Mindfulness Training Leads to Increase in Emotional Well-Being, Says Study From Burning Tree Programs’ Renewal Lodge

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Study from Leading Addiction Treatment Center Shows Dramatic Decrease in Obsessions, Increase in Emotional Well-Being Through Mindfulness Training

Renewal Lodge by Burning Tree, the nation’s leading center for mindfulness training and 12 step addiction treatment, announced today the conclusion of a pilot research study that shows statistically significant behavioral changes in clients who participated in the center’s Mindfulness In Recovery® program.

Renewal Lodge, located near Austin and facilitated by Burning Tree Programs, is the only certified training center in the country that combines the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous with intensive therapy and the teaching of Mindfulness In Recovery®. The program, created by former Buddhist monk John Bruna, includes skills to help clients more effectively become aware of what is going on in their minds and in their environment for deep healing and recovery.

The pilot study tested the change in mindfulness skills, emotional wellbeing, and obsessions following the completion of a 30, 60, or 90-day program at Renewal Lodge. Results of the study showed positive changes in emotional well-being, mindfully responding to situations, and a decrease in cravings to use for participants.

“There was a statistically significant increase from admission to program completion,” said Vanessa Kettering, Ph.D., who prepared the study. “This study represents an important step toward investigating the outcomes associated with integration of the Mindfulness in Recovery program into an existing treatment center utilizing a 12-step approach.”

Specifically, participants saw the following:

  • Emotional Well-Being: Clients reported a 37% increase in emotional well-being after treatment at Renewal Lodge.
  • Mindfully Responding: Clients cited a 26% increase in their ability to regulate emotion, stay in the present and observe unpleasant feelings.
  • Decreases in Obsessions: Clients cited a 25% decrease in feeling a drive to consume alcohol or drugs.

“A real struggle people have is an untrained mind and a mind that has been hijacked through multiple uses of reward systems that have actually created a dopamine highway,” Bruna said. “But with Mindfulness in Recovery, we are able to start developing the ability to attend to what we choose and not be a prisoner to every impulse, thought, worry or desire for the rest of our lives.”

Burning Tree Programs CEO Peter Piraino added, “This is an important step to establishing the efficacy of Mindfulness in Recovery® and Renewal Lodge as an important addition to other treatment approaches to addiction. We see this pilot study as a true testament to the effectiveness of this program now and in the years to come.”

Renewal Lodge’s pilot study was conducted by Vanessa Kettering, Ph.D., in conjunction with Mindfulness in Recovery® and 30 Renewal Lodge clients.

About Renewal Lodge Renewal Lodge is part of the Burning Tree Programs family of recovery centers and is a leading mindfulness-focused addiction rehabilitation center. At Renewal Lodge, our goal is nothing less than to give our clients their lives back. Renewal Lodge accepts all health insurance plans and is one of the top-rated facilities by its alumni. To learn more, visit https://www.renewallodge.com.

About Burning Tree Programs
Burning Tree Programs is a leader in the addiction recovery community, comprising three uniquely specialized rehabilitation centers: Burning Tree Ranch for authentic, long-term treatment specializing in chronic relapse, Burning Tree West for advanced life skills, independence and lasting sobriety, and Renewal Lodge, a residential program specializing in mindfulness training and 12-step treatment. Founded in 1999 by David Elliott, Burning Tree’s mission is to help every client realize a life of excellence beyond sobriety. To learn more, visit https://www.burningtree.com.


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Ava Pena
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Renewal Lodge Mindfulness in Recovery Infographic