Paracelsus Recovery offers rehab programmes for the ultra-rich in hotels of their choosing around the world. But treatment comes at a very high price. Olivia Palamountain reports
Holistic care for billionaires is the idea behind Paracelsus Recovery, an exclusive addiction recovery centre in Switzerland and London that specialises in treating addicts from wealthy backgrounds.
However, geography proves no limit to providing care, as therapists can enlist clients in programmes while they are staying in the comfort of a top-end hotel. (Presumably the minibars are removed first.)
From Hollywood stars and business supremos to high rollers and royalty, this ultra-discreet clinic founded by the psychiatrist Werner Gerber has seen them all.
To-date, the company has treated some 150 people, aged from 25 to 65, from as far and wide as the UK, Russia, the Middle East and the US. It reported a five-fold increase in calls and referrals during lockdown.
In order to cater to the elite, the centre will only treat one client at a time in “seven-star” deluxe surroundings, combining top-of-the-range treatments with lavish lodgings and a 15-strong team of dedicated staff.
Via the Swiss clinic, guests can choose to stay in likes of a modern penthouse, a lakeside villa or a classic mansion – or even have the clinic team move in with them. This means if they want a therapy session at 1am, they can have it.
“Some clients want to be treated in their homes; we have moved our whole team into a palace,” Paracelsus Recovery CEO Marta Ra told The Times. “Sometimes we rent an entire dedicated corner of a hotel. But it’s very important to realise we’re not spoiling these people. If you are used to living in a castle, then what seems like luxury to you or me to them seems everyday.
“It’s the same when people demand things instantly. If, say, you’re royalty, you live in a world where everything must be focused around you. It’s very important when these people come to our clinic, they should not be ripped out of their usual lifestyle and have a cultural shock.
“They need to be somewhere they feel comfortable so they can focus on the reason why they’re there, rather than thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m a completely different world.’ ”
These luxury amenities and services are key to the Paracelsus difference; an addiction therapist lives on site with the client, tended to by a butler, a cook, a limousine driver and a housekeeper. Further therapists include a consultant psychiatrist, a psychologist and a nutritionist.
When it comes to science, Paracelsus Recovery implements a holistic approach that treats body, mind, and soul with an emphasis on restoring the balance of brain chemistry.
The clinic claims that restoring healthy biochemistry can reduce or eliminate the cravings, depression, and anxiety that are often associated with withdrawal, and can block the path to full recovery.
The treatment, which usually lasts two to eight weeks, costs €65,000 per week and clients can also choose to take sessions with a yoga therapist, massage therapist, personal trainer and an acupuncturist.
While some people might find it hard to feel too sorry for the millionaires and billionaires Paracelsus treats, Ra takes a more sympathetic approach.
“Money can – some people say make your life easier – but actually, money can make your life much more difficult. Because you then have the burden of all that money and the responsibility of all that money,” she told The Evening Standard. “It can make things easier. It can. But it cannot make you happy.”
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