The Sanctuary Byron Bay
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Newsletter #5 - April 2009

In this issue:

Director's Introduction - Michael Goldberg

Director's Introduction - Michael Goldberg

Welcome to the 5th edition of our Sanctuary E-newsletter, keeping you informed of new developments in our constantly evolving Sanctuary model.

Recently, the Sanctuary Byron Bay was the proud sponsor of the 2009 BRW Client Choice Awards in Sydney, a very important event recognising exceptional client service in the corporate services industries. Like the companies honored on the night, we understand all too well, the importance of exceptional client service. Like all the award winners, we also believe that good client service is also inextricably linked to having healthy and happy staff.

More than ever, business are becoming more aware of the importance of maintaining and promoting the optimal health of their key employees, particularly as substance abuse and stress are increasingly identified as issues in the workplace.

Our own therapeutic services recognise the particular treatment needs of high achieving individuals – hence the availability of our appropriately focused Business Assistance Programme.  The Sanctuary specialises in treating executive level clients requiring positive lifestyle changes with regards to substance use or management of stress, chronic pain or emotions. Highly successful and motivated professionals are not immune to developing negative patterns of behaviour to cope with the demands of their roles. When the stress of professional life begins to flow on to the private and personal realms, sensitive and effective intervention is required. At The Sanctuary, we specialise in providing tailored assistance to corporate clients to help them regain balance and equilibrium.

A healthy corporate environment values positive and functional relationships – with clients, with staff and associated families and friends and with the rest of the community. The kind of strengths embodied in a healthy employee (i.e. balance, flexibility and a sense of achievement in the useful deployment of one’s skills and talents) are also the strengths of good companies – with a complex mutual interplay existing between the healthy state of the individual and the collective.

Facing the challenges ahead requires us to recognise the interconnections between us all.  The Sanctuary Byron Bay for example, not only provides exceptional therapeutic services to our clients, but we also support our local community and our staff. We provide ongoing employment and support to local, highly skilled and compassionate people. We advocate for the use of sustainable, organic and locally grown food.  We try to support where possible, local businesses and services and through our activities, promote the attractions of the region as a premier destination.

The year ahead seems uncertain, yet we are sure of one thing: we remain one of the most effective and unique therapeutic services in this country, if not the world; and we are always here to assist.

In this edition of our newsletter, we focus on the growing recognition of prescription drug abuse and we feature our highly experienced psychotherapy team

Please note I am very aware that some people will prefer not to receive this newsletter. In that respect, if you would like to be removed from our distribution list, please reply to this email and insert “Unsubscribe” in the subject heading of the email and we will remove you from the list. For those who are happy to continue receiving the newsletter, I sincerely hope you enjoy the information we have provided. Please feel free to contact me should you wish to ask any questions, discuss any aspect of this newsletter or find out more about our programmes.

I thank you for your time and wish you all the best in health and happiness.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Goldberg,
Director.

Prescription Drug Abuse: A Problem On The Rise?

Director's Introduction - Michael Goldberg

While public perception of drug abuse is usually centred around illicit street drugs such as heroin and amphetamines, a leading member of the Australian National Council of Drugs, Professor John Saunders has described the misuse of prescription medicine as ‘the real drug crisis gripping Australia’.  (Sydney Morning Herald, July 22, 2007).  The most common prescription drugs that are abused include opiates (eg codeine, oxycontin), benzodiazapenes (eg Valium, Xanax) stimulants (Ritalin, dexamphetamines) and tranquilisers (eg Stilnox, Rohypnol).  Often, anti-depressants and psychoactive prescription medication can also be abused or in some cases, are difficult to cease use as complicated withdrawal symptoms are likely to ensue.  As addictions can develop in just under two weeks of regular use, the perils of prolonged use becomes obvious.

Whether prescription drugs are legally obtained (through a doctor’s prescription) or by other means (by theft or deception or simply lifted from someone else’s prescription), the use of pharmaceutical drugs can be as destructive and harmful as illegal drug use.  Internationally, the abuse of prescription drugs is rising, with the US reporting a 212% increase in the number of young people abusing pharmaceutical substances in the past decade (Under the Counter: The Diversion and Abuse of Controlled Prescription Drugs in the U.S, 2003)

At The Sanctuary Byron Bay, we know that substance abuse cuts across economic lines, age, social status and culture. This is especially true of comfortable milieus where prescription drug abuse is common and tranquilisers, sedatives and analgesics easily obtained. Over the years, we have seen high levels of prescription drug abuse amongst those who would be very unlikely to be identified as addicts in their everyday high functioning lives, yet would qualify as having substance use disorders by any other reckoning.

