Palmerston Farm, located just outside the city of Perth, Australia, is a therapeutic community that offers residential substance abuse treatment to adults. Set on a working farm, treatment is based on peer support and holistic therapeutic methods in nature and provides a safe environment for clients to heal.
Palmerston Association was established in Perth in 1980 as a research and rehabilitation facility for illicit drug users. Over the last three decades, the organization has grown into one of the largest non-profit organizations offering substance abuse treatment in Western Australia. In addition to its residential program at the farm, Palmerston also offers outpatient treatment at seven locations.
Accommodations and Food
The Palmerston Farm therapeutic community is located on a 10-acre property about 30 minutes south of Perth. It offers 29 residential spots for men and women as well as transitional housing for three graduates of the program who serve as peer counselors. The farm supports Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, with six beds provided through a grant from the Australian Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Service. Aboriginal staff members provide culturally-appropriate support for these clients.
Gender-specific bedrooms house two clients each; with twin beds, dressers, nightstands and closet space. The residence features a large living and dining room, kitchen and sitting areas. All towels and linens are provided and free laundry machines are available for clients use. Residents share chores on a rotating schedule, taking turns to help to prepare meals for the house. Food is provided by Palmerston, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables grown on the farm, and meals are eaten communally in the dining room. A small monthly fee goes towards snacks and extras items, like tobacco products, that are requested by clients.
Treatment and Staff
The suggested minimum stay is 14 weeks, but residents can stay for up to a year. New clients must have already completed detox and immediately enter a “blackout” phase (no cell phones, computers or electronics) so they can acclimate to the schedule and protocols of treatment.
A typical day involves morning meditation, followed by breakfast and group therapy; which may involve CBT, outdoor activities or experiential techniques. With a strong emphasis on horticulture and gardening, programs are designed to help clients build life skills—learning not only from their counselors but also each other. Activities encourage accountability within the community and help establish healthy relationships with other residents. Weekly house meetings and off-site 12-step and SMART Recovery meetings are also integrated into the schedule.
With a network of outpatient locations in the nearby cities, clients graduating from the farm have access to aftercare and ongoing support services.
Palmerston Farm is designed to give a tight group of men and women a safe place to recover. By building a sense of community, clients learn about themselves and acclimate to life free of alcohol and drugs. For the privacy of residents, the exact location of the farm is not disclosed online.
Palmerston Main Office Location
134 Palmerston St
Perth, Western Australia 6000
Palmerston Farm Cost
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