Mending Fences Philosophy
At Mending Fences, we respect the autonomy of our clients. We recognize that no one can move towards a true process of recovery unless they have some desire to do so. We also recognize that the pull towards addiction is extremely powerful, so while the mind wants to strive towards a healthier life of abstinence, the body is craving "what it wants, when it wants it."
The program at Mending Fences has been carefully and thoughtfully designed to provide all the tools you need to understand your addiction from both a biological and psychological perspective. We recognize addiction as a brain disease, but believe that understanding yourself and your relationship to others on a deeper level can help you develop a strong sense of self and appreciation of your strengths.
Areas of Specialization
A form of animal therapy, equine therapy involves visiting, working with and sometimes riding horses as a way to create a metaphoric relationship that leads to life-altering insights.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The focus of cognitive behavioral therapy (also called CBT) is helping people to understand the thoughts and emotions that underlie their addiction with the goal of learning new, healthier and more productive ways to understand and express themselves.
Meet the Staff
Valerie Andersen, PsyD
Valerie Andersen is a licensed psychologist with many years of concentration on the addiction recovery field. She has been in the industry over 15 years and is passionate about helping my clients turn corners and make positive and lasting changes in their lives. She has worked in a variety of environments ranging from psychiatric prisons, private psych hospitals, intensive outpatient centers to residential facilities and community mental health centers. Specialties: Chemical dependency, addiction, individualized recovery programs, life coaching, mood disorders, depression, anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, family systems, clinical direction, program coordination, executive direction and consultation, regional training, strategic planning, team building.
Marilyn Sokolof, Ph.D.
Director, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy
Marilyn Sokolof, PhD, is a licensed psychologist with many years of clinical experience. She has worked in psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics and, for the last thirty years, as a private practitioner in Gainesville, Florida. For the past fifteen years, she has combined her two areas of expertise, providing equine-facilitated psychotherapy to private clients and as clinical director of HorseMpower Inc. She is past president of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association and currently is a co-faculty member for the PATH International workshop course, Training Equine Specialists in Mental Health and Learning. In 2013 she launched unbridledtherapy.com and her own training program: Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy: A Workshop for Mental Health Practitioners.
Rehabs.com 360 Guide
ABOUT MENDING FENCES
Mending Fences, based in Ocala, Florida, offers residential care, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), and intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment for adults dealing with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Unique to the facility, the center combines equine therapy with evidence-based practices to treat its clientele.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Mending Fences creates individualized treatment plans that are based on equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP). An equine therapist will work with clients to overcome any fear of horses at the beginning of the program.
Clients in residential care stay on average for 45 days. Along with weekly equine therapy, clients participate in individual and group therapy.. Daily programming also includes psychoeducational and skills-building activities that address on the underlying issues that contribute to addiction, communication, impulse control, and relationships. Clients will also participate in daily equine activities, didactic therapy, and relaxation activities.
In addiction to residential treatment, partial hospitalization programming and an intensive outpatient program (IOP) is available. Specialized programs for athletes, veterans, and survivors of trauma are available as well. The facility also recommends that family members be involved in treatment.
Mending Fences has a partnership with colleges and adult educational centers to assist residents with basic training for careers. Clients will participate in vocational assessments. Following treatment, clients receive one year of phone monitoring for accountability purposes.
Mending Fences's staff includes a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, master's level equine therapist, master's level certified counselor, nurse, and recreational arts and music therapist.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Mending Fences is surrounded by 400 open acres with stables and fenced areas for the horses. The 18-bed dual diagnosis facility hosts nine two-person, fully-furnished bedrooms with queen-sized beds, connecting bathrooms, and climate controlled temperatures.
Overnight housing is also available for outpatient clients unable to go home in evenings. The unit includes two three-person bedrooms with private bathrooms and showers and a shared living room and kitchen.
Rehabs.com has not yet received any reviews from this facility’s alumni, affiliated friends or family members, or staff.
However, on third-party sites to date, Mending Fences has received mostly positive reviews.
On Google, 13 reviewers rated the facility an average 3.8 out of five stars, with four ratings of one star and nine perfect five-star ratings. Positive reviewers reported friendly staff, quality facilities, and effective equine therapy. Reviewer Crystal wrote: "The staff is quality and the experience was an incredible gift. Horse therapy can have a huge impact on anyone struggling with trauma and addiction."
Negative reviewers reported extreme costs of care and unprofessional billing administration. One reported inadequate treatment of horses and underwhelming results of care.
WHAT STAFF SAY
On Glassdoor to date, two employees to date both rated Mending Fences two out of five stars. One cited "Co-workers and management being family and pushing others out" as a concern..
No cost or accepted forms of insurance are listed on the facility's website, a January 2016 report from local news organization Ocala.com cited a $24,000 price for treatment.
Published on August 2018
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