Frequently Asked Questions summary

We want to ensure that your stay at Strong Hope is a rewarding experience and that you are at ease with what to expect from your stay with us. The aim of this section is to answer frequently asked questions so that you feel as informed as possible. If you have any further questions our referrals and admissions team will be happy to answer them for you.

What is the admission process?

Addiction, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and stress are complex conditions, particularly if they are co-existing with each other or other conditions. This being the case, a comprehensive pre-admission assessment is required in order for us to construct a full picture of a client’s history, current situation and treatment goals and to support us creating the treatment plan and advising on what we consider to be the best length of time in treatment would be to realise these goals.

The comprehensive pre-admission assessment is completed by one of Strong Hope’s qualified outreach team and can be done face to face, by Skype or over the phone. It will include collecting such information as your preferred contact details, next of kin, GP, drug and alcohol use, current and past mood, relationships with food and diet, food intolerances and allergies etc.

Following on from the pre-admission assessment we will arrange for one of our psychiatrists to carry out a more detailed assessment to get a complete picture of a client’s emotional state and to discuss in detail any medication that clients have recently been, or are still on. It also looks at how well clients can think, reason, and remember (cognitive functioning). This part of the assessment will also include some lab tests, such as blood and urine tests. The assessment with the psychiatrist can be done face to face, by Skype or over the phone and if needed we can arrange the lab tests to be carried out locally to the client’s home or we may in fact do these on arrival.

Once these assessments have been completed and we have answered any questions and provided an example of what a weekly programme will look like we will arrange an admission date and discuss options around travelling companions and transport to and from the airport.

At this point a treatment contract will be drawn up for both parties to read and sign and deposits taken.

What is the environment like and who are the staff?

At Strong Hope highly qualified international and Barbadian professionals integrate evidenced-based practices and therapies to provide the most effective treatment in a luxury setting.

With our personal mission to deliver unparalleled service and experiences, clients should never have to settle for anything less than extraordinary. From its crystal koi pool to its expansive 14-acre estate Strong Hope is as intriguing as it is beautiful. Originally an 18th century sugar plantation hidden away in the centre of Barbados, Strong Hope brings together lush tropical beauty with plantation-style elegance to create an exclusive environment in which clients can focus on their recovery in a safe, confidential nurturing environment.

Strong Hope is an extraordinary treatment centre for those individuals looking for the upmost in confidential, exclusive world class treatment for addictions; depression, anxiety, stress, eating disorders and other behavioural health disorders.

The main house is a single-storey 4-luxury bedroom building spread over 15,000 square feet with modern finishes throughout. All bedroom suites are luxurious, spacious and air-conditioned; three of which have private decking overlooking stunning tropical vistas. There is a private communal patio with a Jacuzzi pool and main pool, which also overlooks the well-manicured gardens and waterfall. There is a beautiful courtyard with koi and lily ponds and the courtyard is surrounded by a breezeway, which leads to a complementary therapy rooms and an air-conditioned gym

The Barn is a self-contained two-storey, 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom facility located in the grounds of Strong Hope and is fully enclosed with its own gated entrance. The floor area in The Barn is approximately 2,900 square feet and is completely self-contained with its own kitchen, open plan living and formal dining area which extends to a large sitting area complete coral stone architecture that partially overlooks the wonderful private pool, deck and spectacular grounds. The pool deck itself overlooks a private tennis court and a wonderful open lawn area. The open plan living and dining area also extends directly out to the pool and internally to ground floor two en-suite bedrooms and a powder room. On the second level, there is the master luxury air-conditioned suite. Access to The Barn is via a biometric control system only allowing authorised personnel on site and the gatehouse is manned 24 hours a day with dedicated trained staff.

Ultimately though, Strong Hope is a place of tranquillity, expertise, luxury, and care – the ideal environment for our clients to address their issues and start on their road to recovery.

For our clientele, privacy and confidentially is paramount – therefore all our staff are professionally handpicked and trained to be proactive, attentive, responsive, reliable and always very discreet. We have created a team profiles for some of the key staff, which can be viewed here

What does the programme involve?

For those choosing the group work programme then their programme will consist of a mixture of 1:1’s and group work; those choosing the 1:1 programme will not be required to do any group work at all.

