Desert Cove is a 12-step and holistic treatment rehab in the affluent Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, a peaceful desert surrounding (at least during the times of year where the temperature isn’t stiflingly hot). The desert and rivers to the north make this treatment center, which launched in 2012, an ideal location for the outdoor therapy that is integral to Desert Cove’s treatment.
Accommodations and Food
The facility isn’t as homey as others but what it lacks in that department, it makes up for with its minimalist, calming desert design. Group therapy rooms are stocked with leather office chairs and native cacti and the hallways are lined with art and photography. Residences are carpeted with twin-sized beds. While they’re corporate and apartment-like, Desert Cove has made an effort to give them a relaxing touch. Every client has a roommate and private rooms are not available. There’s a pool and community TV available in the media room for clients to watch during free time.
The food is organic with an emphasis on health to restore the body in recovery. The Nutrition and Wellness Program at Desert Cove is supplemented with exercise and balanced food planning and preparation to enhance healthy living. Lots of protein and vegetables are in every meal.
Treatment and Staff
With a minimum 90-day stay, Desert Cove offers treatment based on the 12 steps of AA with an added holistic approach. All clients are required to go to off-site AA meetings seven nights a week. The on-site meetings are from local home groups that bring in speakers and lead meetings. Group therapy and one to three one-on-one sessions a week are also integral to the treatment plan. Expressive Art Therapy is offered as an alternative to lectures and courses on addiction. The therapy is CBT and DBT. Desert Cove’s specialty is chronic relapse and relapse prevention so they emphasize teaching clients how to deal with trauma and pain without relying on drugs or alcohol.
The holistic approach encompasses their goal of treating the mind, body and spirit and involves a three-part approach that addressees physiological, emotional and spiritual needs.
The staff of 14 is highly credentialed in recovery. They range from MDs to RN’s to specialists of all other relevant stripes. The male-to-female ratio is split in half and the overnight staff is highly credentialed as well.
Clients who need medical detox can get it in a supervised setting close to the rehab. Dual-diagnosis support is available as well. Family members may visit their loved ones six weeks into the program where they receive education about addiction and treatment. One caveat for those who may like distractions from all this serious recovery: cell phones and computers aren’t allowed and WiFi isn’t available.
A typical day at Desert Cove means waking up and eating breakfast at 7 am and attending group therapy from 9 to 10:30. From 10:45 to noon, clients have a variety of things to do depending on the day, including educational group courses, expressive art therapy, healing trauma courses and yoga. From noon to 1:30, clients get a long break for lunch, which is followed by educational courses, lectures and group or one-on-one therapy until 2:45. From 3 to 4, they either listen and talk to outside speakers or have more therapy sessions. After that is exercise and a break until dinner at 6. An AA meeting follows dinner and then it’s free time until lights out at 11.
Exercise, as stated earlier, is a huge part of the treatment program at Desert Cove. There is an adventure program that is integrated with Tierra Wild, a local therapeutic outdoor program in Arizona that manages to incorporate a 12-step model into the activities. These activities include hiking, backpacking, white-water rafting, rock climbing, challenge courses and service projects. There’s also a local gym where clients receive memberships. Additional activities include bowling and trips to the movies as well as a local amusement park.
Equine therapy is offered in conjunction with Scottsdale Horseback Riding company Hunkapi Programs.
For what it offers, Desert Cove is a great deal: alternative therapy, a highly credentialed staff, 12-step emphasis and holistic treatments. Still, the accommodations aren’t as luxurious as they could be and the program here could be too serious for some. Still, at the right time of year, a serene desert experience could make for a highly soothing place to begin a healthy new sober life.
Desert Cove Recovery
15170 N Hayden Rd, Suite 4
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
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