Open Minds Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Open Minds

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Open MindsThe Basics

On the Western side of Great Britain not far from bustling Liverpool is Open Minds, a multi-phase drug and alcohol program that offers abstinence-based treatment to clients 18 years and older. Additionally, those who are sober but need ongoing counseling or relapse prevention can also claim a bed at Open Minds.

Accommodations and Food

Founded in 2003, Open Minds is not a sprawling campus nor a secluded commune. Instead the facility features a main building, the Day Centre, where all treatment takes place. Clients commute there via minibus from their lodgings, which for inpatient residents means the Stanley Villa—a quaint, brick building with a garden in the back. This Victorian house features 12 twin beds but not much privacy; most clients get a roommate (though on the flip side, all rooms have private showers). As residents progress through the program, they move into the extended care house, a boxy building designed in a vaguely Tudor style.

Both lodgings are staffed around the clock by house managers who see to it that clients stay out of trouble and on top of their chores (and yes, there are chores at both residences). On Wednesdays, residents take trips to the supermarket because everyone is expected to do their own cooking. Still, there won’t be Hot Pockets and other junk food on the menu—Open Minds still has control over what gets bought at the grocery store, and home-cooked food with fresh ingredients remains the emphasis here. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated within reason, provided clients speak up at weekly menu-planning sessions.

While neither house has many amenities, Open Minds maintains the location between Cheshire and North Wales provides many “leisure and exercise opportunities” to take advantage of—there are walkabouts to be had in nearby Berwyn and the local Llangollen Railway adds a Harry Potter-esque charm to the environs.

Treatment and Staff

Open Minds submits clients to a rigorous, multi-phase program that can last as briefly as two weeks or long as six months. At its core, treatment is based on a 12-step framework with a mix of group therapy and one-on-one counseling. Each client gets their own counselor, and families are welcome to participate in free addiction seminars at the facility as well. It’s a no-frills approach, but the numbers are encouraging: from 2013 to 2014, 95% of Open Minds completed detox and 92% finished the full program.

These numbers can perhaps be partially attributed to a qualified staff. Open Minds has six counselors, many of whom are in recovery themselves; though usually only three are around at any given time, professional attention remains intimate. The support staff includes a general practitioner, specialist and nurse who visit the detox clients daily—they also remain on call during this time.

The multi-tiered journey to recovery at Open Minds begins with assessment and admissions phases. Clients meet with a doctor who helps them chart out a plan of for the coming weeks. Those who need ongoing medical treatment are advised to register with a local practice and bring a month’s supply of prescribed medicine. Of note is that those in need of dental care should seek it before enrolling as well; as Open Minds grimly warns, “dentists are in very short supply in North Wales.”

Primary care begins shortly after, composed of mainly group and one-on-on sessions, lectures, workshops and other activities; residents are also introduced to AA and NA meetings during this time. Weekdays are generally full of treatment with chores and homework at night. Still, Wednesdays are a respite from the rigors of the daily grind as clients head into town for some shopping (with £23.50 provided a week for toiletries and other necessities). After shopping, it’s off to a community center for an afternoon activity.

After 9 pm, residents are free to do whatever they please: watch TV, play board games, draw, paint or simply hang out. Clients can also place phone calls three nights a week (aside from the first two weeks); lights out is at 11 pm.

Extras 

Things at Open Minds are a bit more relaxed on the weekends. Friday nights are movie nights at the facility. Residents then spend a good chunk of Saturday working on life skills training before receiving a stipend to go out and use on the “leisure of their choice.” On Sundays, there’s a weekly walk, but more importantly up to two close family members may come and visit.

As they progress (and if they choose), clients move into extended care where they take on greater responsibility and complete volunteer work. The focus here is recognizing personal triggers and learning how to deal with them, with the goal of long-term recovery. After graduation, alumni are offered 18 months of complimentary aftercare.

In Summary

Open Minds’ focus isn’t on leisure; residents endure a structured process of personal development and rigorous therapy that delivers results—and just might open their minds to the possibility of a sober life.

Open Minds
Borras Rd
Borras, Wrexham
LL13 9TW, UK

Open Minds Cost: £5,950 (first 28 days, $9,349 [per publishing day exchange rate]); £1,000 per week thereafter [prices accurate as of print]. Reach Open Minds by phone at 011 44 1978 312 120. Find Open Minds on its site

Do you have a complaint or review of Open Minds to add? Use the comments area below to add your Open Minds review.

