Learn how to choose the right rehab for your treatment needs
Once you have taken the most important step, that is, the decision to seek help for addiction, trauma or mental health, you’ll need to choose a rehab program that will meet your unique needs. Selecting a rehab program that is suited to you will give you the best support through your journey to a successful recovery.
Here, we speak with trauma and addiction specialist, Di Young, about the South Pacific Private programs, the benefits, the differences and what you can expect.
What should I look for when choosing a rehab or a treatment centre?
Before checking in, you should ask yourself:
- Do they address your specific issue (addiction, depression, anxiety etc)?
- How do they run their programs?
- Are they a registered hospital?
- What qualifications and lived experience do their staff have and what sort of programs are offered?
It’s also important to look for a treatment centre that treats the mind, body and soul. Although cost is a contributing factor, if you have private health insurance with psychiatric cover, there’s only the excess to pay.
Why the South Pacific Private programs work
At South Pacific Private, we recognise that everyone has a different path into and through recovery – it is a journey after all. We offer Australia’s most comprehensive treatment programs for addiction and mental health issues. Our programs are designed for sustained, long-term recovery and provide specialist nursing care, psychiatric assessment and treatment, counselling, psychotherapy, educational lectures, guided sessions with families and partners and ongoing, individualised case management.
South Pacific Private differs from many other rehab and treatment centres as we provide wraparound support that treats not only the most immediate presenting issues, but also underlying causes.
Why is residential treatment better than a day program or hourly sessions with a mental health professional?
The residential treatment in South Pacific Private is designed to assist clients do a ‘deep dive’ into why they find their lives in a critical and painful place - whether it be addiction, mood disorders or PTSD. Clients are totally supported through the multidisciplinary team: their psychiatrist; primary therapist; continuing care case manager; the nursing team, as well as the program director and program manager.
Why shouldn’t I just do therapy?
Given that most therapeutic sessions run for 60 minutes to 90 minutes and are spaced over many weeks and months, it takes a long time to understand and work with a client in a deeper way. This means that it will usually take longer to uncover and unpack their history, and address underlying causes of their pain. Residential treatment allows clients to spend several hours a day working with a range of professionals and in group therapy in a holistic, safe setting to help breakthrough denial, anger and fear, and enforce permanent positive change.
What are the benefits of group therapy as opposed to one-on-one sessions?
Group therapy allows clients to work together, and to understand they are not the only one to struggle as they do. Often addiction, trauma and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety create a sense of isolation but in group therapy, clients realise they are part of a collective and this facilitates connection. Group therapy also provides clients the opportunity to practise communication and boundary setting skills, and see how in their own lives, their trauma and abuse has impacted their adult lives and the lives of those around them.
What is a multidisciplinary team? Why is that helpful?
The multidisciplinary team comprises your psychiatrist (whom you see regularly throughout your stay); primary therapist (whom you work with every day); continuing care case manager (who assists you plan for your discharge ie., what will you do to support yourself after you discharge?) ; your GP (who will attend to your general medical needs); the nursing team (who look after all your nursing needs) as well as the program director and program manager (both of whom oversee your clinical and therapeutic needs). This is highly beneficial for the client as you have a group of healthcare professionals caring for you and recommending the best programs that are suitable for you. This is completely different to one-on-one therapy where just one healthcare professional is overseeing you - it’s one person’s perspective and recommendations.
What are the benefits of being removed from day-to-day life?
You have no distractions, which initially many people find either shocking or a relief. The purpose of being removed from day-to-day life is to allow the client to focus on themselves and come to an awareness that they can create a new vision and purpose to their lives. Many clients often express relief when they don’t have to monitor their phone, their emails etc. It also provides an opportunity for the client to reflect and address the ways in which they medicate their feelings and avoid being in relationships with others.
You seem to have a lot of rules at South Pacific Private, why is that? (ie. no phones, no TV, no smoking etc.)
We want clients to focus solely on their recovery. South Pacific Private is not a rest-home or a place for ‘time out’, although you may be able to rest and have reflective time. Having no distractions allows you to focus on yourself - a rare luxury in our hectic and busy world. Many clients tell us how relieved they are not to have to check their phones or get distracted by TV, the internet or other platforms.
Why do you focus on families and have several family programs?
Clients with addiction and mental illness often feel very isolated within the family system. Our family programs invite the family into the treatment process firstly to understand how their family member has been working in South Pacific Private, and secondly to understand that we each impact each other, and it can be either positively or negatively. We work with the family to look at their interactions, to set boundaries as well as heal divisions which may have occurred as a result of dysfunctional family behaviours.
You talk about trauma extensively. What if I don't relate to having trauma?
Many people come into South Pacific Private with a presenting problem (drugs, alcohol, PTSD, anxiety, depression) with no awareness that many of these issues stem from their own childhood experiences. Trauma comes in many forms - and it doesn’t just have to be a life-altering event such as death, divorce or witnessing a horrific event. The client may have experienced neglect from their parents and felt unloved during their childhood or perhaps their mum was verbally abused by their father day after day. At South Pacific Private, we work with clients where they are and often they are surprised to see their lives through a different (more aware) lens.
What are the biggest changes you see in clients at the end of their stay with you?
We see our clients finally have freedom from their addiction, and an ability to manage and live more comfortably with their mood disorder. Clients build confidence with support and awareness. They often express feeling more strength and aliveness.
We talk about miracles a lot, the miracle of forgiveness, the miracle of connection, the miracle of a new beginning.
What are the benefits of completing the Core program - three weeks inpatient followed by two weeks at Beachwood?
Five weeks allows clients to do three weeks of inner and deep work with their therapist and their group in the safety of an enclosed therapeutic space in the hospital. Often the three-week inpatient program is the first time clients have had an opportunity to learn how to be authentically present for themselves and others.
A further two weeks at Beachwood provides a therapeutic space, whilst allowing them to go to their day program and go out without supervision (ie., to take steps into their new lives whilst being able to come home to Beachwood and their other fellow clients). Whilst in Beachwood they often attend our Transitions Day Program which further enhances their knowledge and experience of their new lives.
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