The Freedom Model Reviews

Experience the Difference at the Freedom Model Retreats

  • If you would like to personally speak with a past guest of The Freedom Model Retreats, our Family Consultants can help you do so. We invite you to visit our Facebook Page where you will be able to ask directly about other people’s experience at The Freedom Model Retreats.

    There are a multitude of addiction professionals, scientistists, and scholars that have reviewed The Freedom Model. You can access some of these Reviews here..

Learning that you can still be connected to the outside world and still learn that I have the power to change. I control my life, my choices, and my future. My past doesn’t define who I am or who I will become. My future is all in my hands. I will go on to do great things now that I have this knowledge. I’m more confident about who I am then I have been in years. Thank you to all my presenters and the staff for helping me. I went from having anxiety attacks daily to during this six week period only having three.Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Review

Words cannot begin to explain! If someone told me I would be giving myself my life back and it’s going to be better than it’s ever been before, I’d say they were crazy! Wait, that’s what happened.. I get to give myself the best gift ever, me! The staff and the program saw me through the whole process and I will be forever greatful for their hospitality, care, and friendships. I don’t ever have to live the way I was before, and for that, I say thank you!Alcohol and Drug Addiction Ends Now

The Freedom Model has truly saved my life. I’m beyond greatful for the program here, it truly works if it something you really want. The staff here are unbelievably amazing and helpful. I would refer this place to anyone in need of help.Alcohol and Drug Addiction Ends Now

The last six weeks have been absolutely incredible, truly what I needed to get myself back on track. I appreciated their research based, practical program and texts… realistic, reasonable and sensible approaches not just to the issues of substance abuse, but really life. I came here a broken individual, unsure of myself, unaware of my own skills and accomplishments, and am leaving here as a confident man ready to take life head on.Alcohol and Drug Addiction Ends Now

I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to come to the retreat. I wish and hope others can gain knowledge on how amazing this program is and that there are alternatives out there. The staff could not have been better throughout my stay and truly make this place a great stepping stone for the rest of my life.Alcohol and Drug Addiction Ends Now

I have learned a tremendous amount at The Freedom Model. It is a transition period in my life and I needed help to figure out how to accept and understand my life, as well as ways to help get out of a downward spiral. The presmises and tools make sense to me. I feel more confident about going back with a different perspective to circumstances that are the same. The staff here has been amazing. Every single person, in his or her own unique way, is clearly caring, empathic, upbeat and, most importantly, nonjudgmental. They create safety, when most of us feel defensive and judged. Thank you, everyone, for being that safety net. I highly recommend the program as a true non 12-Step program that provides knowledge, tools, and examples of how to resume living a positive, full life.Alcohol and Drug Addiction Ends Now

Being at The Freedom Model and doing the program for six weeks was a really enlightening experience. I gained the tools I needed, as well as making life long support, and friends. The retreat really allowed me to come out of my shell. I will carry these skills for the rest of my life.Alcohol and Drug Addiction Ends Now

The staff here was amazing at every level, they helped me realize my full potential.Alcohol and Drug Addiction Ends Now

This is a great place to feel safe and be vulnerable at a time when I needed to be open with myself. Great staff and clean environment- They really care about the individual..Alcohol and Drug Addiction Ends Now

The program provided me the materials and space necessary to assess my life and decide to move on from what was not working. Thank you The Freedom Model! Alcohol and Drug Addiction Ends Now

I really enjoyed all the staff here everyone is so nice and never makes you feel out of place. I felt like I could be myself and not get judged. Thank you guys for everything. I haven’t felt this confident and happy in a long time.Alcohol and Drug Addiction Ends Now

I am extremely thankful for the program. I’m proud of myself for what I’ve learned and accomplished here. The excellent staff and people I’ve met here has changed my life. Upon leaving the program I am more confident than I ever was now having a rock solid foundation to build off of for the rest of my life.

The Freedom Model has been a life altering experience for me that I wouldn’t trade the time or knowledge I have gained for anything. I have tried the 12-step programs countless times, just to end up worse off than when I arrived. The program has given me the confidence, self esteem, as well as the tools I need to succeed in life and handle any situations that may arise and overcome them.

I had attended AA multiple times (too many to count) and I just couldn’t get behind it. I wanted to go to a nontraditional rehab and I found this place and couldn’t be happier that I did. I’m not diseased and I loved being with people that treated me like it.

The staff at The Freedom Model were extremely helpful and welcoming. The Freedom Model taught me that my past does not dictate my future and who and what I’m supposed to become. After completing the program, I know I will achieve whatever it is I set my mind to. This is the greatest gift I have ever given myself; a second chance at life! Thank you staff and presenters for all you’ve done.

After a failed experiment attending a 12 step program a few years ago, I was resistant to attending any other programs, believing I would be treated like a powerless addict in need of being locked up and herded from AA meeting to AA meeting. After stumbling upon The Freedom Model philosophy of empowerment and personal choice, I felt a spark of hope. There is no other program in the country I would rather have attended. I was treated with respect, met amazing staff members and guests, learned about choice and happiness, and I feel ready to blaze a new trail in life in a direction that will bring me longterm success.

