HOLISTIC. magazine ELISABETH HASSELBECK. Overcoming Relationship Addiction. New Documentary. Florida Alliance for Renewable. Guerrilla Grandparenting

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1 Page 1 HOLISTIC achieving balance mind body spirit ELISABETH HASSELBECK of The View writes a best-selling book The G-Free Diet magazine Overcoming Relationship Addiction Florida Alliance for Renewable New Documentary Sensitively Addresses the Homeless Guerrilla Grandparenting

2 Energy July 2009 Vol. 2 Issue 7 $4.99 US $6.99 CAN Seaside Palm Beach Provides Holistic Based Recovery Page 2 Seaside Palm Beach Offers High-End Holistic Care for Addictions By Candice Russell ot everyone with a drug or alcohol problem can Nafford to avail himself or herself of the unique program at Seaside in North Palm Beach, Florida. While Seaside s foundation is firmly rooted in the twelve-step approach to the disease of addiction, the program has an integrated, holistic approach to wellness. Each guest s addiction, psychology, spirituality, physical health and lifestyle are taken into account in creating an individualized program. Open since February of this year, Seaside can house up to eighteen guests, both men and women, at a time. This small number of guests allows the staff to focus intently on their needs. Our primary mission is to help people get sober and treat addictive diseases, says Dr. Michael Weiner, Ph.D, the Executive/Clinical Director of Seaside. We do a thorough assessment before we come up with a treatment plan. Blayre Farkas, M.A., is Seaside s Program Director and Director of International Marketing. She states, We approach our guests from all aspects of their beings -- mind, body and spirit. We use allopathic methods, Eastern medicine and nutritional counseling related to conscious eating. Our approach is very individualized. No two guests come to us with the same accumulation of The luxurious town homes at Seaside haps including leaders in business, entertainment and sports, this particular clientele is afflicted with problems that may not be part of the average person s experience. People who are affluent often have a different set of obstacles to overcome. We cater to a privileged population, says Farkas. They are more multi-faceted in the challenges they face. Among their challenges may be that they are further along in the progression of their disease. They may have

3 challenges. There is no formula that tells us how to deal with each guest. Most programs are targeted solely on the psychological. We also assess the mind, body and spirit. Seaside takes advantage of Florida s stunning tropical scenery. Guests reside at luxuriously appointed town homes on Palm Beach Shores, steps from the beach. A gourmet chef, incorporating the recommendations of the nutritional staff, prepares all meals on site daily. Guests are transported daily to the North Palm Beach treatment facility where they are greeted by fresh fruit and flowers. Some guests may be well-known, but they are also private citizens whose difficulties don t need to become fodder for widespread consumption. The need for anonymity is taken extremely seriously at Seaside. Perfar more damaged spirits and minds. There are multiple levels with clients. Sobriety is about redefining humility in an individual and allowing the client to learn the consequences of his or her behavior. An alcoholic isn t necessarily a drunk on the Bowery. Some clients struggle with shame and the difference between the internal and external persona. Citing an actual client, without giving his name or profession, Farkas makes her case. He was a middleaged man and a very successful entrepreneur who had been in treatment several decades ago, she says. But he had never dealt with his whole self. This was a person with addictions to substances and to work. Though he was successful, he was feeling a tremendous emptiness that brought him to the precipice of despair. He was, in effect, no longer able to function. He suffered a nervous 38 Holistic Health Magazine Page 3 breakdown. When he came to us, he really started to get a different view on his core self. He got clean and sober. But he could have gone on for twenty years without recognizing his internal struggle. Functioning with the diseases of alcohol and/ or drug addiction is possible, of course, and probably millions of Americans do just that at great cost to themselves, their families, and careers. Maybe some of them don t seek treatment because of their fear of the physical cost of going through a detoxification process, which Hollywood movies have made to look like a sort of modern torture. Dr. Weiner says detoxification at Seaside is altogether different. Dining room and kitchen inside a town home at Seaside Most guests spend a few days detoxing, he says. become whole people again. Among the guest treatment options are massage therapy, meditation, yoga, exercise, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), light/sound neuro-therapy, yoga, aromatherapy and equine therapy. Couch potatoes who enter Seaside may balk at some or all activities. We don t mandate that people exercise but we do encourage it, says Farkas. Some people think of exercise and associate it with jumping rope in a dirty, sweaty gym. It s different here. Each person has an assessment with our wellness director. He looks at a person s level of fitness from both a mind and body perspective. We haven t had a client yet who hasn t left here feeling more in touch with his or her body. Swimming in a heated pool, tai chi and kayaking are some of the options for exercise. We offer the widest milieu of choices in exercise, so that guests are moving their bodies in ways that are helpful to them, even if they have issues of chronic pain, says Farkas. We help them find ways to manage their pain and relieve stress through exercise and then they want to do more. Therapy, both group and individual, is mandatory. Most evenings, people go out to twelve-step meetings, says Dr. Weiner. On the weekends, they participate in fun activities like golf and tennis, going to nice restaurants, and attending theater and concerts. We believe in a living recovery approach to treatment. Guests are not sequestered from the world around them. Instead they are encouraged to experience all that life will have to offer them as sober individuals.

