A specialist in psychopharmacology and addiction studies, Dr. M K El-Yousef founded the Fairwinds Treatment Center in 1989. From its inception, it has specialized in dual diagnosis recovery, treating men and women whose struggle with substance abuse and eating disorders is complicated by underlying mental illness. In addition to the dual diagnosis track, there are residential treatment programs for clients who need treatment solely for an eating disorder or for chemical addiction.
Accommodations and Food
The Gulf beaches are minutes away from the cozy Fairwinds Treatment Center campus in Clearwater, Florida. The exterior of Fairwinds Treatment Center looks like a set of gingerbread houses, but the inside is more hospital-like, with narrow white hallways and nurses’ stations. There are 30 beds in total; clients sleep two to a room in twin beds, in bedrooms painted soft colors. The common areas are worthy of a bachelor pad, with brown leather couches and large TVs. Clients are responsible for doing their own laundry at the on-site facilities.
The cafeteria space is relatively intimate: a collection of eight-person tables and a small buffet area. Clients eat together at regular meal times. Fairwinds Treatment Center describes its meals as “therapeutic,” balanced and restorative, but vegetarians and vegans may have to settle for the salad bar.
A registered dietician works with clients in the eating disorder program to create a meal plan and reviews all meals and snacks to make sure their food intake is sufficient and healthy.
Treatment and Staff
Clients with acute withdrawal start out in medical detox; there is also a post-detox level of acute inpatient care where clients are supervised around the clock by nurses and clinical staff. In this phase, clients are evaluated medically and psychologically until an individualized treatment plan can be devised.
The basic level of inpatient care lasts 28 days. At this residential level, clients are supervised less and begin a regular schedule of individual therapy appointments and group therapy. Many of those who don’t experience intense withdrawal symptoms and don’t suffer from suicidal ideation or severe mental illness will begin at this level.
At the start of a typical day, residential clients wake up, make their beds and meet for breakfast in the cafeteria. Morning and afternoon groups operate on a rotating schedule; some are discussion-based, some activity-based and others are geared toward education, either about addiction or how to live a sober lifestyle. Part of living sober is learning how to navigate interpersonal relationships, which clients discuss in a life skills group. Residents also have a relaxation and meditation group where they learn how to stay grounded and connected to their feelings.
Residential life is very similar for those in the eating disorder, substance abuse and dual disorder programs. Clients in the substance abuse and dual disorder programs go to off-site AA and NA meetings and clients in the eating disorder program attend ABA meetings.
Fairwinds Treatment Center also runs a dual diagnosis program for clients aged 18 to 25. The basic structure of the program and its treatment modalities (CBT, DBT, family systems) are the same as the adult program. Four days a week, though, these clients have groups co-facilitated by Fairwinds Treatment Center’s clinical director and senior therapist, both of whom have experience working with this age group.
Inpatient clients have the benefit of a close-knit treatment environment, lots of individual attention and daily visits from the staff psychiatrist. There are an average of five clients per therapist in residential treatment.
As far as outpatient options, Partial Hospitalization Programming (PHP) is available for clients who don’t require overnight supervision, but need a certain amount of structure. This program runs five days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. A less intensive level of outpatient care is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). For two months, clients come to group three nights a week, for two- to three-hour sessions. The least intensive level of care is standard outpatient, which offers groups based on an individualized treatment plan that clients design with a Fairwinds Treatment Center counselor.
Fairwinds Treatment Center’s art therapy activity group is a central part of their recovery program, the idea being to provide a creative environment in which clients gain self-esteem through the non-judgmental support of the art therapist and their peers.
It would be a picky person indeed who passed up Fairwinds Treatment Center. This rehab has three levels of inpatient care and serves adults and young adults—which is a lot of offerings considering there are only 30 beds. Each residential program track is tailored to fit the client, so there’s little risk of being overlooked and a lot of value for a reasonable fee.
Fairwinds Treatment Center Location
1569 S Fort Harrison Ave
Clearwater, FL 33756
Fairwinds Treatment Center Cost
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