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22 Comments

  1. Good morning. My name is Yvonne. I gave a review when I left Open Minds in 2016. It was the best months money I ever spent. I became sober on 1st February 2016 for 1 week prior to my admission. I took me to Open Minds of my own accord. Everything was different to the Priory, and it was friendly and understanding You Know now it is 2018, I go to Open Minds aftercare Group. The workshops are very well presented by Mike and Alex. They tell us how serious our conditions could be, but do it in a very clever lighthearted way. All the staff are great there and people need to know that. I go every week apart from my holidays and it is something educational and happy to go to. It must be good as I do everything suggested by A.A. and Open Minds and am very pleased to say to date that next month I become 2 and a half years sober. I have read a couple of Google bad reviews and am very sad for the people who wrote that rubbish.

  2. Traci K

    Sept 2016 – March 2017

    Upon arrival I had already been told expect to be stripped to the core and rebuilt again in a way to understand and live a new life alcohol free…but only if you’re prepared to go to any lengths, listen, be willing and put in the hard work. Well it said what it did on the tin. 13years prior I had been to The Priory, and whilst it is NOT as lavish as made out..it didn’t work for me on two levels..firstly i was not ready to admit I was an alcoholic and surrender to the disease and secondly it didn’t take into account my other addiction (apparently that was not included in the bill!). So anyone who says that Open Minds is a money grabbing institute needs their head testing, because yes it is a business BUT with the core aims of health and well being of clients; because this is a disease which ultimately KILLS – no price can be put on life. In my first 8weeks two other peers sadly passed away from this disease.

    As mentioned I have a two-pronged addiction disease; firstly an Eating Disorder – Bulimia and secondly alcoholism. Upon entering Open Minds and to this day I have been in remission from Bulimia for 13years – but it is in the sidelines always waiting as without alcohol this could easily be my back-up method of feeding my addiction.

    In my first week I learnt I was an alcoholic, in the second week – I was and addict and by the end of the second week I have a disease which is lifelong and will (if I do not work for it) will KILL me. Thankfully the medical profession are finally sitting up to this being a disease and a mental health issue. Something which has changed in the 13years since my entry to The Priory – YET still needs so much awareness.

    I was broken when I arrived and although I had already spent over two weeks in a detox until at a local hospital – I spent my first 12days in tears from dusk to dawn, a quiet non-talkative individual – all my high powered job, confidence and mask had been stripped. I can hand on heart say I am very different to the person who arrived and to say I have my confidence back a little bit (i.e. you can hardly shut me up – actually a downfall) is quite a feat.

    One of the most pertinent things a house manager said to me was “you can remove the alcohol from the fruitcake – but your still left with the fruitcake!”….so true – but for once when you understand how Open Minds operates, how the 12Steps and AA works a huge weight is lifted as you finally realise ‘you are not alone and never need be’.

    The regime and rules may seem a little harsh at first – but its 100% needed. The benefit is that every councillor, the medical team and house managers are all in recovery themselves – so you cannot get a more understanding team of professionals to help you, listen to you and put you back on track…sometimes marmite – love ’em or hate ’em…but SORRY if they are able to give you the correct tools to live life substance free (alcohol or drug) and SAVE your life? In my books its a no brainer. They also listened to my Eating Disorder issues and I have every faith that in the future more emphasis will be put into this area too.

    I was there for 6months – removed from society and upon discharge or ‘graduation’ within four days my mother stepped off a plane, had a massive brain hemorrhage and subsequently passed away – so young at just 61 leaving two children and two grand children. She saw me a week previously – her new and improved daughter back and had so many plans she discussed with dad whilst away, I moved to Chester for my recovery and had it not been for Open Minds, my sponsor, my very dearest ‘new friends’, AA and the fellowship…I would have most certainly drank myself to death…but today I have a programme which I follow on a daily basis.

    I’ve been in the fellowship for 15 months and (I’m not going to lie) it has not been easy – its a simple programme but requires hard work and dedication…if it had not been for it I would be with my mother – but instead she is looking down on me proud, today I carry my mothers legacy, I have a very close relationship with my father again. I have my brother back and I have got to know my sister-in-law – whom I didn’t know as my drinking was more important than anyone else’s life. I also have my two nephews in my life – they are only 3 and 7 and (thank GOD) never saw me in the madness – they simply know me as ‘mad auntie Traci’ and you know what – I can smile at that and live with that.

    I’m drastically changing my career to follow what talents I was given in pursuing a career in Art Therapy to help others away from the ridiculous ‘drinking and partying’ world of advertising which just fuelled my disease. And today I have a simply life with a nice x1 bed flat in Chester, food in my fridge and clothes on my back. and goldfish that don’t have to drink my slops of vodka in an attempt to hide it.

    I was literally dying when I went into Open Minds over a year ago – today I am ALIVE – what more can I say. Other than pick up the phone and speak to one of the team today – as you may not have tomorrow.

