The Meadows Blog

The Meadows announced the addition of Patrick Carnes’ Gentle Path Program. Through this definitive and exclusive license agreement with New Freedom Corporation, Gentle Path will be relocating from Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Hattiesburg, Miss. to The Meadows’ newest property, Vista, located two miles from the main campus. Vista will open on October 15, 2013, offering a 26-bed facility and an exclusive and confidential setting for males 18 years and older.

The Gentle Path program is based on the ground breaking work of Dr. Carnes’ Thirty-Task model which has been empirically validated to be an effective form of treatment for sexually compulsive behavior.  Patients of the Gentle Path program undergo a comprehensive diagnostic assessment prior to participation in the residential treatment program. Patients focus on trauma therapy in addition to treatment for mood disturbance, anxiety, or addictions such as chemical dependency and process addictions.

"The Meadows is pleased that Gentle Path will join our organization and provide us the opportunity to expand our services to men who suffer from a sexual disorder," said Jim Dredge, CEO for The Meadows. "We are thrilled that Dr. Patrick Carnes has returned to The Meadows as a new Senior Fellow, as well as directing the Gentle Path program."

Gentle Path offers a comprehensive level of holistic treatment and services which includes 12-Step groups and an intensive one-week Family Care Program. Family week brings together patients'; loved ones to assist in dealing with difficult issues, identify the problems they face and set goals for recovery. In addition, The Meadows' signature Survivors Workshop will be added to the program, along with Equine Therapy and Somatic Experiencing®.

"Walking onto The Meadows campus was like returning home," said Dr. Patrick Carnes. "I look forward to a collaborative, exciting, and innovative new version of the Gentle Path Program."

Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., C.A.S., is a nationally known speaker on sex addiction and recovery issues.  He is the founder of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) and Gentle Path Press. From 1996 until 2004, Dr. Carnes was Clinical Director for Sexual Disorder Services at The Meadows. His achievements include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH), where they present an annual "Carnes Award" to researchers and clinicians who have made exceptional contributions to the field of sexual health.

Dr. Carnes is the author of Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction (1992), Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict (1989), The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (1997), Open Hearts (1999), Facing the Shadow (2001), In the Shadows of the Net (2001), and The Clinical Management of Sex Addiction (2002), Recovery Zone (2009), and A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Principles (2012). Dr. Carnes' article, "18.4 Sexual Addiction," appears in Kaplan & Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry (2005).

The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about The Meadows Gentle Path Program, contact an intake coordinator at (866)856-1279 or visit

For over 35 years, The Meadows has been a leading trauma and addiction treatment center. In that time, they have helped more than 20,000 patients in one of their three inpatient centers and 25,000 attendees in national workshops. The Meadows world-class team of Senior Fellows, Psychiatrists, Therapists and Counselors treat the symptoms of addiction and the underlying issues that cause lifelong patterns of self-destructive behavior. The Meadows, with 24 hour nursing and on-site physicians and psychiatrists, is a Level 1 Sub-Acute Agency that is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 20:00

The Recovery World Loses a Pioneer

David Briick, instrumental in opening five substance abuse and behavioral health treatment centers including The Meadows, Cottonwood Hill, Cottonwood de Tucson, Cottonwood de Albuquerque, and Cottonwood de Austin, died a few days short of his 81st birthday on Friday, June 7, 2013, at his daughter's home in Nunnelly, Tennessee.

With over 41 years of long-term recovery, David helped thousands to change their lives and heal from addiction. He remained active in the recovery community and spoke openly about his triumph over alcoholism until his death. He served as the Executive Director of the Councils' on Alcoholism in both Pinal and Pima Counties in Arizona.

In 1992, David began his battle with cancer and his public campaign through Arizona's Tobacco Free Ways, the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association to educate school children and adults about the consequences of nicotine and substance abuse. Through numerous speaking engagements in and around the state of Arizona, he shared his story until the summer of 2012.

"David Briick was a pioneer in the development of alcoholism treatment centers back in the 70’s. He was originally the person who hired me to work at The Meadows and had a very positive influence in my life. He will be missed," said Pia Mellody, Senior Fellow and Senior Clinical Advisor at The Meadows.

A celebration of life will be held at the Arizona Inn, Tucson, Arizona, September 8, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. For more information, contact Cheryl Brown at or 931-996-3747.

Published in Blog

Many clients ask professionals "Why have I been plagued with hyper-sexuality?" In other words, they were curious as to understand why  they had become addicted to hyper-sexual behavior?' This question is often asked by drug and alcohol addicts who also wonder why they were plagued with the addiction gene when their siblings did not appear to have similar issues.

Although the field of sexual addiction is a relatively new one, we have research that shows that there are two pathways to sexual addiction. Often times children who have been traumatized as young kids, will in adolescence or adulthood reenact the trauma; in the form of compulsive sexuality. One of the exercises that I give my clients is to look back in their childhoods and identify the small or the big events that traumatized them. That might look like a divorce or a parents abandonment. That might be the result of a child walking in on his parents having sex. That may include a neighbor or family friend molesting him or her. These little "t" or big "T" traumas lay the ground work for the human psyche to continue to replay unconsciously, the scenario over and over again as an adult. It is if the brain becomes psychologically become stuck or locked in the brain as something familiar that creates compulsivity. The trauma results in the development of an arousal template that continues to light up as it is acted adult in adulthood. The good news is that psychologists believe that these behaviors that repetitiously manifest over and over again are opportunities to get the needed help as an adult that the child was unable to get as a child.

