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Rehabilitation centers, clinics and facilities conjure up many different images for many different people. For some the vision is some sort of concentration camp where you are under constant surveillance and lock-down, some may envisage something akin to a mental hospital with aggressive staff in white coats, some may think of some sort of new age hippy camp with endless tree hugging and group therapy sessions in an environment far from one they could actually gain any benefit from. The truth about such facilities can be as varied as the people they attract and the preconceived ideas they have about rehab.
Thankfully for anybody suffering from addiction the option available here in Koh Samui contains none of the above. The Serenity Rehab center in Koh Samui could have easily been used as a retreat, luxurious resort or extremely large up-market family home had it not become a place of healing, well-being and the first steps on the road to recovery.
Located among the mountains with views that could easily fool you into thinking it was the only structure on the island, this is a place that feels clean, safe, friendly, fresh and very close to nature as well of course being extremely private. There is nothing threatening whatsoever about this place, the warm smiles, the friendly and understanding team and endless space all combine to provide an environment where one feels blessed to have arrived.
2 swimming pools, a well equipped gym, a sauna, grassy lawns, a little temple, a comfortable lounge area, a pool table, alfresco dining facilities and large and fairly luxurious rooms are probably the last thing that spring to anybody’s mind when they think about a rehabilitation center but that is exactly what you will find here. As well as the incredible facilities you will also find a dedicated team well experienced in helping you reach your goals with the kind of expert knowledge you need to succeed in doing just that.
The reasons people choose to find sobriety here in Koh Samui, aside from all of the inviting facilities, are many. Some live on the island and wish to not stray too far from home, others from different corners of the globe, wish to get away from it all, away from the pressures and stresses of normal life and close proximity to friends and relatives to take their first steps alone. Some find the waiting lists for government facilities in their own country infuriating and the first stumbling block they encounter when the sometimes tough decision to change their lives has finally been made. Some find that the cost of private facilities around the world completely cost prohibitive and the sacrifices that have to be made to raise that kind of money are simply not an option.
Another rather daunting aspect for those who have never step foot in rehab is what goes on there. Making the decision to change your life can often be daunting enough without having to worry about regimes in an unfamiliar environment.
The Samui Rehab Center offers an intensive and balanced (12 step recovery) addiction treatment program and unlike the crowded government facilities around the world, take no more than 12 clients at any one time. This is an important aspect to rehabilitation one of the clients told us when we went to visit, “it is impossible to recover in a facility with when you are faced with thirty or more people in one group therapy session” he said, “it’s so impersonal and impossible for counselors to get to the bottom of anybodies problems. It is hard enough in a group that size to even remember everyone’s name, there is nothing less personal a councilor having to keep referring to your notes to remember who you are, it makes you feel as if you are just a number”.
The family style approach seems to be a very attractive aspect at Serenity. “Here you feel like part of a family” one client told us “the relationships you make here will last you a lifetime and even though we all come from different corners of the globe, I know we will stay in touch and act as a support group, it also gives you a reason to look forward and have goals like travel, it would be lovely to think that I could go and visit somebody I met here one day in Holland, America of the UK, it is a real incentive for success”.
Another client told us that he too found the environment more healing. “This process is nothing like the ‘classroom approach back home’ he said, “here you can find a more spiritual side to your life and have the opportunity to meditate, pray and reconnect with your soul”. “Here the focus is on your individuality and the freedom you get here far better prepares you for the real world, the facility at home, that is so far removed from real life, does nothing to prepare you to cope once you leave.”
The days at Serenity start at 8am with a healthy alfresco breakfast. Meditation and walking or sessions of yoga take place on alternating days. From 10.15 to 11.15 participants take part in group counseling sessions before doing written work between 11-30 and 12.15. At 12.45 lunch is served and at 2pm a group workshop takes place until 3pm. Beyond that is the opportunity for swimming, massage, one on one counseling sessions, supervised trips to the local supermarket, gym time with a personal trainer, art therapy classes and participants in the course are able to take part in AA and NA meetings on the island with their councilor.
The evenings are taken up with group alfresco dinners, card nights, games nights, movie nights and speaker meeting events. There are even private charter boat trips to other islands. “I would never be able to afford this sort of treatment back in Australia” said one of the facilities clients who found Serenity on the recommendation of a friend who had great success after his month at the facility. “Coming here has really broadened my horizons and this time I know I can succeed”. “I truly hope more Australians, and indeed anybody around the globe suffering from addiction, find out about this sort of treatment, and wish even more that it was available back in Australia and we Australians did not have to travel so far to find the help we desperately need.”
If you need help with addiction or know somebody who does click here to find more information