One Step is set to transform addiction treatment in Thailand by putting the client firmly back at the heart of recovery.

Addiction treatment at One Step Thailand is designed to equip clients with the ‘mental toolkit’ to prosper without addictive behaviors, and to truly thrive on completion of our program. As a small and independent treatment center, we do not believe in a ‘production line’ approach that some larger rehabs adopt. We are small and we will stay this way so our team can provide the most individualized care with successful long-term recovery.

We are proud to offer cutting edge techniques to beat addictive behaviors, with our unique program that includes fitness bootcamp, nutritious meals, individual and group counseling all included in the cost.

Our method ‘One Step to Recovery’ has been applied to more than 5,000 addicted people over the last fifteen years by our founder and program director Alastair Mordey. It contains the following essential components:

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

CBT is the most evidence based talk therapy that currently exists. At One Step Rehab we use a foundational form of CBT called REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy). The main REBT technique focuses on identifying your activator (A). This might be a craving or even a thought or a feeling. We then identify your self-defeating belief systems (B) that cause emotional and behavioral consequences (C), before disputing those negative beliefs (D) and building effective new behaviors (E).

Alastair was the first person to popularize this form of therapy for addicts and it is now widely used by almost all treatment centers in the region. CBT is great for busting the common ‘thought distortions’ that addicted people suffer from such as:

  • Magical thinking: when you believe something is so, just because you want it to be
  • Black and white thinking: not being able to see context, and thinking in extreme ways
  • Catastrophizing: overamplifying how awful something is
  • Personalizing: making everything about you
  • Projecting: into the past or future and not being able to stay in the present
Diagram of human brain negative self talk

Recovery Coaching

Although some people do not feel comfortable with 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, at One Step we feel it is vital to at least be introduced to the basics of abstinence based recovery. Therefore we use a form on coaching called twelve step facilitation (TSF) here at our center.

For many years Alastair has explained 12 step principles in secular terms that ordinary people can understand. Specifically, the way that addiction is a dopamine related disorder that impairs our sense of reason. Alastair’s psychoeducation on this topic has been another major influence on the Thai rehab model, as well as addiction treatment globally, and he has conducted many presentations and lectures on the subject at global addiction conferences and in other media.

Motivational Interviewing

Not everyone is ready for change. But this doesn’t mean they can’t change. Motivational Interviewing, or MI (also known as Motivational Enhancement Therapy) is a technique developed by psychologists William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick. Motivational interviewing works off of a ‘Stages of Change Model’ (below).

Graphic showing the Stages of Change Model used at One Step Rehab Thailand

It is important that rehabs recognize that not all clients are ready for change. For example, many families will be sending their loved ones to treatment, and those loved ones will be somewhat resistant. Most common, is when a parent or spouse intervenes on their loved ones addiction.

In this case it is important for counselors to be able to ‘roll with the resistance’ that clients have, rather than try to force them into accepting abstinence, or any other treatment outcome. These clients are what is known as ‘pre-contemplative’. The counselors job is to guide that person towards ‘contemplation’ of their issues (thinking about it), and then ‘preparation and action’ (doing something about it).


Here at One Step we employ meditation coaches with direct experience of using mindfulness techniques for addiction recovery. Mindfulness meditation grew out of the Vipassana tradition which is a mainstay of southeast Asian Buddhism. It is especially useful when deployed against cravings, and has become a popular technique used to treat addiction since psychologist Alan Marlatt in vented urge surfing in the 1980s.

Since then, pioneers of the Thai rehab sector such as the One Step management team have placed it front and center of their rehabilitation toolkit. Mindfulness for addiction treatment focuses on the following common issues that’s addicted people face:

  • Persistent cravings
  • Intrusive thoughts and feelings
  • Attention deficit
  • Euphoric recall (of using experiences)
  • Negative self-talk

Stress Reduction Techniques and Trauma-focused CBT

If trauma therapy is done too early, it can be harmful. However, there are a range of body based therapies that heal trauma directly through the body, such as TRE (Trauma Release Exercise).

