Centro San Nicola Programma Terapeutico


Our 8 week treatment is based on a holistic interdisciplinary approach, which takes into account the multi-dimensional aspects of addiction in all its complexity.




We treat addictions from a medical, psychological, educational and spiritual point of view, through the application of several therapeutic and educational techniques. The therapeutic interventions we use are all evidence-based, and they include: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The Cognitive-Behavioural approach has widely shown its efficiency in the treatment of alcoholism and drug addictions in general, especially when integrated within a rehabilitation program.

The Cognitive-Behavioural Model of addictions is founded on the notion that drug addiction is a way of maladaptive coping, which the patient has acquired within a familiar environment, or in the group of peers.

The patient's process towards recovery is based on two components:

  • Functional analysis, which identifies thoughts, emotions and situations in which the patients makes use of alcohol and other substances.
  • "Skills Training" aiming to help the patient learning new ways to cope with the addiction.
; Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a therapy designed to help people change patterns of behaviour that are not effective, such as self-harm, suicidal thinking and substance abuse.

This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings and behaviours that lead to the undesired behaviour.

DBT assumes that people are doing the best that they can, but either are lacking the skills or are influenced by positive or negative reinforcement that interfere with one's functioning.

and the prevention of relapses through Mindfulness (Mindfulness-based relapse prevention – MBRP)

Combined and integrated with the traditional Cognitive-Behavioural approach, the Mindfulness-based approach is used in order to prevent potential relapses (Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention, MBRP).

Mindfulness helps patients to recognize those "triggers" that might set off a "craving" situation, and to take a distance from automatic mechanisms of impulsivity-compulsivity, thus offering them the opportunity to take control over their behaviour, and consequently their life.

; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Within the Cognitive-Behavioural model we give emphasis to ACT. ACT is a psychological empirical intervention, which combines strategies of acceptance and mindfulness with strategies of motivational engagement and behavioural changes.

It aims at increasing psychological flexibility, namely the capacity to develop, or persist with, behaviours that are in compliance with values that are meaningful to the life of the patient.

; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Very often, those who develop addictions or other compulsive behaviours have lived through a traumatic event that left them with deep scars. Substance abuse helps them to manage their traumatic memories, which appear in the form of flashbacks, or nightmares.

Through EMDR techniques it is possible to "unlock" the traumatic information, and help the patients to identify those memories which led them to their current situations as well as to re-elaborate them in the "here and now".

; Equine assisted psychotherapy (IEP); 12 Step Facilitation

The 12 step Minnesota Facilitation is successfully applied both in the alcohol and drug addiction fields, in addition to the treatment of other impulsive-compulsive behaviours. The Minnesota Model is based on the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12 steps.

Its goal is to obtain freedom from addiction and to bring about a personality change in the patient's way of thinking, in his/her behaviour, and in the way he/she experiences emotions; a spiritual experience aiming at improving the patient's quality of life.

This is also achieved through group meetings with people who have already completed their rehabilitative process, through analysing and understanding one's own difficulties, and through the acquisition of new coping strategies.

; Motivational counselling; Family counselling and self-help groups.


Centro San Nicola


The treatment is personalized, as it considers each facet of the client's history, psychopathological profile, and individual elements of addiction. Some of our specific goals in the process towards rehabilitation are as follows:



Centro San Nicola


At the end of the treatment programme, clients will be strongly encouraged to continue their participation in self-help groups in their own country. However, our staff will also provide three formal follow-up sessions during the first six months after discharge to evaluate and monitor the client's progress toward a new life free from addictions. Both follow-ups and therapeutic sessions can be done with us via telephone, Skype, or with our network of UK based health care professionals.