The staff at the Retreat was amazing! The program, along with the social setting, helped me find myself again. I found out through the Retreat that I really do like the person that I am.

This place is amazing. The staff, the food, and the accommodation was perfect. It is a place where anyone can find the happiness they deserve.

This was the best program I’ve ever went to, the staff is extremely friendly and experienced. They give you the tools to find your inner peace and how to maintain sobriety. They make sure your stay is the best and comfortable experience in the best way possible.

Knowing that I wasn’t trapped for six weeks that I was able to use my cell phone for business and personal matters, meant a lot to me. I can put forth the things I have learned from the program and instructors, in my life now while I am here at the retreat. It has made a difference already.

New York Guest
Coming to the The Freedom Model was a defining moment in my life. I am forever grateful for the respect and dignity the staff has shown; and more importantly the confidence they have instilled in me.

It honestly was a life changing experience. My life views have taken a 180 degree turn around. The staff and presenters were awesome. I recommend this program to anyone that wants a happier, more fulfilling life. Thank you The Freedom Model!

New York Guest Family Member
Just a big thank you and God bless you! The Retreat Center saved my daughters life (Joanne) 4 years ago. She has been sober from crystal meth and xanax for 4 years now after being addicted for 3 years.  She was 18 years old when she went in and she is now 22 and very sober. We are both very thankful for The Freedom Model.

Theresa, Jim, Mark, Shannon, Renata, AlL the people at The Freedom Model: I did not realize how much of an influence you all have had on my life until I have run into situations where I feel nothing is going right. In the each situation I have learned “from you” to look at the positive, in everything however small it may seem. Wow what a difference it makes focusing on the positive part of everything instead of the negative. I could give you numerous examples but they would be too lengthy to mention. Thank you again for teaching and coaching me to always look at the positive part of everything even if it only a small part of the total picture!

I cannot say enough good things about the program. The staff is wonderful. Everyone is kind, caring, and compassionate. You are treated with respect and dignity. The Freedom Model has given me hope and knowledge to live a happy, productive life. I have rediscovered myself. I have learned how to become the best version of myself.

The journey that brought me to The Freedom Model was not necessarily brought by drugs and alcohol; Even though I did find myself seeking solace at times with the use of them. It is through my time at The Freedom Model’s that I was able to discover the true meaning of life as it pertains to me. I gained a new sense of purpose, a life filled with lasting happiness and continuing aspirations. I found the staff; from the chef to the director all held a component for my new found discovery of self. It is with their support and guidance that I discovered I can be the best me for those that I influence. I am now able to pay my life forward and in the turn impact humanity in a positive light.

Utah Guest
I was 25 years old when I came to the The Freedom Model. I was resistant at first because I was in and out of rehabs since I was 18. After about a week I warmed up to everyone in the house. The teachers were absolutely wonderful people. They took me as like their own. I thought I was never going to get better and I was going to be an addict for the rest of my life. The The program is truly the best program in the world. It opened my eyes a lot. The Freedom Model taught me that I make my own choices and I wasn’t diseased. During the program, I received my GED. When I got home, I attended and graduated college. The Retreat House saved my life. I would recommend this program to anybody.

I walked through the doors of  The Freedom Model feeling torn about whether I needed, or wanted to be there. I was not forced to go, but it came with incredible praise from past individuals, so I thought that I would give it a shot.

Within the first 24 hours, all of my doubts and opinions changed (because of the people). I was met with so much positivity. Everyone in the group immediately felt like family. Instead of accusing me of hopelessness, I was told that I am better than my addiction, and I just had to learn how to believe that, respect myself, as well as those around me.

I wanted to be at every session with my instructor, at every house activity, and it felt more like a reset; to what I was before my troubles took much of my life from beneath me. Along with the group, I summited literal and figurative mountains. I also worked weekly with an instructor who helped me create a 6 month plan for what I can do after I leave the house. Today I am so proud of the work that I did there, but more importantly I am so grateful for what I learned through the program. The staff and individuals I met, changed my life.

I just wanted to write to thank you for my stay at the Executive Retreat. I was so pleased with everything and I have never been somewhere that everything that was promised on the web site, actually was. I was not disappointed in any way and left in great spirits. My room was comfortable and clean. The food was great too, better than expected. Dan was my instructor and he really helped me a lot. The classes really taught me a lot about myself and my drug using habits. The staff was great and all of the social events were a lot of fun. Like I said, there was nothing that was promised that didn’t happen. My stay was a great experience and I can’t wait to get started on the life I have planned out for myself.

Hi Jim! I want to thank you for helping Jason and I out with his appointment, everything went very well. Yesterday I realized that I am truly getting my son back. Jason and I had a great day and we laughed together which we haven’t done in a very long time. I know he still has work to do on his attitude and with anger issues, but I do see many positive changes and I know he is trying hard.

One of the best things I have ever done in my life was to click on your website, and then make the call. From Britney, then to you, the brilliant instructors, and the rest of the staff, having found St. Judes is such a wonderful blessing to us! I am forever greatful!! Please pass this along for me. Thank you so much for everything, have a great day!

