The Meadows Blog

Monday, 18 December 2017 14:00

Grief Is A Fact Of Life

Grief is a fact of life. As much as we hate it, fight it, or hide from it, it still lurks in the background. Allowing time and space for grief is not something I have always done.

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016 00:00

Welcome, Dr. Terry Eagan!

We’re excited to share the news that we’ll be expanding our team to include Dr. Terry Eagan, He will be joining us as a Senior Fellow for all of our Meadows Behavioral Healthcare programs.

Dr. Eagan is a prominent Beverly Hills psychiatrist, and founder and CEO of Eagan Medical Group, LLC., a thriving mental health practice treating over 2000 patients annually. He also has years of experience as the Medical Director of several addiction and eating disorder treatment centers throughout the Los Angeles area. Most recently, he founded The Eagan Institute, an innovative new organization focusing on the advanced diagnostics and treatment of brain injuries and brain disorders.

He is an expert in the complexities of mental health and addiction treatment, and he specializes in effective treatment regimens for all types of emotional distress that often can arise from being in positions of responsibility and public attention. In addition to his specialties in primary psychiatric conditions, substance abuse disorders, trauma, abuse, impulse control disorders, human sexuality, and spiritual therapy, he also has 20 years of experience in treating patients with eating disorders.

He is also a leader in Professional Ethics and Compassion Fatigue and has guided training programs for individual practitioners, multinational corporations, public school systems, community health centers, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and universities.

And, like us, he believes in multi-faceted treatment approaches that incorporate pharmacologic interventions with evidence-based therapies, adjunctive modalities, and traditional spiritual practices.

As part of his Senior Fellowship, Dr. Eagan will provide training on pertinent topics to staff, give occasional presentations to patients, and help to further develop and guide our treatment programs. We’re so glad to add Dr. Eagan’s expertise to an already top-notch team of compassionate and dedicated professionals at The Meadows programs.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 06 December 2012 19:00

The Meadows Announces New Staff Psychologist

The Meadows recently announced the return of Dr. Robert Darden as a new staff psychologist at The Meadows. Dr. Darden was originally on staff at The Meadows from 2008 to 2011.

One of Dr. Darden's main focus areas at The Meadows is to interpret psychological testing and then to present the findings with the patient's clinical team. The goals are to provide additional data to assist with treatment planning and to provide testing feedback that will help a patient continue to gain insight into personality characteristics.

Dr. Darden has worked as a psychologist, therapist and in management within the mental health field since 1993.Dr. Darden started his career as a mental health worker at a hospital in Flagstaff, Ariz. while working on a Master's Degree in Psychology at Northern Arizona University. After completing this degree in 1994, Dr. Darden entered the Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill. His dissertation addressed the efficacy of an inpatient hospital for treating eating disorders, depression and spiritual distress. Dr. Darden received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2002.

"Dr. Darden brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Meadows team," said Sean Walsh, The Meadows Executive Director. "Dr. Darden has a passion to provide quality care to our patients and both our patients and our team are lucky to have him as our psychologist here 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 www.themeadows.com.

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.

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Effective July 1, 2012, The Meadows Wickenburg will adopt an all-inclusive pricing model. This change responds to patients' requests to know what their program costs will be at the onset of treatment. As The Meadows launches the new fee structure, a special promotion will be offered to patients that admit to The Meadows five-week inpatient program for the time period July 1 - August 15, 2012.

The Meadows specializes in treating trauma, PTSD, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, codependency, depression, bipolar disorders, sexual compulsivity, love addiction, love avoidance, eating disorders, work addiction, and gambling addiction.

The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about how The Meadows can help you or your loved one take advantage of this limited-time inpatient discount offer, contact an intake coordinator at (866) 856-1279 or visit www.themeadows.com.

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

When Adolescence Doesn't End at the Same Time Adulthood Arrives: REHAB Treatment for Young Adults

By

Bonnie A. DenDooven, MC, LAC

Ad·o·les·cence is defined as a period or stage of development, preceding maturity. But what happens when chronologically your son or daughter becomes an adult and emotionally they are still locked in immature, self-destructive patterns that you thought they would out grow?

For a therapist working with young adults and their families, REHAB is a process of untangling the mystery of maturation gone wrong. Getting young adults sober from drugs and alcohol is just the tip of the iceberg. Unless the underlying issues are addressed, the young adults are precariously at risk to return to the immature habits that put them at risk to start with.

Karen Horney, pioneer psychotherapist who focused on the struggle toward self-realization, held that basic anxiety brought about by insecurities in childhood was fundamental to later "character development". (Footnote 1) In other words, some anxiety and some insecurity are needed to produce maturity, much like the baby chick in an egg needs to press against the adversity of the hard egg shell in order to emerge strong and capable from the hatching process.

In 1969, a publication changed how we treated children. The "Self-Esteem Movement" was birthed when psychologist Nathaniel Brandon published a widely received and highly acclaimed paper called "The Psychology of Self-Esteem" and argued that "feelings of self-esteem were the key to success in life". (footnote 2) A 40-year craze of self-esteem building began then. This craze changed how parents and teachers treated anxiety and insecurity in children. The "Self-Esteem Movement" encouraged parents and teachers to remove as much anxiety as possible from the lives of children. Suddenly it was NOT okay to give 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies for fear that some child would feel less than others. Teachers put away red markers previously used to grade papers because it might make students "feel bad". Parents began a chorus of constant praise and admiration such as "You're so smart!", and "You're so pretty!";, and the killer, You've got so much potential". Research now shows that by age 12, children no longer believe these overworked compliments and see these compliments as an attempt by adults to manipulate them. (Footnote 3) Worse, the self-esteem movement created children who may have high self-esteem but who cannot tolerate any form of anxiety or insecurity. Without tolerating basic anxiety and insecurity they cannot produce character in themselves. Teenage use of drugs and alcohol to medicate the anxiety and insecurity is leaving us with a generation of addicts who live by the cognitive distortion, "I should never feel bad."

