Senior Fellows

The Experts Who Inform Our Programs

Expertise in the Addiction and Recovery Field

Our Meadows Senior Fellows represents experience in a range of specialties, with each one involved in worldwide practice and research in their area of expertise. Some of the nation’s top addiction and recovery experts, they include New York Times bestselling authors, professors, medical professionals, and pioneers. The Senior Fellows also provide ongoing direction, consultation, and training for our staff to ensure we offer the most clinically comprehensive programs available today.

Pia Mellody

Development Trauma, Codependency

As a pioneer in the field of recovery, Pia Mellody’s theories on the effects of childhood trauma have become the foundation for The Meadows’ programs and are a major reason for their success. Widely known as one of the preeminent authorities in the fields of addiction and relationships, Mellody’s work on codependency, boundaries, and the effects of childhood trauma on emotional development has profoundly influenced the treatment of addictions and the issues of forming and maintaining relationships.

Mellody is the author of several influential books, including Facing Codependence, Facing Love Addiction, Breaking Free, and The Intimacy Factor. At The Meadows, she trains our staff, counsels patients and families, speaks at campus workshops, and lectures around the world. Her groundbreaking Developmental Model of Immaturity is central to the work done at The Meadows.

Claudia Black, PhD, MSW

Family Systems, Addiction, Trauma, Young Adults

Claudia Black, PhD, is a renowned author and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders. In the mid-1970s, Dr. Black gave “voice” to both young and adult children from addictive homes, offering a framework for their healing. This cutting-edge work would be critical in creating the foundation for the codependency field and a greater understanding of the impact of family trauma.

Since that time, Dr. Black has continued to be a passionate leader in the field of addiction. She designs and presents training workshops and seminars to professional audiences in the field of family service, mental health, and addictive disorders. She has written more than 15 books, most notably It Will Never Happen to Me.

The recipient of numerous national awards, Dr. Black has been a keynote speaker on Capitol Hill and on Canada’s Parliament Hill. A Senior Fellow and clinical architect for the Claudia Black Young Adult Center at The Meadows, she also serves on the advisory board for the National Association of Children of Alcoholics and the advisory council of the Moyer Foundation.

Patrick Carnes, PhD, CAS

Sex Addiction

Patrick Carnes, PhD, has more than 30 years’ experience in the addiction field. In high demand as a speaker, presenter, and interview subject, he continues to be the leading voice in the field of sex addiction. Dr. Carnes’ assessment tools related to sex addiction and trauma offer therapists a proven means to begin the treatment process with clients.

Dr. Carnes is the primary architect of the Gentle Path treatment program, which addresses sexual and multiple addictive disorders. He pioneered the founding of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) and Gentle Path Press. From 1996 until 2004, Dr. Carnes was Clinical Director for Sexual Disorder Services at The Meadows. His achievements include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH), where they present an annual “Carnes Award” to researchers and clinicians who have made exceptional contributions to the field of sexual health.

Dr. Carnes is also the author of Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict, The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships, Open Hearts, Facing the Shadow, In the Shadows of the Net, and The Clinical Management of Sex Addiction, Recovery Zone, and A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Principles. Dr. Carnes’ article “18.4 Sexual Addiction” appears in Kaplan & Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry.

Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is one of the world’s foremost authorities on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other related disorders. He has researched the psychobiology of trauma, traumatic memory, the effectiveness of EMDR, and the effects of trauma on human development. A professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Dr. van der Kolk has taught at universities and hospitals across the United States and globally.

An internationally acclaimed author, Dr. van der Kolk has written extensively on the impact of trauma on development, borderline personalities, self-mutilation, cognitive development in traumatized children and adults, and the psychobiology of trauma. His books include Psychological Trauma, Traumatic Stress, and the New York Times bestseller The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

Peter Levine, PhD

Somatic Experiencing®

Peter Levine, PhD, holds doctorates in both medical biophysics and psychology. He is the developer of Somatic Experiencing® (SE), a naturalistic body-awareness approach to healing trauma, which he teaches all over the globe. Dr. Levine is also the founder of the Foundation for Human Enrichment and was a stress consultant for NASA during the development of the space shuttle.

An accomplished author, Dr. Levine penned Healing Trauma, Sexual Healing and the bestselling book, Waking the Tiger. He also co-authored with Maggie Kline Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes and Trauma-Proofing Your Kids. His latest book, In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, is a testament to his lifelong investigation into the connection between evolutionary biology, neuroscience, animal behavior, and more than 40 years of clinical experience in the healing of trauma.

In 2010, Dr. Levine was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP).

