The Meadows Blog

In May, Meadows Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) announced that it had been acquired by Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C. (Kohlberg) , a leading private equity firm and that Alita Care Holdings (Alita) would serve as the holding company for both The Meadows and Kohlberg’s existing portfolio company Sunspire Health, LLC. Alita will serve patients with 16 locations in eight states, and offer a full continuum of services including trauma-based treatment at The Meadows, drug and alcohol addiction treatment at Sunspire, sex addiction treatment at Gentle Path at the Meadows, and eating disorder treatment at Remuda Ranch at The Meadows.

Along with that announcement came the news that Jim Dredge, CEO of Meadows Behavioral Healthcare, would transition into a new role as CEO of Alita. Today, the company has announced that Dredge will begin his official duties as Alita CEO on July 18.

“I am thrilled to begin creating synergy with Sunspire and The Meadows to create more high-quality treatment options for patients and their families, clinical referral sources, and payors across the country. Combined, we will be able to offer full continuum-of-care treatment to patients suffering from a wide cross-section of addictions and other behavioral health disorders at 15 differentiated programs across the United States,” Dredge said.

Sean Walsh, currently CEO of The Meadows, will take over Dredge’s responsibilities as CEO of Meadows Behavioral Healthcare. He will oversee all of the Meadows programs and facilities, including The Meadows, Gentle Path at The Meadows, The Claudia Black Young Adult Center at The Meadows, The Meadows Outpatient Center, The Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows, and Remuda Ranch at The Meadows. Walsh is a licensed therapist with more than 20 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare industry, and proven track record of leadership excellence.

The company also announced that Sunspire founder, A.J. Schreiber, will be stepping down from his current position as CEO of Sunspire and into his new role as Vice Chairman of the Board for Alita Care. In addition, Chris Diamond, who is currently CEO of Remuda Ranch at The Meadows, will transition to a new role as President of Sunspire Health. He will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Sunspire, a company with 10 facilities in seven different states. Diamond has over 26 years of experience in Behavioral Health; he has spent the last three years dedicated to successfully reorganizing Remuda Ranch, a multi-campus eating disorder treatment facility founded in 1990.

Clinical operations will not be impacted at either company by these changes in leadership, and both Sunspire Health and The Meadows will continue to focus on providing best-in-class treatment services for patients and their families.

About Alita Care

Alita Care Holdings is a management organization that provides leadership and oversight to Meadows Behavioral Healthcare and Sunspire Health, LCC. Founded in 2016, the company is headquartered in Arizona and maintains 16 facilities in seven states across the U.S. Alita Care offers a wide range of behavioral health services to those struggling with emotional trauma, drug and alcohol addiction, sex addiction, eating disorders, and other behavioral disorders. Alita Care’s programs are guided by experienced behavioral health experts and thought leaders, who bring the latest neurobehavioral research and proven methodologies to our personalized, multifaceted, and holistic approach to recovery.

About Meadows Behavioral Healthcare

Meadows Behavioral Healthcare is the industry leader in providing treatment for people struggling with addiction, eating disorders, trauma, and related mental health conditions. The company’s programs — The Meadows, The Claudia Black Young Adult Center at The Meadows, Gentle Path at The Meadows, Remuda Ranch at The Meadows, The Meadows Outpatient Center, and a series of intensive workshops — are the premier choice of patients, families, and behavioral health professionals. For more information, please visit

About Sunspire Health

Sunspire Health is a leading provider of behavioral health services for the treatment of substance abuse, eating and other co-occurring disorders. The company operates a national network of independently branded treatment centers, currently comprising ten locations in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas. Utilizing evidence-based clinical interventions, Sunspire offers treatment with respect for patients’ specific needs and diverse lifestyles. Sunspire delivers improved patient outcomes by offering a full continuum of care and individualized treatment plans in intimate settings in residential and outpatient facilities across the nation. For more information, please visit

If you spend any time at all on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, chances are that you’ve heard of Pokémon Go, the smartphone-based augmented reality game that is taking the world by storm. You’ve probably seen many exclamatory posts from players of that game about snagging “gyms” and hitting “Pokéspots” along with many pictures like this one…


… and thought, “What the heck are they talking about?”

