Rehab is not an end in itself, it’s the beginning of a recovery process.
DARA Programs provide treatment for addictions; this includes substances such as drugs and alcohol as well as process addictions such as sex and gambling and even people who describe themselves as addicted to food (this is distinct from eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia).
At DARA we see ourselves just as one part of a treatment continuum. The DARA inpatient program starts with an initial safety, stabilization and assessment phase that we have called ‘Precovery’. This stage takes place in our Chanthaburi facility where all your medical, psychiatric or medication needs will be assessed and taken care of in collaboration with our specialist partner hospitals. Our qualified nursing team will make sure your stabilization and settling into DARA will happen in the most safe and comfortable way possible.
The Precovery stage is followed by the Discovery stage. This stage is comprised of our six-week inpatient treatment program. However, at DARA, we understand that we are treating individuals therefore we believe in flexibility – many clients stay for four weeks, and others stay longer than six weeks. We can develop tailored individual programs to suit the individual needs of our clients. The third stage is the Recovery stage, which represents your transition from DARA back into your home environment and into an addiction-free life. From our side this includes an aftercare plan, relapse prevention training, and linking you up with local support networks, counselors, and physicians back at home. We are have connections with an international network organizations that run Sober houses and Intensive Outpatient facilities, so if you think you might need some help transitioning back into your life after your residential program, then we can help with that too. You can also book additional Skype sessions (additional fees incurred) with your focal counselor for ongoing support. We are with you every step of the way.
At DARA we utilize evidence-based treatment approaches. We run two treatment programs: one at our mainland center in Chanthaburi and one on our tropical resort facility on Koh Chang Island. Both programs are predominantly based around Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with evidence-based components of 12-step philosophy and SMART recovery. In the initial phase of both programs, you and the DARA staff will tailor a plan for your treatment.
Inpatient rehab gives you a chance to focus on yourself, your past and your present, but most importantly it allows you to focus on your future as a healthy individual in recovery. We provide you with an individual counsellor, a personal Physical Trainer, as well as a program of Group Therapy. These include, but are not limited to, gender groups (where you may address more gender-specific topics), topic groups (where you receive psycho-education), process groups (where you practice having healthy and open communication), and open groups (where you can share your progress). All of this is carried out in a drug free environment.
Treatment is in five star level accommodation in one of our two beautiful facilities. The only thing you cannot do at DARA is use, and if this were what you wanted to do, you would not come to DARA in the first place.
Nestled in a peaceful and quiet town on the mainland Thailand, DARA Chanthaburi offers a beautifully conducive environment for the treatment of addiction. Our second resort facility is located on the tropical island of Koh Chang in the gulf of Thailand. It is a former five star resort which has been tailored for use as a residential facility, so it really the best of both worlds. Most of Koh Chang is national park and our program there is based in a jungle like setting between the national park and the sea. Both programs bring forth a serene and calm space that encourages deep introspection and healing.
DARA’s primary goal is to provide an individualized, effective, compassionate, and comprehensive treatment program for clients with addiction issues. We embrace the evidence-based components of 12-Steps and other clinical interventions/approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, and Relapse Prevention Therapy to complement the clients’ overall recovery process. We engage our clients in interpersonal group and individual counseling sessions, psycho-educational and skills building workshops, nutrition and physical training programs, massage therapy, and much, much more.
Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) for Addiction
DARA employs the CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) treatment philosophy governed by the ITM (Integrated Treatment Model), a treatment modality that combines physical, social, psychological and spiritual aspects through a variety of individual and group orientated activities. To learn more about CBT for addiction click here.
Our program consists of 6 learning and skill components:
Psycho-Educational groups- The Topic Program
Our program includes daily psycho-educational sessions about substance abuse, trauma and other issues feeding people’s addiction. We believe that addiction is a chronic disorder and that anyone living with this kind of disorder needs to become their own expert on it. We can’t completely achieve this in the 6-8 week stay in our program, but we can start our clients on the path of learning about the psychology, biology and neuroscience or ‘brain view’ of addiction.
In sessions with individual counselors our clients explore and make sense of their past, present and future. These sessions tie together the various themes of our program. DARA recognizes that becoming free of addiction and staying clean could be the hardest task for those in recovery. Our counselors work with our clients to help them develop an understanding of how past and current experiences affect their choices and behavior, and help them to integrate new and positive habits.
The therapeutic value of healthy interaction with others in recovery is recognized and valued at DARA. In our group program clients learn how to communicate effectively and use this to develop healthy relationships. The group program includes therapy groups, gender groups, relapse prevention groups, art therapy and expeditions that include an aspect of self-discovery and self-challenge.
Cognitive Restructuring or Reframing
The DARA treatment offers CBT Skills Training groups and Relapse Prevention groups where clients are taught CBT techniques that help clients to identify, challenge and alter their automatic/negative thought patterns and beliefs. The goal of CBT is to enable people to replace unhelpful and self-defeating thoughts with more realistic and helpful ones. It is very common for people struggling with substance use to experience destructive and negative thought patterns. Additionally, people who do not recognize these patterns as unhealthy can start a type of ‘self-medication’ because they think that they are depressed or anxious. DARA uses CBT techniques to address clients’ harmful thought patterns and help clients to recognize and practice alternative ways of thinking and regulating distressing emotions and harmful behavior.
