This year we have decided that we’d like to fully introduce all of our Global Partners to you. For us, the reasons we love them are obvious, but we realised that for many of you who come to our conferences and are able to appreciate the work we do thanks to the support we get from these wonderful organisations, don’t actually know who or what these companies are. Therefore we have devised a set of questions that really get under the fabric of these wonderful places. We want you to get a real feel for them and the good that they are doing in the BME arena. Some interviews may be different depending on the organisation that is responding to them, but we can promise you that once you have read their answers, you will know exactly what it is that make these places tick and have a better understanding why their work is so important and how and why they are contributing to our mutual goal of facilitating dialogue around Behavioural, Mental and Emotional (BME) Health on a global level – promoting conversations, and encouraging prevention in the wider communities and the general public through education, awareness and training, so that we can have a direct impact on people’s lives as well as to inform best practice for professionals in the field.

1.What is the official mission statement of your treatment facility?

Castle Craig Hospital is a healthcare facility which treats alcoholism, drug abuse and other addictions as a physical, mental and spiritual disease.

Castle Craig has a high regard for each patient and will strive to provide an excellent standard of treatment and care, always with concern and respect.

It is the object of treatment that patients should enjoy a good recovery and enhanced quality of life which we believe will be greatly assisted by an abstinent lifestyle through the on-going support of the 12 Step programmeme.

The Directors are committed to continual improvement in all the operations of Castle Craig Hospital ensuring that quality objectives are determined at each department level at the time of the annual management review.

2. What makes you different from other treatment facilities?

  • We are family run
  • We don’t do referral fees
  • We offer Extended care on site
  • Castle Craig continues to be one of the leading and most innovative addiction clinics in the UK.
  • In 1999 Castle Craig was the first treatment centre to introduce internationally recognised accreditation for all its therapists.
  • We were the first rehab clinic to introduce innovative complementary therapies to its programmeme including drumming therapy (2003) and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (2008).
  • With over 30 years of experience in the field of addictions Peter and Margaret McCann have always been willing to lead the way, and they inspire others to follow.

3. Who is/are the owner(s) or founders? Does their own story have a connection to the facility? Was there a particular reason or event that led to the founding of the facility, the name or the location?

Peter & Dr Margaret McCann’s vision for 12 Step Treatment in the UK began in 1981 when Peter McCann established the Life Anew Trust, a charity that promoted effective addiction treatment. They would go on to found two of the leading UK addiction treatment centres.

In 1982 Peter McCann began extensive consultation with rehabilitation clinics in the US in order to develop an effective treatment programmeme.

In particular he received enormous support and guidance from the directors of the famous Hazelden centre in Minnesota.

In April 1983 Peter & Margaret Ann founded Clouds House, a non-profit drug & alcohol treatment centre in Wiltshire.

After successfully directing the treatment programmeme at Clouds for five years, Peter and Margaret Ann moved to Scotland in 1988. Castle Craig was the first treatment centre to bring the 12 step facilitation programmeme to Scotland.

In the early 1990s Peter McCann founded the European Addiction Treatment Agency (EATA) which is now the largest membership organisation for the independent drug and alcohol treatment and continuing care (also known as aftercare) sector.

Peter and Margaret Ann have presented at many conferences, written research papers and belong to a number of professional organisations. Dr McCann has served on the Executive of the Medical Council on Alcohol and Peter McCann has been elected a Board Member of the International Council of Alcohol and Addiction.

4. Who is the Clinical Director? What is their history? Do they have any compelling personal stories about their involvement, motivations or passions they wish to share?

Professor Chick is the Medical Director at Castle Craig Hospital in Scotland. He is currently chief editor of ‘Alcohol and Alcoholism’, which is the official journal of the Medical Council on Alcohol.

He is an elected member of the scientific council of the Société Française d’Alcoologie (SFA) and is a member of the board of trustees of the General Services Office of Alcoholics Anonymous in the UK.

Professor Chick’s career began at Dingleton Hospital in the Scottish Borders. The hospital had become famous for its therapeutic community back in the 1950s and 1960s. Jonathan’s stint at Dingleton directed him to visit a project in Paris, where a local Parisian Council (13th Arrondissement) and the sector psychiatrist decided to close down St Anne’s Asylum and use the funds to build a very small new hospital in the suburbs which would provide outpatient and hostel facilities for their psychiatric population.

At the time this was very innovative and attracted the attention of Hugh Freeman, who was then editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry. Jonathan’s research on the 13th Arrondissement Project became his first ever publication. His experience was formative in that he saw the benefits and pitfalls in trying to manage serious mental illness in the community.

