The Meadows Blog

Meadows Behavioral Healthcare announced today that Jenni Schaefer has joined the organization as a Senior Fellow for its continuum of treatment services and advocate for its specialty eating disorder program, The Meadows Ranch.
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We are pleased to announce that Kyle Wescoat has joined our team as Chief Financial Officer. He replaces Rick Flaherty, who is retiring.

Kyle comes to The Meadows with more than 25 years of CFO experience in a variety of well-regarded public and private companies including Emulex, VIZIO and Vans. He also has previous experience in the field of behavioral health as the former Executive Vice President and CFO of Aspen Education Group. He received his undergraduate degree from Drexel University and MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan.

“Kyle has proven himself to be a tremendous CFO and organizational leader in a variety of settings. He brings with him a remarkable set of skills and experiences that I believe will benefit The Meadows as we continue to grow and evolve in the rapidly changing behavioral health environment” says Meadows Behavioral Health CEO Jim Dredge. “I look forward to working with Kyle as we explore and execute on new ways of providing high quality services to our patients while remaining sensitive to the increasing demands for thoughtful, efficient delivery and outcomes.”

Kyle is also active in his community. He has maintained a long time involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, California, and Hoag Hospital Presbyterian. He serves as Chairman of Hoag Irvine’s Executive Advisory Board, and on the President’s Advisory Council at Drexel University.

“I want to thank Jim and the board for giving me this opportunity to join The Meadows at this exciting time in its history,” Kyle says. “For more than 25 years, The Meadows and Remuda Ranch have been synonymous with the highest level of patient care and innovation. It is our goal to continue to lead the industry in not only the services provided, but how they are provided, as well.”

Dredge added, “I want to thank Rick Flaherty for his hard work and contribution to Meadows Behavioral Healthcare. I wish him the very best.”

Published in News & Announcements

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 ninth video of the series, Mr. Bradshaw praises his colleagues at The Meadows - the senior fellows and clinical advisors who have helped make it one of the nation's leading treatment centers for addiction and trauma.

"A treatment center is no better than the people doing the treatment," he says.

Mr. Bradshaw then addresses the important contributions to the treatment of trauma, PTSD, and sex addiction made by people including Pia Mellody, Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk, and Maureen Canning.

"We really have some stars, some excellent people," Mr. Bradshaw attests. "It's really a beautiful thing to be part of The Meadows."

He has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial 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. In recognition of Mr. Bradshaw's contributions to addiction recovery, an on-campus lecture hall has been dedicated in his honor.

Identified as one of the most influential writers on emotional health in the 20th century, Mr. Bradshaw has changed the lives of millions of people around the world through his writings and sold-out workshops and seminars. His New York Times best-selling books include Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child, Creating Love, and Healing the Shame That Binds You.

To learn more about The Meadows' senior fellows and clinical staff, see (insert link here).  To view other videos in The Meadows’ series featuring interviews with Dr. Jerry Boriskin and Maureen Canning, visit

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

Published in Blog
Monday, 21 March 2011 20:00

Celebrating 35 Years

The Meadows' Entrance - 1976

Many people wonder how The Meadows got its name. We are not located in a meadow, after all, but sit high on a hill amid the Sonoran Desert's beautiful views. Pat Mellody, founder and former CEO, once explained that The Meadows' name comes from a piece of property in north-central Arizona. A group from Minnesota was looking for a spot to develop a treatment center for executives struggling with alcoholism. Conrad Schmitt was sent to scout a location; its name included the word "meadows" and, although the site was unsatisfactory, "meadows" stuck as the name of the center eventually established in Wickenburg, Arizona.

At the time, Wickenburg was the dude ranch capital of the world; as many as a dozen ranches were operating. Prior to WWII, wealthy people from the north spent extended periods in Arizona, away from the cold and snow. With the post-war development of reliable air transportation, visitors tended to stay for shorter periods, and the demand for hospitable dude ranches dropped sharply. Many closed or were converted for other uses. The Slash Bar K Ranch, for example, was converted into a weight-loss destination; it then was acquired by a Minnesota-based group and renamed The Meadows. Concurrently, Conrad Schmitt opened Parkview treatment center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. After hearing that The Meadows was struggling, he arranged to purchase it and began operating two centers as Parkview Centers, Inc.

Some of the original Meadows staff members remained and became the core of the new company. Dr. Paul Kliewer, the original physician, hired Pia Blakeley to be director of nursing. Dr. Kliewer stayed with The Meadows until he retired. Pia Blakeley (later Pia Mellody) continued to serve as nursing director and in other positions; today her theories form the core of The Meadows' Model, and she continues to work as clinical advisor and senior fellow.

In the late 1970s, popular opinion in the addiction field maintained that work should be limited to addressing drug and alcohol use. Talking about child abuse was considered unethical. The Meadows continued to take risks, however, swimming against the tide and creating powerful programs and techniques to help both addicts and survivors of childhood trauma.

Pia began to form her ideas about the effects of childhood trauma on adults and addiction. She established a unique approach to education and therapy, and, as her theories evolved and matured, she wrote four books and produced a large quantity of audio and visual materials. Much of her work is considered basic text for therapists and treatment facilities throughout the country and much of the world.

In order to gather data, Pia started talking to patients. Several things happened. First, the patients who talked with Pia seemed to find relief. Other patients began to seek time with her. Soon her schedule was so full that she could not properly fulfill her job duties as director of nursing. Pat and Pia decided to try working with a group during the afternoons. Counselors would refer patients to Pia's interactive lectures and discussions, and she developed techniques to help them deal with the residual effects of childhood trauma.

The Meadows then decided to give Pia more time - five days a week - to work with patients referred by primary counselors. Patients were selected on the basis of identified trauma. Soon, those who were not selected began to feel neglected. Previous graduates began to ask to be included, and the workshop program was born. It was called "Survivors." The techniques that have evolved from the program form the core of The Meadows' philosophy and serve as the basis for Pia's theories, writing, and speaking.

Since its early days, The Meadows has grown and developed by allowing its staff to be creative. Recently, staff members have brought EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, and equine therapy to The Meadows. The last decade has seen a number of exciting additions, including the Matate building that houses The Meadows' workshops. The implementation of extended care was another significant step forward for The Meadows. Extended-care facilities, including Mellody House and Dakota, represent the fulfillment of a longstanding goal to provide ongoing, on-campus care focusing on trauma resolution. In 2009, The Meadows extended its reach by opening The Meadows Texas, an extended-care facility in Houston.

Many years ago, administration explained how The Meadows develops its programs: "The Meadows grows and changes to meet the demonstrated needs of patients. There are no planning meetings to look for new ways to be profitable, for, over the years, we have found that when a new set of patient needs arises, both the idea and the people to implement it arrive."

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The Meadows is proud to announce that its commitment to healthy vegetarian and vegan meal options has been recognized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Our treatment center was recently named of the top five vegetarian-friendly rehab centers, and received a framed certificate of appreciation and congratulatory letter from PETA, which is hanging in our dining room.

Praised for menu offerings such as veggie burgers, vegetarian casseroles, and organic produce, The Meadows is mindful that its patients and guests often have personal or philosophical dietary requirements.

According to Tracy Reiman, PETA’s Executive Vice President, “a healthy, humane vegetarian diet can heal the body, mind, and soul.”

For more information, please see PETA’s Top Five Vegetarian-Friendly Rehab Centers on the PETA Files blog.

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