The Concept Of Calm

I have been asked many times about the origins of Calm and also what aside from the obvious non-12 step approach, what makes Calm different to other rehabs in Bali? Let me try to explain; The concept of Calm was developed over five years ago, before we started operations. Having been successfully treated overseas myself, I gradually came to the realization that I wanted to enter this profession and help others.


I initially looked at developing a sober living network, however, the further into the research I got, the more I became interested in moving towards a more clinical approach. I discussed my ideas with my longtime friend Andy (now Calm’s Business Development Director), who had seen what rehabilitation had done for me and who himself wanted to be involved in something more rewarding.

The two of us then entered into a lengthy period of research, analysis and education and came to the conclusion that much could be done to improve the quality of rehabilitation services throughout the region. This was notable in areas such as staff development and training, as well as stability and pay.


One thing that was agreed upon in one of our very early meetings was that if we were going to move into this specialist field we had to do it the right way, legally and ethically, from top to bottom. This meant having the correct legal structure and gaining support and licensing from the relevant authorities. We also needed to find the right property to eventually launch Calm.


Here started a lengthy process of viewing property after property, with nowhere ticking all the boxes. The property would be peaceful with no road noise, enjoying a view, with enough bedrooms to function as a rehab, spacious grounds to aid recovery and relaxation, and enough building space to accommodate a therapeutic center away from the main residence. We needed swimming pools, grounds and large living areas. The property had to be beautiful yet practical.


How the property was eventually found was quite humorous, having spent months driving around Bali looking for the perfect place, I overheard a conversation between a real estate agent and a gentleman who was complaining of not knowing what to do with his riverside estate, I introduced myself and before long we had secured the most idyllic property imaginable for Calm but there was still a long way to go.

Next came the process of building a team of professionals to collaborate on the development of a program that must be effective, dynamic and rewarding for our clients. In my opinion, the team is the most important aspect of any rehab. Without them being passionate, relatable, patient and understanding there would be no connection made with our clients, and regardless of how effective we were able to make our program, the effectiveness would not translate to our clients.


Thankfully we are fortunate enough to have attracted the best possible team I could have imagined, professionals from all walks of life who do their respective jobs because they genuinely care. We took our time in finding the right people and we look after them. A lot of them gave up their personal time in the early days to ensure we were making good progress and from day one there has been a momentum behind us, with the right people appearing at the right time and working together to develop a program which is inclusive, clinically sound and based on neuroscience.


Both Andy and I believed from the offset that the approach to treatment should be clinically sound, an evidence-based program that was a marked departure from the more traditional 12-Step focused approach. As far as I know Calm is the only rehab in the world that does not use the word “addict”, nor do we discuss God or rely on the concept of a Higher Power to guide our clients through troubled times and into sobriety. 12-Step programs in their various forms have helped millions of people, and I absolutely believe they can provide a great support to people, especially for maintaining sobriety, however this approach is absolutely not for everyone, nor does working the steps constitute rehabilitation, despite what some might say.

Our clinical team’s approach to delivering our program is centered on the belief that shaming people does not work and this will never change. Shame simply drives the addiction cycle and by removing the shame we are able to break the cycle and start the healing process.


We have come a long way but we remain as committed as ever to ensuring our services are world class, and that every client we work with benefits from our person-centered approach, working side by side to build a solid foundation for a better life.