Located off the San Gabriel River just north of Austin, Texas, The Arbor provides a comfortable, long-term program with dual diagnosis support on a 67-acre ranch. Because the 90-day minimum length of stay is longer than many other facilities, The Arbor works diligently to provide comfort and options at every turn.
Accommodations and Food
Located on an expansive urban ranch, the Arbor’s accommodations truly set it apart from other facilities. The grounds themselves are filled with sweeping greens and horse stables, where equine therapy is provided once a week. Clients also have access to the banks of the San Gabriel River, just a short walk away. Most activities run out of the main house, which includes a swimming pool, an outdoor back patio area and a stone waterfall.
This relaxed atmosphere continues in the rooms, which are shared but boast queen-sized beds. The rooms are not quite luxurious, but they are comfortable and rustic with extra touches like large bureaus and overhead fans; they also come with large private bathrooms. The facility is co-ed, with the genders separated in different lodges on the grounds. The men’s lodge sleeps 14 and sports its own private pool and common area. The women’s rooms are in the main lodge, with room for 18 total. All meals are prepared by the on-site chef and served in the main house dining area, a large well-lit room with large bay windows.
Treatment and Staff
The Arbor Treatment Program is designed as a 15-month program comprised of two phases: a 90-day residential treatment program followed by a year-long aftercare program. The Arbor does not provide medical detox on-site, but can assist their clients in scheduling one at a facility just 15 minutes away. They also provide transportation to and from detox in these cases.
Residents have group therapy up to five times a day with one individual session a week. There are both on-site and off-site 12-step meetings, and clients have plenty of opportunity to work the 12 steps during their stay. The Arbor offers dual diagnosis support as well through weekly meetings with an on-staff medical doctor and psychiatrist during their stay. Art therapy, yoga classes and meditation sessions are also offered. Finally, residents can also do EMDR, which works to unlock past traumas and heal them through a series of memory-based exercises.
While many other facilities say they have a full “gym” when the reality is much more limited, The Arbor once again scores big with a full fitness center with multiple treadmills, ellipticals and weights, not to mention a spacious spa on the grounds. There’s also a stone path that leads to full basketball and tennis courts. Again, given the long term nature of the program, The Arbor believes in providing off-site activities and trips to local eateries, movies and hiking excursions in addition to off-site 12-step meetings as part of the recreational palate. Still, The Arbor is quick to maintain that the real draw of their facility is the recovery work.
The Arbor also offers a year-long aftercare program in the Austin area. A testament to the success of this program is that over 50% of residents choose to participate in aftercare after their initial stay, a number higher than comparable facilities. This is probably aided by the setting of Austin itself, which boasts small town charm with big city amenities, including a vibrant cultural and culinary scene. During this period, clients attend weekly gender-specific process groups, psycho-educational and experiential therapy and spirituality and mediation courses. About half of the residents who attend that aftercare program for a year voluntarily sign up for another year.
For the most part, it’s clear that the Arbor has worked to create an environment that feels open and comforting, combining Texas ranch charm with a laid-back vacation. And given the length of stay and comprehensiveness of their aftercare, the cost of the program is far from unreasonable. Those making their way to the Arbor’s gates can expect a full immersion in recovery in a facility that never feels institutional or confining.
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