Clinic Les Alpes
Case postale 93
CH-1833 Les Avants
In imaginatively landscaped grounds, Clinic Les Alpes sits in a stunning elevated position above the town of Montreux, in Switzerland, with a breathtaking 360-degree view over mountains, alpine meadows, woodlands and Lake Geneva.
Clinic Les Alpes benefits greatly from its situation in a country and region known for its efficiency, discretion, healthcare expertise and geographical accessibility. There are three airports within easy reach.
While offering the relief that comes from the removal of the pressures of daily life to a place that is both naturally invigorating and uplifting and – while being “away from it all” – is still easily accessible. It is easy for patients and their families to access the Clinic discreetly and to arrange arrival and departure without attracting unwanted attention.
The manned main gate leads to a safe and secure environment with one goal: to ensure our patients’ emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.
A comprehensive service of exceptional quality that, with the utmost discretion, offers personalised treatment and a path to recovery that is fully responsive to individual needs in a secluded and beautifully designed environment but one with all the opportunities, resources and safety of an inpatient medical clinic, fully licensed by the Swiss Department of Health, where staff are multilingual and the primary language is English.
The uncomfortable truth that people die from addiction or its effects is often overlooked. This allows people to not take it seriously which means addiction wins. Facing up to uncomfortable truths is where recovery begins.
We think that addiction is most helpfully understood as an all-consuming relationship with a substance or behaviour that is driven by more or less unconscious urges to change feelings, perceptions and experience. This relationship becomes self-perpetuating and results in a range of harmful consequences, affecting mind, body and spirit.
Addiction affects millions of people from all walks of life from all social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. While people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are recognised as more at risk of addiction, social advantage does not guarantee immunity. People from whatever background or social context deserve high quality help. A lack of good help can result in devastating consequences, regardless of social standing.
We think that addiction results from an individual attempting to heal but because this attempt chooses the wrong means, it turns into its destructive opposite.
While sharing largely common characteristics, addiction manifests itself in a variety of guises (given that addictions are often substituted it is important to focus more on what they have in common than on their apparent differences) often in combination, including:
The term “burnout” alludes to an analogy between a person and an electric machine that “burns out” its circuit board when overloaded. In reality, a burnout is a type of nervous breakdown in reaction to an extreme emotional situation, for example after being overworked at a job or overwhelmed from a social, relationship or familial point of view. The adaptive capacities of the person decrease, as a candle consuming the last of its wax, and they have no more energy to continue. Biologically, neurochemistry, notably serotonin levels, can be perturbed and the brain just doesn’t function as efficiently.
For the general public the term “Burnout” is a euphemism for what in psychiatry is usually called “major depression” or “clinical depression”. A burnout can be something less severe, simply exhaustion, for which the individual only needs more rest or a vacation to recuperate; however, it can also be a much more serious affair, with significant and long-term consequences for the individual’s health and that needs to be treated and followed up very closely.
People suffer a variety of mental health problems such as burnout, depression and anxiety or somatic tension and pain.
In many cases, painful experiences in life’s formative years, including trauma, may serve as unconscious obstacles to recovery if not recognised and addressed (a careful judgement has to be made in each patient’s case as to whether facing such underlying issues at this time is appropriate and will support recovery or will increase vulnerability to relapse).
At Clinic Les Alpes we work with our patients to identify these issues and to develop plans for reducing their impact and to build their ‘recovery capital’, the collection of social and personal resources at your disposal to support your recovery.
While Clinic Les Alpes will draw upon the principles of the Minnesota Model, which in turn developed as a professionally delivered treatment based on applying the principles and practices of Alcoholics Anonymous, it will provide a treatment programme that is sufficiently adaptable to enable an offering of individualised treatment and care. The option to participate in group activities and therapies will always be available and, indeed, encouraged.
We do not put you through a pre-set programme. We approach you as the unique individual you are.
While our approach will never be formulaic or standardised, we will draw on tried and tested therapies when we think they will work for you; always working collaboratively with you and being prepared to adjust the approach as we go along.
We start by getting to know you well and building trust so that we can work effectively together. This is the essence of a creative therapeutic relationship.
We will listen carefully to what you want to achieve.
Working closely with you individually, the lead therapist will, with the help of the medical and therapeutic team, construct the clearest possible picture of how addiction is affecting you and those close to you. We draw on our experience and expertise to help you map out and establish a recovery that is entirely your own but one that we agree has the best chance of lasting beyond treatment.
We will help you put in place the support needed to sustain recovery beyond Clinic Les Alpes.
Recovery is yours and it is waiting to happen. We cannot give it to you or make it happen to you or for you. It is something that, with the right circumstances and approach, happens within you and comes to be owned and managed by you. So we focus on what we can do; that is, to create the right conditions to enable you to connect with and embrace recovery.
We see our role as to provide you with a safe, contained as well as a professionally conscientious and caring space in which, with a personalised approach, we work together:
Apart from appropriately prescribed medications, Clinic Les Alpes is an alcohol and drug free environment.
Clinic Les Alpes will offer an abstinence-based approach to achieving a sustainable recovery, although it will not be rigidly dogmatic. The judicious use of medications will be determined purely by clinical necessity. You will not be withdrawn from medications for which there is a current or ongoing clinical need. The clinical protocols for managing withdrawal will be of an international standard and ones that have been tried and tested over decades.
Abstaining from addictive substances or behaviours is the starting point of treatment. It is most certainly not however an end in itself.
Simply not doing something is not very appealing. It is about not doing something in order to allow and enable something positive to happen: recovery and all the good that comes with it.
There is a very practical point to abstinence. Without the distorting interference of the substance or behaviour, the person is more clearly revealed, including to themselves. It is possible to assess whether a variety of mental and physical symptoms in evidence on admission were purely associated with active addiction or might exist any way. Some symptoms disappear while others come into clearer relief. In a sense there is a truer picture of the individual following withdrawal.
The patient must incorporate the principles and practices acquired while in treatment into everyday life beyond the clinic and ensure the availability of and access to ongoing support to sustain their recovery. Preparing the patient to follow through on treatment gains will be carefully addressed in aftercare planning. Maintaining a connection to the clinic, including return visits for refreshing the commitment to recovery, will be offered.
Aftercare planning will, wherever possible, involve the family.
Prior to discharge the patient will be given another thorough health check to measure progress against the baseline established at the outset of treatment.
Family relationships are generally disturbed and often come to be determined by the demands of addiction. Addiction can become the organising dynamic in family relationships. The all-consuming nature of addiction is revealed in the way it affects families both as individuals and as a whole.
Family members suffer a range of psychological and physical symptoms arising from their relationship to addiction. That is why we say, you don’t have to be addicted to a substance or behaviour to suffer from addiction.
Families are often treated as of peripheral importance. Not at Clinic Les Alpes. Families need help and support in their own right as well as in relation to a loved one in treatment which is why we have family therapists on our staff.
Family members may opt to join our brief residential programme or attend on an out-patient basis.