Our clients' feedback is essential, not just at the end of a stay but throughout and AFTER their retreat. Below you will find their thoughts on how our intensive program has impacted their lives.
The DAR program was just fantastic and I feel like a new man. Bali was amazing and the sessions really did wonders for me. I have been recommending it to a few of my friends who are burnt out and would benefit from a break and some therapy. Unfortunately it's still taboo to talk about stuff like that eventhough I feel free. Thank you for the help you have given me and the tools you taught me — stress is a totally different thing now. "
Just over a year ago I suffered a significant bereavement. I lost the one family member I was remotely close to and my best friend — my mum. We were especially close, holidaying and sometimes even living together – by choice, nonetheless! Despite the distance between us (about 250 miles) we spoke every day for up to an hour and sometimes all day on the weekends. I suppose the fact that I didn't have many other friends made us even closer and subsequently I became dangerously reliant on her.
Then one day — out of nowhere, she was gone. In a split second I had lost my rock, my family, my friend and the only person I could ever really depend on. I was devastated. My world turned upside down. But though I didn't think it at the time, all hope was not lost… Because this tragic occurrence was the catalyst for a major positive change in my life.
I had been suffering from mental health problems for a long time before I lost my mum. I was what you might call "troubled" – allegedly (as my therapists believe) resulting from a number of traumatic events that took place in my teenage years. Over the years I've been diagnosed with a myriad conditions – Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Autism, Body Dysmorphia, Clinical Depression… It seemed there wasn't much that I didn't have! Needless to say, losing someone so close to me tipped me over the edge and, not to put too finer point on it, I fell apart.
I was on the edge of a precipice no longer wanting to live. Those close to me were constantly anxious, wondering if today would be the day they got the call to say I'd gone through with it. It was a very difficult time for everyone.
I had inherited some money and decided on the advice of friends, to dip into it and check myself into a private psychiatric hospital for a couple of weeks. This way I could actually receive the correct treatment for me – intensive one–on–one therapy. What's the point of having all that inheritance if I'm not around to spend it, right? Unfortunately I soon discovered that "daily one–on–one" therapy is simply not something available to patients in the UK – NHS or private. I was advised by a psychiatrist at Cygnet Hospital in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, to look into private facilities in America – where they approach mental health in a different way to us and may offer the intensive therapy that I required.
I was in the darkest of places but little did I know that everything was about to change – this time for the better.
After some internet research I found "DAR". DAR operates from a beautiful hotel described as an "eco–village" set amongst luscious green rice paddies in the tropical paradise of Bali, Indonesia.
DAR is a place where people can go to work on their mental and physical well–being. Although I think that most people who stay at the retreat are there to address mental health issues, it also offers couples therapy. I believe you can even take part in tantric workshops if you are so inclined! But that was not what I was there to experience.
The retreat believes in a holistic approach to therapy. Guests receive 1–2 hours of daily one–on–one (or you can choose to attend a group program) cognitive behavioral (talking) therapy with a British born and British/French educated psycho–therapist. In addition to this you can attend yoga classes, meditation groups and take massages. While in the hotel you are encouraged to eat "clean". There are plenty of vegan and raw options available and most fruit and vegetables are organically grown in the allotments on site. If you don't want to eat leaves for a week or two however, there are also many other delicious non–vegan but relatively healthy options on the menu. A favourite of mine was the parmesan, pine nut and pesto pasta! The hotel is obviously a fan of alliteration…
Outside of the therapy sessions I was encouraged to read books on mindfulness such as "Wherever You Go, There You Are" by John Kabat–Zinn and The Power of Now by Erkhart Toll – the former being a fantastic book to read and I recommend it to everyone. Whether or not you struggle with mental health, this book offers some interesting and insightful perspectives. The elegant loungers and gazebos surrounding the hotel swimming pool provide the perfect soothing environment for you to relax and read. I also did a lot of self–reflection during my stay – keeping a diary, completing written and mental exercises. I practiced daily meditation (you're walked through how to do it if it's not something you're used to) and behavioral techniques intended to modify how I emotionally assess and react to situations in life.
And if there's one thing that I learned from Bali, it was that it all begins with "Breathing". Sounds ridiculous? Implausible? I know, but it truly does work. Control your breathing and you can begin to control your emotional and subsequent physical responses to stress and distressing situations.