Bruce Perry

Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Neurosequential Model©

For more than three decades, Dr. Bruce Perry has been an active teacher, clinician and researcher in children’s mental health and the neurosciences. The principal of the Neurosequential Network and founder of The Child Trauma Academy, his work on the effects of abuse, neglect, and trauma on the developing brain has impacted clinical practice, programs, and policy around the world. He is also a New York Times bestselling author, co-writing 2021’s What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing with Oprah Winfrey.

Dr. Perry did his undergraduate work at Stanford University and Amherst College before attended Northwestern University where he received his MD and PhD. He then went on to complete his residency in general psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at The University of Chicago. He is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences departments and at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Perry’s clinical research over the last 20 years has been focused on integrating emerging principles of developmental neuroscience into clinical practice. This work has resulted in the development of innovative clinical practices and programs working with maltreated and traumatized children, most prominently the Neurosequential Model©, a developmentally sensitive, neurobiology-informed approach to clinical work, education, and caregiving. His experience as a clinician and researcher has led many community and governmental agencies to consult Dr. Perry following high-profile incidents involving traumatized children and youth including the 1993 Branch Davidian siege in Waco, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine school shootings, the September 11th terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the FLDS polygamist sect, the earthquake in Haiti, and the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings among others.

The recipient of numerous professional awards and honors, Dr. Perry is a sought-after public speaker and expert guest. He has presented about child maltreatment, children’s mental health, neurodevelopment, and youth violence at the White House Summit on Violence, the California Assembly, and the US House Committee on Education. He has appeared on 60 Minutes, Today, Good Morning America, Oprah, and Nightline as well as networks from NPR, CNN, and MSNBC to NBC, ABC, and CBS News. Dr. Perry’s work has been featured in documentaries, and print media has highlighted his clinical and research work, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning series in the Chicago Tribune, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and many more. He is also the author of the bestselling book The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Born for Love: Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered (both written with Maia Szalavitz) along with more than 500 journal articles, book chapters, and scientific proceedings.

Tian Dayton, PhD, TEP


Tian Dayton, PhD, is the director of The New York Psychodrama Training Institute where she runs training groups in psychodrama, sociometry, and experiential group therapy. Caron Treatment Centers’ director of program development for eight years, she held that same position at Breathe for four years and was a professor at NYU for eight years, teaching psychodrama.

Dr. Dayton currently sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), she is also a fellow of the American Society of Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy (ASGPP), and she is the winner of their Scholar’s Award and the President’s Award. Dr. Dayton has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy for more than a decade and as an executive editor for eight years, and she sits on the professional standards committee. She is also the winner of The Mona Mansell Award and The Ackermann Black Award for her contributions to the field of addiction.

Dr. Dayton has been a guest expert on NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Montel, Rikki Lake, John Walsh, and Geraldo. She is the author of 15 books including Neuropsychodrama in the Treatment of Relational Trauma, The ACoA Trauma Syndrome: How Childhood Trauma Impacts Adult Relationships, Emotional Sobriety: From Relationship Trauma to Resilience and Balance, Trauma and Addiction: Ending the Cycle of Pain Through Emotional Literacy, Heartwounds: The Impact of Unresolved Trauma and Grief on Relationships, Forgiving and Moving On, The Living Stage: A Step by Step Guide to Psychodrama and Experiential Therapy, and The Magic of Forgiveness. You can also read blog posts by Dr. Dayton on The Huffington Post and Thrive Global. She is also a certified Montessori teacher.

Kevin McCauley, MD

Substance Use Disorders

Dr. Kevin McCauley is a Meadows Senior Fellow, joining the Meadows Behavioral Healthcare team in 2016. A 1992 graduate of Drexel University School of Medicine, he first became interested in the treatment of substance use disorders while serving as a Naval Flight Surgeon where he observed the U.S. Navy’s policy of treating addiction as a safety (not a moral) issue and returning treated pilots to flight status under careful monitoring.

After developing his own addiction to prescription opioids, however, Dr. McCauley was court-martialed and imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. There he read voraciously of what was known about the disease of addiction at that time. Today, he has over 15 years of continuous sobriety and has worked in a non-clinical capacity at several treatment centers, giving over 2,000 lectures on the neuroscience of addiction and recovery management. From 2004 to 2008, Dr. McCauley was Director of a level III Recovery Residence in Sandy, Utah, and the first president of the Utah Association for Recovery Residences.

Dr. McCauley wrote and directed two films: Memo to Self, about the concepts of recovery management, and Pleasure Unwoven, about the neuroscience of addiction, which won the 2010 Michael Q. Ford Award for Journalism from the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. He currently lives with his wife, Kristine, in Sedona, Arizona, where he is a graduate student at the University of Arizona School of Public Health.

