Addiction Treatment Center

12 Step Holistic Resort

Trauma Healing Thailand

March 1, 2023

Ian Young

Trauma Healing Thailand

Thailand is truly a breathtaking country with stunning white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush tropical forests. Its cuisine is also a major draw, with dishes like Tom Yum Goong (spicy shrimp soup) and pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodles) being popular favourites among tourists and locals alike. The country is also home to a rich cultural history, with ancient temples like Wat Arun and Wat Pho being must-see destinations for any visitor.

However, beyond these surface-level attractions, Thailand is also gaining recognition as a premier destination for trauma healing. Trauma can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and military combat, and it can have a devastating impact on a person’s mental health. Symptoms of trauma can include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and individuals need to seek out healing and support to move forward and live a healthy, fulfilling life.

It’s important to note that trauma healing in Thailand is not just for those with PTSD, but also for those suffering from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). CPTSD is a severe and chronic form of PTSD that occurs after experiencing prolonged or repeated trauma, such as in cases of child abuse or domestic violence. It can be more difficult to treat than PTSD and may require a longer and more intensive treatment approach.

There are many different approaches to trauma healing, and Thailand offers a range of options. One popular approach is the use of traditional Thai therapies, such as massage and herbal medicine. These therapies can help to relax the body and mind, and promote feelings of calm and well-being.

Trauma and Addictions (particularly drugs, including alcohol)

Trauma and addiction are far too often twinned together with one usually antagonising the other. Trauma is usually understood to mean a distressing event or series of events that overwhelm an individual’s senses and dis-regulate them to an extent that they may struggle to cope with certain situations, that may feel like their trauma is being revisited (triggered). Addiction, particularly with narcotics and alcohol, typically becomes harmful to the individual’s physical and mental health when used to avoid the traumatic episodes, and inevitably ends up creating more tension and returning to the traumatic scenarios again and again.

Individuals who have experienced trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse, neglect, violence, or the death of a loved one, are more likely to develop addiction problems than those without trauma, though it must be said that addiction can occur without trauma triggering it. This is because the use of substances including alcohol, or mood-altering behaviours or processes can provide temporary relief from the painful memories and emotions associated with the trauma. However, over time, these patterns will only worsen the symptoms of trauma and make it harder to recover.

It must also be noted that for people without a historical trauma, but engaging in addictive behaviours and patterns, the very addiction ultimately becomes their trauma. For instance, whilst acting out an addiction can easily lead to traumatic experiences, such as accidents, violence, and risky sexual activity, often unwanted. This can easily create a cycle of trauma and addiction that is difficult to break.

Treatment for trauma and addiction typically involves a combination of therapies, which we focus on at Holina as it is essential to address both issues simultaneously to help individuals achieve long-term recovery and minimise relapse.

The 5 stages of PTSD

Breaking the cycle of addiction is usually a slow and challenging process, that’s often complex and has its emotional ups and downs.  It requires commitment, patience, and an open-minded approach. Here are some steps that can help effectively break the cycle of addiction:

  • Acknowledge the problem: The first step in breaking the cycle of addiction is to acknowledge the problem and accept that change is needed, and indeed welcomed.
  • Seek help: Addiction is a complex condition that typically requires professional help, though peer-based support groups such as the 12 Step Fellowships are also available. Seeking help from a qualified healthcare provider or addiction specialist is always advisable if you have the time and appropriate levels of finances.
  • Create a personal treatment plan: A personalised treatment plan will focus on your specific needs and challenges, which can be essential. There is no “One Size Fits All” program for trauma and addiction recovery. 
  • Speak with a trauma-informed Psychotherapist: Addressing your underlying issues, such as trauma or mental health conditions, is a crucial component towards your full recovery, from addiction and trauma. 
  • Make lifestyle changes: Adopting healthy habits and making positive lifestyle changes, such as exercise, healthy eating, and stress management, can support the recovery process.
  • Build a supportive structure around yourself: Building a strong support system of friends, family, and peers who understand the challenges of addiction and can offer support and encouragement is crucial. This is another reason why the 12 Step Fellowships are such a great tool to support you on your journey. 
  • Acknowledge & practice relapse prevention: Relapse prevention strategies, such as identifying triggers, developing coping skills, and creating a relapse prevention plan, are essential to maintaining recovery.
  • At Holina we believe that recovery from addiction is a challenging process, but with our support, resources, and commitment, it is easily possible to achieve lasting recovery, especially if you stay with us for 2 or 3 months.

