The Five Stages of Addiction Treatment

October 20th, 2020 by

Substance abuse is a problem that kills millions of people every year. Statistics from the World Health Organisation show that an average of 3.3 million people die every year of alcohol abuse and 31 million people have drug use disorders. 

Addiction is a disease that incapacitates its victims. Leaving them physically and mentally destroyed: incapable of maintaining healthy family relationships, struggling to stay on top of work and more than likely reaching financial ruin.

And yet with all this, an addict will still struggle to accept they have a problem, choosing to stick with the addiction, rather than seek professional help. They fear the unknown and what a life without their chosen substance will be like. 

Acceptance is the first step to recovery, and it’s the hardest one you’ll ever make in your life. The ‘Five Stages to Addiction Treatment’ is a process that will take you from addiction to sobriety. It’s a time of diverse experiences and emotions, of pain, elation and vulnerability, but those who persevere can start to rebuild a life on their own terms. 

The five stages take you from pre-contemplation – the ‘non-acceptance’ stage, to admitting there is a problem, taking action and finally maintaining sobriety. 


In this early stage, many patients have still not come to terms with their addiction problem. They may have pressure from family, friends or work colleagues to face up to the situation, but on a personal level, they may not be fully aware or want to admit to the seriousness of their addiction. 

During the pre-contemplation stage, an addict will try to avoid any conversation about their problem or about addiction in general. They will go to any lengths to avoid getting drawn into a topical conversation, in which they have to admit there is an issue. 

At this stage, it’s unlikely that they will accept that treatment is needed. This could be referred to as the denial stage, and it’s often a fruitless time to try to get them into a rehabilitation program. 

Rather than accepting the problem, they will put blame on external factors for their addiction, such as stress at work, family issues, financial problems, even genetic factors, such as it’s hereditary, “my parents were alcoholics”.

Many recovered addicts see this stage as the worst period of their life. This is when they hit rock bottom. They can’t admit they have a problem, but deep down they understand their life has spiralled out of control. 

The positive side is that this is the first step on the road to recovery. When an addict recognises there is a problem, it frees them up to move onto the next stage. 


The contemplation stage is a time when the person will accept they have a problem, but they are still not sure what solutions lie ahead and they struggle to understand the root of their problem.

Many addicts stay within the contemplation stage for a prolonged period, which may last months – even years. They understand they need help, but they don’t know what is the next step or where to seek advice. 

This is a mammoth and stressful hurdle and many addicts will continue to use drugs or alcohol during this stage. However, they will probably not get the same satisfaction as they used to, with the underlying knowledge that this is a problem they need and want to resolve. 

It’s also a time when the person will experience a rollercoaster of emotions. Uplifted in one moment at the thought of a possible addiction-free future, and hopelessness the next, because they recognise their addiction and the huge task they have ahead. They question whether they are strong enough to get through, or will they just cave in and go back to substance abuse, because it’s what they know best?

The most important part of the contemplation stage is that the patient can shift their focus from the past to an addiction-free future. Once they can do this, the end of the contemplation stage is normally a time for excitement and positivity at the thought of this major positive shift in their life. 


The beginning of the third preparation stage is normally a positive time for an addict on the path to recovery. They have made the decision to seek help or have chosen abstinence over addiction. They may be researching their options, or have already booked into a rehabilitation program such as the one we offer at White River Manor

Just having a focus to work towards brings a sense of achievement and motivates the person to get to the next step. It may be something they are planning today or in a month or a year, but they have a goal to work towards.

Although this a positive stage in addiction treatment, it’s also the moment when many addicts report feelings of fear and uncertainty, which must be overcome before they can move on. At this stage, it’s good to talk to a professional who can explain the process of addiction treatment and help you make a plan of action and commit to it. 


addiction treatment and recovery

As the name suggests, this stage is when the patient will actively start their addiction treatment. Whether they enter into a rehabilitation centre or personally change their behaviour pattern and stop abusing without the support of a professional. 

Professional treatment is highly recommended. Choosing a residential program where you are taken out of your habitual comfort zone and put into a supportive and caring environment, where the chance of success is high and the chances of relapse much lower.

This is an extremely difficult time in the addiction process. The patient will feel vulnerable and this may be the first time that they have let someone into their struggle and may not feel comfortable with someone from the outside looking into their life. 

They have to work very hard to maintain the effort of abstinence and get through the therapy treatment, however, it’s also the stage in which the patient starts to build up their confidence. 

The Action Stage is fundamental if a patient wants to achieve long-term sobriety. And whilst it’s a very difficult period of a person’s life, it can also be very uplifting, as we can feel satisfied that we are changing our lives for the better. 

Maintenance & Recovery

The Maintenance and Recovery Stage is a critical part of addiction treatment, yet is often sadly overlooked. The recovery process has taken a great amount of dedication and inner strength and when treatment finishes, often there comes a huge feeling of elation that the treatment has been successful, and many recovered addicts want to jump back into their lives with gusto, forgetting that this is the very environment that may have triggered their addiction in the first place. 

It’s imperative that patient’s move directly into the maintenance stage at the end of their treatment. The five stages make up a process and even after treatment has finished, the patient should stay closely connected with the sober community. 

Two communities that provide an enormous amount of support during the Maintenance and Recovery Stage are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Drug Addicts Anonymous (DAA). If you have undergone addiction treatment in a recovery centre such as White River Manor, you will benefit from an aftercare plan which will help you maintain the coping skills you have developed during your rehabilitation treatment. Depending on your circumstances we can refer you to a local professional who will be on hand to help you maintain sobriety. 

Making the decision to change your life and enter into addiction treatment isn’t an easy one. It takes a great deal of commitment and strength and it’s essential you have the love and support of family, friends and a professional team who can guide you through treatment and prepare a tailored plan centred around your individual needs. 

At White River Manor out team have decades of experience in addiction therapy, helping clients through the different stages, making the transition from addict to sober, happy and successful.

5 self-care activities to try after rehab (and during the pandemic)

September 21st, 2020 by

People who report feeling lonely are more than twice as likely to also have a substance abuse disorder.

Loneliness is an epidemic, and it’s often a major cause of addiction. It’s also a big part of relapse. During treatment, we’re taught to rely on our friends and families for support, but given the global pandemic, many of us are without this support network and are instead left relying on ourselves to maintain healthy habits. 

Understandably, this is no easy feat. And without a robust self-care routine in place, it’s near impossible. However, by putting yourself first and taking control of your routine, you can stave off the urges to reuse and continue with confidence on your journey to recovery. All it takes is a little self-love.

Here are five self-care activities to try after rehab (and during lockdown).


replacing sport for bad habits

Many recovering addicts turn to exercise for a similar release to substances. In all forms, exercise produces a release of similar hormones to drugs, only without the dangerous and debilitating side effects.

The benefits of being outdoors are also well documententated.

There’s a reason it’s called the ‘runner’s high’. If you’re stuck indoors and feeling a little restless, then, start developing an exercise routine. 

But don’t just take our word for it. A small study investigated an exercise program offered to 38 men and women who misused a variety of substances. Participants agreed to take part in group exercise three times a week for two to six months. Twenty people completed the intervention. When reassessed a year later, five reported abstinence and 10 reported that they had decreased their substance use.

