The Meadows Outpatient Program Is More Than An IOP

By David Anderson, The Meadows Executive Director

We often refer to The Meadows Outpatient Center as an “Intensive Outpatient Center,” or IOP…

….which it is.

However, in reality, the Meadows Outpatient Center is much more than what most people think of when they refer to an IOP. We like to think of our program as a COMPREHENSIVE outpatient program.

Let me explain…

What is an IOP?

There are many programs all around the country that call themselves IOP programs. These programs vary greatly in how they are set up; but, typically they only offer three, one-hour group therapy sessions per day, three days per week (i.e., nine hours total per week). And often group therapy is all that they offer— no individual therapy, no neurofeedback, no psychiatry, no trauma-sensitive yoga, no art therapy, no Somatic Experiencing, no EMDR, no acupuncture, etc.— Just nine hours per week of group therapy.

Now, compare that to The Meadows Outpatient Program which provides 18-20 hours of services and treatment per week. That is more than twice the amount of services provided in a typical IOP.

Each week, our patients may take advantage of:

  • Four 3-hour groups. That’s 12 hours of group therapy each week.
  • One hour of art therapy with a trauma/art therapist,
  • One hour of trauma-sensitive yoga
  • One to two hours of individual therapy per week (including somatic experiencing, EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy, and expressive arts)
  • A separate Family Recovery Group each Monday (just for family members),
  • A weekly multi-family group,
  • Private family therapy (as needed for couples or family),
  • Two separate 1-hour appointments for Brainpaint Neurofeedback each week (typically with three different protocols during each hour),
  • One hour of acupuncture each Friday,
  • A one-hour Meadows-produced educational DVD (usually a Pia Mellody talk) in our state-of-the-art conference room on a high-definition big screen (with pizza!) on Fridays,
  • Psychiatrist appointments (Typically one hour in the beginning of the program; then one to three follow-up appointments during the course of treatment), and
  • Recently added: a once-per-month therapeutic drum circle.

Additionally, the Brain Spa is open at all times for patients to use Cranial Electro Stimulation (CES) machines. The Brain Spa has three relaxing chairs and one massage chair set up with studio quality headphones and iPod Nanos programmed with brain regulation programs (e.g., Hemi-sync binaural beats, Mozart Effect, Guided Imagery, meditation music, etc.)

Nationwide, the hours required for each level of care in behavioral health are…

  • Residential/inpatient programs – 24/7 care
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs): Typically 30 hours per week of care,
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs): Typically plus/minus 9 hours per week of care.

So, with our 18 to 20 hours of care per week, The Meadows Outpatient program is actually something in-between a PHP and an IOP.

Additional Benefits of The Meadows Outpatient Center

It’s also important to note that The Meadows Comprehensive Outpatient program is now “in network” with both Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Humana. And, our wonderful Finance Team works hard to every to make the step-down to outpatient care affordable, regardless of the patient’s insurance provider.

Plus, the weather is beautiful all year in Scottsdale, Arizona making The Meadows Outpatient Center the ideal place to begin or continue your journey of recovery. Our safe and nurturing community and our expert staff help patients gain the courage they need to face difficult personal issues including grief and loss, heal from emotional trauma, and become accountable for their own feelings, behaviors, and recovery. Send us an email or call us at 866-913-5010 for more information.

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Don’t Miss The Meadows Alumni Retreat


By Aleah Johnson, The Meadows Alumni Coordinator

I am thrilled to announce that registration for the 2017 Meadows Alumni Retreat is now OPEN! This is one of my favorite times of the year. This year’s retreat was my first one at The Meadows and I can honestly say that it was one of the most impactful weekends I have had. My aha moments from this year’s retreat involved a lot of surrender, a lot of being open to trying things someone else’s way, and allowing myself to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. The moments, fellowship, laughter, tears, and smiles shared with fellow alumni, as well as The Meadows staff, will be something that I take with me in the years to come.

Here is what some other alumni have to say about it:

I come because it’s like a family reunion with a Meadows re-fuel!” – Amy B.

When I go to the retreat, I immediately feel a sense of belonging, that this is exactly where I am supposed to be at that time. It’s a great validation and acknowledgement of my time and commitment to my own recovery, being of service, and showing up for others. Hearing about others’ journey through recovery is inspiring and an important reminder that I’m not alone!” – Greg F.

We go back to the retreat because it is a great way to start off the year, we feel inspired and energized from the event. It’s also a great way to find out what other programs are being offered by The Meadows.” – Chris B.

There is so much to learn, regardless of your time in recovery or the time you have supported someone in recovery since attending Family Week; we offer something for everyone!

Click here for more information and to register – we’ll see you there!

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The Meadows Intensive Outpatient Program Partners with Blue Cross Blue Shield


Two years ago, we opened the Meadows Outpatient Center in Scottsdale, Arizona with the goal of taking everything we’d learned throughout our 40 years of delivering world-class, quality treatment programs at The Meadows, and applying it to an outpatient setting.

Today, we are thrilled to announce that The Meadows Outpatient Center is now an in-network provider for all Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance carriers. Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the largest managed care companies in the United States. By partnering with them, we can make the cutting-edge services and resources we offer through The Meadows IOP more accessible to more people than ever before.

The Meadows Outpatient Center offers comprehensive outpatient treatment programs for emotional trauma and related mental health issues like drug and alcohol addiction, mood disorders, personality disorders, and co-occurring disorders. There are also programs available that focus specifically on the needs of young adults (ages 18 – 26) with addiction and mental health issues, and men and women who are struggling with sex addiction.

Services at The Meadows Outpatient Center are based on the renowned Meadows Model for treating trauma and addiction. They include 12 hours of group therapy per week, individual counseling, psychiatry consultations, Neurofeedback, Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, art therapy, trauma-sensitive yoga, acupuncture, family therapy, and yearlong aftercare.

