How To Stage An Intervention

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How To Stage An Intervention

When you’re concerned about a friend or loved one who’s struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, it can be hard to know what to do.

Understanding how to help someone with substance use disorder can be challenging.

Perhaps you’ve tried having one or more heart-to-heart conversations with them and strongly encouraged them to get help at an addiction treatment center.

You may have also stressed the importance of speaking with a physician about their addiction.

If this person has ignored your pleas or downplayed their relationship with substances, it may be time to take stage an intervention to get your loved one into recovery before the situation becomes much more serious.

There have been 700,000 overdose deaths due to drug or alcohol use in the United States since 2000.

You don’t want your loved one to become another statistic, but what can you do if that person doesn’t believe a problem even exists, or thinks they can handle a substance use disorder on their own?

People who have become addicted to substances are often in denial or are confused about their condition.

They can’t recognize how their behavior is negatively affecting themselves and those around them.

You may clearly see what is happening, but the person in need refuses to or simply cannot understand how difficult their actions have become to their own safety.

They also might be oblivious as to how it’s affecting their relationships with friends, family, and co-workers.

For these reasons, someone suffering from addiction will quite often refuse to seek treatment and ignore your pleas to seek out options for recovery.

Helping Someone Who Doesn’t Want help

When you’ve tried talking to your loved one about their substance use issues and get a negative response, it’s frustrating to watch them continue to engage in addictive behaviors. You know that something must be done to inspire this person to take action and seek help.

Staging an intervention may be what is necessary to drive the truth home that changes need to be made before the situation gets worse. At this point, you should consider staging an intervention to strongly motivate a move to recovery.

What Is an Intervention?

An intervention is an organized procedure that’s best-planned in conjunction with a doctor or an addiction specialist and carried out by the family and friends of the person needing help.

The people who care about someone suffering from addiction gather as one to confront your loved one about their addictive behavior and its consequences.

The ultimate goal is to convince them to accept treatment immediately.

The success rate of a properly held intervention is between 80 and 90 percent. Of the 15-20% of those confronted during an intervention who do not enter treatment that same day, roughly half of them do so within 7-14 days afterward.

During an intervention, the following actions occur:

  • Participants give specific instances in which destructive behaviors have impacted your loved one, their family, and their friends
  • The group presents a pre-arranged treatment plan that is complete with direct steps, goals, and instructions
  • Each person makes it clear what they will do if your loved one refuses to enter and abide by a treatment recovery plan

Planning an Intervention

1. Decide who should be part of the intervention

Remember that you want to help your loved one, not make them feel like they’re being attacked, so choose this group carefully.
Speak privately to the people who are closest to the person who is suffering, even if you strongly dislike some of them. These will be the persons who your loved one holds dear and respects their opinions. Be sure the participants are people who really matter in your loved one’s life.
Try to keep the number of participants small rather than having a large group that will overwhelm the person in need.

2. Prepare well in advance of taking any action

It’s best to speak with a professional, such as a counselor or addiction professional, to give you advice on how to plan and stage an intervention. Keep in mind that an intervention can cause many different emotions to rise up, ranging from anger to deep resentment. With enough preparation, you can make a powerful impact that won’t scare your loved one away or make them lose trust in everyone who is there.

3. Gather and share as much information as possible about the loved one’s issues with substances

Research the substances being used, the person’s present condition, and all available treatment programs. Once this is done, you can begin to make arrangements to enroll your loved one in a specific recovery program ahead of the planned intervention. Arrangements can be made in advance to admit your loved one immediately following an intervention.

4. Set the guidelines for what will happen and when

You can’t simply wing a successful intervention. You and the group must decide who will have the most positive impact on your loved one. This set of friends and family will stage the intervention.

You must set a firm date, time, and place for the intervention to occur. Be sure that a location is a place where your loved one will feel comfortable. Don’t choose a setting that is unfamiliar to them. Instead, stage an intervention in a spot where the person in need of help feels most at ease, such as at home or in the home a close friend or family member.

