Therapies - The Ranch

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All Therapies


Mindfulness is a central part of our approach to treatment. Mindfulness practices help clients learn to stay in the present moment and cope with stress. They also help clients manage difficult feelings that arise without resorting to drug or alcohol use or other coping mechanisms. Depending which Ranch facility you choose, mindfulness approaches might include relaxation therapy, meditation, guided meditation walks, individual and group mindfulness instruction, Native American and contemplative tools, and connections to nature. Many clients continue these practices when they leave treatment, as mindfulness can be a valuable relapse prevention tool.

Alternative Approaches

Alternative approaches such as yoga and meditation are a complement to traditional, evidence-based treatment modalities. Examples of alternative therapies include acupuncture and massage therapy. These approaches are used as tools to help in the recovery process. They integrate physical, mental and spiritual aspects into the treatment of mental health disorders and substance abuse. For example, […]


Depression severely limits quality of life and can make people feel trapped in a never-ending sadness. Major depressive disorders that do not respond to traditional treatments like antidepressants and talk therapy can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

In recent years, scientists have learned more about the causes of depression and have discovered more effective, faster-acting methods for treating severe, treatment-resistant depression. One of these innovative treatments is ketamine. While ketamine treatment is not appropriate for those with a recent history of substance abuse or in the early stages of recovery, it can be life-changing for people who primarily struggle with major depression.

Mindful Parenting

In this group, clients learn about “re-parenting” themselves and discover tools for “waking up” in their families, safely experiencing any feelings of regret and developing compassion for themselves. Clients also learn mindful, authentic ways to reconnect with their families and recognize what they want to pass on to their children. Both parents and non-parents are encouraged to attend.


Hypnotherapy can supplement psychotherapy as a way to help clients uncover and work through painful memories or experiences and reduce stress and anxiety.

Expressive Therapies

We draw upon a number of creative approaches so clients can explore issues and emotions in alternative ways. Depending on the facility, clients may use art therapy to create projects like guide boxes, stress balls or collages. Some treatment facilitites incorporate music therapy approaches or have clients make a genogram of their family. These creative approaches encourage clients to express themselves in a different way than they would in talk therapy and open them to new insights through the creative process.

Fitness and Wellness

We believe wellness in the mind and spirit are very much related to wellness in the body. During residential drug rehab, fitness and healthy lifestyle education is integrated into treatment. Clients can participate in a number of fitness activities that promote self-care and physical and emotional healing. Depending on the facility, this may include visits to our onsite gym, fitness classes, ropes course activities, hikes in the woods and sports like tennis or basketball. Our goal is to make fitness fun, low pressure, inspirational and engaging.


Led by a specially trained therapist, psychodrama helps clients explore past and future experiences through role playing with a therapist and/or other clients who represent people or events in their lives. This experiential therapy provides clients an alternative way to process past experiences within a safe, accepting space and practice healthier ways to interact in future situations.


When someone experiences trauma, it can get trapped in the psyche. This trapped trauma can cause continued distress and disruption to a person’s life long after the trauma occurs.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, commonly referred to as EMDR, is an information-processing technique used to diminish the distress caused by exposure to traumatic events. EMDR focuses on retrieving, processing and resolving any past experiences that contribute in a negative way to a client’s current experience, including intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, anxiety, panic attacks, overwhelming emotion and physiological symptoms of fear.

This trauma therapy has been accepted by multiple therapeutic organizations including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the Veteran’s Administration as an effective and highly recommended treatment for individuals struggling with trauma.


Trauma can become trapped in the body and affect people on a subconscious level. Without addressing subconscious trauma responses, clients may struggle to make progress.

Trauma therapies like Brainspotting offer clients the chance to bring up, address and heal their unconscious trauma responses so they stop interfering with their day-to-day experience. By accessing different parts of the brain through eye movements, practitioners are able to help clients identify their unprocessed trauma, work through each experience and ultimately release them.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

For those who struggle with major depression that doesn’t respond to traditional treatment, or for those who are intolerant to or prefer not to take medication, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is an alternative treatment that can help relieve symptoms of major depressive disorder.