Exercise is the perfect way to distract yourself from cravings. It’s also an excellent way to add structure to your day.

Eat well

nutrition at white river

Food directly affects our mood, and our mood is everything when it comes to controlling our urges.

A poor diet consequently reduces our ability to control these urges. It clouds our mind and leads to weaker self-control. 

Ultimately, eating good foods makes you feel good about yourself. When you feel good, you’re less likely to use substances. 

Know when to switch off

mindfulness and stress

Working hard on yourself is great. But much like substances, wellness can become addictive, and this poses a problem.

When we set standards that are exceedingly high, it becomes easier to fail. And with failure comes lower self-esteem and a downward spiral back into addiction. 

While it’s important to work hard on yourself, it’s also vital to know when to turn that side of your brain off, give yourself a break and relax.

Without downtime, you’ll burnout on working on yourself, and that’s cause for disaster. 

Reduce stress

Reducing stress is easier said than done. But stress is often one of the major factors in addiction, and many people turn to substances to ‘escape’ it.

To do this, it requires a little mindfulness. Know when you’re feeling overwhelmed or overworked and know the tactics to deploy to mitigate this feeling. Sleep, good food, meditation and exercise, for example, will help you find that reset button.

Talk to people

therapy at white river manor

Sure, COVID-19 has forced us to spend our days indoors and, in some cases, alone. But that doesn’t mean that you have no support system. Reach out to friends over the internet, grab coffee with family members, or pick up the phone and call your therapist. 

Whatever it is, talking about our concerns and vulnerabilities is the best chance we have to overcome addiction and remain sober. Remember: no person is an island. 

As a last resort, return to rehab

Welcome to White River Manor

Of course, if you’re overwhelmed by your urges and end up relapsing, a return to rehab may be in order.

Unfortunately for many, a return to rehab causes intense feelings of guilt, failure and shame

We’re here to tell you that it shouldn’t. Life can be tricky sometimes and asking for more help along your journey to recovery should be embraced, not ignored.

The best part is: If you do return to rehab, you’ll know exactly what to expect. In fact, you’re already halfway down the road back to recovery.

To find out how White River Manor can help, contact an expert today.

Is rehab good for treating depression?

August 27th, 2020 by

Many people think rehab centres are solely to help people suffering from an addiction. But in fact an increasing number of people are seeking treatment for depression at recovery and wellness centres such as White River Manor.

Depression is a potentially life-threatening mental health condition. In all cases it should be treated immediately by professionals who understand it.

Everyone feels sad at times as it’s a completely normal emotion. It helps us deal with certain situations – and we were give tears for a good reason.

However, depression is totally different to feeling sad for a few days about something. For a start, sometimes someone who’s depressed cannot even pinpoint any specific reason for why they are feeling so low.

It is a burgeoning major global mental health problem. According to WHO (the World Health Organization), depression is a mental disorder that affects 264 million people of all ages worldwide.

Depression can cause someone to suffer terribly. It may mean they function poorly at work, college, in the family and their community.

At its worst, depression can lead to death by suicide. Around 800,000 people die from suicide each year. 

Signs of depression

depression white river manor

Clearly it’s vital to know depression symptoms. If you or anyone you know shows these signs for more than a few days – especially if it’s for two weeks for most of each day – it’s essential to seek professional help without delay.

One of the great advantages of seeking treatment at a rehab centre is that our team is here to help 24 hours a day. We are very experienced in helping treat people with depression and have had great success in ensuring enduring recoveries.

Tailored programme

We have specially devised treatments for depression. Initially our team will establish what type of depression anyone has that seeks our help.

There are several kinds of depression including major depressive disorder (MDD), situational depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), persistent depressive disorder (PDD) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

As soon as we establish which depression a guest is suffering from we will also look to see if there are any co-occurring disorders. These can include such as burnout, anxiety and addiction.

Then an individual treatment plan will be created. This is tailored to each guest’s therapeutic requirements and specific needs.

We know that everyone reaching out for our help is unique. We always treat the entire person.

So that means each guest will see our complete expert team. That includes psychologists, counsellors and nurses plus therapists in such as music and art

Then our gourmet chefs will ensure every meal has excellent nutritional value. As well as, of course, being delicious.

We also have a spa to give you luxury treatment such as full body massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. There’s a fully equipped private gym and a swimming pool too. 

Then there is our expansive and tranquil 21-hectare gardens, perfect for yoga, meditation or just reading a book. Or you can take a relaxing walk in nature along any of our extensive trails or try canoeing on the Sabie River.

In addition, there’s a mountain bike trail as well as other sporting options including golf, tennis and horse-riding. There’s also always excursions to the nearby stunning Kruger National Park where you can see zebras, elephant and lions.

Our guests have agreed with us that South Africa’s year-round sunny climate and the natural beautiful environment here are all great healers too. The sunshine is fantastic for helping with all mental health conditions, especially depression.

We’re fortunate to see sunrises and sunsets most days that are priceless. Another added consideration is that presently South Africa is unbelievable value for money.

Group therapy

Depression can leave someone feeling totally isolated. Being here with us all will immensely help alleviate that.

There’s the knowing that you’re surrounded by people who care 100 percent for your wellbeing and recovery. Then there are the other guests who have similar aims of recovery.

We have such as group therapy as part of our treatment. This is when guests under the guidance of one of our team will listen to and help each other.

Group therapy has been proven over the years to be extremely beneficial. We can also introduce guests to the 12 Steps recovery programme, one aspect of which involves a form of group therapy as well.

Lifetime recovery

one to one therapy on the patio at White River Manor

We will also offer our guests other therapy suitable for their personal recovery. That includes such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness therapy, adult-child therapy and solution-focused therapy.

All of these have been shown to help people to a long-lasting recovery.

That is always our ultimate aim – that when one of our guests leaves here they have the knowledge and skills to deal with anything in life that could otherwise lead to depression again. We want their recovery to last for the rest of their lifetime.

Of course, all of this is set among our five-star manor house with its first-class luxury accommodation. Relaxation and good sleep are vital factors for a strong recovery.

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you or someone you care about.

The major signs of executive burnout

August 11th, 2020 by

Everyone knows about the dangers of stress. This is especially true for executives who frequently work longer hours than anyone else – and under greater pressure.

If stress like this persists, it can lead to “executive burnout“.

This is such a serious condition being experienced by an increasing number around the world it’s now officially recognised by WHO (World Health Organization).

This agency responsible for international public health defines it as a syndrome “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. 

WHO states it is characterised by these three dimensions:

A key difference between stress and burnout is that stress usually only lasts a short period. Executive burnout is the result of constant stress, and it can last for a prolonged period.

Suffering from burnout creates a profound sense of disillusionment. All that hard work feels to have been pointless.

Motivation and enthusiasm seem to disappear. Even small chores that should feel like carrying a pebble seem to weigh as heavy as a boulder.

Daily living feels like the life of king Sisyphus who in the Greek myth was punished by the god Zeus. His punishment was to roll a massive boulder up a hill every day… only for it to roll down every time it neared the top. He was forced to repeat this for eternity.

In the early stages, executive burnout causes problems with work projects as well as with professional and personal relationships. Left untreated it can destroy careers and relationships – and life can lose its meaning.

