The Meadows Model

An innovative, proven approach that bears our name

The Meadows Model is at the core of all Meadows Behavioral Healthcare treatment programs, including The Meadows Outpatient Center locations. This groundbreaking approach is based on the pioneering work of Meadows Senior Fellow Pia Mellody.

A Proprietary Treatment Model Leads to a Legacy of Healing

The Meadows Model was creating by Pia Mellody, one of the preeminent authorities in the fields of addiction and relationships, and her Developmental Model of Immaturity. At The Meadows Outpatient Center—and all Meadows treatment programs—we use these innovative therapeutic techniques to identify and treat the underlying trauma of addictive and dysfunctional processes.

The Model of the Developmental Immaturity was developed by Mellody in the 1970s while working at our flagship program, The Meadows. She found that she was encountering an increasing number of patients who identified less-than-nurturing, abusive family systems in their childhood, which led to adulthood behaviors of codependency. The codependency patterns translated into addictions, mood disorders and physical illness. Mellody’s continued work with patients led to the conclusion that people with codependence wind up in despair and actually die from the effects of codependence. Thus, the Meadows Model was born, and the Model of Developmental Immaturity is still incorporated into every facet of each Meadows Behavioral Healthcare treatment program today, from week-long workshops to inpatient treatment and intensive outpatient options.

Hear From Our President

“It’s been an important process for us to develop world-class outpatient treatment, but at the same time trying to make it accessible to everyone. Our job is to minimize the hurdles.”

-Sean Walsh, President and CEO

A Model for Recovery

Our treatment staff utilizes The Meadows Model, which entails:

  • Developmental History – A patient’s developmental history is used to track emotional development.
  • Emotional State – The therapist assesses whether a patient’s emotional state is less than optimal.
  • Patient Actions – The therapist identifies patient actions that create unmanageability and relational problems.
  • Younger Ego – Patients learn to identify when they are “activated” or “triggered” into younger ego states.
  • Residual Energy – Patients learn that in the present they experience “residual energy” from the past.
  • Born Valuable – Patients learn that everyone is born valuable, vulnerable, imperfect, dependent, spontaneous, and open.
  • Gain Tools – Patients gain tools to track progress and develop the vocabulary to describe emotions.
  • Increased Resiliency – Increased resiliency allows for availability in relationships; living in the here and now; exploring options; understanding choices; and creating stability.