Colorado Guest
From the first moment that I walked into the The Freedom Model House, I knew this place was different. I felt a sense of comfort and belonging immediately. The ideas and concepts were new to me. There were no counselors or psychiatrists diagnosing me. There was no substituting one drug for another. There were no group therapy sessions. And there was no blaming others for my life’s failures. Yes, I learned that much of my life was my fault, but I learned that this was truly good news, because that meant I could fix it. And I was shown exactly how to do just that. The program has changed my life completely. I have found a new sense of peace in my life. I am so grateful that I have decided to stay and help others to gain the freedom and happiness that I now enjoy.

My brother found the The Freedom Model after I experienced 5 failed attempts with the 12 step way. This is what I learned…it’s not all about me…so stop being so selfish and self centered!!! It’s all about choice…I have the power to not do drugs…it’s my choice. I also had to realize that all the choices I make affect everyone around me…not just myself…and what is life like today? wonderful because I choose to have a wonderful life. I have a great job, I bought a house, I have a dog, and a great relationship with friends, family and my community! I finally feel “a part of.” The hardest part was forgiving myself for all the horrible things I did and all the pain I caused…just the other day I read a post on my brother’s Face page…he was thanking everyone for his birthday wishes…he gave special thanks to me for making everyday a birthday for him!!! I was finally able to let go… Thank-you

California Guest
My mom had found the The Freedom Model on the internet in December of 2002. She noticed that it was different from all the other information she had read. It offered a solution not a disease. I was not convinced that I would be successful but I had become willing to try anything and this was definitely different. During my stay at the Retreat House, I got brutally honest with myself and applied the program in all areas of my life. I began to see things much more clearly and take responsibility for myself and my choices. I began to change my whole way of thinking. I realized everything in my life had been a choice. I had made so many bad decisions in my life that I had become pretty good at it. Now it was time to learn how to make the right decisions. I made a commitment to get well and with the help of the The The Freedom Model House I was able to make positive life-enhancing changes in my life. With continuous hard work, I have made several amazing breakthroughs and experienced serious growth mentally and spiritually. The program taught me the skills to truly recover.
Today I live a happy, successful, drug-free life. My life has changed 100%. My motives and outlook on life have flipped from where they were selfish and destructive, to now giving, helpful and positive. My dreams are coming true and my anger has subsided. My relationship with my family has been restored and I have made life-long friends. I am happy to be able to say, Life is good…

I definitely knew I had a problem with pain killers; it’s pretty obvious when you are taking 20 a day. But all the pills I took were just in the pursuit of happiness. All I wanted to be was happy. I thought I had to get clean and maybe that would make me happy. But then I look at my aunt that has been in AA for several years, and is still very unhappy. I told one therapist about my use and she said I was an addict and had a disease. That wasn’t the smartest thing to say to a guy who was already suicidal. I thought to myself, “If have to live and struggle everyday with my disease like the 12 steps say, I just don’t want to live then.” But then I found The Freedom Model online, and called up the reservations, where I spoke to Brittney. We talked on the phone for hours before I even paid a penny. I knew this place was truly there to help people.
So when I went to the The Freedom Model Center, it opened my eyes to how I could be sober and be happy at the same time! I was more happy sober than I was using! Plus the curriculum you learn in the can help you achieve differed happiness. The Freedom Model can help anyone with any problem if one follows the program. The staff were amazing human beings, and I still talk with them every once in a while. The Freedom Model literally saved my life. I’m not an addict, nor was I ever. I just wanted a way to be happy, and with The Freedom Model I found true happiness!
I don’t know how I could ever repay The Freedom Model and all the wonderful people for giving me a great life!

Vancouver, Canada
I visited The Freedom Model Centers in June of 2008 and since then, this past year has been the best year I’ve had in a decade!!! I had been using drugs for nearly a decade and have been dealing with an eating disorder since I was 12. The two were my life. I was so consumed in my efforts to be skinny that I lost focus of everything and everyone around me. Before arriving at the The Freedom Model Center I had been to two 12 step treatment programs and several out patient treatments without success.
The Mountain Retreat House was nothing I had ever experienced before. The atmosphere, the program was exactly what I needed. I felt relaxed, the staff was remarkable, and genuinely cared about each house guest! For me, it was difficult to see that I could love myself, but thanks to Jen, Bobby, Gwen, Sheryl and my instructor, Jim, I have found that to be happy is truly within you. I now have more respect for myself and my body which in turn has given me the self-confidence I need. I still struggle with my weight from day to day but I do not resort to anything that will take me back. I am happy where I’m at and that I made the choice to change. I can not thank you enough!!
I have been working full-time since August 2008 as an administrator for a Recruiting Engineering Firm and faced my fears of failing by enrolling in an insurance course which I passed with a grade of over 80%! I will soon be continuing on with my studies to achieve my goal of a career in the insurance field. I recently ran and completed a 1 0km run in 60mins. I have entered this run in the past several times, to either not finish, or only walk because I was so weak. I play on a baseball team, volunteer when possible, and in the near future there is a possibility of me mentoring children/young adults in similar situations that I went through. Most importantly, I have a relationship with my parents, brother, and my best friends again! I made the choice to change, The Freedom Model Center showed me how. I continue to use the knowledge I learned everyday…to think positive, think of others first, and to be happy. Thank you The Freedom Model! I appreciate you all very much!

