Mindfulness in Recovery at The Ranch


Prayer and meditation have long been the underpinning of many fine addiction and mental health treatment programs. Due to the research that shows the efficacy of mindfulness in relieving a wide range of suffering, The Ranch has taken this a step further.

We have developed a program dedicated to training all clients in basic mindfulness skills. Beyond that, we have further training and opportunities for those clients interested in formal mindfulness practice as a primary support to their recovery.

Mindfulness: A Practical Recovery Tool

Contemplative therapy at The Ranch utilizes the psycho-spiritual wisdom of East and West to establish a skillful and compassionate recovery environment. Clients interested in Christianity, Buddhism, Native American rituals or no religion at all have found in mindfulness a practical tool in their spirituality.

Many of our clients who come to address a pattern of chronic relapse find that mindfulness instruction is a key component that was missing in their previous attempts to practice addiction recovery. Work with our contemplative therapist also offers powerful benefits to those who previously sought relief in meditation, but have not had recovery-savvy support to address their particular forms of suffering.

Accelerating the Healing Process

Through regular mindfulness practice in a group setting, along with individual mindfulness instruction and/or contemplative therapy by request, clients at The Ranch are able to benefit even further from the wide variety of modalities available here. This accelerates their recovery from trauma and mental/emotional disorders, addictions, compulsions, and other experiences/behaviors that create suffering in their lives.

Clients at The Ranch who choose this option also meet weekly for a mindful recovery meeting. The “B-12 Step Book Study” meets each Monday and opens with guided meditation practice, followed by study and discussion of pertinent recovery-related literature.

Clients in their second month of treatment and beyond have the additional option of attending a Mindful Recovery Retreat led by our contemplative therapist. These gender-responsive half-day retreats give clients the opportunity to practice with the support of Ranch alumni and other mindfulness practitioners in the local recovery community. Extended clients, alumni and friends of The Ranch also occasionally participate in a full-day retreat together.

Ongoing Fellowship

After treatment, the sangha – or fellowship of practitioners – goes on. Those staying nearby after treatment can participate in the Nashville Area Buddhist Recovery Sangha each Sunday night, in addition to coming back for retreats. Aftercare for mindfulness can also include local Refuge Recovery meetings, Women’s Meditation Recovery, and “11th Step meetings” usually offered by a variety of 12-Step programs. Insight Nashville is a weekly meditation group led by Episcopal priest and Dharma teacher Gordon Peerman. There are also a number of contemplative Christian retreats offered nearby throughout the year at St. Andrews-at-Sewanee.

For the many clients returning home or moving to other locations after treatment, our contemplative therapist will utilize contacts in mindful recovery circles to enrich their aftercare plans with practice groups and other supports by request.

Meet The Ranch’s Contemplative Therapist

Our contemplative therapist Christine Bates, MA, is the author of Accepting Your Resurrection: Reclaiming the Word that Restores Eternal Life. She is the guiding instructor of the Nashville Area Buddhist Recovery Sangha (NABRS) meeting and was among the first peer leaders of Nashville’s first Buddhist Recovery groups. She has benefitted from a number of residential retreats, as well as from study and practice with Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, OneDharma-Nashville, contemplative Christian retreats, and additional mindfulness training for professionals with instructors such as Chris McKenna (now of Mindful Schools), Dr. Karen Kissel Wegela, and Dr. Ron Siegel.

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