Tis’ the season of reflection and gratitude through the spirit of service work and experiencing fun in sobriety at Dawn at The Meadows. Patients and staff kicked off the holiday season with a rigorous game of Dawn’s annual “Turkey Bowl Competition” on Thanksgiving, using frozen turkeys as bowling balls in the spirit of light heartedness at a local park. Upon nightfall, the young adult community gathered around a campfire with smores and offered meaningful reflections on gratitude and their newfound sense of “a new freedom and a new happiness” gained through the recovery process. In addition, patients have embraced their call to service work this Christmas season and have been busy wrapping presents for children in need and will be personally delivering gifts with the help of the Cops Who Care organization. Stay tuned for updates as the young adult community embarks on more adventures in the new year!
By Jean Collins-Stuckert, Director of Workshops at The Meadows
When I think about The Meadows workshops the Carly Simon song “Nobody Does it Better” comes to mind and the lyrics “nobody does it half as good as you, baby you’re the best.” There are other treatment programs offering intensives, but they can’t compare with our time honored workshops. A frontrunner, The Meadows has a reputation for offering stellar workshops for almost 30 years.
While our workshops remain the intensive, profound experience they are famous for, we have also kept them cutting-edge. Keeping up with the latest trauma and addiction neuroscience, we have added psycho-education on neurobiology and nervous system regulation techniques.
The Meadows has enhanced and refreshed the existing workshops and added two more offering 11 unique workshops to choose from. Our latest workshop additions are the one-of-a-kind Spirit, an incredible equine workshop which also incorporates somatic experiencing, and Mind and Heart: a Mindful Path to Wholehearted Living.
We have utilized the expertise of our Senior Fellows Pia Mellody, Claudia Black, Patrick Carnes, Peter Levine and Shelly Uram in developing the workshops. All workshops are facilitated by gifted, master level, licensed therapists who are highly skilled and compassionate. We offer a safe, supportive, confidential environment to open up and dig deep.
If you are new in recovery, workshops are a wonderful way to jump start your process. For those of you that have been at this awhile and feel as though you have reached a plateau or hit a wall, it can reignite your passion or inspire you to stretch. You may have had a setback and wish to solidify your commitment; The Meadows workshops can also heighten or deepen an already satisfying process.
We offer workshops that promote healing from childhood and adult relational trauma (Survivors l and Survivors ll) in addition to workshops that help couples and families navigate difficulties (Family Workshop and Strengthening Coupleship). If you are having trouble with intimacy in an existing relationship or cultivating a healthy bond, we have specialized workshops for both men and women struggling with love addiction/love avoidance and/or sex addiction as well as a workshop for their partners (Healing Intimate Treason). We also offer a Grief workshop if you have unresolved heartache.
I have participated in a number of workshops in my 26 years in recovery. Hey, it takes what it takes. When my “stuff” is up, I do not like sitting in it. I am a believer in getting as quickly as I can from A to B. A workshop is an excellent way to propel, deepen, or enhance your process and improve your life.
Call the Intake Department at The Meadows 1-800-244-4949, and they will help you find the workshop best suited for you. For more information and workshop dates, visit our workshop page at http://www.themeadows.com/workshops.
The Meadows sets itself apart from other trauma, addiction, and recovery treatment centers with its clinical leadership that is guided by world-renowned Senior Fellows who are thought-leaders in their fields. This is exemplified by the just released new book by Bessel van der Kolk, MD, “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.” Dr. van der Kolk has spent over three decades working with survivors, and has written extensively on the impact of trauma on development, borderline personalities, self-mutilation, cognitive development in traumatized children and adults, and the psychology of trauma. In his new book, he works to transform our understanding of traumatic stress.
Throughout its pages, his book reveals how trauma rearranges the brain’s wiring – specifically the areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. Dr. van der Kolk demonstrates how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments, including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies. Through these various treatment approaches, children and adults can move beyond trauma, reclaim their lives, and rebuild their relationships.
Aided by the development of three important new scientific disciplines - neuroscience, attachment research, and interpersonal biology - Dr. van der Kolk has written a deeply personal, analytic, an incredibly moving approach to the topic of trauma recovery.
Peter Levine, PhD and author of “In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness” says, “Breathtaking in its scope and breadth, ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ is a seminal work by one of the preeminent pioneers in trauma research and treatment. This essential book unites the evolving neuroscience of trauma research with an emergent wave of body-oriented therapies and traditional mind/body practices. A must read for all those interested in a scholarly, thoughtful, tome about the powerful forces that affect us as human beings in meeting the many challenges of life, including accidents, loss and abuse.”
The central idea of the book is that exposure to abuse and violence fosters the development of a hyperactive brain alarm system, and molds a body that gets stuck in a fight/flight and freeze. Trauma interferes with the brain circuits that involve focusing, learning, flexibility, and being able to stay in emotional control. This constant sense of danger and helplessness promotes the continuous secretion of stress hormones, which wreaks havoc with the immune system and the functioning of the body’s organs.
