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A new vision of aftercare

16.08.2017 - Addiction, Eating disorders, Mental health, Therapies

At The Kusnacht Practice we are dedicated to combining clinical excellence with outstanding personal service. In order to support our clients in the best way possible throughout the treatment process and beyond, we remain connected to them after the intensive residential stage of their recovery completes.

Recovery is a complex process and not a single event. Escaping addiction, achieving a balanced mental state and rebuilding your life requires patience, commitment, effort and a holistic coordination of therapeutic and social support resources. At The Kusnacht Practice we recognise that recovery is primarily the work of the person in distress; however, it involves a strong and harmonious long term collaboration between the clients and our therapeutic teams and partners in order to achieve a successful and sustainable recovery.

Aftercare has been used to indicate the stage of treatment that follows an initial episode of more intensive care. For most of our clients the recovery starts with a four to twelve-week residential treatment in one of our beautiful villas in Zürich where we create a safe environment that isolates them from the normal stresses and challenges of everyday life, allowing healing, learning and personal development. 

The residential stage; however important, is just the beginning of their transformative journey. The main aim of the recovery process being that the clients make long lasting changes transferring everything they have learned during their stay with us into their own lives back home. Managing the gradual integration of skills, knowledge and lifestyle changes into their particular context is a long-term process that requires ongoing support, specialised assistance and a great therapeutic alliance based on mutual trust and respect.

Each of our clients has a tailored-made Continuing Care Calendar. Our medical and clinical teams create a unique treatment plan that spreads over two years and includes medical monitoring, psychotherapy, psychological and social support, and complementary therapies offered through The Kusnacht Practice or professional partners and institutions all over the world.

Our approach is both holistic and individualised. Holistic because we are trying to maintain a global perspective, addressing not only the psychiatric or psychological disturbance but also the physical health, lifestyle, family and social environment. Individualized because each client benefits from an individually tailored treatment plan based on his or her unique qualities, needs and specific life context.

In order to support our clients in the best way possible throughout the treatment process and beyond, our medical doctors and psychotherapists remain in contact with the client for at least two years or as long as necessary ensuring continuity and creating a safe network of support around the client, the client’s family and close social network. The strong connection that clients maintain with us is the most important element of aftercare, the fact that they can reach out to someone 24 hours, 7 days per week creates a safe and containing space around the client, they feel cared for, supported and understood, this making a tremendous difference to most people’s recovery.

The support that we offer our clients goes beyond remote therapy, in most cases our clients return home with the live-in counsellor and butler, they are helping the client create safe boundaries, set up a structured schedule, liaise with the local resources, they are our eyes and ears in the client’s original environment, constantly reporting back to the clinical team who decides, based on their input, which next therapeutic steps to take. Apart from remote support, our team of clinicians is always on standby, ready to intervene, wherever this may be in the world should this be the case.

Our comprehensive worldwide network of partner institutions and professionals ensures that the aftercare assistance offered locally maintains the same quality standards that we offer here in Switzerland. All the aftercare treatments are planned and coordinated by The Kusnacht Practice Clinical team, allowing for a unified and strategically coordinated recovery plan.

No matter how well we are trying to predict the risks and challenges ahead, things very rarely progress exactly according to the plans that we draft in Zürich. The key element of aftercare remains the flexibility, the capacity to very quickly adapt to the unexpected and make the best decisions, always keeping the client’s interest in mind.

Individual informed choice and self-determination are critical ingredients for recovery. We strongly believe that empowering our clients and involving them in the decision making and planning of their continuing care journey is the best foundation for a successful, long-term recovery that we are pleased to guide with respect, compassion and integrity.

Author: Raluca Babota - Aftercare Coordinator, The Kusnacht Practice