It opened quietly and with very little fanfare, but nestled in a small office complex off Mary Avenue in Sunnyvale is The Meadows Outpatient Center.
“Here at Meadows we provide treatment for a number of both mental health and substance abuse issues,” said Bryan Nguyen, Director of The Meadows in Sunnyvale. “What Meadows is known for in particular is having a model that looks at developmental trauma…and also for treating process or chemical addictions.”
The Meadows is designed with the patients in mind.
“Right from the door we have aromatherapy happening. We’re targeting the comforting memories of the brain,” said Nguyen. “The structure of our building on the inside has been custom made. The lobby is in a circular shape. A circular shape creates a sense of welcoming and safety.”
The Meadows is an outpatient center, which means patients spend a few hours a day at the facility for treatment and then go home to their daily lives. The center provides its patients with group therapy, individual therapy and holistic services such as Tai Chi, trauma-sensitive yoga and acupuncture.
Nguyen says a center like The Meadows is especially important in the Silicon Valley where the high-stress work environments contribute to addiction issues.
“If we look at Silicon Valley and the expectations of tech and high achievement around here, we’ve noticed a prevalence of issues such as anxiety, depressions, [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder] all stemming around work culture and work issues,” said Nguyen. “It’s being self-medicated through addiction, through alcohol, through benzodiazepines like Xanax, process addiction such as shopping.”
Nguyen also believes that the diversity of the Silicon Valley leads to culture clashes between generations that can cause this same form of stress. Older generations who have focused on income and grades often clash with a younger generation’s “…more Western idealization of fulfilling other needs other than achievement needs.”
While The Meadows facility in Sunnyvale is new, it has worked with local universities for a lot longer. The company sends guest lecturers to Santa Clara University (SCU) to talk to the substance abuse and correctional psychology classes.
Nguyen received a Masters in Counseling Psychology from SCU and continues to return to the program to speak to classes. As a recovering addict six years sober, Nguyen says he has a unique perspective that he shares with the students. He also creates panels with other recovering addicts to help give students an insight into real life experiences with addiction.
“These panels are amazing because these students who want to be therapists themselves one day are able to see what the end product is. When someone has been recovered and functional and the insight they provide,” said Nguyen.
The Meadows also offers free community services including a family group that meets 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday nights.
“Anybody can come who is looking for some help or some insight into supporting a family member who is struggling with mental health or addiction,” said Nguyen. “We talk to family members about how we continue to support them with boundaries to protect ourselves or our health.”
The Meadows can be found online at www.themeadows.com or by calling (866)330-1524.
Nguyen hopes centers like The Meadows will help people see that seeking out treatment isn’t a bad thing.
“There’s a stigma that therapy and treatment are for people who are severely afflicted or broken,” said Nguyen. “There’s no set quality or quantity that determines who is afflicted. You can have a stressful time in your work career, see a therapist just for stress for three or four weeks and that is still the same mental health treatment that you would give to someone who is coming in for severe PTSD or insomnia.”
“I don’t want people to think, ‘My problems aren’t bad enough for me to step into treatment,’ or ‘My problems are too severe that no one can help me,’” said Nguyen.
To learn more about The Meadows, visit https://www.themeadows.com/about/locations/the-meadows-outpatient-center/ .