Each person should have prepared a short speech that’s been well-rehearsed. The idea is to inform the person suffering from substance use disorder of the ways in which they are hurting themselves and those close to them. The group can speak in turns, but if your loved one is showing signs of rejecting the situation, speeches may not be appropriate. The speeches may feel forced or too formal, so keep them concise, sticking to the main points, and speak from a place of love.

Each person who speaks should remember to include the following points:

  • Keep it short.
  • Speak quickly before you lose your loved one’s attention
  • Your words and voice should keep your warmth and love for this person central to everything you’re telling them
  • Don’t forget to include the ultimatums in your speech, should the person you care about refuse to accept treatment. Understanding the direct consequences of not seeking treatment is often the prime motivation to move forward and accept help.

The ultimate message from the group to your loved one must be clear, quick, consistent, and based on facts and solutions instead of exhibiting strong emotions.

5. Delivering ultimatums

The consequences set out before your loved one, should they refuse to accept treatment, must be specific and clear. For example, one consequence of refusing treatment can be that they must move out of your home. Another might be the loss of a close, trusted friend. The ultimatums and consequences are given as an extra shove towards getting the help that is necessary.

When a Professional Interventionist Is Needed

Staging an intervention can be extremely rewarding when it provides your loved one with the clarity they need to seek help for substance use disorder.

You might not feel confident, however, that you have the skills or the energy to successfully stage an intervention. We at Burning Tree strongly recommend using a professional interventionist.

A trained interventionist is experienced and passionate about helping those suffering from addiction, though their professional titles may differ.

They are often educated as social workers, psychologists, drug abuse counselors, addiction specialists, and psychiatrists.

Sometimes a situation is severe enough that, without professional intervention, your loved one may end up in a hospital or suffer various kinds of injuries due to an addiction.

A professional interventionist may be preferred or even necessary, especially in certain situations. Strongly consider using an interventionist if your loved one:
Becomes violent when cornered or verbally attacked. Even though intervention is performed with love and care at its center, your loved one may react violently, particularly if they are in a withdrawal phase or focusing on the next fix.

Suffers from an underlying mental health condition, aside from substance use disorder. Someone with mental illness can react in illogical or violent ways to an intervention situation.3 They may become impulsive or destructive in light of the stress of intervention and behave in unexpected ways.

Has suicidal tendencies. If your loved one has a history of thinking about, threatening to, or has attempted suicide, it’s best to have a professional interventionist present to redirect emotions and encourage positivity.

Has already been through treatment and has relapsed. Think of addiction as a chronic condition that can need tweaks in the medications and types of treatment employed as things change.

If your loved one has undergone treatment and is now relapsed, a different type of program may be in order, required more advanced settings and therapies.

A professional interventionist will be better able to help facilitate an intervention, helping your loved one better understand the nature of addiction.

Family and close friends aren’t sure what to say when speaking their turn. You and probably others who will participate in intervention have likely had conversations with your loved one before about going into treatment for substance use disorder.

Those talks obviously haven’t worked out. Perhaps the right words weren’t used to get through, or the person who’s suffering from addiction quickly lost patience and walked away.

An interventionist gives everyone a new way to look at the situation and new vocabulary to work with, making a lot of difference in the success of an intervention.

A Successful Intervention

An intervention is a success when a person suffering from a substance use disorder agrees to enter treatment. He or she clearly understands that the people in their life truly care about their health and well-being. They are able to see that help is necessary to achieve sobriety.

Most importantly, following a successful intervention, your loved one has a strong desire to stop using substances, even if this desire is directly related to the ultimatums delivered in the intervention.

If a person in need reacts positively to the staged intervention, he or she will immediately be transported to the pre-arranged treatment center to being the work of addiction recovery.

In a well-chosen treatment center, your loved one will have access to a variety of holistic therapies, including yoga, meditation, and fitness exercises. As family members and significant others, you should be involved in your loved one’s recovery. The professional staff will help you develop the strategies necessary to forge better relationships and resolve relationship issues that can contribute to addiction development.