Neurofeedback, or neurotherapy, is an EEG biofeedback system that helps participants learn to self-regulate their central nervous system and brain functioning. It has proven effective in treating individuals suffering from a number of issues including depression, anxiety, ADHD and PTSD. In neurofeedback, electrodes are attached to a person’s scalp and the brain’s frequencies are monitored and analyzed. A video game based on the desired change in brain functioning is generated. While hooked up to the biofeedback system, clients play the video game and are rewarded when the brain produces the desired frequencies (by doing well in the game). After a number of sessions, clients can learn to change their own state of mind; for example, generating fewer low arousal brain frequencies (depression) or high arousal brain frequencies (anxiety).

*At The Ranch in Tennessee, neurofeedback is offered with a provider in Nashville, when clinically indicated.

Somatic Experiencing®

A trained therapist guides clients through exercises that require them to be present with their body and to talk about different sensations they are experiencing as they begin to release stored emotions. Somatic Experiencing® can help clients gain confidence and the ability to face traumatic experiences with resilience.

12-Step Trail

The 12-Step Trail gives clients the opportunity to experience the 12 steps in a completely new and interactive way. This trail offers a physical representation of the recovery journey, and clients can walk through the entire recovery process with opportunities for reflection along the way. On the trail, clients encounter a separate trailhead for each step, where previous clients and visitors have hung wind chimes, talismans and other representations of their own recovery journeys to offer support. Clients can sit and reflect on each step, create their own personal altars and representations of their recovery and use the trail as a symbolic way to let go of their past. Each trailhead comes complete with a fire pit, areas for convening with clinicians and other clients, and meditation areas. The power of these sacred spots is palpable, and past clients have celebrated the deep healing that occurs on the trail as crucial in their recovery process.

Adventure Therapy

Adventure-based therapy uses a variety of carefully designed group initiatives and activities to cultivate trust and communication while developing team-building, problem-solving and decision-making skills. The Ranch’s adventure therapy programs work to identify trust issues, improve interpersonal communications skills, cultivate and promote leadership skills and promote personal responsibility.

Equine-Assisted Therapy

Equine-assisted therapy is effective for a wide range of mental health disorders including addiction, depression, anxiety and trauma. The Ranch (Tennessee)’s unique equine-assisted therapy program uses interaction with horses to offer clients a new way to connect with themselves, process their emotions and explore behaviors and relationship patterns that have become problematic in their day-to-day lives.

Horses are majestic, gentle creatures and their sheer size and strength can stir deeply buried emotions in clients. Clients are able to bond with the animals and learn valuable lessons about respect, empathy and communication that will help them in their recovery journey.

Ropes Course

Our ropes course is an adventure-based therapy that builds trust, self-efficacy, and problem-solving skills using high ropes. Clients are able to address fears and view ropes course exercises as metaphors for challenging situations in their lives.

Four Agreements

Based on the bestselling book by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements is rooted in traditional Toltec wisdom. It helps guide clients to a life of fullness and integrity, and helps them understand how they create their own story. Clients learn about the human condition and dig deeper into the four agreements, which in their simplest form are: Be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions and always do your best.

Medicine Wheel

The concept of the medicine wheel or healing circle is one that spans human history and multiple cultures from all over the world. A Native American healing tradition, the medicine wheel is a path to spirituality and a symbolic representation of the cycles of life and the mysteries of the universe. It is a means to balance, knowledge, connection and empowerment. The medicine wheel is a place to meditate, pray, reflect, contemplate, gain insight and strengthen one’s connection with the totality of all life.

The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth has been used since ancient times as a symbol for meditation, prayer, introspection and connection to God or a higher power. The Labyrinth pilgrimage can be used as a means for processing a number of life experiences and emotions, including offering gratitude, mourning a loss, asking for forgiveness for self or others, seeking strength, expressing love for a higher power and quieting the mind.