  3. To anyone considering residential rehab you should genuinely consider going to Open Minds. To be blunt they saved my life. I had been doing at least one drug or another for nearly 20 years. I came in broken and beaten, a woman who couldn’t look anyone in the eye due to guilt, shame and no self esteem or confidence. I left 8 weeks later built up full of energy and laughing more than I have in years. Yes there is rules but what people need to understand is addicts have spent there lives breaking the rules and need to learn to live again in the best way possible. As for complaints about the food and décor get a grip your at a rehab centre not a health spa. You are provided with everything you need rather than everything you want! The priory is roughly a grand a day so if you want molly coddling go there! If you genuinely want to put the work in to get better and learn why you function as you do Open Minds is the best place for you! The house managers are all fantastic and really want to help. you can talk to them at any time. The counsellors try there best and will also help in anyway they can. If like others there’s a counsellor you don’t get on with you can put a request in to change I did this as I can probably guess the counsellor some people have mentioned in a bad light. I didn’t get on with him either and had many a shouting match with him. But when I asked to change I was allowed. My feelings and thoughts were always taken into consideration but people need to realise the staff are trying there best and have lots of things to deal with. I myself have also never met Carl but Jan his wife is a bloody good counsellor herself. What they spend there hard earned money on is there business. Good luck to them I say. Maybe we are jealous, if we had not wasted all our money on drink and drugs we’d have all these nice things! In conclusion Open Minds is fantastic. I would recommend it to anyone! It works if you work it so work it you’re worth it. Good luck to anyone out there considering the decision to get clean and sober. If I and some of the others I have met in Open Minds can do it so can you!

  4. Jo OCTOBER 16
    I went into open minds and done 28 days best thing I ever done been sober over 1 year
    Yes it was hard the meeting peers sharing a room I didn’t like at first but got used 2 it same as not having my phone or contact with my family for two weeks I kicked up a fuss at first but I understand why and glad I didn’t now as I wouldn’t be as focused on me and doing what I needed to
    It’s very busy not much time for rest if that’s what you think your goin to do morning up breakfast showered and on bus in day centre Monday Tuesday Thursday and Friday from 9am till 4pm then home chores tea Tuesday night meeting AA Wednesday night NA meeting Monday Thursday and Friday nights are free from meetings assignment nights and phone calls after to weeks Friday is film night on a Wednesday you can chose gym or swimming as long as your not on detox then shopping at tesco £23.50 to get your bits every night except Wednesday and weekends you make sandwiches for day centre Wednesday you purchase something whiles shopping Saturday alternative weeks have a meeting in Crewe or Manchester big clean on a Saturday change your beds it’s only 1s a week your changing them and you get a put on a router 2do hovering polishing ect take turns in cooking and preparing washing pots putting them away cleaning table doing your own laundry they keep you busy which to me is good as I didn’t wana shit there and do nothing and a lot of us when usin or drinking didn’t or couldn’t do a lot life skills which we will do at home anyway Sunday is visits and walks then meeting Sunday night food is from tesco you get a weekly menu of what you are going to cook and eat some times not the best but we’re not in there for 5star meals day centre I learnt a lot about myself illness and 12 step programme learnt what meeting were about as we have 4a week my one to one with my councilor was great and helped me a lot we did have our ups and downs ect but he wasn’t there to be my friend he was there to do his job help me and push my buttons I now go back on a Thursday for aftercare clients and they do a day group 10/3 I loved my time in open minds and didn’t want to leave to me best thing I ever done and they helped me so much I didn’t agree with some of the things but what realy was I 2 no ? They had been doing this for years I would recommend it but you have to be willing to change and get help and listen I thank open minds staff as they shown me the way to living and loads of info into my illness without this treatment and open minds I wouldn’t be a year sober and loving life … I could be in a gutter or worse xxx

