The Meadows Blog

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 00:00

Dan Griffin Joins The Meadows as Senior Fellow

The Meadows recently announced that Dan Griffin, M.A., will join The Meadows as a Senior Fellow. He is an internationally recognized author, thought leader and expert on men’s relationships, trauma, addiction and masculinity.

Dan’s work and life is dedicated to exploring and redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century. Dan is dedicated to helping men be better men by understanding the impact of the Man Rules on their lives and finding the success in their personal lives they are striving for in the professional lives. Griffin’s newest book, A Man's Way through Relationships, is the first book written specifically to help men create healthy relationships while navigating the challenges of the "Man Rules™," those ideas men internalize at very young ages about how to be real boys and men.

Griffin has worked in the mental health and addictions field for more than 20 years. He is the author of A Man’s Way through the Twelve Steps, the first trauma-informed book to take a holistic look at men’s sobriety. He also co-authored Helping Men Recover, the first comprehensive gender-responsive and trauma-informed curriculum for addiction and mental health professionals. He earned a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Kansas where his graduate work was the first qualitative study centered on the social construction of masculinity in the culture of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Griffin grew up in the DC area and lives in Minnesota with his wife and daughter. He has been in long-term recovery from addiction since he graduated college in May of 1994.

He says that being in The Meadows environment, which normalizes the experience and treatment of trauma, is a refreshing and powerful experience:

“It is incredibly humbling to find myself joining a group of distinguished experts comprised of many of my heroes and those upon whose shoulders I have been standing during my own career. I have an enormous amount of respect for The Meadows commitment to dealing with addiction and trauma together and for the leadership it has shown for 30 years in raising awareness about the almost epidemic-levels of trauma in our communities.

I think my take on men and masculinity as it overlaps with trauma and recovery is a fairly unique approach and I think that there will be a great synergy between this approach and The Meadows model, by looking through the lens of gender in a thorough and nuanced way.”

Sean Walsh, CEO of The Meadows, says he’s thrilled to add Griffin’s perspective to the roster of industry-leading trauma and addiction experts:

“We are thrilled to have Dan join our team to help us better treat the men we are privileged to work with. Dan’s passion and drive to better understand and therefore better treat men is contagious and inspiring. I have no doubt our male patients, the families who love them, and our entire team will benefit from our partnership with Dan.”

Additional Meadows’ Senior Fellows include: Pia Mellody, John Bradshaw, Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk, Shelley Uram, and Claudia Black, Patrick Carnes, and Alexandra Katehakis. Each Meadows 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.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 00:00

Wings of Hope

We understand how tough making the decision to seek treatment can be for those struggling with trauma, addiction or mental health issues. We want to help recovery take wings, so we’re offering to cover airfare for individuals admitting to inpatient treatment at any of The Meadows programs: The Meadows, the Claudia Black Center for Young Adults, and Gentle Path at The Meadows.

  • Admission must occur between July 20, 2015 and August 31, 2015.
  • Offer is available for a one-way airline ticket to treatment. Cost not to exceed $1,200.
  • Flight arrangement will be made through our corporate travel agent and coordinated by our Intake department.
  • There is no monetary value to this offer.

Please contact our Intake department today at 800-244-4949 for more information.

Published in News & Announcements
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 00:00

Five Ways to Practice Gratitude

Sometimes, it may feel simply impossible to see the positive in a given situation or to have gratitude for your position in life. We may feel like the world is intent on sending us obstacles and gratitude may seem out of reach. What’s ironic is that gratitude is just what we may need to conjure up solutions to life’s challenges.

Gratitude opens up new possibilities. The word itself is from the Latin gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. People who embrace gratitude can see the beauty in most situations and, as a result, are likely to realize the beauty in all aspects of life. Developing gratitude is like building muscles – doing so requires repetition and persistence.

Happy People Have Problems, Too

Gratitude can be cultivated in ways such as counting your blessings, prayer, journaling, mindfulness (appreciating the present moment) and writing thank you notes to express appreciation for the people in your life. Happy people can have a challenging day yet still find happiness in simple things – a phone call from loved ones, a hearty meal, or a stroll through the park. You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to be thankful. Start right here, right now! Here are five simple ways to embrace gratitude:

1. Dare to be Aware: Become more aware of your thoughts. How do you perceive the world? If you find yourself veering off into negative territory, bring it back to the positive. Try to see what’s good and realize that life will never be without struggle. Don’t take your blessings for granted. When you’re more aware of your thought patterns, you can choose to react differently to life’s circumstances.

2. On a Positive Note: Optimism is one outcome of showing gratitude. Taking an optimistic approach to life opens the door for happiness, which can significantly enhance your health and reduce stress. If you convey gratitude for what you have in life, you pour energy into the positive. This approach helps your mind, body, and spirit. It’s just as easy to look on the bright side of life as it is to focus on the negative, so take a walk on the sunny side.

3. Make Someone’s Day: Let the people in your life know how important they are to you and you may very well make their day. You can either craft a letter or share your feelings in person. When you receive a call from loved ones, let them know how happy you are to receive their call. Give a friend, coworker – or even a stranger – a sincere compliment (try to give one compliment every day) and put a smile on your face and theirs. You might even make new friends in the process or inspire someone to pay the compliment forward.

