Lion’s Gate Recovery is the inpatient treatment arm of 25 year-old Talbot Rehab, named for CEO and Clinical director Russ Talbot. The town of Toquerville, Utah, where Lion’s Gate is located, is too small for its own grocery store; the closest is 20 minutes away. Lion’s Gate is a two hour drive northeast from Las Vegas, a six hour drive from Los Angeles; recovery, Lion’s Gate believes, is better established away from one’s familiar environment and in a community small enough that clients become like a family united in recovery, not just addicts who feed off of and enable each other’s addictions in treatment.
Accommodations and Food
For Hobbit fans out there, Lion’s Gate is a kind of sober version of the Shire. It’s intimate (the house accommodates 14 people at the most), its setting idyllic (a stream running through the property, Zion National Park in the backyard), and there’s a lot of value placed on humility and self-sufficiency.
Clients share a home and a kitchen. The tan-colored house is modest-sized, and homey inside. There are leather couches and a TV in the living room. Men live on one floor of the house, women on another. All clients have roommates; no private or semi-private rooms are available.
At Lion’s Gate, clients make grocery lists and plan their meals for the week. Clients cook their own meals as well, so vegetarians and vegans can observe their own dietary restrictions. The mentality here is that clients will become responsible for themselves in managing their own meals and in navigating a shared space with other men and women. Coffee is okay to put on grocery lists; smoking is not tolerated at all. Initial toiletries are provided. Clients should bring at least $100 in petty cash for re-filling their toiletry stock and for potential medical co-pays.
Treatment and Staff
Most clients stay for 45 days. Although Lion’s Gate is a treatment facility for adults of all ages, most clients are in their mid-20s. There is a Christian bent to Lion’s Gate; worship is offered on Sundays and clients are encouraged to bring church-friendly attire. Talbot’s approach to recovery is holistic, which means to them that an understanding of 12-step is a part of recovery, but not the first or overarching element. Read more about the Amen Brain SPECT Scan on Talbot’s website, and the role Talbot imagines this brain scan plays in a client’s recovery: the bottom line is that this brain scan is meant to show clients how drug and alcohol dependence has affected their brains, and that this demonstration will diminish the addict’s denial and therefore aid in recovery. Lion’s Gate also serves clients who suffer from co-occurring disorders like anxiety, depression, and trauma as well as drug and alcohol dependence. The SPECT Scan can help identify these co-occurring issues.
Equine therapy plays a major role at Lion’s Gate. The idea is that in working with horses, clients can learn boundary skills to apply to their own lives. Adventure therapy is also a part of recovery: think ropes course and trust falls. Hiking is par for the course out here and hey, there are worse places to hike than Southern Utah.
Clients do some work indoors, too. Like standard treatment facilities, there are lectures (on addiction and recovery, as well as life skills), one-on-one therapy twice a week, and 12-step counseling in groups and individually. Lion’s Gate has a Family Recovery Program that meets weekly on Wednesday nights. Clients’ families can also arrange to counsel remotely, with primary therapists.
All Lion’s Gate primary therapists are Masters-level accredited, working under the general direction of CEO Russ Talbot and all case managers and coaches who work with clients directly have degrees in social work or have experience in their fields.
Music and equine therapy, travel to an off-site gym and meditation by the backyard stream are just some of the extras offered at Lion’s Gate.
Lion’s Gate is a small place of storybook beauty with storybook values: play nice with others, find inner strength and take care of business. Certainly there are benefits to seeking treatment in an isolated place, removed from obvious temptations. Not all may find it helpful to be geographically removed from the temptations of a busier place for 45 days. But Lion’s Gate appears to be a principled treatment facility with a love for the outdoors.
Lion’s Gate Recovery
561 E. Tabernacle St
St. George, UT 84770
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