Anyone can fall to burnout, but now it’s causing an increasing number of high-level executives, entrepreneurs and business owners to seek treatment. Along with many other conditions here at White River, we have great experience in treating executive burnout. 

What are the signs of executive burnout?

burnout and balance white river

Burnout has been around for many years despite it being an increasing modern-day issue.

The main attributes of burnout are:

But people suffering from executive burnout can experience signs, symptoms and consequences in many different ways. This can depend on such as personal characteristics as well as how long it has been going on without being treated.

Emotional symptoms can include:

Physical signs and effects can include:

We have developed a simple yes or no self-assessment as a starting point. It will help to see if you or someone you know might be suffering from executive burnout and in need of treatment.

It includes questions such as:

I take my frustrations out on the people close to me.


I’m not a happy and likeable person to be around most of the time.


I wish I could get away from it all and disappear for a while.


How to treat burnout

stress and burnout

Because everyone is different with unique backgrounds and specific problems, we always offer an individual treatment plan. This will be tailored to a guest’s therapeutic requirements and any needs our experienced therapists establish will help in the best manner. 

To achieve enduring benefits from your stay with us this can include effective proven treatments such as cognitive behaviour therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, mindfulness therapy, solution-focused therapy and trauma-specific therapy. There is also music and art therapy, adult-child therapy, group therapy, family therapy and an introduction to the Twelve Steps recovery programme.

All of these have helped many people suffering from burnout.

We will also look closely to see if executive burnout is masking something else such as depression. Signs of this could be that even at the weekend or on a holiday the low feelings that seemed to be associated with work do not go away.

Our Wellness & Executive Burnout Program is ideal to help, including the use of a fully equipped private gym. Then in our tranquil spa room, guests can relax with massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and more.

Outside of White River Manor we go on some exceptional excursions to show you some of South Africa’s beauty. We are fortunate to be close to the Kruger National Park, one of South Africa’s largest and most renowned game reserves, where you can see such as lions, leopards, and elephants.

How long does it take to recover from burnout?

Recovery depends on many factors including each individual’s character and for how long they have been suffering with burnout. What is certain is that being here is the best place for the most rapid recovery.

Not only is South Africa affordable compared to most other countries, it offers great year-round weather and many other benefits as the ideal place for treatment.

Because of where we are and the climate there’s plenty of chance to be outside. The great outdoors undoubtedly aids recovery.

Then there’s White River Manor itself. It’s a stunning place with completely relaxing accommodation to ensure you rest well.

How to stop burnout

This is always our aim – not only to treat anyone but to ensure the treatment is effective into the future.

One simple but often overlooked aspect of burnout is that healthy eating suffers.

So we make sure all our guests get into the habit of eating fresh nutritional food. Not only is this delightful for the tastebuds it’s been scientifically proven that certain foods lift levels of mood, energy and concentration.

Additionally, eating a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains can reduce the risk of many mental health conditions. Without doubt it is beneficial in avoiding a recurrence of burnout.

We will help guests to realise the importance of such as getting regular sleep again; how to stop over-thinking; to make sure to spend time with friends and family; to cut down or quit drinking and stop taking any recreational drugs.

Our expert team will also show our guests how to be aware of triggers and how to deal with them should something arise.

As well we show guests how to set clear boundaries between work and home; learn how to say no to taking on more than can be efficiently handled; to take regular breaks during working days and to have holidays, and to take up hobbies.

Burnout is a serious mental health condition that rarely goes away on its own. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

Am I a drug addict?

June 22nd, 2020 by

Not everyone who takes drugs is an addict. Many users are able to control their substance intake and live a fairly normal life. Although in the long long-term, any level of substance abuse does affect our lives.

If you are frequently using drugs, and are worried about the level of intake, how do you know if your drug or alcohol use has crossed the line to substance abuse or addiction?

Drug abuse can cause a variety of physical disorders and have a negative impact on your mental, behavioural, social and emotional wellbeing. 

Definition of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is an illness. A brain disorder which presents itself through the uncontrollable consumption of a drug, even though the user knows that to do so is damaging their health.

Even though the user knows the abuse will not end well, the impulse to continue is too great to stop. They find substance abuse both rewarding (in the desire for the drug and the short-term high it delivers), and the need strengthens as the abuse becomes more frequent.

A user may become physically or psychologically addicted, or both; depending on the drug they are using. 

The effects of drug abuse on the body

When mind-altering drugs enter our system, there are a number of ways our body will react and be affected. Firstly, changes will occur within the brain and its chemical composition.

Specifically within the brain’s chemical messengers – or neurotransmitters, which control how we feel and therefore impact on our behavioural pattern.

When we ingest drugs, our neurotransmitter levels – dopamine and serotonin – increase and we feel a ‘high’. Our positive and happy senses are heightened, as these drugs focus on the ‘pleasure and reward’ areas of our brain. 

Other characteristics are a loss of inhibition, and therefore our social ability increases. Many drug users who find it hard to socialise under normal circumstances, will feel less inhibited and socialise more after taking drugs.

The negative side is that our decision-making capabilities are impaired, and we don’t consider the consequences of dangerous situations, such as driving while under the influence of drugs, and we become less inhibited by sexual encounters. 

Different drugs have different effects on the brain and therefore, will affect us in different ways:

Stimulants: cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA), amphetamines (speed and ice) and caffeine, speed up or stimulate our central nervous system.

They make us feel more aware and confident, but at the same time, they have a negative side, with symptoms including increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature; loss of appetite, stomach cramps, sleeplessness, anxiety and paranoia.

Hallucinogens: LSD, ‘magic mushrooms’ ketamine, cannabis, and PCP. These drugs warp your sense of reality, causing you to see or hear things which do not exist or see real things in a distorted way.

They will also bring on moments of emotional euphoria. The negative side of hallucinogens brings symptoms, such as paranoia, panic attacks, jaw clenching, nausea and gastric problems.

Depressants: alcohol, cannabis, opiates (heroin, morphine, codeine), GHB and benzodiazepines (mild tranquilisers). These drugs slow or decrease the function of our central nervous system. In small amounts, they can help us feel more relaxed and less inhibited.

They slow the messages being sent to our brain, which affects our coordination. When taking in higher quantities, they can cause vomiting, dehydration, and unconsciousness. 

What causes drug addiction?

genetics and addiction

There are many reasons why a person may become dependent or addicted to a substance. Most start taking drugs as a recreational diversion to ‘real’ life. We may start taking drugs due to peer pressure, career or financial concerns, or simply because we want to have a go and see what it’s all about. 

When recreational drug-taking goes further, research shows that often environmental or genetic factors may be to blame.

Genetics: it’s thought that some people are generally more inclined to develop a drug addiction because they have been exposed to a drug environment during childhood.

Either their parents or siblings were substance abusers, or they suffered childhood trauma. This is not to say that all users with a family history of abuse or trauma become substance abusers, but there is a strong possibility that it can become hereditary, increasing the likelihood of our own abuse later in life.

Environment: scientific research shows that certain environmental factors can make us more likely to become dependent or addicted to drugs or alcohol.

These include poverty, witnessing a traumatic event, dysfunctional family environment and abuse amongst our peers.

