Ibiza wellness: Ibiza Calm – Two years into the journey
Ibiza Calm – the white isle’s one and only professional rehabilitation centre – is now two years into its ongoing journey of providing support and care to clients with a variety of addiction issues. Specialising in the treatment of drug, alcohol, prescription medicine and gambling addictions, the intimate licensed clinic welcomes patients of all ages to take part in bespoke treatment programs, all year round and since its inception, hundreds of clients have gone on to live much better lives.
Founded by clinical director, addictions counsellor and cognitive analytical psychotherapist John McKeown, the idea for Ibiza Calm was born after spotting a gap in the market whilst on holiday in Ibiza with a friend in recovery. Realising there were many other types of health and wellness retreats in Ibiza, yet no established treatment facilities, McKeown saw the opportunity to create a clinic that could provide support to those with addictions – whether island-based or hailing from around the globe – under the warm Mediterranean sun.
Set in the heart of Ibiza’s beautiful countryside in a beautiful 500-year old finca, stepping foot inside the warm and welcoming Ibiza Calm facility is like arriving home. With an ultra-supportive, non-judgemental and highly experienced team of health, wellness and medical professionals on site around the clock, clients are always in the very best of hands. Rooms are spacious, homely and comfortable – the cocoon you may need as you begin your journey to recovery – and the centre accepts a maximum of just ten patients at any one time, ensuring intimacy, discretion and highly personalised treatment.
Outside, the Ibiza Calm grounds are full of life – colour springs forth from every plant and tree while the swimming pool provides a beautiful place for quiet reflection – the absorption of Vitamin D through the sun’s rays being a powerful tool when it comes to restorative health. Set on eight acres of lush, green land, the privacy and comfort you are afforded is a long way from the idea of all-white clinical treatment facilities – the perfect healing environment, custom-designed for rest, relaxation and recovery.
Each patient’s journey begins with a complete medical assessment – physical and psychological. Afterwards, a tailored treatment plan is custom designed to help ease you through the experience. The detoxification process is fully supervised and medically managed, and the detox period depends on the severity of the addiction being treated. After this period, the Ibiza Calm team address the cause of addiction and help you identify goals for your future lifestyle and teach you the tools to make it a reality. Believing there is no one size fits all approach to recovery means each patient receives truly bespoke care.
Ibiza Calm works with a compassion-based model of treatment that incorporates Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, motivational interviewing, an introduction to 12-step recovery and group therapies. It’s all about getting to the root of the cause and understanding what makes each patient tick in order to treat their addiction and the subsequent emotional and psychological issues attached to it (such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder). Individual and group therapy treatments are incorporated along with educational lectures on topics such as addiction, brain chemistry and physiology. Believing it’s important for clients to know they are not alone in their journey means families can be incorporated into the treatment plan and are encouraged to attend sessions at the centre – removing any stigma associated with treatment and offering support and care at all times.
Treatment is available in English or Spanish and clients are assigned a therapist for the duration of their treatment. In addition the professional therapists, the staff also includes psychologists, psychiatrists, treatment counsellors, nurses and peer supporters among others – all experienced in helping patients learn to use the tools for recovery. This personalised environment is a very unique approach to recovery, and one that has seen Ibiza Calm go from strength to strength over the past two years.
Operating on the belief that mind, body and spirit must all be simultaneously treated to facilitate a successful recovery, physical exercise plays a major role in treatment plans at Ibiza Calm. Two dedicated yoga instructors are on staff – Hatha yoga instructor Nora Belton and Kundalini instructor Daya Cabestany – and clients have been found to resonate with their complementary approaches to treatment. Days begin with energy flow light breathing and movement sessions, while twice-weekly Hatha and Kundalini yoga classes are adapted to suit each patients level of fitness – at the beginning of treatment, it may seem that some patients are too weak to participate, however they can practice from the comfort of a chair if needed.
Three days of physical fitness are also incorporated into treatment at Ibiza Calm. Getting the body moving and the blood circulating is proven to contribute to a healthy mind, in addition to increasing body strength, flexibility and stamina. Endorphins are powerful things – with the idea being that when you feel good, you want to continue on this pattern and will thus continue to improve your physical fitness throughout your journey. From personal training to gentle walks in nature or even meditation sessions, clients are taken through many different forms of physical treatment throughout the duration of their stay. By night, free time is dedicated to reading, writing, playing chess or table tennis, listening to music or simply switching off.
All meals at Ibiza Calm are home-cooked, providing patients the vital nourishment they need at this stage of their journey. Understanding many addicts have very poor nutrition and immune systems has led to the creation of daily meals that are gentle on the stomach, easy to digest and yet extremely high in nutrients and comforting. Produce is sourced from the island, meaning it is the freshest you can get and each client is given an individual nutritional plan to aid their recovery. No matter what your dietary requirement, the in-house chef will tailor your meals to suit.
The first step on the road to recovery of course, is to reach out and ask for help. Often it may be a family member who reaches out to Ibiza Calm in the first place, but it is important that the client also have the true commitment to changing their life. When it’s time to check out of Ibiza Calm – the average stay is four weeks – you’re not alone. Relapse prevention strategies and aftercare programs (in Ibiza and London, depending on your home base) are all part of the service, allowing you a smooth transition back into every day life and to help keep your recovery on track long after you’ve left the clinic.