This is a hard review to write- I mean it is one thing to recommend a restaurant that was good, but how do you fully put into words a place that took you in and saved your life?
I tried all of the 12-step options to try to stop drinking, I tried everything I could on my own, but it didn’t work. AToN worked. I am now sober, and I am using the tools that I learned and practiced at AToN to stay that way. The difference at AToN is that it is not about just giving something up. It is about recognizing why you picked it up in the first place and then (I think most importantly) how to fill those needs in a healthy way, a way that makes you happy and peaceful instead of shameful and guilty.
They don’t isolate you, taking away contact with the outside world. You can call, text, email, and if that triggers you in some way they help you deal with it. If you want to do the 12-step thing then there is support for that, if you don’t then you can focus on the CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) tools. For me the “tools” were the key. I found that other methods just focused on NOT doing something, instead of focusing on how and why. AToN covers all of it. And they offer holistic services too, things like a massage therapist who’s services at first I thought just a nice perk, but came to realize that he was a profound part of my recovery.
The environment is beautiful; it is a home. There is really nothing clinical about the experience, Jim and Patricia have created an inviting, super-comfortable, luxurious place to do this hard work in. Because it is hard, but it is so worth it. The cook is amazing, the back yard is still one of my favorite places, and the pups were a different kind of therapy that I needed as well. And the people are incredible. I always felt respected and taken care of, protected and safe to do the work that needed to be done.
The doctors and counselors were amazing: a year later and I know that I can call anytime and hash out a problem or just ask for support. They pushed me, they helped me deal with things that I had no desire to talk about. The helped me to let go of my shame. And that helped me let go of my addiction.