A Warm Welcome From Our Therapist

Hello and welcome,

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire staff to welcome you to Wellness Retreat.  I want to invite you to begin to rest, take care of yourself, and lay down your burden.  We acknowledge how difficult things may have been for you lately and see that it is a BIG step to make the decision to come to treatment.  We work hard to honor that choice by cultivating a safe and healthy space in which to turn towards yourself.  Our hope is that with this support you may rediscover that health, peace, and self-compassion are not out of reach but waiting for your remembrance.  Your presence here is a gift as it allows us to step into our passion for helping others.  

In our experience, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your time spent here at Wellness Retreat.  

Beginner’s mind

Many times, throughout our lives, we become absolutely certain about our perceptions.  The perceptions and judgments of ourselves, others, and the world start to limit and define us.  Let this time be one of learning.  Questioning and seeing things with a new perspective and with new information can be transformative.  Let yourself relax in the groups and learning opportunities we provide here.  When you allow yourself to learn or see things anew, you may be surprised with what you take with you.  Another thing to remember is you will be given many learning and growth opportunities while you are here.  There is no way to remember everything, so take it slow and do not stress yourself out with having to do it perfectly.  


Here at Wellness Retreat, we believe that treating someone effectively involves getting to know their specific needs and struggles.  We want to know who you are, your hopes, dreams, needs, and wants.  When our clients are honest and open, we can better assist them in exploring the underlying issues related to their substance abuse.  We have a strong therapeutic focus, and you will be working closely with your primary counselor and therapist to explore these issues in groups and individually.  We hope to learn as much about you as possible in order to provide a holistic approach to healing in your life.  Our holistic perspective on treatment will be based on your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs to help achieve a balanced life and lasting recovery. 

Family/Loved Ones

In our experience, the more our clinical staff can engage with people who are important to you, the better the outcome and quality of recovery can be.  We strive to help you see that recovery is more than just abstinence from substances.  Getting free from substances is the first step in creating the conditions for healing.  Building a life that encourages healthy choices and functioning is the goal of recovery.  A fertile ground for you to build peace, happiness, and strength.  Our holistic approach encourages an engagement with those that you care about and spend time with.  Attempting to heal and process these relationships can be imperative in building a healthy recovery.  We offer couples and family therapy, and your therapist will be managing that part of your treatment.  We also have a weekly multi-family group that provides education to your loved ones as well as a venue to build community, be curious, and begin to process the effects of alcohol and drug dependence/abuse on their lives in a supportive environment.  

Post-Acute Withdrawal

Detox can be difficult physically and mentally.  We want to provide you with comfort during this difficult time.  Just stay connected with us throughout your detox so we can assist you with what you need.  An often-overlooked component of detox is post-acute withdrawal syndrome, which you may hear us call PAWS.  Basically, your body and mind will be going through changes even after your acute withdrawal period.  Stay in touch with staff as you may experience uncomfortable physical sensations, irritability, strong emotions, and/or mood changes.  These are all expected and, although uncomfortable, are a sign that you are beginning to heal.  

Ask for help

Please feel free to ask for help when you need it.  It is often a contributing factor to our addictive tendencies that we ignore or have difficulty asking for what we need.  Be assured that our staff has been through and experienced things that may be very familiar to the process you are going through.  One of the reasons we all enjoy working here is to have the opportunity to be of service and to help others.  We encourage you to take this time to practice asking for help and reaching out to others.  You do not have to go through this alone.  

Recovery Mindset

Here at Wellness, we believe that alcohol/drug abuse and dependence arise from becoming disconnected from your essential and whole nature.  Whether this happens by experiencing trauma, childhood loss, grief, etc… we get disconnected from the sense of being whole and tend to start experiencing ourselves as broken or never being good enough.  Substances become the salve to soothe these wounds.  Unfortunately, these same substances come with a cost and carry with them the psycho-physiological consequence of addiction.  Healing from addiction and entering a life of recovery becomes more than just abstinence from substances.  In order to enter a living recovery, we will encourage you to look at building a foundation from which to live that brings contentment, peace, compassion, and wisdom.  When we are living in recovery, our functioning increases to manage the difficulties of life.  We begin to learn how to make decisions that honor our lives by having outcomes that bring happiness, joy, empathy, and connection back to us.  With this in mind, I am inviting you to be patient, compassionate, and kind to yourself as we help guide you back home to you.  It is here where you will find you are worth it, you are dear, and you belong.  

We are so glad you are here,

Chris Gunst LMFT

Clinical Director