Author Topic: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah  (Read 17386 times)

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Offline afterall

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Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2011, 02:12:44 AM »
In response to the reply from the parent whose child got kicked out of Gateway 2010.  I was at gateway from Late 09 to mid 10.  I spent six months at the program which is relatively short.  Most people I knew would stay from 8-11 months.  Fortunately I turned 18 and graduated high school so I had much leverage to leave.  I spent 9 weeks at a wilderness program before being taken to Gateway.  I got driven directly from wilderness to gateway by my wilderness therapist.  Arriving at Gateway I was really happy not to have to sleep outside anymore.  From then on I started noticing how messed up the place was.  Everything was on a schedule and there was no flexibility and little to no freedom.  In the mornings we would wake up and do "morning rec".  This consisted of either dancing to "Sweating to the Oldies" or following a workout plan created by one of the obese Grave staff babysitters.  This would be a anything ranging from step-ups to pseudo-yoga.  You would have to follow every activity with a smile on your face or you would receive a lower grade on your shift sheet.  Ranging from 1-4. (Shifts sheets help determine which level you could apply for).

After the morning rec you "line up in silence" and then go upstairs to shower.  Someone who wanted a "4" on their shifts sheet would volunteer to time showers.  A shower would be 3 minutes with the water on. As I said before everything is based on a schedule and routine.  You would make your bed, get dressed, and then line up to go downstairs for breakfast.  Most of the time that I was at Gateway there would be someone who would throw a tantrum and wouldn't leave their room so everyone would have to wait till another staff would arrive so we could all go downstairs.

School is three classes a day at 1.5 hours a day Monday-Friday.  Many of the teachers seemed qualified and it's extremely difficult to not do your homework when you have so much support.  I am happy for that one aspect of Gateway as I left with better grades that look good on a college transcript.

There's a mid-day "Mat Class" which is run by which-ever student wants a good score on their shift sheet. More yoga nonsense.

After school there is a 10-20 minute recess and then a 2 hour group.  The group includes a check-in and then focuses on whichever inmates are the most fucked up that day/week.  Includes "negative confrontations" aka some kid has beef with another kid, and "negative contracts" some kids talk shit or talk about not gateway appropriate topics.  The entire program shapes the community into policing each other by "holding boundaries" aka  tattle tailing anytime someone breaks any of the hundreds of rules.  

So groups over, now its a recess and a study hall. Dinner. Then a study hall/freetime and after that a Evening group (I forgot what they call it.) People check-in, give feedback (tattle tale), and then write down a some shit about their day.  Then off to bed.

The schedule at gateway is like that Monday through Thursday.  Fridays have more groups and activities. Saturdays and Sundays we would go skiing, rock climbing, or to the recreation center.

Random shit: A lot of the time we could not go to the recreation center or out of the house due to one of the boys throwing a tantrum.  There is a strict 1-4 staff-student ratio.  All conversations must be heard by a staff "staff earshot"--- some staff were bigger dicks about that rule than others.

Phases:

Orientation: first week or two of arriving. No book reading, no social call with parents, can't talk to students Under Mapping with trust, no playing games without a staff.  Can't be alone ever.

Mapping: Can play games, can't talk to students Under Mapping with trust, no books besides self-help, 10 minute social call with parents (with staff on phone), on campus parent visits.

Mapping with Trust: Takes a month to 6 months to make. 15 min social calls w/ staff.  Can read books. Can talk to any student. 6 hour off campus parent visits.

Cairns: 2 months to 6 7 months to make. Can "roam" with staff permission (walk around house alone). Walks outside of house. 20 minute parent calls without staff. Ipod. Overnight visits. Go on facebook with therapist.

Path: No shift sheet. Longer Parent calls. Can talk to the public.

Gateway: Final phase. Other random privileges.

Punishments:
Block: Piece of paper with punishment on it.  You swear= you write a paper. Punishment up to staff discretion. 4 blocks=off phase.
Off Phase: Can only talk to the upper phases, lose some privileges.
Off track: if you mess up.  Can't talk to anyone even staff. Sometimes kept in room all day with a staff. Have to do assignments to get back on track. Can be put off track for going on the internet, fighting staff, relapsing, or constant negativity. Basically a solitary/segregation punishment.



Finally: So that was probably a shit ton to read. I probably left a bunch out.  These type of programs put the parents against their child.  You don't know what to do with your kid so you sent them away, so who do you trust? The therapist or the kid?  The therapist will try to keep your child as long as possible and even suggest a Transitional Living Program if your child is not committed to being sober.