Lasting sobriety is the main goal of addiction recovery. Personalized relapse prevention plans and aftercare programs are essential to long-term recovery. Aftercare plans may include group therapy, individual counseling sessions, or continued participation in a peer support group, like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

Positive Life Changes

When you care deeply about someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, your help can have a life-changing effect for the better. Staging an intervention can be challenging, nerve-racking, and is often the last resort to get your loved one to accept the help they need.

Whether you decide to go forward and stage the intervention using the steps and advice listed here or with the assistance of a professional interventionist, know that you are doing all that you can to help someone make positive life changes.

One of the most important planning steps for intervention is choosing the best and most appropriate type of treatment program for your loved one’s needs.

Choose carefully, and keep in mind that lasting sobriety should always include a personalized aftercare and relapse prevention plan.

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Gerad Davis, Admissions Specialist

Gerad Davis

Admissions Specialist
Gerad serves as a dedicated Admissions Specialist for Burning Tree Programs. Engaged in his passion for helping others, Gerad exudes a calm and attentive ear for every person seeking our support. By gathering insights, focussing on solutions, and identifying resources for our family members, he fulfills a vital service to those afflicted by the disease of addiction. In long-term recovery since 2018, Gerad is a grateful Burning Tree alumni whose mission is to serve the interest of those in need. In his spare time he enjoys writing, painting, and training for marathons.
Paulo Jacuzzi

Paulo Jacuzzi

Admission Specialist
Paulo Jacuzzi serves as Admissions Specialist for Burning Tree Programs. After graduating Burning Tree in 2001, he returned home to help manage the family business. Serving in various C-Level roles including President and CEO, Paulo declares, “It was an honor to be entrusted with my father’s legacy; a true gift of sobriety.” He rejoined the Burning Tree Team in 2023. “My passion is to help families struggling with addiction, and to aid them in finding the freedom we discovered.” Sober for more than twenty years, Paulo and his bride, Jennifer, live in Arkansas with their ever-expanding brood of rescue animals.
Holly Burnett

Holly Burnett

Admission Specialist
Holly Serves as Admissions Specialist for Burning Tree Programs. Having worked in various clinical roles throughout her career, what Holly most enjoys is connecting clients and families with the services they need to achieve their full potential in recovery. With the ultimate goal of becoming a licensed therapist, she is currently completing her degree in Social Work. Certified as a Mindfulness In Recovery Facilitator, she seeks to lend a sense of calm, diligent attention to the important needs of each and every loved one that seeks help from the Burning Tree organization.

Jim Long

Jim Long Serves as Counselor at Burning Tree Ranch. A former U.S. Army Sergeant and Fire Department Captain, Jim enjoys collaborating with his clinical and psychiatric counterparts to help uncover and treat the root causes and conditions of addiction. Sober since 1994, he utilizes his own experience in recovery to help our clients gravitate towards a new way of living, a new sense of freedom, and a brand new happiness. As a highly trained EMT-P and first responder, Jim delivers a deep sense of confidence that the crisis of addiction can be overcome. Happily married for over 30 years, Jim shares 4 children and 2 grandchildren with his amazing wife, Shelley.


LMSW, LCDC | Counselor
Kristina Robertson serves as Counselor at Burning Tree Ranch. Holding both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work, Kristina’s greatest joy is “watching our clients learn to love themselves again.” An avid equestrian, mother to twenty-one horses, and all-around animal lover, Kristina serves as a bright shining example of long-term recovery in action. Her commitment to whole person health: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual makes her an invaluable member of the Burning Tree Ranch clinical team. As a distinguished Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Zeta member, Kristina believes deeply in each client’s pursuit of becoming their best selves.
Sarah Adams, Admissions Specialist


Admissions Specialist
Sarah serves as a dedicated Admissions Specialist for Burning Tree Programs. Known for her compassionate and insightful nature, Sarah is often one of the first friendly voices a client or family member will engage. “I like to meet people where they are at, listen and learn. It is always an inspiration to get to be the outstretched hand that someone is reaching for in need.” With a degree in biology from Stephen F. State Austin University, Sarah is constantly seeking to expand her education. Most recently, she has begun pursuing her counselor’s license. In her free time, Sarah enjoys reading, traveling, exercising and exploring the great outdoors.
Erik Jokinen, Admission Specialist