    • Jo OCTOBER 16
      I went into open minds and done 28 days best thing I ever done been sober over 1 year
      Yes it was hard the meeting peers sharing a room I didn’t like at first but got used 2 it same as not having my phone or contact with my family for two weeks I kicked up a fuss at first but I understand why and glad I didn’t now as I wouldn’t be as focused on me and doing what I needed to
      It’s very busy not much time for rest if that’s what you think your goin to do morning up breakfast showered and on bus in day centre Monday Tuesday Thursday and Friday from 9am till 4pm then home chores tea Tuesday night meeting AA Wednesday night NA meeting Monday Thursday and Friday nights are free from meetings assignment nights and phone calls after to weeks Friday is film night on a Wednesday you can chose gym or swimming as long as your not on detox then shopping at tesco £23.50 to get your bits every night except Wednesday and weekends you make sandwiches for day centre Wednesday you purchase something whiles shopping Saturday alternative weeks have a meeting in Crewe or Manchester big clean on a Saturday change your beds it’s only 1s a week your changing them and you get a put on a router 2do hovering polishing ect take turns in cooking and preparing washing pots putting them away cleaning table doing your own laundry they keep you busy which to me is good as I didn’t wana sitthere and do nothing and a lot of us when usin or drinking didn’t or couldn’t do a lot life skills which we will do at home anyway Sunday is visits and walks then meeting Sunday night food is from tesco you get a weekly menu of what you are going to cook and eat some times not the best but we’re not in there for 5star meals day centre I learnt a lot about myself illness and 12 step programme learnt what meeting were about as we have 4a week my one to one with my councilor was great and helped me a lot we did have our ups and downs ect but he wasn’t there to be my friend he was there to do his job help me and push my buttons I now go back on a Thursday for aftercare clients and they do a day group 10/3 I loved my time in open minds and didn’t want to leave to me best thing I ever done and they helped me so much I didn’t agree with some of the things but what realy was I 2 no ? They had been doing this for years I would recommend it but you have to be willing to change and get help and listen I thank open minds staff as they shown me the way to living and loads of info into my illness without this treatment and open minds I wouldn’t be a year sober and loving life … I could be in a gutter or worse xxx

    • Jo OCTOBER 16
      I went into open minds and done 28 days best thing I ever done been sober over 1 year
      Yes it was hard the meeting peers sharing a room I didn’t like at first but got used 2 it same as not having my phone or contact with my family for two weeks I kicked up a fuss at first but I understand why and glad I didn’t now as I wouldn’t be as focused on me and doing what I needed to
      It’s very busy not much time for rest if that’s what you think your goin to do morning up breakfast showered and on bus in day centre Monday Tuesday Thursday and Friday from 9am till 4pm then home chores tea Tuesday night meeting AA Wednesday night NA meeting Monday Thursday and Friday nights are free from meetings assignment nights and phone calls after to weeks Friday is film night on a Wednesday you can chose gym or swimming as long as your not on detox then shopping at tesco £23.50 to get your bits every night except Wednesday and weekends you make sandwiches for day centre Wednesday you purchase something whiles shopping Saturday alternative weeks have a meeting in Crewe or Manchester big clean on a Saturday change your beds it’s only 1s a week your changing them and you get a put on a router 2do hovering polishing ect take turns in cooking and preparing washing pots putting them away cleaning table doing your own laundry they keep you busy which to me is good as I didn’t wana sitthere and do nothing and a lot of us when usin or drinking didn’t or couldn’t do a lot life skills which we will do at home anyway Sunday is visits and walks then meeting Sunday night food is from tesco you get a weekly menu of what you are going to cook and eat some times not the best but we’re not in there for 5star meals day centre I learnt a lot about myself illness and 12 step programme learnt what meeting were about as we have 4a week my one to one with my councilor was great and helped me a lot we did have our ups and downs ect but he wasn’t there to be my friend he was there to do his job help me and push my buttons I now go back on a Thursday for aftercare clients and they do a day group 10/3 I loved my time in open minds and didn’t want to leave to me best thing I ever done and they helped me so much I didn’t agree with some of the things but what realy was I 2 no ? They had been doing this for years I would recommend it but you have to be willing to change and get help and listen I thank open minds staff as they shown me the way to living and loads of info into my illness gave me the tools to help me with my recovery without this treatment and open minds I wouldn’t be a year sober and loving life … I could be in a gutter or worse xxx I carnt thank them enough

  5. I attended Open Minds treatment centre in November 2014.I found it hugely benefial and their programme gave me the tools to began building my recovery journey.I found the staff really helpful as they are also in recovery too, and this helped with identification, feelings and how to best stay sober.I have had the privelidge of doing volunteer work there also, which I thoroughly enjoy, it helps myself and clients going through treatment too..I can’t speak highly enough of Open Minds, it is where my recovery began over 3 years ago now, after I had lived in active alcoholism and drug addiction, so I highly recommend this treatment centre..so glad today I had the experience.

  6. I went to Open Minds in October/November 2016. I was mortified when I realised it was more boot camp than spa retreat however I had paid for it out of my own pocket so I paid attention and got on with it. As result I’m now 1 year clean and sober and my family, friends and myself are eternally grateful.

    I had the program beat into me with a 6 grand stick and it worked! Its not a pleasant experience being in a treatment centre and neither is early recovery.

    If you’re serious about getting well and willing to take some responsibility there is nothing wrong with this place.

