Reflections: A journey of mental health and community

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.

Nature is the Most Powerful Nurturer

Nature is the Most Powerful Nurturer

This coming April will mark my one-year anniversary with Spring Lake Ranch. My role is one of therapist, Clinician being the formal title.  As a “newbie,” I have been asked what I think of the Ranch many times by Ranchers, friends, and family. My response tends to be an enthusiastic, “I love it! It’s a little Narnia with a touch of heaven!”  Now, I’ll admit I’m still in a bit of the honeymoon phase, but there truly are some magical components to life here.

A Day in the Life of Spring Lake Ranch Community

On my first day at the Ranch, I noticed this homemade poster in the main house dining room, entitled “How to Build Community at SLR.” It contained short mantras that could be found on fortune cookies such as, “be generous with your time,” “challenge yourself,” and “don’t be quick to judge.” I immediately wondered what these mantras look like daily and if I could live up to these uplifting and positive requests. During my time as a House Advisor, here is a glimpse of what building community looks like on a daily basis at Spring Lake Ranch.

The Failure to Launch Phenomenon

Failure to Launch is not an official diagnosis but is becoming commonplace terminology to describe a young adult struggling to transition out of the family home and into adulthood. Why and how has failure to launch become a phenomenon?

Reflections on Meaningful Work in Recovery


Working Toward Wellness has long been the refrain at Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community, and it is our Work Program that provides the structure to help residents progress on their journey to wellness.

The Changing Role of Families in Successful Recovery

The Spring Lake Ranch community was pleased to host author and therapist Krissy Pozatek, LICSW, at our 2018 Fall Family Weekend. Krissy, a Vermonter and licensed Clinical Social Worker, draws upon over ten years of experience in wilderness therapy and adolescent treatment in writing her book: 

The Marijuana Gamble for the Young Adult Brain (ages 14-25)

Last month we attended the Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders. This conference is in its 31st year and we have been proud to be sponsors for 10 years now. Each year we not only go to exhibit and spread the word about Spring Lake Ranch but to attend the many workshops offered by renowned psychiatrists and psychologists from across the country. Over the years we have learned the latest about various clinical approaches and or aspects of addiction and mental health. There has been a focus on trauma, opiates, process (device) addictions as well as modalities like cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapies, the efficacy of twelve step meetings and motivational interviewing. This year we went to several workshops on medical marijuana.