In the therapy room, when working with immature young adults (ages 18-29), it is easy to detect patterns. The newest research on addiction indicates that attachment disorders underscore addiction, but what does that mean? Karen Horney wrote about how the authentic self emerges. She described three classifications of how we relate to others. It is in our relationships with others where authenticity or the lack thereof shows up. To see attachment disorders in action, therapists watch how young adults: (1) Move toward people, (2) Move against people, or (3) Move away from people.

In essence, it is a simple and brilliant way to look at this thing called attachment disorder and to prepare therapeutic interventions that are effective. In the close conformity of the REHAB environment, these reactive positions of relating to others become visible, and set patterns readily emerge in the day-to-day required activities. Following are the three categories and ten patterns

Attachment style of Moving toward People:

Pattern 1: The need for affection and approval; pleasing others and being liked by them. The feelings of peer pressure are too powerful to resist and results in CODEPENDENCY and trauma bonding to unhealthy "friends" Young people can become just as addicted to "the lifestyle" of the drug world as they are to the chemicals.

Pattern 2: The need for a partner; one to love and who will solve all problems - the emphasis is that "love will solve all problems". This results in love addiction and sexual promiscuity with either an inability to disengage from abusive relationships or the inability to be without a relationship. These are the REHAB residents who strike up romantic or sexual liaisons in treatment.

Attachment style of Moving against People:

Pattern 3: The need for power; the irresistible urge to bend the rules and achieve control over others. While most people seek strength, an immature young adult may be desperate for it.

Pattern 4: The need to exploit others; to get the better of them. To manipulate, operating from the underlying belief that people are there simply to be used staff splitting and using humor to control a room (they are just an audience). People become objects and the immature adult operates without empathy.

Pattern 5: The need for social recognition; and limelight. The immature young adult manifests as desperate for recognition; they posture before staff, lie, cheat, and steal in order to be the center of attention, or become the clown and the butt of their own joking, never taken seriously. This need is an act of moving against people because it connotes beating others out for attention.

Pattern 6: The need for self respect; an exaggerated need to be valued can result in an overly inflated ego and a young person who is not in touch with their own limitations and unable to see their own character defects. This pattern forms Narcissism and self-blindness.

Pattern 7: The need for achievement; though virtually all persons wish to make achievements, some are desperate for it. Some are so driven for success, that they sacrifice relationships, health, and sometimes integrity for it. The paradox is that achievement is an elusive line that seems to move just as soon as a goal is met. The success never satisfies.
Attachment styles of Moving away from People:

Pattern 8: The need for self-sufficiency; taken to the extreme, some are independent to the point of becoming "needless and want-less". ISOLATION and LONELINESS ensue, along with an inability to live among others interdependently.

Pattern 9: The need for perfection; while many are driven to do things well, some young adults display an overriding fear of being even slightly flawed. This perfectionism causes "Fear of Shame" to become a driving force in their life, causing them to quit tasks they enjoy if they can't be the BEST.

Pattern 10: The need to contain; some find a need to restrict life to within narrow borders - to live as inconspicuous as possible. The ultimate result of an extreme of this pattern are ANOREXIA and DEPRIVATION. We find young people who have gravitated toward living alone and homeless. They find it difficult to rejoin others in the REHAB community.

In a REHAB environment, a young adult is forced to display every coping skill they have ever engineered. For many, it is the first time they are in close quarters with so many people 24-hours a day. If their tendency is to move toward and enmesh and give away their soul in order to deal with the anxiety, we see it in the friendships they form and as a failure to confront others out of fear of rejection. If the tendency is to move against others to cope, peers will react to them- against postures are offensive and conflicts with ensue.A tendency to move away from others manifests as depression, rage and laziness.

The best REHAB treatment centers are those that know how to manage, not eliminate, the anxiety and insecurity, in fact many activities are designed to increase the anxiety. Activities are planned to strategically intervene on the coping defenses above. As the defenses are exposed and the resident is taught to tolerate anxiety and feelings of inferiority, gradually the immature self begins to grow more confident and merges into a whole and complete self. This new self has character and is capable of navigating the adult world. The alternative is to stay immature, without a confident self, and to medicate with drugs and alcohol or other self-defeating behaviors.

Bonnie A. DenDooven

mailto: dendooven7@aol.com

Bonnie A. DenDooven, MC, LAC is a former business owner-turned-therapist. The author of the MAWASI© for therapy and healing of financial disorders and work disorders. She is a former primary and family counselor and assistant clinical director for Dr. Patrick Carnes at The Meadows. Bonnie was schooled in Gestalt therapy and is a member of Silvan Tomkins Institute of Affect Script Psychology, an advocate of Martin Seligman Positive Psychology, and a champion for the initiative for VIA Classification of Strengths and Virtues (jokingly referred to as the "un-DSM").

Footnote 1: Neurosis and Human Growth: The struggle toward self-realization, 1950

Footnote 2: http://www.chabad.org/blogs/blog_cdo/aid/1073778/jewish/Why-Hasnt-the-Self-Esteem-Movement-Given-Us-Self-Esteem.htm

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