Your First Day at The Meadows Outpatient Center

By Joe Whitwell, MAC, LAC, CCTP

“HELLLOOO!!! Welcome to The Meadows Intensive Outpatient Program!” shouts Director Jim Corrington as he jumps from behind his desk to greet me.

Jim is a large man, well over six feet tall and follically-challenged — yep, he’s bald. Like a proud father Jim’s grin is a mile wide as he introduces himself and then gives a bit of the history of the IOP in Scottsdale.

Spaces Designed for Healing

The second person (ish) I am introduced to is “Huggy” the bear. Huggy is a large overstuffed bear that usually sits in the middle of the entrance when not traveling to each of The Meadows’ campuses. Huggy is always ready for a large embrace if your arms manage to fit all the way around.

As Jim continues my tour he explains — and it is easy for me to see — that the foyer is designed to greet me in much the same way patients greet Huggy. It is a large round space with a sitting area in the center, giving it the feel of an “embrace” for those entering the building. It makes each patient and guest feel welcome and lets them know that they are entering a place of safety and comfort.

An Outstanding Outpatient Staff

As we make our way around the building, I meet each staff member one by one. I am surprised to hear there are more than 60 years of combined recovery experience among them. Jim proudly introduces each person and explains their specialty and how they were hand-picked for their skills. There are trauma therapists, a sex addiction therapist, an addiction specialist, and an art therapist who also happened to own her own art gallery!

There is a psychiatrist here every week and a therapist specially trained in treating young adults. There is also a full-time nutritionist who helps patients plan meals and sits and eats with them daily to talk with them about nutrition in everyday life. I am told that she is available to all of the patients to sit with for chats about food or anything else I am interested in learning.

Transformative Group Sessions and Neurological Therapies

I am taken through a set of tall glass doors and enter into an area that is very quiet and very calm with soft music playing overhead. Jims explains in his softer “indoor” voice that there are groups, individual sessions, art therapy, and yoga all happening behind the closed group room doors.

Jim then leads me down a hallway pointing toward one-on-one session rooms. Each room has The Meadows Model and beautiful artwork on the walls. Each room also has an EMDR light bar and very comfortable looking chairs.

Our next stop is the Brain Spa. It’s at the end of the hallway. Inside there are patients lying down listening to what I think is music but actually turns out to be a state-of-the-art recording with frequencies of sound designed to change their brain waves. I don’t quite understand how it works, but I know that I would love to lie down in one of those cushy chairs and listen.

I meet the Brain Spa technician and she tries to explain another of the neurofeedback therapies to me. She shows me a laptop with electrodes that connect to your head with sticky stuff. The program on the laptop plays music and flashes lights. The technician says it does something to my brain waves — I still don’t really get it, but she very nice, and really seems to know her stuff, so I decide I’ll give it a try as part of my treatment.

We end the tour by taking a look at the group rooms with their new furniture, big screens mounted on the walls, and computers and DVD players. In the back of the building is a large room where I learn that lectures and yoga take place, and where on the weekends they show recovery movies and eat pizza.

There is also a small kitchen with tables that I can use if I need to.

This place is amazing. It is new, and clean, and everyone is so nice! I cannot wait to sign up, get down to business and start my healing.

“Thanks, Jim! Thanks, everybody!” I yell as I head out the door. It’s hard leaving Huggy behind (ha), but I know I will be back. This place ROCKS.

For More Information

The year-round beautiful weather of Scottsdale, Arizona makes The Meadows Outpatient Center the ideal place to begin or continue your journey of recovery. In a safe and nurturing environment, our patients are guided along their journey through an examination of the underlying causes of addiction and co-occurring disorders. We help people find the courage to face difficult issues, heal from emotional trauma and become accountable for their own feelings, behaviors, and recovery. Read more about our programs on our website, or give us a call at 800–244–4949.

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