At Strong Hope we have a very experienced multi-disciplinary team that encompasses many psychotherapy therapeutic approaches as well as addressing physical health, nutrition and fitness needs with other members of the team.  We recognize that one size does not fit all when it comes to therapy. Different clients with different needs require different approaches at different times. Strong Hopes integrative approach draws on different schools of thought and ways of working to produce the most effective therapy for each individual client. We apply these therapeutic approaches to give clients the personalised treatment to suit their needs.

The programme is therefore a mixture of talking based psychotherapies, art and music therapy, equine/chelonian therapy, adventure/activity therapies, psychoeducation, nature/forest therapy, sound therapy, nutritional advice and guidance & personal fitness. The programme is well balanced between all these giving each client a very full day of activities but still with some free time each day for reflection, phone calls, assignment work, swims in the pool etc.

A copy of what a typical programme might look like is available from our referral and admission teams, so please give them a call.

What is the average day like?

An average day starts off with a wake-up call at 7.30am with the idea that clients are back in their suites by 23.00 each day, apart from Friday and Saturday when this is extended to midnight. Many clients like to start their day with a quick morning swim or 30 minutes in the gym before breakfast at 08.30. After breakfast those on medication will usually have a session with the nurse and/or the GP before starting the first group or 1:1 session at 09.45. Further details of what a typical day looks like are available from our referral and admission teams, so please give them a call.

Who will help me throughout my treatment?

In short, all the staff will. The facilities and catering staff are there to ensure that the environment is kept in the manner to which our clients are accustomed and to our strict cleanliness policies and to ensure that our clients’ laundry is cleaned, pressed and returned expediently. The catering staff and nutritionist, along with our GP and fitness instructor, are there to ensure that our clients are getting the help they need with their physical wellbeing and that the food provided is attractive, nutritious and delicious. Our nurses and GP, together with our psychiatrist are there to ensure that our clients are getting help with their physical medical needs and our psychotherapists, psychiatrist and therapy assistants are there to help with our clients’ psychological needs.

Is there always a nurse, doctor and psychiatrist on duty?

There is always a nurse, doctor and psychiatrist on duty. We have nurses on site 24/7, 365 days of the year. Our doctor is on site Monday to Friday and will also be on site at weekends when we have clients detoxing. Our psychiatrist is on site regularly during the week. Both our psychiatrist and doctor are also on call outside of office hours and can be on site in less than 30 minutes.

What are the qualifications of the team?

We have chosen our team based on their qualifications, experience and commitment to Strong Hopes mission, vision and values. Most of the psychotherapist team hold masters degrees and are expert in their fields. Our lead psychiatrist holds a CBE in recognition of his contribution to psychiatry and we ensure that those staff who are required to hold professional registrations with their relative bodies keep their credentials up to date. Strong Hope is an employer dedicated to the development of its service and to the care it provides and as such has a robust continued professional development training commitment to its staff at all levels.

How is Strong Hope committed to quality care?

Strong Hope is committed to the fundamental standards laid out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the ethics of National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) and The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and as such every client has the right to expect treatment to these standards.

Through our governance and audit procedures we are committed to:

  • Person-centred care: Care and treatment that is tailored to our clients and meets their needs and preferences.
  • Dignity and respect: Clients will be treated with dignity and respect at all times while they are receiving care and treatment and in any dealings we have with them post completion. This includes making sure they have privacy when they need and want it.
  • Equality: Everybody is treated as equal and we give the support our clients need to help them remain independent and engaged
  • Consent: Clients must give their consent before any care or treatment is given to them or for any information to be divulged.
  • Safety: All clients are protected from unsafe care or treatment and never to be put at risk of harm that could be avoided. In this respect we assess the risks to our clients health and safety during any care or treatment and make sure our staff have the qualifications, competence, skills and experience to keep them safe.
  • Safeguarding from abuse: Our clients will not suffer any form of abuse or improper treatment while receiving care. This includes: neglect, degrading treatment or inappropriate limits on their freedom.
  • Food and drink: our clients will always have enough to eat and drink to keep them in good health while they receive care and treatment.
  • Premises and equipment: The places where our clients receive care and treatment and the equipment used in it are always clean, suitable and looked after properly. Furthermore, the equipment used in their care and treatment is also secured and used properly.
  • Complaints: Clients are to be able to complain about their care and treatment if needed. In this respect we have a system in place so we can handle and respond to clients’ complaints. We are committed to investigate these thoroughly and act if problems are identified.
  • Good governance: We have robust governance structures and have plans that ensure we can meet our quality standards. In this respect we have governance and systems to check on the quality and safety of care. These will help our service improve and reduce any risks to our clients’ health, safety and welfare.
  • Staffing: We are committed to having enough suitably qualified, competent and experienced staff to make sure they can meet our quality standards. Our staff are given the support, training and supervision they need to help them do their jobs. We ensure that we only employ people who can provide care and treatment appropriate to their role and as such we have strong recruitment procedures in place and carry out relevant checks such as on applicants’ criminal records and work history.
  • Duty of candour: We are committed to being open and transparent with clients about their care and treatment. Should something go wrong, we will tell our clients what has happened, provide support and apologise.

