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The Meadows Model

The foundation of all we do

A Groundbreaking Treatment Model, A Legacy of Healing

In the 1970s while working at The Meadows, Pia Mellody found that she was encountering an increasing number of patients who identified less-than-nurturing, abusive family systems in their childhood, which led to adulthood behaviors of codependency. The codependency patterns translated into addictions, mood disorders, and physical illness. Mellody’s continued work with patients led to the conclusion that the trauma at the root of these codependency issues needed to be addressed in order to achieve lasting recovery. Thus, the Meadows Model was born. Today, her groundbreaking Meadows Model is still incorporated into every Meadows Behavioral Healthcare treatment program, from week-long workshops to inpatient treatment and intensive outpatient options.

Overview of The Model

The Meadows Model, also known as the Developmental Model of Immaturity, is a groundbreaking approach based on the pioneering work of Meadows Senior Fellow Pia Mellody. To learn more details, watch our animated video or read our 4-part series breaking down the model:

A Model for Recovery

Our treatment team utilizes The Meadows Model, which includes:

Developmental History – A patient’s developmental history is used to track emotional development.

Emotional State – The therapist assesses whether a patient’s emotional state is less than optimal.

Patient Actions – The therapist identifies patient actions that create unmanageability and relational problems.

Younger Ego – Patients learn to identify when they are “activated” or “triggered” into younger ego states.

Residual Energy – Patients learn that in the present they experience “residual energy” from the past.

Born Valuable – Patients learn that everyone is born valuable, vulnerable, imperfect, dependent, spontaneous, and open.

Gain Tools – Patients gain tools to track progress and develop the vocabulary to describe emotions.

Increased Resiliency – Increased resiliency allows for availability in relationships, living in the here and now, exploring options, understanding choices, and creating stability.

At The Meadows — and all Meadows-branded treatment programs — we use these innovative therapeutic techniques to identify and treat the underlying trauma of addictive and dysfunctional processes to help people find hope and healing.

Turquoise group room at The Meadows


Our Admissions team is here to help 24 hours a day and is experienced in assisting others with compassion, dignity, and respect — hallmark values of The Meadows for more than 45 years. The Meadows’ Admissions Specialists are here to help you on your way to a healthier and more productive lifestyle. When you call, they will lead you through a series of questions to determine if The Meadows is a good fit, and how soon your treatment can begin. If you are interested in The Meadows for yourself or a loved one, call or fill out an admissions form today!

If you are interested in The Meadows for yourself or a loved one call or fill out an admissions form today!

Contact our Admissions office

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For international callers

Phone Icon  928-668-1999

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