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Alumni of Burning Tree Ranch Long-Term Treatment Program


The 21st Annual Burning Tree Alumni Reunion

Burning Tree Ranch Fireworks
Carey Ferren Alumni
Carey Ferren
LCDC, Alumni Director

Alumni in Action

Our alumni express the experience, strength, and hope that Burning Tree holds for the chronic relapser.
As the nation’s only authentic, long-term treatment provider, our clients enjoy the opportunity to form life-long bonds that create depth, meaning, and a rich sense of fellowship. These relationships, formed as a result of life-changing experiences in treatment, are then further cultivated through the experiences shared as alumni.

Given their profound experience in recovery, our alumni are able to carry a message of hope to the alcoholic and addict who still suffers. Giving back to others, practicing selflessness, and living a life of service are just a few of the principles our alumni strive for.

We also like to have fun! Afterall, there is a lot to celebrate as a Burning Tree Ranch alumni. First among them, a lifetime of permanent sobriety.

Interview with Carey Ferren, LCDC, Alumni Director:

Insights, Professional advice & reccomendations
Carey, you serve as Alumni Director for Burning Tree Ranch. What can you tell us about yourself and your journey?
I got sober at Burning Tree Ranch as a client in 2004. The treatment I received there changed and reshaped my life completely. After completing treatment, I decided I wanted to become a counselor. I’ve been blessed to serve Burning Tree Ranch in multiple roles over fifteen years, including Counselor, Assistant Clinical Director, and now Alumni Director. Everything I learned as a client continues to be a part of who I am today. By the Grace of God, I now have the life I deserve and one that allows me to help others.

Carey, what is the difference between a Burning Tree Ranch Alumni and a Burning Tree Ranch Client?
Great question. A Burning Tree Ranch client is someone who is receiving treatment at our long-term, inpatient facility in Kaufman, Texas. A Burning Tree Ranch alumni is some who, after completing the inpatient portion of our program, is able to participate as an Alumni. We want all of our clients to become alumni.

Carey, Burning Tree places a big emphasis on family and family healing? As a clinician, why do you believe this is so important?
Addiction affects the whole family. Most people believe it’s an individual’s problem. My hope is that our families will be open to new information.

Carey, as a clinician, what message would you like to share with a parent who doesn’t know if they are offering too much or too little to help their addicted loved one?
We know it can be difficult to navigate addiction alone. During the long-term residential phase of treatment our focus is squarely on supporting the family system. Our goal is to provide the loved one and the family some separation and space to engage in their own work individually. Over time, as the clinical benchmarks begin to be met, we reunite them. We have had great success when both the loved one and the family are willing to do the work.

Carey, you've been treating addiction as a counselor for over 15 years. What are some of the top recommendations you have for someone who has recently completed treatment?
Stay involved in a twelve step and alumni community. We all need to stay connected, and we all need to remain accountable as we continue to grow. Those that do seem to do better for the long term.

Carey, your direct e-mail is shared on this webpage. Why did you choose to make this information public?
I have always enjoyed being helpful to those who need guidance. I never know who may need help. Luckily, all I need to do is make myself available and GOD will do the rest.

Carey, recovery can be really fun! What are some of the fun things you plan throughout the year for the Ranch Alumni Program?
The biggest events are the Annual Alumni Reunion held every October as well as our Annual Golf Tournament and Fundraiser. We hold an amazing Fireworks show over the 4th of July and every December we hold our Annual Alumni Christmas party. Throughout the year we host several dinners and outings. We also do a lot of impromptu social gatherings that allow us to be spontaneous and fun. Bowling, Go-Karts, Top Golf…we enjoy a lot of fun and fellowship.We hope you’ll join us!

Carey, what are some of the best ways to find out about the different Alumni events that you have planned throughout the year?
We have a private Alumni Facebook page that promotes a lot of our social activities. All you have to do is reach out to me and I will get you plugged in. We also send out emails and text messages and do everything we can to stay up to speed with one another. It’s a lot of fun to witness all the fantastic things our alumni do with sobriety.

Carey, you have attended quite a few graduation ceremonies at Burning Tree Ranch. What is your favorite part about witnessing a client graduate the program successfully?
My favorite thing about client graduation ceremonies is having all the families and clients together speaking about their collective experience from two different standpoints. A lot of joy comes from the graduation process at Burning Tree Ranch, and a lot of funny, uplifting stories!

Carey, with Ranch Alumni living all of the country, and even internationally, how do you help keep everyone connected?
It’s tough! Social media is helpful. I call and text a great deal. My main goal is to try and get our Alumni to participate in our events as a group. Nothing replaces face to face interactions!

Carey, you wear a gold ring with the Burning Tree Ranch insignia. Why do you and other alumni hold so much esteem for the Ranch program?
This gold ring is for employees with 10 years of service. As for why our alumni hold the Ranch program in such high esteem, the answer is simple: Burning Tree Ranch helped us change our behaviors and ultimately saved our lives. We’re grateful for that!

Carey, Burning Tree Ranch is known for specializing in the treatment of chronic relapsers. What wisdom can you share with someone who is ready to get sober for life?
It isn’t going to be easy, but if you want something different and you’re willing to follow directions, we can help.

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