“We are extremely proud of the quality and caliber of service offered at the Meadows Outpatient Center,” says Meadows Behavioral Healthcare CEO Sean Walsh. We truly feel that it is unlike any other outpatient program in the country. Our in-network relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield is an exciting step which allows us to be a resource to a greater number of those in need.”

The Meadows Outpatient Center is available to all patients with Blue Cross Blue Shield effective immediately. So please don’t hesitate to call one of our Intake Specialists at 866-356-9801 or chat with us online to learn more. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about our outpatient program and your Blue Cross Blue Shield benefits.

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Do I Really Need an Intensive Outpatient Program after Treatment?

Once you’ve completed an inpatient addiction and mental health treatment program you may be eager to finally go back home and start a brand new life in recovery. Though you got off to a rough start, your treatment has gone remarkably well. You now feel that you’ve finally gotten your unwanted behaviors under control, and have all the tools you need to manage any negative emotions or conflicts that come your way without drinking, using, or slipping back into old unhealthy habits.

As you are drawing near the end of your treatment program, your therapist says to you “I recommend that you spend some time in an intensive outpatient program (IOP) before you go home.”“But… I’m fine now.” You say. “I’ve gone through this program with flying colors! I am like a brand new person now! Why do I need more treatment?”

Should I Go To An IOP?

The first few months—sometimes even the first few years—of recovery is a vulnerable time. It is not uncommon for those new to recovery to relapse soon after completing inpatient treatment. Even people who were very dedicated to getting sober and left inpatient treatment feeling like there was no way they would ever relapse, often end up relapsing.Good inpatient treatment programs are designed to remove any outside obstacles, temptations, or distractions that might get in the way of your recovery. You don’t have access to alcohol or drugs in treatment, like you would in the “real world.” You aren’t surrounded by people, places and things that you associate with your addiction or disorder. You don’t have to deal with the usual day-to-day stresses of life. You don’t have to cook meals, drive through rush hour traffic to get to work, or manage difficult relationships with your partner, children, or roommates at home.

This is not to say that everything is always sunshine and rainbows in rehab—you will have bad days, conflicts will come up, and you’ll be overwhelmed sometimes by your emotions and fears. But, when those things do come up, there are always staff and peers available to support you through them, and to make sure you are in a safe and secure setting.

When you leave inpatient treatment, all of the old temptations, triggers and frustrations are out there waiting for you. If you haven’t had a chance to build a safety net to fall into after you leave treatment, you could find yourself relapsing, very quickly. Without the additional time, support, encouragement, and resources you need to build your safety net, and the chance to find your footing as a newly sober person, it can be much too easy to give up and return to all of your old unhealthy coping mechanisms.

How Does An Intensive Outpatient Program Work?

When you’re in outpatient treatment, you take part in treatment sessions at the outpatient facility, but you do not live there. Intensive Outpatient Programs tend to offer sessions several times a week that may last several hours per day. (Regular Outpatient programs may only have sessions once or twice a week.) Sessions are typically offered in the daytime and evening to accommodate work, school, or family schedules.The length of the program can vary, depending on your needs and your therapist’s or treatment team’s recommendations. Some people participate in an IOP for a few weeks, and some go up to a year. Many programs also provide additional services on top of the group therapy and counseling sessions.

For example, The Meadows Outpatient Center treatment program offers group therapy four days per week, three hours per day, for eight weeks. In addition to group therapy, clients attend individual therapy sessions with our Master’s level and licensed clinicians, and may be treated through of a combination of therapeutic methods, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Somatic Experiencing (SE), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). And, we have a Meadows psychiatrist available on-site for weekly medication management and psychiatric evaluations as needed.

We also offer clients the latest Neurofeedback techniques led by our Master’s level, licensed trauma therapist in our Brain Spa. The Brain Spa also has a dedicated meditation room with recliners, soft lighting, and music. Trauma Sensitive Yoga, art therapy, and family participation are also integrated into our IOP, to round out our holistic approach to healing the mind, body, and spirit.

Enroll in The Meadows IOP

Enrolling in an Intensive Outpatient Program may the key to making sure you stay on the path to recovery. At the Meadows IOP, you’ll find a beautiful and peaceful desert setting, a safe place to go, and the support you need to stay sober. You’ll also find a friendly and very knowledgeable staff, and community of supportive peers who can help lift you up when the going gets tough.If you’re looking for a group of people who can help you through your next stage of recovery, give one of our specialists a call at 800-244-4949. They’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about Intensive Outpatient treatment and our program.


Get in the Recovery Zone


By Aleah Johnson, Alumni Coordinator at The Meadows

It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through summer! This time of year can be a glorious one for some and stressful one for others. Many people have kids who are out of school, family trips and vacations, and longer days with an abundance of activities to take part in.

With the heating up of temperatures and the heating up of schedules, we must make the time to take extra care of our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. This is especially true for people in recovery.

The Recovery Zones

At The Meadows, we encourage working the process of recovery zones. You may find yourself sliding in out of each of these zones throughout your recovery, and that’s okay! Anytime you feel that you are getting off track, take the time to assess and re-enter any of the zones.

Recovery Zone

Stay in the Zone!

Recovery has its challenges, but so does everyday life – life is in session and we all know that some days get ahead of us. Sometimes, “trust the process” is easier said than done. However, we must not let that skew our recovery. Don’t let one day throw you off track. It is important for us to stick to this path and stick to the journey.

Do what you can do to live a long and healthy life; this will help not only you, but also others in recovery. We have all spent too many past years being active in our lives but not actually living it with purpose; you are worthy of a life you love.

The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Adult Sexuality


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

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