What services are available for family members?

When people leave treatment they are ready to start their new life but reintegrating with family and friends can be tough. Loved ones are used to how someone behaved before treatment, they are used to the old structure and the old order of things but also they may be holding onto unresolved anger and other emotions as a result of their loved one’s past behaviour. That means when someone comes home after treatment, the client’s expectations and the expectations of their family and friends can be very different.

We believe that education and support empowers families to improve their own quality of life while also enhancing the chances for successful recovery for the person that has just been in treatment.

At Strong Hope, our family programme helps both the clients and their loved ones understand and prepare for the new relationship dynamics. It also helps everyone involved address any fears or concerns they may have, this makes it easier when a person leaves treatment for them to have a happy healthy relationship with their loved ones.

The Family Programme is a non-residential programme for clients who stay for at least 28 days and can last up to 2 days with the goal to provide space and support for clients and their families to come together and learn how to live with one another post treatment completion.

In the family programme we work to help our clients and their families learn to communicate again. Past behaviours can destroy or damage trust, friendship and the lines of communication. By providing a safe place in which to share, we can help families rebuild relationships, communicate effectively again and establish new ways or relating to one another. This means tearing down things such as fearful exchanges, unvoiced feelings or wishes and, most of all, the feelings that have not been heard. These problems are then replaced with good communication and allows our clients to create a great support network for when they leave treatment.

How long should I be in treatment?

There is no one simple answer to the question how long someone should be in treatment. We offer treatment programmes from 7-10 days to 42 days.  It very much depends on what the client wants from the treatment programme, how severe their problems are, physically and psychologically, and how long the client has been suffering with these issues.

Although participation in our treatment programme for 28 days or longer typically means higher success rates, in terms of long term recovery for those that have had long standing problems, treatment of any length is a positive step and we can still support many clients into recovery with our 14- and 21-day programmes.

One of the best ways we can assist in helping clients decide about treatment duration is through an assessment by one of our highly experienced treatment professionals, who will be their guidepost for treatment duration. They can advise clients on all their treatment options and even tell them what their daily schedule will be like.

Unlike some other treatment services, at Strong Hope we address more than just a client’s addiction, eating disorder, stress, depression or anxiety. All of these things affect a client’s whole life, including relationships, career, health, and psychological wellbeing. Treatment success depends on developing a new way of living and addressing the reasons why they turned to these coping strategies or states of mind in the first place. For example, a client’s drug dependency may have developed from an inability to manage stress, in which case we may well need to detox the person of drugs first but then need to find healthy ways for them to handle stressful situations.

Research shows that it takes between 18 – 66 days to make a new behaviour an ingrained habit, indicating a considerable variation based on the individual. According to recent research, behavioural change involves physical changes in the brain. In the past decade, researchers have shown that when it comes to the duration of making a new behaviour an ingrained habit there is not a simple answer.

The problem is that behavioural change is not something that a person just suddenly chooses to adopt. Clients have to learn a new habit slowly. And this means that clients have to “overwrite” a new habit over the ingrained, existing habit. This takes time and repetition and as indicated previously also relates to how long the behaviour has been present. Of course, not all of this time requires residential treatment.

7 – 10 day – Detox only

For many people addicted to substances treatment begins with a period of medical detox.

