Banyan Treatment Center

By The Fix staff 01/17/18

Banyan offers individualized treatment, a faith-based option, and a variety of amenities at its 5 locations. Alumni had high praise for the treatment team, including "awesome" therapists and staff members who were "like family."

Banyan's Stuart, Florida location.
Location : Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Boca Raton, FL; Stuart, FL, Pompano Beach, FL
Phone : 888-241-1663
Price : Varies by location; please call for price
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

Taking its name from a South Florida tree that thrives on the support of other trees, Banyan Treatment Center, with its six separate locations (three in Florida, one in Boston, one in Chicago, and one in Philadelphia) strives to be a community that helps its clients by providing a wide range of addiction treatment options and individualized care.

In addition to medically-supervised detoxification services that are personalized based on the specific drugs of choice, Banyan also provides intensive inpatient, residential, and outpatient programs. Banyan tailors its 12-step treatment to the needs of each individual, using a variety of techniques and therapeutic approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), and empowerment counseling, among others.

In terms of clientele, Banyan welcomes people from all ages and backgrounds. There were people “From ages 18 to 60 plus,” one client recalled. “I loved the demographic of the residents because of its wide range of people from all walks of life,” another noted. The diverse group included a variety of occupations "from McDonald’s employees to Engineers to professional athletes.”

Banyan provides a full menu of high-quality food that accommodates different needs, including vegetarian and vegan diets, and also takes into consideration food allergies and religious restrictions. “Snacks were always available and the food was tremendous,” one former client said. “If a meal was something you didn't like or couldn't eat for whatever reason, one could have something made to order.” Others rated the food “amazing” and “Great!” In residential treatment, clients plan out their meals and buy food from a local grocery store with provided vouchers: “You buy whatever you want and nothing that you don’t,” one alum said. And “Life skills were taught, more than enough money provided to eat for a week.”

Alumni were generally pleased with Banyan’s accommodations. Rooms are shared, as are daily chores. The clients we surveyed enjoyed the structure and productivity of the tasks, noting that the chores “taught patience and cooperation.” For the most part, chores are limited to cleaning up after each other and ensuring that the facility is orderly. “[We] had to keep the place nice for a sense of better living,” one former client said.

A typical day at Banyan is spent participating in discussion groups and individual therapy sessions. The treatment is mostly “12-step based, but not the only process they offered.” If 12 step is not a good fit, “just ask your therapist and a new approach will be provided for you.” Trauma, relapse prevention, substance abuse education and co-occurring disorders are among the group topics, with up to 15 clients in each group at any given time. There are also gender-specific sessions. Therapeutic art and music groups are offered to those clients who are interested in expressing themselves creatively.

Banyan also offers a religious option called Faith in Recovery—a Christ-centered faith-based recovery and dual diagnosis program. It’s not a religious track so much as a fully integrated, comprehensive program that “revolves around the Christian principles and is God-centered,” complete with a full-time program director and a chaplain.

Clients report that rules at Banyan were easily understood and uniformly enforced, and when problems did occur, the staff dealt with them quickly and fairly using a combination of tough love and a more permissive approach: “It was just strict enough to be effective.” Additionally, treatment team members “were very understanding if you were having a bad day or were unaware of a rule. The longer you were there the higher the standards were.”

Infractions are generally addressed with verbal warnings and a loss of daily outdoor activity privileges. However, “if the infractions were bad enough they would terminate clients from the program, but Banyan would always line up another good treatment center first.” And discipline isn’t only for the clients, according to one former resident: “If there was a client OR staff member out of line, both were punished in accordance to methods and procedures.”

Banyan offers a wide variety of amenities, including a full-service gym, yoga sessions, acupuncture, massage and chiropractic care, laundry facilities, and large flat-screen TVs. There are off-site activities such as “the beach, fishing, movies, and other amenities like bowling.” Internet use isn’t available (except in certain situations with therapist approval), and phone use is restricted to one day per week. Most felt the restrictions were reasonable, but one client noted “We should’ve been able to use the phone more often.” TV is allowed after groups are over.

When it comes to the medical treatment, alumni described the doctors and other medical staff as “very helpful,” “great” and “amazing.” For inpatient and residential care, the medical staff is available 24/7. Non-medical treatment is also highly rated, with staff who were “like family” and for whom “it seemed to be more than a job.” On the other hand, one client felt that “Case management needs some work.”

Almost everyone who took our survey reports that they are still clean and sober since leaving Banyan. “I’ve been able to stay sober,” one client wrote. “It's something that takes diligent work on a daily basis. I learned a lot of good tools to help me cope and get by everyday one day at a time.” Others echoed that sentiment: Banyan “really helped me put my life into perspective and helped me move forward in life.” The staff, especially, are remembered with love and respect: “I have never met more compassionate and relatable staff who generally care about the patients.” And gratitude: “Banyan is like my family. They've never given up on me and are always [rooting] for me. I have a lot of love for that facility and everyone who works there.” But the highest praise is conveyed the most simply: “Banyan saved my life.”

Roots to Recovery Scholarship

Banyan has recently launched a new scholarship program for people without the means to fund private drug and alcohol treatment. Each month, Banyan will grant a treatment scholarship to someone who genuinely wants to begin a new life in recovery. The program accepts applications throughout the year, with one recipient selected monthly. Applications remain in the system and eligible for 12 months after submission. The scholarship covers all programming fees, including group and individual therapy, transportation, group activities, food, and housing for 30 days. Applicants are asked to submit a short personal essay and provide proof of low-income status. More info and application here.

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