The Brookhaven Story

Brookhaven Retreat is privately-owned by Jacqueline Dawes. After losing her daughter to an ecstasy overdose and then losing her husband a year later, she struggled to get back on her feet emotionally. Through her own determination, she followed her passion to help other families prevent the same sort of loss she experienced.

After relocating to East Tennessee, her development background and skills enabled her to redevelop an old smokehouse on a family farm into the 16,000 square foot state-of-the-art treatment center. Hiring the best clinical staff in the business and sparing no expense or attention to detail, Jacqueline is living her dream - helping women reclaim their lives and take control of their bodies and spirits.

Featured Story

My name is Sara and my time at Brookhaven truly was life-saving and life-changing. I came through the front doors so depressed, angry, and confused because I couldn't make myself better, and worse yet I didn't now what was causing me to be so deeply depressed.

I had been in and out of the hospital three times by the time I came here - having thought of suicide and feeling so helpless, and still there wasn't a diagnosis or treatment that was helping me. I was a tough case and so angry at first.

But quickly my brokenness seeped through and withdrawing and crying were my main two responses. It took a long time for me to begin to open up, to listen without crying, and to see the support that was all around me. When I began to let that support in, my healing began.

I found great support in the ladies that were here with me, tremendous support from my therapist Marta, as well as support from many of the other therapists, staff, and nurses. Brookhaven's psychiatrist diagnosed me with Bi Polar Depression, and the medications he prescribed were finally stabilizing my moods and getting me back on track. Before I knew it I had been here 60 days and was beginning to see some progress.

Jacqueline talked to me about joining the Poncho program, which is Brookhaven's life re-alignment program. The day I joined Poncho my journey of healing accelerated dramatically. The Poncho Program is designed to address the many aspects of life that are affected by substance abuse, addictive behaviors, or emotional challenges to mental health.

Because life is like a puzzle, Poncho is made up of 30 pieces and each one must be whole and fit with the others to make a complete picture. These pieces came together for me after carefully looking at the individual pieces of my life (like my job, my friends, my family). I was then able to make small adjustments and plans for healthy change. Poncho gave me confidence and prepared me for my life after Brookhaven.

It also challenged me think about triggers and situations that cause me to get depressed, and taught me to build a prevention plan of how to use my support network to combat those triggers in order to have my whole life be more manageable and more secure. In all, I stayed at Brookhaven for 90 days, and by the time I left I was feeling better than I had in five years. I was not depressed, I had tools I had learned from Poncho, from therapy and from fellow clients that gave me confidence to step back into the real world.

Brookhaven Retreat gave me my life back. It taught me to smile again, showed me that life didn't have to be hour after hour of tears and depression. Brookhaven gave me the help I needed to heal, and I will forever be grateful that I stepped through the front doors and began my journey here.

- Sara

Success Stories

  • “Thanks for everything you did to help me feel alive again. You all are very special and may God bless you and bring happiness to all your lives.”

    - Teresa
  • “Thanks to Jackie and all the staff for all of your love and help, I'll never forget all you did for me! You helped save my life. Thank you so much!”

    - Anonymous
  • “Just a note of thanks to the greatest group of nurses in the world. Thanks for seeing me through the dark side of my life and helping me to start my way to the better me!”

    - Peggy
  • “We can't thank you enough for helping us through yesterday with our daughter. From first being greeted to our late night chats, you have made us feel confident and relieved in such a short time. I have no doubt that she will come back to us healthy and happy again. Thank you again.”

    - M and L
  • Thank you so much for my Poncho. It was so thoughtful of you to think of me. Brookhaven was a GREAT place for me to restart my life. Thank you for starting me on my journey to a new life.

    - Brenna
  • Thank you for your lovely remembrance of all of us on this Labor Day Weekend. I have the precious grandbabies to enhance the already beautiful frames! The thoughtfulness of your gracious spirit always boosts my every day at Brookhaven.
    I want to take this opportunity to tell you that God has surely blessed my life when he touched it with your own. You are genuine… You “show” your integrity. You have a gift to, not only plant seed, but also to cultivate and harvest them. I am honored to walk through these doors, to believe in what I see and do, and I deeply appreciate the philosophy and love shown by the “Queen of Brookhaven.” I really AM glad to be in her court!
    God Bless you

    - Georganne
  • I just had to send you a note of encouragement and congratulations after ready the News Sentinel article on you and Brookhaven Retreat. I am a Knoxville Realtor who found my “niche” in finding the “ugliest” property on the block-seeing the beauty hidden by the neglect and restoring it to it's former glory and exposing it's potential. I have been buying property, doing the restoration and then marketing the house for about 15 years. I felt an instant connection with you when I read about you. I have also a burden to help others in need but never really gotten involved in a program like Brookhaven other than my church. But, I wanted to tell you it sounds like you have really thought of everything from the initial design of the lodge (I also do a little design work) — to the follow up — so importation to life after the chemical stronghold is broken.

