Ashburn Clinic Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Ashburn Clinic


Ashburn Clinic Review

Located on the southeast coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the city of Dunedin, Ashburn Clinic is a non-profit treatment facility that specializes in the care of clients struggling with substance use disorders, eating disorders and co-occurring mental health issues like trauma, depression and anxiety. Founded in 1882 as a secondary option to state hospital, Ashburn Clinic is New Zealand’s oldest private psychiatric hospital. It offers detox, residential and outpatient treatment services. Ashburn employs a client-centered approach that treats the “whole person” as well as the family, rather than only treating symptoms.The treatment team utilizes medication management and the 12-step recovery model.


Situated in the outskirts of Dunedin along the Otago Harbour, Ashburn Clinic provides a serene environment replete with recreational opportunities like hiking trails and cycling. Most residents begin treatment in the Pinel and Frank Hay units, where each client enjoys their own private bedroom and access to the kitchen and outdoor recreation. The Pinel and Frank Hay units are well-light, spacious and comfortable. Residents enjoy multiple common rooms, a large book selection and a piano. There are also several group therapy rooms equipped with couches.

Residents here receive around-the-clock care from the nursing team, psychiatrists and therapists. After some time spent at Pinel and Frank Hay, many residents transfer to the Alexander House, a quaint cottage that offers private bedrooms, a strong peer community and support from staff. At this level, clients manage their own medication. Both houses are smoke free. All residents enjoy access to the beautiful wooded grounds that boasts scenic views, native artworks and a lovely gazebo.

Treatment and Staff

To begin treatment at Ashburn, clients must be at least 17 years old and be referred by a physician. Many clients transition straight into the detox program. From there, residents undergo a two-week comprehensive assessment process with a team psychiatrist and a physician to help determine the most effective treatment solution tailored to the individual. In addition to substance use and medical history, the evaluation also includes a review of medications. While the addiction program lasts a fixed 10 weeks, the length of stay largely varies depending on the unique health needs and goals of the individual.

Ashburn offers a multi-faceted approach to care that incorporates medication management and psychiatric services in a holistic framework that includes experiential therapy, psychoeducation, individual and group therapy and nutrition therapy. Residents engage in psychotherapy groups, focus groups on anger and anxiety management, sports and recreation as well as art and music therapy. In addition, Ashburn provides weekly forum meetings for the community and weekend activities.

The multi-disciplinary team at Ashburn Clinic is comprised of therapists, psychiatrists, a nursing team, occupational therapists, addiction specialists, physicians, counselors and a dietitian. 


Ashburn Clinic also offers reasonably priced accommodations for visitors.

In Summary

The oldest private psychiatric hospital in New Zealand, Ashburn Clinic provides comprehensive detox, residential and outpatient programming for male and female clients over the age of 17. The facility offers individualized plans for residents struggling with an array of issues including substance use and eating disorders as well as co-occurring mental trauma, depression and anxiety. For clients seeking a dedicated team, strong peer community and a group-focused treatment model, Ashburn Clinic is a great option.

Ashburn Clinic Location

496 Taieri Road
Halfway Bush
Dunedin 9010
New Zealand

Ashburn Clinic Cost

$24,000 NZD [$16,603 USD, per publishing day exchange rate] (10 weeks); Public Health System through Ministry of Health or ACC. Reach Ashburn Clinic by phone at 03 476 2092 or by email.

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  1. Recently I had the misfortune of spending 3 months in the Ashburn Clinic. I was surprised to find the majority of the treatment was provided by nurses untrained in mental health. Often the number of nurses nearly outnumbered the number of patients. The nurses tended to pick on and bully patients. The patients private details would be spoken of in public with no support provided to the humiliated patients. Those on the addiction program received no input from trained addiction providers and only received 3.5 hours of addiction input via an occupational therapist per week. Of the 12 patients discharged while I was there only 1 had made any progress. The other 11 were sent back to hospital wards or the street to fend for themselves.
    Never consider this place.

  2. The addiction program is run by nurses untrained in addiction issues. The addiction program runs for 3.5 hours per week over an 8 week period. One on one counselling to address individual issues is not offered to those on the addiction program. People seeking to understand there addiction issues and be equipped with skills to overcome their issues are not helped. Apart from the 3.5 weekly hours in the addiction program the participant is required to attend all other community meetings that do not assist in addressing issues related to addiction. The Ashburn Clinic cannot be considered an adequate provider of addiction services. The addiction program is an inadequate service added to the existing mental health program they run to generate income for the clinic.

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