Our on-site detox facility is staffed with doctors and nurses trained in helping clients cope with the withdrawal symptoms of early drug or alcohol abstinence. Without medical care, these withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant, dangerous and even life threatening. Around-the-clock nursing care ensures safety and certain medications can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, as well as decrease the dangers of this initial period.

Not every client with an addiction needs to begin treatment with a medical detox. People who need medical detox tend to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Have a physical addiction to certain drugs
  • Would experience great discomfort withdrawing without assistance
  • Would put their health at serious risk withdrawing without medical supervision

People using any of the following drugs may need medically supervised detox:

Heroin – although opiate detoxification is seldom dangerous, the withdrawal pains of heroin detox require medical management for comfort.

Prescription pain medication – prescribed opiates, such as Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet, induce a withdrawal period very similar in nature to heroin.

Alcohol – alcohol’s withdrawal symptoms are among the most dangerous, and can be life-threatening in severe cases. A medicated and supervised detox is safe, comfortable and very necessary.

Cocaine/Methamphetamine – some people with stimulant addiction require medical detoxification to cope with the extreme mood imbalances experienced during early abstinence.

Benzodiazepines – suddenly stopping the use of benzodiazepines (like Xanax or Valium) can be life-threatening and should never be attempted without medical supervision.

Club drugs, legal highs, inhalants, cannabis and other drugs – depending on the situation (dual diagnosis, heavy use, poly drug addiction), people abusing drugs other than those listed above may require a medical detox as well.

There is no set duration for medical detox. The length of time required will depend on the drug abused, the medical history of the client and the extent of use. Detox durations range most commonly from seven to about 10 days, however detoxification from prescription pain medication and benzodiazepines takes a lot longer.

Although clients will often complete a medical detox feeling better than they have in years, those that do not transition from detox to continuing psychotherapy addiction treatment are almost certain to relapse.

Medical detox is a first necessary step that readies a person for addiction treatment. Medical detox alone is not addiction treatment and offers very little promise of continuing recovery. It is universally recognised that detox should always be followed by immediate addiction psychotherapy.

For all our clients coming in for the 7-10-day detox it will be expected that they all joining the addiction psychotherapy group work programme while still detoxing. For most clients this will mean joining the main addiction programme at around day 3 of their stay. As indicated, it is the psychotherapy part of a client’s stay that is going to help give a client the tools for long term recovery and although we recognize that for some clients all they can give is 7-10 days but we will recommend that they extend to stay 14, 21, 28 or more days with us to give them the best chances of long term recovery.

The benefits of our 14-Day assessment and stabilisation programme

A 14-day programme is a great way to start treatment if a client is unsure about how serious their problem is or is not sure that they want to commit to something more at this stage. Our 14-day programme “does what it says on the tin”. It gives clients and the team 14 days to stabilise a client’s behaviour (which may include a period of medically detoxing) and for them to start to understand what is really going on for them.  Clients entering a 14-day programme may not know how long they need to stay in treatment until they start discovering what is really going on for them, so this programme provides an excellent insight into whether they should extend into a longer programme or not. For those clients coming in for 14 days we would recommend the highest intensity aftercare plan in order to support continued behavioural change.

The benefits of our 21 -Day programme

This program offers clients more time to get through any physical withdrawal symptoms they may have had, which may have well impeded their cognitive ability to fully embrace the psychotherapy part of the programme during the first 7-10 days of their stay. It will also allow them to begin establishing some effective relapse prevention techniques. As mentioned earlier research shows that it takes between 18 and 66 days to make a new behaviour an ingrained habit. Stays of 21 days or more are now moving into this area where new learned behaviours have the ability to be engrained and therefore giving clients better chances of longer term recovery.

Clients will continue to undertake all the core elements of the programme they did in the first 14 days, but the extra time will also be able to give themselves more time to discover more about their underlying issues, undertake more of our DBT component of the programme and learn to put a greater number of coping strategies in place. For those clients coming in for 21 days we would recommend the high intensity aftercare plan in order to support continued behavioural change as clients are still in the earliest stages of behaviour change.

The benefits of a 28-day programme.

