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Posted in Recovery, Recovery at The Ranch

How One Woman Beat Heroin Addiction

By Sara Schapmann

Opioid abuse claims thousands of lives every year, but some people do manage to escape its crushing grip. Emily M.’s story is one of hope in the seemingly hopeless world of heroin addiction. With an excruciating amount of hard work, the help of specialized heroin abuse treatment, and a loving family that didn’t enable, Emily beat the odds.

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ancient Mexican statues

Posted in Recovery, Recovery at The Ranch

How Toltec Practices Help in Addiction Recovery

Getting sober can be a difficult journey, and one of the most valuable tools you can make use of along the way is an open mind. Learning about Toltec wisdom might sound a little esoteric when all you want to do is get clean, but these practices can be a key aspect of a fulfilling, sober lifestyle.

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Posted in Recovery at The Ranch

There Are Many Paths to Successful Recovery: An Interview With Julie Bakley

Many people in the addiction treatment and recovery community feel that we have to give up the single pathway recovery model and adopt a multiple pathway model that is conducive to the needs of each individual, while also taking into account multiple patterns of addiction. This means using a variety of treatment approaches, recovery philosophies and support services, and sometimes combining or sequencing them as they apply to the unique needs of each person who quits drugs or alcohol and begins the journey to recovery.

Julie Bakley, MSW, LCSW is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch in Pennsylvania, who has been working as a counselor in mental health and addiction treatment for more than 15 years. Julie believes there are many paths to recovery and introduces clients to a variety of traditional, holistic and spiritual approaches so they can achieve lasting sobriety and find their unique purpose in life. Julie recently discussed her views and experiences in the recovery field, as well as some of the tools she uses to help clients.

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male and female sitting doing yoga pose

Posted in Articles, Depression, Mental Health, Recovery at The Ranch, Tennessee

6 Ways Yoga Helps With Depression and Addiction

By Valerie Martin, LCSW, RYT, Trauma Therapist and Yoga Instructor at The Ranch

With the explosion of yoga in the west over the past two decades, it’s clear that this ancient tradition is shedding its old reputation as an esoteric practice exclusively for the spiritually devout. It’s also not just for those who consider themselves flexible or interested in eastern spirituality.

Research shows that yoga asana practices (the physical aspect of the tradition that most of us think of as just “yoga”) increase flexibility and muscular strength, improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, support addiction recovery, reduce stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.

At The Ranch, yoga is used as a tool to help in the recovery process. While a yoga practice is not appropriate for people in early stages of drug detox or withdrawal, once they are more medically stable, yoga can support them in regaining a sense of groundedness, strength and vitality, both physically and mentally.

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A girl wearing a blue shirt and a yellow helmet, zip lining down a forest.

Posted in Recovery at The Ranch, Tennessee, Therapy

3 Adventure Therapies for Addiction That Promote Spiritual Growth

By Megan Repass, MS, LADAC-II, CCM, EAGALA-C, Director of Adventure and Equine Therapy at The Ranch

Ana was in treatment for drug addiction and working on her tendency toward morbid rumination. Obsessive thought overwhelmed her, making it almost impossible for her to get out of her own head. But as someone who’d spent much of her life in the city, Ana didn’t find outdoor activities appealing. She hated bugs and she didn’t even feel comfortable with the smell of fresh air because it was so unfamiliar.

And then Ana walked the labyrinth.

She stepped mindfully and slowly, allowing herself to feel the earth with each step. Navigating the many unexpected turns forced Ana to focus on the task at hand, interrupting the thought patterns that had held her mind hostage. When Ana found her way to the center of the labyrinth, she imagined her pain being released into the earth. She then turned around and walked out the same way she came in, embracing a renewed attitude about the outdoors and a powerful sense of hope.

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Posted in Recovery at The Ranch

Finding Self-Confidence After Sex Addiction

Jacob likes to say that his father was the only person in his family allowed to express emotion, although the only emotion he expressed was anger. If the paperboy missed the driveway, his father raged. If the pasta was overcooked, rage. If Jacob stuttered while trying to answer his father’s demanding questions, more rage. Rage could mean screaming or fists, or both. When Jacob looks back at that time, the only pleasurable thing he remembers are his night escapes. Around the same time, the boys in Jacob’s neighborhood had made a game of collecting their fathers’ and brothers’ pornography and displaying it in a group show-and-tell. The boys would ooo and aah over images of nude women, but Jacob remembers noticing that he felt different from the other boys. He didn’t seem to get the same sense of satisfaction out of the scandalous images; his night escapes were his only real thrill.

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Posted in Recovery at The Ranch

Dogs as Addiction Treatment

No, a dog can’t cure your addiction. But a dog can be a constant and loyal companion, a powerful tool for controlling stress and anxiety, and an animal that needs your care and love. These attributes make dogs important instruments for mental and emotional wellness. As an addict, a dog won’t cure you or be your sole treatment. Growing evidence does show, however, that caring for and having the companionship of a dog can help you in your recovery.

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Posted in Recovery at The Ranch

Using 12 Step to Overcome Love Addiction

Love addiction can consume a person’s life and create ongoing emotional chaos. But like other addictions it can be overcome through careful therapy and treatment.

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Posted in Recovery at The Ranch

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.

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Posted in Recovery at The Ranch

How Equine Therapy Helps in the Treatment of Alcoholism

Encouraging patients to interact with animals isn’t a new concept in medicine. You likely have heard news stories of therapy dogs visiting pediatric hospitals or a cat that lives among nursing home residents. Now, addiction treatment specialists are using horses to help alcoholics find sobriety. If you or a loved one needs treatment for alcohol abuse or alcoholism, keep reading to learn more about how equine-assisted therapy can be particularly beneficial.

Equine-assisted therapy involves more than simply allowing the person to be near an animal or pet it. In this type of treatment, a trained therapist uses a horse as a tool to help someone connect with his or her emotions as well as build essential core skills. Horses have been used to assist people of all ages recover from a range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and autism spectrum disorders. A number of addiction recovery centers have started using equine therapy to help recovering addicts. 

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