My aftermath. I was at Gateway for six months. I made the Cairns phase but left the program "off-track" as I had been involved in an incident a week before.  I threatened to leave the program when put off track as I was 18. My therapist called the Transitional Living I was supposed to go to and had them tell me I would not be accepted if I left gateway before my release date a week later. My parents would not let me come home.  Well two months down the line I had been at the Transitional Living and was told I would have to stay 4 months longer.  So I left and went on a drug binge. I was sent to a wilderness again. Now I live at home a smoke marijuana a bunch, and do not work or go to college as of yet.   If you're rich Gateway is good daycare/jail and can lead to more money down the drain.  Is your "marijuana addicted teen" worth 150k? I think not....
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Offline darkcloud47

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Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2011, 04:52:01 PM »
as a past gateway student, i know a lot about the school. it is an awful place, the staff are poorly trained and never legitimately cared about my, or any of the students well being. they are typically rude and controlling of the students. Restraints happen frequently, and students are pinned to the ground, crying out in pain as their arm is twisted back.  Many staff gave a student shit for having turrets because they didn't believe him.  at 6:30 in the morning you have to wake up and are ordered to exercise by grave staff, who care even less then day staff. Punishments are frequent and exaggerated. If someone tries to go on email, the punishment is at least a few days in their room, without being "allowed" to talk to anyone. Completely disproportionate.  My therapist has Gateways best interests in mind, not mine. I would specifically ask for help with my issues, and i would have my questions evaded. I tried to tell my parents what was going on, but my 10 min a week phone call was listened to, and when i let a gateway"secret" slip, the staff would hang up the phone, and i would get some type of consequence, on the grounds of being "negative" letters were also read by therapists before they were sent out.  Eventually, I did what I had to in order to get out. I had to enforce rules upon other students to advanced in the humiliating phase system.  I left with no friends to speak of, but was considered some kind of "success" in the program. I am completely shamed by my experience there and by all the things i had to do to leave. My therapist kept me way longer than necessary, then stuck me in a "transition" Gateway program for another 6 months, on top of my previous 8 and a half. When I finally talked to my parents about reality, it was too late, for the transition program has a 6 month contract. This entire thing was hands down the worst experience of my life. I don't trust anyone, I have very little self- worth, and am depressed and anxious now more then ever. What do I need? More treatment for horrible treatment experiences? How ridiculous.
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Offline Redditorsubmod

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Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2011, 11:23:36 PM »
Is this the Gateway that Matthew Woolley, PhD is associated with?
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Offline Redditorsubmod

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Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2011, 11:26:45 PM »
Quote from: "NYC_Mom"
This educational consultant was recommended two me twice, once in 2007 by a psychologist and then again in 2010 by my son’s psychologist. Based on his background, she knew he had significant learning issues and a history of anxiety and depression. After meeting with him she identified him as a “soft” kid and recommended a therapeutic wilderness program.  She then worked with the wilderness program team and recommended Gateway Academy.

Was your Ed Con Lexy Spett or with Bodin Associates?  They don't call these people Ed Con Artists for nothing.
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Offline Redditorsubmod

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Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2011, 11:44:50 PM »
Quote from: "Out of options"
I am not in marketing and am indeed a parent with a child who has suffered severe rage, depression and anxiety that threatened his life. . . . It gave my son a supportive, safe environment, with about 20 hours of therapy a week plus in-house high school and a great outdoor athletic programme.  Family therapy benefited my son, my wife and me and our other sons.  Our lead therapist has remained in touch with us since our son left Gateway and cares about our family.  Is Fornits so cynical that there is no room for belief that there are parents and therapists who truly care and do their best without being part of a conspiracy of evil?

I call bullshit  on "20 hours of therapy a week."  A kid in Gateway usually gets 1 hour of individual therapy a week, which is the minimum requirement by the State of Utah for residential therapeutic facilities.  Kids can go as much as 8 weeks or more without individual therapy.   They wind up being in 'Group' possibly 20 hours a week; but, if you really are a parent who had a kid at Gateway, then you sat through 'Group' when you visited your kid. If you think 'Group' is therapy after having sat through it even once, you are an idiot.

As far as "in-house high school" goes, if you call having the instructor handing the kid a manila envelope full of worksheets and then drinking a soda while reading a newspaper the rest of class session "high school" you are an idiot.  You also forgot to mention that your child did not graduate from high school per se, but had to get a GED as his high school diploma.

And "a great outdoor athletic programme" is a complete joke. Hiking the kids in single file over to a city park once or twice a week doesn't count as 'great.'

There is no way that you are a real parent who had a child at Gateway. You have to be an industry shill.
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Offline Ursus

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Dr. Matthew Woolley aka Dr. Matt
« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2011, 12:22:56 AM »
Quote from: "Redditorsubmod"
Is this the Gateway that Matthew Woolley, PhD is associated with?
There is no mention of him on their website, nor on Struggling Teens. But that doesn't necessarily rule out Gateway Academy's making use of Dr. Woolley's services as an "independent mental health professional."

Fwiw, there *is* a Dr. Matthew Woolley, psychologist, currently practicing in the Salt Lake City area. He even has a website:

    Ask Dr. Matt Woolley

    [/list]
      Hi, I'm Dr. Matt Woolley, a clinical psychologist practicing in Salt Lake City, Utah. I'm an assistant professor in the department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah and I operate a private practice as well. I have opened this website in an effort to reach more people and answer more questions about many of the common concerns we have for ourselves and our families. In the past you may have heard me on the radio or attended one of my community lectures, but have you been able to ask that question that's been on your mind?

