By Ann Taylor, Equine Specialist at The Meadows
Sundance is a 32 year old Quarter Horse Gelding. He has worked in our Equine Therapy program since he was 10 years old.
In his more than 20 years of faithful service, he has shown that he truly has an extraordinary gift for therapy. This unassuming little red colored horse spends most of his days in the barn at our Rio campus. He keeps all of the horses and Equine staff on schedule with loud, animated reminders at breakfast and dinner times. Schedule and routine is something that Sundance finds great comfort in, and has no problem reminding us if we are a few minutes late with his meals.
Every day at 10:30 a.m. on the dot, he can be found playing with the other horses over the fence. Then, he naps in the warm quiet Arizona afternoons. For Sundance, semi-retirement is a life of carefree routine.
You could practically set your watch by his schedule.
Due to his advanced age — 93 in horse years — Sundance only works with clients on ground activities.
However, there is a part of Sundance that shines just as bright as his name: his ability to read a person.
Horses, in general, are professionals at reading people; they are second to none when it comes to knowing what is going on with us. They can read our intentions with extraordinary precision.
When it comes to Sundance, though, his gifts take that talent a step further. He can see the ways in which a person is strong and the things they need to work on. He takes a deliberate approach with every individual or group by presenting himself in ways that will meet each person’s need that day. He will purposely challenge a person’s weak areas or present himself with what could only be identified as compassion and love when someone needs to connect with those weaker places.
The discussion as to whether or not a horse has “feelings” is as timeless as the horse itself. Of course, we can’t say for certain that they do, but there is no doubt when Sundance meets someone, something beautiful happens.
The Meadows is one of the few treatment centers in Arizona that uses Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) to lead patients to healing and recovery. As a part of our commitment to holistic and innovative therapeutic tools, Equine Therapy provides a therapeutic experience unlike any other offered at The Meadows. Through interactions between patients and horses, patients learn new ways of dealing with trauma, addictions and relationships. Trained equine specialists use the interactions to illustrate the relationship patterns patients exhibit with people in their lives. Equine Therapy is often noted as a highlight of the treatment program. To learn more about this effective and popular program, contact The Meadows at 800-244-4949.
The Meadows recently announced that Dan Griffin, M.A., will join The Meadows as a Senior Fellow. He is an internationally recognized author, thought leader and expert on men’s relationships, trauma, addiction and masculinity.
Dan’s work and life is dedicated to exploring and redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century. Dan is dedicated to helping men be better men by understanding the impact of the Man Rules on their lives and finding the success in their personal lives they are striving for in the professional lives. Griffin’s newest book, A Man's Way through Relationships, is the first book written specifically to help men create healthy relationships while navigating the challenges of the "Man Rules™," those ideas men internalize at very young ages about how to be real boys and men.
Griffin has worked in the mental health and addictions field for more than 20 years. He is the author of A Man’s Way through the Twelve Steps, the first trauma-informed book to take a holistic look at men’s sobriety. He also co-authored Helping Men Recover, the first comprehensive gender-responsive and trauma-informed curriculum for addiction and mental health professionals. He earned a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Kansas where his graduate work was the first qualitative study centered on the social construction of masculinity in the culture of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Griffin grew up in the DC area and lives in Minnesota with his wife and daughter. He has been in long-term recovery from addiction since he graduated college in May of 1994.
He says that being in The Meadows environment, which normalizes the experience and treatment of trauma, is a refreshing and powerful experience:
“It is incredibly humbling to find myself joining a group of distinguished experts comprised of many of my heroes and those upon whose shoulders I have been standing during my own career. I have an enormous amount of respect for The Meadows commitment to dealing with addiction and trauma together and for the leadership it has shown for 30 years in raising awareness about the almost epidemic-levels of trauma in our communities.
I think my take on men and masculinity as it overlaps with trauma and recovery is a fairly unique approach and I think that there will be a great synergy between this approach and The Meadows model, by looking through the lens of gender in a thorough and nuanced way.”