What is Pokémon Go?

We’ll leave it to some of the many explainers available online to give you the finer details of this phenomenon. For our purposes, suffice it to say that Pokémon Go is a game that uses the GPS capabilities on your smartphone to create a virtual world full of imaginary creatures that appear on top of the real world around you. So to play the game, you have to actually walk around, explore places, and look for Pokémon to appear through the screen on your phone.

Many Pokémon enthusiasts have said through social media posts, that the game is helping to improve their mental health. Those struggling with depression seem to be most likely to tout the game’s benefits, saying that it’s motivated them to go outside, get some exercise, and socialize with others.


Can Pokémon Go “Cure” Depression?

Some research does seem to indicate that games can help people become more motivated and more resilient when facing day-to-day challenges. The two regions of the brain that are most stimulated by game play, the reward pathways and the hippocampus, are the same regions that tend to be under-stimulated in the brains of people who are clinically depressed. So, people who are struggling with depression may often feel better when they are playing games like Pokémon Go and others.

It’s important to note, however, that relieving the symptoms of depression is not the same thing as “curing” the depression. What also is unclear in many cases is whether the game is truly improving the depressed person’s overall mental health, or if they are simply trying to self-medicate with the game.

People who live with unresolved trauma often self-medicate in multiple ways. Many addictions we treat in The Meadows programs, from drugs and alcohol to sex and pornography can be described as attempts to self-medicate. Turning to substances, processes or behaviors (like, gaming, gambling, or sex) to soothe the symptoms that result from your trauma or depression can be dangerous.

If you use Pokémon Go to “escape” from your pain or discomfort, to block negative feelings, or to avoid facing your problems head-on, you may end up making things worse.

In order to truly recover from depression, you have to uncover the root causes of any negative beliefs you hold about yourself and the world. Often, they are rooted in childhood trauma that needs to be addressed and resolved before you can truly experience long-lasting recovery.

Otherwise, the relief you originally experienced from the game will start to fade, and the more depressed you feel the more time you will spend playing the game. The more time you spend playing the game, the less time you’ll spend addressing the real problems that both cause and accompany your depression. In the worst cases, you may end up struggling with a full-blown gaming addiction. Get Help for Depression

If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, and playing Pokémon Go has helped you to feel a little more hopeful and a little more like yourself, that’s great! But, it’s important not to rely on the game alone for relief. Recovery from depression requires a multi-faceted approach to treatment which can include therapy, neurofeedback and biofeedback techniques, trauma work, and sometimes medication. The Claudia Black Center for Young Adults at The Meadows (and all of The Meadows programs) offers all of these options at their treatment centers in Arizona, along with a thorough assessment to determine which might work best for you.

Give us a call today at 855-333-6075 or send us a message through our website to learn more.

Monday, 11 July 2016 00:00

The Gift of Recovery

When Terri arrived at The Meadows, after struggling for some time with alcohol addiction, she realized that she would never get sober unless she dealt with the trauma she experienced during her very difficult childhood. She credits The Meadow’s Survivors Week and EMDR therapy with her helping her turn the corner into real recovery from alcoholism.

The Meadows treats all phases of alcohol addiction. From detox to our primary treatment program, we help people build the foundation for long-term sobriety.

If you are in the midst of a struggle with alcohol addiction, recovery may not seem possible, but it is.

Our program has helped many people give up alcohol for good while making key changes in the way they live, face problems, and relate to others, in order to decrease the likelihood of relapse.

For more information about how we can help call us at 800-244-4949 or send us a message through our website.

Monday, 11 July 2016 00:00

How’s Your Inner Child Today?

By Nancy Minister, Therapist, Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows

If you have ever done any work at The Meadows—either in an inpatient program or in our Survivors I workshop — you likely have had some experience getting in touch with your inner child.