DARA helps clients to learn new ways of living more rewarding and fulfilling lives. Our treatment approach not only teaches clients new cognitive skills but also allows them to practice new and helpful behaviors while in treatment. This can include activity planning, daily monitoring of thoughts and feelings, regular exercise and workouts, taking part in more meaningful activities and reducing burdensome behaviors that weaken mental strength.
Fundamentals of Health
Clients come into addiction treatment from chaotic lives. We help and encourage clients to live in more balanced and mindful ways through an emphasis on developing healthy habits and daily activities. This includes developing effective sleep patterns and habits, good nutrition with a low sugar, low salt diet, physical activation (within their capacity), meditation, yoga and massage. In addition, we believe the beauty of our environment contributes to our clients’ sense of self-worth and dignity.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) For Addiction
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment approach for addiction and many other disorders including anxiety and depression. For this reason, CBT is the basis of both of our DARA programs.
CBT involves helping people to understand their thinking patterns and the connection between situations and the thoughts, physical feelings, emotions and behavior that are evoked. CBT is about challenging negative thought patterns in order to bring about positive changes in thought patterns, physical feelings, experienced emotions and ultimately, behaviour.
The theory behind CBT states that dysfunctional behavior is essentially the result of negative or irrational thought patterns. If we can improve these thought patterns, we can change our behavior for the better.
CBT sees thoughts, physical feelings, emotions, and actions or behavior as being interlinked with a situation. If we find ourselves in a certain situation, we are always going to have responses within these four domains. Sometimes, those responses can be negative. After repetition of the same responses to a situation, these patterns become automatic. We can’t simply change our emotions, physical feelings or behaviors. However, by being attentive to our thoughts, ‘catching’ negative or irrational patterns, and challenging these thoughts by evaluating their objective truth, we can stimulate a knock-on effect on our physical feelings, emotions, and behaviors.
How does CBT for Addiction Work?
DARA’s certified counselors use their specialist CBT training to help clients to:
- Recognize the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs and alcohol
- Recognize the thoughts, physical feelings, emotions and behaviors linked with these situations
- Identify whether these are rational or irrational
- Challenge negative/irrational thought patterns and replace with more rational ones if necessary
- Improve dysfunctional, addictive behaviors
What is the CBT Program Like at DARA?
The core CBT program at DARA is implemented in a group setting. This is a rolling program, meaning that as clients move through residential treatment, other clients might just be beginning. Thus, do not be disheartened if other clients may seem to be more versed in CBT – it is a continually developing learning process.
As part of the program, you will work with your Focal Counsellor in one-to-one therapy sessions to identify situations throughout your personal active addiction that were problematic, and learn to utilize CBT to respond to these more constructively. This may involve practicing new behaviors right here at DARA, and being given individually tailored ‘homework’. Some examples of this might be:
- Keep a thought diary to help clarify patterns of thoughts, emotions, physical feelings, and actions in response to a situation
- Question a self-critical or upsetting thought and replace it with a more positive (or more realistic) one
- Be deliberately exposed to cues that may trigger an addictive response to build resilience
- Challenge negative/irrational thought patterns and replace with more rational ones if necessary
- Practice actions that will lead to stronger, healthier thought patterns, e.g., practicing more assertive behaviors for those who may have been a ‘doormat’ in the past.
Although CBT generally concentrates on the ‘here and now’, at times clients may need to talk about the past in order to understand how it affects the present. DARA’s therapists will talk to the client about their life story and background to help guide them and maximize their usage of CBT techniques.
CBT for addiction is a powerful method to use in a residential setting, because clients are able to continually practice and develop CBT skills in-between activities, strengthening new patterns of thought and behavior. Ongoing development of personalized CBT skills makes it less likely that a client’s symptoms or problems will return. The more clients put into this process, the more they can expect in return.
What are CBT’s qualifications?
- It is established as a best practice component of treatment for addiction
- It is a component of best practice treatment for moderate and severe depression
- It is the most evaluated modality for treatment and has been shown to be effective for conditions where anxiety, anger or depression are the main problem
It is our observation that genuinely practicing the behaviors suggested in 12-Step recovery programs can aid recovery and produce dramatic transformations in people’s lives. The 12-step program provides a huge, free and internationally available infrastructure and support network which can help people transition back into living a full and healthy life as an individual in recovery..
At DARA, we show you how to start the process of a) seeking a personal power, b) finding that personal power and then c) retaining that power to achieve freedom from active addiction and all its manifestations.
At DARA, we only utilize the evidence-based components of 12-step recovery. The 12 steps mentions a ‘higher power’ and often this notion can be off putting to people who think that you have to have a belief in a god or some religion to participate in elements of 12-steps. At DARA our interpretation of the 12 steps is non-religious. We are very clearly a secular or non-religious program. We utilize only the evidence based components of the 12-step program to augment our core program of CBT. How you choose to define your ‘higher power’ is entirely up to you!