Reflections: A journey of mental health and community

Body, Mind, & Soul: The Wellness Group at Spring Lake Ranch

Life at Spring Lake Ranch offers a rich and healing environment that includes exposure to and immersion in nature, work crew, community-based lifestyle, and clinical interventions. As a Clinician here at the Ranch, I enjoy finding ways to help Ranchers integrate their daily work crew and community life with their mental health and wellness.

Compassion is Out There: A Family Narrative

The first challenge in having kids with mental health issues, of course, is realization and understanding. Our two sons grew from wonderful young boys into rebellious teenagers; from successful and dedicated students to angry young men; from polite and loving children into young adults that resented us and our parenting. And even though there were signs, even though there is mental illness in both sides of our family tree, it was never conceivable to my wife and I that we might have one (let alone two) kids with diagnosable Bipolar I disorder.

A Thank You to the Spring Lake Ranch Community

A Thank You to the Spring Lake Ranch Community
Brian Hansen, Executive Director

As 2019 comes to a close, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who makes Spring Lake Ranch such a special place. From the staff to the residents, members, donors, blog subscribers, and well-wishers, we’re fortunate to have so many individuals willing to give their time, energy, and resources to embrace and support this community.

A Chat with Spring Lake Ranch's New Clinical Director

Spring Lake Ranch extends a hearty welcome to Kathleen White, our new Clinical Director! A few days after she began, we sat down to talk together, and hope you'll stay tuned for more from her.

A Holistic Approach to Healing

A Holistic Approach to Healing
Sarah Sanders, Cambridge Health Alliance Psychiatry Resident

The Science of Safety: The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy

As our summer sun wanes and foliage begins, I reflect on my days of long light and warm nights. One of the special events of my summer was the opportunity to study with Deb Dana, LCSW and author of The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy; Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation at the esteemed Cape Cod Institute.

A Day in the Life of the Rutland Aftercare Program


A Day in the Life of the Rutland Aftercare Program
Lynn Dorsky, Case Manager

Working in the Rutland Aftercare Program at Spring Lake Ranch is an empowering experience for both clients and staff. To give you an idea, let me start by describing the wonderfully rambling and unique space of the Washington Street Townhouse, where most of the Rutland staff are based, and where our clients spend a good deal of their time. On the outside, the Townhouse is a stately, historic building, previously owned by a renowned window builder – many ornate windows can be found in the house to this day.  Inside, the house has retained its historical charm, but also reflects the Ranch’s unique character.

Why Therapeutic Community?

Lynn Pilcher, Quality Assurance Director

Empowerment through meaningful work on the road to recovery

Thoughts on Labels

Thoughts on Labels

"You're labeling me!" is a common enough lament, especially for my younger patients, when I propose a diagnosis of Bipolar/ Schizophrenia/ Asperger/ Personality Disorder, etc. My reply goes something like this: 

Any diagnosis is a "working hypothesis," or a name for what ails you. Think of it as a suit of clothes we try on for size. Even if it "fits" now it may not fit forever, as you grow and your personal "weather" and body shape changes. Your diagnosis or "label" is not who you are, but it is where you are in this moment.