So, how is that young part of yourself right now?

Go ahead: close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Feel that child’s energy.

Are they content? Restless? Sad? Scared?

Experience the warmth and love that you have for him or her in your body. Take a moment to provide for their needs, which could include anything from reassurance to a promise to go for a walk later.

Your child may need for you to go ahead and feel any feelings of fear, pain, or shame so that you can get in touch of where those feelings are coming from and address them.

Reconnecting In the Survivors II Workshop

One of my favorite things about facilitating the Survivors II Workshop at the Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows is helping folks to revisit their relationships with their inner children. The child part of themselves that they rescued in Survivors I probably feels happy, safe, and loved; but, it may be helpful for that person to also connect with an inner child from a different time. Having gained a greater sense of themselves, they are often ready for more trauma work.

Sometimes people return to The Meadows for Survivors II to address adult issues such as ongoing or past relationship problems, traumatic experiences, or addictions. Often, they need another layer of healing from childhood abuse or relational trauma.

Because of my passion for inner child work, any way you slice it, the Survivors II workshop is going to include some connection with that inner child. Yours could be a fearful, sad, and wounded child or an adapted child that is rebellious, angry, or shut down.

By checking in with your inner child in a deeper way, you can learn more about the wounding—the feeling energy and the messages that you still hold inside. Often, the connection people make with their inner children is very sweet.

We use various modalities to get in touch with the underlying source of the issues that people come to address. For example, your homework at the end of the day might be an inventory, a letter, a collage or other art project. The aim of the homework is usually to get in touch with your underlying feelings and the age at which your trauma issue underneath those feelings was set up. Rescuing the child and releasing the feeling energy tends to bring much-welcomed relief. It’s fun for me to be creative and match the homework with the person’s goal for the week.

I have had this blog post in my mind for a few months now, but my own inner girl has not been happy with the idea of me writing a blog. She is scared, having had some social trauma as a teen. Even as those fears come up, I breathe and allow my functional adult to affirm that I have boundaries and I can protect myself (and her). What do I need protection from? It turns out it is my own thoughts that “make-up” all kinds of crazy things about betrayal, judgment, and shame.

Change Your Reality, Change Your Brain

What is truly exciting about this work is that it is validated by neuroscience. We hold relational and survival experiences in our limbic brain in the form of implicit, procedural memories. When we go back in time and access the feelings and experiences of hurting, neediness, abandonment, rejection, fear, or worthlessness, we are retrieving them from that part of our brain.

As we heal by letting go of the feeling energy and then re-parenting that child part, we literally change the neuropathways in our brain. Focused attention on loving that child part of yourself creates new neuropathways. This means creating a felt experience of warmth, love, protection, even physical nurturing by—yes—hugging a pillow.

So, check in again… How is your inner kiddo right now? If you’re finding that he or she could use a little extra nurturing, it might be time to join me for the Survivors II workshop. For more details, call 800-244-4949 or contact us through the Rio Retreat Center website.

Thursday, 07 July 2016 00:00

Haiti Rising

By Jean Collins-Stuckert, Clinical Director at The Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows

As we were walking thru Croix-de-Bouquets, a metal workers village outside Port Au Prince where artisans transform used oil drums into beautiful art, I came across a metal sign that said “Haiti Rising.” It stays with me. Haiti is rising but struggling to get on her feet. Already one of the world’s poorest countries, it is fraught with corruption, poor healthcare, and poor educational systems. All of this was compounded by an earthquake in 2010 which claimed a quarter of a million lives. Six years later, the country is still struggling to recover.

Trauma and Addiction

Trauma and Addiction Haiti

The Meadows recently sent a handful of professionals to Haiti to present current information on trauma and addiction at a conference in Port Au Prince. The Meadows partnered with the University of Notre Dame and sponsored the conference on Psychotherapy and Spirituality. I was fortunate to be selected among many volunteers to join this well-appointed group.

