Mclean Hospital


A Signature Addiction Recovery Program

We are here to help. Call 877.691.5571.

Call 877.691.5571.

Patient and clinician sitting on living room couch

If you are living with drug or alcohol addiction or if you struggle with substance abuse that is affected by other mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression, we can help.

Fernside, one of McLean Hospital’s Signature Addiction Recovery Programs, offers exceptional clinical care that provides men and women the tools to achieve and maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol, reclaim a sense of self-worth, and learn to manage the stresses of an active life. Our scientifically proven clinical treatment and recovery methods result in positive therapeutic outcomes.

For more information or to make a referral, please call 877.691.5571.

At Fernside, we support patients who want to make the best possible start on the road to recovery. The program is best-suited to those who:

  • Require treatment following the completion of detoxification
  • Have substance use disorders complicated by other psychiatric issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder or other personality disorders
  • Seek longer-term individualized care in a discreet, serene setting
  • Require medication evaluation and management
  • Are ambivalent about making the changes needed to maintain sustained recovery
  • Have previously completed a treatment program but have relapsed or are at risk to relapse
  • Have tried other treatment programs but were not ready for and/or satisfied with the previous care

This self-pay, residential program provides world-class alcohol and drug addiction treatment in the private, charming setting of a renovated country bed and breakfast. Services are available to individuals ages 18 and older.

Our Harvard Medical School-affiliated clinicians are experts in the use of state-of-the-art psychological treatments and medication evaluation and counseling. The program offers the opportunity for 30-day or longer lengths of stay to assure full benefits are achieved.

“My experience at Fernside was invaluable. The individualized attention from the doctors and staff was uniquely satisfying and a crucial part of the program.”– Fernside patient

Read one Signature Recovery patient’s story on living a life without alcohol.

Treatment Approach

Fernside provides attentive, individualized care for drug and alcohol addiction. Our clinicians are experts in substance abuse recovery, rehabilitation, and relapse prevention and are here to help motivate individuals to take the necessary steps to overcome addiction.

Our intensive, seven-day-a-week program focuses on relapse prevention and recovery, and specializes in caring for those whose substance use disorder has not responded to other treatment or is further complicated by other psychiatric illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Tailored treatment plans are designed to address the mental, physical, and spiritual components of addictive disorders through an effective recovery and rehabilitation approach to alcohol and drug addiction and other coexisting mental health conditions. We utilize psychological treatments including motivational enhancement therapy (MET), integrated group therapy (IGT), cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), mindfulness, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

Fernside staff
McLean’s Signature Addiction Recovery Programs—Fernside and Borden Cottage—are committed to offering world-class addiction care

Additional components of treatment include:

  • Intensive onsite diagnostic assessment including medication consultation
  • Intensive individual therapies, small group treatment, and extensive health education
  • Comprehensive mind and body recovery program that includes yoga, individualized fitness plans, nutrition education, smoking cessation, and expressive art therapies
  • Support and education for family members and significant others as well as close collaboration with referrers and community providers
  • Careful aftercare planning and coordination to facilitate and implement an effective post-discharge treatment strategy

Fernside is an integral component of the internationally recognized McLean Hospital Center of Excellence in Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction, which has an unparalleled history of clinical, research, and educational leadership in the field of addiction.

Admission & Cost


As one of McLean’s Signature Addiction Recovery Programs, Fernside is ideal for those who require treatment following the completion of detoxification or who have substance use disorders complicated by other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Individuals seeking longer-term individualized care in a discreet, serene setting or who require medication evaluation and management will also benefit from the programs.

Fernside fields inquiries for the program 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about program admission or to make a referral, please contact:

Phone: 877.691.5571

People come to Fernside from across the United States and around the world. Our knowledgeable admissions staff have information about resources nationwide, and can help arrange drug or alcohol detoxification services as needed prior to admission.


The fee for Fernside is $1,990 per day, and as a self-pay program we do not accept insurance or any third-party reimbursement.

A 30-day minimum stay is recommended to help assure full benefit from the program.

For more information about what is included in the Fernside day rate, please see below.

Treatment Team

Program Leadership

Rocco Iannucci, MDRocco A. Iannucci, MD, Director

Board certified in psychiatry and addiction psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Iannucci is an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His clinical interests include treatment of people with severe substance use disorders and those with co-occurring mental health conditions. He has published and presented on topics such as cocaine and amphetamine use disorders and the treatment of addiction in residential programs.

