It was the first August of the new millennium. Dr Raul Rodriguez, at the time still the Chief Resident in Psychiatry at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital, had just started his private practice in Boca Raton. He quickly noticed an alarming trend. Almost all of the new patients that were coming in had a severe addiction to opioids. Combining a number of the techniques he had learned in Jackson Memorial with some advanced techniques that were being used in Yale, Dr Rodriguez developed a new type of chemical detoxification that was able to detox these patients on an outpatient basis without missing hardly any work. Even though these new detoxes were very effective, it became apparent that more severe underlying clinical conditions were prominent in this population, especially Eating Disorders, PTSD, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorder and Treatment Resistant depression. A decision to expand the clinical staff and therapeutic focus was made in order to be able to effectively treat these underlying conditions. Dr. Rodriguez and the senior clinical staff pursued advanced training in the treatment of eating disorders as well in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Dr. Rodriguez later pursued training in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to expand the options available to treat patients. Dr. Rodriguez then developed full-scale outpatient programs were developed for the specialized treatment of Treatment Resistant Depression, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, Eating Disorders, and personality disorders. He expanded the Delray Center campus from a single building into a 5 building clinical campus. From this point on, Dr. Rodriguez did not deviate from a path of constant improvement and evolution that turned the Delray Center into the cutting edge Integrative Mental Health & Wellness Center that it is today.
The Integrative Wellness approach to treating severe clinical conditions was a dream in medical school that became a reality for Dr. Rodriguez. He still identifies his move from Boca to Delray as one of the most critical decisions of his career. In Delray he assembled a team of highly skilled professionals to harmoniously deliver clinical modalities such as individual psychotherapy, group therapy, Transcranial magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and advanced psychopharmacology together with holistic elements such as acupuncture, vitamin therapy, massage, yoga, meditation, philosophical book studies, fitness, nutrition, and expressive therapies. Patients found this combination to be stimulating, enjoyable and effective. Who ever thought that treatment could be fun? It is so much fun actually that almost all of the staff partakes in the very same acupuncture, yoga, circuit training, spinning, massage, and meditation modalities that are delivered to the clients! Dr Rodriguez is actually one of the spinning instructors. This stems from his favorite pastime of road and mountain bike racing and his “moonlighting” gig as the owner of the Speedlab/ Hammer Nutrition/ Trek Racing Team. That is just a taste of the fitness and wellness culture that permeates the entire Delray Center.
The culture of healing and wellness of the Delray Center for Healing has long since extended beyond the center walls and into the community. Dr Rodriguez and his clinical team have engaged in a number of community initiatives to raise awareness of and facilitate access to treatment for a number of public health dilemmas. The Delray Center believes in giving back to the community and in creating a safer world for our youth. As a regular writer for Sober World, Delray & Boca Newspaper, and Simply The Best Magazine, Dr Rodriguez plans to use these platforms to continue to raise awareness in the community. The Delray Center Team is looking ahead to further development of the already active Delray Center adolescent programs and introduction of the senior adult programs for fitness, longevity, and depression treatment. Having started his clinical practice in the year 2000, Dr. Rodriguez is shooting for a 50-year career with the hopes that one or both of his sons will follow in his footsteps and keep his vision for the Delray Center for Healing alive into the next century.