It was my first experience in a third world country. I was stunned, vacillating between being on the verge of tears to feeling detached. It was too much to take in at times. It has taken me awhile to sort out my conflicted feelings about this divergent country.

Haiti is a contradiction. It is so close—only a one and a half hour flight from the U.S.—but so far away. Haiti is a dichotomy of crushing poverty and amazing resilience.

Hope Among The Rubble

Rising out of the rubble in Haiti are fierce heroes and sheroes making a difference on both a large and small scale. There are dynamic leaders on the ground, selflessly working to develop amazing organizations. Nancy Sobel, for example, founded the Global Adolescent Project (GAP) assisting orphaned teens. She is a force of nature. Selena Jenkins and Sean Penn formed the Jenkins-Penn Haitian Relief Organization (JPHRO) that is responsible for creating sustainable programs on six different fronts. The Association for the treatment of Alcohol and Other Addictions (AAPAC), the one and only Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for substance abusers and their families, was founded by two Haitian women, Maggie and Gaetane.

I also include our humble leader, The Meadows CEO Sean Walsh, in this category, who has adopted two sons from a Haiti orphanage. He has great passion for improving conditions and increasing awareness about trauma and addiction in Haiti. He organized and led our team.

Horizontal Violence

I learned more than I taught on the journey. I attended a presentation from one Shero calling for all Haitians to clean up their piece of the polluted planet. Haiti has beautiful landscape contrasted with cement rubble from the earthquake and littered with garbage. She introduced me to a term I hadn’t heard before, “horizontal violence.” She used the expression “You can’t trust a Haitian,” as an example of horizontal violence. She used a bucket of crabs, crawling over one another in order to elevate themselves as a metaphor for horizontal violence. This concept is, of course, not unique to Haiti, but it is problematic. She pleaded with Haitians to lift one another in an effort to elevate the community.

Our team quickly became friends with a handful of Narcotic Anonymous (NA) leaders who were bringing the message of hope and recovery to Haiti, creating relationships, and connecting people with the proper organizations. There are many caring professionals in Haiti attending to pragmatic needs such as food, shelter, and medical care. There are also many who are attending to the needs of their souls by bringing counseling, music, dance and art. Sometimes these organizations are unaware of one another.

Inspiration and Discomfort

These extraordinarily generous people created within me inspiration along with self-doubt, making me wonder what I have done with my life. I’m left feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, in a good way. My brief time in Haiti has created a discomfort that I’m hoping will propel me into more altruistic service.

I attended a 12 step meeting in a foreign land and listened to people share in Haitian Creole and yet I felt at home. Far away and yet at home: another dichotomy.

I was also conflicted residing in an air-conditioned resort with a pool while the masses were withstanding unbearable heat.

I felt combined joy and pain as I observed beautiful majestic women carrying large objects on their heads with such grace in the midst of squalor. Haiti is 95 percent black, so it was rare to see someone white outside of our small group. It was one more way in which my world was a contradiction.

Seizing Opportunities

We visited bright university students sitting in classrooms made of fabricated walls with slats for ventilation without air conditioning in 95 percent heat with high humidity. I was so impressed. They were attentive, respectful, and remained after class was dismissed to ask questions about addiction and how they could help their families. Family is a strong value in Haiti. Opportunity occasionally presents itself and when it does most Haitians will take full advantage.

Our last stop was the Apparent Project, through which parents determined to keep their children out of orphanages were making amazing art to earn a living. They were transforming rubble into pottery and making beautiful beads out of garbage. (You can check them out at

I don’t miss mosquito nets, being drenched in 100 percent deet, being overly cautious of the food and water, “American pizza” which translates into pizza made with American cheese, the chaotic traffic and feeling like a mark at times. I do miss the openly affectionate warm beautiful people I met while there.