John was frequently punished as a child by his father. His father would beat him severely for even the slightest infractions. Despite the abuse and painful exchange of punishment, John became intrigued as an adult when he viewed sadistic and masochistic forms of internet pornography and began to unconsciously play out these fantasies in his sex life. Punishment and sexual excitement became fused together and became the only stimuli that effectively delivered arousal during times of sex. John shared his desires with his wife who was disgusted by the thought of using physical spankings in the bedroom therefore John became even more compulsive with his viewings on the internet. This behavior escalated further and eventually he was secretly going outside of the marriage to get his sexual needs met which added an extra element of secrecy and excitement to his sexual arousal template. In this scenario it is easy to see how John was reenacting the trauma of early childhood beatings into his sexual life. John said that the first time he ever viewed S & M pornography, he felt a familiarity that drew him back to the porn over and over again. It is likely that John experienced suppressed rage about his childhood abuse which he combined with erotica to produce the desire to reenact the trauma. Unfortunately a contributor to sexual addiction is eroticized rage.

A secondary contributor for arousal template development occurs when children's young minds get "brainlocked" after they have seen something that is curious, titillating or even disturbing. Young children who stumble on their parents soft porn magazines, videos or internet sites may develop the compulsion to go back over the material frequently. Their brain development becomes altered when the reward center learns to light up after viewing this material. This material creates the arousal template that maps out sexual excitement in adulthood. With sexual addiction this behavior becomes compulsive and like an addiction, the sex addict spends more and more time, money and energy finding new forms of this sexual material or experience.

If either of these scenarios sound like you it is important to seek help with a certified sexual addictions therapist (CSAT) who can assist you in calming down the brain, and managing the template while you undergo the process of retraining the brain towards healthy sexuality and break the chains of compulsivity and hyper-sexuality.

Neither trauma nor "brainlock" needs to lock you into compulsive behaviors that keep you from engaging in a normal or healthy life!

Carol Juergensen Sheets, LCSW, PCC, CSAT, is currently in private practice in Indianapolis, IN. She speaks nationally on mental health issues and is featured in several local magazines. She currently has an internet radio show on and does regular television segments focusing on life skills to improve one's potential. You can read her blogs at To contact Carol about sexual addiction: www.sexhelpwithcarolthecoach.

Published in Blog

The Meadows will offer a Grief Workshop the week of July 22, 2013, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at The Meadows' campus. This five-day workshop teaches participants how to deal with the pain they feel after a loss.

The Meadows' Grief Workshop is designed to assist participants in addressing and resolving the issues surrounding loss, whether from death of a loved one, end of a relationship, or a major change in social or economic status. Participants in the Grief Workshop learn how to face life’s hurdles and triumph over pain by using the grieving process to take control of feelings about their losses.

Throughout the week, patients explore thinking processes and the patterns of destructive behavior that follow trauma and other loss. Issues pertaining to relational problems are also addressed, with emphasis on recognizing emotional reactions to loss, trauma and broken dreams.

Participants leave the Grief Workshop able to realize the negative, self-destructive behaviors that have impacted those around them, and able to enjoy the freedom of self-expression that comes with learning to evaluate and properly address feelings.

Attending a Meadows' workshop offers an individual many benefits. A workshop can be a cost-effective alternative when long-term treatment is not an option. Individuals who cannot be away from their work or families for an extended period of time can attend a workshop and work on sensitive issues in a five-day concentrated format. This allows individuals to jump start their personal recovery by gaining insight into patterns and practicing new relational skills within a safe environment.

For more information about The Meadows’ Grief Workshop and other workshops offered by The Meadows, please contact an Intake Coordinator at (866) 856-1279 or visit

For over 35 years, The Meadows has been a leading trauma and addiction treatment center. In that time, they have helped more than 20,000 patients in one of their three inpatient centers and 25,000 attendees in national workshops. The Meadows world-class team of Senior Fellows, Psychiatrists, Therapists and Counselors treat the symptoms of addiction and the underlying issues that cause lifelong patterns of self-destructive behavior. The Meadows, with 24 hour nursing and on-site physicians and psychiatrists, is a Level 1 Sub-Acute Agency that is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 20:00


By Ann M. Taylor, Equine Specialist for The Meadows

Breed: Running Quarter
Color: Gray
Age: 18

Have you ever met a person who you intuitively knew you just wanted to know better?  They have that heavy weight of wisdom earned by walking those long miles of life, someone with so much to offer but who hides behind walls?

I know a horse like that.

He is a horse that would make any rider look good. At one point in his life he was a professional dressage horse, with an extended trot that is a delight and a rhythmic cadence. The kind of horse an up-and- coming would delight in until their talent surpassed his endurance and they found a brighter prospect. Years of professional performance work and lack of a steady riding partner have affected Casper. He has a very hard time with intimacy. Ask him to do a task and he is more than willing. Ask him to stand with you and just be... there is where things become interesting.

Loving hugs and pets are often tolerated or avoided all together. A subtle cue from a rider is so much easier for him to understand than the subtleties of intimacy. Even in the herd with the other horses Casper is mostly alone, he chooses to be. So isn't it curious when you look over your shoulder and he's nuzzling someone from behind? Ears perk up and an inquisitive lip starts playing with a jacket or hat. A great grey head wraps knowingly around a person for a brief time or he lowers his head just long enough for a scratch on the ears.

More often than not the people who are drawn to Casper are those who can relate to his story. Casper isn't asked to do anything other than just be Casper. In this, he changes lives and those lives change him. He can explore relationships for the first time. He can have boundaries instead of walls now. He can play on cool days and nap on warm sunny ones. Casper can just be a horse.

His gift to our program is that we get to see these things grow and unfold as Casper, in his time, explores them. A purposeful turn of his head, an easy languid blink of an eye and suddenly you know so much more about the person who is in the arena with him. He is more than willing to share what he knows but you must be willing to listen.

Casper is truly a gifted therapy horse and amazing teacher.

Published in Blog

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