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McLean Fernside
The McLean Center at Fernside. For Help and Information Call 800-906-9531.

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Substance Use Treatment

Clinical Staff Bios (pdf)

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The McLean Center at Fernside is a comprehensive residential alcohol and drug treatment program located in the quaint town of Princeton, Massachusetts, 50 miles west of Boston. The program offers concurrent treatment for addiction and other psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Guided by the exceptional clinical care and innovative addiction research at McLean Hospital, the McLean Center at Fernside aims to help adults recover from addiction, maintain abstinence, and gain the insight and skills needed for a full recovery and a life free from drugs and alcohol.

The program offers expert individualized treatment and rehabilitation that includes comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and on-going treatment by an addiction psychiatrist with five-day-a-week availability, along with individual and evidenced-based group therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) provided by highly trained clinicians. Our comprehensive mind and body rehabilitation program includes yoga, mindfulness, individualized fitness programs, general health education, and expressive art and music therapies. Collaboration with referring providers, family education and support, and extensive aftercare planning are also included in the overall addiction treatment plan.

The McLean Center at Fernside provides exceptional, confidential treatment. Our research confirms our dedication to service quality—95% of our clients report receiving excellent care.*
*McLean Perceptions of Care survey

Who We Serve

The McLean Center at Fernside serves men and women over the age of 18.

Individuals who benefit most include those who:

Those with acute psychiatric situations are best served in a hospital setting before attending the residential program at the McLean Center.

Our Medical and Clinical Leadership

Our clinical leadership and staff. (PDF)

Assessment and Care

Our extensive individualized drug and alcohol rehabilitation program operates seven days a week. The focus is on recovery, rehabilitation and relapse prevention and is comprised of individual therapy, small group treatment and psychoeducation.

Program highlights include:
  • Onsite diagnostic assessments and on-going psychopharmacological services, including treatment with buprenorphine, provided by Harvard Medical School faculty.
  • Highly skilled addiction and mental health treatment team with 24-hour onsite residential support.
  • An effective recovery and rehabilitation approach founded on evidence-based treatment modalities for alcohol and drug addiction that have been empirically tested, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
  • A comprehensive mind and body recovery program, directed by a holistic registered nurse, that includes mindfulness, yoga, individualized fitness plans, nutrition education, smoking cessation, and expressive art and music therapies.
  • An integrated treatment approach for patients with substance abuse and psychiatric illness developed by Roger Weiss, MD, chief of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at McLean Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
  • An experienced staff at the McLean Hospital Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program who have been involved in large national studies of medications such as naltrexone (Revia), buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex) and acamprosate (Campral), and who have conducted studies of innovative individual and group psychotherapy and counseling approaches for individuals with substance use and addictive disorders.
  • A clinical team highly knowledgeable about the use of state-of-the-art medications and behavioral approaches in the treatment of drug and alcohol use.
  • Hands-on support and education of family members and significant others about drug and alcohol addiction and close collaboration with referrers and community providers.

Family and Social Support Involvement

Involvement of family and friends in supporting those in drug and alcohol rehabilitation is critical to the success of any recovery plan. With permission, our staff will communicate regularly with family and friends throughout a client's stay. Family and friends are welcomed for scheduled visits to provide support and allow clients to practice new social behaviors and skills. Family and significant others are encouraged to attend scheduled family sessions with their loved one and their primary therapist, either onsite or through telephone conferencing.

Aftercare Planning

The treatment team works closely with each individual in treatment for addiction, as well as family, significant friends and outside providers, to develop an appropriate aftercare plan based on clinical needs, progress made during treatment and individual circumstances and goals. Whether this includes continued residential treatment for addiction in a less restrictive setting, intensive outpatient work, specialized psychiatric treatment or psychopharmacology, the team works with each individual to assure that a concrete aftercare plan for continued addiction recovery is in place at the time of discharge.

Individuals who would benefit from continued addiction treatment in a stable community setting may be interested in the McLean Residence at the Brook. The Brook provides a minimum 90-day drug and alcohol treatment program for those who could achieve a more sustained recovery through longer term transitional care.

Another aftercare option is the McLean Residence at Lincoln. Individuals who would benefit from outpatient or partial hospital treatment at McLean Hospital's Belmont campus and who could benefit from a structured transitional therapeutic setting may choose to stay at the McLean Residence at Lincoln. The program provides individual care management along with educational, vocational and skill building groups to augment outpatient or partial treatment. Individualized care planning is utilized to assist residents with their recovery. Participants work towards acquiring new coping skills designed to enhance the gains made in their treatment. The goal is to further prepare patients to return to independent living in the community.

Setting and Accommodations

The McLean Center at Fernside is located on a mountain-ridge with a breathtaking view of the valley below and the city of Boston in the distance. An elegant Federal mansion house built in 1835 and previously a Bed and Breakfast listed on the Select Registry as a Distinguished Inn of North America, The McLean Center at Fernside exudes all the warmth and charm that a luxurious New England Inn can offer.

Our accommodations are serene and designed to support maximum engagement in treatment. Highlights include:

  • Eight private rooms, each with its own full bath.
  • An on-site fitness center and access to local fitness resources, including skiing, swimming and tennis.
  • Meals prepared onsite by culinary professionals from a five-star restaurant.

Recovery Renewal Track

Relapse can occur after periods of abstinence because of life stressors, psychiatric issues or both. Even when abstinence from drugs and alcohol has been maintained, quality of life can be compromised when depression, anxiety or other psychiatric problems develop or become overwhelming. Recovery Renewal is a specialty treatment track available to individuals who have received treatment at The McLean Center at Fernside and are concerned that drug and alcohol relapse may occur or has occurred because of psychiatric problems or life challenges.

Those who may benefit from the Recovery Renewal include those who have:
  • Remained abstinent from drugs or alcohol but have psychiatric issues that need to be addressed to foster full recovery.
  • Maintained abstinence from drugs or alcohol, but feel they could benefit from learning additional tools to help with the more challenging aspects of life such as relationships, parenting, or cravings and urges to use drugs and alcohol.
  • Have recently slipped and want to return to abstinence.

Length of time in our Recovery Renewal program is flexible based on an individual's situation.

Admission Procedure

The McLean Center at Fernside fields inquiries for the program 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Following an initial inquiry, potential clients contact the Fernside nursing staff and complete a medical and psychiatric intake. Our director reviews the admission information to help determine the need for drug or alcohol detoxification or whether a direct admission is possible. Our knowledgeable staff have multiple resources through the McLean Hospital main campus in Belmont, Massachusetts and throughout the country and will help arrange drug or alcohol detoxification services as needed.

To begin the admission process at the McLean Center at Fernside, please call 800.906.9531 or 978.464.2141 and speak to one of our highly trained staff.

Cost and Payment

The fee for the McLean Fernside program is $1,850 per day. Insurance is not accepted. With the exception of the Recovery Renewal Track, a 30-day minimum stay is required to help assure full benefit from the program.

Contact Us

For more information, please call us at 1.800.906.9531 or request information through our automated online information request form.

Health care professionals who want to make a referral or those persons interested in admission to Fernside should contact All communications are confidential. McLean Fernside is a satellite program of McLean Hospital's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program.

About McLean Hospital

U.S. News & World Report named McLean America's #1 Hospital for Psychiatry in 2013 . McLean Hospital is the largest psychiatric facility of Harvard Medical School, an affiliate of the Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of Partners HealthCare. For more information about McLean visit us on McLeanHospital or follow the hospital on Twitter@McLeanHospital.

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