Since returning, I am hyper vigilant of my self-centeredness. I have conflicted feelings. I feel a bit squeamish, a form of survivor’s guilt I suppose, combined with deep gratitude. Simultaneously, I feel incredibly blessed and guilty about the size of my home, my walk-in closet, my job, my vehicle. I have a different perspective on “problems” in the face of true human suffering— what some might call rich white people problems. I feel good about what I did and feel bad about what I haven’t done. I have received much more than I have given; I am in a process of transformation that won’t be complete until I take action. I am changed.

It was an enlightening adventure. I am proud to work for a man and an organization that truly places people before profit and thinks beyond their small piece of the planet. They have had a hand in Haiti Rising.

Trauma and Addiction HaitiTrauma and Addiction Haiti

Trauma and Addiction Haiti

Trauma and Addiction Haiti

Trauma and Addiction Haiti

By Cassandra Rustvold, LMSW, MEd, Trauma Therapist at Gentle Path at the Meadows

Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has the potential to transform the trajectory of one’s life in a multitude of ways. While the effects of childhood sexual abuse are largely individualized and can manifest at different points throughout the lifespan, commonly reported symptoms and long-term effects include dissociation, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, relationship difficulties, and addictive or compulsive patterns of behavior (Aaron, 2012).

The sexual functioning and sexual identity in adolescence and adulthood is a particularly vulnerable factor in survivors. When a child suffers sexual abuse, sexual arousal becomes activated prematurely and can largely impact the survivor’s sense of autonomy over their body and sexual sense of self (Roller, Martsolf, Draucker & Ross, 2009).

It can also draw early connections in the neural networks of the child’s brain that associates sex with power, fear, shame, confusion, secrecy and/or pain. It is not difficult to imagine why those whose sexuality has been impacted are more vulnerable to struggles with intimate relationships and sexuality.

When attempting to reconcile one’s abuse, a particularly confusing component for survivors of CSA is the experience of pleasurable physiological responses to their abuse, in conjunction with their emotional and psychological distress. Children who have experienced these positive and pleasurable feelings often report feelings of shame and responsibility tied to their abuse and sexuality, and may experience an overall distrust of their bodily reactions (such as arousal) or physical dissociation (Hunter, 1990 & Long, Burnett & Thomas, 2006).

This fusion of shame, secrecy and pleasure has the potential to predispose one to sexual aversion, sexual anorexia, dysfunction, or compulsion; thereby deterring them from developing healthy sexual scripts in adulthood.

The Link Between Sexual Abuse and Sex Addiction

Three commonly experienced symptoms of childhood sexual abuse are also cornerstones of sexual addiction: compulsivity (the inability to control one’s behavior), shame, and despair.

In sex addiction, shame and despair act as a precursor to the beginning of future cycles, where the need to keep emotional pain at bay leads to mental preoccupation as an escape. The result of this addictive cycle often includes isolation, anxiety, alienation from loved ones, a breaking of one’s own value system, and secrecy; all things that often increase feelings of despair and a yearning to escape and repeat the cycle.

When an individual is struggling with intrusive thoughts of their sexual abuse or insidious negative self-talk as a result of their abuse, the lure of escape through addictive patterns of behavior is not only compelling but sometimes a means of psychological preservation.

In Dr. Patrick Carnes’ book The Betrayal Bond, eight trauma responses common among individuals who meet the criteria for sexual addiction are identified: trauma reactions, trauma pleasure, trauma blocking, trauma splitting, trauma abstinence, trauma shame, trauma repetition, and trauma bonding.

These patterns of behaviors are often unconscious attempts to reconcile, reframe, or repair the abuse that happened in youth. Unfortunately, they do not always accomplish this task and can result in perpetuated psychological and emotional damage.

The Role of Gender

Gender differences also appear to play a role in how these difficulties manifest in adulthood and whether or not someone will seek out help.

Even in 2016, boys and men are still provided with narrow cultural and familial messages about what it means to be a masculine. This narrative includes such things as devaluing emotional expression and vulnerability, while prioritizing promiscuity and maintaining control.

