Clients of Brookhaven Retreat visited the Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo on October 10

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Brookhaven Retreat LLC, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, hosted a therapeutic outing to the Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo on October 10.

Brookhaven Retreat® LLC, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with emotional and mental health challenges, and/or substance abuse issues recently treated clients to a therapeutic outing to the Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo in Sevierville, TN followed by Hobby Lobby on October 10.

The Rainforest Zoo has been themed by one of the nation’s finest zoological contractors, whose work includes Animal Kingdom at Disney World, and features more than 600 live animals representing more than 130 species.

Studies have shown that animal therapy reduces tension and acts as a mood enhancer, which can help clients avoid stress and depression. Other benefits include lowered blood pressure and heart rate, and a reduction in the severity of pain from physical illness.

In Frontiers in Psychology, an article on the subject, scientist Dr. Andrea Beetz reviewed literature on the psychological and physiological effects of human-animal interactions and concluded that the positive effects can be pinned on an increase in oxytocin during interactions, which is sometimes referred to as the “bonding hormone.”

As part of The Lily Program®, a 90-day program for women offered exclusively at Brookhaven Retreat, clients embark on diverse therapeutic trips as an opportunity for education, recreation and intellectual stimulation outside the Seymour Tennessee-based facility. Weekly outings are an inherent aspect of therapy.

Brookhaven Retreat’s founder Jacqueline Dawes, says, “No matter what one’s experience has been in the past, or what one’s issues may be, you can’t expect therapy to be successful without including everyday types of experiences. These are the kinds of things clients do after they leave, just as they typically did before they arrived, except that now they’re having these experiences with new awareness. They come to understand the importance of mindfulness in everything we do. Without it, we’re going in circles, and no problems can be addressed or healing can be done. It’s the art of living in the moment and appreciating not only what’s going on, but the presence of your emotions and how you’re processing them during any given moment.”

About Brookhaven Retreat
Brookhaven Retreat is a women's treatment center nestled on a naturally beautiful 48-acre site secluded in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has helped hundreds of women across the United States overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, substance use and a range of other behavioral health challenges. Brookhaven’s Founder, Jacqueline Dawes, has predicated its gender-specific treatment on “healing emotional breakage” for women. In this way, she has established a sanctuary and a place where women can feel safe, secure and cared for by a staff of highly trained professionals.

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Lisa Breeden
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