The Pavillon campus sits on just over 160 acres of natural and luxurious land in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, about 45 minutes from Asheville. The campus contains a natural waterfall, a lake, walking trails around the lake, and trails through the woods. Those woods themselves contain a treeless meadow at the top of one of the trails. It’s a naturally beautiful place, and we are reminded of that by the deer, foxes, geese, turkeys, and songbirds that visit or call this land their home. They live in luxury on this land.
In this beautiful environment Pavillon was founded in 1996. Since that time we have added a labyrinth and a few other outdoor features to help promote wellness, while seamlessly integrating them with the land as it already is.
The kind of mindfulness and attention to wellbeing evident in that kind of carefulness is seen indoors as well, with a variety of options including our Serenity Room and our Wellness Room. The Serenity Room is ideal for quiet, sitting, contemplation, reading, spiritual activities, etc. The Wellness Room houses some gymnasium equipment, weight machines, and so forth. Both of them are used in service of total wellbeing: bio-psycho-social-spiritual health.
It would probably come as no surprise to know, then, that Pavillon (as a program, its various services, and its staff – all “one” as we think of it) includes some specific attention to spirituality. At Pavillon each patient defines spirituality for themselves, as we would hope they would. In that effort we have some staff specifically dedicated to educating about, and providing support or coaching of, various wellness-related activities. These activities include various kinds of recreation, yoga, journaling, meditative practices that can fit for each person individually, and other personal-wellness activities that patients undertake. Sometimes, some of the best self-care techniques are the simplest and most natural, like taking a walk out on the land – and letting that experience remind us of things like beauty, simplicity, goodness, gratitude, harmony, and balance.
“Dignity and respect” are guiding words for Pavillon; we make our effort to live and demonstrate those intentional, and strive toward that aim each day. We hope to model an authentic hopefulness and wellbeing collectively as a program, as a staff, and individually as well. Many of us personally know that this requires us to find and lean on courage, willingness, humility, perseverance, and awareness – both as individuals and also together. Thankfully, sometimes we find the inspiration or guide for living we need being modeled to us by others.
Pavillon has a long-standing reputation for great food, and this is in no small measure due to our outstanding Executive Chef, Sous Chef, and the entire kitchen staff. The kitchen staff, the food they prepare, and their personal way of relating are high on the list of our alumni for over a decade now, of things at Pavillon that make a difference. And things that demonstrate Pavillon’s heart and spirituality. The excellence of the kitchen staff shown in the very practical matters of daily living (e.g. remembering a patient’s name as they make their way through the food line, the quality of the food itself, etc.) are lived examples of those kinds of spiritual principles, and principled service.
To help make our dedication to whole-person wellbeing even more thorough, we use an interdisciplinary clinical model and ours includes a Spiritual Director as part of the team. This not only makes our effort more concrete but also makes wellbeing simple, plain and real. Our Spiritual Director has been sought out for many years by various conferences and treatment programs to provide lectures, formal continuing education presentations, and facilitate workshops for the training of trainers – or at times to work directly with staff and other professionals on these topics. His approach is sought after because it is from the bottom-up (supporting or facilitating each person on their personal path as it already is) rather than top-down (teaching the patients formal academic information, or expert how-to instructional methods that must be conformed to). His approach fits our total program’s method, and is congruent with this place and with the land as a natural resource. Understanding a patient as a person can help make a big difference in the effectiveness of any clinical team, and our Spiritual Director also helps patients in their personal spiritual formation, development, and practical application, as needed.
Our array of excellent clinicians across the disciplines inside the team (counseling, primary care, addiction medicine, clinical psychology, nursing, spiritual care, and wellness), do a kind of work that is more than just individually excellent. The work they do is as an integrated and holistic system – an interdisciplinary team – promoting lasting recovery while standing within the beautiful and luxurious container of wellbeing that is this place: Pavillon.