Robin Gay, PhDRobin Gay, PhD, Director of Psychological Services, Fernside

Dr. Gay’s clinical interests include the effects of substance use disorders on cognitive functioning and relation to treatment outcomes. Her research has been presented nationally and internationally and she was the recipient of the New York State Psychological Association’s Sidney Orgel Award. Dr. Gay previously served in a leadership capacity in the New York State Psychological Association, as she was elected Secretary and served on their foundation board.

Hilary S. Connery, MD, PhDHilary S. Connery, MD, PhD, Clinical Director, Center of Excellence in Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction

Dr. Connery’s expertise includes treatment of opioid use disorders and integrated treatments for co-occurring substance use disorders and other mental illnesses. She was a contributor to the APA Practice Guidelines for the treatment of substance misuse and is an investigator in the New England Consortium of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network. Her current research efforts address self-injury mortality and connections between suicide and drug overdose.

Roger D. Weiss, MDRoger D. Weiss, MD, Senior Consultant

Currently chief of McLean’s Center of Excellence in Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction, Dr. Weiss’ career has focused on treatment and clinical research with substance-dependent patients. He has authored over 300 publications, including several books, and is the recipient of numerous National Institutes of Health grants for developing integrated group therapy, as well as leading a multisite treatment study of prescription opioid dependence.

Shelly F. Greenfield, MD, MPHShelly F. Greenfield, MD, MPH, Senior Consultant

Dr. Greenfield is an addiction psychiatrist, clinician, and researcher. Her research focuses on treatment, gender differences, and health services as relates to substance use. She is a recipient of National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funding for mentoring in substance use disorder patient oriented research as well as for developing and testing a new manual-based group therapy for women with substance use disorders.

Nancy Merrill, PMHCNS, BCNancy Merrill, PMHCNS, BC, Senior Consultant

A board certified advanced practice psychiatric nurse for more than 30 years, Ms. Merrill has been working in McLean’s Center of Excellence in Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction for the past 20 years and is currently program director of the Alcohol, Drug, and Addiction Inpatient Program. During her time at McLean, she has been involved in several national research projects including the COMBINE study, the Topamax medication study, and the integrated group therapy study.

Staff and Associates

The Fernside treatment team is a multidisciplinary group of board-certified psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, registered nurses, community residence counselors, and an expressive therapist. Our well-trained and experienced staff specialize in addiction care and are dedicated to providing compassionate treatment and support for patients and their families.

Learn more about the Fernside treatment team.

Books by Fernside Authors

McLean Signature Addiction Recovery Programs staff are highly sought after for their expertise in alcohol and drug abuse treatment. In recent years, McLean staff have penned more than 50 books, including several on the topic of addiction.


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 nineteenth-century mansion and previously a bed and breakfast listed on the Select Registry as a Distinguished Inn of North America, Fernside exudes all the warmth and charm of a luxurious New England inn. The program offers patients exceptional accommodations with fully equipped en suite bathrooms and daily meals prepared by a master chef.

Fernside is in Central Massachusetts

Fernside features an art studio and gym as well as access to hiking trails. Patients have access to local resources including skiing, swimming, and tennis. With 15 private acres of lawns, gardens, and woodland, and views of Wachusett Mountain and Boston, Fernside offers unequaled treatment in a charming, New England bed and breakfast setting.

Alumni Program

To provide a supportive, compassionate transition from residential treatment, McLean offers a robust alumni program for all Signature Addiction Recovery patients.

McLean’s alumni services begin prior to leaving residential care, where patients are introduced to aftercare programming that includes, but is not limited to:

  • Up to 2 years of post-discharge phone and virtual support
  • Biannual local and national alumni events
  • Monthly meetings with program team members and fellow Signature Addiction Recovery alumni
  • Ongoing capacity to reach out to the alumni coordinator for individual consultation

All of these services are provided free of charge and are intended to support each member in recovery and continue to establish a familiar, connected network of alumni and practitioners invested in supporting maintained sobriety.

McLean’s alumni services are overseen by Lee FitzGerald, CADC-I, CIP, who brings more than 20 years of experience as an interventionist and practitioner in helping patients and families establish safe and sober lives rooted in recovery.


Where is Fernside located?

Fernside is in Princeton, Massachusetts. For more information on directions, parking, and local accommodations, please visit our Maps & Directions page.

Who benefits most from Fernside?

Fernside’s residential program focuses on treating individuals with serious substance use disorders, many of whom will have co-occurring psychiatric conditions including depression, anxiety, trauma, or personality disorders.