Stefanie Carnes, PhD, LMFT, CSAT

Women’s Intimacy Issues

Stefanie Carnes, PhD, is the president of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP), a training institute and professional organization for addiction professionals. At The Meadows, she works with sexually addicted clients and their families and is the clinical architect for Willow House, a treatment program for women struggling with sex, love, and intimacy disorders.

A licensed marriage and family therapist and an AAMFT-approved supervisor, Dr. Carnes’ area of expertise includes working with patients and families struggling with multiple addictions such as sexual addiction, eating disorders, and chemical dependency. She is also a certified sex addiction therapist and supervisor, specializing in therapy for couples and families struggling with sexual addiction. Dr. Carnes presents regularly at conferences at both the state and national levels. She is also a noted author with book credits that include Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts, Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts, and Facing Addiction: Starting Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs.

Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RDN

Wellness and Nutrition

Kristin Kirkpatrick is the former lead dietitian and manager of Wellness Nutrition Services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute in Cleveland, Ohio. A bestselling author, experienced presenter, and award-winning dietitian, Kirkpatrick is a sought-after national speaker on a variety of nutrition and wellness-related topics, appearing on TODAY, NBC Nightly News, and The Dr. Oz Show. She has also contributed to national publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, Runner’s World, Oprah, Martha Stewart Living, Food Network, Costco Connection, Self, Women’s Health,, The Huffington Post, US News & World Report, and she is a featured expert on Cleveland Clinic’s Health Essentials. The Huffington Post named Kirkpatrick “one of 35 diet and nutrition experts you need to follow on Twitter,” and in December 2017, her show The New Rules of Food aired nationally on PBS.

Kirkpatrick’s career began in Washington, DC, where she assisted in lobbying efforts for medical nutrition therapy reform on behalf of the American Dietetic Association Policy and Advocacy group. She then went on to become the regional coordinator of the Hearts N Parks program in Montgomery County, Maryland. During her time there, she designed, implemented, and measured health promotion programs within the Washington, DC metro area. Kirkpatrick then returned to Ohio to work for the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Cardiovascular Genetics. She eventually became the lead dietitian in the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. In addition, she serves on Dr. Oz’s medical advisory board as well as the advisory board for Lose it!

Kirkpatrick has more than 17 years of experience in the health management arena and holds an MS in health promotion management from American University and a BA in political science from George Washington University. A Licensed Registered Dietitian in the state of Ohio, In May 2012 she received the Ohio Outstanding Dietetic Educator of the Year Award. In January 2017, Kirkpatrick published her first book, Skinny Liver: A Proven Program to Prevent and Reverse the New Silent Epidemic—Fatty Liver Disease.

Jenni Schaefer

Eating Disorder Advocate

Jenni Schaefer graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University with a degree in biochemistry, and she knows firsthand the devastating consequences of an eating disorder. Since recovering from her own eating disorder, she has carried her message of self-acceptance and triumph over adversity to the public.

Jenni is the author of several books including Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too, and she has contributed to anthologies like the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. A sought-after speaker on addiction and food disorders, relationships, depression, and career, Schaefer has appeared on Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, TODAY and Entertainment Tonight, as well as in print coverage by Cosmopolitan and The New York Times. She is also a blogger for The Huffington Post, and her work has appeared in Publisher’s Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Glamour, Shape, The Washington Times, Woman’s World, Seventeen, and more.

Richard Schwartz, PhD

Internal Family Systems

Richard Schwartz, PhD, began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief, and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called “parts.” These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with. Dr. Schwartz also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence and compassion. He called that inner essence “the Self” and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients.

From these explorations, the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s. IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and, more recently, corporations and classrooms. In 2013, Dr. Schwartz left the Chicago area and now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he is on the faculty of the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

In Memorium: John Bradshaw, MA

John Bradshaw was a world-renowned educator, counselor, motivational speaker, and author. He was one of the leading figures in the fields of addiction, recovery, and family systems, and around the concept of toxic shame. Bradshaw was chosen by his peers as one of the 100 most influential writers on emotional health in the 20th century. His bestselling books and sold-out lectures and seminars changed the lives of millions of people around the globe. Over the years, he wrote several New York Times bestsellers, including Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child, Creating Love, and Healing the Shame That Binds You.

Bradshaw had a long and extensive association with The Meadows, teaching staff and patients, speaking at alumni retreats, and lecturing mental health professionals at our workshops and seminars. He passed away on May 8, 2016. He will always hold a special place in our hearts. In recognition of his many contributions to the fields of addiction and recovery, an on-campus lecture hall is named in his honor.

Beyond Theory Podcast

In this episode we speak with Meadows Behavioral Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Sean Walsh. Listen in as we discuss how our Senior Fellows impact the care we provide, the process that goes into evaluating expansion efforts, and the importance of recovery coaching.

Sean Walsh on Beyond Theory Podcast

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