Note — In response to a recent squabble among some treatment centers in the Nashville area:
Much of recovery is about faith and trust, and it behooves all of us in, or peripheral to, the industry to keep the faith and trust of our clients — and those of others — sacrosanct. This article should in no way be taken as recommending one facility or treatment protocol over another. As I have written here, I consider any treatment modality that is producing successful outcomes to have its place, even though I might or might not agree with their approach. Furthermore, I believe that “trashing” of facilities or protocols by rivals does a disservice to the recovery community as a whole, and to clients or prospective clients specifically.
I was recently contacted by Bill D., from Discovery Place, in Burns, TN, about including something about their facility here on What…Me Sober? I’m usually hesitant to do that sort of thing, because (a) I don’t want to be buried in requests, and (b) don’t want to show favorites.
However, I was rather taken with the idea of Discovery Place (DP), after I twisted my head around what I now consider to be irrelevant 8th Tradition issues. (See the afterword.) Since I have contacts in the Nashville area I was able to reach out and learn that DP is well-regarded in the recovery community, and so I figured I’d make this exception to my rule. I’ll let Bill explain it:
Discovery Place opened its doors in 1997 as a recovery/spiritual retreat for men battling drug addiction and alcoholism. Founded by two men with long-term sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous, Discovery Place formulated programs around the principles contained in the Big Book. Every DP guest undergoes the 12 step process by receiving instructions in one-on-one and small group settings. Our primary guides, all of whom are in recovery, play the primary role in guiding guests through the steps. We also utilize the services of volunteers from the Middle Tennessee recovery community to enrich and supplement our guest’s road to recovery.
Our main campus is located on 17 acres of beautiful country farmland just outside Nashville, TN, in a small town called Burns. We have found this scenic, open environment lends inspiration and provides a restorative element to men badly burned from years of alcohol and drug abuse. The long-term recovery program campus is located close to our main campus in Dickson, TN. This campus serves men who have decided to extend their stay at Discovery Place past 30 days. Our LTR house can accommodate up to 6 men and offers beach volleyball, a driving range, ping pong, billiards and a patio with brick fireplace for night meetings.
I believe our organization is unique in two regards: staff and community. All of our staff, with the exception of our accountant, are in recovery. Almost all of them were introduced to a sober way of living at Discovery Place. Because they completed at least one of our programs, staff members are in a unique position to identify and relate to guests. Over the course of their stay at Discovery Place, many guests form close bounds that continue after commencement (graduation). Many guests choose to stay close to our facility in one of the Dickson area recovery homes and live with their fellow DP alums. In many ways, we are a sober fraternity. Many guests also decide to begin volunteering at Discovery Place as soon as they commence, which is an option available to them. These facets of DP seem to work in tandem to create a flourishing recovery community. In addition to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, this might be why so many of our men pick up year or multi-year medallions.
So, that’s that, and hopefully someone will find their program interesting and perhaps useful. Bill has assured me that their residents are encouraged to get “outside help” for issues if needed, and that opportunities abound for recreation in the area. In fact, he was delayed getting this article to me because he was off on their annual White Water Rafting weekend.
Now, a word about the 8th Tradition issues. I have no problem with them, and neither do the folks at Discovery Place. That said, it’s none of my business anyway. I have my own problems, and if they’re getting along with the AA groups around Nashville, I’m good with it. (If they weren’t, I doubt they’d have stayed around as long as they have.)
All of the above being the case, I am not going to host a forum on 8th Step issues here. If you have a problem with the way DP handles the Traditions, feel free to contact them. Traditions rants will not be published here. This site is about recovery, not AA politics.