Research has found that male survivors are less likely to report or discuss their trauma and more likely to externalize their responses to childhood sexual abuse by engaging in compulsive sexual behaviors (Aaron, 2012). For a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse, these expectations are in large conflict with the need to shatter the secrecy of their trauma and/or obtain and maintain healthy sexual relationships; both of which require an open and honest dialogue.

Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse and Redefining Your Sexuality

For men struggling with childhood sexual abuse and sexual addiction, learning to abstain from problematic sexual behaviors that reinforce abusive sexual scripts is just as important as learning how to develop healthy intimate bonds and create a sexual identity that is affirming.

For someone attempting to face these complex issues the importance of having acceptance and unconditional, non-judgmental support cannot be understated. It is the abusive and negative interpersonal interactions that created the pain and it is the supportive and affirming ones that have the power to lift it.

At Gentle Path at The Meadows, we specialize in creating this space while offering a host of trauma-based services that are informed by the most current understanding of the nature of trauma and its impact on the person as a whole. Additionally, the therapeutic focus at Gentle Path includes not only learning to identify which components of one’s sexuality are subtracting from the quality of their life but also identifying or creating ones to enrich it.

Give us a call today at 800-244-4949.


Aaron, M. (2012). The pathways of problematic sexual behavior: a literature review of factors affecting adult sexual behavior in survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 19(3), p. 199-218.

Carnes, P. (1997). The Betrayal Bond. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data.

Hunter, M. (1990). Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data.

Long, L. L., Burnett, J. A., & Thomas, R. V. (2006). Sexuality counseling: An integrative approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.

Roller, Martsolf, Draucker & Ross (2009). The sexuality of childhood sexual abuse survivors. International Journal of Sexual Health, 21, p. 49-60.


Tuesday, 28 June 2016 00:00

Facing Codependence and Depression

Codependency is an emotional disorder that causes people to ignore their own needs while constantly fulfilling the needs of others. Someone struggling with codependence may forfeit his or her own well-being and values in the pursuit of assisting someone else. It’s not surprising that this disorder would often coexist alongside depression, which is often characterized by a persistent sense of hopelessness and low self-worth.

When you’re struggling with depression and codependence it can feel like nothing is ever going to change. But, once you learn how to accept yourself and be fully present in your day-to-day life amazing transformations can, and do, happen.

Watch the video to learn how one person’s transformation happened during treatment at The Meadows.

By Tracy Harder, MSC, LAC, Survivors Workshop Facilitator

Do you remember the one question you missed on that fourth-grade science test that kept you from scoring 100 percent? Or the word you missed in every spelling bee you were in? I do.

In fact, I am very clear about the fact that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius and I am not a big fan of the words centennial, hippopotamus, or receipt. I have suffered from most of my life from perfectionism, which to me is no joke. Feeling shame about making a mistake and having the initial reaction of wanting to hide it is not fun. In fact, just the thought of writing this blog gave me anxiety. How can I possibly measure up to the people who have written blogs and have Ph.D.’s and more experience than me?

Perfectionist Tendencies Can Start in Early Childhood

My perfectionism developed and honed from a very early age. I remember when I turned four or five my parents took me to a fancy restaurant for crab legs. (What the hell?) I remember sitting there, prim and proper, with my hands folded in my lap. I remember people telling my mother what a wonderful, well-behaved child she had.

My mother beamed, and basked in the compliments. I figured out quickly, “Aha! This is how I earn my mother’s love and approval!”

From then on, I strived to make perfect grades and to always toe the line, always trying to be “good enough.” For you see, my beloved mother is a perfectionist herself and her perfect little girl reinforced her need to be good enough too.

Pia Mellody, in her book Facing Codependence, says, “Everybody’s poop smells. To be human is to be imperfect.”

She goes on to say that functional parents do not hold themselves up as the higher power in the family—the god and goddess if you will—and that when they make a parenting mistake that affects their children, they own it and make amends. But, what about those of us raised in a home where our parents were the god and goddess reigning supreme? A home in which mistakes were not okay?

