The Meadows Blog

p> Phoenix Free Lecture Series June 27, 2011 7:00-8:30pm
Chaparral Christian Church
6451 East Shea Blvd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85254
For more information, call The Meadows 800-632-3697

Wrestling with the Teenager Within presented by Ben Galloway, LISAC, CSAT

In this presentation, Ben will discuss the family roles, rules and styles of dysfunction that create different types of wounding and defenses. The Adapted Self becomes normalized and bound to these defenses and can even be bound to powerful addictions or relational dysfunctions. Many individuals have difficulty with ongoing recovery and successful healing in therapy due to the normalized survival extremes and defenses of the Adapted Self. While the child within gets a lot of needed focus, this lecture will focus more on the developmental issues of the Adapted/Teenager within. We will review recovery tools and the continuum of care in therapy. Who's driving your bus?

Ben Gallaway has worked in the field of Addiction and Trauma Treatment since 1989. He is a Certified Sex Addiction Counselor and a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor. Ben is in private practice in Phoenix Arizona and the Director of Enchantment Workshops where he designs and facilitates Customized Intensives. Ben is PIT trained through extensive trainings with Pia Mellody since 1995.

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The Meadows co-sponsors the 22nd Annual International Trauma Conference in Boston, May 18-22, 2011

Conference Director and Senior Fellow at The Meadows, Bessel van der Kolk, MD, has been bringing together leaders in the field of neuroscience for this dynamic conference for the past 22 years. Last week presenters Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, Julian D. Ford, PhD, Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, Judith L. Herman, MD, Adele Diamond, PhD, FRSC and many others, as well as 700 attendees came together in Boston to examine cutting-edge treatment interventions for various trauma-based symptoms. Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, closed the conference with a presentation on Mindfulness, Healing, and Transformation.

The Meadows has been a proud sponsor of the International Trauma Conference and the Trauma Center in Boston, Massachusetts, for the past six years. We join Dr. van der Kolk's team in supporting a cutting-edge program of research and mind-body approaches to help trauma survivors recover with empowerment and dignity.

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The Meadows, one of America's leading centers for the treatment of addiction and trauma, presents an ongoing series of videos featuring leading experts in the field of mental health, including Dr. Jerry Boriskin, Maureen Canning, and John Bradshaw, among others.

In the first installment of this series, Dr. Jerry Boriskin, senior fellow at The Meadows, introduces himself and discusses his 30-year career as a licensed psychologist and educator working in the fields of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co-occurring addictive disorders. (Co-occurring disorders exist in an individual who has one or more addictive disorders and one or more psychiatric disorders.)

"My passion is teaching about how PTSD and addictions work together," he explains.

Dr. Boriskin is an author, lecturer, and clinician with expertise in treating trauma, PTSD, and addictive disorders. He was an early advocate for the use of extended care and has developed two extended residential treatment programs for co-occurring disorders. He has authored several books, including PTSD and Addiction: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Counselors and At Wit's End: What Families Need to Know When A Loved One is Diagnosed With Addiction and Mental Illness. He currently is working on a book focusing on Complex PTSD, the most complicated type of post-traumatic stress disorder. The working title is Dancing With Demons: Why People With Complicated Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Live in the Past, Dread the Future, and Live in the Moment.

"I think that title captures the essence of a lot of what I'm trying to teach," he says.

To view Dr. Boriskin's video - and other videos in the series - see For more about The Meadows' innovative treatment program for PTSD and other disorders, see or call The Meadows at 800-244-4949.

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Free Lecture Series - Phoenix, Arizona - May 23, 2011

Charlie Atkinson, MA, MSW, LCSW will be speaking at The Meadows Free Lecture on May 23, 2011, at 7pm at the Scottsdale Chaparral Christian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mr. Atkinson is a well known therapist who has been in private practice in the valley for many years, specializing in the treatment of trauma and anxiety disorders. Mr. Atkinson will present the topic of Understanding and Healing Your Pool of Pain. During his presentation, Mr. Atkinson will discuss the development of trauma as well as the grief process. He will present effective methods of working through pain and grief. Through this healing process, an individual will be able to find a sense of wholeness within themselves.

