A life change, albeit gradually, usually has to happen in order to successfully and permanently abstain from alcohol. It’s not just an instant result of putting down the bottle. This is the promise at Mount Carmel, a treatment facility that has been operating out of South London for a solid 30 years. Their specialty is alcoholism but they also offer limited services for other addictions and co-occurring disorders. In addition to their residential treatment, they can provide day counseling, outpatient programming and detox referrals.
Accommodations and Food
The primary residence at Mount Carmel can accommodate up to 18 adults. The bulk of treatment occurs at this main house but some clients opt for “quasi-residential” treatment where they live in a separate facility that’s walking distance to Mount Carmel. The goal for the living situation is an environment that makes clients feel emotionally, physically and socially safe. The house itself has a picturesque exterior and each individual has a private room, in addition to the kitchen, dining room and group meeting rooms.
Dietary requirements and personal preferences are taken into account as far as food in the house goes. The facility is partially catered and there are a few meals the residents prepare themselves.
Clients are expected to bring sportswear for exercising and yoga; their own toiletries and towels and any prescribed medication. Laundry facilities are available and free to use. Valuables, electronics (of any kind) and mouthwash with alcohol are not allowed.
Treatment and Staff
Patients and staff decide together whether clients should stay for three or six months of treatment. CBT and psychodynamic processing are the principle therapeutic modalities. The bulk of the programming is group therapy (daily), individual therapy (several times a week) and an introduction to AA meetings. These meetings are hosted on-site and daily attendance is required. Upon admission, each client is assigned a peer support person—someone who is further along in the program and available for guidance. Relating to others suffering from addiction is literally how the 12-step system keeps people sober so it makes sense to start someone in treatment with a friend by their side. During the first month of treatment, residents aren’t allowed to leave the house without this peer companion; they’re expected to keep each other accountable with peer reviews and weekly house meetings.
The staff is comprised of a CEO/Manager, Clinical Practitioner, five counselors, two social workers and one alcohol support worker. There are no medical doctors so detox is not provided on-site but they do facilitate detox services elsewhere and help make arrangements for getting to their facility after that detox is completed. The staff here is well reputed for its enthusiasm, support and compassion.
At no additional cost, Mount Carmel holds family groups for the purpose of educating residents’ spouses and/or loved ones. They also offer facilitated groups aimed specifically at the concerns and needs of adolescents with relatives in treatment. Finally, family sessions between clients and their relatives are led upon request.
Social activities and side trips to attractions in the city are incorporated into the program. There are also a number of optional, complimentary therapies including yoga, meditation, gym visits, drama therapy, Indian head massage and acupuncture.
Mount Carmel prides itself on high morality, a public service mentality, inclusivity and a focus on abstinence-based recovery. It is willing to work with anyone who cannot afford its services in finding help to get financial assistance. It is highly regarded in the community and more than willing to assist clients with aftercare and finding housing post-treatment. The facility is well reputed by both former clients (one called it the “Oxford and Cambridge of treatment centers”) and professionals, who praise them for providing “excellent support” and “fantastic” aftercare. Prospective clients may want to see what all the fuss is all about and reach out to Mount Carmel to get the help they need.
12 Aldrington Rd
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