    - Vicki
  • I hope this e-mail finds you doing well. I heard through Vanessa that you were back at Brookhaven. I always felt you had such a calling for the work there. They are truly blessed to have you back with them. You have touched so many people there. My life is better for knowing you. That's enough bragging I don't want you to get the big head… LOL… I'm still plugging along. I have found a meeting that I really like and people I can relate to. I also am still doing the online meetings almost everyday. They have been very helpful to me. I haven't been able to talk to any of my Brookhaven cronies in to trying it yet. I am working the steps at my own pace and I also have a sponsor… I still have a lot of work to do but I am thankful for my sobriety and know it is a treasured possession. Every day isn't easy but at the end of the day I am glad of most of the choices I have made. I seem to struggle with second-guessing myself. I owe so much to you and true friends at Brookhaven. Well, I will shut up now and hope to hear from you soon.

    - Stephanie
  • I just wanted to say thank you for all your help!. This experience has been one in a lifetime. I mean how many people get to live in a house full of inspiring women. And like you said, “How many people get to take a month off and work on themselves?” I have grown so much and I'm excited about the future. You helped me realize things about myself but you weren’t overbearing. You let me speak and you just listened and I sincerely took everything you said into consideration. Thank you so much!

    - Hannah
  • Dear Marta,
    I am so glad I got a chance to meet you. I am really going to miss you. Your team building classes were great. I am going to miss them. You always make me laugh and you know how to push my buttons. I will keep in touch. Thank you for everything.

    - Siri
  • April,
    I'm so grateful we spoke alone on the bench in the shade.
    Your words still play in my head. May they never fade…
    With love,

    - Sandra
  • Ladies,
    I want to “Thank You” for allowing me to come share my story to each of you and getting feed back. As long as I keep growing I will be okay… And you helped me do that. I wish you all the best success!

    - Jackie
  • Ladies,
    Today I celebrate 60 days clean. I really miss you.

    - Kathy
  • I'm doing okay but I miss everyone a lot. I'm going to meeting and I have another day clean today. I hope you are well and I hope to see you soon. And I wanted to thank you for always being there when I need you.
    Love Ya,

    - Alicia
  • Ladies,
    Thanks a lot for making me cry! And thanks for letting me know it's okay… Healthy, happy, and sober!

    - Sandra
  • Words can't express the gratitude I have for you. You have quite wisdom that I wish I could continue to glean from but unfortunately that won't be possible. You have given me counsel that I can carry home with me. Thank you so much for making me a priority when I needed you.
    I'll never forget you,

    - Kathy
  • You've helped me, you pushed me, you broke me down. Then you gave me the tools to rebuild. A few of my nails may get bent, but I know how to strengthen them without tearing down anything. I'm doing ninety in ninety. I'll send you my chip…
    With love,

    - Sandra
  • Through this program, I have regained my voice. This is the one program that has helped me deal with issues & get through issues only a woman could understand. I am so thankful & grateful that I got the change to come through these doors. This program gave me my life back. I may be an addict for the rest of my life, but through Brookhaven, I've learned, I'm also a survivor.

    - Lauren
  • Jacqueline,
    I just came in from my front porch after watching the sunset over Lake Norman (near Charlotte, North Carolina)… something I would have not taken the time to do before I was a client at Brookhaven. I imagine that the sun is now setting behind the mountains in Seymour, Tennessee while clients sit in rocking chairs on their porch waiting for the evening “feelings check and meditation” to begin. Though I just left the retreat on Monday of this week, the memories remain fresh and wonderful within my heart. I imagine that the thirty days I spent at Brookhaven will forever leave an incredible imprint on my mind.