I don't know whether it was the techniques my therapist used or just his informal and uniquely approachable (for a clinician) manner but he made me feel valued and for the first time in my adult life – not crazy. I stayed in Bali for two weeks (although you can opt to stay for only one) – the most amazing two weeks of my life. I came back to the UK positive, self–confident and revitalized. I understood what it was like to truly love and appreciate yourself. How many of us actually do that? Appreciate ourselves… I don't think it's as crazy as it sounds. I learned how to stop criticizing everything I do, every thought I have and I learned how to judge myself and others less harshly.
Suddenly the world, life, was much less taxing. Suddenly being all alone in the world without my dear mum didn’t seem so scary. I saw the beauty in nature, in people, in life and in living. In the amazing existence of everything on the planet. So rarely do we stop and think about how wonderful all that is around us is.
Of course I still miss my mum. Of course I’m still grieving. But now I know that there is goodness to be had in life and I want to keep going. I want to live.
I don't know if everyone who visits the retreat leaves with the same "enlightenment" that I achieved, but I am confident that having the time away focusing on you and your mental well–being would benefit anyone and everyone.
Apart from the new found inner peace, the best bit about this whole thing? The entire two weeks including my return flights from London cost me £1000 less than the psychiatric hospital would have.
I never could have imagined a year ago that I would be in the mental and emotional place that I am today. I'm calm, reasoned, rational, content, positive, relaxed, confident and strong. I can't wait for the rest of my life and it would not have happened without my trip to Bali.
Perhaps those voluntarily admitting themselves to private psychiatric hospitals should consider other options – like this retreat in Bali. I know that I would not have found the same enlightenment in a cold and clinical facility in Harrogate.
So here I am – spreading the word. And I hope one day someone reads this and rather than checking in to hospital as a last resort, they take a trip to the beautiful island of Bali – where I finally learned how to love life.
Now that I'm back home, I have to say that my programme at DAR was transforming experience. Jeremy was fantastic and the host resort is just the most beautiful location - with amazing food, relaxing surroundings and lovely staff. It was the perfect setting for healing the soul! The retreat was most certainly a success and I have the tools and new habits now to bring back into my daily life. "
What can I say?! I have left a completely different person with a completely new perspective on myself and the life that I had created for myself. My room at the resort was my haven and safe place, which I felt completely at home in. Having never really done yoga, the classes have turned me into a yoga lover. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. I always felt quite intimidated by the world of yoga, but I was wrong – it's amazing.
Jeremy was my saviour! He has changed my life forever and I will be eternally grateful. He has taught me life lessons that I feel so lucky to have learnt. He was the perfect person to take me through the process and gave me everything I needed, and more throughout.
Enough gushing! I just wanted to thank you for helping me organise this and to say, honestly, your programme has changed my life forever. It was perfect and I wouldn't have changed a thing. The resort staff were disarmingly friendly and made me feel so welcome and I have left feeling like a new person. I don't recognise who arrived into Bali 12 days ago.
I am a Bali lover and it will always have a place in my heart as the place where I healed.
Thank you so much, words cannot describe my gratitude, "
I have the pleasure of recommending Sue and her DAR CBT retreat programme (www.depressionandanxietyretreats.com). In my London practice, I utilise the most up-to-date assessment and treatment procedures – similarly, the DAR programme uses therapeutic best practice and very importantly, combines an integrated format using intensive mindfulness meditation technique training and yoga to complement the CBT. The results they are achieving are testament to the success of this unique and extremely effective retreat programme. I would recommend them to anyone looking for an intensive CBT retreat. "
A special big thank you to Dr Jeremy who literally saved my life. I was going down a dark path and I am so lucky to have a good friend who suggested I go on this retreat at the end of the world. It was worth every penny. Bali is incredibly beautiful and serene and quiet which is exactly what I needed. I cannot say thank you enough. I am now free from my own mind. I am relieved and endeavor to use my time and energy for a higher purpose, ME. "
My husband found the DAR therapy program online. I was not willing to go on my own so he joined me in Bali. Although he was not allowed to stay with me which I found very difficult, the team and Jeremy made me feel safe and comfortable. I am a changed person. I have been through a lot during this intense therapy and I now see how bad I needed to be surrounded by such positive people and the best psychologist I know. I see the world in a different way now and with time I will be able to fulfill myself and be true to who I am. Thank you dearly. "
I have been working in high pressure environments for 25 years thinking that stress, be it personal or professional, could be overcome with positive thought and simply "getting on with it". Apparently there is a bottom to that barrel … When I came to Jeremy I was alive … by that I mean functioning (though not well). I ate … poorly, as I think I was looking for death by chocolate as a solution. I slept like a prey in the jungle and I bathed a least once every two days. I was so keen to numb my thoughts that I binge watched TV box sets, cried a lot and engaged with my friends and family on a need to know basis.
