I got back from a professional’s weekend in Nashville, TN at the Ranch Treatment Center. The Ranch is under the Elements company umbrella, and the place is incredible. I was invited go to by a good friend of mine named Brianna Severine who works for Elements. It definitely wasn’t the easiest weekend for her; she had a few things go wrong, but I wanted to thank her for including me on the trip and to wish her a Happy Birthday. I wish that I had taken more pictures, but I am not very good at that, so I only got a few of the horses and the donkey. There were about 20 of us there that included therapists, doctors, and interventionists. I traveled with 4 therapists and another interventionist from Denver. It was great to be surrounded by others that are sober and in recovery and trying to help others.
We were there from Thursday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, so it was a long weekend, but I got the opportunity to learn a few things that I wasn’t very familiar with beforehand and learned how and what The Ranch is able to help people with. They can pretty do anything except for a men’s eating disorders. They have a detox center, men and women’s substance abuse houses, men and women dual diagnosis houses, male and female houses for love and sex addiction, and a house for women struggling with eating disorders. But obviously some people are going to be struggling with a number of issues, so they may move from house to house depending on their stage in treatment.
All of the houses are far apart and operate like their own little community within a larger community. With that said they have a very large campus on many acres outside of Nashville in Nunnery, TN. The staff their was very gracious with their time, especially Cheryl and Hans for making sure the weekend went smoothly.
It rained the entire weekend that we were there so we didn’t get to experience everything that was on the agenda for us to do. The sweat lodge on Friday night and the outdoor ropes course on Saturday were canceled because of the rain, so that was a a bummer, but we did still get to experience equine therapy in their indoor barn. (Pictures below). It was my second time doing equine therapy, but I felt like I got a lot more out of it this time. At one point two of the horses were so comfortable with us (or maybe bored) that they decided to lay down and take a nap. We also got to meet Albert who is the donkey and unofficial mascot of The Ranch.
I was about to write more detail about exactly what we did, but then I thought if anyone else read this and then went to the Ranch it would ruin part of the experience and surprise so I will just keep that to myself.
Overall, it was great to see so many other people from across the country that are doing their best to helping people struggling with substance abuse, mental health, trauma, sex addiction, eating disorders, and so many other things; it was inspiring to be a part of it. As someone that is in recovery from substances and mental health, I know how much people that are in a similar situation need people like this and how the number of people that need help only seems to be rising. Sometimes it can be disheartening and frustrating, but if people gave up on me I probably wouldn’t be here. I NEEDED other’s help, and I still do, everyone does.
I learned how to play Pokeman Go from a fellow therapist, I was taught about “mansplaining”, met an angel, explained turkey hunting to a few people, reminded myself why I live in Colorado from the humidity, and a few other things, and then I got to come home to Shelby who I had missed terribly.
Have a great week everyone!