The stresses and anxieties of modern life can give rise to challenging psychological conditions. Often, a single solution such as psychotherapy or drugs is not a successful approach. Now a Swiss clinic is pioneering a multi-disciplinary approach to psychological well-being, tailored to the individual patient.
Located on the beautiful Gold Coast of Lake Zurich, the CALDA Clinic specializes in rehabilitation programs for psychological health, bringing together techniques from multiple disciplines of medicine, such as psychiatry and psychotherapy, orthomolecular medicine and alternative and complementary medicine. The CALDA Clinic’s specialists work without psychotropic drugs whenever possible, an approach pioneered by Medical Director, Dr. Claudia M Elsig.
Doctor Claudia has more than 20 years’ experience in the area of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic medicine. A trauma specialist with training in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), clinical hypnosis, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and enactive psychotherapy, she studied at the medical faculty of the Zurich University, specialising in psycho-traumatology, and researched the genetic basis of addiction, depression and anxiety disorders.
She managed clinical hypnosis practice at a private clinic in Zurich, and in 2004 she founded CALDA AG to develop an individual integrative treatment concept for psychological diseases.
We asked Doctor Claudia about the CALDA Clinic’s approach to treating psychological conditions.
Q: Do you think we need to be more open in talking about mental problems?
A: Certainly, it is still a taboo in our society. Phenomena such as trauma, addiction, stress, burnout, depression and anxiety are hidden secrets in many families. With the unique, tried-and- tested CALDA Concept, the human being as a whole is considered.
Q: Do you think modern psychiatry sometimes takes the wrong approach?
A: Yes, through the uncritical and sometimes rash prescribing of very strong psychotropic drugs. Only treating the current symptoms often turns out to be ineffective. At the CALDA Clinic, our specialists in psychiatry and psychotherapy, orthomolecular medicine, alternative and complementary medicine, as well as prevention, better ageing and lifestyle medicine, generally work, whenever possible, without psychotropic drugs. That’s why, if practical, medicines are initially discontinued to see what’s the underlying problem.
Q: How do patients normally come to you?
A: Usually by first-hand recommendation. CALDA Clinic’s offer is aimed at international, well-known personalities from business, art, politics, sports, showbiz and nobility who are looking for a professional and tailor-made treatment in a luxurious environment. The location of our private residencies corresponds to the highest Swiss standards. They are in a slightly elevated, quiet and favoured location at the Golden Coast at the right lakeside of Lake Zurich and have a magnificent view of the lake and mountains. A pleasant stay eases the compliance to the therapy plan and speeds up the healing process.
Q: How does the CALDA Clinic treatment process begin?
A: The focus is on humanity and a consistent personalisation of medical care through individual therapy programmes. In many cases, people come to the CALDA Clinic in an exceptional situation, in a life crisis or after years of suffering.
Primary treatment focuses on mental stabilisation, which prepares for the transfer into everyday life. Continuing care following the stay at the CALDA Clinic makes sense, especially in cases of addiction or chronic illness. The clinic can deal with a wide range of conditions including perioperative destabilization, anxiety, personality disorder, mood disorder, postpartum depression, attention deficit disorder, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Q: How long does the CALDA treatment take, and what does it consist of?
A: Various CALDA programmes are offered, which are individually tailored. With one exception, they each last at least four weeks and cost from CHF 320,000 (£250,000).
CALDA treats the causes of patient’s issues, not the symptoms. The CALDA Concept is a holistic approach across multiple disciplines. It includes novel treatment strategies for trauma, addictions, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, burnout, borderline personality disorder, etc. In addition to the psyche, the body is also treated: metabolic syndrome, fatty liver, diabetes mellitus, obesity and much more. Organ transplants, cancers or other individual profound challenges require close coordination and collaboration with the treating specialists.
Much know-how and time are invested in comprehensive interdisciplinary diagnostics as a basis for further procedures and personal treatment, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
In addition to comprehensive medical and psychiatric diagnostics, a comprehensive clinical-chemical analysis and a targeted genetic analysis are performed to determine the current status and personal risk profile for the most important chronic diseases of our time.
More than 30 gene segments are analysed and thus the genetic predisposition the risk factors for overweight, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes mellitus and others are identified. On the basis of these comprehensive diagnostics, tailored to the client’s needs, a customised treatment concept is created, which also incorporates nutrition and lifestyle.
Q: How can CALDA Clinic guarantee discretion for its clients?
A: CALDA exclusively dedicates its time and all its know-how to a single client. Absolute discretion and trust have top priority in the CALDA Clinic. The CALDA Concept is based on the utmost respect for personal integrity and is outside the health insurance systems, which facilitates absolute discretion and secrecy. During the entire stay, a personal service team is available in addition to the medical focus. These include, but aren’t limited to, a private butler and cook, a limousine service and, if necessary, an interpreter.
Q: What is CALDA Clinic’s approach to alternative medicine?
A: In addition to conventional medicine there are a number of traditional medical and therapeutic fields, which from a Western view, rightly or wrongly, are classified under the term Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The most important and extensive of those in Western perspective unconventional methods come from Asia: from China, Tibet and India. But also in the Western parts of the world, alternative movements like Kinesiology, Metabolic Typing, Anthroposophist Medicine, Homeopathic medicine, osteopathy, Chirotherapy, naturopathy, physiotherapy, body and soul therapies and lifestyle medicine exist.
As proponents of integrative medicine we extended our spectrum of measures by proven and successful recipes of the so-called alternative and complementary medicine. The treatment elements that are most effective with respect to psychological problems include acupressure, acupuncture, movement therapy, cranial electrotherapy, meditation and mindfulness, neurofeedback, phytotherapy and yoga.
Q: How does CALDA Clinic support its patients after treatment?
A: We offer continuing care. Usually a personal coach attends the patient in their home for several weeks after treatment, but our most exclusive package is the CALDA Meets Africa Program.Our exclusive partner Expedition Discovery (www.expedition-discovery.com) will organise a tailored trip to Africa for you in close cooperation with the CALDA Clinic, during which you can rediscover yourself at your own pace. With a first-class team providing activities, therapies, logistics and security, you can recuperate while experiencing adventure and spiritual rediscovery.
Q: Finally, what can you recommend for less chronic problems – how can we all improve our mental well-being?
A: We live in hard times, and mental illness is increasing through chronic stress. Often problems appear in the adolescent phase, but it can also come from the genes, from the family history, from what type or personality you are. A professional psychologist or psychiatrist will help you to take away the mask, reach the unconscious memory and discover the true self – combined with prevention through healthy nutrition and lifestyle, which we call better ageing.Then you will have made progress towards mental wellness.
PO BOX 215, CH-8702 Zollikon
T: +4144 224 20 00
r: +41 44 224 20 01