Owned by Dr. Phil guest Mike Boss, Four Winds Recovery Ranch is a ranch-style treatment facility in Guthrie, Oklahoma for adolescent and teen girls from ages 12-18. It’s been around since 1994, and in that time has served up a fairly comprehensive treatment program for teen girls compared to similarly outdoor-focused rehab options.
Accommodations and Food
Four Winds is set up to house up to 15 girls at a time in shared bedrooms with bunk beds, and generally up to four girls to a room. Though from the outside it’s just a standard, ranch-style home, on the inside there’s a living room with couches and a big TV as well as a computer lab—an unusual edition until one remembers that many residents in attendance have been uprooted from school, and many of them probably don’t have laptops.
Obviously the main focus (this being a ranch, after all) is the outdoors, and Four Winds is settled on many acres of surrounding greenery with plenty of horses. Everyone gets some chores and cleaning time twice a week—same time every week to get them into a routine and teach responsibility. Residents can also help out in the kitchen, which serves food with a balance of nutrition and heartier ranch fare like bacon and eggs. Finally, Four Winds is a non-smoking facility, and offers a smoking cessation program in addition to treatment when necessary.
Treatment and Staff
Everything begins with a screening which includes a psychosocial, a medical assessment and a diagnostic interview and summary. After that, those who need it can take part in an on-site detox (with buprenorphine available again when necessary, though no medical staff on-site).
Generally speaking, days are strictly scheduled with mandatory physical exercise five times a week at a nearby Guthrie YMCA. There’s also a variety of therapy sessions and methods including psycho-educational process groups, DBT, equine therapy and support groups for sexual abuse, trauma, eating disorders and inner child workshops.
Though the focus is group, each resident also gets 90 minutes of individual therapy a day with their primary counselor, of which there are three: a marriage and family counselor, an addiction counselor and a more general therapist (all have masters degrees). Treatment also offers an introduction to the 12 steps (which includes finding a sponsor and attending meetings) and includes community volunteerism as well. Inpatient stays tend to be 90 days long, though a shorter 30-day stay is possible.
Aside from their approach to addiction, a unique perk of Four Winds is their partnership with Advantages School, which is a private online school that helps students get one of two diplomas, a prep diploma (to transfer directly thereafter into a four-year school) and a general studies diploma (for those going to a two-year college first).
Family involvement is also customized for every client, and usually is a few days of educational and therapeutic sessions after about 45-60 days of treatment. Four Winds also emphasizes “recovery weekends” to socialize their clients into a fun sober lifestyle with rotating off-site activities; finally, they also have an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) program that includes ten hours of therapy a week for four to 12 weeks.
Overall, Four Winds offers the tools to set a good foundation for teenage girls to get their lives back on track—though their ranch setting will still only seem enticing to a certain crowd (plus they’re in Oklahoma). Though their limited staff is somewhat disconcerting, for the most part Four Winds offers basically what they say they do. For girls who like horses and are seeking recovery, this could be a good place to start.
Four Winds Recovery Ranch
501 North Sante Fe Rd
Guthrie, OK 73044
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Photo courtesy of MaxOnTheRoad