      Concerns about daily life, as well as bigger issues, often go unasked and unanswered, but they don't have to.

    There are answers, let me help you find them.

    I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
    Best Regards,
    Dr. Matt[/list][/size]
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    Offline Ursus

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    Re: Dr. Matthew Woolley
    « Reply #36 on: March 27, 2011, 01:28:35 AM »
    From another page of Woolley's website:

      About Dr. Matt[/list]
        About Dr. Matt
        Dr. Matt Woolley is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah and a private practitioner. His training and current practice have an emphasis on the treatment of children, adolescents, and families.

        Clinical Practice
        Dr. Woolley is trained in the use of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and specializes in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. Additionally, he has a strong interest in techniques of applied positive psychology to assist clients in discovering strengths as well as areas of improvement to maximize an individual's potential for change. By utilizing proven methods (Best Practices) individuals and families are more effective in making personal changes, meeting goals, and improving their relationships.

        What Else?
        Dr. Woolley is trained in the psychological assessment of learning disabilities, ADHD, personality and psychopathology, and other cognitive disorders and impairments. For further background information regarding Dr. Woolley's training and experience please click the link below to view his Curriculum Vitae.[/list][/size]
        Unfortunately, I was not able to find the above noted link for Wooley's CV. I was, however, able to locate it on another website. This latter site appears to be, or at least was at one time, his private practice website.
        http://www.profamilyresources.com/vitae.html

        From a separate page linked to the main page of Matthew Woolley's CV, here are the three most recent entries noted under his professional clinical experience:

          PROFESSIONAL & CLINICAL EXPERIENCE:[/list]
            Faculty Instructor, Clinical:  Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah
            Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health Clinic
            650 Komas Drive, Suite 208
            Salt Lake City, UT 84108
            October 2004 to Present
            Duties: Responsible for providing psychological services, including individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and young adults and their families on an outpatient basis. Duties also include providing lectures on the topics of psychotherapy and psychological assessment to psychiatry medical students and residents.

            Adjunct Psychologist: Department of Psychology, University of Utah's Neuropsychiatric Institute
            University Neuropsychiatric Institute
            501 Chipeta Way
            Salt Lake City, UT 84108
            October 2004 to Present
            Duties: Responsible for providing psychological services, including individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and adults in an inpatient psychiatric hospital on an as needed basis. Duties also include providing lectures on the topics of psychotherapy and psychological assessment to psychology doctoral interns.

            Post-Doctoral Resident: University of Utah's Neuropsychiatric Institute
            University Neuropsychiatric Institute
            501 Chipeta Way
            Salt Lake City, UT 84108
            October 2003 to October 2004
            Duties: Responsible for providing psychological services, including individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children and adolescents and their families on an inpatient psychiatric hospital unit as well as for patients attending outpatient day treatment. Duties also include performing on-call therapy and psychological assessments for four adult inpatient psychiatric units.[/list][/size]
            => Does Gateway Academy ever make use of "psychological services, including individual and family therapy and therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and young adults and their families on an outpatient basis" from the University of Utah's Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health Clinic?

            => And, for that matter, does Gateway Academy ever make use of "psychological services, including individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and adults in an inpatient psychiatric hospital on an as needed basis" from the University of Utah's University Neuropsychiatric Institute?
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            Offline Redditorsubmod

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            Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
            « Reply #37 on: March 27, 2011, 03:00:45 AM »
            It is my understanding that Gateway does not have any employed PhD psychologists. I understand they refer the parents of students outside for psychologists.

            For a while, Jeff Hintze was an independent contractor with Gateway. Dr. Hintze had a Ph.D. in Psychology, but it was the wrong type of degree to allow him to be licensed as a psychologist in Utah. He was licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist. That has been a long time ago. I think he was fired by Gateway two or three years ago.

            At least a couple of the owners of Gateway are LCSWs. The kids all laughed about them being given peanut butter sandwiches to eat while the owners were driving porsches. They thought it was funny that the porsches would disappear when a parent visit was scheduled.
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            Offline kickthedeadhorse

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            Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
            « Reply #38 on: May 13, 2011, 10:44:21 PM »

            :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:
            DO NOT SEND YOUR SON HERE!!!!

            I am another gateway survivor, and i can tell you that this place is psychologically traumatizing.
            The staff and therapists use a harsh, shock therapy approach.
            There is no love here, no care, and horrible individual food policies to accommodate dietary needs.
            The verbal blackmail, brainwashing, extortion and pontificating that goes on here on a daily basis is nauseating.
            The mornings here send shivers, the nights end in sweat and frustration from being misunderstood, and degraded.
            Finally,
            One of the students that i was in gateway academy with shot himself in the head a few weeks after getting out of gateway.
            Please save your child from this Nazi infested holocaust.

            Thanks & Good Luck,
            Y
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            Offline kickthedeadhorse

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            Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
            « Reply #39 on: May 13, 2011, 11:12:19 PM »
            Quote from: "rayjax"
            Does anyone have any information about Gateway Academy in Salt Lake City or Draper Utah, or about Melissa Hickman, Julie Barbero, Karen Flynn, or Jeffrey Hintze?