Am I drug dependent or a drug addict?

The difference between drug dependence and drug addiction can be complicated to decode, but a simplistic way of looking at it is if you are physically dependent on a substance you will be affected by tolerance and withdrawal.

Although some users can be dependent on a substance without being an addict, there is a high possibility that the dependence will become an addiction.

Drug addiction is characterised by behavioural changes which occur when biochemical changes happen in the brain. They come after prolonged substance abuse.

The addiction takes over the life of the user; the next hit becomes ‘the’ most important thing in that person’s life.

The user will act irrationally to get more of their drug of choice regardless of the damage it will do to them and to others.

What are the signs of drug addiction?

How do you know when recreational drug use becomes a dependence or an addiction? There are certain signs and symptoms to watch out for, whether you are concerned for yourself or a loved one:

Physical symptoms to watch out for include: weight fluctuation, mood swings, increased heart rate, panic and anxiety, fatigue and insomnia.

When you decide enough is enough

Thankfully, drug dependence and drug addiction are both treatable. However, to maximise treatment and minimise relapse, it’s important to choose a drug treatment centre – ideally away from your comfort zone – which offers a good range of care and treatment options which will nurture the recovery period.

It’s essential to choose a specialised centre for substance abuse where the staff understand addiction and the problematic patterns of abuse. 

Why choose White River Manor?

Here at White River Manor Luxury Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa, we are proud to have a world-class team of therapists and addiction recovery specialists with decades of experience, on hand to provide bespoke treatment through holistic and collaborative therapy. 

Our dedicated team includes addiction specialists, clinical psychologists, counselling psychologists, a professor of psychiatry, a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) expert and a behavioural specialist. 

A dietician and personal trainer look after your health and fitness requirements, and a dedicated team of nurses are on-site 24-hours a day. What is essential is that clients feel safe, supported and connected during their stay.

Our treatment centre is set on a sprawling 100-year-old estate with beautiful tranquil gardens in the heart of Mpumalanga and just 30 minutes drive from the Kruger National Park. 

garden white river manor

Originally an old English farm, the property has lots of space and fresh air, it’s a wonderfully therapeutic setting. The accommodation has been designed for maximum comfort and privacy, with a choice of luxury shared suites and private individual villas with pretty verandas. The estate also provides a fully secure environment.

Our specialised environment and addiction treatment program will help you to manage and reduce your drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

We provide supportive care for the user and their family, helping to get you back on track and enjoying a substance-free life. 

If you believe you are dependent on drugs or a drug addict, please get in touch with us today for a confidential chat. It’s never too late to seek help.

Top 10 Reasons Why South Africa Is the Perfect Destination for Rehab

May 28th, 2020 by

Finding the perfect location for rehab isn’t always easy. For most, it requires an environment that provides enough stimulation without feeling overwhelming or feeding bad habits. There is a myriad of reasons why you should choose South Africa as the ideal luxury rehab destination, such as nature, wildlife, culture, and excellence in the field of substance abuse and burnout programs. 

If the country where you reside doesn’t inspire you to get clean and sober, consider South Africa as the optimal retreat.

Here are 10 reasons why South Africa is the perfect place for your recovery.

Beautiful natural landscape

natural landscape south africa

Nature has long been thought to have healing powers, and it’s no different when it comes to addiction.

If you’re seeking a change from your normal day-to-day, the scenery has a lot to do with your ability to recover. 

Studies show that nature is essential for reconnecting and learning control.

Furthermore, when recovering from addiction, the outdoors has numerous opportunities for exercise that allow both your mind and body to heal simultaneously.

You can reduce stress and clear your mind by exposing yourself to all of South Africa’s natural elements.

A vibrant culture

tribal dancing at white river

South Africa’s vibrant culture can’t be ignored. It’s famous for being a rainbow nation with a number of cultures and religions.

As you remove yourself from your work or worries, you can throw yourself into learning about something you’ve never experienced. The rich history and culture of South Africa is something you’ll come away treasuring the rest of your life.

Numerous activities

cycling in south africa

People find that they often do better in recovery when they stay busy. This is because their mind is focused on an activity, and they are less likely to battle cravings during that time.

Fortunately, South Africa has no shortage of activities. During a stay at White River Manor, you can hike, cycle, do yoga, go on safari, raft, learn about African dance, take a trip to Cape Town, and take daily advantage of our swimming pool and spa.

Top rehab programs

entrance to white river manor

Sadly, research has shown that South Africa is one of the top nations in the world for drug use. In fact, in 2009, the illicit drug use in South Africa was twice the global average.

However, this has led to top rehab programs all over the country to help people heal.

The country is recognised as one of the top locations in the world for substance recovery programs.

Excellent value for money

walking a dog in white river manor

Often financial accessibility can be a barrier to getting the treatment you need. British and European rehabilitation programs are expensive, and many people end up getting mediocre treatment and not getting a successful result.

Because the South African rand (ZAR) is low compared to the euro or sterling, you can get high-quality treatment at a fraction of the cost compared to what you would pay at home.  

At White River Manor, our tailor-made programs offer excellent value for money. We offer a 5-star, fully supportive environment and the country’s leading treatment specialists, all working towards your recovery.

It has wildlife

Lionesses drinking water - White River Luxury Rehab

You may have heard of Therapy and Emotional Support Animals. This method of treating mental health issues has risen directly from the fact that people who interact with animals experience increased levels of oxytocin. 

Animals have also shown physical benefits like lower stress levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Exposure to animals during your time in rehab can greatly help your progress.

Fortunately, White River Manor is located close to the Kruger National Park. One of South Africa’s largest and most renowned game reserves, where you can encounter The Big Five. 

It has Cape Town

cape town south africa

South Africa’s cities are top tourist destinations, and Cape Town routinely ranks among the most beautiful cities in the world.

Exploring new places during your recovery is an excellent way to start seeing your own world in a different light. 

A city such as Cape Town, with its vibrant and happy culture, makes the possibility of life without substance abuse or anxiety seem possible. During your stay, you can visit the city, taking inspiration from the eclectic and vibrant culture.

Cape Town is a place to reinvent yourself, broaden your horizons and enhance your creativity and resilience.

It has privacy

Safari South Africa

Most people who decide to seek help for drug or alcohol abuse, choose to tell only their closest family. They strive for complete privacy and discretion, and this isn’t always possible when you opt for local treatment. 

Choosing a rehabilitation centre abroad means you’re away from associates and friends.

You don’t have to disclose the reason for your trip and can undertake your treatment away from prying eyes and questions.

It has great weather


Feeling the sun on you’re skin (as long as your wearing suntan lotion) has huge benefits to your mental and physical wellbeing. Amongst other benefits, exposure to sunlight improves our mood, helps us to enjoy a better quality of sleep and lowers our blood pressure. 

Often the weather can play a negative role in how we feel and our stress-levels, so choosing a recovery centre in a destination where we can get out and enjoy fresh air, a natural environment and a sunnier, warm climate, can go a long way towards aiding our recovery. 

South Africa enjoys a lovely, temperate climate with plenty of sunny, dry days. Here in White River, Mpumalanga we enjoy a warm climate, with mild winters and a sub-tropical climate, making for an ideal rehab destination. 

