Bridging the Gap Recovery is an affordable residential treatment facility actually on the ocean. Bridging the Gap’s living quarters face the Gulf of Mexico; its clinical facility is just a short walk from the beach. Opened in 2010, this place is integrated into the Panama City Beach community. Both founders are in recovery and neither believes in the “rehab bubble.” There is no fixed amount of time for clients to stay at Bridging the Gap—the goal is to provide sustainable social model recovery founded in the 12 steps.
Accommodations and Food
Two hours from Tallahassee, Bridging the Gap’s three residential homes are side by side on Front Beach Road, facing the Gulf. This is a co-ed program, but houses are single sex. There are 24 beds in total and everyone has a roommate.
Bridging the Gap’s residential program feels a lot like sober living, with reinforced structure. Residents buy groceries themselves and make their own food with the help of nutritionists on staff. Kitchens are equipped with stainless steel appliances. There are washers and dryers, and linens are provided for every room: residents are responsible for their own laundry.
Taking advantage of the locale is encouraged. Male and female residents are free to mingle—they can walk down to the beach in the morning and meditate; eat breakfast at their leisure before leaving for morning group. Non-beach people can relax by the swimming pool and hot tub.
Treatment and Staff
Bridging the Gap describes itself as a treatment program “by addicts for addicts.” There are two counselors on staff, both in recovery themselves, and two of the three residential techs are also in recovery. The thinking is that while holistic and psychotherapeutic methods are important, the most important tool is working a 12-step program. All residents are required to get sponsor sand start working the 12 steps in AA or NA during treatment, and to attend a 12-step meeting every night. During the week, residents have 12-step studies in a group setting.
Morning groups run from 9 am to 12 pm and afternoon groups from 1 to 4 pm. Residents may have individual therapy appointments during either of these times. 4:30 to 6:30 pm is allocated for down time and dinner, and residents attend a 12-step meeting between 6:30 and 8:30 pm. After meetings, the night is unscheduled until 11 pm, when residents are expected to be in their rooms.
Holistic offerings at Bridging the Gap are the standard for most treatment places: yoga, meditation, exercise and good nutrition. Therapeutic groups are a mix of recovery-related and life skill topics: alcohol and drug education, planning for sobriety, triggers, relapse prevention, grief and loss, trauma, money management, job interview preparation, sexual abuse, human needs and social relationships.
Kayaking, sailing and weekly beach days, as well as equine therapy, a pool and hot tub are just some of the extras offered at Bridging the Gap.
Residents have the opportunity to participate in therapy with their families on the second Saturday of every month during a morning and afternoon session held at the Bridging the Gap clinic. The clinic is just minutes away from the residences, a block from the beach and surrounded by stores and restaurants, where anyone can go eat during lunch so long as they are not alone.
The bottom line is, this place wants its residents to be successful in recovery. It pushes harder than other rehabs in certain ways, forcing clients to get sponsors and to make their own meals and do their own laundry, but this is another way of saying it asks their clients to behave like the adults they are. At the same time, the environment is less rigid than many residential facilities, where men and women are insulated from each other, and from the “outside.” Additionally, there’s an array of extras you probably won’t find for this price point in many places. In short, Bridging the Gap is not a facility, a stop-gap place, or a vacation—it’s really more like a home.
Bridging the Gap Recovery
220 South Arnold Rd
Panama City Beach, FL 32413
Bridging the Gap Recovery Cost: $9,500 (30 days). Reach Bridging the Gap Recovery by phone at (850)-249-3000 or by email. Find Bridging the Gap on LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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