Jonathan’s 13th Arrondissement research also strongly influenced his psychiatric career. His first post was as a senior officer to Dr. Bruce Ritson, whose work in Boston mirrored that of Chick’s in Paris. And later, the consultant post taken by Professor Chick at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital brought services much more into the community using local resources.

While at Edinburgh University Medical School, psychiatry was always on the horizon, but not alcoholism or addiction. Jonathan’s alcohol interest came from Norman Kreitman, a very clear-thinking psychiatric epidemiologist, who was directing a Medical Research Council (MRC) unit.

Chick’s most memorable alcohol-related moment happened during these years. Jonathan had been an avid reader of The Divded Self by R.D. Laing and suggested that he be invited to speak at the Annual British Medical Association Medical Students Lecture. Things didn’t go as smoothly as planned. Jonathan helped a very drunk Laing off the train from London and helped him to the lecture theatre, where some of the great minds of Edinburgh University had gathered. Laing had reservations about institutional medicine, and this quickly became obvious from his slurred speech; soon enough several senior members of the psychiatric establishment began exiting in disapproval.

Professor Chick went from the epidemiological unit to the position of consultant psychiatrist at Royal Edinburgh Hospital, a position he held for 31 years. Initially the consultant post was created to develop out-patient and community services; hence Chick was almost full-time in alcohol related work.

Drug abuse was much less frequent at the time and it had more stigma than alcoholism, psychiatrists were galvanised to do something in Edinburgh about drug problems following Dr. Roy Robertson’s research. Dr. Robertson announced to the Edinburgh population that 50% of injecting users were HIV-positive. This really struck a chord among the middle-classes and a drug treatment service was swiftly established. Jonathan helped with this enterprise while running a separate alcohol service clinic.

Professor Chick had considerable influence on two major streams of work that guided the Scottish Health Service. One was the SIGN Guideline on the management of alcohol misuse and dependence in primary care. Strict clinical guidelines began being formulated since the early 1990s, but by 2002 internationally recognised guidelines were absent for alcohol related treatment.

This delay was largely precipitated by the view that self-reported statistics was all that the literature on alcohol had to go by, and hard-headed statisticians naturally took issue with this. Jonathan and his team brought along reports on treatment outcomes and studies that had been conducted to present the evidence which prescribed methods to address alcohol problems in primary care.

The second major stream was the Health Technology Assessment for alcohol dependence, and this would now include health economic evaluation. The SIGN guidelines never went into health economics and relative costs of what the guidance was, but the Health Technology Group was specifically interested in cost-effectiveness. Jonathan and others realised that while alcohol treatment could cost thousands, it could cost the Health Service tens of thousands later on if adequate treatment was not provided.

5. What clinical orientations and modalities do they use? Any specific reasons why? Was there a moment of enlightenment / change of belief system that led to these? Are there any strong and passionate beliefs about the future of treatment field?

We treat alcohol and drug addiction as a primary, chronic illness and abstinence from these mood altering substances is considered necessary for a complete and long-lasting recovery. We combine medically managed treatment, with a 12 step programmeme, as well as providing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other evidence based therapies. This is one of the most successful and recognised treatment approaches for drug and alcohol addiction in northern Europe and North America, and in many other parts of the world.

Although the majority of a patient’s treatment experience will be based around psychotherapy and group therapy, the input of our medical team, led by consultant psychiatrists, is vital to our model of treatment. There is at least one psychiatrist attending at the hospital on every day of the week, and leading the multidisciplinary team. We also have a full time resident medical officer (GP), and a full time nursing staff. Although 12 Step treatment is not the only therapy provided at Castle Craig, it is still central to our abstinence based model. Patients are introduced to the Twelve Steps at an early stage through We treat alcohol and drug addiction as a primary, chronic illness and abstinence from these mood altering substances is considered necessary for a complete and long-lasting recovery. We combine medically managed treatment, with a 12 step programmeme, as well as providing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other evidence based therapies.

This is one of the most successful and recognised treatment approaches for drug and alcohol addiction in northern Europe and North America, and in many other parts of the world.

6. How many clients are in your groups?

There are 12 patients per group.

7.Can you describe the daily experience for a client? What is it about your treatment facility that makes this experience unique?

A typical day day at Castle Craig involves two group therapy sessions, two daily lectures, one to one counseling sessions, therapeutic assignments from your therapist, recovery meetings, exercise therapy, mealtimes and personal free time.

We are a family run organization and we aim to make Castle Craig feel more like a country house/home than a hospital. We offer an extended care unit on site. We continue to be one of the leading and most innovative addiction clinics in the UK so our patients will receive the very best of care.