Contact The Meadows Arizona Community Relations Representative, Meagan Foxx, LPC, LISAC at 602-531-5320 for more information. No registration required. We look forward to seeing you.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 19:00

Dropped Stitches

Note: This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2009 edition of MeadowLark, the magazine for alumni of The Meadows.

Dropped Stitches
By Judith S. Freilich, MD

I am a psychiatrist thinking about knitting - about dropped stitches, in particular. Knitters know that a dropped stitch weakens the whole cloth, disrupts the garment's integrity and leaves a hole that may not even show until there is a stretch or stress on it. Then, the fabric is likely to begin unraveling from the hole, no matter how carefully the rest is knitted.

I wonder about this in my life. In the fabric of my life, there were many dropped stitches - emotions suppressed, voices blocked, roads not taken, losses not grieved before moving on, trauma endured. Life.

My way was to keep moving forward with determination, compassion and courage. I loved, worked hard, accomplished, learned and helped others along my way. On the surface, my efforts seemed of strong cloth. As time went on, those invisible holes - the dropped stitches - began to show and unravel.

"The body is the mind's subconscious," says respected neuroscientist Candace Pert, PhD. That which our minds can't absorb is held for us in our bodies. Dropped stitches remain in our garment, a part of us. They do not just disappear.

What to do about my dropped stitches? Do I leave the past untouched and continue pressing forward? What would that mean for the whole cloth? Does it end up in the trash that way? Do I choose the difficult task of repairing my garment, so it has more integrity for the future?

When a knitter discovers a dropped stitch, she repairs it. She unknits back to it, picks up the dropped stitch and then knits forward again. Knitters call this "tinking" - &"tink" being "knit" spelled backwards.

I think I will "tink." Many of my dropped stitches are losses not fully grieved. There are trauma-made holes, too. The largest is from when my daughters died in a tragic car accident in 1985. Then, I had no ability to grieve. I might have died or gone crazy had I not become frozen and dissociated.

I did not consciously make a decision to freeze. Perhaps my soul did, in order to preserve my life. And by doing so, the memories and grief were frozen and stored in my body - until the time came to unfreeze and release them. And, yes, it left dropped stitches. I think this was preferable to having no garment at all.

There are many ways to "tink." Each begins with recognizing a hole. We can complete a grief left undone. We may reconnect with an attenuated relationship. There is repair that is spiritual in nature, such as gratitude and forgiveness in their many forms.

There is trauma work. Effective trauma release is "tinking" at its best. Sometimes it involves finding memory pictures, then developing them to bring buried treasure to light or frozen emotions to life. Sometimes, tracking body sensations is the way to find and release them. Or we might return to an old physical environment, restoring an emotional state that was left behind before it was time.

The purpose is to transform trauma. It helps to think about chemistry and alchemy. Like knitting, these are transformational processes. They turn one thing into another. If a single step in the process is missed, the whole thing won't go to completion. It just doesn't work.

Tinking is precise, too. It begins with intention - and some resistance, as undoing is unpleasant. The knitted strand is carefully pulled apart, all the way back to the hole. The yarn is neither lost nor cut. It remains an integral part of the garment. When reknitted forward, it becomes part of a stronger garment.

Knitting creates links. A bridge is a link. To pick up a dropped stitch is to build a new bridge, make a strong link where one was weak or not even there. Building a strong bridge requires first building good foundations at each end of the span.

Not long after my girls died, a friend talked to me of bridges. She said that when your child dies, the foundation of your life collapses. For a while, you must go forward, building a new foundation. At some point, you then can build a bridge back to the past. Healing happens then. Connecting past and future makes a stronger whole.

With thanks to Descartes: "I 'tink,' therefore I am."

- Judith S. Freilich, MD, is a psychiatrist at The Meadows who is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology.

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