            :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:  :flame:
            DO NOT SEND YOUR SON HERE!!!!

            I am another gateway survivor, and i can tell you that this place is psychologically traumatizing.
            The staff and therapists use a harsh, shock therapy approach.
            There is no love here, no care, and horrible individual food policies to accommodate dietary needs.
            The verbal blackmail, brainwashing, extortion and pontificating that goes on here on a daily basis is nauseating.
            The mornings here send shivers, the nights end in sweat and frustration from being misunderstood, and degraded.
            Finally,
            One of the students that i was in gateway academy with shot himself in the head a few weeks after getting out of gateway.
            Please save your child from this Nazi infested holocaust.

            Thanks & Good Luck,
            Y
            « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

            Offline water

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            Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
            « Reply #40 on: December 07, 2011, 10:03:56 PM »
            I don't know where to begin. I have read the past few posts, and almost cannot believe the experiences some of my fellow Gateway-ers say they've had. I'm am really sorry your experiences were so bad. I know how it feels not to have some last resort program do no good for you, and it is an awful feeling. I'm sorry.

            That being said I would like to put in my own two cents. It is true Gateway is not for everybody. Let me outline, through my experience of going through the program (and even briefly working there) my thoughts on the matter. As there is no other means but to believe me through my own word, I would like to say I will be as unbiased and I can be, which I think can be objective.

            1) Your child must have a strong sense of yearning to get better (whether shown inside or not.)
            2) Your child must not be overly aggressive.
            3) Your child must have some sense of social skills within their conscience.
            4) Your child should be agreeable to some extent in character, since he will be living in such close quarters with other students.

            These are the major things I can think of, and here I will elaborate what necessitates each.

            1) No matter what the staff says or the help the therapists offer, or the medication the psychologist prescribes, if your son has not even shown an ounce of a desire to get better, again, no matter what is done, he will not improve. I would again like to reiterate these are just thoughts, as much as the other poster's are. In a program so in depth as Gateway, each helping hand can be interpreted real easily as an attack on character, or personal rights, or whatever justifies they're anger. I have seen many students drown and go down in a spiral this way, as once you do bad, it's real easy to continue to do so because of the punishment system that is involved. It is just too easy to think, "I'm doing do fucking bad, there's no point to trying in this place anymore." Now that I think about it, as crude and unfortunate as this is, this program is almost a luck of the draw, of whether your son is compatible or not. If he is, then he WILL get better, in one way or more or maybe even turn out a new person. But on the other hand, as behavioral disorders and other problems are so complex, the program may only scratch the surface. In other ways, kids may even turn out worse, but if this is the case, he will most likely be taken out of the program by management because it is so obvious the place isn't working for him.

            With even an ounce of a yearning to get better, the programs offers -- and almost forces -- tools for the student to improve. It is largely a process dependent on the son. Your son should also be patient to a degree, because it does take time for the rules and other things to settle in actually have a chance for it to improve him. I will say this with concreteness, however; the management and staff, at least most of them, do care for the kids. However, let me also add this. The staff changes  in quite a quick term, due to their own educational reasons and such, that this too is a luck of the draw. If your son takes a liking to a particular staff and the staff seems to really help him, this one staff can potentially make all the difference. Remember, the staff there, however temporary, are the ones supervising and guiding the students to follow the rules. They are the ones that do directly influence the students, other than the other students themselves. This also is almost a luck of the draw, that is, the other students there. I learned as much from the staff, maybe even more, from the other students. They taught me qualities I admired in them; they taught me about their home towns, their unique skills; their whole being. Remember the students spend 24/7 with the other students. They live and breathe the other students. They eat together, sleep together, time each other's showers, make sure they follow rules, and almost a militaristic comradeship is born between them. It can also act in reverse. I've seen many students not succeed in the program because  they had trouble with one other students -- either a feud/nemesis or maybe a buddy to ruminate and retaliate against 'the system' with.

            It is, unfortunately, largely luck, again. I will try to highlight aspects that were not concerned with luck however, pertaining to the program.

            2) If your son is overly aggressive, and against any form of 'superior' being, and hates all living things, etc. etc., it may be difficult for him to adjust in a setting consisting mostly of rules, rules, rules, and some more rules. However, in between the spaces of rules there is a community, a culture built of a relational web between the house, the staff, the students, the therapists, and time. The long period of impending ten months, or just about, or just over, or who knows how long. This is scary stuff. My first day, I was pooping in my pants, metaphorically speaking of course. Imagine being faced with a prison, surrounded by more than a dozen unfamiliar faces, and even more unfamiliar rules, and even more unfamiliar adult faces, and maybe add to the fact the last few months were spent possibly in a wilderness program or another in-patient program. It is enough to make Clint Eastwood shed a fearful tear. It is enough to make him squeak at least.