I love my parents and through my own work, which has included going through The Meadows’ Survivors I childhood trauma workshop myself, I realize now that they were parenting out of their own trauma brought on by dysfunctional messages they got from their parents.

Perfectionism Hinders You More Than It Helps

Perfectionism has been a friend and a foe in my life. As a friend, it helped me a few years ago to organize and plan from the ground up what I must say was a pretty amazing wedding –although I was a complete and nervous wreck the day of. It also enabled me in some ways to complete a difficult counseling program and earn a Master’s Degree, but it took repeated attempts.

As a foe, it literally drove me to drink. And then, even after getting sober through a 12- step program, I continued to attempt perfection in my step work, which resulted in a relapse. Trying to be “perfect” can also alienate me from people, because my attitude becomes, “ I want to be perfect and am sure you must want to be as well, so let me show you how!” In respect to the core issues of The Meadows Model of Development Immaturity, this attitude is indicative of “better than” self-esteem, invulnerable boundaries, good and perfect reality issues, and containment issues of being out of control with controlling others.

Or, as Pia would say, I turn into “a tight ass.” This is not good for my relationships, to say the least.

Tips for Overcoming Perfectionist Thinking

For those of you reading this and relating, here are a few helpful techniques I use to alleviate the stress of perfectionist thinking:

  1. I give myself permission to be imperfect.

  2. I admit my mistakes to affirm that it’s okay to make mistakes.

  3. I make amends for my mistakes

  4. I remind myself that only my higher power is perfect and that I’m not my higher power.

  5. I do daily affirmations to a photo of my inner child, telling her she is perfectly imperfect just the way she is, and I treat her as such throughout the day.

The pain of the five core development immaturity issues mentioned earlier, and relationship issues drove me into therapy and 12-step programs. Both made it possible for me to practice these techniques.

As a result, there has been a considerable improvement in my relationship with myself and in my relationships with others. After all, who am I to think I could ever be perfect? Through the practice of admitting my mistakes to others I have realized that, for the most part,I am the only person who is not okay with my mistakes.

This corrective experience illuminates the fact that the people in my life now are understanding and forgiving. More often than not, they share their experiences with similar situations, thereby increasing intimacy and strengthening these relationships.

Perfectionism will always be a part of my personality, but the good news is that through insight and action it can definitely be managed.

The Meadows’ Survivors Workshop

The concepts and therapeutic exercises that comprise the Survivors I workshop, are the same ones that drive the overall treatment philosophy for all of The Meadows programs. Participants explore the childhood trauma that fuels self-defeating behaviors such as addiction, mood disorders, and troubling relationships. They also work on processing and releasing negative messages and emotions rooted in their pasts, and find the freedom to fully embody their authentic selves.

Those who register for Survivors I—or any of the Rio Retreat Center’s other 16 workshop offerings— on or before June 30 will receive a 25 percent discount. Call today at 800-244-4949.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 00:00

What A Difference 40 Years Makes

As we look back on four decades spent at the forefront of treatment for addiction and other behavioral health disorders, we wanted to learn more from our biggest influencers and supporters about why The Meadows legacy matters. Why have we gained a reputation for being able to help people who still struggled after trying to get help elsewhere?

Mostly it comes down to the talent and knowledge of our team of Senior Fellows, our commitment to innovation and understanding the latest in neurobiology, and a staff that truly cares about every patient.

Special Offer on The Meadows Inpatient Programs

We want to help as many people as possible find the freedom that comes with real recovery. So, for a limited time, you can attend one of our treatment programs at the discounted rate of $45,500. Call today. The offer ends June 30, 2016, and spaces are limited.

Keep reading to hear what some of our leaders and proponents had to say about why The Meadows long and distinguished history matters.

The Meadows Legacy and Influence

It’s been 20 years since Dr. Patrick Carnes (Senior Fellow at Gentle Path at The Meadows) convinced Pia Mellody (Senior Fellow at The Meadows) to sign on to the idea of a Senior Fellow concept, though at the time that is not what we were called. I would be the first person to step into these shoes, with Patrick and Pia already being there in their positions.

