The Recovery Village Palmer Lake Welcome Guide:
What to Expect From Intake to Aftercare

Your Journey to Health Starts Here

On behalf of everyone at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake, congratulations on taking the first step toward a healthier you. This guide will introduce you to our treatment center and therapy programs, and help answer your most pressing questions before your arrival. Here you’ll get an idea of what to bring with you and what daily life will look like. You’ll also explore the different levels of care offered at our treatment center. We are excited to welcome you and are honored to be a part of your healing process — we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve decided to begin treatment at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake, it’s time to prepare for your stay. Knowing what to bring, what to leave behind and how to reach our Palmer Lake facility sets the stage for your successful recovery.

  • What To Bring

    This guide ensures you have everything you need while you’re with us, so you can focus on what’s really important — healing. We recommend that new residents pack the following items:

    • Season-appropriate clothing
    • Comfortable sleepwear
    • One-piece swimsuits for ladies, knee-length board shorts for men
    • Toothbrush, unopened toothpaste, and alcohol-free mouthwash
    • Unopened shampoo and conditioner
    • Unopened sunscreen
    • Unopened face wash and moisturizer
    • Unopened lotion
    • Unopened lip balm
    • Unopened feminine products
  • What Not To Bring

    Rehabilitation is an opportunity to distance yourself from the people, places and ways of thinking that contribute to your drug or alcohol use. Because of this, we prohibit patients from bringing certain items to The Recovery Village Palmer Lake to help them focus on recovery. Items NOT permitted at our facility include:

    • Drug or alcohol paraphernalia
    • Drugs or alcohol
    • Computers
    • Tablets
    • Cameras or handheld video or tape recorder
    • Products that contain alcohol (mouthwash, etc.)
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Vaporizers (vapes)
    • Opened toiletry products
    • Weapons (including pocket knives)
    • Clothing depicting drugs, drug paraphernalia, explicit language and/or images

Travel Details

Wherever you’re coming from, our intake coordinators at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake make sure you arrive at our center in a safe and timely manner. During the admissions process, all necessary travel accommodations are booked and confirmed by you or your loved ones. If you’re traveling by air, you’ll be picked up from the airport and transported to the center.

Expectations After Arrival

To ensure the safety and sobriety of both new and current patients, each resident must consent to a search of both their person and belongings upon arrival at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake. During this search, staff members will collect any items not permitted during treatment and store them in a safe and secure place until your stay is over. Additional random searches may be conducted throughout your time at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake.

Cell Phone Use

Because healing is your first priority, keeping distractions to a minimum is key for recovery. For the safety and privacy of all patients, cell phones will be securely stored upon arrival and signed in and out by your therapist during specific sessions. After detox, you may use the phone three times per week for 20 minutes during non-clinical hours.

The Facility

Located just 15 minutes from Colorado Springs and less than an hour from Denver, our facility offers a serene landscape and a soothing, luxurious environment. We are Colorado’s leading recovery care for substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders, with comfortable accommodations and notable amenities. Feel free to visit our website to take a photo tour of The Recovery Village Palmer Lake to learn more about our amenities and treatment programs.

Amenities and Therapies

Our amenities are part of what makes The Recovery Village Palmer Lake so unique. The following is a sample of the amenities and activities that are offered:

  • Exercise room
  • Heated swimming pool
  • Basketball courts
  • Volleyball courts
  • Walking trails/outdoor exercise
  • Prepared meals
  • Laundry onsite (facility handles linens)
  • Yoga therapy
  • Drama therapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Off-site field trips (wildlife, bowling, Frisbee, etc.)
  • 12-Step and SMART Recovery meetings

* Activities may change from time to time or from season to season. Your access to these amenities will vary depending on situational medical recommendations.


Each day, we provide three well-balanced, cafeteria-style, special meals and in-room service, provided by physician order. Typically, you will have a few different meals to choose from for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with vegetarian and vegan options available. Three snacks a day are also provided. No outside snacks or meals are permitted in the facility. If you have any food allergies, please let us know prior to your arrival so we can appropriately accommodate you.

Sleeping Arrangements

Rooms at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake provide you with a comfortable place to rest during your recovery. The center includes two to three beds per room as well as shared bathrooms in each room. The number of residents in each room may vary depending on your individual treatment stage and care needs.

A Day in the Life

Your days at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake will be spent learning how to live a life free from drug and alcohol use. You’ll find new hobbies, make lasting connections with others and rediscover your own personal interests without relying on substances.

As you move through the different levels of care, your daily life will change as you gain new insight and advance through treatment. Depending on the level of care, your day may include group and individual therapy sessions, recreational activities and more. While no two programs are exactly alike, the sample schedule below will give you an idea of what to expect at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake.

Types of Therapy

During your stay, you’ll participate in a variety of personalized therapy sessions. These sessions are designed to help you conquer addiction by recognizing and overcoming triggers, personal scars and past struggles. Your treatment may include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectic Behavioral Therapy
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy
  • SMART Recovery
  • 12-Step and Back to Basics
  • Individual Counseling
  • Group Therapy
  • Comprehensive Therapeutic Experience

  • Connector.