Safe Space To Avoid Re-traumatisation

Creating a safe space is crucial in preventing re-traumatization for people who have experienced trauma. A safe space is a place where individuals feel physically and emotionally secure, and their boundaries are respected. Here are some suggestions on how to create a safe space to avoid re-traumatization:

  • Establish clear boundaries: Communicate what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour in the safe space.
  • Ensure confidentiality: Assure individuals that their experiences and information shared in the safe space will be kept confidential.
  • Provide emotional support: Make sure individuals feel heard, validated, and supported in their journey towards healing.
  • Create a calming atmosphere: Use soft lighting, calming colours, and soothing sounds to create a peaceful environment.
  • Avoid triggers: Avoid topics, images, or sounds that may trigger trauma responses.
  • Foster a sense of community: Encourage individuals to connect, create a supportive network, and share their experiences.
  • Provide resources: Offer resources such as therapy, support groups, and other tools to help individuals cope with their trauma.
  • Overall, creating a safe space requires empathy, respect, and a commitment to the well-being of individuals who have experienced trauma. It is essential to work together to create an environment that promotes healing, growth, and resilience.

Spiritual Therapy At Holina

Another option for trauma healing in Thailand is to participate in adventure therapy. Adventure therapy is a type of therapy that involves physically and mentally challenging activities, such as hiking, swimming, and kayaking. These activities can help to build confidence and self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

In addition to traditional and adventure therapies, Holina also offers one-to-one therapy programs that focus on trauma healing. These programs typically combine various therapeutic approaches, such as talk therapy, meditation, and even water-based yoga, in a supportive and structured environment.

One of the benefits of seeking trauma healing at Holina is the opportunity to step away from the stresses of daily life and focus on healing in a peaceful and supportive environment. Thailand is known for its warm and welcoming culture, and many people find it to be a relaxing and rejuvenating place to be.

Another advantage of seeking trauma healing at Holina in Thailand is the opportunity to learn new coping skills and strategies. Many of the therapies and programs available here in Koh Phangan, are designed to teach people new ways of dealing with their emotions and challenges and to develop greater resilience and strength.

In addition to the physical and mental benefits of trauma healing in Thailand, there is also a spiritual aspect to consider. Many of the therapies and programs available in Thailand are rooted in ancient wisdom and spiritual practices, such as Buddhism and yoga. We use these at Holina to create even better results for our residents. For some people, incorporating a spiritual element into their trauma-healing journey can be incredibly powerful and meaningful. It can provide a sense of connection to something greater than oneself, and offer a sense of hope and purpose.

Residential PTSD Rehab In Thailand

Holina’s residential rehab, also known as inpatient primary treatment, as well as our retreat, is appropriate for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This program provides 24-hour care and support in a structured environment to help individuals manage and overcome their PTSD symptoms.

Here are some of the features of our residential rehab for PTSD:

Comprehensive assessment: Each undergoes a comprehensive assessment to determine the severity of their PTSD and any co-occurring mental health conditions.

Individualized treatment plan: Based on the assessment, an individualized treatment plan is created that addresses the specific needs of each individual.

Evidence-based therapies: Holina’s residential rehab for PTSD & addictions includes evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), NARM (Neuro Affective Relational Model), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation) and Reprocessing and IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy), as well as many other psycho therapeutic engagements and trauma-focused therapies.

Medication management: Medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, and assist with the recovery process, though Holina is cautious about medication as a long, or even medium, term solution. 

Supportive environment: The residential setting provides a supportive and safe environment where individuals can focus on their recovery without distractions. Holina is very focused on this. 

Peer support: Group therapy and peer support are parts of Holina’s residential PTSD rehabilitation experience. It provides individuals with the opportunity to connect with others who have experienced similar traumas and to recover alongside one another, supportively and in a non-judgmental way. 

Aftercare planning: A comprehensive aftercare plan is created to help individuals transition back into their daily lives and continue their recovery after leaving the program.

A major benefit of trauma healing, particularly at Holina here in sunny Thailand, is the opportunity to connect with other people who are also healing. Many of the retreats and residential programs in Thailand offer group therapy and other opportunities for people to come together and support one another and Holina supplements this with between 5 and 8 one-to-one therapy experiences per week, on top of the group work. That said, group work is very important. This can be an incredibly powerful and therapeutic experience, as it allows people to feel less alone in their struggles and to learn from the experiences of others.

How long is inpatient PTSD treatment?

The duration of inpatient PTSD treatment can vary depending on the individual’s specific needs and circumstances. In general, inpatient PTSD treatment programs can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. We encourage 3 months, if possible.

The length of treatment depends on factors such as the severity of the individual’s symptoms, the presence of co-occurring mental health conditions, and the individual’s response to treatment.

During the initial assessment, often before the individual arrives, the Trauma Treatment team will develop an individualised treatment plan that includes a recommended length of stay based on the individual’s needs. This plan may be adjusted throughout treatment as needed to ensure the best possible outcome.

It’s important to note that inpatient treatment is only one part of the recovery process for PTSD, in the same way, that addiction treatment is a long-term project if you want to remain in good, solid healthy recovery. So after leaving inpatient treatment, individuals typically continue with outpatient remote therapy and other forms of ongoing support to maintain their progress and prevent relapse.