Walking the Labyrinth consists of three steps: Entering, Centering and Exiting. In the Entering phase, clients let go of thoughts and feelings and enter the Labyrinth with a quiet mind and heart. In the Centering phase, clients open themselves up to an illuminating experience and engage in meditation and prayer. In Exiting, clients take the insights gained in the Labyrinth and integrate it into their daily experience, feeling more empowered and inspired to live their deepest truth in everyday life.

Sweat Lodge

Throughout human history, sweat lodge ceremonies have been used as a way to detoxify the body, purify the soul and connect with a higher power. Many of our clients tell us the sweat lodge experience is one of the most powerful and life-changing components of treatment.

Toltec Recovery Wisdom

The earliest Toltecs, or “artists of the spirit,” lived in the Americas about 4,000 years ago. A civilization eventually grew up around their teachings, which flourished until about a thousand years ago.

The Toltec teachings have been passed down from generation to generation. Their wisdom is focused not around race, culture or religion, but instead around one universal doctrine: love. The Toltecs believed that all sicknesses of the human mind and spirit could be solved through love, and their civilization was based around supporting others by embodying love in every thought, decision and action.

These teachings are not a religion; they are a sophisticated and ancient understanding of human psychology. People from all faiths have found ways to integrate Toltec teachings into their own spiritual practice.

Faith-Based Programming

At The Ranch, we welcome clients from all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. Whether a client has a strong devotion to a particular religion or spiritual practice, is looking to explore their spirituality, or has negative feelings around spirituality or religion, we meet them where they are and offer spiritual support in a sensitive, personalized way.

We offer spiritual ceremonies, services and practices for many different faiths. We also work with clients to help them find spiritual services and communities that suit their beliefs so they can continue to work on their spirituality both in and after treatment.

Big Book/12-Step Study

We are 12-step based and strongly believe in the support, sense of community and purpose this approach provides people in recovery. We offer regular studies from the Big Book and 12-step support groups. Some mornings begin with counselor-facilitated 12-step work or Big Book work. Many of our staff are in recovery and serve as a living example of the 12 steps. This approach is integrated into everything we do at The Ranch drug rehabs.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is an evidence-based approach used in both individual and group counseling to help clients address problematic beliefs, thought patterns and attitudes. CBT helps clients explore the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors and gain control over their emotions, and, in turn, their actions. Clients learn to identify unhealthy thought patterns and see how these patterns affect behaviors and vice versa. CBT has been shown to help people effectively manage trauma, addictions and mental health issues.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that helps clients identify and change destructive thoughts and behaviors with an emphasis on mindfulness, regulating emotions, improving interpersonal skills and managing distress. DBT has been shown to be particularly effective for people with personality disorders or chronic suicidal thoughts.

Individual Therapy

Unlike many drug rehab centers that only provide process groups, our clients meet regularly with an individual therapist. During these sessions, our master’s level clinicians help clients address underlying behavioral and emotional issues and encourage them to develop safe, therapeutic relationships. A close, supportive relationship in therapy can help clients build trust and tap into their internal motivation to recover. Over the course of individual treatment, clients will discuss issues they’re not yet ready to bring to group, review therapeutic assignments and create action-based plans to fully engage in the treatment process.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a therapeutic technique that empowers clients to take responsibility for their recovery and discover their own motivation to change. It is based on the belief that real change comes from within, not from a counselor or therapist dictating solutions to problems. We guide clients through the therapeutic process, allowing them the space and encouragement to recognize their own barriers to recovery and discover their own solutions and motivation. Open-ended questions, an affirming attitude and active listening are core components of motivational interviewing.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy helps clients develop insight into unresolved conflicts and subconscious processes that are affecting their behavior. We incorporate psychodynamic therapy into other types of psychotherapy in order to better explore early events and formative relationships contributing to underlying problems.