The average length of a stay for a Strong Hope client is about 28 days. This is about the time it takes to really start breaking habits and receive the appropriate therapy, including our full DBT programme, and return to a productive life. As indicated, this programme duration is ideal for those that have long standing issues or dependency. The 28-day programme offers plenty of time to get our clients through the physical withdrawal symptoms related to detox, as well as time to begin the process of establishing long lasting relapse prevention techniques, addressing co-occurring mental health issues, identifying and treating underlying medical issues, behavioural disorders and day-to-day difficulties that may obstruct the path to recovery and working on family issues.

Because of the multifaceted nature and intensity of eating disorders, they often co-exist with (or may be a side effect of) other diseases/disorders, such as depression, trauma, or anxiety disorders. Due the specific nature of eating disorders, we would recommend that 28 days is the minimum stay someone with an eating disorder should consider in order to achieve any level of recovery.

Also for those clients staying 28 days or more they will have access to our family programme. Involving family in recovery can have a major positive impact on both the client and the family members. Our family programme helps both clients and family members understand and prepare for the new relationship dynamics. It also helps everyone involved address any fears or concerns they may have and supports long term recovery.

For those clients coming in for 28 days we would recommend a medium intensity aftercare plan in order to support continued behavioural change as clients are still in the early stages of behaviour change.

The benefits of 35- and 42-day programmes

Why is 30 days not enough time for everyone to effectively heal and return home to their new life? Everyone is different. Though almost all clients will have cleared their withdrawal symptoms in this time, not everyone will make the same amount of emotional and psychological progress. Some will have only just begun to address deep-seated trauma or long-term abuse issues. Still others may not feel safe in the idea of returning to the real world with minimal or no support and the expectation of remaining relapse-free.

It is important that clients who are not ready to leave do not force themselves to do so if it is beyond their comfort level. Though most clients may feel a little bit nervous about their ability to maintain recovery upon their return home, clients who are clearly in need of more time in intensive treatment can set themselves up for failure if they attempt to leave treatment before they are ready. In these cases, a return to active addiction and/or overdose, especially fatal overdose, are real risks as well as returning to a depressive or anxious state.

Furthermore, stays of 35 days or plus are very common for those clients admitting with addictions to certain benzodiazepines as they require a longer detox due to the risks and complications involved in stopping, including dealing with increased anxiety, insomnia and sometimes panic attacks.

For those clients coming in for 35 days plus we would recommend a lower intensity aftercare plan in order to support continued behavioural change as clients are still in the early stages of behaviour change.

Am I forced to stay?

The simplest answer to this is no. Strong Hope does not take any client who is on a mental health section and as such is mandated to stay. That being said we are well aware that despite agreeing at the beginning of treatment to an agreed treatment plan and duration some clients struggle with this.

We know, and evidence and research supports this, that by completing and staying in effective treatment it will lead to much higher chances of long term recover; so we will do our best to try to motivate our clients to complete their stay.

We recognise that coming into treatment isn’t always an easy task but the benefits of completion for the clients and their friends and family are huge. Here are five of the most common reasons why people leave residential treatment against medical advice.

  1. “The cravings are too much”

Research shows that the first week of treatment is the time when most clients ask themselves, “What have I done or what the hell am I doing here?” Withdrawal symptoms, drug/alcohol cravings, living to boundaries and set expectations as well as an unfamiliar environment can fill clients with anxiety and at the same time they are deprived of their primary coping mechanism: alcohol, drugs, isolation etc. At this point many clients start to rationalise that they felt better when using drugs or alcohol or that it is easier just to stay as they were and give up on rehab before treatment really begins.

For those suffering with cravings and withdrawals we can make them more comfortable with time-limited medication and alternative therapies such as neurofeedback, acupuncture, yoga and massage. Even if the client is not feeling great, we try to get them involved in as many treatment activities as possible and explain that this is a natural feeling that most clients go through, but it will pass.

Rather than isolating, their peers and the team will help clients realise they are not alone and see the hope that treatment brings. The earlier we can develop trust and rapport; the more likely clients will listen to our and their peers’ recommendations and push through the uncertainty.

  1. “I’m not like these people.”

