Rehab for Executives

Addiction and mental illness are no respecters of wealth, social standing or career achievements. People with these significant advantages in life suffer in many respects similarly to those far less fortunate than themselves; though perhaps with rather more insulation against the social consequences. However, one size of treatment may not fit all and despite the advantages of socially mixed rehabs, executives may look for a more exclusive setting. It may be necessary to offer them tailored treatment programmes.  It is better to encourage and attract them to seek and receive help than to give them reasons to avoid doing so.

Striking a balance

There is a balance to be struck, however, between catering to the understandably exacting expectations of CEO’s and other senior executives seeking rehab and managing the risk of enabling their addiction or other disorders in the process.  Grandiosity, entitlement, narcissism, isolation and a controlling mindset are common features in the psychology of many addicted and mentally vulnerable executives and lay traps for the unwary treatment provider. Of course those attitudes are generally defences against anxiety, powerlessness, emptiness, low self-esteem, and more. Happily it is possible to provide a high quality environment with every imaginable facility a luxury treatment and rehab service can offer while still providing interventions grounded in professional integrity.  

The risk of compromising ethical standards

When interacting with powerful and wealthy people used to controlling their environment and everyone in it and consequently being used to getting their own way, there is always a risk that a treatment provider will be tempted to make compromises to avoid alienating or losing such a patient. Flexibility and adaptability are all well and good but the motive behind their adoption is important, as is their effect.   For everyone’s sake, the executive rehab provider should always act in the objective, properly assessed best interests of the patient.  Not to do so would be unethical.  

Fully informed choices

In this context, it would be a disservice to withhold from a patient the expert judgement that a certain type of therapy could well be helpful in their case just because it was thought the patient wanted to avoid it.  This resistance, which often arises when group therapy or family therapy is mooted should be explored. The reason being that these are two interventions known to have a positive impact on the progress of recovery from what is , after all, a life-threatening condition.  The patient should be helped to make a fully informed choice whether or not to engage with a particular therapy.

Recovering communities benefit everyone

All an executive patient’s anxieties can be appropriately addressed to ensure they reap as much benefit as possible from the fullest possible participation in a rehab’s recovery culture. Such an experience will stand them in good stead when it comes to returning to the world beyond treatment.  Positive social networks are known to be helpful to sustaining progress over the long term for people recovering from addiction, including executives.

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