapeutic techniques, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EDMR), and hypnosis are used, along with experiential treatments.

Holistic therapies such as Reiki, massage, equine therapy, acupuncture, and yoga are also offered. The program is unique in that it offers wild dolphin therapy in the open ocean.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

The staff includes board-certified physicians, psychotherapists, master's level registered addiction specialists, licensed addiction counselors, licensed naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, among others. Hawaii Island Recovery is one of seven facilities in the state accredited by The Joint Commission.

ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES

Residents live together in a large house with an outdoor pool and a porch with ocean views. Meals are prepared by a private chef in the fully-equipped kitchen. Recreational activities such as hikes, snorkeling trips, and excursions to the Volcanoes National Park are organized, and clients are given membership to a gym, along with ongoing personal training sessions. The ten individuals surveyed on the facility's cleanliness rated it 4.6 out of five stars.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY

Alumni reviews from 25 individuals for Hawaii Island Recovery are overwhelmingly positive. The nine reviewers surveyed by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing gave above average ratings of 4.44 out of five stars for exercise/leisure options and the staff level of training and experience. One anonymous former client wrote: “The therapy I received was exceptional. The staff went out of their way to work with me.”

Several alumni specifically commended the dolphin therapy as a once in a lifetime therapeutic experience. "The dolphin experience was compelling and enlightening. An experience that has forever changed me," Roxanna wrote. Alumni also commented on how the program was life-saving and rewarding. "I'm so grateful for what I found at Hawaii Island Recovery. I have my life back," James wrote.

WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY

Only one loved one has reviewed this facility on Rehabs.com to date. Their review was overwhelmingly positive, with five-star ratings in exercise and leisure, counseling options, and staff experience, however, the reviewer did give just two out of five stars for affordability. "IT Has already racked up a grateful network of alumni families that speaks to its quality," the anonymous loved one wrote.

FINANCING

According to its website, the facility accepts most insurance providers. The ten reviewers surveyed on the program's affordability rated it an average of 3.8 out of five stars.

Published on January 2019

User Reviews

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Jeffrey

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Effective, caring, and worthwhile Short staffed Outstanding facility taking my needs a priority. Very effective counseling.

NC

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Great evidence based 12 step program. Food and accommodations are excellent. Most staff is compassionate and helpful. Some staff members, in my opinion, could be more compassionate to clients needs Overall, I have had a positive experience at this facility. I am very grateful for the opportunities given here and for the life saving help I was given. HIR has afforded me a new lease on life!

ET

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caring disheveled with too many clients was highly introverted and painfully shy, the facility helped me break the shell that was holding me down. Learned how to feel a sense of community i had never had before and the ability to say no over my addiction.

Ben

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Friendly staff. Nice residence. Seems like a "for profit" operation, which it is. Not very responsive in clinical aspects. If one is looking exclusively for a 12-step based treatment, then HIR would likely be a good fit. Staff are friendly and mostly accommodating. I, personally, did not feel that it was much of a dual diagnosis facility, which is what I really wanted.

SL

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Staff, size was a strength. Weaknesses: none. Very intimate setting with lots of support for clients

JF

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Strengths: Everyone is great and i was able to learn valuable tools to take with me and use in the future. Let go and go with the flow, follow directions no matter how silly they seem. It will all work out

Elizabeth

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competent understanding helpful knowledgeable. I've been to a lot of treatment centers in the past and HIR was the only one that worked for me.

Roxanna

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Therapy, food, location and activities were nice. The occupancy is limited which offers a more personal experience. The dolphin experience was compelling and enlightening. An experience that has forever changed me.

Lily

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Special treatment methods : EMDR, Dolphin Assisted Therapy, professional staff. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me change my life. The incredible staff and the program you have created is amazing. I loved the dolphin and animal therapy. I was able to create a special bond and trust with my therapists and case manager and the ladies in the staff. The men were kind and respectful. Thank you for everything!