This is a common assertion made by some after the group therapy sessions. It is the nature of our clients’ conditions for them to think they are different, smarter or stronger than other people suffering with the same or allied conditions. This belief allows them to put up emotional walls between themselves and others and to avoid doing the soul-searching work of getting well but also gives them what they see as a legitimate excuse to leave.

We will use cognitive-behavioural therapy in their one-to-ones and groups to help turn their focus on differences into recognition of similarities. Education about denial can teach many clients that their condition is driving them to rationalise leaving treatment and that what is really going on is a desire to return to old behaviour patterns

  1. “I don’t like it here.”

If a client wants to go back to old behaviour patterns, they must find a justification to do so, both for their own peace of mind and to appease their loved ones who we know desperately want them to get well. Rather than accepting responsibility for their own treatment, they may place the blame elsewhere – often on the food, accommodation, boundaries, treatment schedule, staff or other clients

That being said in some cases, the clients concerns may be legitimate and if this is the case we will investigate and if something can be done to rectify it we will do our best to do so.

We know that it is always better for a client to stay in treatment and we will listen to a client’s concerns to determine whether they can be addressed or if the individual is merely looking for an excuse to leave. In the latter case, it is essential for family members and other treatment professionals to present a united front, offering reminders about why the client needs to complete treatment and to try to work through their issues. Family involvement and the support of other professionals can aid in the process, but “rescuing” a client from treatment only allows their behaviours to continue.

In some cases we would consider alternative providers if the client is that determined to leave as we strongly believe that they would be better off still in residential treatment even if it were with someone else.

  1. “I already know this stuff.”

In treatment, there are certain themes that get repeated throughout the treatment process. This is because repetition is how we learn. Sometimes it isn’t until the second or third go-around that the client truly embraces a principle or gains new insight. In some cases, the client may use this excuse to avoid dealing with the painful memories and feelings being explored in therapy.

There are many ways to show our clients that no matter how much they think they know, they can always learn more. Also if they say they know it and it is a proven recovery practice why do they think it isn’t working for them. Sometimes this requires us taking a different approach offering alternative therapeutic modalities that the client hasn’t yet explored so they can look at it in new ways that may resonate better with them, this is one of the advantages of our approach as we are not fixed to just one therapeutic style.

  1. “I can do this on my own.”

At some point during treatment, many clients develop a type of confidence that is both productive and potentially damaging. After being in treatment for a while, they feel healthier than ever, it is at this point that some believe they are “cured” and anxiously wish to return to their families and careers.

Research shows that the longer someone stays in effective treatment the better their chances of avoiding relapse into old behaviours on discharge. Believing they “know it all” may be a sign of progress but is also a red flag that more education and treatment are necessary.  Research shows that it takes between 18 and 66 days to make a new behaviour an ingrained habit, indicating a considerable variation based on the individual. According to recent research, behavioural change involves physical changes in the brain. In the past decade, researchers have shown that when it comes to the duration of making a new behaviour an ingrained habit there is not a simple answer. The problem is that behavioural change is not something that a person just suddenly chooses to adopt. Clients have to slowly learn a new habit. And this means that clients have to “overwrite” a new habit over the ingrained, existing habit. This takes time and repetition and as indicated previously also relates to how long the old behaviour has been present.

As we have indicated earlier we can’t force clients to stay but we will reflect to them all we know about behaviour change and do our best to assure them that if they stay the distance then the chances of them returning to old behaviour patterns is hugely reduced.

How do I arrange payment?

Once a client has agreed when they are coming in and for how long then a contract will be drawn up and a deposit taken which can be done via BACS or SWIFT payment – the details of which are included in the contract.

What should I bring?

Summery Clothes
A typical day in Barbados is sunny and warm, so bring lightweight, summery clothes made from fabrics that keep you cool, like cotton and linen. Avoid dark-coloured items that absorb heat, but pack a light raincoat for the occasional showers. Women will be comfortable in dresses and loose skirts; while shorts and lightweight trousers are great for men. When exploring some of the sights, modest, smart casual clothing — as opposed to beachwear — shows respect for local culture.

Beach Wear
With access to our private pools and the Caribbean Sea the day can begin and end in a swimsuit, so bring several. Flipflops are a must as well, and a sarong or other cover-up is great for wearing around the pool when you’re not in the water or on some of the boat-related activities.