            To go back to the topic of aggression, verbal aggression or physical aggression is the easiest way to fail in this program. To have such a heavy problem that the student can't get (in any sense) in touch with himself is the worst thing I've witnessed in the place. It is so sad I feel something in my chest thinking about it now. One good indicator is, if the student has improved during the stay at wilderness or the previous program before Gateway, there is a good chance, I'm guessing here, that he will continue to improve at Gateway. Gateway is more of a soft program than other inpatient places that seem like wards compared to it, but it is quite condensed either way. If your son is retaliatory and has no desire to get better, and quite frankly, is immature, he will not succeed at Gateway.

            Gateway program in my thoughts, requires a disciplined student, almost so much so that it is scary to think they request that from a person so troubled as to have to be sent here. But at the same time perhaps that is the point -- to implore discipline to your son that you could not. To hope that someone, or something else could get through to your son in a way that you could not. Discipline to avoid trouble, to get used to the rules, to somehow get better, to somehow enjoy even the slightest of joys (however slim) offered in the program, to make best of the situation, to make healthy friendships in light of the circumstances: This is almost too much to ask for a student. But to those who can handle it, they will transform. Maybe in a small way, but for me, it was in small enough way to become a literal gateway to trying to solve my problems. It gave me a platform to leap from, to build upon, to get to higher ground.

            3) and 4) Your child must be to some extent agreeable. Other wise, he will not make friends here, and without being liked or liking another as a friend here in this program is detrimental. It can become very lonely, very easily here in this program. It is real easy to say to oneself, "These people suck, I want to be with my old friends, I don't need this place, no one likes me here anyway, I'm getting out no matter what." As normal as this is in the beginning stages, this thought process will continue if he doesn't make friends, or if he doesn't get along with the others. In fact, not getting along with others most certainly compounds the issue. Even one friend, better yet two, can make a huge difference in accepting the program as barely a necessity. And once that door is open within his mind, somehow he becomes accustomed to the program, and he gradually sees himself rising in phases, and quite faster than he realizes, has graduated and witnessed a tear flowing from his father's eye, a tear of relief and joy. I'm describing my own circumstance here, of course, not everybody's, but just mine, and a few other students as well, whose graduations I've witnessed.

            I don't know a lot about the program from a management perspective, but only from an emotional one, and that tends to be subjective, which I apologize for, but that's how my mind works, and the above I think is my attempt at putting those to words. One should be extremely cautious of placing their son anywhere, but at the same time, they should think of the risk of not putting their son anywhere. For me, it took a suicide attempt, an hospital in-patient program, a teen in-patient program, an out-patient program, and me quitting the out-patient program, and a few forced visits to an educational consultant for me to suddenly be forced awake at 2 am in the morning to fly to Utah state, where at the time I had no idea was on the map. This wasn't to gateway though, it was to another, more extensive in-patient program. Then finally I went to gateway. In less words, it took quite a while for my destination to be chosen, almost I think by Chaos Theory more than anything, to have, in my opinion, the good fortune to land in Gateway. I was relatively calm, had severe depression, had severe social anxiety, and some OCD and slight ADD I was not aware about at the time. I came out with a few close bonds and experiences in nature I probably can't forget even if I wanted to; canyoneering, whitewater rafting, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, bouldering, camping, snowboarding, and many other activities with companions I lived with and breathed with for ten months. Of course many graduated, many were kicked out, and many new ones [students] came in, until I found myself to be the most-veteran there. I was lucky enough to be among those where the program succeeded, persay, in that I graduated with one block the whole program and was fortunate enough to get to Gateway phase. The rules of the program were succinctly and trivially detailed in a previous post, and I thank him for that, as those were similar guidelines to the situation I was put through. The rules do change, however, and so do the countless other factors, for better or for worse. The program does have a marginal amount of flex on account for every student, as each is radically different most times.

            It is true, the Richard Simmons did get on my nerves. I cringe every time I hear "Peggy Sue" thanks to the experience.

            I think what kept me different from the other kids there was my strong desire to improve, to know I could improve, maybe, if I tried hard enough. I cried many times, I thought of death many times, I went crazy in my head a couple times, I lost a sense of self and control of myself as well. It was largely a battle with myself. Luckily I was disciplined enough toward myself where i had relative ease following the rules. I actually didn't mind them that much at all. I was also not too greedy either, which helped allow things to flow around me more than create waves. -- life in Gateway was in many ways tough enough as it was to create any new drama.

            Now that i think back on it, there was just an over-abundance of time. And to a person who isn't dedicated, that is as deadly as a two-sided scalpel. Essentially ten months of time, other kids with problems, random adults, a some-what qualified (but definitely dedicated) therapist (although this position too could change [and let's face it, the therapist is a HUGE part of the success or recovery],) random outings (sometimes lasting a week straight,) long group therapy sessions almost every day, more time, eating around a huge table, chores, time, school, time, time, sleep, time. I'm not listing the schedule here, I'm trying to express the significance of emptiness one may feel at the program. It's not that nothing is being done, it is that it feels as if everything being done is nothing, as life is largely routine, and you're directed to activities and the next part of the day like a herd of sheep. It is what the student decides to do with the time he has to himself, and to self-preservation within the program, that largely dictates his success, I think. I feel like I'm using pretty words here with little concrete meaning, and I think I'm absolutely right; my words have little meaning. It's almost as if I want to say, you'll never know until you put your child behind the facilities walls, whether he will 'make it' or not. It's quite an expensive risk, to further confuse the matter. Is your situation dire enough to constitute the risk? I suppose I'll leave this post with that question, as I could go on and on about this place, as it seems I have already droned. So; is your situation dire enough to constitute the risk?