4 This is a matter of getting a substance out of a person s body, gradually reducing the amount of the substance so their discomfort is minimal. If a person comes to us with a drug of choice such as alcohol, we use a medication that is safe to treat alcohol withdrawal. The process isn t severely painful. I would say it s relatively comfortable. The amount of medication given is less and less over five days, so there is no danger of severe withdrawal symptoms. It is important to note that not everyone who comes to Seaside is in need of detoxification. After detoxing comes what he calls a multi-faceted, comprehensive assessment process. While some treatment centers have numerous forms to be filled out, Dr. Weiner says, It s not just about getting as much information as possible. We do psychometric testing. We have a doctor of Chinese medicine, a psychiatrist, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, all of whom come together. Then we, including our guests, make a plan for treatment. Their primary purpose is to help get our guests to Though addicts seeking recovery make up the core population at Seaside at any given time, others who are in recovery enter with a sense of pervasive malaise. They don t feel comfortable because they re dissatisfied with the quality of their lives, says Dr. Weiner. We help every person who comes here have a life-transforming experience. Making accommodations to their clients is part of the plan at Seaside. We have some business executives, for example, who would find it difficult to leave their work situation and come to treatment, says Dr. Weiner. Farkas adds, We strive to meet our guests where they are, not where more traditional treatment centers believe they should be in order to enter treatment. While at Seaside, guests have access to personal computers and a full service business center. By doing this, we invest them in their own process. The length of treatment varies, according to the person. So far the shortest stay was five days for Holistic Health Magazine 39 Page 4 A place to relax for Seaside residents female alcoholic who is doing better than when she entered. The longest stay is roughly 90 days. Dr. Weiner knows the struggle his clients are going through from his own personal experience. I m a recovering person, he says. I accept the fact that never again is it safe for me to pick up a drink. I truly believe I have the disease of alcoholism. I haven t had a drink in a very long time. But

5 I have seen too many people try and fail, thinking they can have an occasional drink. Facing the facts about addiction is a matter of taking responsibility. Let s say a person drinks because he is depressed, says Dr. Weiner. There are a lot of people who are depressed who aren t alcoholics. We have people look at their entire history. They usually see their drinking and/or drug use as separate from what they are blaming it on. We help them take a very good, honest look at themselves. Sometimes it s not fun. We help people take a look at the concept of powerlessness and how hard it is to stop using on their own and why they have been unsuccessful at doing so. All the things in their lives they never wanted to have happen are directly related to using. This really breaks down a person s denial. Dr. Weiner is optimistic about what he sees happening: Integrative holistic medicine is in the forefront of addiction treatment, but also for the entire field of medicine. Most treatment centers will, in the future, be more integrative and holistic. If they are not, they will find themselves way behind the times. For more information, telephone Seaside Palm Beach at 561/ , 888/99-SEASIDE, 888/ or visit the web site wwwseasidepalmbeach.com. 40 Holistic Health Magazine

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