  7. I felt for some time that I may have a problem with alcohol, I went to A.A. because my husband insisted. I left in a few weeks because I was bored, so I did not listen. Then, once again for my husband I went into a treatment centre. Would you believe it? that didn’t work either. I continued to do my drinking most days, then sometimes daily. I always stopped en route home to pick up my spirit.One night at the end of January 2016 I had a chat with myself and decided that it should all stop. Next day I rang Open Minds and told them about my problem, and they suggested I should be admitted for 28 days. I went in there early February, and it seemed strange. I became quiet for a time, though I did get on with my peers. Yes, there were chores to be done, I accepted those chores because it was a rehabilitation centre. We were transported everywhere in mini buses, but we had some chats on the way home, I felt I became part of a family. I have a dietary problem and the counsellors and folk that did the shopping were very helpful and I enjoyed whatever I ate. we had counselling and a one to one counsellor,for myself I must say that I have learned a lot from her. There were many A.A. & N.A. meetings, the people who were not in Open Minds didn’t forget about our start on the journey, though it be a long one, and offered lots of advice. I keep in contact with some of my peers, and attend meetings regularly. I have a good sponsor, and I attend the aftercare programme most weeks. I am now 9 moths sober and have to thank all the staff who looked after me when I was residential, and still do in aftercare.

  8. I walked or stumbled to be honest into Open Minds in early 2013 after numerous other rehabs and too many detoxes to count . There I found myself, and was taught to understand the illness I suffer from, I had counsellors that would not give up on me that broke through the false ego and pride that was a thin veneer. I was there for a long time, six months, personally I needed it. The staff their understood me and the illness I suffer from, my journey of recovery started there and I truly believe that this could not have been accomplished anywhere else. It simply saved my life. Open minds have been there for me every since, from after care to relapse prevention, they have encouraged me and have helped me find a calling. I now work in recovery, have been in uni and college ever since leaving constantly bettering my understanding of what I suffer from. In my view the twelve step program that is taught there is with out parallel in making the change that is needed and I truly believe there is no where better in this country, Open Minds plain and simple works.

  9. My drinking was completely out of control when I contacted open minds . Major things had happened in my life that I thought I was dealing with . Dealing with by self medicating with vodka . People joked I was an alcoholic and I joked with them , until I realised I was the joke and annoying everyone in every aspect of my life . I’d become lazy and unmotivated and was truely in a hole where I didn’t want to die but had forgotten how to live or look after myself or my home . I had no self worth . A lot of my month in open minds was a blur at first which was explained . I learnt a lot about myself and my reasons for self medicating . I met friends for life who were in the same position as me . I know longer felt abnormal and quickly realised I had a disease that I have to address for the rest of my life . The staff and councillors gave me knowledge that I’ve been able to carry with me to protect myself . I have relapsed but did not go back to that dark place again . Open minds knowledge helped me to see the signs early and seek a very short detox which has got me right back on track . This will be with me forever ! But the intense month at open minds has injected something into me where I know I’ll never go back to that dark place ever again . You have to get out of the experience what you also put in yourself . Nobody has a magic wand …. you have to want it or forget it . The knowledge is there but you really do have to open your mind .

  10. If you like your detox meds delivered silver-service… Go to priory… If you’re looking for that silver bullet to your addiction… I hate to break it to you… There isn’t one… But if you’re looking for looong lasting, sustainable recovery taught in an atmosphere of love in a no bullshit approach Open Minds may just save your life as it did mine.
    After 25 years of crack and Heroin addiction and trying treatments from hypothesis to electric shock… from opiate blocking inplants to hiding in cults… travelling the planet… 32 detoxes… 4 previous rehabs… cross addiction… 58 bullshit commuinty drug team courses… intuitive recovery… 16 years in fellowship… I found something that worked for me.
    Don’t get me wrong, I was in for 6 months and can honestly say I hated every minute of it. I belive that if you enjoy rehab, you’re not doing it right! I broke my leg once and hated the weeks that I was in hospital too. Its treatment… it’s tough going… it can be painful as old wounds are cleaned out so that they can heal. This place clears the wreckage of your past allowing you to make a drug free future for yourself. Everyone who works there has been in your shoes, so they know where it hurts, how to treat it and just won’t let you fail if you really are prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve a new way of life.
    My clean date is 24/06/14… my launch date from OM was 24/01/15, since then I have my family back, I have real friends who I know will be there for me when I need them… I have founded a charity with an assistant chief constable and a BAFTA winner and I’m in a serious relationship with a girl who I want a future with. I have a good honest life that I’m very proud of and although OM didn’t do any of this for me they gave me a precious gift on the day I left… they gave me something I never had from the day I tried Heroin all those years ago… the choice whether or not to pick up the drug. Because of the program that they employ and instilled within me, I have now had to get a pension plan as I may just get to an age where I need one.
    Recovery can be tough going but my toughest day in recovery is still easier than my easiest day in addiction. Going here was the kindest thing that I have ever done for myself.
    Mx