My husband contacted DAR and said "she's broken … if I send her, can you fix her?" So i went, skeptically … mostly because I wanted to escape where I was. But you know what they say, wherever you go, there you are.
In 8 days, though I must confess the first 3 were rough (think child being made to take cod-liver oil), I was able to see a mountain of possibility where previously I felt hopeless. To have the strength and courage to redesign my life when previously I felt timid and lifeless, and the energy to take on challenges where previously getting off the couched seemed like a massive chore.
Dr. Jeremy is kind, perceptive, intelligent and tenacious with your well being.
If you are in a slump, burnout or simply wanting to find new perspective and direction, Dr. Jeremy is just the ticket. The resort used by DAR is wholesome and nurturing with fresh, home–grown food, lovely rustic villas oozing with charm and privacy, fab yoga instructors 6 times a day and a spa that you can indulge in every day.
Bali is a magical place where healing internally and externally seem to happen when you're not looking. Working with Dr. Jeremy and the DAR program is quite simply the best gift you can give yourself and those you love. You are the only you that you have … "
I had to literally go to the End of the World to realize the truth about my panic attacks. This was my reaction to the first session with Dr. Jeremy. After two weeks of hard work he put me back together in a manner that I haven't experienced before. Jeremy works like a precise neurosurgeon. And even though our psyche is not visible, he aims his scalpel exactly where it hurts and carves the pain away. For me, he is the surgeon of the soul and very precise one.
I would describe his approach as a "Holistic" one: Healing both, the body and the soul. He gave me a fresh perspective, never heard before: "One day you will be your own therapist." What a horizon! And he is not talking years! Months a year maximum is his estimate.
"Each of us can be our own savior" and thanks to Jeremy we are not that far away from this wonderful insight in our most peaceful and calm heart beat. "
As a senior executive for a large bank, I've lived with workplace pressures all my life. A health scare last year left me completely blindsided; in my entire career I have needed time off for medical reasons. The stress levels grew, time away from the office, not being on top of things in the short term, who would be after my job? I didn't do well mentally with the overwhelming feeling of vulnerability. Things continued to pile on top of me, the stress from the scare combined with the worry about my job left me in a state of anxiety and worry that I couldn't snap out of. My wife found DAR online and almost immediately I was on a Skype call discussing my mental state, the depression I was feeling, all of it. I felt immediately relieved to have found my therapist, completely relieved to be able to open up without fear of seeming weak or a failure. I attended the Take Control of Anxiety & Depression retreat a few weeks ago and I can honestly say that it has saved me from a complete breakdown. Bali is a shock to the senses in every good way, everything is so different from home and immediately you feel you can switch off and focus on getting well. Everything about the experience impacted me greatly and I made a group of friends at the retreat that I am in touch with regularly. That helps a great deal because they can remind me of what we learned if I start to feel that vulnerability rush come over me again. The therapists at DAR know how to get to the root of emotional problems in a way that makes you feel instantly at ease and able to open up very quickly. It was a great help to have others with me – we had time outside of sessions to get to know each other better and to share the experiences that took us to Bali in the first place. The yoga, the mindfulness meditation, the massages, and most importantly, the intensive CBT sessions taught me how to not fall victim to those feelings of worry and fright and how to almost step out of myself to question my belief systems. I have learned tools to help me with the rest of my life and things I can share with my children if and when they need to know. Sincere thanks to all of the team at DAR who have helped me gain such strength in such a short time. "
Depression for me was a way of life. I can't remember a time when I didn't feel like crying, or living for that matter. My overbearing mother meant that I grew up with little confidence in my own abilities to take care of myself. A series of very bad relationships left me feeling that I would be alone, and lonely, for all of my life. I had tried therapy of various types in the past and they helped for a time, but then some major event would occur in my life and I'd be right back to the same old deeply depressed state of mind. After three months in bed with the curtains pulled, I felt sick of myself and sick of always feeling "sick". I found DAR when searching for therapists abroad and because I had been to Bali before; I knew the island would be an excellent place to try, one more time, therapy. This time however it would be intensive, there would be company with me and after my Skype call and hearing what the retreat programme offered, I decided to try one more time. Through our sessions, the Daisy therapists taught us about core beliefs, ingrained beliefs we hold about ourselves and others. It was like a eureka moment when it clicked in my head and I could see the patterns in my life and for the first time understand why I behave the way I do and why I think the way I do (and vice versa). I don't think I will ever see things the same way and I am eternally grateful for what I have learned during my time away. I cannot recommend DAR highly enough. "
The intensive Take Control of Anxiety & Depression CBT retreat was the best thing I've ever done for myself. No longer do I make excuses for missing social occasions, I am able to communicate with my colleagues without breaking out into a rash and last week, I made my first presentation at my new company which went better than I could have ever hoped for. My therapistís sincere and empathetic approach to the social anxiety I have suffered with for years helped me to realize that I don't need to listen to that inner voice telling me I'm useless, stupid or unloved. I remind myself of this every day now. And this time I actually believe it. Thank you Jeremy for being the person you are. "