Jcs

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Overall decent experience with the exception of the medical staff. Dr. especially was incredibly rude, refused to look at my medical history regarding long-term injuries and positive tests pointing toward autoimmune diseases causing very intense pain. Instead he told me I had nothing wrong with me refuse to do an MRI or request my previous medical labs and MRI because he had done his 10-second \"bend down and touch your toes\" physical assessment. I fractured my back when I was younger his response to this after he took his own x-ray was, \"this whole business about you ever breaking your back is bogus.\" After discussing this with my rheumatologist and pain management doctors after I left the program and went home I will be sending him the results of my positive autoimmune disease tests as well as a very bad MRI that shows major problems with my back and an x-ray of my fractured back from when it happened. Conclusion, this guy is a total quack do not go there if you are looking for pain relief or if they promise to work with you in that aspect!! Can\'t say enough is enough nice things about the in-taker and manager , great guy with his heart in the right place. Hope this helps in your decision to get clean. Best of luck aloha

Sherry

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Do not send your family member or loved one here if they are addicted to opiates. Waste of time and money. They go to a lot of free meetings on the island. They do not know how to treat opiate addicts and are in the business for the money. It’s all about the money like most treatment centers, just with nice weather. Do not trust HIR with your loved one! .

JCS

Do not believe what this facility states on its website. This facility is a rehab facility, not a mental health facility, and does not provide luxurious amenities or a full suite of alternative care treatments as advertised. This is not a peaceful and relaxing facility. The main program at this facility consists of twice daily AA / NA meetings, working with a sponsor, and a lot of smoking. There is very little mental health treatment provided and nothing about this program is individualized. I received better services at a Kaiser facility, which was covered by insurance at very little out of pocket costs.

Anonymous

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IT Has already racked up a grateful network of alumni families that speaks to its quality. For teens, this is a solid package: clinical expertise, holistic experiential therapies, 12-step support, and family healing, as well as a launch pad into a sober learning community.

Lani

Absolutely amazing, thanks Got, they save my life

VSG

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The staff was extremely supportive and they had wonderful holistic offerings. However, they needed better exercise options.

Steve

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I have been sober for 2 years after treatment program at Hawaii Island Recovery. You have saved my life. Thank you

Cris

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I learned that at the age of 44, having the same habits developed for half of my life, if I continue to do the same thing and expect a different result that is insanity unto itself. Life! Live, Love! Stay with the Program. It is not easy but the rewards will reward you like you cannot believe.

Molly

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From top therapy to integrating my post user life, you gave me the tools to make a real difference in the world Life is amazing, and to think, at one point I considered that my only option was to end it all! Now I can hardly wait for each new day - thank you from the bottom of my heart.\"

Rup K.

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Everything seems like it´s fallen back into place after I returned back here. My break to Hawaii changed things a lot for me and I am now able to view things in a different light. I would have not done it without all you guys help. I am thankful and grateful for all that was given to me.\"

Sam L.

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After going through four treatments my life seemed as hopeless as ever. I knew that I couldn\'t stop drinking and doing drugs. I had pushed away my family and friends. I didn\'t feel like I was a bad person, I just needed help. Coming to Hawaii for recovery gave me new lease on life. It works! It really does. Life is great and my family is excited.\"

Anonymous

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After a family intervention I agreed to go and get treatment. I loved the thought of a community based treatment center. The therapy I received was exceptional. The staff went out of their way to work with me. I stayed 120 days and I knew from the second I left the program I was going to make it.

Sue. S.

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Never could I have gone to a better place... It was perfect for me.\" You guys saved my life!\"

Tony

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For the first time in my life, I felt there was hope for me. I’m slowly gaining trust back from family and friends that I have hurt in the past. Thanks to the experiences at HIR, I’ve truly learned to live a happy and sober life. Mahalo to all at Hawaii Island Recovery!\"

Tammy

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Before I came to Hawaii to get sober I was dying in the hospital from a blood infection. My parents told me, \"Every time the phone rang we expected it to be a call telling us you were dead\". I knew I needed serious help because no matter what I tried I could not get sober. I came to Hawaii Island Recovery two days after I was released from the hospital. I completed a ninety day program at Hawaii Island Recovery and have been sober since for over a year and and 8 months. I am happy today and live in Hawaii. I have a relationship with my three children today. I don\'t hide from my parents today - I talk to them everyday. It\'s the miracle of this program. I came in completely broke down and I was ready to be rebuilt and that\'s what HIR [Hawaii Island Recovery] has done for me, it rebuilt me.

Molly

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The dolphin therapy is awesome, I have always been a big believer about animals and especially these wonderful animals. I had a truly wonderful experience! Also my counselor knew me better than I know myself, I was scared at first but realized that they know how I feel, what I am going through and how to make changes, I will be forever grateful for Hawaii Island Recovery, Thank you

James

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I'm so grateful for what I found at Hawaii Island Recovery. I have my life back! Thank you to the caring staff. Aloha!

John

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Treatment Program is Amazing!! I loved the most Dolphin and Equine Therapies.

Larry

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Terrible program unqualified staff

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