The Meadows Blog

As part of its ongoing video series, The Meadows presents an 11-part interview with John Bradshaw, world-famous educator, counselor, motivational speaker, author, and leading figure in the fields of addiction and recovery.

In the sixth video of his series, Mr. Bradshaw, senior fellow at The Meadows, discusses the use of families as social systems in the treatment of addiction and trauma.

"One of the things I like about The Meadows is that they use the model of families as social systems," he says, explaining that members of an addictive or abusive family will typically involve the other family members in their behaviors. As an example, he cites a mother addicted to prescription medication. "Family members make excuses for her and assume her responsibilities, thereby becoming codependents in her addiction."

"At The Meadows, we treat that," Mr. Bradshaw says. "We want people to understand the family of origin. The Meadows brings the family in, helps the whole family to understand."

Mr. Bradshaw has been affiliated with The Meadows since 1979, giving insights to staff and patients, speaking at alumni retreats, lecturing to mental health professionals at workshops and seminars, and helping to shape its cutting-edge treatment programs. He also has authored several New York Times best-selling books, including Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child, Creating Love, and Healing the Shame That Binds You.

In other videos in this series, Mr. Bradshaw discusses such topics as the importance of after-care facilities, and the relationship between shame and depression. To view all the videos in this series, visit www.youtube.com/themeadowswickenburg.

For more about The Meadows' innovative treatment program for addictions and trauma, see www.themeadows.org or call The Meadows at 800-244-4949.

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As part of its video series on addiction and trauma, The Meadows is pleased to present a 10-part installment featuring Dr. Jerry Boriskin discussing post-traumatic stress disorder and complex PTSD.

In the fifth video of his 10-part series, Dr. Boriskin, senior fellow at The Meadows, discusses his approach to treating complex PTSD and co-occurring disorders. He explains that the many levels of severity and complications require many levels of treatment. In order for patients to become integrated, they need to be treated with the appropriate level of care.

"You can't treat an overwhelming set of disorders in an outpatient setting," Dr. Boriskin says. "Sometimes you need an inpatient environment that's structured - yet flexible, containing, communicative, and instructive. It needs to have that right balance, and that's an art form that very few facilities are able to deliver."

In other videos, Dr. Boriskin talks about long-term treatment for complex PTSD, treatment goals, and the relationship between PTSD and addiction.

Jerry Boriskin, Ph.D, is an author, lecturer, and clinician with expertise in trauma, PTSD, and addictive disorders. He is the author of 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.

Other videos in The Meadows' series include interviews with prominent figures in the mental health field, including John Bradshaw and Maureen Canning. To view, visit http://www.youtube.com/themeadowswickenburg.

For more about The Meadows' innovative treatment program for PTSD and other disorders, see www.themeadows.org or call The Meadows at 800-244-4949.

Published in Blog

The Meadows, America's premier center for the treatment of addiction and trauma, is pleased to present an 11-part interview with John Bradshaw, senior fellow, world-famous educator, counselor, motivational speaker, author, and
leading figure in the field of mental health.

In the fifth video of his series, Mr. Bradshaw talks about the importance of inner-child deep feeling work as a therapeutic tool.

"One of the things I like about The Meadows is the deep feeling work. It's uncanny," he says.

Mr. Bradshaw explains that many therapists and psychologists he works with around the country can't practice the technique.

"It's frightening to them," he says, stressing that deep feeling work is often necessary in order to get recovering substance abusers to address their 'addictiveness.'

"That addictiveness is like a hole in the soul that has to be grieved. And without that grieving process, the addict will simply go from one addiction to another."

Mr. Bradshaw has enjoyed a long association with The Meadows, giving insights to staff and patients, speaking at alumni retreats, lecturing to mental health professionals at workshops and seminars, and helping to shape its cutting-edge treatment programs. He is also the author of several New York Times best-selling books, including Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child, Creating Love, and Healing the Shame That Binds You.

In other videos in this series, Mr. Bradshaw discusses such topics as Survivor Week, the importance of after-care facilities, and the relationship between shame and depression. To view all the videos in this series, visit www.youtube.com/themeadowswickenburg.