We empower our clients to be fully invested in the treatment and management of their substance use and/or mental health disorders. Clients participate in weekly groups to address topics relevant to their recovery. These may include education on the disease of addiction, medications used, different medical and mental health conditions, and components of a healthy lifestyle.

Relapse Prevention Counseling

We help clients take a look at circumstances that have contributed to their alcohol and drug abuse and other destructive behaviors. Clients will identify triggers that put them at risk for relapse, and we’ll help develop a toolbox of healthy coping skills to draw upon when clients feel tempted to turn to alcohol, drugs, food or sex.

Psychiatric Services and Medication Management

Clients receive thorough assessments when they come to The Ranch treatment centers. Our board-certified psychiatrists continually evaluate each client’s progress and any medication(s) they may be taking to ensure it is effectively supporting recovery. Evidence-based anti-craving medications may be prescribed to help prevent relapse and increase the likelihood of a safe, successful post-treatment journey.

Support Groups

Group counseling provides powerful opportunities for connection, support and accountability. Our groups provide a safe space to process difficult experiences and feelings. Clients participate in a wide variety of process-oriented, educational and experiential therapy groups with others sharing similar struggles. They learn personal and social responsibility as well as communication and relationship skills.

Self-Help Support Groups

We embrace a 12-step, abstinence-based approach to recovery. Clients are encouraged to participate in self-help groups that they can continue to attend after treatment as a means of support in recovery. These may include 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Emotions Anonymous.

At our treatment center in Pennsylvania, we also offer 12-step alternatives like Refuge Recovery, a nontheistic, Buddhist approach to recovery. Refuge Recovery offers a systematic practice and process to help people move beyond the suffering caused by the cravings that characterize addictions. Core components of this approach include compassion and meditation.

Life Skills Coaching

We prepare clients for success in recovery by engaging them in everyday activities they’ll encounter after leaving treatment. Depending on the program they attend, clients will practice skills like budgeting, grocery shopping and cooking. They’ll also live in a house with others, share chores and practice resolving interpersonal issues that arise in everyday life.

Social Model Approach

At The Ranch treatment centers in Tennessee and Pennsylvania, clients live in upscale cottages with small groups of peers. These serve as treatment communities unto themselves, promoting personal growth and group support. This setting helps clients practice effectively navigating interpersonal situations that may be similar to situations that arise with their family members, friends and colleagues.

Family Program

Addiction is a family disease. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends that families are involved in treatment because studies suggest that addiction treatment is more effective when it includes family therapy. Research shows that family support plays an important role in the success of people recovering from addiction and mental health issues, and family participation may increase the chances that a person stays in treatment, improves social and family relationships and helps prevent relapse.

Family members must also heal from the emotional aftermath of drug and alcohol abuse. To help our clients and their loved ones begin to rebuild their lives and relationships, we offer regular family therapy as well as family programs. Our family programs vary by location and range from a weekend to week-long experience. Family members learn how to best support their loved one in recovery while taking care of themselves. Loved ones learn how to recognize signs of relapse, set healthy boundaries and expectations and communicate honestly and effectively. Activities and topics are carefully planned to help families learn more about addiction and mental illness, and connect them with others sharing similar struggles. The experience provides the opportunity for open communication among family members with the guidance of professionals, so that everyone can begin to heal.

Family Therapy

Addiction is a family disease, so it’s important that the entire family heals. We help clients and their loved ones begin to rebuild trust and develop healthy communication skills. Clients work with a therapist to explore family issues, roles and relationships and set boundaries with loved ones. As clinically appropriate, clients will have regular family counseling sessions via phone or in person.

Relationship and Intimacy Groups

We have gender-separate groups that provide a safe, accepting space to address relationship and intimacy issues. Clients explore underlying trauma, histories with abusive or unhealthy relationships, and sexual compulsivity, and learn about healthy boundaries, healthy relationships and self-respect.