This article is intended to be used by the general public for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a reference for educational research papers, nor is it a reflection of the services available through our Rehab Program in Thailand.
It’s 6 am at Dara Rehab Thailand.
The time my alarm clock rings each morning.
I awake to the noise of the jungle.
Monkeys gibber in the trees. A light breeze rustles the jungle canopy. The sun kisses my balcony. I turn off the air conditioning as sounds of nature fill my room.
I drink water – re-hydrating my body purposefully, after a good night’s sleep.
My first thought. ‘Get up.’
It’s tough to start the morning early. Yet beneficial. Watching the changes in the clients as they participate in the morning workouts tell me so!
Wriggling into my swimming costume, I make my way to the pool. Wishing good morning to the security guards on my way.
“Sawadee ka,” I say. Attempting correct intonation as I say the words. Failing miserably. Still, they smile. I smile. A great way to start the day.
I freestyle in cool blue water. My backdrop, the Gulf of Thailand. The warmth of the day developing, as the sun moves higher into the sky.
I remind myself to speak to Paul – the Fitness Manager. He deals with both exercise and nutrition for the residential program. I want to get my breathing right when swimming. He helped me when I joined the DARA ocean swim with clients. One of the exhilarating activities on offer. Sharing his knowledge on how to breathe optimally whilst pushing for each stroke.
By the time I’m heading into work at 8am, I’m refreshed and ready to start my day. Acknowledging Clients. Listening to laughter and muffled conversations over breakfast.
Any who stop me I’m there for – as are all the Clinical staff.
Empathising with concerns. Helping talk through issues or challenges experienced overnight.
I love walking into the community. Can think of nothing better than sitting down to breakfast surrounded by others. Although it took a little getting used to.
The thought makes me smile; it’s what I enjoy. Helping others. Have done since I were a child. Relationships are important to me. There’s a richness built within, from the emotional engagement developed, during a client’s stay. Community is a very important element of our lives. DARA shares that wisdom with me every single day.
If I’m delivering a topic group presentation, I find my mind begins to stray slightly in the team morning meeting.
These are vital parts of our daily running of DARA Rehab Thailand. It keeps us connected as colleagues, with what is happening within the community, which we are part of.
I’m a little nervous. Which is only natural. I’m keen to get started sharing my knowledge, professional wisdom and understanding with Clients.
Ten minutes in and I’m fine. Pleased when people share personal insights. As this happens, the connection between us all develops.
The program is focused on addiction and recovery. Is a balanced blend of all the needs, which make up well being. It pleases me to be part of and partake in the learning.
In my small way, I help others develop emotional resilience. Grow in awareness. Understand themselves and their triggers. I know I’ve done some good in the world.
Next I facilitate a process group. Time to help clients tease out concerns. Share thoughts and at times face personal demons, within a small group environment.
Joy builds within me, as I observe the emotional growth of clients. How some come out of their shells. The struggles of others. Personal challenges and daily triumphs.
Lunchtime is a delicious affair. There is always something tasty and nutritious. Herbal drinks with wildly exotic names like butterfly pea juice!
I love the homemade fresh smoothies. Food at DARA is an exotic blend of east meets west.
In the afternoon I can run a gender group. Some days we have a focused topic. On others it finds its own flow. A privilege to sit with the individuals participating.
One to one counselling sessions are held in the afternoon. A time as a therapist to really focus on the individual client. Assisting them in working towards recovery. An enjoyable chance to connect intensively. Enabling each client to gain and develop personally during their rehab experience. The counselling room is nestled within the resort. A beautiful place to counsel. I feel lucky to work with Clients whom I meet from all over the world. Writing clinical documentation always a tough one. A necessary evil, being confined to the computer during the working week, when in such a beautiful location.
By 5:45 I’m winding down for dinner, unless on late shift.
Tired but still interested to hear individuals thoughts and insights, which have popped up over the day. I enjoy the communal banter of my colleagues.
The dusk when it arrives can be magnificent.
‘It’s nice to think that as our sun sets, someone else’s is rising.” One client said, in a moment of quiet camaraderie. Observing deepening pink hues in an ever darkening sky over the outside decking.
The walk back to my room taken in the dark.
Time to rest, relax and chat with family from home. Reflecting on my working day and the professional fulfillment it provides.
DARA Rehab Thailand has helped me open my heart ever wider to those in need.
I think that’s why I became a Therapist.
I hope it’s evident in the therapy I provide (we all delver) with our clients.
There is definitely something special about DARA Rehab Thailand.
Janice Stringer is the UK Representative for DARA Rehab Thailand and an Addictions Therapist.
She can be contacted on: +44 7508 185624 for a consultation or conversation about DARA’s leading rehabilitation services. Delivered exclusively on the tropical island of Koh Chang.
CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Treatment Assessment.