For a few years, I was in the throws of what I perceived to be an addictive phase of alcohol misuse, which I was informed, was a result of a disease I suffered from. As time progressed and the more treatments I sought, the worse it became. I was more than happy to maintain my abuse; after all, it was a disease and therefore not my fault. I found this entire concept to be ridiculous; however, I was following the “experts” advice and continued by behavior.
One of the guidelines I knew I would and could never follow was to attend daily (or several times per day) meetings in the traditional AA genre. I found the fact that AA methods were antiquated (they were developed before the advent of penicillin) and only served as a substitute, addictive behavior. Within me I found a conflict. I knew in my mind and logically that only I had the power to stop my behavior, but I was told otherwise. I knew that this could in no way be a disease, but again, I was told otherwise. Everything that made sense to me was negated and as a result, I wallowed in this nightmarish state for almost three years.
After much debate, I was able to attend the The Freedom Model Center, where I learned that my thinking was actually quite sound and held merit. Though I didn’t immediately embrace this reality and fell back into disbelief at first, I finally recognized what I thought true all along; that only I had the power to end my behavior. I had to just take responsibility for it and accept the fact that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life living in a haze, letting everything important slip by. I wanted to live and to enjoy life and those around me. I owed it to myself to do so.
The fact is that each of us has the strength to achieve the goals we want. Much of what we hear and read tends to suggest that we have to be taken care of or we are in some way not responsible for our actions, inactions or shortcomings. Only we can determine our future, with the embrace of others perhaps, but we must take these first steps. Whether it’s how we live our lives, what we put into it, what we want to share or give back or just how we tend to our personal issues and problems. The buck stops with each of us. If you have a drug, alcohol, or other addictive behavior problem, that is all it is; a problem. Deal with it. Life is just far too wonderful to waste. Don’t blame others. Don’t complain about what others have or what you don’t. If you want it, don’t expect it to be handed to you; earn it!
You are the only one that can do it, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Respectfully, Alex

Faith, I just want to say thank you for all of your help and support with my decision to go to St. Judes. It is a decision that I am so happy about, I feel free and better than I have felt in a long time. I am amazed at how well that program works and am still wondering about the magic of it. One of the other guests that I got friendly with also feels the same sense of amazement at the outcome. We both agreed that we feel calm, focused and free. Amazing. I heard that there is a new coming out which I would like to buy when it comes out. If you would let me know about that I would appreciate it. Again I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Stevie James
Absolutely Amazing LIfe Changing Experience Deciding to leave my home and place my career on hold was a big decision- one I probably should have made years ago. When I finally reached the point when I was ready to tackle my issues, I spent weeks researching places I could seek treatment. St. Jude stood for all of the things I believed in, and held a message of empowerment. Tired of feeling helpless, I made the decision to go to New York.
From the moment I got there, I was amazed. I immediately felt like family. I was able to learn things about myself through the coursework and companionship of my housemates that I never thought possible. The staff is the most caring group of people I have ever had the pleasure to spend a month with. We are still in contact, and I genuinely miss them all. I have been home for 3 months now, and my life has become something I never thought possible. After 13 years on heroin (I’m only 28, so it was the majority of my adult life), I can finally live free of my addictions and pursue my goals with no restraints. I am grateful every day for the staff. If you are considering any type of inpatient treatment, please talk to St. Jude. You hear horror stories of inpatient programs- this is not one of them. It’s not rehab- it’s a life-changing retreat. It’s the only thing that ever worked for me, and if I could send everyone I know there, I would.
Today I am back to being a business professional and graduate student, am healthier than I have been since middle school, and free from drugs. But most importantly, I know who I am now. And I know who I want to be. I don’t know how to thank them enough for their genuine compassion and on-going support.

A great place to start your new life. I entered the retreat broken and overwhelmed. With the help of everyone there and the course material, I was able to learn to live again. I had a great time and was treated respectfully during my stay. I would recommend this program for anyone in need.

Robert Bortner
An amazing experince I came as a last ditch attempt to keep myself from returning to jail. I expected to give lip service to the program and merely use it as a means to avoid incarceration. However, during my time there the amazing people who comprise the staff, from the Directors to the chefs, helped me to change my view of life and my place in it. Also, the program itself is the only one that ever worked for me. After I failed to change through the 12 steps and jail only provided me with a hiatus from drug use I thought that I was hopeless and would never find another way. This program, combined with the wonderful people who presented it to me, changed all of that. I believe that had I not came to the program I would be in prison or dead now. I recommend this place highly to anyone who wishes to change their present circumstances and live a more fulfilling life. Thank you and all those who helped me during my time there.

Positive Transformation Go here first! The program should be taught in grade school! This is a truly positive program that can transform your life! I look forward to it’s continued expansion. For me this has been the beginning of a whole new way of life without fear and dread. There is also no longer any need to rearrange external circumstances to try and make me feel in control. Life can flow and I can flow with it and still accomplish everything that I need or want to do.