8. Do you have a detox facility and could you describe it?

Detoxification is the first step in treating the symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol or drugs. At Castle Craig, careful assessment and protocols ensure safe and comfortable detoxification. Our doctors and nurses are experienced in safely managing the symptoms of withdrawal. This initial period for patients can be daunting but these early stages of treatment are some of the most crucial on the path to recovery and every effort is made to strongly support the patient at this point. When patients first arrive at Castle Craig, they are greeted by members of the nursing staff. The resident medical officer then carries out a full medical assessment and, along with the nurses and consultant psychiatrist, individual detoxification requirements will be assessed and a care plan will be developed. New arrivals will also meet their own therapist who, under the direction of the consultant, will develop an individual treatment plan.

9. What types of therapeutic topics, themes, skills, processes and changes can a client expect to encounter?

Detox and management of physical ill health is only the first step to recovery but we know that it is never sufficient to simply stop drinking or using drugs. Following safe detoxification it is necessary to address the underlying causes of addiction, to assist individuals to manage craving and address the psychological and emotional changes that accompany long periods of alcohol or drug use.

We treat each patient who comes here as a unique individual with specific needs and we ensure that their treatment plan is tailored to those needs. Our expert team work together to prescribe a personalised combination of medical treatments, specialised therapies and complementary therapies for each individual patient.

The benefits of personalised addiction treatment include:

  • Targeted care – therapies that target the specific causes of the addiction can help prevent relapse in the future;
  • Lasting recovery – intensive treatment produces results that last;
  • Life skills – patients learn to cope more effectively and positively with difficult situations in the real world;
  • Quality care – our full-time Consultant Psychiatrist, doctors and nurses who provide round-the-clock care ensure patients’ bodies return to peak condition;
  • A chance for trust to build and a healthy, open relationship to form between the patient and therapist. This makes group therapy and individual therapy more effective.

Our full-time Consultant Psychiatrist and the focal therapist work with patients to create a personalised, comprehensive care plan 4-6 weeks in length. They thoroughly examine the patient by taking a:

Medical assessment,

Mental health history,

Substance dependence history.

We take the preferences and needs of patients into account and ask them to sign and approve the plan before commencing treatment.

Benefits of personalised care

All patients who come to us for help are suffering from an addiction and may have similar symptoms. However people are unique, their personalities and histories are unique so care needs to be personalised.

They may:

be addicted to alcohol or addicted to illegal or prescription drugs,

have eating disorders or be addicted to gambling,

have other psychological disorders.

In their past they may have:

lost a loved one and been unable to grieve properly,

been physically or sexually abused,

suffered from depression or other mental health disorders,

been in an accident or fought in war and be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

They could:

be old or young,

be professionals from wealthy backgrounds,

come from dysfunctional families,

have lost everything due to their addiction.

We carefully apply appropriate and specific therapies to the disease of addiction and any additional problems that our patients are dealing with.

10. What scheduled activities are available to the client.

Individual Therapy

Group Therapy

Psycho-Educational Therapy

Holistic Treatment

Fitness Programmeme

Complementary Therapies

Family Therapy

Continuing Care & Reunion

11. What type of peer support meetings are available to the clients, and how frequently?

Group Therapy

The community spirit at Castle Craig, with its peer influences, helps individuals to become aware of their feelings, share and compare their experiences, solve problems and deal with the process of change. Patients will notice these influences throughout their daily routine. Group Therapy sessions are held twice a day for some weeks in order to maximize these benefits. The groups usually include around 10 – 12 people and are led by a therapist whose role is to facilitate and, where appropriate, gently probe. Shared experiences and openness among the group members creates a renewed sense of empowerment and a regaining of hope and self esteem.

12.What sort of specialists do you have at your treatment facility? Eg Equine/Somatic/Art Therapy etc…

Group & Specialised Therapies:

Grief group therapy

Parenting, family and relationship therapy

Relapse prevention therapy

Separate men’s and women’s groups

Life skills training

Cross addiction therapy

Mindfulness and relaxation therapy

Stress and anxiety therapy

Trauma therapy

Eating disorders therapy

Equine assisted therapy

Therapeutic art group

Drumming therapy

AA, NA and GA groups

Pastoral support

13. What does your Family Programme look like?

Our treatment model recognises the important of helping family understand the disease of addiction and how it affects the dynamics of their relationships. At Castle Craig we believe that family members can play a key role in promoting recovery and their involvement during treatment can be crucial in ensuring a strong foundation.

Following admission the patient’s focal therapist will contact family or significant others, with the patient’s permissions, to arrange for counselling sessions at a mutually convenient time. We recommend that the family members attend at least two such sessions with a therapist. During counselling we explore the specific impact of the addiction on the people involved and help both patient and family member discover more adaptive strategies. Throughout the year a ‘residential family programmeme’ is facilitated by our lead family therapist. This programmeme, which we have experience of running now for over 24 years offers a particular opportunity for family members to focus on their own needs.

