America’s Keswick, a Christian ministry, runs addiction recovery facilities for men and women on a lush compound in the small central New Jersey town of Whiting. After more than a century of exclusively serving addicted men at its Colony of Mercy facility, it opened Barbara’s Place for women in 2015. Barbara’s Place, named for the wife of America’s Keswick’s chairman. provides Bible-based residential treatment for women battling alcohol and drug addiction.
Accommodations and Food
Barbara’s Place occupies a renovated, single family home that houses eight adult women at a time. It sits on a sprawling estate with two lakes, tennis courts and an all-seasons gym available for use. The residence also contains classrooms, offices and a staff apartment.
Women are housed four to a room, sleeping in deluxe bunk beds. The clients participate in the preparation of all their meals. Barbara’s Place takes dietary allergies into consideration and food is hearty and nutritious.
Treatment and Staff
Space at Barbara’s Place is limited, so potential clients must go through a rigorous admission process that includes urine and blood tests to determine if they are using. Detox is not available. Potential clients must also commit to abstaining from all tobacco, drugs, and alcohol products, not be pregnant and be weaned off any psychotropic medication. Only life-sustaining medications are allowed. Clients must also be willing to participate in Biblical teachings as the major component of recovery, as outside treatment methods, including 12-step programs, are discouraged. Dual diagnosis support is not offered for those with co-occurring disorders.
The residential program is between six and 12 months in length. After the initial six-month phase, clients are assessed and either recommended for an additional six months of treatment or moved to the 12-month aftercare program. Based on Christian principles, the program focuses on building healthy relationships, replacing old behaviors with new ones and creating a manageable plan of action for the future.
Treatment consists of daily Biblical study, individual therapy with a counselor, group sessions, life skills training, community building, group activities and worship. Work therapy is also a major component of the program, with women assigned duties they must complete to prove discipline and personal responsibility. Community volunteers visit the facility and lead classes and activities such as music, fitness, sewing, nutrition, cooking, creative writing, crafts and painting.
A small staff attends to the clients, with several Christian counselors available at all times to speak with each client individually about her needs and concerns.
Barbara’s Place encourages visits with clients’ children and incorporates parenting classes into the program. Husbands and fiancés are also encouraged to participate in all phases of their partners’ recovery. Bible studies, individual counseling and group meetings are held to maintain family bonds. Women are paired with mentors from the community to assist them in their personal spiritual studies and growth.
The aftercare program requires a personal commitment to a local church. The client must work closely with the pastor, their mentor and the community to maintain their newly-acquired life skills and practices.
Families for Christ is a couples aftercare program for the married clients of the Colony of Mercy and Barbara’s Place. After graduation, the couples are invited to come back for a weekend program that is held once a month and includes group activities.
Barbara’s Place provides highly structured faith-based recovery for women. America’s Keswick has been treating men battling addiction at the Colony of Mercy since 1897, but this new facility offers a program designed especially for women. An excellent choice for those of the Christian faith seeking recovery, Barbara’s Place won’t admit those that are not committed their version of a faith-based way of life.
601 Route 530
Whiting, NJ 08759
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