My historical work with family of origin issues made this role a perfect fit for me clinically, as Pia had many years previously established the need to address underlying codependency issues in patients struggling with addiction and behavioral health disorders and that model was already integral to The Meadows programming.

My hope—something The Meadows has always supported—was to be able to do hands-on group work, to assist in program development, and bring greater awareness to the public about the depth and breadth of excellent psychiatric and addiction treatment offered at The Meadows.

It has been exhilarating to be a part of the expansion efforts at The Meadows; assisting in program design within the family program, the workshops, the Intensive Outpatient Program, structural and educational enhancements within the primary program, and most currently the development of the Claudia Black Center for Young Adults. Congratulation to The Meadows, and a call out to Pia Mellody!

It is hard to find an area of mental health or addiction recovery that hasn’t been influenced in one way or another by The Meadows. When I think of the thousands upon thousands of patients and families whose lives have been forever changed as a result of The Meadows, it is an overwhelming and very humbling experience. The Meadows’ history and legacy inspires me to strive every day to ensure we are pursuing excellence and that we do all we can to be a source of hope and light to those we are honored to treat.

I have had the opportunity to see The Meadows at work throughout the past 12 years, and the beauty of the underlying core foundation philosophy has been to respect the dignity of every person who comes to treatment here. This is something that I try to instill in my team so that it also applies to all those who inquire about treatment at The Meadows. I count it a privilege to work at a company that holds this value so dear. It is the very thing that we are trying to bring to our patients and workshop participants, and I try to make it foundational in the intake experience for those inquiring about treatment and those who work in the department.

I have worked in the field of mental health and addictions for 41 years. I know that the two areas of mental health and addictions are inseparable. I refer patients to The Meadows because I get results. The treatment that my patients receive at The Meadows allows them to be well on their way to a life that is satisfying and fulfilling. I can be more beneficial to them on an outpatient basis because they can actually "do" what needs to be done for them to feel confident in their journey. They are no longer plagued with constant triggering as they move through their life. This life is not a dress rehearsal, and my patients who complete treatment at The Meadows become fully engaged as players in their lives and start to leave their "victim" behind.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 00:00

The Many R’s of Recovery

By David Anderson, Ph.D., Executive Director at The Meadows

We experienced yet another heart-warming Patient Commencement Celebration last Wednesday morning, as seven soon-to-be-leaving patients expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Meadows staff, the community and their peers for helping them along their journey through life-saving treatment, recovery and transformation.

At the end of the commencement, as we always do, we formed a big circle, observed a few moments of quiet Reflection, and then said The Serenity Prayer. At the end of the prayer, as we always do, each patient and staff member extended his or her right foot and Repeated loudly, “R, R, R!”

As we were walking out I overheard a couple of newer people who were in the audience say “I have no idea what R! R! R! means!”

The Building Blocks of Recovery

Well, for those wondering, the letters stand for Reality, Respect, and Responsibility—three crucially important building blocks of true Recovery (and all in keeping with our underlying Meadows Model).

These are three great “R” words.

But we have other “R” words, too:

Rites of passage (like commencements and graduations)

On the coins that we provide to graduating members of our military, in addition to Recovery, we have three more R words: Reveal, Resiliency, and Renew.

And if you spend any time in our Brain Center, you soon come to Realize that a basic component of our Meadows program is nervous system Regulation.

Each of these “R” words comes with a story, a commitment, and a history here at The Meadows; each are worked into the warp and weave of our programming.

And here are even more: as we head into the three major months of summer, many of us will be taking vacations and Recharging and Recreating.

So the next time you need to Refresh or Recommit to Recovery, do the Meadows hokey-pokey, put your right foot out, and say, “R! R! R!”

Happy Summer,
Happy Recharging,
R! R! R!

Contact The Meadows

Intensive Family Program • Innovative Experiential Therapy • Neurobehavioral Therapy

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