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What is the first week of rehab like?

Posted by Martin Preston
on 07 Oct 2019

Rehab, quite rightly, is changing. This means the first week of rehab is no longer a prescriptive, fall-into-line, get in routine, potentially gruelling experience. 

For those who require clinical detox, it usually takes place at the very beginning of rehab and can last from a few days to a couple of weeks.

It is common in traditional rehab centres for clients to be expected to attend group therapy sessions alongside detox, which we feel is rarely the best approach for the individual or other clients. A lot of people are concerned detoxing will be unbearable, but managed well and with the right care, it is not. 

Whilst in many rehab settings it is usual to be required to attend group therapy whilst still dealing with the physical aspects of withdrawal, that isn’t the case at Delamere. We know that progress is not accelerated by pushing people forward into stages they aren’t in a physical position to get the most benefit from and therefore we don’t do it. 

The Minnesota Model of treatment

Most rehab centres primarily use the Minnesota 12-step model. It means there is a focus and drive on moving people into and through the steps according to a prescribed timetable. The model is one that has been in use since the 1950s and puts a lot of emphasis on the need for routine, addiction being a disease and the belief that addicts can help each other get well. 

We integrate all the evidence and history of what has been learned via many years of use of the Minnesota Model but have changed the overall approach to make it much more individually focused. 

Emotions during the first week of rehab 

The primary emotion for many of the people who arrive for their first week in rehab will be fear and anxiety. Self esteem and self worth are likely to be low. Guilt and remorse are often overwhelming.  

We see entering treatment as an act of courage and humility and work to support our clients to come to see it that way too. 

Traditionally rehab was an environment of challenge and judgement, which we believe delays and impedes recovery. Ours is a climate of compassion and growth.

On arrival you’ll be shown around the communal spaces and your room. Our unique centre has been built from scratch and everything is clean and new, with the feel of a modern, homely and comforting boutique hotel. Rehab should not be a place of punishment or institutionalism. Environment matters. Poor environments add an extra hurdle to recovery whilst excellent environments nurture and accelerate it. 

Empowerment in your first week in rehab

We don’t believe it is in anyone’s interests to be treated through a traditional method of being issued with one-size-fits-all instructions and rules.

The first week of rehab with Delamere varies depending on individual needs. The deliberate intent is that no two guests have the same treatment experience. 

The guest is at the centre of every decision the clinical team makes, which is informed by a personal development plan that is created in collaboration and agreed together.

At Delamere, we have evolved our methods to ensure we offer a truly person-centred and holistic approach, tailored to every individual. By holistic, we mean we recognise that all of the body systems – mind and body – work together to support health and wellbeing. The Delamere Treatment Model ensures all aspects of a person are treated and supported to achieve change and growth. 

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Thorough and honest assessment is key at the beginning of treatment. In many rehab environments this means immediately having to provide a full life story, which isn’t right for some people and can trigger trauma.

Our approach allows us to get the necessary information without causing additional trauma.

By creating a warm, non judgemental and supportive environment we enable our guests to be frank and open about themselves and their needs.

For fully rounded care, it’s vital for treatment providers to understand your medical and mental state as well as your individual social circumstances.

Clinical detox 

Some people will require a clinical detox at the beginning of their treatment, including those who have become physically dependent on alcohol and opiates. 

We employ experienced, registered nurses and have an on site GP and psychiatrist who carefully manage the detox process. This 24-hour medical team is not the norm in rehab centres, but it is something we are passionate about. Having our team on site means we can respond immediately to the needs of our guests and make the detox process as comfortable as possible.

Guests are allowed the time they need to recover physically before entering group work and other treatments.

Treatments and therapies in the first week of rehab

Traditionally rehab centres focus heavily on talk therapies with lots of group therapy, including process groups focused more on specific topics or skills and one-to-ones. At Delamere these have their place, but neither the first stage of treatment nor subsequent stages are saturated with them.

Talk therapies are a fundamental tool in rehab but not everyone is ready for them straight away. Some find other techniques more helpful and less intrusive either to begin with or longer term.

We combine cognitive work with evidentially proven somatic methods, using physical techniques to help emotional wellbeing and allowing opportunities to release emotion and trauma through other means.

These may include, for example:

  • Breathwork – where conscious control of breathing is used for therapeutic effect 
  • Equine assisted therapy – interaction, stroking, caring for and spending time with horses for healing effect, a powerful method that surprises many 
  • Body work – where work is done to promote the mind-body connection, well known forms of this are things such as yoga, acupuncture, reiki, massage, reflexology and the Bowen technique
  • Body scanning – a way of locating and releasing stress and tension in areas of the body.

Meals and social aspects of your first week in rehab

Traditionally in rehab, living alongside a, sometimes diverse, group of other individuals can cause conflict and friction, which is the last thing anyone needs during recovery.

The large and numerous, indoor and outdoor break-out areas of Delamere allow people space. The dedicated guest services team ensures that domestic issues are dealt with, meals are pleasurable and all needs catered for. The majority of our rooms are single and en-suite allowing additional privacy when required.

Our more flexible approach also means that there’s wi-fi access throughout and your phone can stay with you throughout your stay.

Your time at Delamere is not just about getting clean and sober, it’s about learning the skills to ensure you can live free of addiction in the long term and in the real world, where phones and internet are a part of life. For similar reasons we believe in involving family in recovery and in accordance with your desires, this will also be organised. Family support is vital for them and you to move forward.

What happens after the first week of rehab?

For those with a clinical dependence much of the first week of rehab may be mainly focused on withdrawing and becoming physically able to engage with treatment.

The first week will see gentle introduction of cognitive and somatic therapies as appropriate and the intensity of these will build into your treatment programme.

Weekly clinical reviews begin in the first week to ensure your treatment and recovery are on track.

Most people will stay with us for at least four weeks to allow the level of intensive support needed to begin long term and sustained recovery.
Our team is very happy to discuss what life is like at Delamere, more about our treatment methods and what we offer. Do feel free to get in touch for a no obligation chat.

Need help?
Call us confidentially at any time to speak to a member of our team.

Call us now: 0330 111 2015
What is the first week of rehab like?
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What is the first week of rehab like?
What is the first week of rehab like? At Delamere we want to show you the steps through rehab and make the process easier for you and your loved ones.
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Delamere Rehab
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About the author: Martin Preston

Martin created Delamere in order to provide exemplary care in first class facilities. Find out more about Martin on our team page.

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