Dress Clothes
There may be occasions when you might want to dress up particularly in the evening, so bring a nice outfit. For women a nice cocktail dress and for men a classy pair of trousers with a matching top and a button up shirt and blazer. Also, women should bring a fancy pair of flats or sandals and men should pack closed-toe dress shoes. For cool evenings, pack a shawl, cardigan or light jacket.

Items for Comfort and Safety
To avoid a burn, bring a high SPF, waterproof and sweatproof sunblock that protects against both UVB and UVA rays although the nursing team will carry stocks of these for your use as well. Insects can be a nuisance in Barbados, so pack bug repellent (the nursing team also hold topical medicine for bites just in case). To keep cool and comfortable we recommend you bring a spray bottle to fill with cold water so you can mist yourself as needed. A big, wide-brimmed hat will keep your face, neck and chest shaded; pack sunglasses, which block the sun’s UV radiation.

Some of the programme is outside so bring a good pair of walking boots, which will also be handy when working with the horses during equine therapy and during the nature therapy. We also have a gym and tennis courts so please bring suitable clothing for both, including trainers.


Can my family and friends visit or call?


When clients come into treatment, they are here to get better – not to have distractions that might derail their recovery. We therefore ask that all clients suspend all contact with their friends and family during their first seven days. This is to give them a chance to recuperate and focus on themselves fully without the emotional, physical and mental distraction from the people, places and things that helped fuel their behaviours in the first place.

Exceptions may be made in the case of parents of young children or others with special circumstances. If someone feels that having access to their phone or internet is essential during their first seven days then please make this known to the referral and admission team PRIOR to admittance so the team can discuss the circumstances with the Clinical Manager.

Clients should not be afraid of letting go of their phone for the first 7 days in order to free themselves from the constant need to be connected to everyone and everything at all times. The time that clients spend with us is just a blink of an eye out of their lives and should be spent on getting well and nothing else. We specifically design our programmes so that the client’s whole day is mapped, planned and accounted for in the most productive and helpful ways for getting better. We ask clients to remember that they are here to get better not going on vacation. This is serious work and they will need to be ready to focus on themselves 100% so that they can get their life back on track.

After 7 days we ask that clients abide by our boundaries on phone use and as such we ask that there is no phone use before 5pm local time and that no phones are used during meals or breaks. All too often we have seen the impact of a call or email made/received just before breakfast or on morning break that totally derails the day for the client and takes them away from why they are here. In this respect we have scheduled daily free time slots after 5pm each day for clients to make and receive calls and do any e-mails.

Notwithstanding that, and subject to client’s agreement, we are happy to take calls from family and friends daily in order to pass on messages or answer questions about treatment progress from day one. However family and friends need to be clear we can only respond if we have written permission from the client and only to identified individuals and that the only detail we will ever give about treatment is how someone is feeling and whether they are progressing as we expect or not.

Clients cannot have any visitors during the first seven days of their treatment as this is a vital time for them to settle into the programme and acclimatise to their new environment. However after seven days clients may have visitors for a brief time by prior arrangement at the weekends outside of the scheduled programme.

Can I receive mail, use my phone and my laptop?

Clients may receive mail, which is given out to them in the evenings each day. Use of phones and laptops is restricted as highlighted in the “Can my family and friends visit or call” section. It should be noted that we have a very secure net nanny that blocks clients from accessing web sites that are likely to be triggering.

Can I work/study whilst in treatment

When clients come into treatment, they are here to get better not to have distractions that might derail their recovery. We specifically design our programmes so that the client’s whole day is mapped, planned and accounted for in the most productive and helpful ways for getting better. We ask clients to remember that they are here to get better not going on vacation or at work. This is serious work and they will need to be ready to focus on themselves 100% so that they can get their life back on track. All clients have a set amount of free time each day, which they can choose to use for work or study as long as it does not impact on their ability to work and engage in the programme.

Can I smoke?

Numerous studies have found that tobacco smoke is a major contributor to indoor air pollution, and that breathing second-hand smoke (also known as environmental tobacco smoke) is a cause of disease in healthy non-smokers, including heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and lung cancer.