Erik Jokinen

Admission Specialist
Erik serves as a dedicated Admissions Specialist at Burning Tree Programs. Being in long-term recovery himself, Erik enjoys helping families and individuals find the same freedom that he and his loved one’s discovered on their shared journey to wellness. With over 8 years of professional treatment experience, Erik’s favorite part of his career is getting to support those in need as they engage in the inspirational process of asking for help. Erik has a 4-year old daughter, one dog and two cats. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and attempting to be decent at golf.
Sally LeBeau, Admission Specialist

Sally LeBeau

Admission Specialist
Sally serves as a dedicated Admissions Specialist for Burning Tree Programs. An alumna of Burning Tree Ranch, Sally believes that “by aiding our clients and families in the process of finding a program that best fits their needs, I get to play a small part in helping them accomplish a life beyond their wildest dreams.” Sober since 2005, Sally has over 5 years experience working as a professional in the treatment industry. She believes in the virtues of honesty, integrity, and compassion. Happily married, Sally enjoys the beach, reading, and eating her favorite icecream with her husband, Matt.

"A Message To Families"

Brook McKenzie, LCDCI, Chief Operating Officer


Alexis "Lexi" Thomas

Admission Specialist

Alexis “Lexi” Thomas serves as Admission Specialist for Burning Tree Programs. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of Arizona, Lexi lends passion, knowledge, and insight to the admissions process. Treating every inquiry with a sense of tenderness and empathy, Lexi knows first-hand what the family member’s experience of addiction feels like. After losing her own family member to addiction, Lexi dedicated her life to helping others find the freedom they deserve. A native of Tucson, AZ., Lexi is happily married and expecting a baby. She counts one dog and a cat amongst her growing family.


Jimmy Epperson

Chief Communications Officer
Jimmy Epperson serves as Chief Communications Officer for Burning Tree Programs. Responsible for helping communicate the philosophies of the Burning Tree brand, Jimmy utilizes his background as a journalist to develop meaningful content meant to inspire faith, courage, and hope. Demonstrating strong organizational skills nurtured by his professional background with AT&T and Facebook, Jimmy helps craft the executive communications that promote Burning Tree’s long-established vision of excellence. Married, with two boys, Jimmy’s sister and wife are both graduates of the Burning Tree Ranch; they are still sober to this day.
Lauren Juvers

Lauren Juvers

National Business Development Rep.
Lauren Juvers serves as National Business Development Representative for Burning Tree Programs. Responsible for acting as an ambassador of the program, Lauren’s duties consist of sharing her personal story of recovery, working with professionals who specialize in treating addiction, and giving hope to families who are desperate to help their loved ones. As an Alumnae of Burning Tree Ranch, she describes the program as a “nationally known, long-term residential treatment center for the chronic relapser and treatment resistant individual.” An avid animal lover and PADI-certified scuba diver, Lauren has been sober since 2011. She resides in Dallas, TX.
Julian Duran

Julian Duran

National Business Development Rep.
Julian Duran serves as National Business Development Representative for Burning Tree Programs. By educating families and providers on the unique program offered at Burning Tree Ranch, Julian seeks to create as many opportunities as possible for the chronic relapser. Prioritizing open-mindedness, teachability, and faith as the foundational principles of his own recovery, Julian helps our network of community partners continue to grow on a daily basis. Counted amongst his favorite hobbies are weightlifting, reading, dancing and service work. Sober since 2012, Julian resides in beautiful Arizona.
Patty Raymer

Patty Raymer

SR. National Business Development Rep.

