St. Joseph Institute for Addiction

By The Fix staff 08/28/17

The St. Joseph Institute for Addiction is an ideal setting for religious or spiritually inclined clients or those looking for a thorough holistic care plan. 

St. Joseph Institute for Addiction
Location : 134 Jacobs Way Port Matilda, PA 16870
Phone : (888) 352-3297
Price : $26,500 (30 days)
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : No
Detox : No

Introduction and Basic Services

St. Joseph Institute for Addiction is located in picturesque Port Matilda, Pennsylvania. The campus, which used to be a spa and wellness retreat, is a 20-minute drive from State College. It is a non-denominational faith-based residential rehab treating substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. The facility was opened in 2005.

Facility and Meals

The impressive but secluded 200 acre mountainside campus has eight buildings and features remarkable log cabins, miles-long walking trails, meditation spaces, gazebos, an outdoor amphitheater and a chapel. In addition to the fitness center, there are also outdoor basketball and tennis courts on the grounds.

The Hospitality House has a spectacular Great Room that would fit well in any luxury ski lodge, with floor-to-ceiling windows, large red couches and a roaring stone fireplace under a 38-foot ceiling. The game room has a beautiful green-felted wooden pool table and overlooks a sunny porch; games are also available at the library. The spa features a lap pool, a dry hydrotherapy bed, a hot tub and saunas, all lit by skylights. A TV is available in one of the lounges. Otherwise, all electronics are prohibited. Educational lectures are given in a large space with vaulted ceilings, a stone fireplace and a significant projector surface.

The facility has 45 beds. Hotel-style bedrooms are shared between two residents and have private bathrooms. They are quaint, with quilted twin beds, a desk and a wardrobe space as well as a large window to allow in plenty of light.

Meals are served in the dining room three times a day. Healthy offerings include salads, roast beef, salmon and chicken as well as staples like hamburgers and pizza. Allergies and special diets can be accommodated.

Smoking is allowed during free time and breaks.

Treatment Protocol and Team

Holistic detox is utilized throughout the program but there is also a traditional, pre-treatment detox available. This program is overseen by a 24/7 medical staff and an addiction-specializing medical director. Medication is used to decrease client discomfort. The length of detox varies based on need and circumstance.

Although St. Joseph refers to itself as a “Christian rehab center,” it is non-denominational. Rather, it operates around the importance of general spiritual development.

Care at St. Joseph begins with a thorough medical evaluation including blood, urine and hair analyses, allergy testing and nutritional evaluation. A bio-psycho-social history is taken and a physical therapy assessment is available for those with chronic pain. Bodywork analysis, including craniosacral and pulse evaluations, are also given. Clients are screened for fitness, which involves joint and cardiovascular testing, after which they are given a fitness plan to work during treatment.

The residential program lasts 30 days. Treatment involves a mix of one-on-one counseling, lifestyle coaching, educational sessions, life skills instruction, nutritional and fitness management, CBT, psychodynamic therapy, nightly 12-step programs, support from physicians, bodywork, pain management, spiritual support and meditation. Individual therapy focuses on emotional regulation, behavioral and cognitive modification and managing thoughts. Skill development includes learning how to decrease stress, minimize conflict and improve relationships.

Group sessions concentrate on connecting with others, learning effective communication, decision making, problem solving, conflict resolution, understanding self-destructive behavior, dealing with denial, being honest, healing emotional wounds and finding balance. Groups involve guided meditations that enhance the learned therapies.

Clients interact with their individual counselors daily in one form or another, and have formal sessions three times a week. Small group therapy or discussion sessions also take place daily. Schedules are full, but allow for a few hours of free time.

Included on the staff are a physician, psychiatrist, bodywork therapists, LPCs, CADCs, Master’s- and Bachelor’s-level therapists, an MSW and a physical therapist. The staff-to-client ratio is three-to-one.

Marital and family counseling is available, teaching participants communication, decision making, problem solving and conflict resolution. Visits are allowed after the client’s first week on Sunday afternoons. Residents can call their families daily.

Aftercare includes a discharge plan, ongoing counseling in-person or via telecommunication and online recovery education. There are also alumni gatherings and retreats.

Bonus Amenities

The facility integrates yoga, dry hydrotherapy, massage therapy, acupressure, craniosacral balancing, nerve mobilization, neurofascial release, structural alignment and meditation into its treatment plan.


The St. Joseph Institute for Addiction is an ideal setting for religious or spiritually inclined clients or those looking for a thorough holistic care plan. The range of naturopathic treatments available as well as the amenities are enough to attract anyone looking for a whole-body treatment approach. It is most certainly one of the most comprehensive residential treatment programs in the state.

St. Joseph Institute for Addiction

134 Jacobs Way

Port Matilda, PA 16870

(888) 352-3297

St. Joseph Institute for Addiction Cost: $26,500 (30 days); accepts insurance. Find St. Joseph Institute for Addiction on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

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