We use these techniques at One Step Rehab because we believe they provide progressive relaxation. However, talk therapy still has the most significant role to play in treating real PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). The most evidenced based modality for PTSD is Trauma-Focused CBT which is focused over 12 sessions and which focuses on the following components:

  • Psychoeducation: The client is taught about the science of traumatic reactions to life-threatening events
  • Coping skills: The client is taught coping mechanisms like mindfulness and CBT techniques before recounting the events.
  • Gradual exposure: The client gradually begins to tell their story.
  • Cognitive processing: The client is guided to recontextualize their thoughts and feelings about the event.
  • Caregiver involvement: Building a support structure ready for discharge back to the community.

Physical Activity

At One Step we believe in the therapeutic value of physical activity. This has become a staple of addiction treatment since Alastair pioneered the Edge program for young men in the 2010’s. Physical activity on offer at One Step includes:

  • Muay Thai kickboxing
  • Bootcamp drills
  • Weights room
  • Yin Yoga
  • Hiking

See here for Alastair’s 2017 presentation to the International Conference on Addiction & Associated Disorders regarding the use of Kickboxing in youth addiction treatment.

Relapse Prevention and Discharge Planning

Every addiction treatment center needs a relapse prevention program. In order to withstand temptations on return to your home community you need to run through every eventuality. In these psychoeducation groups you will learn about:

  • High risk situations: people, places and things that put you at high risk of relapse
  • Reservations: situations in which you think its okay to act out your addiction
  • Cravings: understanding the science of cravings and how you can beat them

A good tool that One Step Thailand use to help you plan your discharge is called 3 Circles (see Module 10 – Three Circles). This method is widely used by 12 step programs dealing with process addictions. The three circles can be used to help you form a discharge plan by helping you to understand what the boundaries are between ‘slippery behaviors’ which might relapse you, and recovery.


It is imperative that any addiction rehab provide you with high quality aftercare with the counselors you built a relationship with in treatment. We use our primary therapists to conduct weekly aftercare groups so you can take your treatment program home with you and access it for as long as you need to.

Our Mission

Our team’s core focus is to make One Step Rehab the best value rehab center in the world. The location of our treatment center in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai is the perfect backdrop for clients to enjoy morning walks, sunrise yoga, outdoor adventures, or simply sit back and enjoy the calming presence of the surrounding paddy fields. But while the backdrop is luxurious, it is important to understand that addiction treatment is all about the quality and content, e.g. the therapy itself.

Too many treatment center’s today offer beautiful surroundings with nothing in the way of real content. Many do not have their own specific treatment method. We do, and we’ve been using it for more than fifteen years. Our mission is as follows:

  • To get you clean and sober
  • To reduce your anxiety, depression and stress
  • To make you more effective in your day to day life
  • To get you physically fit
  • To restore your energy and enthusiasm for life
  • To do so at the lowest price we possibly can

We are well aware that many people today have to go out-of-network to access addiction treatment, or that they cannot afford to sit on long waiting lists to receive government funding for treatment. Therefore we have created a low-cost, high-quality treatment method which will put you back on your feet.

World Class Expertise

While we certainly take advantage of our calming location and nearby national parks to provide a unique range of outdoor activities, our clinical program and medical supervision always comes first. One Step Rehab is staffed with behavioral health and addiction treatment experts, who combine evidenced-based treatment models with integrative and somatic therapies for a truly holistic treatment experience.

Our team are credited as the pioneers of the Thai rehab sector. They have more than a century of combined experience in running rehabs. Why trust your treatment to centers that employ inexperienced staff with no pedigree? See our treatment manual as proof of what kind of therapeutic work you will do during your stay with us.

This pioneering method, written by our founder Alastair is THE blueprint used by almost all rehabs in Thailand today. Why go to copycat treatment centers when you can come and learn directly from the source. Also check out our e-books for more high quality examples of what addiction treatment is really all about.

One Step is not just another rehab in Thailand, and you are not just another client needing help for addictive behaviors.

We invite you to take some time to explore our website to discover more about our groundbreaking program, or call us directly for more information on our program and treatment philosophies.



One Step Rehab Team