    Family Visits and Therapy

    During treatment, it’s important to reconcile with yourself and your family. While some do better with long-distance family treatment, others may prefer to have visits from parents, spouses or other family members. Because connecting with your past is so important, therapy sessions are held once a week for visiting family members. Monthly family weekends are also held. These give loved ones an opportunity to see your growth firsthand while also participating in family therapy sessions.

  • Connector.

    Off-Site Visits

    While your treatment will take place at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake, there may be off-site opportunities available. Off-site visits may vary between partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. With a range of recreation options, including yoga, an exercise room, basketball, and more available on-site, there are plenty of activities available to aid in your recovery.

  • Connector.

    Smoke Breaks

    For some recovering substance users, smoking can be helpful in curbing cravings and staying focused on sobriety. Because of this, The Recovery Village Palmer Lake allows residents to take periodic smoke breaks. The timing and frequency of these breaks will be determined based on situational medical recommendations. If you smoke, you will need to bring enough cigarettes or tobacco products for the anticipated length of your stay. Smoking cessation products and nicotine therapy will be offered during your treatment.

The Treatment Process

There are a variety of treatment programs at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake, ranging from around-the-clock medical detox and residential care to intensive outpatient care. The treatment programs that you participate in will depend on your own personal needs. Care often starts with medical detox, an intensive process that typically takes between five and 10 days. From there, you’ll either move to residential care, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient care, where you’ll continue treatment before formulating an aftercare plan with your medical team.

The entire treatment process varies in length, but often lasts between 35 and 45 days. After treatment, you’ll return home equipped with the tools and resources you need to to continue your recovery at home, work and everywhere in between. Your treatment may include:

Medically Assisted Treatment

Depending on the substance at play, quitting cold turkey can be dangerous and life-threatening. That’s why The Recovery Village Palmer Lake provides a regulated medical detox plan and 24-hour care for those in residential treatment. Individualized clinical care and tapering ensures that you have a healthy and comfortable transition. Before leaving The Recovery Village Palmer Lake, our staff will provide you with a list of local resources and clinics for continuous care as you start your substance-free life.

Alumni Program

During your treatment, you’ll become part of a dynamic family of physicians, treatment specialists and recovering patients. But that camaraderie doesn’t end when you leave The Recovery Village Palmer Lake. After treatment, you’ll have access to a nationwide alumni network of counselors and other former patients to help keep you sober and accountable. With virtual and in-person meetups, staying connected with others who understand your struggle can be a strategic and essential part of continuous recovery.

Our Team

  • Dr. Robert Ochsner

    Medical Director

    Dr. Robert J. Ochsner joined Recovery Village at Palmer Lake in February 2016 and has worked exclusively in the addiction treatment field ever since. A native of Colorado, Dr. Ochsner completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder before receiving a Health Professions Scholarship through the United States Air Force. He graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Oschner spent several years on tours to Yokota Air Base in Japan and Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado, where he cared for active duty military members, their dependents and retirees.


    Stephen Perme

    Clinical Director

    Stephen Perme is the clinical director at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake. He is a licensed professional counselor in Colorado and certified addiction counselor, licensed mental health counselor and qualified supervisor in Florida. Stephen leverages his more than 18 years of experience in addiction treatment to help people better manage their substance use and mental health disorders.


    Michael Hunter

    Executive Director

    Michael Hunter has been helping those struggling with addiction for over twenty years. In addition to providing direct client care, he has worked in executive roles across a variety of health care settings.

  • Dr. Shannon Smithwick, RN, MSN

    Nursing Director

    Shannon Smithwick is the nursing director at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake. As a leader and nursing professional, she is dedicated to providing excellent patient care by managing the nursing staff and supporting the executive team at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake. She continuously works to strengthen her nursing and leadership skills to provide the best service to her clients.  

Insurance and Your Obligation During Treatment:

As you are probably aware, nearly all health insurance plans require you to pay some out-of-pocket costs in order to access your healthcare benefits. These expenses may include Deductibles, Co-Pays, Coinsurance %  and Maximum Out-of-Pocket Expenses (collectively, the “Patient Responsibility”).

Your individual Patient Responsibility will vary based on a number of factors including:

  • Your individual benefits plan
  • Length of stay at center
  • Type of services received during treatment
  • Other services offered at center, but not covered by your insurance provider (lab tests, non-covered prescriptions, etc.)
  • Reasonable boarding fees (should you decide to stay with the facility for treatment at outpatient levels of care)

An intake coordinator will review your Patient Responsibility with you at the time of admission or as soon as possible once you are medically stable. They will explain that the deductible is due upon admittance to the facility and the co-insurance amount and out-of-pocket balance will be billed and paid for after treatment once services are complete. On-site financial counselors will again review your financial responsibility during treatment with case managers who can help you navigate FMLA and short-term disability. 

It is your responsibility to check with your insurance provider prior to admitting at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake to understand your individual benefits plan. Please note that your insurance plan may not be a “participating provider” with The Recovery Village Palmer Lake. You are responsible for all non-covered and out-of-pocket costs related to your treatment stay.