Sunday afternoons at Castle Craig also provide an opportunity for family members to visit and attend some of the self help groups which take place on that day. Accommodation for families is available in the grounds at Castle Craig.

14. Is there a company code of ethics or values you operate under? How does it influence day to day operations?

At the core of Castle Craig’s values are compassions, empathy and care. The staff are inspired and dedicated – with many having fought their own addictions and, once fully recovered, returned as trained addiction professionals to help others.

Rehabilitation begins with people, which is why our most unique resource is our staff of caring and deeply commited individuals. Some of whom have moved thousands of miles in order to join in our work.

Castle Craig has a unique family atmosphere and our staff are passionate about helping people begin new abstinent lives and helping to rebuild broken family relationships.

15. Do you offer scholarships?

We do not offer scholarships

16. Do you offer payment plans?

We do offer payment plans case by case basis

17. Please can you describe your discharge / aftercare process? Is there long term managed aftercare?

Continuing Care & reunion

Discharge from treatment at Castle Craig only marks the beginning of a life long journey of recovery. Our continuing care programmeme assists graduates in applying the new knowledge they have gained.

An individualised aftercare plan is developed by the focul therapist in conjunction with the patient, other members of the team and where appropriate referring practitioners and the family. Patients will also be referred back to their medical practitioner. Essential support networks include AA and other 12 step fellowships will be arranged.

Aftercare counselling provides emotional support in early recovery through the building of supportive networks and relationships with others.

The follow up also helps the person to consolidate new life skills. We offer a 2 year aftercare programmeme of outpatient group therapy in Scotland and abroad.

Bearing testament to the success of Castle Craig’s treatment methods over the years is our annual reunion held each summer which attracts hundreds of our former patients who come to celebrate, commemorate and share their new way of life in recovery. Former patients can also join our alumni network – ‘The friends of Castle Craig’ which provides a closer link back to Castle Craig including access to renewal workshops.

18. Tell us about your facilities. Do you have something special / unique / alternative? Tell us about the catering. Is there a recording studio or anything else to cater for specific occupations? Do you offer any alternative therapies? Do you cater for religious beliefs? Etc.

Castle Craig is situated in 50 acres of private woodland, guaranteeing you privacy, inspiration and tranquility as you recover. Our private grounds enable us to offer outdoor fitness activities. Studies into “green therapy” have shown that countryside and fresh outside air, can bring relief to a variety of health and emotional conditions and psychological disorders.

In the beautiful hills and woodlands of the Scottish Borders, patients are blessed with a freedom and detachment from the outside world, yet we are easily accessible being located only 40 minutes from Edinburgh International Airport. Once you arrive through the entrance, and drive up the private country road into the estate, no other houses or roads can be seen ensuring privacy and confidentiality. The air is fresh and clean, wildlife, trees and plants are everywhere and the private water supply comes straight out of the surrounding hills – it is good enough to bottle.

We are fully medically managed – Medical Director, Consultant Psychiatrists and a team of doctors and nurses:

This is an important fact. You can be assured that your treatment team is led by expert doctors, extensively trained, fully GMC registered, engaged in continuous professional development and who undergo external, independent annual appraisals. They are employed at Castle Craig and attend throughout the week, and are on-call throughout the night. In fact Castle Craig is the UK’s only dedicated addiction hosptital which is not part of the NHS. It meets the American Society of Addiction Medicine highest level of care which is ‘medically managed inpatient detoxification and inpatient treatment’. This is the highest level of medical input, and distinct from a service that is simply under medical supervision or even medical direction.

We innovate – we follow new evidence based treatment, and we conduct our own research:

In 1988 Castle Craig was the first treatment centre to bring the 12 step facilitation programmeme to Scotland. In 1999 we were the first treatment centre to introduce accreditation for all therapists and in 2008 we were the first to offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy for all patients in treatment. In these and many other ways, Castle Craig has always been willing to help lead the way in our field of work.

Group & Specialised Therapies:

Grief group therapy

Parenting, family and relationship therapy

Relapse prevention therapy

Separate men’s and women’s groups

Life skills training

Cross addiction therapy

Mindfulness and relaxation therapy

Stress and anxiety therapy

Trauma therapy

Eating disorders therapy

Equine assisted therapy

Therapeutic art group

Drumming therapy

AA, NA and GA groups

Pastoral support

19. Do you have any photos / videos / testimonials / music / other assets that we can use or link to from this blog page

Yes on our website