The Meadows Blog

The Meadows was pleased to welcome Sean Walsh as the new executive director approximately 90 days ago when he assumed the day-to-day leadership of The Meadows Wickenburg campus.

"We are so fortunate and blessed that Sean has joined our team. His passion for the work we do is contagious. In just three months, he has made impressive inroads into every aspect of The Meadows organization," said Jim Dredge, The Meadows CEO.

According to Sean, his focus was to become familiar with the staff, the systems, and the overall processes for patient care, in addition to looking for areas to grow and strengthen.

One of these areas is the relationship between The Meadows and its referral sources. "I see a key part of my role to be a liaison between referral sources and the clinical team. I've been looking for ways to bridge the gap and strengthen relationships," Sean said. "With a clinical background, I can often speak to referral sources about clinical matters more keenly than the average administrator."

In Sean's first 30 days he instituted the daily FlashMeeting. He saw it as a need or potential avenue for the department heads to have a centralized meeting to staff every patient every day. "Over the last two months it has served as a good venue for the management and leadership team to feel confident that they know what's happening on campus every day," Sean explained.

Streamlining The Meadows' ATA process is another area where Sean has concentrated his attention to have more of a sense of urgency for presenting patients. "We've developed a new system of identifying urgent admissions so that they can get in front of our psychiatric or medical teams. This allows the attending physicians to determine if a potential patient is appropriate for the Meadows in a timely manner," Sean said. "We know the patients and families are eagerly awaiting those decisions. This will help streamline the ATA process and make it more efficient by having a higher level of urgency for presenting patients."

Another important part of the admissions process, according to Sean, is the exclusionary criteria that The Meadows implements. "If we're not the right fit and the patient needs services that we can't provide, we want to make sure they get the care they are in need of. We want to connect them with other quality providers around the country so they get the treatment they are in need of, Sean emphasized.

In June, Sean attended the 23rd Annual International Trauma Conference in Boston that The Meadows has sponsored for the last seven years. The leading neuroscientists and treatment developers on how trauma affects mental and brain functioning presented to nearly 700 attendees during the four-day conference. "It was great to see the world-class leaders in trauma and the partnership that The Meadows has developed with the conference and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of The Meadows Senior Fellows, and the conference director," Sean noted. "Another Meadows Senior Fellow, Dr. Shelley Uram, also attended giving us the opportunity to learn the newest cutting-edge research and best practices that we can take and bring back and incorporate into the treatment that we are already providing."

Sean recognizes the value of the Senior Fellows on the Wickenburg campus which allows the staff to take advantage of their latest research and findings. "The Meadows clinical staff has participated in several extremely rich training weekends with Senior Fellows Dr. Peter Levine, the founder of Somatic Experiencing, and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the foremost trauma research psychiatrists in the world. Other Meadows' Senior Fellows who have given shorter trainings are myself and Dr. Jerry Boriskin. Ana DoValle,  a cutting-edge, world renowned trauma therapist, has also provided two training weekends for the staff," said Dr. Shelley Uram, Meadows' Senior Fellow.

Each week The Meadows offers a variety of one-of-a-kind, five day workshops that are available to all interested individuals. These workshops specifically address the needs of those who have not been in inpatient treatment, but are also a source of renewal for anyone who has undergone treatment. "People forget The Meadows is not just a 35 day inpatient program. Our workshops are a vital part of what we do and provide a great resource for those in need, Sean pointed out. "It can be a good catalyst for patients who aren't in need of inpatient level care, but still need that intensive foundation they can build off of in individual therapy when they return home. Workshops can also be beneficial for patients who are hesitant to enter the inpatient program. Often they will try a workshop to begin to understand what we do here at the Meadows and then occasionally decide to go into inpatient treatment. The workshops are a great tool regardless of where the patient is at in their recovery."

According to Sean, patient safety is The Meadows number one priority. "If we can't keep our patients safe, we aren't able to do the great work and treatment we pride ourselves in," Sean explained. "We're constantly looking at what we can do to provide a safe environment and a level of accountability that our patients need. Something that distinguishes us from other providers is being a Level 1 acute facility that provides 24 hour nursing."

Recently, Jonathan Henrichsen, a therapeutic and educational consultant toured The Meadows. He made the following observations echoing Sean's assessment of The Meadows:

I was really glad to have the opportunity to tour The Meadows. I was especially impressed with the continuum of care and the level of clinical sophistication the program is able to offer. When we have clients who are dealing with dual (or multiple) diagnoses, which is more often the case than not, we need a program that can be tailored to both adequately address all the issues as well as provide a longer term of care than is available under a traditional rehab model. The Meadows is able to do that.

Although The Meadows is known for having high-profile residents from time-to-time, as a visitor to the program I appreciated the steps The Meadows took to ensure the confidentiality of its clientele.

Residential treatment is a people business - it is only as good as the people who are providing it. Given that, I am very glad to have had the opportunity to meet with several different members of the clinical and administrative team, all of whom I found knowledgeable and professional, yet also very personable.

One of the areas that Sean was most excited about his first 90 days is The Meadows contract with TriWest Healthcare Alliance, a sub-contractor of TRICARE, to serve the military as a network provider. "The Meadows has a reputation of being an industry leader with expertise in treating trauma and addiction. We are honored that we can now provide that same treatment to our service members who have given so much to defend our country," Sean said. "The Meadows has set itself apart by going through the process of becoming a network provider with Triwest, which demonstrates The Meadows commitment to giving back."

