Jacob's Ladder at Brookside Farm Philosophy
Jacob's Ladder at Brookside Farm is a long-term mindfulness-based, residential recovery program for men, situated in a private and majestic farming community. Peers and clinical partners facilitate healing through multiple modalities, including:
- Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga
- 12 step programs
- Music and arts programs
- Outdoor recreation excursions
- Facilitated therapy (individual, group, and family)
- Farming and sustainability programs
The goal of the Jacob’s Ladder program is to foster awakening and authenticity through the synthesis of the 12-step principles, self-discovery through the deliberate practice of mindfulness, facilitation of expert clinical treatment, and interactive connection with a working farm environment.
Individualized and customized programs based on clinical and philosophical models separate Jacob's Ladder from other treatment settings.s.
Areas of Specialization
Creative Arts Therapy
Writing, making art or engaging in theater can be deeply therapeutic for people working to recover from addiction. Many facilities offer one or several forms of creative arts therapy as a way to help patients learn to express their feelings in productive ways.
Facilities that offer “holistic therapy” see and treat patients in the context of their entire lives and health status. They treat the “whole person,” not just the addiction.
Meet the Staff
Kevin Blankenship, MD
The son of a coal miner, Kevin grew up in a small town in southern West Virginia. After graduating from high school, Kevin joined the U.S. Army to serve his country. After military service, Dr. Blankenship earned degrees in pharmacy and medicine and went on to complete his emergency medicine residency at West Virginia University. He became board certified in emergency medicine and worked in numerous medical settings throughout West Virginia. In 2014 an immediate family crisis with addiction brought Kevin face-to-face with the significant issue of this growing epidemic and the lack of recovery options throughout our country. Inspired by this experience, Dr. Blankenship has dedicated himself professionally to being part of the solution through directly serving the recovery industry and indirectly combating the stigma surrounding this issue in today's society. This dedication is what has become Jacob's Ladder.
Director of Operations
Chad earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from West Virginia University in 2000 and an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Glenville State College in 2014. Chad spent time early in his career coaching women’s basketball and softball at Waynesburg College and then as head assistant coach of men’s basketball at Potomac State College.
Chad has spent much of his career helping others. For the past decade, Chad has worked for West Virginia Department of Juvenile Services at the Kenneth “Honey” Rubenstein Juvenile Center (KHRC) in Davis, WV. When he started out with KHRC, he was a counselor and was quickly promoted to case manager. While with KHRC, he earned his certification in Therapeutic Recreation for High and Low Ropes Courses and various counseling techniques.
Chad’s natural leadership skills and commitment to others extends beyond professional contributions and also shows through his volunteerism within his community and county. He is currently a chair for Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission, Aurora Middle School Girls’ Basketball Coach, and President of the Aurora Youth League. Chad uses his leadership and interpersonal skills to help motivate others to be productive members of society. Chad is a native of Aurora, WV, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.
Rehabs.com 360 Guide
ABOUT JACOB’S LADDER - BROOKSIDE FARM
Jacob’s Ladder at Brookside Farm offers short- and long-term residential treatment for adult males who are struggling with substance abuse. Set amidst the rolling hills of historic Aurora, W.Va., the center is one of 36 treatment facilities in the state with specially tailored programs for adult men. Medical detox is not available on-site; clients must complete detox before admission.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
To determine whether prospective clients are an appropriate fit, Jacob’s Ladder conducts bio-psychosocial assessments. The facility recommends a minimum stay of six months for the long-term program, while short-term programs may last between one and three months.
As its name suggests, Jacob’s Ladder at Brookside Farm is adjacent to a farm, where a typical day in treatment consists of farming duties designed to promote accountability, teamwork, and mindfulness. Using the phrase “the work is never done,” the program draws a parallel between an active, working farm and a life of recovery. Daily tasks may include tending to animals, hay baling, planting, watering, fence repair, machinery maintenance, and other seasonal duties.
Clients engage in a range of traditional treatments. With evidence-based modalities – including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and rational emotive therapy (RET) – at its foundation, the program facilitates regular process and discussion groups, family therapy, and weekly one-on-one sessions with a primary counselor. The facility also incorporates the 12-step model of recovery, and clients attend meetings, study fellowship literature, and perform “step-work.”
The program emphasizes mindfulness and recovery-focused lifestyles through holistic and experiential treatment methods. Clients participate in music and art lessons, guided yoga, and daily meditation, as well as weekly recreational outdoor activities, such as rafting, skiing, rock climbing, hiking, biking, fishing, and camping.
Founded and led by a board-certified medical doctor, Jacob’s Ladder employs a program director who is a licensed drug and alcohol counselor, music and arts director, licensed social worker, yoga instructor, and team of recovery coordinators with in-depth understanding of the 12-step principles and recovery process. Brookside Farm’s manager oversees the program’s farming duties.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Jacob’s Ladder sits across the street from the 132-acre Cathedral State Park with winding streams, old-growth forests, and miles of hiking trails. The program’s three-story, 14-bed residence is a renovated, 19th-century mountain lodge with a wrap-around deck, kitchen and dining room area, library, multiple bathrooms, and showers. According to the website, residents’ sleeping quarters are “modest.” As part of recovery, clients learn to prepare and frequently cook their own meals, often using produce from Brookside Farm.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
The two alumni polled by Rehabs.com to date praised the facility. Despite noting “scheduling issues,” D.D. described Jacob’s Ladder as a “great, clean and affordable” program, adding that staff were “willing to work with you on your financing, and everyone is there to help you succeed.” Alum Shawn added: "I attended Jacobs Ladder and got to expierience a rehabilitation program that was/is the best in the country..."
On secondary review sites, feedback was exceedingly favorable to date. On Google, two alum both gave the facility perfect five-star ratings, while 12 individuals all gave the facility perfect five-star ratings on its Facebook page, which the facility can manage.   Reviewers (alumni, loved ones) lavished praise and gratitude on the counselors and program for building bonds and transforming lives.
WHAT FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY
The four loved ones polled by Rehabs.com to date also provided excellent feedback, particularly for the facility's staff. Family members commended the “warm, caring staff” who provided “constant loving support” and “have a deep desire to help the residents.” In a representative review, Leslie wrote that the staff had "been a god send.”
Loved ones also felt the facility offered robust and varied counseling options, praising its holistic offerings and overall approach to recovery. One anonymous parent wrote: "After 2 weeks, my son has light and peace, I can hear it in his voice."
WHAT STAFF SAY
Seven staff members polled by Rehabs.com to date also felt the facility offered uniquely effective programming, employed a dedicated staff, and was on the cutting-edge of recovery. "Jacob's Ladder has assembled a team of extremely talented and caring staff from around the country," one employee wrote.
Staff members also emphasized the impact of the long-term recovery program. “The accomplishments of the young men who are finding themselves at Jacob's Ladder are humbling and inspiring!” another employee added.
The cost for the program depends on the length of stay. The one-month intensive residential experience is $15,000. If staying for two to three months the cost is $9,000/month. The recommended long-term recovery program, which is four months to six months plus, is $8,000/month. Jacob’s Ladder now accepts insurance and financial aid is available.
Published on June 2018
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