Back when Journey Healing Centers was established in 2002, it had just four staff members to its name. Since then, it has expanded to six facilities in Utah and Arizona and was acquired by Elements Behavioral Health in 2013. The original center is tucked away at the base of the Wasatch mountain range in the Cottonwood Heights neighborhood of Salt Lake City.
Accommodations and Food
With its red brick chimney and surrounding grove of trees, Journey resembles a super-sized storybook cottage, and it’s easy to imagine the days when it functioned as a bed and breakfast. The facility treats 16 residents at a time, and most stay for 28 days. For the money, the housing and dining experience is fairly impressive. The bedrooms—each named after spiritual principles like Humility or Brotherly Love—feature large beds and handsome furnishings. Some rooms are shared, while the majority are private. Although a private chef does all the cooking—which, naturally, tends to be delicious—residents are expected to help clean up in the kitchen, which can help foster bonds between housemates.
Treatment and Staff
Journey emphasizes each resident’s individual recovery path. Every client receives two therapists—one addiction counselor and one Master’s level mental health expert—who work together as a team to treat substance abuse in tandem with any other co-occurring disorders. Each week, residents receive two one-on-one therapy sessions that incorporate EMDR, CBT and DBT. Although the counselors do introduce clients to the 12-steps, the real magic number at Journey isn’t 12 but four—as in Don Miguel Ruiz’ The Four Agreements, which serves as a foundational text at Journey. Still, AA meetings play a key role in many clients’ treatment plans, depending on what works for each person. Yet despite its intimate size and claims of being client-oriented, Journey has left a few alumni feeling a lack of personal attention from the staff, which gets spread a little too thin at times.
For medical needs, in addition to a psychiatric nurse practitioner in residence, there are doctors who visit once a week. The docs tend to stick to non-addictive medications like naltrexone or acamprosate.
Rounding out the rest of the structured treatment schedule is plenty of group and family therapy, as well as holistic treatment offerings like yoga, meditation, art therapy, nature walks and massage therapy.
Journey’s standard 28-day program runs a little on the short side, but those in search of long-term treatment should check out its partner facility, Creekside, which is just a short walk away. Clients can stay in this six-bed condo for eight weeks or more.
Journey offers a few unorthodox remedies such as a sweat lodge, drumming and Vitamin B injections. When not in treatment, clients can take advantage of Salt Lake City’s offerings, which include museums and the beautiful Cottonwood Canyon. Residents also get to learn the value of service by working with local food banks and homeless shelters.
Journey tries to provide peace, privacy and enough flexibility in treatment to suit anyone’s needs. It’s definitely luxurious compared to similarly priced rehabs, but despite its small size, it may not provide as much personal attention as one would expect. Still, those eager to explore a combination of holistic and traditional treatments and want to get a private room for less may find the price is right.
Journey Healing Centers
8072 S. Highland Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
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