Patty Raymer serves as Sr. National Business Development Representative for Burning Tree Programs. Active in the national recovery community since 1992, Patty has enjoyed over 30 years of sobriety, service, and excellence in her personal triumph over addiction. Today she helps guide families and clients in their own quest for meaningful, individualized treatment solutions. As one of the most recognizable names in our industry, Patty believes that enrolling in one’s own personal work is the best way for the family to heal from the wounds of addiction. Subscribed to the mantra of “Trust God, Clean House, Help Others,” Patty and her husband reside in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

KC Gooding

KC Gooding

National Business Development Rep.
KC Gooding serves as National Business Development Representative for Burning Tree Programs. An active committee member for NAATP, NAADAC, and CASA, KC engages with multiple organizations to help expand our country’s commitment to important policy decisions that affect those suffering from addiction. He prioritizes service to others as the cornerstone of his own recovery, and seeks to ensure that as many families as possible are aware of the broad range of services available to support their needs. Sober since 2012, KC and his wife reside in gorgeous Dana Point, CA. He is the proud father of two.
Eric Button

Eric Button

PRSS | Family Liaison & Sr. Business Dev. Rep.
Eric Button serves as Family Liaison & Sr. Business Development Representative for Burning Tree Programs. A customer service expert, Eric unites our families with the clinical process at Burning Tree Ranch, introducing each family to the support, education, and resources available throughout their loved one’s treatment process. As an alumnus, he shares his personal recovery story throughout the United States, helping connect as many families as possible to the wide network of professionals who, like Eric, are dedicated to improving the lives of others. An avid aircraft enthusiast and aviator, Eric has been sober since 2005. He and his fiancé reside in Austin, TX.
Anthony Morengo

Anthony Marengo

Chief Marketing Officer
Anthony Marengo serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Burning Tree Programs. Responsible for helping execute the organization’s strategic vision, Anthony leads a talented team of Admissions and Business Development professionals who represent Burning Tree’s three programs, Burning Tree Ranch, Burning Tree West and Renewal Lodge. With over 15 years of treatment industry experience, Anthony’s commitment to his own personal recovery has afforded him the opportunity to help countless individuals. Married with two boys and residing in Arizona, Anthony has been sober since 2004.
Olivia Wilder

Olivia Wilder

Director of Admissions

Olivia Wilder serves as Director of Admissions for Burning Tree Programs. Responsible for helping execute the organization’s vision of excellence, Olivia leads a talented team of admissions specialists dedicated to Burning Tree’s philosophy of “creating a life of excellence beyond sobriety.” Trained in multiple intervention disciplines, Olivia utilizes mindfulness, DBT skills, and a solutions-focussed approach to help achieve dynamic results on behalf of the loved one in need. Sober since 2014, Olivia is a proud alumna of Burning Tree Ranch. She counts her two children and loving husband amongst her greatest blessings.

Her intervention training includes a specialization Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Applied Suicide Prevention.

Jade Perry

Jade Perry

Human Resources Administrator
Jade Perry serves as Human Resources Administrator for Burning Tree Ranch. Responsible for coordinating functions related to the organization’s employees and contractors, Jade helps manage human resources policies designed to support the health, safety and welfare of all Burning Tree personnel. An expert at facilitating health care benefits, Jade is also one of the friendly voices our callers hear when inquiring with the Ranch. Happily married for 25 years, Jade enjoys her nine grandchildren every chance she gets. A proud Texas native, she has been with Burning Tree since 2009.
Kristie Mays

Kristie Mays

Finance Assistant

Kristie Mays serves as Financial Assistance Coordinator for Burning Tree Ranch. Responsible for a host of duties to include payroll and client billing, Kristie boasts a 25-year background in the financial services industry. Utilizing clear communication to assist the team mission of excellence, Kristie demonstrates her commitment to Burning Tree’s fiscal viability by the method of accurate accounting and financial modeling. Happily married for 26-years, Kristy has 3 beautiful children, a long-haired dachshund, cocker spaniel, and a 1-year-old terrier. She is a proud Texas native.

Cody Odom, MS, CEO

Cody Odom, MS

Chief Financial Officer
Cody Odom serves as Chief Financial Officer at Burning Tree Programs. With a Master’s of Science in Accounting, he is responsible for overseeing all financial operations within the organization, including budgeting, financial analysis, and reporting. He understands the financial burdens that families face when seeking treatment for their loved ones, and he is passionate about finding ways to make treatment more accessible and affordable. A native Texan, sober softball enthusiast, and parent to two adorable cats, Cody and his wife, Sarah, reside in Bastrop, TX. Sober since 2015, he is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of those struggling with addiction.
Shelia Sirls

Shelia Sirls

Client Care Manager

Shelia Sirls serves as Client Care Manager for Burning Tree Ranch. With a 30-year background in behavioral health, Sheila assists our clients in developing the needed life skills to support a full life in recovery. Blending kindness with practicality, Shelia demonstrates the virtues of personal responsibility by helping our clients coordinate their chores, weekly food shopping, supplies inventory, and menu planning. Known across the entire United States for her country fried chicken, Sheila joined Burning Tree Ranch in 2006. A native of Kaufman, TX she has two grown children and six beautiful grandchildren.