My wife and I attended DAR and we both can honestly say it was the best 8 days of our lives, since the earlier days of our relationship. The clinical care team addressed the issues we were having in a frank and open way and helped us to say the things we had needed to say to each other for a very long time. I have friends who have had CBT and they recommended it for us, but I had also heard many negative reports of unsuccessful couple's therapy experiences. The fact that DAR was in Bali made the decision easier because we could have a vacation in an exotic place and at the same time, attempt to heal our marriage. Both my wife and I learned so much about ourselves and each other and we now have the understanding of each other's triggers for emotional upset. CBT taught us to let go of preconceived notions of each other, of the impact of our own behaviour on each other and now, our relationship is stronger and deeper than ever. If your marriage or relationship is struggling, book your retreat as soon as you can. You'll be happy you did. "
I was reluctant to get on a plane and fly so far away to a place I'd never been before and concerned that I could make the trip at all with my mental state the way it was. I have Bipolar II and I have spent more time in hospital than I care to remember. Things reached crisis point last year and I tried to kill myself for the second time. My friends and my family found DAR during one of my stays in one of the many NHS hospitals I've been admitted to. They were frustrated by the lack of meaningful attention I was receiving from the psychologist assigned to me and while all the staff did as much as they could to help me, it just wasn't enough. Self-acceptance for me, six months ago, would have been the farthest thing from my mind. I had hurt so many people in my life, I had lost so many close friends because of my behaviour and I hated myself. I spent 16 days in Bali with the clinical team at DAR, reliving what felt like every bad experience I'd had for the last ten years. Each team member has great understanding and experience in treating people with Bipolar and they have taught me how to understand my illness and how to watch for the triggers or signals that tend to push me a bit too far. They helped me understand how my negative, unrelenting thoughts played out in my behaviour. I now understand how to think through my demons when they come to call and I can now bounce back more quickly. I understand now I need rest and I need to take care of myself, mentally and physically. I returned to England actually wanting to be alive! Of course I still have times when the demons come knocking again, when I want to grab a bottle of gin and forget who I am. When that happens, I practice the mindfulness that I learned in Bali and I breathe. Thank you DAR team for all you have done for me. "
My husband found DAR for me on a day when he felt so desperate to help me that he couldn't bring himself to leave for the office that morning. Normally, my mood fluctuations were something he managed so graciously, even more so since having our first child 18 months ago. The depression that set in after Charlie was born was like nothing I had experience before and something you think you will never, ever recover from. I'm sure my hormones were playing a part in how dreadful I was feeling, but this time I had reached a new low. He took me off to Bali after I met the Daisy therapist on Skype. He had this natural, easy way about him that made me feel immediately "settled", a feeling that I had long since forgotten. Arriving in Bali to the most stunning villa and gardens, in that warm sunshine with all the sounds and smells made it much easier to forget the stress I'd left behind (and the guilt of leaving my son). Slowly we worked through my emotional history and he concluded that for much of my life, I had suffered (unknowingly) from recurrent depression. My parents had shrugged off my mood swings as just that, being moody. But something in me was innately unhappy for as long as I can remember, and the change in hormones post-birth triggered a bout of depression like I had never felt before. The entire Daisy therapy team was natural, down to earth and not as I imagined therapy would be. The teamís mastery of CBT to work though my negative automatic thoughts and my catastrophic thinking and most importantly, to make me become my own therapist, is simply amazing. I want to tell everyone about DAR, I wish we had found it sooner. I am forever grateful to the staff at DAR for the wonderful care they gave to me during my stay." "
I had been diagnosed with everything from depression and anxiety, to Borderline Personality Disorder. I had also spent many, many years in therapy in the UK and the USA. I've taken every pill imaginable, all prescribed to me by reputable psychiatrists. I think back and maybe I never explained to them properly, I had these thoughts in my head that made me paralyzed with worry about simple things, horrible things – hurting my young daughter if I was left alone with her, which only made me worry more about my mental health. When a friend told me he had found a place in Bali that he felt could really, really help me and (because we're surfers) we'd have a surfing holiday like never before, I thought why not. The incredible team and the programme at DAR is like nothing I had experienced in therapy before, nothing at all. There were three other people with me on my retreat and all of us suffered from – had FINALLY diagnosed properly after so many lost years – OCD. It's amazing how people suffer from this crippling disorder in different ways, including what I had come to know OCD as, constant hand washing, constant 'rituals'. But OCD also affects your thoughts, these repetitive, horrible, disabling thoughts that sent me into the pit of self-loathing. Our sessions were focused and intense, with each person being able to confront their fears and learn how to move beyond them. We did exposures, and Bali is a great place for doing that no matter what you suffer from. I will tell everyone I know about DAR. My friends say it's the best thing that ever happened to me!"
