Betty Ford Center
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Professionals Treatment Program

“Thanks for helping me get my life back.”

The Betty Ford Center’s Professionals Treatment Program (PTP) was originally developed to address the therapeutic needs of those medical professionals seeking treatment for substance dependence who - after dedicating years of their lives to healing others - have found themselves in the grip of a disease process they cannot cure, or even arrest, without help. Our overwhelmingly positive experiences with medical professionals, both during and after treatment, have enabled us to establish an optimal standard of care for any professional whose responsibilities have the potential of affecting the safety, wellbeing and livelihood of others. Besides medical professionals, these individuals include airline pilots, business owners and executives, attorneys, clergy, professional athletes and members of the entertainment industry.

Program Overview

Evaluation, Detoxification and Stabilization

Upon admission to the Professionals Treatment Program, each patient will complete a thorough medical assessment and, if needed, Detoxification. Once medically stable, the patient will undergo a multidisciplinary evaluation to establish their diagnoses based upon the current American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) as well as an initial Treatment Plan. This evaluation includes a psychiatric consultation, computer-based personality and cognitive testing, a psychological evaluation, the collection and review of pertinent collateral information from family, peers and health professionals, a psychosocial assessment and a review of possible post-treatment continuing care and monitoring needs. Once this period of evaluation is underway, the patient will also be introduced into the treatment milieu at the appropriate level of care (i.e., Inpatient or Residential Day Treatment). The patient will then work with the Professionals Treatment Program team which consists of experienced medical and clinical professionals dedicated to their patients’ progress in treatment as well as their eventual readiness for returning to work. Some of the basic elements of our Professionals Treatment Program include:

  • Inpatient and medically supervised Detoxification
  • Comprehensive medical, psychiatric, psychosocial, psychological and cognitive functioning evaluations
  • Involvement and support of family members throughout treatment
  • Ongoing communication with referents, family members, continuing care providers and, when needed, legal counsel
  • Regular assessment of the individual’s progress in treatment, including her or his need for medical and psychiatric care during treatment and after treatment
  • Participation in a treatment milieu based upon the principles of 12-Step recovery which encourages and supports the development of a personally meaningful spiritual way of life
  • Enrollment in post-treatment therapeutic monitoring prior to discharge
  • Return to work preparation and advocacy


During the early phase of treatment, each patient will learn that the phenomenon of addiction is a progressive and multifaceted process involving not only substance use, but genetics, bio-physiology and psychosocial vulnerabilities. The vast majority of research amassed to date indicates that when certain individuals (usually estimated as between 8-10% of the general population) use alcohol, or any other substance with addictive potential, for a sufficient period of time, permanent neurochemical and functional changes occur within brain itself that make it virtually impossible for those individuals to moderate his or her use of any addictive substance over any significant period of time. In essence, that person’s brain has been both altered and “hijacked” by an addictive substance which renders that person unable to stop or “stay stopped” without Help. The early phase of treatment is designed to educate the patient about the reality they face while supporting them in their exploration of how their substance use has adversely effected the lives of those for whom they care as well as their own wellbeing and profession.

Once the patient is willing to internalize their powerlessness over addictive substances, the remainder of the treatment stay is designed to help each patient identify, admit and discuss the emotional, spiritual, intellectual and interpersonal “causes and conditions” which have contributed to the patient’s desire to drink and/or drug. In order to accomplish this, we offer a safe, supportive and respectful treatment environment which includes small group therapy with a primary therapist throughout the week, ongoing medical, psychiatric and psychological care, individual counseling, professional groups, weekly review of the patient’s progress by the treatment team, treatment plan updates, nutritional and spiritual counseling, daily exercise in our state-of-the-art fitness center, three intensive three-day workshops (trauma, relapse prevention and co-dependency) and post-treatment continuing care planning.

Whether in an inpatient hall or at our residential day treatment program, the Betty Ford Center’s Professionals Treatment Program’s gender-specific treatment milieu is intense and focused. Each patient’s overall progress in treatment is measured by the degree to which they have understood and put into action the fundamental principles of 12-Step recovery. The entire spectrum of our services – medical, psychiatric, psychological, therapeutic, programs for family and children, spiritual, nutritional and health – share the same goal: to prepare patients for ongoing “one day at a time” sobriety within the 12-Step community.

Treatment and Return-To-Work Preparation

Throughout the patient’s treatment stay, the treatment team is actively engaged in identifying the particulars regarding the patient’s monitoring and continuing care needs. These plans are finalized well before discharge and typically include referrals to any needed medical, psychiatric or psychological care, recommendations regarding therapeutic monitoring, fitness-for-duty and suggestions regarding the ongoing support needs for family members, employers and colleagues. Finally, we recommend that each professional participate in a mutual support group dedicated to helping newly sober members of their professional community. Although the following list is not exhaustive, these groups include: Caduceus meetings and International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous (for medical professionals) as well as The Other Bar (for attorneys).


The Betty Ford Center is an addiction hospital dedicated to the treatment of patients who have been diagnosed with substance use disorders. It is our philosophy that the purpose of treatment is to assist the suffering alcoholic or addict in achieving abstinence while preparing them to continue the process of recovery within the 12-Step community. Although medications are necessary and routinely used for Detoxification, as well as properly diagnosed comorbid psychiatric disorders, no patient who completes treatment at the Betty Ford Center will do so while using medications with addictive potential.

Finally, the completion of treatment in Rancho Mirage marks the beginning of a partnership with Betty Ford Center alumni. Chapters and individuals around the world continue to support patients, their family and friends in their new lives of sobriety.


Help is available. So is hope.

Call our Admissions Counselors and allow our team to discuss options and walk you through the process.

(800) 434-7365