Rehab in Spain: Comfort, Warmth, and Culture


– [Narrator] As one of the
top holiday destinations in Europe, Spain attracts travelers all year round. With it’s historic cities,
delightful cuisine, rich culture and stunning landscapes. In this episode, we’re visiting a rehab in the Costa del Sol-or
Sun Coast-region of Spain. With over 320 days of sunshine a year, and a mild Mediterranean climate, this region is considered
to have the best weather in all of Spain. In 2008, after decades of work in prestigious U.S. and
U.K. treatment centers, Don and Meena Lavender
opened Camino Recovery, a bespoke family-owned and operated center here in Spain. – When my wife and I were
thinking about opening our own place, after some discussion, we decided if you’ve got to go to a rehab and you’ve got to detox, do you want to do it
in the sun by the pool or do you want to do it in a
colder climate in the rain. It was (laughs) we kinda figured out it was a no brainer. It’s a 2 1/2 hour flight from
most major cities in Europe. It’s just a gorgeous
place to spend some time. – The culture, compared to the British
culture that I’m used to, the American culture I’ve lived in, the quality of life here is better. Their approach to family, their approach to even having lunch you know they’ll take a
couple of hours out of the day to really sit down and talk and interact. Whereas where I was raised, just grabbing a sandwich on the run and kinda getting on with it. What we have is a Spanish
cortijo style building, five kilometers to the south
we’ve got stunning beaches of Torre del Mar. To the north we have the mountain range and we’re surrounded by
groves of mangoes and avocado. Let me show you inside. (lively music) We’ve got high ceilings, high quality furnishings and fittings, all of the tiles are hand
painted by local craftsmen and all of this lends itself to our ethos which is getting away from
that clinical environment. I’d like to show you the courtyard now. This is one of my favorite
parts of the building. Being in Andalucía, we have over 300 days of sunshine a year, and we try to do as much of
the work out here as possible so that’s dining, group
therapy, yoga sessions anything that we could
do out in the outdoors I think is a positive
thing in the sunlight. Probably the second most
popular part of the property is the sun terrace. We get sun all day long. We’ve got stunning views of the sea. The ancient town of Velez was established by the
Phoenicians in eight century B.C. And there’s a lot of history, there’s a lot of culture here. But for people when
they’re feeling emotional, or when there’s issues that’s been raised, just to come up here, breath, relax, connect it has a huge healing effect I think. (lively music) All of our rooms are
individually decorated. This one’s been hand painted
in an Arab or Moroccan theme. I really wanna show you the patio or the outdoor terrace that we have where people can come and
enjoy a morning coffee or juice as the sun rises. We’ve got about seven
acres of natural land. Rabbit, sometimes the
local goat herders come and feed their goats on this land. We’ve got a kilometer of
walking path all the way around. The helipad here we use
for yoga in the morning and you know this really
is a gorgeous spot when the sun rises. – [Narrator] As is the case
for any true luxury rehab. The location and environment
is not an end in itself but supports a world
class treatment approach. At Camino, a treatment plan
is developed for each client to treat addiction as well
as mental health problems like trauma or depression. For many clients, equine therapy which happens right on the property, is a highlight. We had a chance to join Don for a session. – I was working at the
one center in Arizona where this equine-assisted
psychotherapy was developed. Introduced it in the early 90s to the U.K. with no point of reference but eventually brought it to the U.K. in the spring of 02. It just became an effective therapy both teaching, working with addicts to learn how to work
with personal boundaries bounded by self and others as well as some healing. But it’s therapeutic for the person, for the human, because they get to learn
connection with other and if they’re isolative and they’re using drugs, they will learn how to
replace that with connection. And horses again, they’re
just perfect animals to do it because that’s it’s just every cell of
their being is to join up, to connect. While we start by just
join up, getting the horse, bringing the horse to a certain area, grooming the horse, finding out likes, dislikes for the human as well as the horse, and eventually moving towards learning how to lunge the horse which is to move the
horse around the round pen and walk, trot, and canter with just personal energy, power, rather than having
him connect with a rope or using a great big whip. – [Narrator] While some destination rehabs might struggle to engage family members in the treatment process, Camino, with it’s central and
attractive Spain location, is able to invite each client’s family to attend an on-site five day workshop as a key part of the program. – If you don’t have family involvement, you run the risk of clients returning to an environment where
they don’t have support or understanding. Families, they often don’t want to come to the workshop because you know they’re gonna blame me, what did I do wrong. But we give education from the get go. We tell them “You didn’t cause this.” You cannot control it, you cannot cure it. But these are the things that you can do to stop the client self harming. – [Narrator] Recovering in
Spain provides an opportunity to heal in comfort and warmth amidst a culture that
is built on community, connection and rest. And places like Camino Recovery allow you to enjoy these benefits without sacrificing clinical excellence. – The Spanish culture has
influenced us quite a bit. It’s slowed us down. Even though we keep the clients moving at an ambitious schedule at an ambitious pace, you know siesta is it’s something that you only read about in other countries but here they take it quite seriously. They just take life
and living more serious than they take work. And it is, it’s a lovely environment
for the clients to be in.

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