Keisha Miller

Keisha Miller

Treatment Tech
Keisha Miller serves as Treatment Tech for Burning Tree Ranch. Responsible for coordinating logistics, client transportation and scheduling, Keisha incorporates kindness and compassion to help facilitate a client’s journey through treatment. As a certified medical assistant, Keisha blends her background in the human services field with Burning Tree’s steadfast commitment to quality of life improvements. “Making a difference in someone’s life gives purpose to my own,” says Keisha. Born and raised in Kaufman, TX, she has been bringing value to the Burning Tree team since 2017.
Leroy Woldridge

Leroy Wooldridge

Director of Maintenance

Leroy Wooldridge serves as the Director of Maintenance for Burning Tree Ranch. Responsible for maintaining one of the most unique properties in the nation, Leroy manages all aspects of Burning Tree’s two-thousand acre ranch. With a professional background in commercial construction, Leroy employs a broad range of skills in his quest to maintain Burning Tree’s facilities at optimal functionality. Earning “employee of the year” multiple times since 2009, Leroy exhibits Burning Tree’s passion for “creating a life of excellence beyond sobriety.” He and his wife reside in Kaufman, TX, and are the proud parents of three grown children.

Donna Brown

Donna Brown

Operations Assistant
Donna Brown serves as Operations Assistant for Burning Tree Ranch. Dedicated to Burning Tree’s standard of excellence, Donna utilizes her administrative skill set to manage all facets of logistical planning, EMR integration, and internal clinical communications designed to support the health and welfare of every client. Whether scheduling appointments, managing patient records, or coordinating staff, Donna plays a vital role in the delivery of healthcare at Burning Tree Ranch. Originally from Kaufman, TX she counts two children and a beautiful grandchild amongst her growing family.
Shelley Long

Shelley Long

Operations Manager

Shelley Long serves as Operations Manager for Burning Tree Ranch. Responsible for upholding the core principles of the organization, Shelley utilizes a combination of efficiency and attentiveness to create a safe place for our clients to recover. Shelley has worked for Burning Tree for more than a decade. Shelley’s strengths are strong organization skills, taking initiative, and using her sense of humor in her day-to-day job. Shelley wants to help alcoholics and addicts find their way to a successful sober life. Shelley and her husband have four grown children and two grandkids.

Angie Buja

Angie Buja

Family Program Facilitator
Angie Buja serves as the Family Program Facilitator for Burning Tree Ranch. Responsible for co-creating Burning Tree’s nationally recognized family program, Angie is a practiced therapist who believes in treating addiction as a family disease, not an individual disease. By helping families navigate through the repeating patterns of relapse, Angie guides families in identifying how they can contribute differently to help achieve better, more meaningful results. Her presentations include humor, education, experiential exercises as well as sharing about her own “growth opportunities”. She also holds the license of supervisor and enjoys working with new clinicians as they pursue their professional development. Angie is happily married with a teenage son. She works and lives in Dallas, TX. and is the co-founder of Sparrow House Counseling.
David Elliot, Founder

David Elliott

Founder & President
David Elliott serves as the Founder and President of Burning Tree Programs. Responsible for architecting the vision of the organization, David’s chief mission is to promote lasting change in the lives of those suffering from chronic relapse. With a hands-on approach, involved presence, and unyielding commitment to excellence, David serves as the heartbeat of our organization’s steadfast commitment to long-term, progress-based treatment. “My favorite part of what we do is to witness the evolution that individuals undergo during the course of treatment at Burning Tree.” An avid dog lover, Mr. Elliott resides in Dallas, TX. He has been sober since 1992.
Dawn Wilson