Mountain Retreat – Inspiring I kind of stumbled upon The The Freedom Model’s program during a google search marathon. And consider myself very fortunate to have done so. It was not the non-12 step method that appealed to me, as much as the all-encompassing approach towards life skills improvement. What I most appreciate about the experience was the perspective that my devastatingly destructive behaviors were in fact very logical. Drinking and drugging, as irrational as it seemed (for an extremely longtime I might add), had a purpose. A simple desire for pleasure, regardless of consequence. And, it was my responsibility to choose if that immediate gratification was worth it. Or, if there were more productive ways to spend my time and energy in search for pleasure, more difficult ways, more satisfying ways… Obviously this is easier said than done, and there is nothing revolutionary about instant vs. deferred gratification. But thanks to education on scientific concepts such as neuroplasticity and a thorough self-analysis I was able to gain the insight and perspective that I required to make the necessary effort to change. I’m definitely still a work in progress, and will always be… and that’s a good thing. I will forever be grateful for my experience at SJP. I’m a better person because of it, whatever the future holds. I took the program seriously and got involved with all the educational opportunities offered. Not everyone did, but that was there decision. It is definitely a lot of money to spend for a holiday. I was not an anti-12-step person when I entered SJP, but when I reflect on my using and drinking trajectory, my true ‘rock bottom’ was accepting powerlessness. Once I became ‘diseased’ my habits got exponentially worse. The Freedom Model’s program made it clear to me that I had the power to change my choices, and that it was my responsibility to do so, or not. I truly dodged a bullet by not attending a 12-step program again. The staff and educators were great, as was the food. The accommodations were good, but could use a little tune-up. The location was wonderful, with a lot of nature and tranquility. Highly recommend.

Excellent program that teaches self-accountability. The program is excellent, and focuses on choices that we are free to make every day. It wisely separates each life issue from others, so the analysis and elimination of unwanted issues is very simple. This program is not one size fits all, where you are coerced into thinking a particular dogma. Rather, the onus is upon oneself; to define yourself, see where you have succeeded and failed at being yourself, and laying out goals and plans of action to become yourself again. Touching on a variety of modern research topics including behavioral neuroscience, group dynamics, philosophy of nature, and cross-cultural fixed concepts, this program will challenge you to think hard about what is important and how to gain meaning in your life. I highly recommend.

I am NOT Powerless I had believed that I was an alcoholic for 29 years and would always be an alcoholic. I believed that I had an incurable disease called alcoholism and that my anxiety caused me to drink. Once I took a drink I was powerless over alcohol and unable to stop. I thought only God could “restore me to sanity”. What I learned at St. Judes is that is simply not true. Learning about the true scientifically proven facts of human behavior I have been able to change my way of thinking. My drinking was a behavior that I could change. Once free of being a victim of alcoholism I was able to focus on the true issues that troubled me and impeded me from living my life in true happiness. I have found ways to direct my thoughts and actions towards long term life changes that will support me throughout the rest of my life. Everyone has the power within them to make these changes. One simply has to want to make these changes and then do the work to define and reach long term sustainable goals that support this happiness. The staff at St. Judes provided the environment, information and guidance to make this shift in my thinking. The Executive Retreat was a comfortable and safe environment for me to “retreat to” so I could work on myself without the interruptions of daily living (unless I chose to). The environment, the house and the staff were all friendly, caring and supportive of helping me to help myself. Freedom Models is like no other program available that I am aware of. I experienced a paradigm shift that has changed my life forever. Maybe I would have eventually stumbled upon this change but going to St. Judes sure made it easier.

Cheri Gideon
Great program This program was a live saver and life giver for me. It validated my beliefs that were contrary to AA and gave me a new way to live my life to the fullest. It is not an easy fix, you have to accept responsibility for you life and the choices you make, and this can be hard for some who need a scapegoat. I was as the Executive Retreat although I am a retired senior woman. Holly and the staff are fantastic. The facility is very comfortable and everyone makes your visit calming and productive. And there were plenty of opportunities to practice what you learn and grow from the experience. I heartily recommend it to anyone who is serious about improving their life. It is not a place to be sent by someone else.

Shawn Merritt
I AM NOT DISEASED My name is Shawn, I am an ….. Wait wait wait. Let me start over. My name is Shawn I am not diseased. I am not powerless, I am not out of control, nor have I ever been. Now just to let you know before I got here I would not have said these things because I totally fed into the diseased mentality. Completely believed I was powerless. I prayed and prayed everyday for God to remove my obsessiveness and defects to no avail. Now if you’re one of those closed minded people like I was you may be thinking, well if you really worked the program you would stay sober. To those I will say I went to 180 meetings in 90 days. Three and four meetings a day. I worked the steps to the best of my ability more than once. I still had the desire, and believed it was up to God alone to relieve me of the obsession.

