The Meadows Blog

Dr. Claudia Black, MSW, Ph.D., was presented with the prestigious Father Joseph C. Martin Professional Excellence Award August 24, 2014 at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) before an applauding standing audience of 800 attendees. This recognition is bestowed annually by the Maryland treatment center to an individual whose life work has produced a meaningful impact in the field of addictive disorders.

The award is named on behalf of Father Joseph Martin; best known for his film Chalk Talk on Alcohol that is credited with saving the lives of thousands of alcoholics and addicts. Father Martin is known for his charismatic style and sense of humor and his 40 films are legendary in the addiction field.Claudia Black

Dr. Claudia Black, a Senior Fellow and Addiction and Trauma Program Specialist at The Meadows, said during her acceptance speech, “I didn’t know anyone who showed greater love, respect and compassion for the addicted and their families than Father Martin. He singularly did much to lessen the stigma and certainly celebrated them in their recovery. I was fortunate to have met him early in my career whereupon we became close friends and maintained that relationship until his passing. Upon hearing that I was receiving this award in his name, I knew it would bring a smile to his face. He was always a strong advocate of my work and felt very strongly that this was a family disease and family members of all ages deserve their own healing and recovery process.”

Dr. Black is the co-founder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), and also designs and presents training workshops and seminars to professional audiences in the field of family service, mental health, addiction and correctional services. Since the 1970's, Dr. Black’s work has impacted the professional field’s understanding of addiction’s effect on families. She has made many pioneering contributions, including:

  • First to name and coin the dysfunctional family rules, “Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust, Don’t Feel”
  • Described the phenomena of delayed stress, emotional trauma, the child’s denial process, the phenomena of “looking good” kids as they relate to growing up with addiction, and hence the meaning and phraseology of “Adult Child of Alcoholics”
  • Utilized art therapy in the context of group work with young children that offered a model for children’s programs for the past three plus decades
  • Broke the barrier and openly discussed physical and sexual abuse in the context of addictive families

Her work at The Meadows is evident in its model of intervention and treatment related to family violence, multi-addictions, relapse, anger, depression and women's issues. She authors books and creates educational videos for use with the addicted client and families affected by addiction.

Biographical History to Dr. Black’s Work

  • 1977 Claudia Black entered the field as a social worker in a 16 bed alcoholism unit in Canoga Park, California.
  • 1978 Fr. Martin introduces Claudia at National Almaca (now EAPA) conference in San Francisco, where she speaks publicly for the first time about children of alcoholics.
  • 1979 Newsweek Magazine writes a full page on her work with young children and presents the concept of adult children of alcoholics.
  • 1979 Five children and Claudia fly from California to Chicago for the Phil Donahue Show. The first time the issue of children of alcoholics ever talked about on national television.
  • 1979 My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has a Disease, her first book, a book for children ages 5 – 12, is published and continues today in its third edition to be the primary book for young children of addiction.
  • 1982 her book 'It Will Never Happen to Me' was published, a classic in our field, to date selling over 2 million copies
  • 1983 Co-founder of the National Association of Children of Alcoholics (NACoA)
  • 2009 She was the developer behind Camp Mariposa, offered through The (Jamie) Moyer Foundation, children of addiction camps now in eight states.

During the span of her career she has written over fifteen books, many published in several other languages, and created over 20 educational videos that have become mainstays in the field of addiction treatment and recovery. Claudia has travelled the US extensively over the years speaking about the impact addiction has on children, young and adult, and the family in general. She also addresses issues that are specific to the addicted, such as relapse, anger, and depression. She has spoken on behalf of World Services Al-Anon on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, and the Parliament in Ottawa Canada.

She has taken her message throughout the world to all continents, and just this past month was interviewed on an Iranian satellite television show.

As much as she is a writer and educator, she has always continued to work hands on with clients, both the addicted and their family members in inpatient treatment programs.

Published in News & Announcements

By: Nancy Bailey, PhD, Clinical Director at The Meadows

As we enter into the beautiful desert summer - I was reflecting on my professional journey with The Meadows. When I was hired at The Meadows in 2008 as a Workshop Facilitator, I knew that I was entering into a program of excellence and world recognition. After being in the field of mental health and addiction treatment for almost 20 years, when I stepped foot on the serene surroundings of the campus, I knew I was going to be part of something special.

