I will preface this review by saying I believe my fiance received good care at the Retreat and is making progress with his recovery. However I have many issues with Retreat, their staff, the way they treat loved ones, and the lies they tell during the marketing phase to fake families into being comfortable choosing them. The marketing staff have quotas and apparently they are encouraged tol say anything they think you want to hear in answer to your legitimate questions in order to get you to commit. I believe our experience with Retreat has ultimately made it more difficult for him to transition back into his life, with his parents, his children, and with me.
First of all, when patients go in, they are immediately isolated from friends and family. We were all assured that the patient would have unlimited access to the phone and could be in touch as much as he liked. Imagine how we felt when we did not hear from him for 6 days. Apparently the counselors discourage contact with family and friends, and allow only two 10 minute monitored calls a week. Not hearing from him and not knowing why engendered tremendous distrust between the family, the patient, and his counselor that adversely affected the “family support relationship” the marketing people claim is so important to the process.
Secondly, the marketing stresses that while they are a large facility, size is not a problem and the patients will receive plenty of adequate individualized care. They brag about the 2-1 ratio of staff to patient, a number I now assume include the kitchen staff, the gardening staff, and the sales staff. Every single time we tried to reach the counselor or anyone at Retreat, we were told they were SO busy and had SO many other patients to attend to and that we should not expect special treatment. Multiple calls and emails went unanswered. Apparently the staff is JUST TOO BUSY to deal with the questions and concerns of loved ones.
After I filled out the initial survey, his counselor asked me to expand on some things that came up in our session, saying that they would be useful for his treatment. I worked very hard on this and sent several emails about what I had observed in the months prior to his arrival, but once I sent them the counselor never even opened them (I have an app that tells me) even though my fiance was there two weeks more.
Third, as I’m sure you’ve picked up on, the Retreat is very proud of their new extended care facility in South Florida. Apparently the whole 30 days at Retreat is spent marketing (rent seeking) the aftercare facility with a hard sell and convincing the patient not to go back to their families and spend even more money to live in Florida for an indefinite period of time. While we were too smart to exercise this option, we’ve learned that almost half of his fellow patients were directly enrolled in the extended program and sent straight to Florida. This is unethical, imo, and not in the best interest of the patient.
Fourth, and this is huge. They LIE about men and women being separated. I’m sure they know if we knew the truth we would never choose a coed environment, which is definitely not the norm in the rehab community. The sleeping accommodations might be separate, but they were with girls all day and night, in groups, meetings, electives, and socializing.
As I said, my fiance is doing well, but we have had a hard time reconciling our family and all the hard feelings and distrust that were engendered by the Retreat and the attitude of their staff, on his part as well as ours. I now see these other reviews where they complained that loved ones are completely cut out of the process. I’m sure he got good care, and I have high hopes for his recovery, but there are better options available.