    This letter is to thank you for creating a setting of beauty and tranquility in which I could participate in a program of recovery that was both challenging and healing. The all-encompassing curriculum led me to develop daily practices and patterns that continue to support my recovery even on my return back home. Brookhaven has given me tools and strategies that make sense to me. For the first time, I truly believe that I have found a blueprint, a structure that will sustain my long-term recovery. I finally understand what it will take to recover not only from substance abuse but also, more importantly, from the core issues that led to my dependence initially.

    - Anonymous
  • I pestered you, I spoke when you were speaking and yet you still heard me. Thanks for helping me learn patience by modeling it yourself.
    With love,

    - Sandra
  • Jacqueline,
    I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank you for everything I've gained at Brookhaven. This place has really changed my life. Your program has made all the difference in the world to me. I am leaving here a changed woman, and I couldn't have done it without you.
    All My Love,

    - Alissa
  • Dearest Jacqueline,
    I am so sorry that the end of my 3-month wonderful time at Brookhaven ended the way it did. I hope that you understand that my behavior after I come home from surgery is not indicative of how I really am and how much I love Brookhaven. I was in incredible pain, delirious, and on the last day had a severe infection, and a fever. I was not myself at all. For me that last few days didn't change all that I learned over 3 fabulous and life-changing months. I learned and grew so much- especially from you. You will forever top my list as one of the most influential people in my life. I learned more from you in our short time together than I've learned in a lifetime. I am back on my feet and emotionally grounded much in part because of fabulous you! Thank you
    Love Always,

    - December
  • Brookhaven Staff
    Thank you so much for all of the help you have given me. As months pass and I remain clean and sober I am able to enjoy life with my family and friends. Thank you for giving me back a life of stability and hope for future endeavors.
    Love and Blessings,

    - Vanessa
  • Dear Jacqueline,
    I wanted to thank you for taking the time with me today. Your words of wisdom have not fallen on deaf ears. Obviously, I have a lot to think about. I was wondering if you could get copies of “Destructive Relationships,” as well as “Understanding Co-Dependency.” I can already see that I will want to do a lot of highlighting. Good! (Right?)
    Your desire for all of us to achieve our personal best is very heartening.
    Thank you for that.

    - Tiffany
  • To Tammy, Rachel and Tanya!
    Thank you so much for putting up with me for my first week, which was so bad. And thank you for always being so kind, affectionate and always so cheerful even though I would come to the window three or four times in 5 minutes. You are terrific employees and people - woman. You helped make my stay here very enjoyable. Thank you.

    - Sally
  • Dear Jacqueline I so enjoyed the movie and lunch on Friday. It was good to get out with such a fine group of ladies. We laughed and had so much fun. Thank you for your generous gift.
    From the Heart,

    - Sue
  • Thanks for the straight advice and hard-core truth. I like that in people.
    With love,

    - Sandra
  • Jacqueline, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the extra “goodies” that you have done lately. In Poncho, I enjoyed the ice-cream cone in Gatlinburg, the pizza in Pigeon Forge and lunch at Yamato. I also loved the Spa night and goodies that came with that, also the gift from “Nia” night. What a generous soul you are. Externally and internally, you will be greatly blessed.

    - Karilynn
  • Dear Jacqueline Words cannot express the gratitude I have for you and Brookhaven. I was indeed a heron with a broken wing and a broken spirit. But now I am ready to soar again. My time here has healed my wounds and I have learned ways to avoid injury in the future.
    Much love,

    - Mo
  • “Whenever I need you, there you are! Thanks for being you!” Thank you for this opportunity Jacqueline!
    With love,

    - Tiffany
  • Dear Jacqueline, I came to Brookhaven a broken spirit with a shattered soul. I had no faith or hope of ever getting better. I did not want to live but I did not want to cause that pain that my family would endure. I wished for a natural disaster to strike me down. Upon entering Brookhaven I could literally feel the positive energy. For the first time I actually smiled! I was enveloped in love from the patients to the staff. Everyone here took a personal interest in me, not because it was their job, but because they really care.
    I couldn't believe that I deserved all the love I received. But now I know different. How do I even begin to thank you for saving my life? There aren't enough words to express my gratitude.
    Brookhaven has become my home. I always will remember my golden palace and all the love and care that I was given. I truly thank God for helping me find my way here.
    With all my gratitude,

    - Elizabeth
  • Thank you for taking time to talk to us about this amazing story.

    - Summer, Autumn, Dustin and Aaron