You can disconnect from routine

dinner at White river manor

An essential part of the recovery process is taking yourself out of routine life and surroundings. This is the first step to a fresh, new beginning. 

When you stick to what you know and who you know, the chances are you’ll find a variety of reasons why ‘a drink’ is a good idea. Going abroad to undertake rehab treatment gives you space and freedom to disconnect from the enablers and negative people that trigger your addiction. 

Choosing a destination far removed from the norm will help you regain control over your choices, and you can consciously get better on your terms, without worrying about what your peers think. 

Final thoughts

South Africa’s culture, wildlife, and nature make it the optimal place to attend rehab. In addition to top medical support, you’ll feel safe and supported during your stay.

If you’re suffering from burnout or addiction, head to South Africa for the best value and results!

Why alcohol is never the solution

May 20th, 2020 by

There’s no denying it. Alcohol is an integral part of everyday life for many of us. We joke about our intake and the need for alcohol to get us through stressful situations. Mostly, we don’t even consider alcohol to be a drug, in the sense of marijuana, cocaine or heroin. 

Albeit in the back of our minds we might harbour some concern about our intake, more often than not, we sweep the thought aside, because why would we want to give up?

This scenario can be especially prevalent for people with high powered careers who turn to alcohol as a stimulate to push further, or as a relaxant to calm nerves and feel less anxious in highly stressful situations.

Is alcohol really the answer?

Alcohol is a sedative and as such can reduce stress.

When we drink on a casual basis, alcohol helps us to unwind and forget our problems. If you are shy or introverted in social or work circles, alcohol can help you to lose those inhibitions and relax in company. It acts similarly to anti-anxiety medication.

If we keep alcohol intake low, then yes it can be the answer to reduce stressful situations.

Unfortunately, alcohol is also a depressant and after long periods of heavy drinking, it will negatively affect our central nervous system, causing us to feel more anxious.

Why do we turn to drink?

A survey carried out by the UK’s Mental Health Organisation reported that 74% of us have felt completely overwhelmed with stress or unable to cope. And in a high percentage of cases, that stress is work-related.

When faced with difficult challenges, long hours and high levels of responsibility, we feel stressed, and after a prolonged period of time can lead to chronic stress.

In our article on coping with chronic stress and anxiety, we discussed how we often turn to self-medication at times of stress. 

Heavy alcohol use has a huge impact on our work and home life. It can hugely impair our focus and critical thinking skills and has the power to strip us of our goals and ambition. It also wreaks havoc with our emotional, mental and physical health.

We suffer from frequent hangovers and symptoms of withdrawal, and gradually our tolerance against stress and ability to withstand pressure is depleted. It’s hard to function at full capacity when every morning we wake up with these symptoms:

Stress coupled with alcohol dependence can lead to severe anxiety and depression, and potentially the loss of a job, business or personal relationship. 

If we want to stay top of our game, alcohol is not the answer.

When stress leads to alcohol dependence

Stress is one of the greatest triggers of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). In its most severe form, AUD can lead to alcoholism and other substance abuses. Unfortunately, stress is on the rise, especially in work-related scenarios. 

When we start to use alcohol as a support to get us through stressful periods at work or to make us feel comfortable in social situations this is alcohol dependence. There are several signs to watch out for:

Alcohol dependence or addiction?

The line between dependence and addiction can be confusing. We use the term ‘addiction’ to characterise excessive behaviour, even though addiction is a very serious mental health issue. 

So when do we cross the line? There is some interaction between the two, but it’s important to understand the differences. 

We define substance dependence when a person develops a physical tolerance – whether that be to alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, or any other substance.

The dependency can be broken by slowly reducing the amount taken. The user may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop completely.  

Addiction is diagnosed when extensive alcohol or drug use causes a person’s brain chemistry to change. An addiction manifests as an uncontrollable urge or craving to use the substance. The addict will continue using despite the fact they are harming themselves and those around them. 

The only way to overcome an addiction is through recovery treatment and rehabilitation.

Overcoming alcohol addiction

When a person gives in to an addiction such as alcohol, it is extremely difficult – if not impossible – to quit on their own. Seeking professional help is the only option. 

White River Manor is a 5 Star Addiction Treatment Centre in Mpumalanga, South Africa, just 17kms from the Kruger National Park.

This is the ultimate recovery destination combining the highest standards of addiction treatment with the latest therapeutic techniques.

We look at the individual case of each client and tailor the program and treatment plan around the specific needs. Identifying negative thought patterns and emotions that may trigger harmful behaviour. 

When deciding to undertake treatment for an addiction, it’s essential to step away from the routine of daily life and the environment where your addiction has manifested. South Africa is an excellent recovery destination. 

Here you can enjoy an exceptionally high-quality treatment at a fraction of the cost of European treatment centres. More importantly, the warm climate, stunning natural landscape and vibrant climate provide the best tonic for your recovery. 

During the stay, we encourage clients to partake in the myriad of outdoor activities on offer in this stunning region: Day safaris, horse trail riding, cycling, hiking, and trips to visit some of the iconic sites and cities of South Africa. 

Admitting you have an alcohol or drug problem is difficult, especially when it’s affecting your career. You might put off getting professional help, worried that taking time away from work and personal relationships is going to cost you your business, job or family. 

Actually it’s the opposite.

Admitting you have a problem and deciding to get professional help is the first step to a better and more successful life. A life where you’ll wake up feeling great, work more productively and enjoy better relationships. 

What’s stopping you?

Call us today for a confidential, no-obligation conversation with one of our professionals.

Whether you’re calling for yourself or someone you know, you needn’t suffer alone. 

The benefits of quality time in the great outdoors to improve mental health

May 15th, 2020 by

Research generously and continuously supports ecotherapy as a key benefit to mental health.

In fact, just the suggestion of nature seems to improve human mental health.

A study carried out by Mind found that 95% of those interviewed said their mood improved after spending time outdoors. They noted a change from depressed, stressed and anxious, to calm and balanced.

Numerous other studies have supported the mental health benefits of the great outdoors, especially when connected to exercise, such as hiking, cycling and running. 

Here’s what you should know about how hiking and the great outdoors improves wellness.  

The mental health benefits of the great outdoors 

walking a dog in white river manor

Natural environments have been found to have restorative elements, which can ultimately give your mental health a boost.

The following mental health benefits give you ample reason to get out and get active. Your mind and body will benefit. 

Ecotherapy in South Africa

Sitting by a river at White River Manor - recovery

Ecotherapy, also known as nature or green therapy, comes from the belief that people and their psyches are not separate from their environment.

As such, connection with the Earth is a core part of ecotherapy. It recognizes the mental health benefits of the great outdoors and seeks to connect its participants with them.

South Africa has numerous options for those seeking to experience the mental and physical benefits nature provides.  


hiking south africa white river manor health benefits of being outdoors

Believe it or not, people travel from around the world to experience hiking and trekking in South Africa.

Here are some top hikes to experience during a stay in South Africa. You’ll see firsthand how hiking improves wellness. 

Kruger National Park 

south Africa - White River Manor

There’s no shortage of activities in South Africa and Kruger National Park which is located just 17kms from White River Manor is one of the best destinations to experience activities in the great outdoors. 