Because prescription drugs are usually legally obtained, ongoing use is rarely questioned, yet for those needing help, continued use exacts a toll. Ongoing use diminishes quality of life – with side effects sometimes causing more problems than the symptoms the drugs were initially deployed to treat.  Yet, withdrawals can be prolonged, difficult to manage and sometimes so destabilising that people can feel as if they are suffering a serious crisis.

Detox from prescription drugs is necessarily a medical issue.  Withdrawals must be stepped, monitored and supported by appropriate professional attention.  At the Sanctuary Byron Bay, we are experienced in assessing prescription drug abuse and we are able to devise the most humane, effective and nurturing detox regime necessary to safely and comfortably reduce reliance upon prescription drugs. As our focus is multi-disciplinary, many of the symptoms of withdrawal can be mitigated by less invasive therapeutic modalities such as shiatsu, acupuncture and yoga; with the withdrawal process constantly monitored by registered nurses and specialist medical personnel.

We encourage anyone regularly using sedatives, tranquilisers and stimulants to review their continued use of such substances and to get support where required.

BRW Client Choice Awards 2009

This year, the Sanctuary Byron Bay proudly sponsored the 2009 BRW Client Choice Awards, regarded as the most prestigious awards for professional services firms in Australia. The Awards are open to all professional services firms, including law, accounting, IT consulting, consulting engineering, architecture and actuarial firms. The BRW Award winners are selected from a rigorous survey process, conducted by Beaton Consulting on behalf of BRW Magazine, to assess the views of clients of professional services firms.

At the Sanctuary Byron Bay, client satisfaction has always been the backbone of our success.  In striving to be one of the world’s premier therapeutic retreats, we have learnt that good client service starts internally and that all high performing, successful companies create workplaces where people want to belong.

At the Sanctuary, members of our treatment team are carefully chosen as being the best in their area of expertise, and these highly skilled practitioners are supported to work in an integrated fashion.  Practitioners report that being part of a coordinated team where their contributions are drawn into a greater whole, accounts for higher job satisfaction with more direct benefits to the client.

Sponsoring the Client Choice Awards has confirmed what we already put into practice – that client satisfaction flows on from fostering a dynamic, supportive and loyal team.

Accepting the award for the best Victorian law firm, David Fitch, managing partner of Landers & Rogers concurs:  “Clients and employees want the same things – so if you please one you please the other. If your employees are engaged, fulfilled and happy, they will want to meet client’s needs. Then if they do a good job, the clients will be happy and satisfied and that pours back into our people feeling even more fulfilled”.

Winners of the BRW Client Choice Awards agree that establishing a healthy culture in the workplace where customer feedback and employee health are equally valued, is the crucial and necessary step to maintain client satisfaction.

At the Sanctuary we recognise that whether principles of excellence are applied to customer service or to staff satisfaction; adopted as the values for more conscious individual living or adopted as policies and procedures for companies; these principles can nevertheless be distilled as follows (BRW: 12/3/09; At Your Service):


We look forward to further involvement with BRW and invite anyone from the corporate sector to contact us for information about how we can assist to improve the health of employees in the workplace.

Psychotherapy at The Sanctuary Byron Bay

Director's Introduction - Michael Goldberg

Psychotherapy, or ‘talking treatment’ as it is sometimes called, includes a wide range of treatment techniques to treat psychological problems and some psychiatric disorders.

While there are many types of psychotherapy practiced, all psychotherapists utilise the relationship between client and therapist as the vehicle for transformation. A therapeutically beneficial interaction is one where mutual trust exists and where the goal of treatment is to ultimately help a client change destructive or unhealthy behaviours, thoughts and emotions so that their quality of life is improved.

At The Sanctuary Byron Bay, psychotherapy plays an important role in the healing process.  For this reason, we only employ highly experienced, mature, and fully qualified therapists.  Not only are our therapists innovative, creative and dynamic, they are also committed to working from a supportive, compassionate and respectful stance, where each client is encouraged to change and grow in his or her own unique way.

The Sanctuary Byron Bay offers a unique combination of

We will always try to help you understand all the underlying issues associated with your presenting condition. For example any substance misuse is usually associated with some form of trauma and corresponding depression and anxiety. If your life has become unmanageable and unhappy, psychotherapy can help to shine a light on the parts of yourself that you habitually avoid or from which you are disassociated – including your strengths!

At The Sanctuary Byron Bay, we will help you gain insight into the way in which family of origin issues are replayed in the present. We will help you understand and develop skills in formulating safe boundaries. We will help you clarify and gain awareness of your relationships, how you relate to the world and how you behave.

Most importantly, we will help you find hope for a more fulfilling future.