  11. open wounds as me and the rest of the inmates called it taught me the true meaning of narcissistic personality disorder. i might write a book on it and the lovely Carl. when i arrived i was told by carl i would need to stay 6 months or i would be dead. i argued i would consider 3 months and i was rushed away. one day after doing my daily reflection in front of the group i ended with ” i have 3 months to sort my life out” carl laughed and told me “no you are here for 6 months, dont worry your sister has paid” . i knew my sis didnt have 18 k to do this.carl knew i had compensation money from a car crash and upset my sister so much she didnt notice him using my card for six months money. after i left 3 months later i got some of the money back. i can honestly say some of the staff were lovely but some were cruel and not qualified. my therapist told me carl wasnt aloud any cash cards or cheque books by his wife because she didnt trust him and all there cars houses etc were in her name. i recognize the staff members described in an earlier post. at best they really didnt care. i am now in therapy for my indoctrination in the 12 steps and ptsd from the car accident , not noticed by these “professionals i was told i had a three fold disease of mind body and soul.
    i had many defects and if i didnt surrender to a god i would end up in hospitals institutions jail or dead.i would thoroughly recommend smart training which i have recently qualified in. and i could rant forever about this place staff and owners but i will stop with a thank you so much carl and co , all hail the cult of CARL……..

  12. When I first entered open minds the realisation as I sobered up that my life had come crashing down with a thud dawned across me. I had lost everything through drink and it wasn’t till I sobered up I could see how low my life had gone I was existing that’s all I was a walking corpse that’s the only way to describe it I had lost all of my self respect my dignity and I was barely functioning solely only to get my next drink I didn’t care about anyone or anything as long as I could just get my next drink that’s all that mattered. I didn’t want to be in rehab I don’t think anyone does the realisation that drink had got that bad and taken over my life that I had to be put away from society was a huge blow however as I began to sober up open minds started to help me open my eyes little by little open minds gave me a 2nd chance they made me realise that there is a life beyond alcohol and drugs, it taught me how to live my life on life’s terms and gave me an understanding why things happened and why I did the things I did. Open minds taught me how to live and how to look after myself from the simplest things such as cooking and cleaning which I struggled to do when drinking. It made me look at so many aspects of my life and it gave me coping mechanisms with day to day life without a drink . For the first time in my life I was able to speak to someone who listened to me and understood me. Open minds introduced me to the 12 step programme which today is my programme for living, living on life’s terms. Open minds gave me hope most of all and gave me the strength to face life without a drink. Open minds saved my life I needed the wake up call going into rehab otherwise I would of not been here today writing this. Open minds gave me the tools and strength to begin again and live my life on life’s terms. It was an experience I will never forget and I will always be eternally grateful and thankful to everyone there for opening my eyes and giving me hope and strength that there is a life out there to be lived sober. I am now nearly 19 months sober and I only live in today with the support of AA my higher power and the 12 step programme I know what ever life throws at me I can get through it without a drink and today I do have a life beyond my wildest dreams.

  13. There was one main reason that I agreed and sought assistance which led me to open minds. I could no longer control my life. Every part of it had broken down. My accommodation had gone; my finances were ruined; my family and personal relationships were just surviving. I was clinging onto my career by a thread. My mind had become so depressed that I could not function unless I had a line, a drink a smoke, or/and a few pills. I had become a laughing stock/someone to feel sympathy for. There were no smiles and my only gains were when I had managed to get away with another escapade.

    I have to be honest I found open minds difficult. I didn’t want people telling me what to do, how to think, and those thinking that they knew better than me. I struggled desperately. I was so detached from myself that I didn’t know who I was and presented to the world a caraciture of who I wanted people to think I was.

    That said, and although I genuinely felt like dying, I thought I would give it one last chance. I followed what they said as best I could, I detoxed and things began to change quickly and then more slowly. No time is enough time in there because it was just a foundation but it was a foundation which has set me up and helped me on many occasions when I have wanted to quit. What helped me stay was that the day I went in was may 4 2007 which was roughly the date when Madeleine McCann went missing. Every time I felt sorry for myself and the agony I was ape during being in that place I thought to myself, of them parents can handle the agony they are going through, the least I could do is bare the pain of facing myself on a daily basis.