Located in northeastern South Africa, Kruger is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. While you may think it’s reserved purely for safaris and game drives, there are also plenty of ways you can experience the park whilst staying active.

Here are some ideas. 


cycling in white river manor

Cycling is renowned for its positive benefits to mental health and just like hiking, cycling in South Africa provides amazing scenery as well as a way to see the country. 

There are some excellent cycling routes for beginners and pros along the banks of the White River and throughout the region of Mpumalanga, from easy flat 3km trails to pro mountain bike trails.

Nature looks after you

With just 20 to 30 minutes spent in nature each day, ecotherapy will help towards improving your mental health and wellness.

There’s no excuse NOT to get outside and get active. And South Africa boasts a huge range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and walking safaris.

Contact us today if you’d like a confidential and free chat with one of our highly-trained professionals.

Why Luxury Rehab in South Africa is Excellent Value for Money

May 15th, 2020 by

Once you have taken the decisive step towards professional help. Your choice of where to undergo treatment should be based on finding a centre that closely matches your rehabilitation goals and offers an encompassing and safe environment.

There is a much greater likelihood of success when you have access to treatment that has a high success record treating patients with the same needs as your own.  

Factors to consider

There are basic personal and environmental factors around making the decision to undertake recovery for addiction, depression or executive burnout. The most important are family life or personal relationships, career and economic status. 

Another important consideration is the ability to remove yourself from routine and from the cycle of life that we are stuck in.

A fresh perspective and a different environment can be hugely impactful in aiding recovery and heading abroad can be just the tonic you need to change your life for the better.

Why choose South Africa?

holistic approach to recovery

South Africa is renowned for offering exceptional quality travel and accommodation.

Over the last few years, the South African Rand has seen a substantial depreciation against the Sterling and Euro, which makes South Africa excellent value for money as a travel destination and an excellent choice for clients looking for a luxury rehabilitation program.

Safari White River Manor

The benefits are boundless, but some of the main reasons our clients chose South Africa as the location for their successful recovery include.

Affordable luxury

White River Manor is a resort-style facility located in a beautiful tranquil setting in the heart of South Africa, just 17 minutes from the Kruger National Park. We provide modern luxury addiction and wellness treatment in a five-star environment. 

We are able to do this at a fraction of the cost our clients would pay in the UK, Europe or the US.

Travelling abroad for treatment means you can benefit from a professional team with decades of experience without sacrificing the quality of treatment you deserve. 

Reasons to choose South Africa

Nature has a profound effect on our wellbeing. Research shows that spending time in nature, even viewing natural scenery, helps reduce stress, fear and anxiety. We start to feel physically and emotionally better, and our vitality increases.

South Africa is well-positioned to offer everything needed for effective recovery from burnout, depression and substance abuse.

During your stay, you’ll get to explore the magnificent region, enjoying a myriad of outdoor activities which play an essential role in addiction recovery. 

This is an opportunity to live in the moment and let nature and wildlife restore you to optimum health and wellbeing

What makes White River Manor so special?

Welcome to White River Manor

White River Manor is a private rehabilitation centre built within a 100-year-old English estate with tranquil mature gardens. Located on the White River in the Mpumalanga region of South Africa, the peaceful setting is ideal for those who want to disconnect from a life of bad habits and to maximise the potential of their time in treatment and recovery. 

We practice a 360º holistic method of therapy using a combination of Western psychotherapy and Eastern wellness practices in an environment where clients feel safe, supported and connected.  

Our all-inclusive 28-day programs start from just £11,000 (12,500 €). A significantly lower cost compared to British and European treatment centres, and with the added benefit of spending time in a five-star South African lodge situated in a magnificent and natural environment. 

There is no better place to undertake your journey of recovery. Contact us today for more information.

A Holistic Approach to Executive Burnout

May 7th, 2020 by

You have been working at maximum velocity. Long working hours mean you have little time to rest, exercise or sit down to a healthy and relaxed meal. When you do finish work, there is peer pressure to head out to play as hard as you have worked. 

This has been happening over a period of time now, and you feel physically drained and mentally exhausted. You feel overwhelmed by your workload and are starting to lose the ability to think creatively. In your position, the pressure to perform is great and you may have turned to drugs, alcohol or both to keep you going. 

At some point, you’ll reach the breaking point: mental exhaustion, burnout and potentially substance addiction. This is not a great scenario to be living and one that you can’t sustain forever. 

How do I know I am reaching burnout?

Serious-stress syndrome or executive burnout is a work-related illness that affects many thousands of executives and entrepreneurs every year. 

It’s important to realise that burnout doesn’t happen overnight, it’s an accumulation of ongoing stress, and it’s not unusual to see high performing executives and entrepreneurs pushing their mind and body to this stage. 

When they do, there are key symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored. 

Ideally, a person suffering from two or more of these symptoms will seek professional help, especially if they are starting to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

We are intricate beings.

As human beings, we are intricately woven into our community of family, friends and workplace. And to really understand the root of any mental health disorder, it’s important to understand the society and circumstances from which we come. 

one to one therapy on the patio at White River Manor

We are influenced by so many factors, such as age, gender, culture, language, heritage, faith, life experience, relationship status, sexual and gender identity, and our beliefs. 

At White River Manor, we practice a holistic approach to burnout treatment. Using a combination of traditional therapy methods, cutting-edge science, and ancient philosophy. 

Welcome to White River Manor

When a client first arrives, we spend time learning about the intricacies of their life. What is their community, and what are the circumstances surrounding their burnout? We then personalise the recovery programme around individual needs.

To do this, we move beyond traditional therapy methods.

Bringing together psychotherapeutic treatments, mindfulness, creativity, nutrition, exercise and positive experiences, trips and activities. 

What is a holistic approach?

Lifting weights at White River Manor getting fit

A holistic approach doesn’t just focus on the condition or mental health aspect; it also takes into account a person’s wellness.

It looks at the whole person, taking all factors into consideration, such as a patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing.

Each of our situations is unique. And our feelings and experiences around burnout and how we cope are exclusive to us; therefore the path to recovery must be adapted to the individual. The only solution is a holistic approach which focuses on our whole being.

What are the benefits of holistic treatment for executive burnout?

massage at White River Manor

When choosing a programme, it’s essential to find a specialist team who can listen and interpret your situation and offer a wide range of treatments which work on the whole person, not just the mind. 

Your treatment should follow a holistic and personalised approach because the benefits of treating the whole person are endless. 

White River Manor Holistic Treatment

The executive burnout recovery program at White River Manor is tailored to an individual client’s specific situation.

We practice a holistic, person-orientated method which focuses on burnout symptoms within the individual. We first look at the root of the problem and treat from the inside out. 

south Africa - White River Manor

This approach helps to shift the sense of overwhelm and to help you break out of the vicious circle that’s impossible to do when you’re stuck in a daily routine.

Our purpose is to get you back on track for a positive and healthy lifestyle, one where healthy habits replace unwholesome ones, and you walk away with a clear mind ready for a more optimistic and successful future.

During a stay at White River Manor, our client’s can participate in a range of treatments. Our approach combines a comprehensive therapy programme with wellness treatments and activities. 

