Nestled just outside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Sevierville, Tennessee lies the bucolic and remote Smoky Mountain Lodge. A vast and lofty facility made of local ledge stone, Smoky Mountain Lodge offers panoramic views of mountains, rolling hills and forests. It is ideal for those seeking an inpatient program for mental illness away from the distractions of the city. The lodge was founded in 2009 as a secondary location of parent company Pasadena Villa in Orlando, Florida.
Smoky Mountain Lodge welcomes adults 18 and over who suffer from cognitive, mental and social disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizoaffective disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and autism spectrum disorders, as well as those suffering from co-occurring addictions.
Accommodations and Food
With 29 private bedrooms and expansive common areas and grounds, Smoky Mountain Lodge offers serenity in a dramatic landscape. Clients can enjoy a swing on the porch, a walk through the seasonal English herb, rose and vegetable gardens, or a meditation facing the mountains from within the vaulted wall of windows in the great room. There are designated times when residents can use the Internet, with social networking encouraged to promote socialization and to reduce stress. There are also specified smoking times, with no smoking allowed during group sessions.
The facility has massive windows facing Cove Mountain, and is generally designed like a 29 bedroom country mansion. It comes complete with a grand stone fireplace with a 3000-pound stone-slab mantle, ceilings of local pinewood and floors of imported Italian marble. The main staircase is made of crafted steel and locally quarried stone, and all rooms include en-suite bathrooms, individualized climate control and hand-crafted custom furnishings designed by a local artisan. As an added bonus, all beds have memory foam spa mattresses.
Dining is a communal affair, with meals served family-style at one large “floating banquet table” made of steel and Southeast Asian tigerwood. The kitchen staff can accommodate any dietary restrictions, with vegetarian and vegan options frequently available; there’s even a support group that discusses and promotes healthy eating, cooking and living, with visits to Whole Foods Market to further explore nutrition education. Finally, Smoky Mountain Lodge also has a fitness studio on the premises that residents are free to take advantage of.
Treatment and Staff
Residents are treated using CBT, DBT and the facility’s unique “Social Integration Model.” This is a treatment method which aims to prepare the mentally ill to function in their daily lives. This method places clients in “real life, real time and relevant” situations to immerse them in the community at large, and to get them acclimated to a variety of social situations. Cultural and recreational trips to go shopping, see movies, go rock climbing and visit museums are regularly scheduled, all of which are supervised. Even meals are treated as a form of group therapy, with staff and guests eating together while working on social and communication skills. All therapy is administered by staff psychiatrists, psychotherapists, registered nurses, recreational therapists and psychiatric technicians. Smoky Mountain Lodge boasts a good balance of men and women on staff, though not as much cultural diversity as some other facilities.
Through individual and group sessions, clients at Smoky Mountain Lodge receive constant feedback, support and direction towards meeting their treatment goals. Additional types of therapy include family dynamics, coping skills and life skills, as well as specialized groups for specific disorders such as OCD, Asperger’s and chemical dependency. Equine and animal-assisted therapies are also offered as well as art therapy, adventure therapy and career counseling.
Aside from its varied therapeutic approach, Smoky Mountain Lodge also boasts expansive grounds with everything from hiking trails to waterfalls, as well as stables with resident horses and goats used in equine and animal-assisted therapies. Another bonus for art lovers is the original Zelda Fitzgerald watercolor painting titled “Great Smoky Mountains” hanging in the facility, completed while Fitzgerald was in treatment for schizophrenia in 1912.
Given the range of its services, Smoky Mountain Lodge promises to be a first-rate, if remote, locale for recovery from mental illness; still, while they do offer dual diagnosis support, those seeking help strictly for addiction might find a program that better suits them elsewhere. Overall, though, its recovery model seems compassionate and focused on preparing clients for full and rewarding lives upon graduation.
Smoky Mountain Lodge
3889 Wonderland Ln
Sevierville, TN 37862
Smoky Mountain Lodge Cost: $17,050 (30 days). Reach Smoky Mountain Lodge by phone at (877) 845-5235 or (407) 246-0887, or by email at [email protected]. Find Smoky Mountain Lodge on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest
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