When I found DAR I had just had a complete meltdown at work. I've been in marketing all my life and enjoy the fast paced environment, the pressure and the rush you get when a campaign you worked very hard on hits the mark. My mood had been getting lower and lower over the preceding six months until that day at the office when a major project went terribly wrong at the last minute; I felt this crushing pain on my chest and barely made it out that night. My best friend came to check on me that evening and together we decided enough was enough, I couldn't keep working at this pace, taking on my co–workers work when they couldn't cope and trying to make sure I covered every base all the time, in every area of my life. I had searched for a place that offered respite and intensive therapy. We found DAR on Google and after I had my consultation with their lead therapist on Skype I booked my flights. I can honestly say that the 8 days I spent in Bali were the best days of my life. The island of Bali is amazing and the accommodation at DAR was top class. Being able to practice on what we learned in daily sessions by the pool was amazing, I had to pinch myself at times because I felt 100% better after the first day there. What I learned in Bali will be my coping "tool box" for the rest of my life and I thank you all at DAR from the bottom of my heart."
When I was asked if I could write a testimonial for the DAR programme, I couldn't say yes fast enough! To think that in just eight days I have turned into a person that feels able to cope and able to walk with my head held high is nothing short of a miracle! I've spent too many years being afraid of my own shadow, afraid of hurting other people or letting other people down. This intensive CBT programme has taught me how to set boundaries and how to say no. It's been an adjustment, that's for sure, but I'm doing it! Thank you so much!"
My husband and I are both in the medical profession and have very demanding careers. Our marriage of 15 years was dissolving in front of us and neither of us wanted to separate but it seemed there was no other way. We had grown so far apart and seemed happier in the company of friends than with each other. Marriage counseling, or therapy just didn't appeal to us but we felt there was no other choice. We went online and found DAR in Bali, a place neither of us had ever even heard of! Both of us love the beach so together we decided to commit to the program because we still loved each other. The CBT, mindfulness therapy and yoga are a combination that made us both able to turn around our relationship and our views of each other. To have other couples there with us made a big difference, there was a comradery that soon developed between the couples. All of us learned together through the CBT sessions, we were able to practice scenarios together and see so easily in others where things could be done better. They helped us to see the same! We feel so much aware of ourselves now and how our thoughts and behaviors are intricately related. To do it together as a couple means you have a partner in every sense to learn with, reflect with and move forward with. We recommend the couples retreat at DAR very highly!"
From someone who has seen a multitude of therapists, spent time in many hospitals, had two stays at a leading mental health hospital in London and still spent most of my life in a depressed state – I found the one person, finally, who helped me understand I am not my disorder (bipolar ii), I'm a human being. Everyone makes mistakes, it's part of living. Mine were bigger, more frequent and much more damaging. The therapy team has helped me to begin accepting myself for the good things I am rather than the disappointing failure I have always labeled myself as. Thank you DAR for taking the time to understand and help me, you have all saved my life."
The intensive therapy at DAR has helped me move forward after the breakup of a serious relationship. The Daisy team of therapists showed me showed me how to look at my core beliefs (life traps) and together we broke down the many ingrained beliefs I had that were ruining my life. They helped me understand the impact of my childhood on those belief systems but more importantly, how I made them part of my automatic thought processes over the years. The eureka moment came when I realized that I could easily question myself over these beliefs whenever I feel they are keeping me from being happy. Eight of the most well spent days of my life. Thank you to everyone at DAR!."