The Meadows Blog

When Current Events Trigger Your Past Trauma

By Dr. Georgia Fourlas, LCSW, LISAC, CSAT-S
Clinical Director of Workshops
Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows

Most people have dealt with some form of trauma in their lifetime. Some have sought professional help while other people relied on their support system of family and friends to assist them through healing. Others may have never dealt with their trauma at all. They may have found a way to numb out their reactions to their trauma (e.g. substance use, intimacy disorders, overworking, eating disorders, etc.). Or they may have forgotten memories of the traumatic event...

While building a tribe can be scary at times, like other things in recovery, it can also be exciting. Our best friends were once strangers, ones we probably met because we weren’t staring at our screens. Now, go: put your phone down (unless you’re attending an online meeting), and build your village. That’s what it takes to heal. And, healing, by the way, can and does happen.

Thursday, 11 October 2018 15:07

Understanding and Coping with Grief and Loss

Grief and loss are unavoidable. They are a natural part of the human condition. No one can escape experiencing several forms of loss throughout their lives. However, in the American culture, many people attempt to avoid the feelings associated with grief and loss by denying the impact it can have on our present and future lives. Some people may quickly gloss over grief and loss, stating: “I’ve accepted, forgiven, and moved on” to put a matter to rest. Others may delve into addictive behaviors or other dysfunctional ways to numb out or block the feelings associated with grief. Unfortunately, storing grief and loss in our heads is a missed opportunity for growth on an emotional and spiritual level. It’s also an overlooked chance for hope according to Dr. Elizabeth- Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist who was a pioneer in near-death studies. When a person processes thoughts and feelings, including grief, in a supportive, therapeutic individual or group environment, hope is often a powerful outcome.

Thursday, 04 October 2018 17:10

Controlled Breathing Calms Your Brain

The way you breathe — whether fast or slow, shallow or deep — is intricately tied to your body as a whole, sending messages that affect your mood, your stress levels and even your immune system. 

This conference addresses the most relevant and cutting edge topics for professionals working in the addictions and behavioral health fields. It offers a comprehensive view and updates in a series of plenary sessions along with focused in-depth workshops to provide participants with skill-building in their areas of interest.

As a psychologist who works with trauma, I am very much aware of how difficult it can be to recall details of the traumatic experience. Even the question, “can you tell me about your trauma?” can be befuddling, if not somewhat disturbing, to one who has experienced it. In fact, it is the very nature of our human response to trauma that we defend against taking in the frightening experience in its entirety.

Join us on November 8th - 10th at Newport Beach California for a conference on behavioral health and addictive behaviors.  


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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 09:39

Practical Tips for Healthier Holiday Season

Most of us consider the holidays to officially start right on Thanksgiving Day and end at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s. In actuality, they start right before Halloween and end at the buzzer on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s because the season of eating and excess starts typically with the acquirement of pounds and pounds of candy and ends over a vat of chicken wings and nachos.

The Meadows appreciates and understands the connection between lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise and stress management, and their role in recovery. We also take a holistic approach to our patient care, focusing on all aspects of wellness. Fasting has been shown in multiple studies to help with weight loss, prevention, and management of metabolic diseases, longevity and even cognitive function. There are many opportunities to improve health through diet – fasting may be a good option for many of our patients seeking to improve overall health.

So much has been written about the burgeoning happiness movement. While combing through my own research and notes on what happy and successful people do, it struck me how intentional they are about choosing the right mindset to become happier and more optimistic.

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