Now I know the truth. Now I know I and I alone am responsible for my decisions. I chose to drink and drug and until I faced this fact nothing or no entity was gonna save me from myself. realizing the power is mine, that my success is in my hands, is so freeing and empowering. I can change myself from the inside out. I can control myself and my thinking, How depressing it was to think one little can of cold beer would make me drink thirty more. I am not weak. I am powerful but had been brainwashed otherwise. My happiness and my life are mine to make whatever I want to out of. I have total confidence in myself thanks to The Freedom Model. The best most productive years of my life lie in front of me. I cant wait to show people that I can succeed on my own.

Best non 12 step program in the nation! I went through the The Freedom Model program in April of 2015 and completed in June 2015 and honestly it has completely changed my perspective on life. It is an outstanding program and it WILL give you the tools and knowledge to take on all obstacles that have been lingering or that will arise in the future. Whether it’s substance abuse or everyday problems in life, this program without a doubt is the go to program. All of the staff there are all ears and are willing to help you get back on track, set goals, remain focused and be the person everyone loves!

Elizabeth Zwirner Ruggiero
I am living my life When my family confronted me with the fact that my drinking was out of control I said I could handle it myself. They persisted and I went to The Freedom Model. At first I was wondering how did I end up here? After a week or so I dug my heals in and concentrated on the program. On me. On what I was doing to myself and my family. six weeks later when I went home I felt lighter better more centered. That was less than a year ago. Since then I have traveled to Tahiti ,become a great grandmother, watched a granddaughter graduate from high school, move to a beautiful condo on the ocean, and within a year I will celebrate our 50th anniversary with my husband. Yes I have a lot to live for.

Paula Jeanne
The Freedom Model Amsterdam, NY I had the fortunate privilege of being a guest at The Freedom Model in January of 2014. I had tried multiple times in a 12 step program and it just didn’t click. Conceding to the mentality as a victim of a disease in which I had no control just didn’t make sense to me. I was in a weakened place in my life and I really didn’t think trashing my past was going to be what it took to turn my life around. When I found that the program IT was very empowering. The program allowed me to figure out where my standards were and where I wanted them to be. Getting clean was going to mean changing my attitudes and my focus, finding things of value in my life and focusing on them. The program was valuable in showing me that my personal choices affect my life. Being aware of that allows me to be an active participant in the direction my life takes.

A Great Experience After many years of battling my addiction, depression and unhappiness; The Freedom Model was the solution I had been searching for. I had tried many different 12 step programs over many year, and never felt like it was right for me, or I really fit in. The program, staff, environment and activities over my six week stay brought a clarity and understanding of myself, the “addiction” thought process and how it can be easily replace with happiness, enjoyment and a feeling of satisfaction.
I made many friends that I will be in touch with for the rest of my life, between staff members and other guests. I highly recommend The Freedom Model to anyone, even if you don’t think you have a “problem” or “addiction”; but simply feel like things may not be quite right in your life.
Life is meant to be great. Your days should be filled with happiness. The Freedom Model will open your eyes as to how to consistently make it happen. And…it’s easier than you think!

Naomi Holcomb
St. Jude put the power of change forever into my life! When I went to The Freedom Model I was so broken, so selfish, and so uninformed. Broken paths and relationships everywhere. I thought I was a slave to medicating myself ;and that in order to get sober would mean ” white knuckling it”
I learned at St. Jude that it’s simply a choice! I am responsible for my choices and actions. I learned how to have fun again sober… by doing things sober! My life is full of so much joy being in charge of my decisions! I highly recommend it to anyone that is struggling or that has a family member struggling with addiction.

Rolf Ankermann
A refreshing alternative to the 12 Step Treadmill! In an arena that is dominated by the methodologies of AA/NA and their faith healing approach for overcoming drug and alcohol dependencies, it’s nice to know that there are resources available that forward the notion that one can effect positive changes in their lives through education, cognitive changes and a lot of hard work and determination.
While I have not personally been a client of The Freedom Model, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with several members of their executive staff as a result of having published my book on the subject of addiction, “The Freedom to Recover”. While our views on what works and what doesn’t may not be 100% in alignment, they are pretty close.
I’ve read over all of their course materials and have yet to come across a “program” or in-patient setting that offers anywhere near as comprehensive a game plan based on logic, self empowering ideas and real life approaches to addiction.
Drug and alcohol addiction, or as I prefer to refer to it, dependency, is NOT a disease that requires lifetime “recovering” but rather, is a condition that one can overcome and put in their past. At least that is my view and one that The Freedom Model embraces as well. Regards, Rolf Ankermann.

Ronda Kagan
Saved my life! I first have go thank my brother for loving me enough to find The Freedom Model. And I thank The Freedom Model for giving me a life! Forever indebted!