Is family involved in treatment?

Family involvement is strongly recommended. With permission of the patient, family members can be involved in assessment and in treatment/aftercare planning. We also offer a weekly family support and education group that includes the option to participate via video teleconference.

Is smoking permitted?

Smoking is allowed in designated outdoor areas only. No smoking is allowed inside any of our buildings. Use of chewing tobacco and “e-cigarettes” is not permitted.

When are visiting hours?

At Fernside, visiting hours are noon to 8pm on weekends, and other hours as arranged.

Are cell phones and other electronics allowed?

Individuals are permitted to hold and use their cell phones and computers, with some guidelines to prevent disruption of the program and other patients.

Is Alcoholics Anonymous a required component of treatment?

Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step groups are not required, though we expect program participants to attend some form of self-help five evenings per week. We offer several alternatives to AA such as SMART Recovery and mindfulness-based self-help. Individualized plans can be created to fit a patient’s needs.

Is the patient’s stay at the program kept private?

Privacy is of the utmost importance to Fernside, and we ensure confidentiality through our highly trained, professional, and discreet staff. No third party, whether known to the patient or not, has access to medical records, health information, or any information about a patient’s stay without prior written authorization from the patient.

Are support and educational resources available?

From helpful online resources to self-help groups and more, McLean Hospital is committed to providing support and mental health education to aid patients and families on the path to recovery.

Is aftercare planning a part of the program?

The treatment team works closely with the individual as well as with family, significant friends, and outside providers to develop a personalized aftercare plan. Recommendations by staff are made based upon clinical needs, progress made during treatment, and long-term treatment goals.

Man standing on Fernside porch
Call us at 877.691.5571 to learn more about McLean’s Signature Addiction Recovery Programs

Can former patients access their medical records?

All requests for medical records should be directed to McLean’s Health Information Management Department.

Are support groups offered during and after treatment?

To complement our programs’ services and encourage individuals’ initiatives in their own recovery, many self-help groups are hosted by McLean, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and SMART Recovery. For information about self-help groups local to Fernside, please ask program staff.

Does McLean gather patient feedback?

McLean is dedicated to maintaining high-quality and effective patient care. To ensure that those standards remain at the highest level, we utilize a number of feedback instruments and quality indicators. Among these tools are the Perceptions of Care survey which monitors patient satisfaction, and BASIS-24™, a psychiatric outcomes measurement tool created at McLean and widely used in the U.S. and around the world, which delivers feedback on the patient care experience.

What is included in the Fernside day rate?

Clinical services such as:

  • Professional evaluation, diagnostic assessment, and treatment for substance use disorders and co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses
  • Psychiatric medical director onsite, day and evening nursing care and around-the-clock direct care
  • Patient education services
  • Intensive individual therapy (3 sessions/week with primary therapist) and group therapy (more than 25 groups per week)
  • In-depth psychiatric assessment
  • Medication evaluation and management
  • Onsite internal medicine/initial physical
  • Family support and education
  • Case management services (ongoing consultation with referring clinician and aftercare planning)
  • Nutritional consultations
  • Smoking cessation treatment and support
  • Routine laboratory testing

Non-clinical services:

  • Well-appointed, single bedrooms and private baths
  • Gourmet meals served onsite, healthy snacks and beverages
  • Superior housekeeping services
  • Onsite fitness studio, personal trainer, yoga instructor
  • Arrival and departure transportation services available
  • Transportation services to scheduled clinical appointments
  • Expressive therapies, art studio with quality easels and supplies

What is not included in the day rate?

McLean Hospital ancillary services such as:

  • Neuropsychological testing
  • Neurological consultations
  • Competency assessments
  • Specialty imaging – MRI and others
  • Specialty psychiatric consultations, forensic consultations

Other medical services:

  • Additional offsite laboratory testing; specialty laboratory assessments (such as genetic testing)
  • Ambulance services, emergency room visits
  • Medications
  • Specialized pain management
  • Sleep study
  • Special duty nursing
  • Dental services
  • Physical therapy
  • Additional specialized medical services and consultations
  • Executive health evaluation (through Massachusetts General Hospital)
  • Acupuncture, massage

Non-clinical services:

  • Transportation services (other than to scheduled appointments)
  • Offsite meals
  • Personal beauty/hair salon services
  • Personal laundry and dry cleaning

These optional ancillary clinical and medical services may or may not be covered by the patient’s insurance.

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