Harmony Addictions Clinic is a 12-step based luxury rehab in Cape Town, South Africa. Located in the rural valley of Hout Bay with views of mountains and the sea, Harmony also has a lake and farm animals on campus which offer a serene atmosphere for clients trying to escape their addicted lifestyles. The non-profit clinic was founded in 2008, and uses the Minnesota Model made famous by Hazelden.
Accommodations and Food
The house Harmony is situated in looks like an expensive, retro apartment complex in Southern California with a Spanish-style roof and detailed colorful tiles. It features 18 beds and 180-degree views of the South Atlantic Ocean and Hout Bay. In terms of housing, clients can choose between a shared room with two other roommates or a more expensive private suite. The shared bedrooms are still lovely, with mosquito nets, fans, serene artwork and bedside tables with lamps matching the white walls and colorful rugs.
The private suites are double bedrooms with lounges. The artwork and furniture in these is from all over the world, desks, beautifully designed chairs, large couches with pillows, ceiling fans, mini fridges, vintage chairs and flat screen LG TVs with satellite service. The private suites have queen-sized beds with towels laid out on the sheets when clients arrive, pop art on the walls and vintage lamps.
All meals are nutritionally-balanced and home-cooked. At Harmony, they’ve made a point to make meals a time to slow down, reflect and socialize. There is no sugar allowed at the facility, so food tends to be heavy on protein. An example of a breakfast meal could mean eggs with mushrooms and sausage; for snacks throughout the day, clients get fruits and nuts.
Treatment and Staff
Treatment at Harmony is divided by gender and offers dual-diagnosis support. Everything begins with individualized plans developed with and for clients by the facility’s team of clinicians and therapists. There is addiction counseling and mental health reviews through goal-oriented psychological therapy, all designed to reduce clients’ emotional stress and strengthen their social and life skills. Harmony is also a tobacco-free facility, and even hosts a weekly Nicotine Anonymous meeting.
Many things about Harmony make it a one-of-a-kind rehab in South Africa. Though they advertise their holistic approach, they also have an intensive foundation in the 12 steps. They’re the only facility in South Africa that takes clients through the 12 steps in 30 days and requires them to get sponsors; with three AA meetings a week (two off-site, one on), residents will have plenty of opportunity to do so.
A typical day at Harmony is probably not so typical for most. At 7 am, everyone must be awake to go for a walk on the beach, followed by breakfast and morning chores from 8 to 9 am. After that comes either a meditation or trauma group therapy session until 10 am, and another session from 10 to 10:45 am. A tea break that last until 11 am follows and then there’s either another meditation, a lecture, a session with Father Harry or written work.
Lunch is at noon, followed by another lecture or the alternative method of crystal healing until 2 pm. Next comes yoga, dancing, breath work or art therapy and another tea break. After tea there’s more group, individual therapy or written work until by dinner at 6 pm. Following dinner, there’s an AA or NA meeting, drumming or exercise and time for a movie or a guest speaker. Finally, there’s snack time at 9 pm, a daily 10th step session and lights out at 11 pm.
The staff at Harmony are a strong point, with all lectures carried out by Father Harry Wiggett, a recovering alcoholic and former chaplain to Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu, who was in jail with Mandela on Robben Island. While the rest of the staff may not have been pals with Mandela, all are highly credentialed with university degrees. Besides four full-time residential therapists, there’s a 24-hour nursing staff and others are advertised as having had extensive training in their fields of addiction treatment. All are also board-registered in the United States. They also have an on-site MD, making on-site detox available—in fact, Harmony is the only rehab in South Africa legally able to do so.
Among their many alternative therapeutic practices offered are hot stone therapy, Reiki, acupuncture, yoga, Indian head massages, full body massages, drumming and NIA dance techniques (NIA dancing is a holistic cardio group dance class that incorporates martial arts, healing arts and dancing). Although there is no hard evidence to support the efficacy of Indian head massage (otherwise known as champissage), it’s simply a head, neck and face massage in the spirit of alternative medicine.
Exercise at Harmony is also a big focus. Aside from the yoga, drumming and dancing during the day, the facility also boasts an on-site gym, a pool, a jacuzzi, a steam room and a tennis court. In addition, there’s a game room with table tennis and a pool table. TV is allowed during any tea break or down time, and extra curriculars include mountain hikes, walks on the beach, visits to the World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park Zoo and tours from locals for any foreign clientele. Cell phones and computers are not allowed at Harmony, but if clients need them for work or for an emergency, exceptions can be made in the afternoon and evening under staff supervision.
Harmony Addictions Clinic is a wonderful rehab at a fantastic price. It provides luxury while also using both the latest recovery therapies along with more traditional and new-age methods. For those seeking an open-minded South African facility focused on clients’ recovery and comfort, Harmony could be the spot.
Harmony Addictions Clinic
7 Valley Road
Hout Bay, Cape Town
7806, South Africa
Harmony Addictions Clinic Cost: $6,000 (30 days, shared room); $10,000 (30 days, private suite). Reach Harmony Addictions by phone at 011-27-21-790-7779 or by email at [email protected]. Find Harmony Addictions on Twitter and Facebook
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