Sean is now focusing on moving forward at The Meadows. Capital improvements to the campus are on the agenda, in addition to strengthening elements of the program and expanding new programs, such as the young adult population, in addition to strengthening and defining the military track.

Before coming to The Meadows, Sean was very familiar with its reputation. "After 90 days it's easy to see why The Meadows is known as one of the worlds best for treatment of trauma and addiction," Sean concluded.

The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about The Meadows' work with trauma and addiction 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 psychiatric hospital that is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Published in Blog

The Meadows trauma and addiction treatment center in Wickenburg, Arizona, is pleased to announce Heidi Dike Kingston, LCSW, as the new Workshops Manager at The Meadows. In this new role as part of the Intake team, Kingston is responsible for providing clinical screenings and scheduling for The Meadows week-long workshops program.

Kingston began her career at The Meadows in 2004 as the Midwest Community Relations Representative while living in Chicago. In 2005, Kingston was promoted to National Community Relations Representative. After working for the Fort Carson Warrior Transition Unit as a Social Worker in 2010, Kingston returned to The Meadows as a Business Development Liaison before accepting her new responsibilities as Workshops Manager.

Kingston has worked in the field of addiction and mental health treatment since she was 19 years old, serving as a tech for Crestview Center Addiction Recovery Services in Anderson, Indiana. Prior to her time with The Meadows, Kingston worked for Hazelden Foundation as a Primary Counselor and Clinical Case Manager.

"We are very pleased that Heidi Dike Kingston has assumed her new role at The Meadows as the Workshops Manager," said Kevin Berkes, Director of Intake at The Meadows. "Heidi is most passionate about connecting individuals with the most clinically appropriate services available."

The Meadows' Workshops include topics focusing on grief, trauma, and addiction, to name a few. While these workshops specifically cater to the needs of those who are not enrolled in inpatient treatment, they also are a source of renewal for patients who have undergone treatment.

To learn more about The Meadows' workshops contact (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 centers or 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 is a Level 1 psychiatric hospital that is accredited by the Joint Commission.

Published in Blog
Sunday, 27 March 2011 20:00

Introducing Michael Cooter, MSSW, LCSW

The Meadows is pleased to introduce Michael Cooter, MSSW, LCSW, as its new Coordinator of Counseling Services. Michael has extensive experience working in the fields of addiction and trauma. He served as a primary, workshop, and weekend/evening counselor from 2002 to 2006 at The Meadows. He also co-facilitated PIT training with Pia Mellody. After leaving The Meadows, he had the opportunity to work for a Department of Defense contractor; while treating PTSD in active duty members of our armed forces, he used The Meadows' Model as a framework. Michael also has worked with individuals and families in his private practice in Phoenix.

Note from Michael:

I am very excited to be returning to The Meadows as Coordinator of Counseling Services. I have a strong belief in The Meadows' program and its efficacy in helping people heal their wounds. I believe that developmental immaturity drives all addictions and compulsive behaviors. It is with great pleasure that I do this work every day with a skilled team of clinicians.

As Coordinator of Counseling Services, I have the opportunity to work with primary and family counselors, as well as directly with patients. Another key component of my position is to ensure communication with referring professionals. As a prior referent of The Meadows, I am well-aware of the importance of thorough communication between counseling staff and referent.

Published in Blog

By James Dredge, CEO, The Meadows

This year we are celebrating our 35th anniversary; through these years, we have been afforded opportunities to profoundly improve the lives of thousands of patients throughout the world.

As part of our 35-year celebration, we have launched a new and robust Web site, blog, and Facebook presence. Over the upcoming months, we will offer new and expanded series of free lectures, alumni conferences, workshops, retreats, and experiential training.

To find out about upcoming events or to get the latest scoop on what's going on at The Meadows, please check us out at,, or on Facebook.

In this issue, you will find interesting insights about our heritage, the moving dedication of our lecture hall to John Bradshaw, and the introduction of some new treatment staff members.

We value your opinions, so please submit your comments and suggestions at

Thanks again for your continued support!

Jim Dredge

Published in Blog
Monday, 28 June 2010 20:00

Featured Workshop: Sexual Recovery

Sexual Recovery is one of a series of cutting-edge workshops offered at The Meadows. These workshops are designed both to meet the needs of those who have not experienced our inpatient treatment and as a source of renewal for our alumni.

Sexual Recovery is a five-day workshop that examines sexual compulsive issues and behaviors. Often we do not talk about our sexual experiences because the subject carries too much shame. This workshop helps to lift the shame and resolve sexual dilemmas and self-destructive behaviors. Chief among these compulsive behaviors are:

Sexual obsession and intrigue
Compulsive masturbation with or without pornography
Compulsive use of cybersex
Use of prostitutes, strip clubs, peeping or sex bookstores
Exposing oneself
Multiple or serial relationships
The Sexual Recovery workshop is best for those who want to

Jumpstart their recovery process
Prevent relapse
Acquire tools to support continuing recovery
These workshops are scheduled as "men only" and "woman only" and are offered periodically throughout 2010. More detailed information about the Sexual Recovery workshop is available by visiting our website or by emailing our Intake Department.

And for commentary on the topic of Sexual Addiction, please visit Maureen Canning's blog on the subject.

Published in Blog

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Intensive Family Program • Innovative Experiential Therapy • Neurobehavioral Therapy

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