Seasons Bali Spreads the Knowledge

“Seasons Bali Sounded Like a Lifestyle I Would Really Love to Live”
Jenna Burns, Intern


Jenna Burns, 24, from Canada is the latest intern to have shared in the knowledge and expertise of the Seasons Bali team. She is studying Addiction Treatment and Prevention as a postgraduate student at Georgian College, Orillia Ontario after completing an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice.

As part of her course she must complete a work placement and, this year, she is the only student from her college to adventure abroad. Jenna said: “Coming from a small town, I always wanted to explore the world. My university program coordinator said at the beginning of the course to start thinking about where we were going to do our internships and that going overseas was possible, that put the idea in my mind.

A holistic approach

There were students in previous years that had gone to Thailand so she gave me a list of all the rehabs there and when I started googling, Seasons Bali came up. As soon as I looked at the website I felt drawn to it. I loved the holistic approach and it just sounded like a lifestyle I would really love to live.”

It is a prerequisite of Seasons Bali that all the clinical staff, including interns, must have experience of 12 step recovery and Jenna was already a member of AL Anon. Therefore, when she reached out to Richard Smith, our founder, via LinkedIn he was more than happy to give her the opportunity to come to Bali

A warm welcome

Jenna said the biggest concern about coming was the process of getting a visa and she was surprised at how simple this turned out to be. A bundle of enthusiasm for learning and for her subject, she said: “I still felt that I had a lot of learning to do after my undergrad degree. I was always interested in addiction and why people became addicted. I feel like I have learnt more in the last few months than in the whole of my undergrad degree.”

Understandably, Jenna was nervous arriving at Seasons on her first day especially as she got lost in the maze of Bali’s streets and ended up being late. The team at Seasons are used to these sorts of hiccups and she said that she felt ‘welcomed with open arms from the first minute’.

Practical experience with the best drug and alcohol treatment team in Asia

Seasons Bali believes the best way to learn is by doing things and that goes for our staff as well as our clients. Jenna exclaimed: “Right from the get-go I was thrown into the deep end and helping out with things like the daily reports which for a University nerd like me was just great. I like the responsibility that I am given here.

My main thing is that I love working with people. I have constantly been told that working with addicts is a really hard job and that you ‘burn out’ but I love it. If I can help just one in ten people then I will be happy.

One of the main challenges for me is getting the clients to respect me because I am a lot younger than them. I really have to work to gain their respect and their trust and sometimes that involves standing my ground and be able to point out things that will help them that they don’t necessarily want to hear. To do that I have to be really aware of boundaries and really believe in what I am saying.

I’ve had so much personal growth from this experience as well as the experience of working with recovering addicts and the Seasons Bali team. I love the levelling process that the clients use in Check In and I have even found myself using this with my boyfriend. I was learning about these things at school but this has given it all another, completely practical dimension.”

The Seasons Bali lifestyle

Jenna found herself participating in all aspects of the Seasons Bali lifestyle from Big Book studies to yoga and educational sessions. Jenna starts work at 9am and the first thing she does is participate in handover with the support workers. This gives a general run down of how the clients are doing and addresses practical issues like appointments.

She said: “After that I usually head to the communal area and see how the clients are and you immediately get a feel for how the community is doing. We have Check In at 10am and after that we head back to the office and I usually debrief with Tim the therapist and the senior support worker and write up any notes.

Then we order some lunch and in the afternoons we have educational sessions, Big Book, yoga and other activities. I really enjoy participating in these aspects of the program as I get to know the clients better and it helps me to help them and get the most out of my experience here.

Highlights of Working with Seasons

I am also still studying while I am here and have school work to do so I know I must focus. My schooling has helped me. I did a midterm with Tim the therapist and he gave me some great feedback about the things I need to work on and the things that I do well.”

Jenna’s favourite part of the program is when clients successfully complete treatment and the rehab holds a special farewell lunch. She said: “Everyone goes round and reflects on their relationship with the person who is leaving, it’s really special.” She also enjoys seeing people progress to Transitional Housing and apply the tools of the program more independently.

Surmising on her future Jenna was not ready to be pinned down: “Career wise I am not sure what I want to do next, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. I can see myself counselling someone on a couch. I can see myself working as part of a harm reduction team in a van handing out clean needles. I can see myself working with youth. There are just so many options…….. But I suppose I will end up exactly where I am supposed to!”

If you or one of your family members has a problem with drugs or alcohol, call our Client Liaison Team on +62 812 4678 4999 or toll free  Australia 1800 288 348.

To find out more about jobs with Seasons Hader in our different locations in Asia go to our Work with Us Page.

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