The Blandine House was founded in 1970, borne out of the efforts of Sister Blandine Eisele. Inspired by a personal encounter she had with the founders of AA in the 1940s, Eisele decided to spend her life treating alcoholism. To that end, she opened her own treatment facility to provide a comprehensive men’s recovery program in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
Accommodations and Food
Set in a large Midwestern-style residence, Blandine House provides an organic, home-style setting for recovery. While those looking for beachside resorts or wilderness retreats would do better to search elsewhere, Blandine’s setting serves well the core concepts of AA. It’s short on frills, but its modest environment sets the tone for fostering humility and gratitude. There are five rooms with two to three twin beds per room (as well as one single-occupancy bedroom); at any given time, Blandine can sleep no more than 12 residents.
Treatment and Staff
Recovery at Blandine House revolves around four concepts—acceptance, surrender, humility and gratitude—and the program includes specific classes to address them. The days are busy, each with a rigorous schedule. Mornings begin with breakfast at 7 am followed by a mix of personal and group therapy. Interspersed among these are special sessions covering community reintegration and gratitude cultivation, which focus on cementing the core stabilizing concepts. Nights involve a variety of community-oriented activities including field trips and social activities with other clients.
AA meetings are a major component of treatment with residents attending five a week, both on-site and off-site in the local Fond Du Lac community. Two domestic violence counseling sessions are offered each week, as well as family visitation sessions on Sundays.
Blandine’s program is 90 days, with the first two months focused on a rigorous daily schedule of recovery. The final 30 days focus on career counseling, relapse prevention and creating structure for residents after they leave the facility. Alumni can also return to Blandine for counseling and group sessions after inpatient ends, since aftercare is also a major piece of the treatment mission.
While the house itself is largely dedicated to the work of recovery, Blandine encourages recreation through frequent weekly trips to the local YMCA (which has a swimming pool). Field trips include rotating Friday night outings, fishing in one of Fond Du Lac’s lakes, camping trips, barbecue cookouts and other outdoorsy activities; for indoor fun, the facility has a pool table as well.
Considering its origins, its no surprise that the Blandine House is committed to the disease model of addiction and sticks firmly to the principles of 12-step recovery. Residents should be prepared for busy days and many AA meetings each week. Generally, what Blandine House offers is the basic recovery concepts in a structured residential setting, and could be the perfect fit for someone in need of a back-to-basics recovery program.
The Blandine House
25 North Park Ave
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
The Blandine House Cost: $2,610 (30 days adjusted). Reach The Blandine House by phone at (920) 922-9487, or by email at [email protected].
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