“The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” captures an active therapist who keeps learning from his patients what benefits them most. Dr. van der Kolk has recognized the importance of moving beyond traditional talk therapy or drugs alone, and has highlighted the need to involve a range of therapeutic interventions in order to lead patients to lasting healing.
In conjunction with the release of the book, Dr. van der Kolk is offering a 60-minute free CE event, “The Body Keeps the Score.” During this video presentation, he will succinctly and descriptively draw the picture of trauma, the brain, and how various treatments work (and don’t) on the trauma client. Get free access to the video for a limited time by clicking here.
Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is one of the world’s foremost experts on traumatic stress and has taught on the subject world-wide. He has researched the psychobiology of trauma, traumatic memory, the effectiveness of EMDR, and the effects of trauma on human development. He is a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine, and founder of the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, Mass. Dr. van der Kolk is the past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He has taught at universities and hospitals across the United States and globally. Dr. van der Kolk has written extensively on the impact of trauma on development, borderline personalities, self-mutilation, cognitive development in traumatized children and adults, and the psychobiology of trauma.
The Meadows pride ourselves on providing quality, cutting-edge care from some of the nation's leading industry experts. Each 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.
On September 1, 2014 in LH-11, Dr. Shelley Uram will be lecturing to patients on the subject of "Depression." Dr. Shelley Uram is a Harvard trained, triple board-certified psychiatrist and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. The length of this lecture will be approximately 45 minutes to an hour and is designed provide our patients with insightful information on this complex topic.
Dr. Shelley Uram will be following up this lecture at The Meadows, with a second talk to take place on September 22, 2014. Scheduled for 12:45pm in LH-11, Dr. Uram will discuss "Trauma" with patients of The Meadows.
Written by a former active duty military personnel, currently employed at Gentle Path at The Meadows
In a world that is constantly in strife and war, we as a nation call upon the select few that have dedicated their lives in service to our country—the protectors of our freedom. Although the sound of military life may seem glamorous to some, the situations that these men and women find themselves in not only affect their lives, but the people’s lives who love them the most.
What soldiers experience in deployment will last longer than the smoke and sounds of gun fire; it is a constant memory that haunts you when awake and terrifies you when asleep. The nightmares are never ending until you finally face the trauma that haunts your life.
In these dark days a soldier tries to find hope in anything he or she can, not only for themselves, but for their families; it’s the little things, things that so many take for granted in the normal hustle and bustle of life. Things like the laughter of a child, the rain pouring down, a warm thank you from a stranger, a gentle kiss on the check, and even the wind on your face can for a second take away the gnawing pain in your heart. But even in these moments the things you did, the things you’ve see, the lives you impacted, the faceless terrors you encountered, hide in the shadows constantly reminding you of those memories, of that pain, every day.
However, in the midst of all of this pain and hurt, service men and women stand on the military values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Self Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Finding a place that shares in these values and longs to see lives changed is hard, but it is an important part of healing and a necessary path that we must walk on. I asked myself several times how important it was for me to face my demons, and the answer was always “Very.” Waking up in a cold sweat—my best friend sitting there worrying, trying to make the nightmares leave—I realized that trauma doesn’t just change your life, but all the lives of the people you love most.
What kind of a soldier would I be if I didn’t protect those I love? Without facing my demons, how can I overcome them? Without overcoming them, how can I truly be free? Without being free how can I fully live in love, life, beauty and everything else this world has to offer away from the wars I faced? So I have the choice to face it, putting a new example on the idea of personal courage and self-sacrifice, still holding true to those values that I swore to honor and respect and carry with me as part of the uniform I wore.
Every day military personnel put on that uniform, tie up their boots and head into the fire fights that await, battles by our side, with our families praying at home, dreaming that one day their loved one will come home safe. However, even at home these individuals are not fully safe from themselves and the memories that torment them with every breath. But there is hope for a better life, and there is a future once the smoke fades and the ringing of the bullets dies.
The importance of healing from the effects of war can make or break the rest of your life. Support is rare, and it’s often hard to find a positive place to work out the battle wounds—a safe place to heal with no judgment. However, it does exist and there is hope. When searching for a safe place to do my own work, I was urged to look for someone/some place that holds my same values—sage advice.
It’s called LIFE, it’s called FREEDOM and it’s what we fight everyday to defend, so it’s time to fight for ourselves and our families by taking back our FUTURES.
The Meadows is honored to provide behavioral health and substance abuse inpatient services, with an emphasis on trauma, PTSD, and addictive disease disorders, to active duty military members, retirees and dependents of the TRICARE West Region. The Meadows has a long history of working with TRICARE beneficiaries as a non-contracted provider. We are tremendously proud to help serve the health care needs of service members, veterans, and their families, and would be happy to help determine eligibility and benefits that can be utilized at The Meadows. We are committed to helping military beneficiaries and partnering with all aspects of the TRICARE healthcare alliance. For more information, call us at 800-244-4949 or go visit our contact page.