            Let me add one last point; the managers of the program I believe will stay the same, despite the frequent changes in other member of the faculty. And I honestly know very, very little about them. At times, it is as if they don't quite care directly what the progress within the program is, but this is purely speculation based on the fact that the managers -- or should I say owners -- are rarely on site of the facility. While I was there, early in my stay, they were running a decent place. I suppose that is all I can say.

            Note: I was at the Salt Lake house. The "Victorian" house. The house makes a large difference, more than one would expect, but that is also speculation, as I haven't really spent any significant portion of the program at the other house. I could say this however; the large Draper "ranch" house seemed a lot more "institution" rather than "home" (I spent one night there, as well as many, many short visits) while the Salt Lake house's almost too-confined quarters made for more rapid social interaction, which could be a good or bad thing, but it was more home-like. It does many times feel quite stuffy, however.

            It does pain to me stop reminiscing of those days spent in there, as it was an intense experience and there's so much more to say, but that may very well be my OCD speaking. Okay good bye.

            P.S.; these are opinions, my thoughts, but my experience is as real as the pulse in your heart. Take it for a grain of salt; better yet, a pinch of salt; maybe even a bag of salt, if you are so kind as to let these few words guide you in anyway. Agree or disagree, thank you for the giving me your time in reading. I hope at least one of you gets something out of this post -- I sure did.
            « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

            Offline Xelebes

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            Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
            « Reply #41 on: December 07, 2011, 11:32:47 PM »
            Quote
            1) Your child must have a strong sense of yearning to get better (whether shown inside or not.)
            2) Your child must not be overly aggressive.
            3) Your child must have some sense of social skills within their conscience.
            4) Your child should be agreeable to some extent in character, since he will be living in such close quarters with other students.

            I find these conditions highly suspect.

            The child must yearn to get better.  Away from his parents.  Away from his friends.  Away from his colleagues.  With new colleagues.  With new family.  With new friends.  Do you see the issue?

            The child must not be overly aggressive?  Is there any effort to discern the aggressive and have a plan to deal with them appropriately?  IS there any effort to say that something might be beyond your control, that something is beyond your capacity to deal with?  Are there individuals like this who are mixed with the non aggressive patients?

            The child must have some sense of social skills within their conscience?  What does that mean?  That they must be capable of attaining social skills?  Are you accepting autistic students while holding that condition?  What about if the pre-concieved notion of what a social skill is not matched?  What are the social skills demanded?

            The child should be agreeable?  Or do you mean pliable?  Plastic?  What does agreeable mean?  Does that mean the child is not troubled and does not have addictions?  What in the good world does that even mean?  Agreeable?  This is supposed to be a therapeutic community?
            « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

            Offline Anonymous

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            Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
            « Reply #42 on: December 08, 2011, 12:11:32 AM »
            .
            « Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 10:37:20 PM by Anonymous »

            Offline cmack

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            Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
            « Reply #43 on: December 08, 2011, 12:13:58 AM »
            Quote from: "water"
            I don't know where to begin. I have read the past few posts, and almost cannot believe the experiences some of my fellow Gateway-ers say they've had. I'm am really sorry your experiences were so bad. I know how it feels not to have some last resort program do no good for you, and it is an awful feeling. I'm sorry.

            That being said I would like to put in my own two cents. It is true Gateway is not for everybody. Let me outline, through my experience of going through the program (and even briefly working there) my thoughts on the matter. As there is no other means but to believe me through my own word, I would like to say I will be as unbiased and I can be, which I think can be objective.

            1) Your child must have a strong sense of yearning to get better (whether shown inside or not.)
            2) Your child must not be overly aggressive.
            3) Your child must have some sense of social skills within their conscience.
            4) Your child should be agreeable to some extent in character, since he will be living in such close quarters with other students.

            These are the major things I can think of, and here I will elaborate what necessitates each.

            1) No matter what the staff says or the help the therapists offer, or the medication the psychologist prescribes, if your son has not even shown an ounce of a desire to get better, again, no matter what is done, he will not improve. I would again like to reiterate these are just thoughts, as much as the other poster's are. In a program so in depth as Gateway, each helping hand can be interpreted real easily as an attack on character, or personal rights, or whatever justifies they're anger. I have seen many students drown and go down in a spiral this way, as once you do bad, it's real easy to continue to do so because of the punishment system that is involved. It is just too easy to think, "I'm doing do fucking bad, there's no point to trying in this place anymore." Now that I think about it, as crude and unfortunate as this is, this program is almost a luck of the draw, of whether your son is compatible or not. If he is, then he WILL get better, in one way or more or maybe even turn out a new person. But on the other hand, as behavioral disorders and other problems are so complex, the program may only scratch the surface. In other ways, kids may even turn out worse, but if this is the case, he will most likely be taken out of the program by management because it is so obvious the place isn't working for him.