    Some years have passed, 8 I think, and those early experiences still help me now when I want to quit, at anything. As for what I gained I can tell you that my life has had some incredible turns and life after drink and drugs has certainly not been glum or boring and I have been able to realise a few dreams. Don’t get me wrong I am still Alex, and no human is perfect but I have made good friends with myself, helped along with faith, and I tend to act in ways which are more helpful to me than before. I still have my blow outs, but they are emotional binges and not alcohol or drug binges.

    I know this much without the intense treatment I received at Open minds I would not have been put on the road of recovery that saved my life.

  14. I went into Open Minds treatment center in June 2005. – In a state of pathological physical and mental deterioration’
    I found the regime strict and very hard to adapt to.
    I found the staff unnecessarily cruel and insensitive. It was the support and fellowship I received from my peers that kept me going.
    It took me three month to realize that I was insane and that recovery program offered by open minds was my only hope off salvation. (I have great sympathy for those who cannot stay as long as I did). From that point on I threw myself into the program.
    I left after 6 months got a sponsor was taken through the A.A program, as recommended by open minds.
    I have not had a drink or mood altering substance for 10 yrs.

    Thank you all at open minds.
    Alan

  15. I went to rehab herre earlier this year following 12 years of heavy drinking which had reached a point where I couldn’t take any more. I phoned a few places and had a chat with Carl over the phone who sounded like the only person who understood how I felt and what I was going through. After that call I actually felt this was something I could maybe beat.

    I booked in and went a few days later for 28 days. That was where the postitives ended. Firstly they gave me the wrong address and the contact telephone number goes to answer machine only on Saturdays, which meant being stuck in Wrexham at the wrong address with no way of contacting them after paying the £6k over the phone. Stressful from the start. After finding the place it is very basic and comparable to a youth hostel in need of a refurb. However this place is 1/3 the price of the priory so you get what you pay for.

    As above says there is no gp as advertised. They have a nurse who has access to diazepam and paracetamol who works Thursday’s so if it’s not on that day forget any medication you may need. The recovering addicts who run the house are very friendly and a ray of light compared to the councillors (although what qualifications they have other than superiority complexes and evil streaks is questionable). However one of the house staff really should not be employed. She is too old to work in this facility and it’s dangerous. On several occasions she can’t get up on a morning to wake people up as they are not allowed alarm clocks. On one occasion a new patient fell and cut open their head. She announced she was tired and had to go to bed. It was left to other patients to stay up with the man and make sure he was ok. On another occasion she refused to help an elderly patient use bathroom facilities. She has also been involved in a number of accidents while driving the mini bus and really shouldn’t be driving. On the mini bus it also has 1 bald tyre, no rear view mirror, the side door doesn’t close and has other mot fails. No of this was a concern. Onto the healthy local produce described on the website and above. There is NO fresh food. All food is frozen and from farm foods. This is cooked by patients so luck of the draw on who’s day it is although oven chips and frozen quiche or burgers is as complex as it gets. Lunch is processed ham circles in farm foods bread. Occasionally crisps are also provided and you have to hope the food order has been remembered (this means a member of staff has not forgotten to pop to farm foods) otherwise rations are scarce.

    The day centre is where you spend the day and is staffed by ex addicts who are now in recovery and 2 of the 3 of them definitely use their position here to boost their egos and to help their own issues. Of the 3 councillors you will be assigned one as a one two councillor as described on the website. What it doesn’t say is you get 30 minutes a week with one of them and that’s if they don’t say they are too busy to see you. In my 4 weeks I had 3 x 39 min sessions and some had less. One of the councillors in particular is very strange and the way he treated a number of patients was disgusting. This included shouting at vulnerable older patients, sharing with other patients confidential information when the patient in question was out of the room and making a string of highly inappropriate comments. This councillor also seemed to enjoy winding patients up and had several complaints made against him that were never followed up. The house staff who previously mentioned also are happy to divulge this councillor has been on warnings numerous times for his behaviour.

    The day to day tasks are designed to help you look at why you drink and how to help, however these are all based on tasked clearly downloaded and printed from free internet sites. The staff haven’t even bothered to paste them in to a word document and change the American terminology or spelling to English. However some are helpful. However if you question anything or ask why you are instantly met with a barrage of abuse and that it is your ego or self importance that is in the wrong. I had chosen this place as they stress meditation on the website is used here. When the reality is they have a relaxation tape, yes cassette tape that is whale noises. I questioned this being different to meditation and art therapy as mentioned on the website and was accused of being arrogant and how many people had I treated to recovery by using meditation. If mediation worked how come I needed their help? I stopped asking questions after that.

    Basically I really can’t recomend this place although I have nothing to compare it to. The councillors seemed very sadistic and got great pleasure from belittling patients and forcing them to do manual labour and humiliating them. The whole experience was very mentally draining and felt like a punishment.