4. Write On: Keep a gratitude journal by your bed and write down three to five reasons to be grateful. Do so either first thing in the morning or right before bedtime. If you write in your journal before getting some ZZZs, you might find that you get an even better night’s sleep. Once you start compiling a gratitude list, you may realize that you have far more than three to five blessings in your life.

5. Lend a Hand: Spread good cheer by volunteering – whether it’s working with children, the elderly, animals, or any other organization. Or, raise money for an organization by selling your artwork or collecting donations from family and friends. Giving back allow you to feel good about yourself as you help others in need.

To learn more about The Meadows, visit us here or call (800) 244-4949.

Published in Inspired

Putting your thoughts and feelings on paper can accelerate your journey from addiction to recovery. Journaling is a powerful tool that can help you process your emotions, so you can realize a life-altering transformation. Check out these five tips to effective journaling.

1. Let it Flow: Stream of consciousness writing can be empowering. Ask yourself a compelling question such as “What brings me joy?” Close your eyes, relax your body and jot down whatever comes to mind. Don’t feel compelled to polish up or refine your writing. Write without filters. There’s no need for formalities. Let your hand flow freely over the page and jot down your thoughts and feelings. You can opt for nifty notebooks with lots of bling or use a simple notebook. Write for five minutes or until you feel like you’ve exhausted your response. You may very well gain a new perspective on the concept of joy or whatever question you pose. Save your work, so you can refer back to it at a later date.

2. Come to Your Senses: Take a deep breath and still your mind. Become aware of your surroundings as you scan your senses. How are you feeling? Is there a familiar scent in the background? What do you hear? You can also respond with a drawing or picture. You’re in the driver’s seat. Noting the answers to how you feel at any given moment helps put you in touch with your authentic self. So, savor the now.

3. Attitude of Gratitude: There are things to be grateful for on even the most challenging days. So, count your blessings via a gratitude list. Write down three to five things for which you are grateful. You can accompany your words with sketches or pictures. Express gratitude for the flowers blooming in your garden or for your best friend. You can choose something simple or elaborate – whatever floats your boat. As you jog your memory for all the gifts in your life, you might be surprised to find that you have more than five items on the list.

4. Give Yourself a Hand: Allow your non-dominant hand to respond to a question written with your dominant hand. It could be anything from “my most cherished memory” to “what makes me laugh.” Doing so may very well tap into the unconscious thoughts of your inner child.

5. Take a Step: Writing out your step work in a designated journal is a great way to keep track of your progress. You can refer back to your notes to review the steps you’ve already completed and to remind yourself of how far you’ve come on your recovery journey. Keep the names and numbers of “program” people in the back of your journal, so you’re not scrambling to find important numbers in an emergency.

6. So, take that first step! Write on!

To learn more about The Meadows, visit us here or call (800) 244-4949.


Published in Treatment & Recovery
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 00:00

The Power of Affirmations

Sophia Krell, LMSW
The Meadows

I Can Do This!

By the time we’re adults, we’ve already created a potpourri of ideas about ourselves and about our environment. Our ideas most likely originated in childhood and may have been impacted by early trauma. We may have had parents who were shaming and, as a result, the beliefs we acquired over the years are not reality based.

We may feel we’re not good enough, that we’re inadequate and unworthy - and that the whole world is unsafe. These ideas may still ring true for us today. The reality is that we are good enough, we are adequate and worthy - and the whole world is not unsafe. Our negative thoughts keep us from embracing what truly is.

What we tell ourselves has a huge impact in how our life unfolds. That’s why it’s so important to retrain our brain if it’s bombarded with negative messages. Although the first crucial step is figuring out the origins of these self-destructive messages, the next step is learning to retrain our brain. One way to do this is through affirmations.

The more we repeat our affirmations, the quicker our brain will begin to build new neuropathways. We suggest repeating your affirmations anywhere from 300 to 400 times per day (and say it like you mean it!) Affirmations work best when they are used daily; stated in the present tense; said with emotion; and contain positive as opposed to negative words. Instead of affirming “I don’t want to be fat,” you may want to say, “I am becoming healthy and svelte.”

Your heart will know which affirmations are right for you. If you’ve done your work and know where your struggles lie, you’ll have no trouble figuring out what works best. If you’re a perfectionist, you may want to choose affirmations that speak to this issue. “I am enough,” comes to mind. Or, “I am perfectly imperfect.” If you struggle with feelings of unworthiness and low self-esteem, you might want to go with, “I am lovable.” Building these new neuropathways is a gradual process, so that’s why consistency is so important. The more we use our affirmations, the greater the rewards. In addition to stating your affirmations out loud, it’s also a good idea to write them down or even say them while exercising. There is a powerful connection between movement and the brain, which is the idea behind bilateral stimulation. So, break out your running shoes and state your affirmations on the jogging trail.

Before you know it, negative thoughts will no longer be second nature. Such self-talk will slip away and will be replaced by positive and empowering thoughts. You’re not doomed to repeat the past, so here’s wishing you a bright and shining future. It’s well worth the effort. I can do this! Now, say that 400 times…

We Can Help

The Meadows is an industry leader and the most trusted name in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. The Meadows helps change lives through the Meadows Model, 12-step practices, and the holistic healing of mind, body, and spirit.

To learn more about The Meadows, visit us here or call (800) 244-4949.

Published in Treatment & Recovery

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