Palm Partners

By The Fix staff 12/07/12

In addition to the 12-step / holistic therapy approach, what Palm Partners alumni consider the most meaningful part of their stay is the positive relationships built with fellow alumni and a deep love and appreciation of many of the therapists, counselors and techs who work there.

The pool at Palm Partners. Photo via
Location : Delray Beach, Fla.
Phone : (561) 819-3001
Price : $23,500 for 30 days
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

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Palm Partners is a 12-step-based rehab that offers onsite detox, 30-day residential treatment, and a variety of long-term treatment options including a comprehensive 90-day program which is followed by life skills training and a full year of monitoring and follow-up for $41,000. Anyone who completes this program and relapses may return for 30 days of inpatient treatment at no additional charge as long as certain criteria are met. Although their treatment is 12-step based, holistic alternatives such as yoga, meditation, and hypnotherapy are also offered.

Some clients claim a lack of diversity at Palm Partners, saying that residents are mostly white women and men in their twenties (“Younger crowd for the most part...a couple old heads”) but this does not pose a problem. As another alum put it, “Although the mix of people was not very diverse when I was there, everyone was made to feel welcome.”

People who choose this coastal Florida facility rate quality of care as their top criteria. Location also rates highly and the promise of recovery where there is sunshine, soft sand and warm surf can make an intervention go more smoothly. And, because there are numerous rehabs in Delray Beach, graduates who choose to stay in the area find a thriving 12-step community waiting for them.

The residences, which contain 150 beds, are located in a private, gated complex consisting of four apartment buildings with a large courtyard with a pool in the middle. Each two-bedroom, two bathroom apartment is shared by four clients. Residents are allowed to have laptops in their apartment unless their use is restricted for some clinical or disciplinary reason. Clients can use cell phones for a few hours in the evening and TV can be watched during free time. Curfew is 10:30pm. Keeping apartments clean is the client’s responsibility and pretty much the only chore. Detox patients share a semi-private room with a TV at the main facility where classes are taught and groups are held. Private rooms are available at both the detox and residential programs for an additional charge.

Food was considered “average” by most, but nearly all agree there is a wide variety of meals served. Pizza and wings are alumni faves, but there are also more traditional dinner items such as meatloaf, Chicken Cordon-Bleu (“They serve a lot of chicken,” according to more than one alum), crab cakes, steak and lots of salad. There are also poolside cookouts at the residences and “Taco Tuesday” on...Tuesday. Every effort is made to accommodate those with specific dietary needs, including a “Healthy Food Plan” which includes lots of veggies, grilled chicken and fish for those trying to get in or stay in shape, but you need to ask to be put on this plan.  

Clients who wish to cook some of their own meals (the apartments are equipped with full kitchens) are given the opportunity to purchase food at a local grocery store once a month. This is a great way to prepare for life in the “real world” while practicing lessons learned in a cooking class (offered as part of the curriculum). Coffee and snacks are only served at mealtime, to the chagrin of some. Comments like “snacks seemed scarce unless you paid for them,” were common.

If you are not a morning person when you first arrive at Palm Partners, you will be by the time you leave. Wake up time is 6:30. The day begins with clients taking a short van ride to the main facility. This is where groups and classes take place. Mornings begin with the morning dance group - kind of like a dance club without the booze and drugs and at lower volume. One client, when asked what was most memorable about Palm Partners, responded, “Definitely the people I met and learning how to dance...sober!” 

Classes are comprised of fairly large groups. There’s lots of structure but clients do get to choose which groups they are in, including group therapy sessions like “Core” group where “everyone keeps each other accountable.” Some clients felt that overcrowding was an issue,  “...way too many people in one class...not enough one on one sessions...”

Palm Partners clients respond very positively to the blend of 12-steps and holistic treatment. In addition to yoga and meditation, some of the other treatments offered at Palm Partners are the sweat lodge, transformational breathing and a chiropractic group (a chiropractic adjustment followed by silent meditation). You get to have your spine and your attitude adjusted at the same time!  

In the evenings there are AA and NA meetings brought in by H & I (Hospitals and Institutions) panels. Many of the recovering addicts and alcoholics on these panels are alumni of Palm Partners. There is also an alumni meeting once a week.

During free time, clients have access to a gym and a volleyball court. Massage and acupuncture, both very popular, are also available and weekend outings can include trips to movies, the bowling alley and, of course, the beach.

While some describe Palm Partners’ style as “permissive” or “laid back,” most seemed to think there was a decent balance when it came to overall style of treatment, “Expectations were high,” said one; another echoed that sentiment, saying, “they would push when you needed it but they did it in a caring way.” The rules are clear and the techs do have some discretion on how to handle violations; minor infractions are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. This inevitably leads to the perception (real or imagined) of favoritism and there are complaints about that from time to time. Typical consequences might be a “phone ban” for abusing phone privileges or having an early curfew for missing curfew.

Detox at Palm Partners is overseen by an MD and there are also nurses on staff. Response to the medical team is mixed. Some considered them “very helpful,” while others said the exact opposite. One client said the medical staff was “pretty helpful, kept me on my antidepressants,” while another said “they were ok, the pharmacy, and communication with med-techs was always poor.”  

In addition to the 12-step / holistic therapy approach, what Palm Partners alumni consider the most meaningful part of their stay is the positive relationships built with fellow alumni and a deep love and appreciation of many of the therapists, counselors and techs who work there. Alumni were generous with their praise for the “phenomenal staff” and raved that certain staff members “really know how to reach out to people.” Additionally, the Alumni Coordinator received accolades from many clients: She “does an amazing job in staying in contact with alumni, reaching out to see how we all are doing…She is a true asset to the Palm Partners Staff and the alumni community.”

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