The Dunes East Hampton in East Hampton, NY

Overall Rating

(3.5 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
201 Fort Pond Boulevard, Suite 1
East Hampton NY 11937

The Dunes East Hampton Philosophy

The Dunes is a luxury residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment facility that provides clients with individualized, specialized addiction treatment therapies for lasting recovery. Therapeutic options include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), family and experiential therapies and pharmacotherapy, as well as a selection of private and holistic courses of treatment.

Areas of Specialization

  • 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.

  • 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.

Facility Highlights

OASAS Certified

World-Renowned Addiction Treatment Specialist on Staff

Luxury Addiction Treatment Retreat

Meet the Staff

Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, Ph.D, LCSW, LCSW-R

Executive Director

Photo of Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, Ph.D, LCSW, LCSW-R

Dr. Nicholas Kardaras is one of the country’s foremost addiction specialists. An Ivy League graduate, he is a former Clinical Professor at Stony Brook Medicine where he taught addiction treatment, human behavior, and Psychopathology; he has also taught neuropsychology at the doctoral-level and presented workshops and presentations on addiction and mental health both nationally and internationally. As a NY licensed psychotherapist, he embraces a transpersonal orientation as he specializes in the treatment of addiction and assisting people who are experiencing existential, life-transition, and/or psycho-spiritual challenges.

Joseph McKinsey

CEO

Photo of Joseph McKinsey

Joe McKinsey is CEO of a national supplier of computer peripherals for the hospitality industry. Since he founded his company in 1992, Mr. McKinsey has built it into a multimillion-dollar business with offices in New York and Los Angeles. As a recovering alcoholic who has enjoyed 27 years of sobriety, Mr. McKinsey is thoroughly familiar with the addiction recovery process and is well-versed in 12-Step recovery. His primary motivation in founding The Dunes, a Safe Harbor Retreat property, is to help others who have struggled with dependency get a second chance and gain access to the types of opportunities that he has enjoyed in his recovery.

Rehabs.com 360 Guide

Review by Rehabs.com Contributors

ABOUT THE DUNES EAST HAMPTON

The Dunes East Hampton is a secluded, high-end drug and alcohol rehab center on Long Island in New York. Treatment occurs in an exceptionally confidential, comfortable setting as a part of an individualized, holistic program. Special executive accommodations may be arranged, and clients may also receive care for co-occurring depression and anxiety on-site. Providing residential and intensive outpatient treatment for adult men and women since 2010, the facility offers intervention services as well.

TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT

The facility approaches addiction via the Syndrome Model, a philosophy and set of protocols developed by The Dunes’ senior clinical advisor who is also a Harvard faculty member. Treatment considers biology, psychosocial factors, and personal experience in identifying causes and consequences of addiction as a complex disorder. Each meets with a personal counselor three or more times per week.

Individualized therapy will incorporate a blend of practices including some combination of cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavior therapies, pharmacotherapy, eye movement desensitization reprogramming (which addresses trauma), internal family systems therapy, group processing, meditation, spiritual counseling, and participation in a local community 12-step program. Acupuncture, writing and art therapy, equine-assisted therapy, and yoga are also offered.

According to the facility’s website, The Dunes makes a lifelong commitment to its clients. Aftercare services are available in person and digitally, including a weekly alumni breakfast.

A 2015 Vanity Fair profile of the facility reported than an average stay was 72 days, while a 2016 East Hampton Star story about zoning referenced a representative of The Dunes’ statement to city officials that an ideal stay is 11 months.

Intensive outpatient treatment and DWI assessments are offered by the facility at a location separate from the residential program.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

The facility’s website emphasizes the capacity of its treatment staff for empathy, reporting that together the staff has more than 300 years of personal sobriety. Master’s and Ph.D. level licensed social workers and therapists, certified practitioners and trainers, and certified alcohol and substance abuse counselors comprise the core treatment team. The staff-to-client ratio is 3:1 and all staff members sign a nondisclosure agreement.

ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES

The Dunes East Hampton is luxurious. Residents live in spacious private bedrooms with large bathrooms. They can relax by the facility’s swimming pool and receive massage therapy on-site. Access to a gym is off-site, but discreet transportation is provided. Additionally, an on-site, classical chef prepares high quality meals.

Integration with the local community is encouraged via hiking and biking activities, sailing, shopping, and visits to museums and theaters. Use of cellphones and laptops is allowed.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY

Rehabs.com has received reviews from 10 alumni at the time of this writing, including four who responded to a poll measuring 15 metrics as well as strengths and drawbacks. Opinions were split down the middle, with five positive and five critical.

Three reviewers mentioned staff credential issues, with one writing: “The staff was totally unqualified.” The facility responded directly, noting that credentials were available for review upon request and that all clinical staff members were licensed by the state and held advanced degrees. Two critical reviewers left treatment early.

