Once upon a time, an English King fell ill and went to the seaside to recover—to a town called Bognor—and when he recovered, he bestowed the town with the royal suffix “Regis.” So, really, Ravenscourt clients are following in regal footsteps by seeking treatment in Bognor Regis—Ravenscourt Treatment Center has offered drug and alcohol detox and rehabilitation for men and women in the UK since 1990.
Accommodations and Food
The Ravenscourt residence is smack on the coast, 500 yards from the beach. The center of town in Bognor Regis is pedestrian-friendly, and the railway station is only a 20-minute walk from Ravenscourt, so clients without cars are in luck. And while not exactly tropical, the average Bognor Regis day is sunnier than most of the UK.
Ravenscourt Treatment Center is a big red brick house with 13 bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a poolroom and a lounge. There are also smaller rooms where clients meet for groups and individual therapy. There’s an indoor porch that faces a small garden in the backyard. When clients are new, they sleep in one of the four shared bedrooms. After getting adjusted (and when a spot is available), they graduate to a single bedroom. Decor at the house is not plush, but what you might expect from any simply furnished English home. The group rooms are pretty spare: a ring of chairs and wood-paneled walls, plain carpet, a bookcase. Ravenscourt imagines its clients and staff as a community, so even though groceries and bed linens are provided, clients are not picked up after and have a hand in their own meals.
Treatment and Staff
Clients must be clean and sober before starting in residential treatment. Ravenscourt offers medical detox for alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines. After detox, clients are encouraged to stay in treatment for several months. Ravenscourt offers a 12-step based recovery program. Clients are educated about the 12 steps and brought to local AA and NA meetings weekly. Many of the counselors are also in recovery and therefore firmly entrenched in this sober community.
Alumni of the program describe Ravenscourt’s structure as rigorous. As with most treatment facilities, clients are assigned a counselor to meet with for one-on-one therapy while also attending didactic lectures and processing in various groups. Clients are invited to complete written work assignments—often 12-step work—in the library or in another quiet study area in the house. Lights out is 10:30 pm.
A major bonus of living at the Ravenscourt house is its proximity to the water. Recreational activities center around swimming and beach blanket bingo type fun. Ravenscourt says that social events are important to their program and that they make a point to organize outings.
The substance of Ravenscourt’s program is traditional 12-step recovery; this may not be the ideal rehab for potential clients with dual diagnoses who require medication management and the greater supervision of a staff psychiatrist, or who are interested in alternative behavioral therapies.
That said, it’s not every day in England that you find a beachside rehab. Clients should be ready to commit several months to residential treatment, because this program is about getting used to sober life within a bubble and slowly reintegrating to the world. When in doubt, just remember that retreating to Bognor Regis was good enough for a king.
Ravenscourt Treatment Center
15 Ellasdale Rd
PO21 2SG, United Kingdom
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