Staff Stories Archives - The Ranch

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When Becca Davis was a young girl, she knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up: a singer, hairstylist and counselor, all rolled into one. Decades later, life propelled her into the counseling field and she found a position that allows her to do what she loves.

By Meghan Vivo Recovery is full of enemies: drugs and alcohol, peer pressure, stress, and so on. But sometimes the biggest obstacle isn’t an outside force at all, but rather one that comes from within: our minds.

Growing up in Ohio, Lauren Herman had plans to become an elementary school teacher. She moved to Nashville to earn her master’s degree from Vanderbilt, but quickly discovered that her real passion was understanding the psychology behind the children and families she was working with.

Years ago, Dr. Michael Baron made a surprising discovery: Prescription painkillers often make chronic pain worse, not better. When he published his original research in 2006, this finding defied all logic. “When I told my patients they’d have less pain if they stopped using pain meds, they told me I was crazy,” Dr. Baron recalls. […]

Sue Levitan is one of the first faces clients see when they begin detox and stabilization at The Ranch. She conducts psychosocial interviews and assessments to figure out who each client is, what their needs are and how she can help.

Like all great tales, Leslie Binch’s story begins with love and good food. A native New Yorker, Leslie moved to Tennessee for a man – a man she eventually married and joined forces with in pursuit of his lifelong dream: to own a restaurant. Together, the couple opened Papa Boudreaux’s Cajun Café and Catering Company […]

Al-Anon changes lives. No one knows this better than Linda Hardy. She spent 20 life-altering years attending support groups and working through issues with codependency after watching family members struggle with addictions. She always had a passion for addiction and recovery, but it wasn’t until she was in her 40s – after leaving a career […]

Both sex addiction and love addiction are understood to be disorders of emotional intimacy characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive acting out behaviors. The difference between these addictions lies specifically in the types of acting out behaviors which may be present. A sex addict may have a problem with pornography or repeated anonymous sexual experiences, […]

Dawn Zurlinden found her voice – and her calling – teaching voice lessons. When she realized that singing was an emotionally therapeutic process, Dawn felt inspired to become a therapist. She earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Tennessee and, for the past 15 years, has specialized in experiential therapy, trauma, […]

First thing in the morning, as the sun rises, Justin Roll meditates on his front porch. With his focus sharp and his mind calm, he heads to The Ranch, where he serves as a primary therapist in the Center for Relationship and Sexual Recovery, the men’s sex addiction program.