Our therapeutic programme

therapy at White River Manor

Each treatment plan will include individual and group therapy time. Our world-class team has decades of experience. During your stay, you will have access to addiction specialists, clinical psychologists, counselling psychologists, a professor of psychiatry, a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) expert, and a behavioural specialist. 

The programme features a wide range of therapy sessions. None of the sessions is obligatory, but all offer huge benefits to your mental health and wellbeing.

Our wellness programme

Sitting by a river at White River Manor - recovery

As important as nourishing our minds, our bodies also need healthy nourishment. When we are working to the limit and prioritising work, we forget the enjoyment that comes with physical activity and experiences that take us out of the norm. 

Eating healthily and undertaking regular exercise, getting enough hours of sleep and steering away from negative activities and enjoying positive experiences, all help improve our mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing.

At White River Manor, our wellness program is as important as our therapeutic one when it comes to treating executive burnout. During your stay, we aim to put back balance into your life and restore your motivation through fun and healthy activities

Nutritional Health

dinner at White river manor

During your stay, we’ll also focus on nutritional health. Many of our clients have got used to eating on the go, eating unhealthy food, or not eating at all. This is especially prevalent for those suffering from substance abuse.

At White River Manor, our in-house chef team prepares every meal from scratch using fresh local produce and whole foods, which support the fight against mental exhaustion and stress.

Aftercare & Support

Lion Safari white river manor

Our aftercare plan is the final block in our 360-degree holistic recovery program. We understand that changes you make during your stay at White River Manor will often be difficult to replicate when you get back into the pattern and routine of work and daily life. 

Towards the end of your stay, we’ll work together to create an action plan that aims to stop you regressing back to bad habits and where possible we’ll refer you to local professionals when you need added support.

Why Choose South Africa as a Luxury Rehab Destination

April 27th, 2020 by

There’s no denying it, White River Manor is a very special place. Nestled along the White River and set within a beautiful 100-year-old garden, the centre is encompassed by agricultural farmscape and rolling hills, with the tropical African Lowveld forests in the distance.

The town of White River is home to many creative people, including several globally recognised artists, inspired by one of South Africa’s most naturally beautiful areas.

It’s one of the reasons why our five-star luxury rehabilitation clinic in South Africa has such a high success rate. 

Elephant South Africa

Why choose South Africa?

South Africa has an abundance of diverse and breathtaking scenery, a vibrant culture, and magnificent wildlife: three major factors which influence our wellbeing and inspire us to reach optimum health and happiness. 

It’s why the country is an exceptional destination for those seeking a successful recovery from addiction, burnout or mental health issues.

One of the fundamental principles of successful addiction therapy is taking the client out of their daily routine and environment and importantly taking them away from people and habits that trigger their addiction. South Africa boasts scenery and a climate that is a world away from our too-often grey existences. 

Safari South Africa

A luminescent country, abundant with flora and fauna, and brimming with an exuberance that is contagious and which has a profoundly positive effect on its visitors. 

A life-changing experience

Your stay at White River Manor will be a life-changing experience. We encourage our clients to fully immerse themselves in South African culture and the great outdoors as they embark on their journey to recovery. 

Our location means we can organise incredible activities and adventures for guests, such as a one-day Kruger safari, horse trail riding, white water rafting, African dancing, and mountain biking. We can even organise trips to Cape Town, Mozambique, a swim with dolphins experience, and so much more. 

Getting up close to wildlife: some of which is close to extinction teaches us to live in the present and appreciate the amazing world we live in. One, which perhaps many of us have taken for granted for too long. It puts an amazing perspective on life and for many, plays a big part in the restoration process.

Back at White River Manor

Back on-site, our treatment centre is set on a sprawling 100-year-old estate with beautiful tranquil gardens. Originally an old English farm, the property has lots of space and fresh air, it’s a wonderfully therapeutic setting. 

dinner at White river manor

The accommodation has been designed for maximum comfort and privacy, with a choice of luxury shared suites and private individual villas with pretty verandas. The estate also provides a fully secure environment.

Most of our clients are business owners and, working professionals and we fully understand the importance of staying connected to work and family during your stay. On-site, guests can use our business centre, Wifi, satellite TV, cafe, swimming pool and gourmet chef. 

It’s also important that our guests enjoy time outside of the programme and by design, we chose to offer an approach which distances itself from a typical rehabilitation environment, which can often feel too controlling for executive clients. 

accomodation White river manor

Within the programme, we are proud to have a world-class team of therapists and addiction specialists with decades of experience who are on hand to provide bespoke treatment through holistic and collaborative therapy. What is essential is that clients feel safe, supported and connected during their stay.

Our approach

Within the programme, we are proud to have a world-class team of therapists and addiction recovery specialists with decades of experience who are on hand to provide bespoke treatment through holistic and collaborative therapy. 

room at white river manor

We have a dedicated team of addiction specialists, four full-time clinical psychologists, counselling psychologists, a professor of psychiatry, a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) expert and a behavioural specialist. 

At White River Manor we believe that creativity and self-expression are an important part of the recovery process. Our programme incorporates art and music classes, which are facilitated by a registered art counsellor and music therapist.

A dietician and personal trainer look after your health and fitness requirements, and a dedicated team of nurses are on-site 24-hours a day. What is essential is that clients feel safe, supported and connected during their stay.


South Africa might seem a long way from Europe, but as a popular tourist destination, it’s one of the best-connected countries in terms of travel.

There are various direct flights into Johannesburg (O.R. Tambo International) airport, and from there, guests can jump on a (45 min) connecting flight to Kruger Mpumalanga international airport, where a member of our team will pick you up in our luxury Mercedes carrier and take you the 15-minute drive back to the centre. 

Alternatively, we are happy to pick you up directly from Johannesburg airport and drive you home (2.5 hours). Our clients also appreciate that we work in the same time zone as Europe, which supports their work connectivity. 

Those who are striving to find inner peace and to reconnect with their happy, confident selves, should consider White River Manor and South Africa as the place to make that happen. 

Where nature, the wilderness and world-class therapists come together for a life-changing experience.

Executive Burnout: the Road to Recovery

April 27th, 2020 by

The road to success is not without its potholes. Long hours and high demands placed on executives and business owners can lead to considerable stress and ultimately executive burnout

Although many of us think it’s possible to live on pure adrenalin alone, sadly it’s not the case. A 2018 Gallup study of 7,500 employees found that a significant 23% reported feeling burnt out at work very often or always, and 44% feel burnt out at work sometimes. 

These figures tell us that there is a considerable problem in the workplace and that whilst many companies foster employee engagement programmes and promote a culture of care and collaboration, there is still a high demand placed on executives, especially those managing teams, and this often leads to physical and mental health issues. 

What is executive burnout?

As far back as 1897, executive burnout was recognised as a problem, when Murray Finch-Hatton, the 12th Earl of Winchilsea wrote to his fellow board members at the Great Horseless Carriage company: 

“Gentlemen — I believe you are aware that about three months ago, as the result of overwork, my health suddenly broke down, and Sir William Broadbent . . . ordered me at once to go to the Riviera.”

Unfortunately, Murray Finch-Hatton’s rehabilitation was unsuccessful. On his return, he was deemed unfit to work and had to step down from his role. A year later, at 47, he was dead. 

