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Why We Need To Thrive

November 26, 2019

Written by Tian Dayton, Ph.D., Senior Fellow of Meadows Behavioral Healthcare

“I wanted to bring a fully psychodramatic (experiential) workshop to Rio Retreat Center. And who better than the master, Tian Dayton, to develop it and train our team. Thrive breathes life into people’s stories and the characters that create them. It connects their head, heart, and gut, so they get it on a deep, soulful level that heals.”

Jean Collins-Stuckert, Executive Director of Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows

My recovery as an adult child of an alcoholic, (ACoA) was transformed 35 years ago with a five-day, experiential program that changed my life. It was based in psychodrama, and once I experienced the transformative power of this form of experiential therapy, there was no turning back for me. I became fully trained in the method and have spent my professional life training others across the United States. For the past 30 years, I have led our field in adapting these methods to work in the addictions field, I have crisscrossed the country countless times, written books, articles and given more training workshops than I can count. I also created the Relational Trauma Repair (RTR) model in which the processes have become the industry standards.

When I first came into the field, I saw many programs that use experiential work, and they were transformative. But as I worked in these programs, I realized that psychodrama, brilliant as it is, was not well enough adapted to the needs of our population. It was not standardized in such a way that the basic concepts, needs and goals of experiential approaches were focused on producing desired outcomes. I made it my mission to embark on a life-long study of trauma, grief and neuroscience theories and integrating them into experiential approaches that I used and have trained countless others to use in treating our population. The kind of work that I do is fully informed by my years of frontline experience in integrating the most up-to-date research on trauma, grief, neuroscience, and attachment, into the experiential approaches that I use and incorporated into RTR.

Most recently, I designed THRIVE to address a growing need that I am seeing to take addiction and codependency treatment to the next level. To address the kind of issues that emerge when the self-medication is removed and as recovery progresses. When I designed THRIVE for Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows, I did so to create a peak experience that could be personally transformative. To provide a safe place where the rest of the world could fall away for just a few days, and people could drop down and be with themselves. They could have the kind of experience that leaves one different. They could, YOU could, come in touch with your inner being and come out changed, more whole and confident. Surer. More integrated. More self-directed. It sounds like a lot to accomplish in five days, but when you’re having this kind of experience, time falls away, and you see things you don’t usually see. You make connections. You have “aha’s.”

It’s not a head thing it’s a head and heart thing, and it’s supported by community and connection. It’s nurtured by those who have gone before. So much of our modern life pulls us away from what really matters. Shouldn’t we, shouldn’t you, take a week every now and then to explore who you really are and who you are meant to become?

At the Rio Retreat Center, we respect the community, we respect nature, and we incorporate their sustaining influence into the healing process. And we understand recovery. This is what we do, this is who we are. Come and share the clarity of the blue sky and the endless quiet of the desert and have a recovery experience of your own.

For more information on the THRIVE workshop and upcoming dates, please go to