Sean Walsh, CEO of The Meadows, says he’s thrilled to add Griffin’s perspective to the roster of industry-leading trauma and addiction experts:
“We are thrilled to have Dan join our team to help us better treat the men we are privileged to work with. Dan’s passion and drive to better understand and therefore better treat men is contagious and inspiring. I have no doubt our male patients, the families who love them, and our entire team will benefit from our partnership with Dan.”
Additional Meadows’ Senior Fellows include: Pia Mellody, John Bradshaw, Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk, Shelley Uram, and Claudia Black, Patrick Carnes, and Alexandra Katehakis. Each Meadows Senior Fellow is involved in world-wide practice and research in their area of expertise - lecturing patients on clinical works, publishing works in numerous professional publications, and providing their teachings and expertise to the patients and therapeutic staff at The Meadows.
Drug overdose is now the leading cause of deaths from injury in the United States.
According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention deaths caused by drug overdose are on the rise. Deaths of women who overdosed on benzodiazepines have risen a staggering 640 percent over the last 12 years, while deaths for both men and women from prescription drug overdose have risen 340 percent.
International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year. It aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
You can pay tribute to friends and loved ones who have been affected by a fatal overdose on the IOAD’s Tribute page. And, you can help prevent overdose deaths by sharing the warning signs with friends and family.
Signs of a drug overdose can vary from person to person. But, here are a few common symptoms:
If you suspect someone is experiencing a drug overdose, call 911 immediately. If you can, gather any prescription bottles and/or chemical containers that you suspect the person may have taken and bring them to the emergency room doctor.
Overdose tragedies are preventable. Many addicts have experienced at least one non-fatal overdose in the course of their addiction; sometimes it is the event that leads them into recovery. But, if you or a loved one has been experiencing problems with drugs or alcohol, we urge you not to wait for a catastrophic, and possibly fatal, overdose to occur. The Meadows has Intake counselors available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give us a call and let us help you find a recovery program that’s right for you.
By Colleen DeRango, MA, LISAC, SEP, Co-Facilitator of Equine Workshops
In my most quiet moments of reflection, I often recall what one client said in one of her somatic equine sessions:
"Nothing reduces my anxiety from a 9 to a 3 faster than being with a horse."
I don't know why this is, but I do know that it is my daily experience around these sacred beings who have blessed my life. In this world of addiction, trauma, and mood disorder treatment, we often spend time looking through the lens of pathology; whereas, in the presence of a horse, we seem to quite often be looking through the lens of authenticity. Horses somehow help us return to the truth of who we really are.
Horses can also often help us find a subtle, gentle, whole, connected sense of being. Being with another being. Being seen, being understood, being accepted─ it is deeper than the sensation of love. It is perhaps presence in communion.
Often-times tears will come, and I imagine that if the tears could be analyzed, they would be both pure and authentic. Acceptance overflowing.
I have a mustang in my herd; his senses are still connected to the time he spent roaming free and surviving in the mountains of Nevada. His perception and presence for "resonating with other" is simply amazing, as everyone who works with him can attest. His ability to help a person move into authenticity is beyond anything I have ever witnessed. He risks trusting humans cautiously, modeling to clients to "slow down, be thoughtful, be present, and be honoring." And when they do, the reward is his trust; and it is as if his gift of trust heals.
As a trauma healing specialist, I know well of the terms trauma reenactment; trauma repetition, and trauma bonding. As a horsewoman my herd has taught me the power of "presence reenactment, repetition and bonding." And as I have repeatedly and consistently experienced in healing work with clients, the power of "presence in communion" is stronger than the power of any trauma.
Be it a girl with a horse; a woman, or a man; the horse doesn't see the gender, size or color; or what we have done, said, or experienced; rather, the horse sees the truth, and it isn't a dark endless pit, but a gentle light of acceptance, helping us all to do the same.