Dawn WIlson

BS | Director of Transition Services

Dawn Wilson serves as Director of Transition Services for Burning Tree Ranch and has a Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from The University of Texas at Dallas. Responsible for extending Burning Tree’s standard of excellence into the transitional phase of the program, Dawn incorporates accountability, structure, and consistency to help our clients reintegrate into independent living. A weekly participant at Burning Tree’s Master Treatment Planning, Dawn is familiar with every client, from their very first week all the way to graduation. An active participant in the Down Syndrome Community, Dawn fundraises for the Down Syndrome Guild and The Rise School of Dallas, a non-profit that serves children with Down Syndrome. Happily married, she is the loving mother of 6 beautiful children. Dawn has been sober since 2004.

Carey Ferren

Carey Ferren

LCDC, Director of Alumni
Carey Ferren serves as the Alumni Director for Burning Tree Ranch. With fifteen years of service as a Ranch team member, Carey has participated in multiple roles throughout his career ranging from Counselor to Assistant Clinical Director. Today, as Director of Alumni, Carey incorporates his therapeutic background to engage our Alumni in a host of community-based activities designed to inspire a deeper sense of fellowship and connectedness. An alumnus of Burning Tree Ranch himself, Carey became sober in 2004. He is happily married and the proud father of two children ages 18 and 14.
Brook McKenzie, COO

Brook McKenzie

LCDCI, Chief Operating Officer
Brook McKenzie serves as Chief Operating Officer for Burning Tree Programs. Based at the Ranch facility in Kaufman, TX, Brook plays an everyday part in the lives of our clients and families. His leadership style is informed by his own experience as a Burning Tree Ranch alumnus. With compassion, understanding, and a deep insight into the mind of the chronic relapser, Brook gets to engage in the healing experience of every family that Burning Tree serves. Happily married with two young boys, Brook enjoys fatherhood, sobriety, and all the wonders of living a full life in recovery.
Ashley Martinez, Personal Trainer

Ashley Martinez

Professional Fitness Trainer
Ashley Martinez is a Professional Fitness Trainer at Burning Tree Ranch. With a background working for Camp Gladiator and a certificate in drug and alcohol counseling, Ashley’s goal is to make fitness fun and show her clients that they are capable of overcoming challenges. Ashley works on all types of fitness and sees a direct link between working out and growing stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually. She finds her passion in seeing others overcome their addictions and struggles. Ashley also sings and plays guitar. She has been married 10 years, and enjoys her three beautiful children.
Colleen Quinn, Licensed Counselor Intern

Colleen Quinn

LCDCI, Clinical Team
Colleen Quinn serves as a valuable member of the Burning Tree Ranch clinical team. Utilizing her multi-year training in the behavioral health field, Colleen incorporates practical experience with sound clinical interventions to help facilitate the therapeutic process. Through Colleen’s own recovery, she has learned that once dysfunction has been addressed, lives can drastically change. Colleen’s goal is to help others discover what is not working in their lives and make lasting changes. Sober since 2017, Colleen is an alumnus of Burning Tree Ranch. She lives in Dallas TX where she participates in a vibrant women’s recovery community.
Meghan Bohlman, Clinical Director

Meghan Bohlman

LPC, LCDC, EMDR-Trained, Clinical Director

Meghan Bohlman serves as Clinical Director for Burning Tree Ranch. Holding a Master of Arts in International Disaster Psychology, Meghan’s therapeutic specialties include Trauma, Addiction and Family Dynamics. Her leadership style encourages the team to integrate objectivity with compassion while remaining consistently focused on the mission of offering ethical and authentic clinical interventions to the chronic relapser. A published researcher, Division I athlete, and EMDR-Trained therapist, Meghan embodies the Burning Tree standard of excellence. Happily married, she and her husband reside in Kaufman, TX.