Because Strong Hope is committed to providing a safe and healthy working and learning environment for the clients and staff and as such smoking is not allowed in any of the buildings. However designated smoking areas on the patios have been set aside for this. This also includes the use of e-cigarettes.

What happens at the end of my treatment?

As clients approach the completion of their treatment a client’s primary therapist will work with them on a robust and bespoke aftercare plan that they can implement on their return back home.

Making it through treatment is a major accomplishment. Nevertheless, despite hard-won gains, there is still more ground to be conquered even after completing our programmes as this is only just one part of the recovery journey.

Aftercare is as important as a client’s inpatient treatment and provides a continuation of therapy and other support once treatment has been successfully completed. Up until the point of departure every hour of the day has been scheduled and devoted to helping clients get well in a safe, nurturing environment. Real life will bring pressures and responsibilities and even temptations that must be faced. Maintaining a dependable support system and aftercare plan where understanding and encouragement are assured is invaluable for at least the first year following treatment completion.

The goals of our aftercare include:

  • Maintaining recovery from addiction, eating disorders, depression, stress and anxiety
  • Finding ways to prevent relapse
  • Achieving a life filled with rewarding relationships and a sense of purpose.

One reason that continuing treatment is essential in all situations is because the longstanding issues that clients present with, in some cases, alter the normal functioning of the brain. Some of these changes do not instantly reverse once the behaviour ends.  Aftercare and relapse prevention is vital to ensure that our clients continue their recovery after returning home. For this reason, we provide a tailor-made aftercare programme for all our clients, which consists of the following.

  • Recovery support phone call from the Strong Hope team a week after discharge, three weeks later and then every month for a year after a client has left
  • If clients do not have a therapist when they come in, we will either provide a Skype session once a month with one of our therapists or pay for 12 months of 1:1 therapy with a Strong Hope-partnered therapist*
  • If clients do not have a psychiatrist when they come in, and based only on need, we will either provide Skype sessions once a month with one of ours or pay for 12 months of 1:1 psychiatrist sessions with a Strong Hope-partnered psychiatrist*
  • If clients require a nutritionist on discharge, we will source one from our preferred providers list and refer on for further care. Costs for further care to be met by client
  • If client requires further I-Vitamin treatments on discharge, we will source a provider from our preferred providers list and refer on for further care. Costs for further care to be met by client
  • If clients require access to 12 Step or SMART recovery groups we will source a list of meetings for them and discuss options for sponsors and refer on for further care
  • For those clients that want to explore sober living companions, we will source a provider from our preferred providers list and refer on for further care. Costs for further care to be met by client
  • Access to a 2-day post treatment recovery workshop back in Barbados (costs available on request)

*If clients already have a therapist/psychiatrist prior to admission the relationship with this professional will continue post discharge including any pre-admission funding arrangements.

How do I get to the airport and who will pick me up the other end?

At Strong Hope we are dedicated to going the extra mile to support our clients and recognise that organising transport and getting to assessment appointments and the airport can be an additional task to organize at a time when so much is going on. This being the case we are happy to:

  • Arrange for a car and driver to pick our clients up and drop them off for all assessment appointments (return travel to home destination included)
  • Arrange for a car and driver to pick our clients up on the day of departure and take them to the airport.

On landing all clients will have access to the 5-star facilities of Barbados IAM Jet Centre. This entitles clients to a fast track arrival package, which includes: concierge reception at the aircraft’s steps, escort directly to the IAM Jet Centre private facility by waiting SUV, private immigration and customs processing, private baggage retrieval and porterage and private ground transportation to Strong Hope with a senior member of the team.

We also offer our clients an exclusive VIP experience at the airport on the day of departure, which includes: escorted transport to the airport, concierge reception at the airline check-in desk, transfer by luxury golf cart to IAM Jet Centre facility, private security screening, elegantly appointed lounge spaces – including shower facilities, complimentary high speed Wi-Fi & cable TV, refreshments and private, unhurried boarding at departure time.

We can also arrange for a car and driver to pick our clients up on arrival and take them home.

Enquire Now

We treat all enquiries with the utmost confidentiality. If you would like to speak in strictest confidence to a member of our team, please call or e-mail us at the contact details below.

Call Us

Barbados Reception

+1 (877) 670-8975

Call Kristi

+ 1 (561) 244 5042