Retreat/Inpatient for PTSD, No Addictions
September 23, 2020 4:58 AM   Subscribe

I have increasingly problematic PTSD symptoms and would like to "get away" for a week once it's safe to do so, to a retreat that is a mix of intensive PTSD treatment and also relaxation away from the chaos of my normal life.

Additional desires:

- Preferably in the Western Hemisphere; needs to be not be a two-day hike into a remote jungle.
- Use of psychedelics (depending on location/legality) is not a disqualifier, though I'm not specifically seeking this out.
- Really would like intensive therapy to be a big part, rather than just a meditation retreat or spiritual stuff, as I am not spiritual.
- Particularly interested in EMDR.
- Would like this to be like a resort setting. Somewhere warm, where leisure time can be spent reading by a pool.
- I don't want to commingle with addicts in rehab. No offense to addicts, this just isn't what I need or am looking for.

I already suspect I'd be paying for this out of pocket so insurance isn't a super big deal. It would be nice if my insurance covered the therapy parts even at an out-of-network rate, but I get that the rest is basically a vacation! Surely the rich and famous have these at their disposal but as a normal human who is not rich or famous I just don't have the knowledge or resources to gain access.

Can you recommend a place?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've worked a little bit in environments where this sort of question comes up, and the general answers tends to be Rogers. It's a behavioral health provider headquartered close to me, in the midwest, but they also have locations in California, Florida, and Georgia to check your "somewhere warm" box.

You can read about their PTSD care options here, and to be honest I'm not sure if they would be too heavy on the treatment side when compared to your description (and probably too light on the vacation side), but they do offer PTSD inpatient care.

On the one hand it's certainly not a two-day hike / retreat and I wouldn't expect them to have a pool for inpatient stays. On the other hand giving them a call and asking questions may help you out a lot to understand the options that are out there for you. Especially in the more "fun" locations they may be connected with other providers that have options closer to what you describe.... I just don't know of things like that here in suburban Wisconsin :)

Best of luck as you look for the help and relaxation that you need.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 6:47 AM on September 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think you could get a few self-help books and spend a week in a monastery, preferably Benedictine, whose monks are known for their hospitality. I ended up staying in one two days last fall when my car broke down. The atmosphere is anciently serene; accommodations are spartan but adequate; the meals (in a silent dining room) are often thrown in for a reasonable suggested "offering" (I think I paid $60 a day for room and board); and any services like church are completely optional (although the monks' singing was really glorious). This one had a lovely twenty acres I could hike, too. No pool, alas.

May be way off, but I had to throw it in.
posted by Rumi'sLeftSock at 8:38 AM on September 23, 2020

Possibly you can roll your own by combining a calm resort of the meditation/monastery kind with tele-therapy sessions? Do note that meditation itself can be complicated for people with PTSD.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 9:44 AM on September 23, 2020

Anonymous comment:
Your mention of psychedelics along with a warm location points to the possibility of an Ayahausca Retreat, Peru is usually the location for this although there is a well-known center in Costa Rica that may meet your needs (even if you decide against psychedelics). Good luck with your journey.
posted by loup at 12:09 PM on September 23, 2020

Inpatient PTSD treatment is usually more in a hospital setting. You can go to the EMDRIA website to find a provider of EMDR. Some of them will do intensives (several hours a day of one long session, or an intensive spread out over three days, or whatever). Maybe you could book a room somewhere that speaks to the calming/vacation piece (perhaps with other ancillary treatments like massage or other bodywork since the body keeps the score and all) and bring the EMDR provider out to you for the treatment. They will need to be licensed in whatever state you are located for the treatment if you do this within the US.
posted by crunchy potato at 12:11 PM on September 23, 2020

I LOVE crunchy potato's suggestion. EMDR can consolidate the work and a relaxing or spa like environment can bring great opportunity to soothe and ground after the sessions.
posted by rglass at 2:06 PM on September 23, 2020

I don’t have a specific recommendation other than to support your goal of trying EMDR! It really has done wonders to help me manage my PTSD and I say this two years after I finished. Just anecdotal: I left after the sessions feeling OK (part of the process, as you know!) but working through my trauma was still overall a not fun experience. Having a therapist who specializes in trauma is amazing because so many others mean well but don’t quite get it. In any case, I wasn’t aware of how much things would change for the better until some time had passed. Definitely seek out this as an in-patient option but also know that not feeling immediate change is not necessarily a sign that you won’t feel a positive difference eventually. Good luck!!
posted by smorgasbord at 5:51 PM on September 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Last year a friend of mine and I experimented with a DIY PTSD retreat. We went to a tiny town in a part of the country neither of us have been too with a climate and geography we aren't familiar with, booked a nice room for almost a week and just...went. we read, walked around and looked at the snow and mountains, spent time in museums and out in nature in very sedate hikes (both of us have comorbid physical things). We tried cannabis (legal state), had a few drinks, ate at whatever place took our fancy or snack plates in the hotel room. We watched television. Both of us slept far more than usual and with better regularity. We talked through any tough moments and neither of us had an actual flashback or nightmare. It was incredibly healing and low key for both of us in spite of very different trauma events.

So if something doesn't fill the needs, I recommend making it. I wouldn't combine it with EMDR, because I very very much needed my familiar and safe space as I created it for post-processing and aftermath (I wouldn't be doing a spa or that sort of thing either) but experience differs. I wrote a few grief letters, drew and sketched, drank coffee in the bitter cold. I am lucky enough that my travel partner and I are very well-matched for that kind of vacation - both of us are quiet, introverted, experienced in therapy and aware of each other's tender bits but it was other aspects too, like shared preferences for climate control, food, being chill about traffic and driving, music etc.
posted by geek anachronism at 6:42 PM on September 24, 2020 [3 favorites]

« Older Dual citizen: good idea to maintain both passports...   |   Resources for understanding working in unsafe... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.