ABOUT ALPHA SOBER LIVING
Alpha Sober Living is a sober house for men in the heart of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. We use strength training and martial arts as body–based therapies to augment and compliment the psycho-social aspects of our programme (counselling and recovery support groups). Clients do not have to do any specific martial art, but they are invited to use at least one of a number of physical disciplines to assist their healing process.
Alpha is owned and run by Alastair Mordey, one of the pioneers of drug and alcohol treatment in Thailand. Over 18 years of working in the substance abuse field Alastair has overseen the treatment of more than 2500 addicted people. He has worked across all four tiers of the UK drug treatment system, from drug detox to sober living. In 2010 Alastair moved to Thailand and co-founded The Cabin Chiang Mai – one of the largest drug and alcohol rehab groups outside of the US – which he ran from its inception in 2010 until 2017. As chief clinical architect of The Cabins global operations Alastair authored the treatment system Recovery Zones and developed the philosophy and methods behind The Edge – a young men’s treatment programme. Both of these treatment systems have strongly influenced the model used by many of South East Asia’s rehabs today.
Chiang Mai has become the centre of the Thai rehab sector over the last 10 years for a good reason. When Alastair and the other Cabin founders located here in 2010 there were virtually no other rehabs in Asia. Now there are 20 or more and many of them are located in Chiang Mai.
The Alpha sober house is a family run business. Alastair runs the programme and manages a highly effective team of associated counsellors, physical trainers and alternative health practitioners who deliver the cutting edge programme to every client in this unique space at Alpha Sober Living.
YOGA & MEDITATION COACH
Kwan is a physical fitness instructor and addictions therapist. She worked closely with Alastair from the very inception of the Cabin Group and can rightly be said to be the first Thai clinician to work in the western rehab space. Before working in the rehab sector Kwan was a qualified Les Mills International group exercise instructor and ran her own yoga and Pilates studio in Chiang Mai for ten years. She also worked as a consultant at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, as well as some of Asia’s premier boarding schools, helping them set up fitness programmes. Kwan is accredited with the Asia Pacific Certification Board (APCB) and specializes in working with Thai nationals and agencies such as training Thai government treatment facilities and also working closely with The Office of Narcotic Board Control in Bangkok.
Fihn majored in English at Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai. She worked alongside Alastair as a personal assistant during his time as a director at The Cabin, and has a good understanding of the needs and issues of addicted people accessing recovery in Thailand. She has since gone on to develop small businesses within the organic food space, and has specific skills in Thai fusion cuisine. She is well integrated into the Chiang Mai community and has an extensive network of alternative practitioners and health specialists. Above all she brings the famous Thai hospitality and care, as well as the feminine touch to the alpha project.
Jane is a well know member of the Chiang Mai business community. She has worked in teaching and real estate as well as running multiple restaurant businesses. Again, Jane brings extensive local knowledge and contacts, as well as the famous Thai talent for hospitality, good food and family values.
At Alpha Sober House we believe that anybody can get clean and sober with the right methods and the right attitude. At Alpha Sober Living we believe the way we think creates the way we feel and therefore the way we behave. Below are the five pillars of Alpha’s philosophy.
1. MAINTAIN ABSTINENCE.
Addiction is a disease of reward, memory and learning. It is strongly driven by the brain’s dopaminergic system and manifests itself in any human behaviour that is perceived of as rewarding. These behaviours are not limited to the abuse of drugs and alcohol. But regardless of what your addiction is you can arrest it by defining what the destructive elements of that rewarding behaviour are and maintaining abstinence around them.
2. LEARN TO SACRIFICE THE PRESENT FOR THE FUTURE.
It is clear that easy and quick access to pleasure drives much of our behaviour in the modern world. But we must understand that if something makes us feel good quickly and easily then it is probably short–lived and may well cost us something later on. The opposite is also true. What is painful and difficult now often bears fruit later, if we stick at it. At Alpha we believe in persevering to achieve our goals, and in aligning those goals with the good of the whole.
3. BE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS.
As social primates, humans have evolved to function as members of a tribe. This is why isolation is so intolerable for us. Addiction is characterized by increasing isolation. As we drink or use more, our isolation increases. Therefore, recovery cannot be achieved alone, but must involve intensive psycho–social reintegration. Being of service to others is one of the most potent behavioural medicine’s available for people in recovery.
4. LEARN TO REGULATE YOUR EMOTIONS.
Sobriety from drugs and alcohol (chemical sobriety) is not enough on its own. We also need to consider our emotional sobriety. Learning how to regulate our emotions is very important in living a full life, both in work, relationships, and our own inner well–being. If our emotions remain unregulated we are sure to relapse. This is actually the most important aspect of long term sobriety – not abstinence.
5. DEVELOP A SENSE OF PURPOSE.
All human beings need a sense of purpose and meaning. At Alpha Sober Living we encourage the exploration of any potentially beneficial ways of living, and this includes those that are to be found in traditional belief systems, religions and various spiritual practices. At Alpha Sober living we use meditation, yoga and traditional martial arts as ‘grounding techniques’ within our own system of ‘somatic experiencing.