The E.M. Jellinek Center opened in 1971 after a Knoxville, Tennessee judge met with local residents to discuss an outreach for alcoholics. It was named for a Yale professor who was an addiction research pioneer and was run for many years by former University of Tennessee standout Frank Kolinsky, a recovering alcoholic who died in 2011. The basic, no-frills program offers the 12 steps and therapy for substance abuse.
Accommodations and Food
Jellinek initially occupied two homes that were on the verge of being condemned. It now includes nine residential houses, a freestanding dining facility and a dedicated building for counseling services and recreational activities in a residential neighborhood nestled between freeways near downtown Knoxville. There are kitchens in the houses for preparing snacks. The large dining hall has tiled floors, rugs beneath each table and dark wood tables.
Clients are served cafeteria-style food that includes eggs, bacon and sausage for breakfast, cold cut sandwiches and chips for lunch and some sort of meat, potato and vegetable meal for dinner. A kitchen staff cooks the meals.
Treatment and Staff
Clients attend a 28-day treatment program that consists of off-site AA meetings three times a week, lectures on addiction, and group and individual therapy. There is no MD on staff so detox is not available and there is no dual diagnosis support for the clients, either. The off-site AA is not mandatory but residents are not required to get sponsors.
The staff at Jellinek is a mix of credentialed and peer counselors, with a two-to-three staff-to-client ratio that encourages an intimate recovery process. A typical day at Jellinek starts with wakeup at 5:30 am followed by breakfast at 7 am. The morning schedule consists of group therapy and lectures ranging from relapse prevention to anger management and parenting. After lunch clients go to more group therapy, individual therapy three times a week, exercise, free time, lectures and then dinner at 6 pm. The off-site AA meetings are followed by free time to relax and watch TV with lights out at 11 pm.
There is no family program at Jellinek but family members may request individual sessions with the client’s counselors. Visiting hours are from 3 to 5 pm on Sunday afternoons. Clients receive free local YMCA memberships so they can lift weights in the gym, swim, or do yoga twice a week. No cell phones and computers are allowed during treatment.
E.M. Jellinek’s focus on simple recovery is a plus. With a gym membership and meals included in the $3,000 price, it’s good value for the area.
E.M. Jellinek Center Location
130 Hinton Ave
Knoxville, TN 37917
E.M. Jellinek Center Cost
$3,000 (28 days). Reach E.M. Jellinek Center by phone at (865) 525-4627.
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