Rewards are many for the newly recovered. So are challenges.

It makes sense after a long day of ups and downs to be greeted at the door by someone with unconditional love like Cole, our house dog. He is a constant reminder of what unconditional love looks and feels like. By caring for Cole and our house cat, Pokie, residents understand what it means to take care of a living being. It's a positive effect on your physical and mental well-being that seems to open up the healing


Our Four Legged Friends

Cole is not the only animal that has been shown to help in a therapeutic setting. Our program includes horses at Westbrook Hunt Club and other animals at the Farm Animal Rescue. The research states that horses are “perfect mirrors, since they are very emotional beings” which allows those participating in equine therapy to experience human-like interactions with someone that doesn't shame or guilt. Imagine having reactions to events that are not intertwined with an ego; good, bad or apathetic, they are simply your feelings.

How does a dog or a horse reach someone who is emotionally like a deflated balloon? The answer seems to be that sometimes only an animal can provide an objective reflection. Animals give you "feedback" but do not criticize in any way. For some, the horse or dog may allow self-reflection that initiates a change. In the first few months of recovery, a resident is sometimes emotionally cut-off and only one of our dogs or horses can provide a connection. Sometimes, that's how change begins, one little change at a time.  


Bradley Mountain Farm in Southington. Imagine hugging baby goats! Sometimes it is the first time in a long time that a resident feels for anyone.


Equine therapy is like no other type of therapy. Interactions with equines are written about and processed with individual therapists. 


Don't lie to your dog. He knows the truth in your heart. 


Residents often arrive with an unrealistic sense of self. Feelings about themselves and others are often extreme and unregulated. For some, it  is easier to feel their feelings in the presence of Cole and not a person.


Since we all feel the need to be part of a group, we are often afraid to be rejected by people but not by our house dog. 

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After rehab, in-home care, and/or extended care, we think sober living is the next logical step toward recovery life. From SAMHSA research, we offer the four pillars of recovery: (1) community, (some life skill support,) (2) mental and physical wellness; including membership at the gym and yoga studio, an emphasis on whole food in shared evening meals, and professional therapy delivered from the surrounding community, (3) finding purpose in work or school and (4) re-integrating into a re-structured family dynamic or a new home. We welcome those with or without a history of treatment and understand that a whole - person - healing is needed to allow sustainable recovery to begin.