The significance of the deep work offered to the patients at The Meadows is profound. During those first few years here, I was astounded week after week to see miracles occur and inner shifts transform peoples’ lives. I had been part of providing education and treatment for several years prior and spent many of those years focusing on treating complex women's issues. This work was deeper.

Transitioning from Workshop Facilitator to Intake Interventionist was the next step for me at The Meadows. This position offered me additional experience and multi-faceted perspectives in working with the referral resources, families, and patients at onset of their journey to find healing. This journey had many paths; often hearing and working through challenges of anticipatory anxiety, denial, minimization, extreme pain, and sadness; hoping that the loved one would take that huge step toward healing. Working side by side with the Intake Coordinators provided me with a newfound respect for the skill set needed to be relational from a distance while still engaging with therapeutic alliance and boundaries. Once again, The Model proved to be a hands-on and ongoing tapestry of daily living skills.

As The Meadows leadership continued to recognize the need for excellence, not only in patient care, but also in customer service - my position morphed into a clinically based business development role of Senior Clinical Liaison. Providing the bridge between business development, referral resource, interventionist, and clinical department again offered opportunities for personal and professional growth. Once again, Pia's Model provided a foundation for communication and boundary skills.

After a brief sabbatical to complete my PhD, I was honored to return to The Meadows in my current role of Clinical Director. Since taking the position as Clinical Director in September, many program enhancements have occurred and I continue to work with our Program Development team to assess and integrate better programming. I have the opportunity to work directly with some of the best thought leaders in the world in the areas of clinical excellence and research, as well as the pioneers who blazed the trails for family, codependency, and trauma treatment.  I also have the support of a forward thinking and extremely accessible administrative leadership team and board of directors to help me to integrate new treatment modalities and program enhancements to the already world renowned program The Meadows has been for over 35 years. Pia Mellody's Model still lays the foundation of The Meadows treatment. Cutting edge research and Senior Fellow advisors help me to develop and enhance our program to even higher levels of excellence. I am so excited to be a part of such a system of healing!

Professional journey imitates recovery journey - Life journey imitates recovery journey. As we remain engaged in a program of recovery, one day at a time, we will realize life "beyond our wildest dreams." Please stay tuned to our website and blog for ongoing events, announcements, and educational outreaches. Thank you to our Alumni and business professionals who continue to put your trust in The Meadows for excellence in patient care.

Published in Blog

The Meadows recently announced Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CSAT-S, CST-S, as a new Meadows Senior Fellow. Katehakis is the Founder and Clinical Director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles, Calif.

Katehakis is an expert in the treatment of sexual addiction and other sexual disorders and has incorporated interpersonal neurobiology into her Psychobiological Approach to Sex Addiction Treatment (PASAT). Ms. Katehakis is author of “Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot Healthy Sex After Recovery From Sex Addiction,” 2010 and contributing author to Making Advances: A Comprehensive Guide for Treating Female Sex and Love Addicts, in M. Feree (Ed.), 2012. She has published in the Journal of Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity and the Psychotherapy Networker.

Katehakis is currently writing a book for the prestigious W.W. Norton Interpersonal Neurobiology Series edited by Allan Schore and Daniel Siegel titled, Sex Addiction As Affect Dysregulation: A Holistic Healing Model (2014). Recently, Katehakis is the 2012 recipient of the Carnes Award, a distinguished acknowledgement for her significant contributions to the field of sex addiction.

“We are thrilled to welcome Alexandra Katehakis to The Meadows as a Senior Fellow,” said Jim Dredge, The Meadows CEO. “As we see an increased prevalence of sexual dysfunction and sexually addictive behaviors in the individuals seeking help at The Meadows, Alex’s wealth of knowledge and experience in this field will undoubtedly be a benefit to our patients.”

Additional Meadows’ Senior Fellows include: Pia Mellody, John Bradshaw, Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk, Jerry Boriskin, Shelley Uram, and Claudia Black. 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.

The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about The Meadows’ work with trauma and addiction contact an intake coordinator at (866) 856-1279 or visit

For over 35 years, The Meadows has been a leading trauma and addiction treatment center. In that time, they have helped more than 20,000 patients in one of their three inpatient centers and 25,000 attendees in national workshops. The Meadows world-class team of Senior Fellows, Psychiatrists, Therapists and Counselors treat the symptoms of addiction and the underlying issues that cause lifelong patterns of self-destructive behavior. The Meadows, with 24 hour nursing and on-site physicians and psychiatrists, is a Level 1 psychiatric hospital that is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Published in Blog

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