            With even an ounce of a yearning to get better, the programs offers -- and almost forces -- tools for the student to improve. It is largely a process dependent on the son. Your son should also be patient to a degree, because it does take time for the rules and other things to settle in actually have a chance for it to improve him. I will say this with concreteness, however; the management and staff, at least most of them, do care for the kids. However, let me also add this. The staff changes  in quite a quick term, due to their own educational reasons and such, that this too is a luck of the draw. If your son takes a liking to a particular staff and the staff seems to really help him, this one staff can potentially make all the difference. Remember, the staff there, however temporary, are the ones supervising and guiding the students to follow the rules. They are the ones that do directly influence the students, other than the other students themselves. This also is almost a luck of the draw, that is, the other students there. I learned as much from the staff, maybe even more, from the other students. They taught me qualities I admired in them; they taught me about their home towns, their unique skills; their whole being. Remember the students spend 24/7 with the other students. They live and breathe the other students. They eat together, sleep together, time each other's showers, make sure they follow rules, and almost a militaristic comradeship is born between them. It can also act in reverse. I've seen many students not succeed in the program because  they had trouble with one other students -- either a feud/nemesis or maybe a buddy to ruminate and retaliate against 'the system' with.

            It is, unfortunately, largely luck, again. I will try to highlight aspects that were not concerned with luck however, pertaining to the program.

            2) If your son is overly aggressive, and against any form of 'superior' being, and hates all living things, etc. etc., it may be difficult for him to adjust in a setting consisting mostly of rules, rules, rules, and some more rules. However, in between the spaces of rules there is a community, a culture built of a relational web between the house, the staff, the students, the therapists, and time. The long period of impending ten months, or just about, or just over, or who knows how long. This is scary stuff. My first day, I was pooping in my pants, metaphorically speaking of course. Imagine being faced with a prison, surrounded by more than a dozen unfamiliar faces, and even more unfamiliar rules, and even more unfamiliar adult faces, and maybe add to the fact the last few months were spent possibly in a wilderness program or another in-patient program. It is enough to make Clint Eastwood shed a fearful tear. It is enough to make him squeak at least.

            To go back to the topic of aggression, verbal aggression or physical aggression is the easiest way to fail in this program. To have such a heavy problem that the student can't get (in any sense) in touch with himself is the worst thing I've witnessed in the place. It is so sad I feel something in my chest thinking about it now. One good indicator is, if the student has improved during the stay at wilderness or the previous program before Gateway, there is a good chance, I'm guessing here, that he will continue to improve at Gateway. Gateway is more of a soft program than other inpatient places that seem like wards compared to it, but it is quite condensed either way. If your son is retaliatory and has no desire to get better, and quite frankly, is immature, he will not succeed at Gateway.

            Gateway program in my thoughts, requires a disciplined student, almost so much so that it is scary to think they request that from a person so troubled as to have to be sent here. But at the same time perhaps that is the point -- to implore discipline to your son that you could not. To hope that someone, or something else could get through to your son in a way that you could not. Discipline to avoid trouble, to get used to the rules, to somehow get better, to somehow enjoy even the slightest of joys (however slim) offered in the program, to make best of the situation, to make healthy friendships in light of the circumstances: This is almost too much to ask for a student. But to those who can handle it, they will transform. Maybe in a small way, but for me, it was in small enough way to become a literal gateway to trying to solve my problems. It gave me a platform to leap from, to build upon, to get to higher ground.

            3) and 4) Your child must be to some extent agreeable. Other wise, he will not make friends here, and without being liked or liking another as a friend here in this program is detrimental. It can become very lonely, very easily here in this program. It is real easy to say to oneself, "These people suck, I want to be with my old friends, I don't need this place, no one likes me here anyway, I'm getting out no matter what." As normal as this is in the beginning stages, this thought process will continue if he doesn't make friends, or if he doesn't get along with the others. In fact, not getting along with others most certainly compounds the issue. Even one friend, better yet two, can make a huge difference in accepting the program as barely a necessity. And once that door is open within his mind, somehow he becomes accustomed to the program, and he gradually sees himself rising in phases, and quite faster than he realizes, has graduated and witnessed a tear flowing from his father's eye, a tear of relief and joy. I'm describing my own circumstance here, of course, not everybody's, but just mine, and a few other students as well, whose graduations I've witnessed.