Two alumni polled offered polar ratings of one and five stars out of five respectively for general accommodations, meals, and exercise and leisure opportunities. However, they both agreed that the facility’s cleanliness, counseling options, treatment for co-occurring mental health concerns, availability of options for holistic treatment, and family participation each deserved five-star ratings.

Other commonly cited strengths among the positive reviews were the effectiveness and individualization of treatment, and the compassion and level of training and experience of staff members.

WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY

Four loved ones also provided feedback, almost all of it highly positive. Metrics measuring affordability and admissions and discharge procedures received somewhat lower ratings averaging three and 3.75 stars respectively. All other features, including family participation, were rated more than four out of five. Two noted that the staff was overly busy and untimely in responding to communications.

WHAT STAFF SAY

The sole staff member polled by Rehabs.com endorsed the facility’s treatment approach, calling it “comprehensive” and “progressive.” They provided ratings of five stars across the board.

CONCLUSION

While no details regarding the facility’s fees or payment options are provided on its website, the 2015 Vanity Fair profile reported an average cost of $50,000 to $75,000 per month and a 2012 Bloomberg and May 2016 East Hampton Star article both reference $45,000 with the possibility of scholarships.

The rehab center has been involved in disputes regarding residential zoning and access to services since its first year in operation. The Star article reported that the facility’s parent company, Star Harbor Retreat, is appealing a U.S. Court of Appeals decision denying its case against the city of East Hampton alleging violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Updated April 2017

Published on April 2017

User Reviews

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Strengths: Effectiveness, compassion, comfort, variety of treatment options, individualized attention . A weakness was that there was no sober living available yet I would never had gone into treatment if I had not found The Dunes. The idea of a large institution with possible punitive treatment would have kept me from getting the help I needed.

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Compassionate and educated staff. Variety of treatment paths. Non institutional. The individual attention as well as group experience's proved extremely valuable to my self discovery. The staff was extremely accommodating to my special needs and requests.

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Everything was great.

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This is such a caring and thoughtful center, from the housekeeper to the director everyone is lovely!! This is for people who really want to get better, so it is wasted on those who have not gotten to that point in their addiction.

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Friendly people, clean. Busy. Great stuff

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Good Staff. Food was bad Real bad. I feel the the food in the place was bad but over all the rest of ok.

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The care at The Dunes is outstanding. In spite of my numerous struggles the staff never gave up on me. The small size, no more than 11 residents, made me feel very safe and comfortable. The rooms, food and other amenities are second to none. Most importantly, I am committed to my sobriety and am living a happy fulfilled life, thanks to The Dunes. -DN

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...Most staff running day to day operations are simply people in recovery . There are perhaps three licensed social workers. When I asked for the staff's credentials , I was criticized. The jacuzzi does not work. Two clients left early and stopped payment on their charge cards. I found marketing to be highly aggressive and not completely candid. I left fifty thousand dollars poorer and in worse shape than when I arrived . They claim to use evidence based treatment but their outcomes anecdotally

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This place is the most poorly run place I have ever experienced -they lie about staff to client ratio, meds, capacity.....I can't go on - there's too much. You don't get what you pay for. Go somewhere else!

I cannot express enough how wonderful my experience at The Dunes was. The level of care, professionalism and treatment are, without a doubt in my mind, the only reason I am still sober almost 3 years later. From my very first day of treatment I was made to feel like everything was going to be ok and that I was in good hands. I learned the areas in addition to my addictions that needed to be addressed and the tools I needed to face everyday life as a recovering addict. I have soo much gratitude for my life today and had I not entered treatment here, none of it would have been possible. There really is something magical about this treatment center. If you are reading this and struggling, do yourself a favor and check it out.

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It is a HORRIBLE facility.

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Great programs , nutritious food, comfortable, safe and qualified staff. Client service is not up to scratch time management. you don't receive a respond quickly from them. It is a very good facility. They offer great programs for families too. It is safe and private. They take good care of the patients. My uncle was helped! Great accommodations. I would definitely recommend it to anyone!!

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Beautiful accommodations and serene setting. However, it was expensive. There was an opportunity for patients to work with horses, which helped immensely.

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Comprehensive evaluation and treatment across expressions of addiction and co-occurring problems. This is a first rate program with a progressive treatment strategy based on scientific evidence. However, they have not yet conducted long term outcome evaluation to determine treatment effectiveness.

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The staff was totally unqualified. It was too expensive for the level of care offered. The psychiatrist is a buffoon.

Official Facility Response

This is an unfortunate and inaccurate statement. All of our clinicians are either masters level or Ph.D. level and licensed by New York State. Anyone can readily be shown our staff's credentials.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
LUXURY SETTING WITH UNQUALIFIED CLINICIANS

Official Facility Response

This is an unfortunate and inaccurate statement. All of our clinicians are either masters level or Ph.D. level and licensed by New York State. Anyone can readily be shown our staff's credentials.

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