Jesse Earwood, Executive Director

Jesse Earwood

Executive Director
Jesse Earwood serves as Executive Director for Burning Tree Ranch. Responsible for upholding Burning Tree’s core philosophy of “creating a life of excellence beyond sobriety,” Jesse’s primary function is to help the client community realize their full potential in recovery. His leadership style inspires trust, confidence, and security as our clients navigate through the difficult challenges of becoming fully and permanently sober. As an alumnus of Burning Tree Ranch himself, Jesse utilizes practical, real-life experience to help our clients establish their own “life of excellence beyond sobriety.” A scratch golfer, Jesse lives in Forney, TX with his wife and daughter. He’s been sober since 2010.

Jennifer Boofer

BA | Neurofeedback Technician
Jennifer Boofer serves as Neurofeedback Technician at Burning Tree Ranch. Responsible for managing the program’s neurotherapy department, Jennifer works collaboratively with the clinical department to help address a host of brain-based disorders. Known for her charismatic smile and warm, easy-going demeanor, Jennifer holds degrees in both Health Information and Sociology. While the science of biological activity and behavior are her specialty, Jennifer also helps manage Burning Tree’s state licensing and compliance standards. A Texas native, Jennifer joined Burning Tree in 2007. She is happily married with two children and ten beautiful grandchildren.

Terry Busse

MS, LCDC | Counselor
Terry Busse serves as Counselor for Burning Tree Ranch. Holding a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Masters of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Terry believes that anyone suffering from addiction can make a full and permanent recovery. “The best thing about Burning Tree is that we address co-occurring and addiction disorders simultaneously. This allows us to focus on the big picture and the big result.” says Terry. “Supported by the gift of time, our clients finally get down to root causes and conditions; and because of that, they finally get to heal.” Originally from Minnesota, Terry has been sober in 1977.

Keyana Lee

MS, LCDC | Counselor
Keyna Lee serves as Counselor for Burning Tree Ranch. Informed by her own lived experience in sobriety and supported by her advanced degree in psychology, Keyna offers invaluable insight to the client community as they engage their own opportunity for permanent recovery. Her dedication to the Burning Tree standard of excellence, coupled with a collaborative, teamwork approach help Keyna fulfill her shared goal of “offering quality care that makes good things happen for someone else.” Following a successful career in law enforcement, Keyna joined the Burning Tree team in 2016. She and her family reside in Kaufman, TX.

Drew McLaughlin

LPC-A, LCDC, EMDR-Trained | Counselor
Drew McLaughlin serves as Counselor for Burning Tree Ranch. Responsible for helping advance the Burning Tree philosophy of love, service, and excellence, Drew blends clinical expertise with over twelve years of personal recovery experience to assist the client community in realizing their own “life of excellence beyond sobriety.” As a Burning Tree Ranch graduate, Drew feels privileged to get to help others find freedom from the bondage of addiction. A team member since 2013, Drew holds a Masters Degree in Professional Counseling from Amberton University. He is most proud of being a sober father, husband, son and brother.
Dr. Leslie H. Secrest | Medical Director/Psychiatrist

Dr. Leslie H. Secrest

Medical Director, Psychiatrist
Dr. Leslie H. Secrest serves as Medical Director and Psychiatrist at Burning Tree Ranch. Responsible for helping uphold the organization’s commitment to excellence, Dr Secrest believes in a holistic approach to treating mental health and addiction. Specializing in Adult Psychiatry, Addiction Medicine and Psychotherapy, Dr. Secrest is board-certified by both the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Preventive Medicine / Addiction Medicine. A native of Dallas, TX his numerous awards and recognitions serve as a testament to his 20+ years of service in the field of medicine.
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Peter Piraino

Peter Piraino

LMSW, LCDC | Chief Executive Officer

Peter Piraino, LMSW, serves as Chief Executive Officer for Burning Tree Programs. Responsible for executing the vision of Burning Tree’s philosophy of excellence, Peter’s primary goal is to help as many clients as possible gain access to the treatment they need. A clinician by training, Peter incorporates sound, ethical business practices to help inform the organization of its duties to the greater community. By placing the needs of his staff and company ahead of his own, Peter leads with a team approach that continues to inspire the mission of Burning Tree Programs. A proud father, Peter and his wife count five dogs amongst their family members.