Healing Trauma Treatment Admission Process

The admission process for Trauma Treatment can vary depending on the specific treatment facility and program. However, here are some general steps that may be involved in the admission process:

Initial conversation: The first step in the admission process is typically an exchange of emails and some phone calls to assess your requirements and motivation. The consultation will permit us to ask the individual for more specific details about their symptoms, medical history, and any previous treatment experiences if they feel comfortable sharing at this point.

Assessment: If the individual is deemed a good candidate for Holina’s Trauma Treatment, then they will undergo a more comprehensive assessment to evaluate their needs and develop a personalised treatment plan. We use a Self-Assessment Document to launch this dialogue. This asks some questions about the individual’s psychological evaluation, medical exam, and substance abuse screening, as well as probing for other complications and/or challenges. This is begun before being offered a place at Holina. We will also check whether the individual is physically and mentally stable enough for treatment.

Planning: Once a place has been offered, then we configure the journey to Holina, including a meet and greet at the nearest airport – Koh Samui. We will also send our Pre-Arrival information, which includes what to pack and what to expect (from the weather for instance). 

Admission: Upon arrival at Holina the individual will be asked to attend their induction, which includes signing consent forms, providing medical history and insurance information, understanding the Holina ground rules, etc and then undergoing a physical exam with our medical team.

Treatment initiation: After admission, the individual will begin their treatment program. This may include a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, and other therapies as needed. They will be assigned a “buddy” who is another peer who’ll show them around, as well as a Case Manager who’ll lead their Holina treatment journey, and a clinical lead, who’ll direct the overall treatment process.

Effectively Break The Cycle With Trauma Healing Thailand

Overall, the benefits of trauma healing at Holina in Thailand are numerous and varied. From the physical and mental benefits of traditional and adventure therapies to the spiritual and emotional benefits of retreats and residential programs, Thailand offers a range of options for people seeking healing and growth. So, Holina is a good choice for those who are looking for long-term and sincere trauma healing.

For More Holina News & Blogs see our Articles Page for more up-to-date news and blogs from our rehab team and more here.

More Resources On Trauma Healing Retreat, Click Here For More Information


More About The Author

Ian Young has worked in the addiction treatment industry since 2003 (in personal recovery since 2001) and has been involved in establishing 5 residential rehabs (in the UK and Thailand). He also has his own private practice “Sober-Services” since 2008 – pioneering Sober Companions & Transporters, as well as emerging as one of the world’s leading Addiction Interventionists. Ian is the Founder & Senior Trainer of Sober Academy, (since 2015) which was the first organisation to help Interventionists and Sober Companions become accredited, certified, and able to become insured practitioners, outside of North America. He went on to co-create EARS –European Association of Recovery Specialists with 6 other practitioners from 7 countries across Europe. The author of “It’s Not About Me”, he discloses his life story, whilst exploring practical and spiritual lessons he’s learned along the way and explaining how the 12-step program has worked in his recovery and his life. Ian’s higher purpose is to co-create a green and harmonious world, through laughter and love, one person at a time.

Holina News & Articles

Trauma Treatment at Holina Rehab Featuring Marc Rower Part 1: Symptoms of Trauma

Article Written By

Marc Rower

The symptoms of trauma can have many different forms. Most people come to Trauma Therapy at Holina Rehab with depression, anxiety, burnout, and addiction which are all coping strategies for dealing with trauma. A good way to categorize the symptoms of trauma is to create two groups.

Choosing the Right Path to Recovery: Exploring Holistic Rehab in Thailand

Article Written By

Ian Young

When considering overseas rehab options, Thailand has emerged as a top destination for individuals from various parts of the world. Thailand’s rehab centers offer addiction and mental health treatment to people from diverse backgrounds, all at a fraction of the cost compared to facilities in Australia, the USA, the UK, or Europe.

The Best Rehab In Thailand: A Guide to Your Holistic Recovery At Holina Rehab

Article Written By

Ian Young

When it comes to finding the best rehab in Thailand for addiction recovery, choosing the right path is pivotal. Holina Rehab stands as a beacon of hope, guiding individuals through their darkest times with unwavering support and holistic treatments that actually work.

A Comprehensive Guide to Rehabs in Thailand : Your Path to Healing

Article Written By

Ian Young

If you’re considering rehabs in Thailand, Holina Rehab is here to offer a sanctuary of healing and a chance to rediscover life’s true beauty and forever changing the lives of people everywhere.

Healing Codependency: 5 Steps to Free Yourself

Article Written By

Ian Young

Codependency refers to a behavioural pattern where individuals will rely on those around them for their own sense of self-esteem, security and worth.
addiction recovery

Trauma & Addiction Recovery

Article Written By

Ian Young

No matter how withdrawn and isolated we have become, or how serious the harm we did to ourselves, on the deepest level, just as a plant spontaneously moves toward sunlight, there is in each of us an impulse moving toward connection, natural health and full aliveness.