    Then on the day i was supposed to leave they told me my girlfriend had been involved in a major accident on her way to collect me. There was no emotion or support and as i was in rehab had no phone and only my bank card. They to,d me I would have to walk to the train station and make my own way to help her. This was hardly helpful to someone who was getting out of rehab for the first time. They also made no attempt to contact me after to even see if everything was alright or if I had got to help her ok. They also didn’t even say goodbye as they were enjoyed I had insisted on ordering a taxi straight to the hospital rather then stay for the afternoon and get a train.

    However I have to admit that I needed that month to get away from the alcohol. Previously I had drank pretty much everyday for 12 years and ignored all my problems and emotions. I had never been able to break that cycle and now I have been clean for 14 weeks, without going here I can’t see I would have been able to break that. However the whole experience was awful and I would advise you try anywhere but here. A number of people had been to other rehabs and said they were not like this. The success rate is also very low and as I overheard one councillor telling another it is actually lower success rate than if someone just attends aa on their own.

    Finally if you ring here and speak to Carl, be warned he is the owner and doesn’t actually work any more he spends his time collecting sports cars.

    • In my option and I have been to few detox centres , this was the best ambulance on the way to the real doctors (if you got on with it) Alcoholics Anonymous and a 12 step program . Thank you tom for your opinion . I once felt like you do and then I went through a 12 step program which allowed me to look at me !!!! I thank open minds for guiding me to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous.

      • Hey mark. I hope you are still beating this disease and are not in denial. 12 step programs are not a cure they are a tool some people find useful. Hopefully you are dealing with the real issues and not looking for an easy solution. Best of luck and hopefully you won’t end up in another detox centre.

    • Ursula Wheeler on

      I couldn’t agree more. During my nine week stay a couple of years ago I made very similar experiences.
      Whenever I spoke the truth I was criticised for blaming, being self-pitying, being in denial or plain lying. My personal councillor was very disrespectful and sarcastic and even ridiculed me for claiming to have PTSD. I felt intimidated and brain washed, full of self-doubt and was repeating their Mantra just to avoid confrontation and further punishment. When I saw how he (my councillor) treated others however, two elderly men in particular, whose medical conditions were poorly managed, I almost felt I got away lightly. One of the men commented “ He (the councillor) wouldn’t last five minutes in any other job” and that was so true, but as an ex-addict he allegedly knew it all and was qualified to deal with anyone’s personal situation, getting away with his arrogant behaviour and any complaints about him were dismissed by the management. This guy didn’t just believe in God, he thought he WAS God. However, another employee, a ‘house manager’ did tell me in confidence that this councillor “had no people skills”. That would look great on his CV, wouldn’t it?
      …then there was a young man who was diagnosed as schizophrenic, who felt very uneasy around sharp objects and we had to lock the kitchen knives away. God knows how his room mate felt about sharing the same room with him at night. But of course, through prayer you could tackle all these ‘personal defects’.
      …another case was a woman who was physically so unsteady, she could only walk around holding on to furniture and her room mate had to help her with having a wash and getting dressed. She had several falls and it came as no surprise when one of them resulted in breaking her arm. She was clearly in no fit state to be there – she should have been in a hospital – and I can only guess it was financial considerations by the management that she was kept at Open Minds.
      You mentioned Carl collecting sports cars…
      Well, when I first considered going into rehab, a year before I actually did, I had a preliminary meeting with the woman who runs the place. A year later, when I actually admitted myself, I didn’t recognise her. I was confused about whether she was the same woman I had met a year earlier. Apart from some similarities, she looked a generation younger than the woman I had met before but as she had the same name I presumed it must be her daughter. Only later I found out that the lady in question had had extensive cosmetic surgery since I had last seen her…
      Considering their record for curing people is very poor, they don’t half get some- financial and other – benefits out of it themselves.

  16. Waste of money parents spent over £5000 to get me ib there worst thing ever every one i know has been drinking since even i did 1st day i came out waste of time and money when i rang them no help at all but were quick to take your money

  17. One of the worst places you could go to detox. You’re feeling vulnerable and unwell, it’s understaffed so if you’re not well enough to attend the daily sessions it doesn’t matter! You have to go whatever because there is only one member of staff on at any given time. You have absolutely no contact with the outside world. You don’t have any medical practitioners no matter the website says. Your treated like a child, shouted at of you don’t get up when told and called selfish. You have to go to bed when told as well. The worst money I’ve ever spent in my life. Thank go I only went for a week! It was only made bearable by the other inmates and I call them that because it was like being in jail! No open minds in Wrexham is not somewhere I would recommend to anyone.

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