You can experience the gentle light of acceptance too, by attending one of our Spirit Equine Workshops. The Spirit workshop has a 5-day and a 3-day option. The next 5-day workshops will be offered on Sept. 7-11 and November 2-6. The next 3-day workshops are October 2-4 and Dec. 4-6. Register today as spaces are limited. Call 800-244-4949 for more information
The Meadows Outpatient Center opened in early 2015 and has been going strong ever since!
What makes The Meadows Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) experience unique is that our senior fellows are directly involved in the clinical formulation of our IOP model. Many treatment centers in the country use materials created by Meadows’ Senior Fellows, but at our outpatient center these same leading experts conduct workshops, lectures, and other events.
The center also has several great programs available to alumni of The Meadows programs, their families, and the general public:
The Meadows Alumni Association is pleased to host monthly alumni meetings. Meadows’ trained professionals will lead these inspirational meetings that focus on renewing the language of The Meadows Model and reclaiming your commitment to its principles.
For more information on Inspired Recovery Alumni Meetings please call The Meadows Events and Alumni at 800-240-5522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or find an alumni meeting in the city nearest you, and register to attend.
Research strongly shows that the longer someone is engaged in treatment, the better their chances are of long-term, successful recovery. It is fairly simple to keep someone on track with regular accountability. It is also fairly easy to get off-track without it. Alumni from The Meadows and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) can now attend weekly Recovery Enhancement Group meetings to focus on Recovery, Fellowship, Spirituality, Service, Unity, Accountability, Networking, Enthusiasm and Fun. The first hour of the meeting is peer-led and monitored by a licensed Meadows therapist. For the second hour, the group joins the IOP group meeting to demonstrate that ongoing recovery is possible.
Meetings are held every Thursday from 10 a.m to Noon, and from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Contact the Meadows Outpatient Center at 928-668-4999.
The Meadows IOP family program encourages the patient’s family members and significant others to…
We offer two different family groups:
Every week, one IOP session is devoted to multifamily group in which family members attend with the IOP patient. If the patient’s family members live out of state, we can involve them remotely through online video conferencing. Local families are encouraged to attend sessions every week.
Learning effective communication skills is a high priority during family issues group. We believe it is very empowering to learn how to talk to one another in a healthy, clear, assertive manner that yields positive results. The Mulftifamily Group meets every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to Noon or 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. There is no need for a reservation and no charge to attend.
Family Recovery Group
This group also meets weekly and is just for family members without the IOP patient in the room. All family members are invited to attend. The group meeting is facilitated by a Meadows-trained, experienced family therapist who helps family members learn how to be helpful, how to stop enabling, how to switch the focus from the IOP patient to their own recovery in their own 12 step program. There are always many questions and answers, many interactions and a lot of mutual support that is shared every week. Family members find this group extremely helpful. The Family Recovery Group takes place every Monday from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at The Meadows Outpatient Center and is open to the public. There is no need for a reservation and no charge to attend.
If you have questions about either family group contact Jim Corrington at 602-740-8403.
Alumni can come by anytime the outpatient center is open to use our state-of-the-art Brain Spa for guided imagery, Hemi-sync brain regulation, meditation audios, etc. The room features fully reclining chairs, blankets , soft lighting and inspiring photos from the Hubble Space telescope. It is truly a safe, healing environment.
Meeting Space Meadows Alumni can also use our beautiful and spacious conference center to bring a bag lunch, hang out, use the kitchen area, etc. There are bistro tables and stools and a marvelous view of the scenic McDowell Mountains!
Recovery is like walking up a down escalator… you must keep moving in the right direction; otherwise you will lose ground and fall back. Let us help you and your loved ones stay on the right track. The Meadows Outpatient Center offers, through our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) individual therapy with our Master’s level and licensed clinicians (SE, EMDR, CBT) and group therapy four days per week, 3 hours per day. In addition, Neurofeedback is also available for IOP patients. Transitional living for patients is available through preferred affiliations with top-quality properties, and is offered to local patients, as well as those from out of state. Contact us at 928-668-4999 for more information.