The Seasons Hader Group has rehabs in Australia, Thailand, Bali and one set to open in Sri Lanka in a few weeks. So how does a big company like this maintain a personal approach to each individual who walks through the door? This is a very good question and one which the owners of the group take very seriously.
Essentially, for the Seasons Hader team, this means personally tailored programs for every client, well-educated staff and small therapeutic communities with a high staff to client ratio. All rehabs say this sort of stuff but let’s have a look at the substance of what they actually mean.
What is a Therapeutic Community?
To understand the benefit of a small group it is first of all vital to understand the concept how a therapeutic community operates. A successful therapeutic environment actually creates the optimum conditions for an individual to recover from the trauma of active addiction or alcoholism. The other clients in treatment are not just there for the ride, they are an integral part of each other’s recovery.
Safety in the Middle Ground
The idea of a therapeutic community is closely associated with the concept of Milieu Therapy which puts great value in the environment as a therapeutic tool. The term comes from a French word which means ‘middle ground’. This conjures up images of safety and balance and this is just what the concept seeks to promote. The middle ground needs to be just that; like Goldilocks choice of bed, not too big and not too small – just right!
In the frame of drug and alcohol treatment this is a compassionate place where the members of the group help and support each other to change. Importantly this process is facilitated and overseen by staff with the relevant skills and experience to keep everyone on track.
The right conditions in rehab equal the right set of circumstances for people to change undesirable behaviours and learn new ways of doing things. The focus is on the life of the individual and not just on their specific symptoms. This type of environment is artificially created, but the skills which are learnt can easily be transferred into the outside world.
Bigger here is not better……… This is a miniature society where clients must feel safe to explore new concepts and develop their own journey of personal growth.
How many people in a group?
Any more than 20 people in a group is simply a contradiction is terms as far as therapeutic communities go. Too many clients means that the environment is not going to feel safe and it is not going to promote the sort of healthy intimacy demanded by the recovery process. Changing everything is a pretty terrifying prospect for most people who enter treatment – this needs to be a safe and supported place for it to be successful.
Compassion Focused Therapy
At Seasons Hader we believe in compassion focused therapy which is pretty much the opposite of the confrontational approach taken by many of the larger rehab establishments. When there are large groups to control, measures naturally develop to become more punitive.
Another disadvantage of a very large group is that often cliques can form which are another way that the therapeutic community can become less effective. In a small group the members of the community: staff and clients alike, really get to know each other. Learning or relearning how to socialise and get on with people is an absolutely essential component recovering from addiction.
Hiding in the Crowd
In a large group clients can hide in a crowd, slip under the radar and their issues can go unnoticed. There is no time for individual attention from staff and people can coast through without getting the full benefits of the program they have paid to attend.
One Cap Does Not Fit All
Many treatment centres have a one cap fits all approach and although addicts and alcoholics undoubtedly have many things in common they are not all the same. For their treatment process to be really effective the way each person is helped must reflect their needs.
The rehab’s approach must also take into consideration the fact that the therapeutic landscape can change pretty quickly for clients, what is relevant one day can be inconsequential the next. In large groups the team of addiction experts, however skilled, can miss the nuances of this ever evolving group of people.
Seasons Hader have many locations and keep the number of clients to a minimum. Our bespoke approach means that each client has a personalised program which caters for their developing needs.
An Educational Environment
As well as being a therapeutic environment, rehab is also importantly a learning environment. Here our staff teach clients the skills necessary to stop and stay stopped. All the best schools keep class sizes down for a reason and extensive research shows children learn faster and better in a more intimate environment. Exactly the same principles can be applied to a therapeutic community.
Staff Education and Training
Just like a school the quality of the teachers matters too. Massively. How many people hated a subject at school because they hated the teacher? How easily did we lose respect for those we did not feel were equipped to do the job at hand? Rapport and mutual respect are two indispensable components of the relationship between staff and clients.
Many of our competitors whether they have over a 100 beds or just 8 do not have staff that are adequately trained for the job. Many of the people employed as support workers in the industry in Asia and the private sector in Australia are simply recovering addicts and alcoholics that have their own experience of recovery to bring to the table.
While this in many respects is worthwhile because personal experience is hugely important it should not be the only thing those in contact with clients have to offer. Seasons Hader knows that the people who come to us are best guided by those who have a perfect combination of personal experience and relevant qualifications.
We require that all of our employees have an education appropriate to their role. Our support workers must be either hold a Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs, have equivalent training or be enrolled in a course of study. This helps our staff to remain client focused and gives them the skills to best help our residents. Our staff are educated so they remain in the middle ground, so that they can promote balance and safety as well as teaching recovery tools and providing tangible role models.
Staying Small = Successful Outcomes
The bottom line is that the personal approach of our centres facilitates the successful outcomes of our clients. Seasons Hader is not one big super rehab but rather one which is spread out in different centres throughout Australia and Asia. It is structured this way so each person who walks through our door remains a story worth telling and a life worth saving.
To get help for yourself or a family member, call the Client Liaison Team at the Hader Clinic for a free no obligation consultation