My time at The Freedom Model Mountain Retreat I cannot say enough about my time at The Freedom Model. When I arrived there, I had made a complete mess of my life… I was doing coke and pills like crazy, stolen from my parents, lied, you name it. This was the first place I had ever gone away to get help from. I got the opportunity to step back, evaluate my life, my choices, my mistakes. Working first with Joe and then with Holly made me take responsibility for things that were going on with me, and figure out what I wanted to do going forward as well as what I didn’t. As for the program, I can only give my opinion/observations as like I said, I had never been to a rehab, etc so I have nothing to compare it to- I thought the food was decent, not a hugely great selection for a vegetarian (at the time) there was always a salad bar, but because it didn’t get used as much, the stock wasn’t circulated, I got bad cheese one time, etc. I enjoyed the interaction with the other guests immensely, but I did not agree with the fact that people could just show up to class when they wanted. Perhaps its the rule-follower deep down inside of me, but I felt it took away from my experience to see others sleeping in and coming to class and being disruptive and asking questions when they missed things they shouldn’t have because they were sleeping. Also, I felt there was favoritism amongst the staff, and it killed me to see some of them be manipulated the way they were!!! You would think staff members who are used to dealing with guests who are master manipulators and liars would not be so easily played for a fool. For example, I became close friends with another girl while there, and was only so-so with my roommate. when she and I asked to live together, she was made to live in my room (the smallest double in the house) while my former roommate got to move into one of the largest doubles by herself. I was then asked to move again to accommodate other guests coming in, with less than a week to go in my stay, while my former roommate still got to live by herself, in a huge room, all because she had buddied-up with staff and was going to stay on additional weeks (and continue to pay). I know many factors are involved with the way the program is set up- when you arrive, who arrives when you do, etc- but I know I was in a group that had 4 other people because we all arrived at the same time, while one person that came in by themselves ended up getting individual attention and classes simply because she was the only one that arrived in that particular few days- I feel I could have really benefitted from one-on-one counseling, and I paid the same amount of money as that girl or my former roommate who got a huge double room to herself for 5 of the 6 weeks. On the other hand, both of those individuals are still lost with their lives not together, so maybe in the long run it didn’t matter. I loved the outings, the shopping trips, the “beach” being so close by…and some of the people I was there with I still talk to on a nearly daily basis. When I got home, I stayed clean for about a month, then started doing drugs again…. I never really got to the point I had been, but I got pretty bad off. Honestly the biggest change to my life was getting pregnant with my daughter- I got pregnant 9 months after I left The Freedom Model and it completely changed my outlook, my life. I am gainfully employed, pay my bills, and am present with my child… I also really, really like the person I have become, and I have no problem looking at myself in the mirror every morning. Even though I know that becoming a Mommy and responsible for another human was the biggest factor in my life changes, I cant help but know that the education and self awareness I got at Freedom Model gave me the foundation- not trying to blame my issues on addiction, becoming aware of my own decision making (good and bad) and having to face the consequences of those decisions. I had some amazing conversations with Holly about my childhood and my father and my issues with him and she really helped me to see things in a different light. Overall, my experience was incredibly positive and I hope that The Freedom Model continues to do great work with others.

Timm S.
An eye opener I can honestly tell you that the program not only saved my life, but made my life a whole lot better. I attended  in 2011 and to this day I speak with the counselors on a regular basis. They continue to share experiences that I can use in my everyday life. I can proudly say that many of them have become my friends.  To me it is more of an education than anything else. It taught me to discover the reasons “why” I wanted to use drugs and alcohol. Once I knew why, I could really focus on how to make it better. I would and have highly recommended TFM for anyone that really wants to live a better life… Oh and the food… AMAZING!!!!

Kathy Witzel
When I began look for a residential program, I was already attending therapy and tried an outpatient 12-step program. My therapist was already telling me that I had a “disease” and the outpatient program tried to drive that home, but I did not buy into it. I KNEW that it was my choice to drink and that I was not powerless. However, I wanted and needed help to bring forward better choices. It was easy to pick up the bottle, what wasn’t easy was to seek help. I was scared of the “labels” or that feeling like I had a problem. I researched for months and I always came back to website.
I made the call, and Victoria stuck with me through the entire process (even though it took me a couple of months to decide, because this was a life changing thing!). She was not pushy and she understood my fears. I mean, I was going to be going to a place I have never been before, away from my family for 6 weeks which I have never done. What helped was that I have an excellent family unit who fully supported me…when I arrived, the SJR staff became my extended family support unit!
I attended the Mountain Retreat, Theresa, Marina, Adam and the rest of the staff made me feel like I have known them all my life. I was treated like an adult. Not like other programs where you are “locked up” during your “treatment”. I had constant contact with my family back home and there was always something to do! Even when I had gotten a small case of the flu for a couple of days I was looked after and fussed over, just like someone who is my family would have done! One of the major things that helped me was how staff runs their program. It is structured, but you are not treated as a “patient”, you are treated like family.
Could I have over come my struggles on my own? Yes…but I would never ever change my decision to attend. It has been over a year since I have been there and I think of them often and still keep in contact with the majority of those that touched my life while there! I have made life long friends!
Since leaving the Mountain Retreat, I have been in college working towards my degree in Addiction Counseling using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy technique. I have completed 5 semesters. 1 semester being on the Dean’s list, 4 semesters on the President’s list holding a 3.96 GPA. I would be lying if I said that TFM did not play a part in my decision to pursue this career. I actually miss being up there! So peaceful and quaint small town (which I like)! If you are someone who is struggling, you are not alone and you are NOT powerless! You do not have a disease! You have choices! The best choice would be to attend SJR!

