What to Expect at Desert Palms Recovery Center

Patients will reside at Desert Palms with around-the-clock guidance and supervision from our clinical staff. Desert Palms’ staff works with each patient to determine the appropriate length of residential care, but most people stay for 25 days after successful completion of detox.

Residential Schedule

Throughout their stay, patients will have a full schedule of individual and group activities all tailored to their personalized treatment plans.  This is just an example of what patients can expect during their residential treatment at Desert Palms; all schedules and activities are dependent on the needs of each person.

Your treatment plan is tailored to your needs so providing an exact schedule here isn’t possible, but we can review what an average schedule may include. Please note that this is a sample schedule and is subject to change. 


  • Breakfast
  • Serenity Walk or Adventure Hike
  • Yoga
  • Movement with Intent
  • Community Peer Meeting
  • Equine Therapy
  • Specialized Group Education and Therapy
    • Life Skills
    • Coping Skills
    • Recovery Goals
    • Trigger Identification
    • Communication Skills
    • Depression Reduction
    • Anxiety Reduction

Mid Day:

  • Lunch
  • 12-Step Education
  • Illness Management & Recovery
  • Nutrition & Wellness
  • Orientation & Leadership Skills
  • Motivation for Change
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Recreation Therapy & Pool Time
  • Art Therapy
  • Music Meditation
  • Gym Time


  • Dinner
  • Outdoor Group Meetings
  • Junior Leadership
  • Free Time

This list covers many of the therapy options offered during your stay. Your personalized treatment plan will be developed by pulling items from this list.

Weekends at Desert Palms give patients opportunities to bond with each other and with the staff in a more relaxed setting through organized group activities. After completing detox, patients are able to earn ten-minute “phone cards” for contacting family and friends. Earning these cards depends on each individual’s needs for treatment, their progress through treatment, and the discretion of that person’s primary therapist.

Family Therapy & Intensive Family Weekend

Every two weeks, families of patients are invited to Desert Palms’ four-day intensive family weekend. During the first two days, the staff gives a presentation about the disease of addiction and its effects on the brain followed by an explanation of how treatment is handled at our Palm Springs facility by our clinical staff. This way, families can understand what their loved ones experienced when they were addicted, what they experience while being treated for the addiction, and how to prepare them for a lifetime of recovery after they leave Desert Palms’ care. On the tail end of the weekend, patients join their families to participate in communication exercises together as a cohesive unit.

What Happens When I Leave Desert Palms?

Aftercare & Sober Living

Once patients have successfully completed their treatment, the facility’s Discharge Planners work with them individually to discuss goals for life after treatment, otherwise known as an aftercare plan. Patients continue their care in a sober living community as they adjust themselves to lifetime recovery outside of Desert Palms, which we are happy to accommodate. Our staff works with sober living communities both inside and outside Desert Palms’ network of partners based on the patient’s needs and his or her location preference.  Patients in a sober living community are mostly independent but still have the option to receive care based upon their needs. Most of our patients who go to sober living after leaving our facility stay for around nine months.

Alumni Support

Desert Palms is dedicated to helping patients through their lifetime of recovery. We are proud to have a large, active alumni community organized by our staff. Our staff keeps alumni active and engaged through e-mail newsletters. Patients at Desert Palms are given the option to begin plugging into the alumni community during their fourth week of residential/inpatient treatment.