Withersdane Hall, formerly an Imperial College of London campus, was used as an agricultural college and accompanying residence until 2009. Today it’s a private dual diagnosis treatment facility for substance abuse, behavioral addictions (like eating disorders and gambling) and co-occurring disorders, providing each client with a personal and comprehensive approach to recovery.
Located in the hilly village of Wye, in southern Kent, the 20-acre Withersdane Hall residential campus boasts gardens, tennis courts, a croquet lawn and a theatre for recovery workshops, talks and seminars.
Accommodations and Food
Withersdane Hall aims to provide a genuinely warm, welcoming and supportive space. Men and women are housed in separate dorms and there are also individual houses on campus for adolescents and their family members. There are 320 single dormitory rooms, with one bathroom shared between four residents. Rooms are small, but cozy and comfortable, each furnished with a twin bed, nightstand, desk and dresser. Administrative offices, game rooms, TV lounges, the education center, therapy rooms, the kitchen and the dining hall are all housed separately from the residences.
Nutrition is a prominent focus at Withersdane Hall, with the philosophy that mood and wellbeing are enhanced by a healthy and balanced diet. Three meals are served daily by professional chefs. Most of the produce, meat and dairy served in the dining room are sourced from local vendors. Snacks during the day consist of fruit, vegetables, cheese and crackers. Clients are treated to sugar at Withersdane Hall, but infrequently, and usually as some kind of dessert after dinner.
Withersdane Hall has a generous view of contact with the outside world. Visitors are welcome after 72 hours, along with phone calls (cell phones are permitted during break times only). Smoking is also allowed in designated areas.
Treatment and Staff
For many clients, treatment at Withersdane Hall begins with a light detox, monitored by a registered nurse. From there, many clients progress to residential treatment, the length and scope of which is tailored to each person’s needs.
Breakfast is served between 7:30 and 8:30 am in the residential program. From 9 am until lunch at noon, clients attend either group or individual therapy, depending on the assessment. Clients with co-occurring disorders also see a psychiatrist on a weekly basis. Primary therapeutic modalities include CBT and DBT. Group therapy topics include life skills, stress management, anxiety and depression, addiction studies, family dynamics, relapse prevention and coping skills. Certain groups are gender specific, often dealing with trauma. While Withersdane does not propagate the 12 steps, it does introduce those concepts in the addiction studies group, and takes interested parties to off-site meetings. Clients are encouraged to mingle and connect with other residents, and peer discussion groups take place three evenings per week. Family group is offered on a case-by-case basis, but is not part of the standard program for adult clients.
Withersdane Hall also accepts adolescents into its residential program, but parents must reside on the premises during their treatment. While the family dines with the rest of the campus, separate housing is provided for minors and parents. Adolescent treatment consists of individual and group therapy for the client as well as the family members. Withersdane treats addiction as a family disease.
The residential treatment team consists of addiction counselors (with varying levels of degrees), registered nurses, a physician, a psychiatrist and support staff, for a client-to-staff ratio of five-to-one. Technicians are on duty around the clock and therapists are available Monday through Friday.
Outpatient services are available to clients upon graduation, as is aftercare. Each client is provided with a unique program to fit his or her needs and schedule. They can take advantage of life coaching, couples therapy and group therapy dealing with relapse prevention and stress management. Individual sessions are arranged upon request and can be done by Skype or in person.
As mentioned, the campus boasts extensive gardens, tennis courts, a croquet lawn and a theatre. Recreational therapy choices include horseback riding, fishing, swimming, hiking, clay pigeon shooting and sailing.
Aftercare options include special workshops and weekend seminars based on client’s feedback. Weekly peer talk back sessions and process groups are free for alumni.
The Respite Program is designed for people needing a breather from their everyday lives—those who may be suffering from anxiety, stress or depression and have already successfully completed some form of primary substance abuse program. It’s like a refresher course, providing extra insurance against relapse. Clients in the Respite Program can stay for as long as they need, taking part in group and individual therapy, as well as engaging in fun activities and social outings.
Withersdane Hall is a beautiful campus where there is plenty of room to roam and lots to do. The fact that family members can live with their teens and receive treatment alongside them is a unique aspect of any treatment program, let alone one that gives them private quarters and locally sourced meals. The Respite Program is a great way to provide a continuum of care for a wide range of maladies. Prospective clients can be assured that they have somewhere to come home to if sobriety proves challenging.
Withersdane Hall Location
Coldharbour Lane, Wye, Ashford
Kent TN25 5DA UK
Withersdane Hall Cost
19,790 Euros [$22,000 per publishing day exchange rate] (30 days). Reach Withersdane Hall by phone at +44 (0) 1233 779 024 or by email at [email protected]. Find Withersdane Hall on Facebook and Twitter
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