Katie Kohlhas
My time here was an amazing experience. I learned so much in so little time. Everyone I met was amazing…especially the entire staff at the house!!! They were the warmest, most excepting, and loving group of people I have ever met! I honestly want to vacation at the house…just to hang out with them…and to learn more!!!!

Bev DePerno-Ekes
I thank God I was able to go. The staff is awesome. The Freedom Model is amazing. Keep up the great work you do.

Noel Ciani
Best decision for alternative treatment!!! My life is so good now!

Joseph Kempf
You don’t have to believe in a God to go here! Love that as an athiest. And they teach you, it’s not,” poor me, I’m a victim”. No, you are in complete control of what you do. Best thing that ever happened to me was St. Judes. You learn to be an adult.

Peter Olson
There are a few educational programs that can make a positive difference in your life and The Freedom Model is number one on that list. we have the people who genuinely want to help you achieve happiness and they sincerely want to work with you to help you make better and more positive choices in your life. When I joined, I had the opportunity to experience the Executive Retreat first hand. I was very impressed with the overall retreat facility, however the presenters, the Directors, the Chefs as well as the support staff were all outstanding. The retreat atmosphere was always uplifting and positive. When you met with your presenter, they listened to you so they could understand what was going on with you. More importantly, there was no judgment of who you were or what you had done. They were only interested in helping you become a better person, a happy person, and a person who was striving for a better life. I can say with absolute certainty, that The Freedom Model is a remarkable program for people who are working to change for the better.

Guy Ctremblay
Amsterdam, NY (Beginning of 2010 winter season) the victorian retreat was where i chose to do my treatment at for location wise… and i am so happy i did; because it is/was by far the best facility i could have ever stumbled upon. JTP St. Jude Retreats program from the get-go even on day one puts the resident in situations where he/she will be after their stay..these scenarios typically are of addict thought process fashioned triggers which can be rewired: (thoughts of the ability to cop something secretly, get a quick fix, act on a craved substance one might associate with that scene) which then sets off triggers!!! but at same time the program self explains in a way, by demonstrating/reflection afterwards shows you how you can still have fun and be straight laced doing the things you thought you couldn’t have fun doing unless on something!, TFM is designed to get people out of their drug habit/vice routines… and it does it everyday all day… especially when theres a house full of people all done with class yet facing boredom and are in need of trying to figure out what to do to keep the mind occupied… idle hands are the devils playground so they say. TFM did an excellent job furnishing everything, making the stay comfortable, welcoming, warm, and like a family. All the concepts to grasp in order to start the full on recovery process upon departure are definitely provided prior to your exit interview..!!!!VERY EFFECTIVE PROGRAM!!!

I had the fortunate privilege of being a guest at The Freedom Model in January of 2014. I had tried multiple times in a 12 step program and it just didn’t click. Conceding to the mentality as a victim of a disease in which I had no control just didn’t make sense to me. I was in a weakened place in my life and I really didn’t think trashing my past was going to be what it took to turn my life around. I went to St. Jude and found that the program was very empowering. The program allowed me to figure out where my standards were and where I wanted them to be. Getting clean was going to mean changing my attitudes and my focus, finding things of value in my life and focusing on them. The program was valuable in showing me that my personal choices affect my life. Being aware of that allows me to be an active participant in the direction my life takes. <

When my family confronted me with the fact that my drinking was out of control I said I could handle it myself. They persisted and I went to The Freedom Model. At first I was wondering how did I end up here? After a week or so I dug my heals in and concentrated on the program. On me. On what I was doing to myself and my family. six weeks later when I went home I felt lighter better more centered. That was less than a year ago. Since then I have traveled to Tahiti ,become a great grandmother, watched a granddaughter graduate from high school, move to a beautiful condo on the ocean, and within a year I will celebrate our 50th anniversary with my husband. Yes I have a lot to live for.

I went through the The Freedom Model program in April of 2015 and completed in June 2015 and honestly it has completely changed my perspective on life. It is an outstanding program and it WILL give you the tools and knowledge to take on all obstacles that have been lingering or that will arise in the future. Whether it’s substance abuse or everyday problems in life, this program without a doubt is the go to program. All of the staff there are all ears and are willing to help you get back on track, set goals, remain focused and be the person everyone loves! Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and Treatment Alternative Services Rated 4.9/5 based on 55 Reviews


  • Prior to making your decision, we are happy to have you speak with past guests and their families so you can hear firsthand from people like you who were once struggling and whose lives changed as a result of learning The Freedom Model at the Freedom Model Retreat.
  • We welcome you and/or your family to tour our retreat. You can talk with our staff and see what we have to offer firsthand. Call our Consultants today to schedule your tour.
  • You can review The Freedom Model curriculum by requesting our free e-books or accessing the chapter excerpts in this website; and you can talk with our staff at each retreat all prior to making your final decision. We are an open book and want you to be completely confident when making your decision!

We know this is an important decision; and we want you to be comfortable. Our goal is to help make this decision as easy and stress free as possible.

  • * If you need to make changes to your enrollment date, please contact our Guest Services Office no later than 3 days prior to arrival or you may forfeit your registration fee as a result


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