The Meadows Trauma Program—No to DID


From the Meadows website:

“For over 35 years, The Meadows trauma treatment program has been helping trauma victims heal and learn the skills necessary to cope with the devastating, and often hidden, effects of trauma. The trauma treatment program at The Meadows was specifically designed for trauma survivors by Pia Mellody and a team of world renowned experts including Dr. Peter Levine, John Bradshaw, Dr. Shelley Uram, Dr. Jerry Boriskin, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and Dr. Claudia Black.”

The world-renowned Meadow’s trauma recovery program is only meant for people with certain levels of trauma. 

You can’t have too little, or you better be extremely wealthy ($60k) because your insurance program is not going to pay for it. You can’t have too much because then they feel you are too high of a risk for suicide or some other lawsuit.

I put up a good fight arguing that my DID diagnosis should not exclude me from the option of getting treatment at the Meadows. Unfortunately, it appears the Meadows is basing their decision off the Hollywood version of DID instead of examining whether a person might be appropriate for their program regardless of a DID diagnosis.

I find it very fascinating that these treatment centers are more comfortable with people who are actively suicidal than they are a stable person with DID who is not suicidal. My therapist likes to say that these places just don’t understand the diagnosis, and I am beginning to agree that they are getting their information from Hollywood instead of real life.

I am the first to say that not everyone with DID is in a place to do residential treatment, but there are also lots of people with DID who are in a place to do it and be safe. I consider myself the latter, so this has been a personal frustration for me.

I guess what really hurts me with the Meadows (I have been rejected by many other treatment centers based on my diagnosis) is that some very important people in the trauma field stick their name on the Meadows as consultants for their trauma program.

I just don’t see how these people in good conscience can sleep at night by turning away those of us who have been the most harmed by child abuse, meaning those of us with DID.

It is absurd how afraid people in the trauma mental health field are of those of us with DID.

I have made it my mission to try to educate and change the current lack of resources available to those of us with DID.

The clinical director at the Meadows agreed with me that there are not intensive treatment programs for those of us with DID, but only a handful of hospitals that are in place for stabilization.

I don’t need need stabilization. I need treatment. I deserve treatment. This is not my fault, and it is not ok that the founding members of the trauma movement are not working to provide more services for those of us with DID.

As much as Sheppard Pratt and University Behavioral Health are doing to take people in when they are unstable, those programs are not going to help anyone heal.

Those of us with DID deserve treatment programs where the very best and latest treatment modalities are available to support our recovery.

Recovery is possible, but not for most people who don’t have access to the latest treatments offered at these trauma treatment programs.

For the past year I have been having the hard conversations with those who reject us because of a stupid diagnosis. I do not accept that we don’t deserve help because our trauma was so severe that we developed DID.

In my opinion, don’t you dare call yourself a trauma therapist and then say you don’t treat DID, and equally, don’t consider yourself a world – renowned trauma treatment program if you won’t help those with DID.

If you have DID, please confront these people when you encounter them. We must assert our rights to get better, and let them know that we are severely injured human beings who deserve to be at the front of the line when it comes to getting help.

Then they can sleep at night knowing they are helping all of us who have suffered severe trauma.

9 thoughts on “The Meadows Trauma Program—No to DID

  1. Every word you said rang true to my thoughts. Mental health treatment in America is pathetic. We also seek a place for treatment where the best practices are available. Sheppard Pratt was good for the first step but now years later there is still nothing. Noone wants to help you unless you say you want to kill yourself and then insurance will cover maybe 7 days. Those is deepest need of the best treatment are completely shut out. What amazes me most are the people who don’t even believe in the diagnosis. Please share if you find anywhere that provides treatment for those with D.I.D.

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    1. Beverly,
      I have found two places that offer treatment to those with DID–not just stabilization like Sheppard Pratt and UBH. Unfortunately, both of these places require you either to have great insurance and some money, or a lot of money.
      I have been working for almost two weeks going through all these treatment centers. Everyone is saying they treat trauma now because they can get a certain amount of money for trauma days and mix that with addiction days, and you are in luck.
      If you don’t have private insurance or aren’t independently wealthy, I believe the best treatment program in a hospital setting is University Behavioral Health–a program that Colin Ross developed in a crappy hospital setting. The program itself is very good if you need to stabilize, but if you want intensive treatment, it takes other means.

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  2. where is the meadows? I have did and I once was refused by the henderson hospital in the UK because of both having did and my blindness. I think your right. We need to make our voices heard. xo

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    1. The Meadows is in Arizona, US.
      We all must start raising our voices louder or we won’t be heard on this topic. It is absurd that the mental health system itself discriminates against us as if we are not as worthy as all the other diagnoses. In the US, if you have a drug problem, there are lots of resources, but seemingly none for DID.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are even less resources in Ireland, that’s where I’m from is Ireland, I’m lucky I have a good psychiatrist and a good therapist without them I don’t know what I would do

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      2. It is such a sad state of affairs it seems no matter where you live. Some say it is because people don’t want to believe child abuse is that bad to create DID. Whatever the reason, we need to figure out how to raise our voices that we are victims who are being victimized again by the system.
        Sorry things aren’t better in Ireland. The way our country is going we may not even health care next year in the US.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. we have zero programs in canada for DID and just ONE residential program for PTSD for the entire country. there are not even options in the community for PTSD in most areas. it is horrible up in canada. they just have general psych wards in most towns except one larger one in my province who have different wards, but again nothing even for PTSD or DID. it’s ridiculous.

    and trying to find anyone who believes in it and actually understands it who doesn’t cost $160+ an hour is pretty much impossible too.

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    1. Wow. That is horrible. I believe because of the war, in the past 2-3 years there are treatment centers all over treating ptsd, but not ones that want to treat ptsd and DID together. I thought about leaving out the fact that I have DID, but my therapist doesn’t think I would pass for long because my Dissociation shows up in stressful and therapeutic environments.

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