            I don't know a lot about the program from a management perspective, but only from an emotional one, and that tends to be subjective, which I apologize for, but that's how my mind works, and the above I think is my attempt at putting those to words. One should be extremely cautious of placing their son anywhere, but at the same time, they should think of the risk of not putting their son anywhere. For me, it took a suicide attempt, an hospital in-patient program, a teen in-patient program, an out-patient program, and me quitting the out-patient program, and a few forced visits to an educational consultant for me to suddenly be forced awake at 2 am in the morning to fly to Utah state, where at the time I had no idea was on the map. This wasn't to gateway though, it was to another, more extensive in-patient program. Then finally I went to gateway. In less words, it took quite a while for my destination to be chosen, almost I think by Chaos Theory more than anything, to have, in my opinion, the good fortune to land in Gateway. I was relatively calm, had severe depression, had severe social anxiety, and some OCD and slight ADD I was not aware about at the time. I came out with a few close bonds and experiences in nature I probably can't forget even if I wanted to; canyoneering, whitewater rafting, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, bouldering, camping, snowboarding, and many other activities with companions I lived with and breathed with for ten months. Of course many graduated, many were kicked out, and many new ones [students] came in, until I found myself to be the most-veteran there. I was lucky enough to be among those where the program succeeded, persay, in that I graduated with one block the whole program and was fortunate enough to get to Gateway phase. The rules of the program were succinctly and trivially detailed in a previous post, and I thank him for that, as those were similar guidelines to the situation I was put through. The rules do change, however, and so do the countless other factors, for better or for worse. The program does have a marginal amount of flex on account for every student, as each is radically different most times.

            It is true, the Richard Simmons did get on my nerves. I cringe every time I hear "Peggy Sue" thanks to the experience.

            I think what kept me different from the other kids there was my strong desire to improve, to know I could improve, maybe, if I tried hard enough. I cried many times, I thought of death many times, I went crazy in my head a couple times, I lost a sense of self and control of myself as well. It was largely a battle with myself. Luckily I was disciplined enough toward myself where i had relative ease following the rules. I actually didn't mind them that much at all. I was also not too greedy either, which helped allow things to flow around me more than create waves. -- life in Gateway was in many ways tough enough as it was to create any new drama.

            Now that i think back on it, there was just an over-abundance of time. And to a person who isn't dedicated, that is as deadly as a two-sided scalpel. Essentially ten months of time, other kids with problems, random adults, a some-what qualified (but definitely dedicated) therapist (although this position too could change [and let's face it, the therapist is a HUGE part of the success or recovery],) random outings (sometimes lasting a week straight,) long group therapy sessions almost every day, more time, eating around a huge table, chores, time, school, time, time, sleep, time. I'm not listing the schedule here, I'm trying to express the significance of emptiness one may feel at the program. It's not that nothing is being done, it is that it feels as if everything being done is nothing, as life is largely routine, and you're directed to activities and the next part of the day like a herd of sheep. It is what the student decides to do with the time he has to himself, and to self-preservation within the program, that largely dictates his success, I think. I feel like I'm using pretty words here with little concrete meaning, and I think I'm absolutely right; my words have little meaning. It's almost as if I want to say, you'll never know until you put your child behind the facilities walls, whether he will 'make it' or not. It's quite an expensive risk, to further confuse the matter. Is your situation dire enough to constitute the risk? I suppose I'll leave this post with that question, as I could go on and on about this place, as it seems I have already droned. So; is your situation dire enough to constitute the risk?

            Let me add one last point; the managers of the program I believe will stay the same, despite the frequent changes in other member of the faculty. And I honestly know very, very little about them. At times, it is as if they don't quite care directly what the progress within the program is, but this is purely speculation based on the fact that the managers -- or should I say owners -- are rarely on site of the facility. While I was there, early in my stay, they were running a decent place. I suppose that is all I can say.

            Note: I was at the Salt Lake house. The "Victorian" house. The house makes a large difference, more than one would expect, but that is also speculation, as I haven't really spent any significant portion of the program at the other house. I could say this however; the large Draper "ranch" house seemed a lot more "institution" rather than "home" (I spent one night there, as well as many, many short visits) while the Salt Lake house's almost too-confined quarters made for more rapid social interaction, which could be a good or bad thing, but it was more home-like. It does many times feel quite stuffy, however.

            It does pain to me stop reminiscing of those days spent in there, as it was an intense experience and there's so much more to say, but that may very well be my OCD speaking. Okay good bye.

            P.S.; these are opinions, my thoughts, but my experience is as real as the pulse in your heart. Take it for a grain of salt; better yet, a pinch of salt; maybe even a bag of salt, if you are so kind as to let these few words guide you in anyway. Agree or disagree, thank you for the giving me your time in reading. I hope at least one of you gets something out of this post -- I sure did.

            Welcome to fornits. Thanks for posting.
            « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

            Offline AuntieEm2

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            Re: Gateway Academy Salt Lake City Utah
            « Reply #44 on: December 08, 2011, 11:26:49 AM »
            Quote
            1) Your child must have a strong sense of yearning to get better (whether shown inside or not.)
            2) Your child must not be overly aggressive.
            3) Your child must have some sense of social skills within their conscience.
            4) Your child should be agreeable to some extent in character, since he will be living in such close quarters with other students.


            ....aaaand if your child possesses these characteristics, then the rationalization for locking them up and isolating them far from loved ones would be...what?

            Don't abandon your child with stragers in a strange land. Find help close to home.

            Auntie Em
            « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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