Executive burnout can affect us in a number of different ways:

One of the biggest concerns of executive burnout is self-medication.

Using drugs and alcohol to get through busy or stressful periods can negatively impact our daily lives and may lead to a substance abuse problem. 

The cost to companies of executive burnout

white river manor - stress

When work-related stress leads to drug and alcohol abuse it has a major effect on our work quality and productivity levels.

Feeling stressed and self-medicating to get through these periods is not a weakness on the part of the employee. Light use of drugs or alcohol are commonplace in the executive world.

They are seen as necessary supplements to push through physical and mental boundaries and perform at the highest level. However, when we are pushed to this limit it’s time to get our priorities in order. 

Companies must also take responsibility for the health and well-being of employees because the cost of replacing good team members is expensive.

A recent article in the Huffington Post suggested that losing good team members can cost an average of $25,000 dollars in the hiring of new staff, and it doesn’t stop there. There is also a loss in productivity, with time spent on training up new employees, which put costs nearer to $50,000. 

Aside from the financial costs, losing a good employee has a negative effect on staff morale and can lead to a loss of motivation amongst the rest of the team.

It’s much better to invest in employee health and wellbeing, and nurture their growth in the long-term.

The UK charity minds@work is doing just that: mentoring companies through storytelling and events to eradicate the stigma of mental illness in the workplace. 

Getting the right treatment

garden white river manor

As individuals suffering from executive burnout, one of the most successful ways of repairing the damage caused by over-stress and substance abuse is to seek alternative counselling and therapy

Whether it’s coupled with substance abuse or not, once executive burnout takes hold it’s vital to get help as quickly as possible, as we’ve already acknowledged that high levels of stress can lead to physical and mental health issues.

One of the best ways to do this is to step away from routine and participate in an executive rehabilitation programme. Here at White River Manor we offer specialised treatment for executive burnout and substance abuse in an idyllic location.

Our executive treatment centre is located in a picturesque setting, nestled along the White River, Mpumalanga, South Africa. We are just 17 kms away from Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves and home to the Big 5. 

entrance to white river manor

White River Manor offers a safe and protected environment where you can completely disconnect from environmental factors, such as career stress, peer influence and personal relationships, and focus on YOU and the road to recovery. 

When you choose to make the changes that will improve your life, it’s important to surround yourself with people who understand your problem and have the experience to support you through the recovery period.

We have a dedicated, on-site team of experts with decades of experience working with high profile business people who have been through exactly the same situation as you.

A stay at our five star recovery and wellness lodge means you get to step away from negativity and win back your purpose. Outside of the therapy programme you can participate in new and exciting experiences which can help you to see the world from a  new perspective. 

A holistic approach to executive burnout

holistic approach to recovery

Clinical research shows that social and cultural constraints can lead people to have thoughts or feelings, or behave in a specific way which increases stress levels.

One such pattern is that executives tend to normalise stress as they want to appear infallible. They appear to be resilient to 80 hour weeks and are connected 24/7, but on the inside, our bodies often can’t cope with this amount of pressure.

To understand and help an individual with executive burnout a qualitative and holistic approach is necessary.

At White River Manor our team of psychologists take time to explore the characteristics of each client, taking every element of the client’s life into consideration, and help them to find a healthy balance within all areas of life. 

We look at factors, such as the psychology and emotions of a person, together with their physical well-being and the spiritual aspects that tie these all together.

We put a high emphasis on daily exercise and a healthy diet during a client’s stay, both of which are essential to obtaining and maintaining long term balance.

If a person can learn to love themselves they will in turn begin to look after themselves. Finding healthy outlets in life are key to dealing with the stresses of modern day living.

Staying comfortable and connected

Of course, we understand that not all clients are able to disconnect completely from work and family life.

Our luxury recovery and wellness centre incorporates a business centre with Wifi and video conferencing facilities giving you the freedom and flexibility for when you need to stay in touch. 

Five-star treatment suite south africa

There are a range of comfortable suites which provide comfort and privacy for your stay. All set within a beautiful 100-year-old garden with a swimming pool.

You can also enjoy a gourmet chef, Milk Bar, Café and delicatessen. Everything you might enjoy from a five-star luxury hotel environment but with a dedicated team of professionals prioritizing your health and welfare.

At some point in life nearly all of us need a White River Manor. A place to reconnect and refocus with ourselves. But this is especially the case for executives going through burnout. 

They say a change is as good as a rest. At White River Manor you will enjoy both: time for healing and a change of perspective.

Contact us today for a free and confidential conversation with one of our highly trained professionals.

South Africa Luxury Rehab

April 20th, 2020 by

The go to luxury executive rehab facility for South Africa

Nestled in an ancient garden on the outskirts of the town of White River, the gateway to the Kruger National Park, White River Manor offers a comprehensive treatment programme tailored to meet the individual needs of clients seeking peace and quiet in one of the world’s most beautiful spots.

Regarded as one of the best addiction treatment centres in South Africa, it offers five-star accommodation and world-class treatment in a tranquil setting with the aim of offering clients a life-changing experience.ional use” was in fact regular use and he was likely dealing with a serious drug addiction.

White River Manor was founded by Jerry Hartless, Giles Fourie and Jeanine Fourie, who bought the 14-hectare property to create a facility that offered better care than Hartless had experienced in the United States. When it opened in 2015, the result was a top-class centre that offers luxury accommodation and faultless service at a fraction of the cost of international rehab facilities.

At its helm are the Fouries, who have more than 25 years’ experience between them working at a long-stay addiction treatment centre in South Africa. The centre also has a dynamic team of professionals consisting of clinical and counselling psychologists, psychiatrists, cognitive behavioural therapy specialists, eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapists, music and art therapists, addiction and behavioural specialist as well as a pastor and spiritual counsellor.

Individual and group therapy sessions use an advanced addiction treatment approach along with holistic therapeutic activities to restore balance and help clients make a smooth transition to a new life; the whole team at White River Manor works together on a client’s recovery plan, with a highly personalised approach to individual and group therapy.

Why South Africa citizens choose this rehab centre although not in their own native country

Fitness and exercise are seen as essential components of the recovery process and clients are encouraged to participate in activities designed to rejuvenate mind, body and soul.

Those at the centre have the freedom and flexibility to stay connected to both their businesses and loved ones; mobile phones and laptops are allowed and there is a business hub on the property with free wi-fi and a video conferencing facility.

Advocates of destination rehab say that, along with being a more affordable option, it offers an opportunity to put some distance between the person and their business or home situation and embrace new places, new cultures and new experiences.

At White River Manor there is an emphasis on adventurous activities which can have a powerful impact on a client’s recovery by building a renewed sense of self-worth. Experiences include a full-day safari tour of the Kruger National Park and a morning spent interacting with the gentle giants at Elephant Whispers, or hiking or mountain biking through scenic mountain and forest areas, ziplining across the expansive Graskop Gorge, canoeing on the wild Sabie River or quietly contemplating life while fishing on the stunning Komati River.

The minimum stay at White River Manor is 28 days but clients may stay for as long as they need for their recovery journey. All-inclusive pricing starts at $USD7950 for 28 days ($USD283 per day).

Visit their website for more information or, for a more affordable option at sister facility the White River Recovery Centre, Click here.


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