Located in mountainous and tranquil grounds close to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, Resort 12 is a stylish residential rehabilitation facility dedicated to the LGBTQ community.
It is understood that members of the LGBTQ community are up to three times as likely as other people to suffer from addiction and trauma related issues. And while there are elements within all addiction and trauma related treatment that share much in the way of common ground, no matter someone’s gender, sexual preference, age or cultural background, there are also distinctions within the treatment of LGBTQ specific issues that can benefit greatly from a more tailored approach, both individually and in groups.
Exclusively dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community, Resort 12 is the only specialist residential LGBTQ rehab outside of the US. It is part of The Cabin Addiction Services Group, a globally recognised addiction treatment provider with a collection of inpatient and outpatient treatment centres around the world.
Committed exclusively to the needs of LGBTQ people experiencing substance and behavioural addictions and mental health issues, Resort 12 guarantees a safe and confidential sanctuary with a culture of understanding, respect and support, regardless of sexual and gender identities. Clients benefit from the care of empathic, nurturing therapists and staff, and the shared experience of peers.
Resort 12’s Principal Counsellor, Stu Fenton has a lot of experience working with gay men and is dedicated to helping individuals achieve their goals in regard to alcohol and drug addiction, self-esteem issues, life skills, grief and loss. His desire to work in this field comes from his own personal experiences with addiction, body image issues and family conflict. Fenton comments ‘LGBTQ clients are simply wired differently when it comes to addiction and trauma. To recover, their specific issues need to be addressed and their culture needs to be understood by empathic and knowledgeable professionals.’
Integrated psychological and physical programmes are tailored to each client’s needs, using the groundbreaking treatment model pioneered by the Cabin which has a global reputation as one of the most successful rehab programmes anywhere.
The proven individual and group therapies used include psychoanalysis, mindfulness meditation, an adapted 12- step model, eye movement desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR), art therapy, and yoga.
In addition to core therapies, the 20-bedroom resort runs optional breakout groups on issues which are of specific relevance to the LGBTQ community, like chemsex, gender identity, relationship disorders, body image, and shame.
Sandi James, Principal Counsellor at Resort 12, says lesbian (or gay women) are underserved and underrepresented in addiction and mental health services: ‘Lesbians and gay women face unique barriers to accessing treatment for addictions or mental health concerns. It is time our community becomes more assertive in this arena. A space for freedom and honesty with others who understand and can know the struggle.’
On arrival, clients meet several members of Resort 12’s expert teams for an individual six-part assessment which explores their needs from medical, behavioural, clinical, fitness, nutrition, and holistic perspectives. This enables the team to create the best possible and fully personalised treatment plan for each client.
Fat Tony, International DJ and Brand Ambassador for Resort 12, struggled with his own addictions for 28 years. Since getting clean, he has supported addicts and been instrumental in getting many famous names clean, as well as doing talks at conferences on Living Sober. Tony is passionate about the need for an LBGTQ specific treatment centre and wishes something like this would’ve been available for him: ‘We hide behind masks from an early stage. In 2017 not much has changed – people are still being condemned for their sexuality. Although I have been in recovery for drug addiction and alcoholism for over 10 years, I didn’t deal with my sex addiction until much later, mainly because of shame and not being able to talk openly about it in group therapy sessions.”
Weekdays at Resort 12 follow a strict routine, incorporating therapy sessions, nutritious meals and fitness, and wellness activities. Weekends differ slightly. On Saturdays, while clients take part in core group and therapy sessions, they are also offered salon treatments and cinema therapy. On Sundays, clients choose from a selection of excursions in the beautiful local area, from visiting elephant parks or ancient temples to cycle tours, golf and whitewater rafting.