For more about The Meadows' innovative treatment program for addictions and trauma, visit www.themeadows.org or call The Meadows at 800-244-4949.

Published in Blog

The Meadows, one of America's leading centers for the treatment of addiction and trauma, presents a series of videos featuring Maureen Canning discussing sexual addiction in women.

In the fifth video of her nine-part series, Ms. Canning, a specialist in the treatment of sexual addiction and trauma, talks about what partners of sex addicts need to know in order to break the cycle of abuse and codependency.

"With all addictions, it's important to look at family systems and how they affect the members of the family - particularly the partners of sex addicts," she says.

She adds that The Meadows has developed workshops specifically to help partners of sex addicts understand the addiction. They learn not to blame themselves for the addict's behaviors or to internalize shame for those behaviors. They also gain understanding of their own roles in the relationship.

"We want to empower the partners of sex addicts so they're out of that 'victim mode' and not blaming themselves, but understanding their own process and moving toward health."

Ms. Canning, MA, LMFT, is a clinical consultant and senior fellow at The Meadows of Wickenburg and a clinical consultant at Dakota, The Meadows' extended-care facility dedicated to treating sexual addiction and trauma. She is a leading expert in the treatment of sexual disorders, and her clinical experience includes individual, couples, and family counseling; workshops; lectures; educational trainings; and interventions. Her books include Lust, Anger, Love: Understanding Sexual Addiction and The Road to Healthy Intimacy.

In other videos in the series, she discusses the nature of healthy sexuality, the relationship between shame and sex addiction, and The Meadows' approach to sex addiction treatment.

View the entire series of The Meadows' videos, including interviews with John Bradshaw and Dr. Jerry Boriskin, at www.youtube.com/themeadowswickenburg.

For more about The Meadows' innovative treatment program for addictions and trauma, visit www.themeadows.org or call The Meadows at 800-244-4949.

Published in Blog
Sunday, 07 August 2011 20:00

Good Enough

Amy Winehouse skyrocketed to the top of the music charts in her early 20's. Most well known for her song"Rehab", Amy professed her resistance to treatment. She said, "no, no, no". Amy was rebellious. She was 'very good at being bad'. Defying conventional style and standards, she fashioned herself in 50's feminine attire and tattooed herself with eyebrow raising images. She dated a 'bad boy' and brazenly colored tales of sex and drugs, while singing "You Know I'm No Good". Amy had reality issues. Obscured by distortions of self-image, she could not see her own value and worth. Amy did not know that she was "good enough".

Distortions of reality plague those affected by addiction. Living in reality is recognition of one's own worth and value. It is acceptance that the self is inherently and forgivingly prone to human frailty. The self is neither perfect or broken, it is perfectly imperfect. Those living in active addiction struggle to see the perfectly imperfect self shadowed by rebellious behavior.

However, upon pressed to recollect the self as an infant, the lenses of reality become clear. Few will debate the worth, value and perfect imperfection of a baby.

At The Meadows, we see many women and men who have become detached from their reality. They see themselves as "bad" and often live up to their distortions of reality. Having lost touch with their inherent worth and value they become very good at being bad. In truth, nothing changed about the perfectly imperfect child who grew into a rebellious adult. What shifted was merely the perception of "self". Trauma, be it physical, spiritual, sexual, emotional or intellectual, led to cognitive distortions ('lies'). The cognitive distortions led to behaviors not accurately reflective of the true self. Addiction, rage and rebellion are just vestiges of the past. They are what is leftover from the trauma. The nature of the child did not change, only what she (or he) thought of herself changed. The perfectly imperfect and "good enough" child still exists, yet simply does not believe it anymore.

Treatment is not about making bad people good. "No, No, No". It is about making good people healthy. Resolution of the core issues, including that of "reality", addresses the root causes of addiction. It restores the true self and returns the "good enough" (inner) child to the safe harbor of his/her functional adult.

Anne Brown, a primary counselor at The Meadows since 2008, has a master's degree in counseling from Johns Hopkins University; she specializes in treating sex addiction, co-sex addiction, eating disorders, co-dependency, and the underlying trauma issues of addiction. She has been working in the counseling field since 1999.

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