The Meadows is situated right in the Sonoran Desert leaving little else to do but concentrate on sobriety.
Introduction and Basic Services
The Meadows has been in operation for over 40 years. Spread across a 14-acre campus, 50 miles northwest of Phoenix, in the Sonoran Desert town of Wickenburg, it’s a rehabilitation center with a very high profile. With a staff of well-known therapists and pioneers in the field of recovery famous and non famous people alike come to straighten their addictions out and get on with their lives.
It’s primarily residential program covers alcohol and substance use disorders, adult and childhood traumas, PTSD, codependency and control issues, intimacy and sexual struggles, dual diagnosis, depression and anxiety, work and money issues, eating disorders, maturing adult and aging Issues.
In addition to it being a primarily residential program for adults, The Meadows runs a series of ongoing workshops and specialized programs for eating disorders, sex addiction and young adults.
Facility and Meals
The facility looks from the outside like a ranch but on the inside it looks more like a college campus. The campus is comprised of a simple style of dorms with each resident having a roommate. All rooms are cleaned daily by the maids and have air conditioning. Clients wear name tags that are color coded to their particular issue that brought them to The Meadows. There is also a strict dress code that bans tank tops and shorts. Each client is supplied a pager that will let them know when they have to report to someplace specific for a class or meeting.
Cellphones are permitted but held by staff. Clients have the opportunity to make one initial phone call upon admission to verify arrival. There is a three day waiting period after admission before they can use the phone. Monitored phone times are designated four times daily.
There is a large pool and a gym for exercise as well as the opportunity to take long walks and hikes through the Sonoran Desert. Time is set aside each day for exercise and The Meadows is strongly encouraging of working the body along with the mind.
The food has been described as “high school cafeteria” with a sugar free dessert. There is no sugar and caffeine at The Meadows. Visitors are typically allowed after a patient has been on campus 14 days and at the discretion of the treatment team. Visiting hours are 11 am to 3 pm on Sundays and major holidays.
Treatment Protocol and Team
All clients at The Meadows receive an individualized plan of recovery that’s based on their diagnoses, interests, and personality, whether they are there for a dual diagnosis, or problems like codependency, love avoidance, PTSD, trauma, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. The same can be said for addictions like alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex and love, or work.
The therapies offered in their 45 day residential program include: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing (SE), equine therapy, expressive arts, yoga, Tai Chi, acupuncture and mindfulness meditation.
While The Meadows does facilitate working the 12 steps, it also likes to work to uncover why clients might have developed these addictions in the first place. A typical day goes something like this: wake up and then pick between the gym, swimming or practicing yoga. Then breakfast and peer meetings and small sized therapy groups. Then they can pick from yoga or meditation before going to lunch. In the afternoon, there is more fitness and swimming then specific therapy sessions, counseling, meetings with experts in addiction, trauma and recovery. After dinner is more fitness work then a 12-step meeting.
The Meadows holds an intensive family week that makes use of educational lectures and workshops. Families are invited to attend the full week, intensive, family program. The Meadows Family Week is designed to explore family issues and understand how they have impacted the quality of relationships. There are also regularly held “Survivors” workshops designed to help clients uncover the origin(s) of any self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. It is intense because there is a lot of confrontation and a little bit of loud yelling. The Meadows is known for hitting chairs with nerf bats as well as having clients carry around stones that signify the issues they have been carrying around.
The clinical and medical staff at The Meadows consists of a licensed professional counselor (LPC) as well as a psychiatrist and addiction medicine doctor, each board-certified in their respective fields. The ratio of clients to staff is six to one and has 24-hour nursing staff.
The Meadows also receives oversight from its team of “Senior Fellows,” individuals considered by many to be the nation’s leading experts on trauma, addiction, and recovery. Amongst others, these include Pia Mellody (a former nurse who became a wildly popular self-help book author), John Bradshaw, and Dr. Patrick Carnes.
After completing their five-week stint, clients have the option of staying in one of the facility’s aftercare houses, where they maintain the same schedule but with more in-depth one-on-one psychotherapy sessions.
The Meadows has alumni meetings quarterly in select cities. They say they are committed to growing Inspired Recovery in various cities and have events periodically.
The Meadows also offers a variety of complimentary, regulatory activities that enrich the recovery process, including acupuncture, meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and mindfulness, equine assisted therapy, expressive arts therapy, and ropes course.
The Meadows is situated right in the Sonoran Desert leaving little else to do but concentrate on sobriety. The treatment team not only focuses on the 12 steps, but also on the whole person and the events that brought them to an addiction and how to heal that. Some might consider The Meadows’ tactics a little odd, like hitting a chair with a nerf bat or carrying around rocks, but it’s been working for 40 years, so maybe it’s on to something. While the cost is steep, if someone is serious about getting sober and finding out how to continue that way, The Meadows could be a great fit.