On September 25, Pia Mellody will speak about addiction, relationships, and the spiritual path to recovery at The Sunset Center in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. The event is a benefit for Beacon House, a nonprofit treatment center for people struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. Tickets are available online or by phone at 831-620-2048. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to support Beacon House programs. Her presentation at the event is sponsored by The Meadows.
Pia Mellody is a Senior Fellow and senior clinical advisor for The Meadows. As a pioneer in the field of recovery, Pia's theories on the effects of childhood trauma have become the foundation for The Meadows' programs, and are a major reason for their success.
Pia is widely known as one of the preeminent authorities in the fields of addiction and relationships. Her work on codependency, boundaries and the effects of childhood trauma on emotional development has profoundly influenced the treatment of addictions and the issues of forming and maintaining relationships. She is the author of several influential books, including Facing Codependency, Facing Love Addiction, and The Intimacy Factor.
Beacon House is Northern California's leading drug and alcohol rehab facility. As one of the first treatment centers in the Western United States, the Beacon House has helped thousands achieve lasting sobriety from alcohol and drugs. The Beacon House understands what is necessary to achieve a lifetime of recovery. As a nonprofit we invest all resources in delivering the highest level of individualized care at affordable prices. Located on the scenic Monterey Peninsula, the Beacon House promises a supportive environment for adult men and women seeking to realize a lifetime without drugs and alcohol.
By Ann Taylor, Equine Specialist at The Meadows
Sundance is a 32 year old Quarter Horse Gelding. He has worked in our Equine Therapy program since he was 10 years old.
In his more than 20 years of faithful service, he has shown that he truly has an extraordinary gift for therapy. This unassuming little red colored horse spends most of his days in the barn at our Rio campus. He keeps all of the horses and Equine staff on schedule with loud, animated reminders at breakfast and dinner times. Schedule and routine is something that Sundance finds great comfort in, and has no problem reminding us if we are a few minutes late with his meals.
Every day at 10:30 a.m. on the dot, he can be found playing with the other horses over the fence. Then, he naps in the warm quiet Arizona afternoons. For Sundance, semi-retirement is a life of carefree routine.
You could practically set your watch by his schedule.
Due to his advanced age — 93 in horse years — Sundance only works with clients on ground activities.
However, there is a part of Sundance that shines just as bright as his name: his ability to read a person.
Horses, in general, are professionals at reading people; they are second to none when it comes to knowing what is going on with us. They can read our intentions with extraordinary precision.
When it comes to Sundance, though, his gifts take that talent a step further. He can see the ways in which a person is strong and the things they need to work on. He takes a deliberate approach with every individual or group by presenting himself in ways that will meet each person’s need that day. He will purposely challenge a person’s weak areas or present himself with what could only be identified as compassion and love when someone needs to connect with those weaker places.
The discussion as to whether or not a horse has “feelings” is as timeless as the horse itself. Of course, we can’t say for certain that they do, but there is no doubt when Sundance meets someone, something beautiful happens.
The Meadows is one of the few treatment centers in Arizona that uses Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) to lead patients to healing and recovery. As a part of our commitment to holistic and innovative therapeutic tools, Equine Therapy provides a therapeutic experience unlike any other offered at The Meadows. Through interactions between patients and horses, patients learn new ways of dealing with trauma, addictions and relationships. Trained equine specialists use the interactions to illustrate the relationship patterns patients exhibit with people in their lives. Equine Therapy is often noted as a highlight of the treatment program. To learn more about this effective and popular program, contact The Meadows at 800-244-4949.
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.
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.
Please contact our Intake department today at 800-244-4949 for more information.
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.
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.