Author Topic: Controversy spurs gentler approach in Utah wilderness  (Read 4009 times)

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Offline TheWho

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Re: Controversy spurs gentler approach in Utah wilderness
« Reply #60 on: September 13, 2008, 09:20:31 PM »
Nicely stated, "question".  I really wish there was a way to prevent parents from sending kids away for treatment without first trying local services or at least having a therapist agree to the placement first.  This would avoid so many uneeded placements.  Hopefully regulation will standardize some of the practices used within the communities and elliminate some of the more abusive/ineffective ones.


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

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Controversy spurs gentler approach in Utah wilderness
« Reply #61 on: September 14, 2008, 09:26:22 AM »
Wow.  That was one of the best things I've read around here in a long time.    Thanks for that.



Quote from: "Question"
You must realize that most of the world agrees with your position. Take a look at the comments on any news story regarding a death in a program. Most cheer it on, saying the "little bastard deserved what they got". You get out of the program and tell your parents you were abused and they say it was for your own good. You tell the police and they say they can't do anything. You call a lawyer and they ask for thousands of dollars. You write your congressman, they send you a form response letter.

You are not in the minority, TheWho. On fornits, perhaps, but not in the real world. Fornits has an accurate tally now of how many people are on this forum. A dozen, maybe a few more or less, at any given time. That's a very small sliver of the population.

The reason why so many parents believe programs work, is because on the surface, it "seems" like a good idea. All the words and pictures fit together in a mythical way that creates an aura of pleasant imaginations. I know, because I wasn't forced into all the programs I attended. I went willingly to a couple of them after perusing brochures, and discussing it over with my psychiatrist and my parents. Weren't we all surprised when we found out it was horribly abusive, both psychologically and physical. Well, the truth is neither the psychiatrist or parents cared. For a while, eventually after a long period of estrangement they realized I had no motivation to lie, and I had been telling the truth after all.

Fornits is one of the only places in the world where you can discuss these events, and people will believe you. My own friends don't believe what I tell them, so I am never surprised when a parent or someone like that doesn't either. It doesn't make sense. These things don't happen in the United States, a country which everyone thinks would protect it's children. But the truth is bad things happen in programs, and the reason bad things happen is because the theory behind the "treatment" is flawed.

I went from the juvenille justice system, to the psychiatric system, to the RTC system, and finally through the private program arena. The biggest noticeable difference is that the kids in the private sector, I couldn't figure out for the life of me why they were there. I knew why I was there, I was the "special case". The fucked up kid with a long list of mental illness and medication, which nobody knows what to do with. There was a couple of us who had actually been addicted to hard drugs, done illegal things, and faced criminal charges and incarceration. 98% of the kids I met in private programs were there for reasons that do not justify forced incarceration.

I am still flabbergasted at their fate. Kids as young as 12 all the way to 18, all offered the same form "treatment plan" which consisted of uncomfortable and unhealthy living conditions (we all got pink eye and scabies), coercive brainwashing also referred to as behavior modification, confrontational group therapies which consisted of the group of kids tearing each other down, to the delight and entertainment of the high-school educated staff. I know this type of environment does not help anyone, from kids like me who were in treatment for a reason, to the majority who had no business being in any sort of locked environment.

I know what good treatment looks like. The difference is night and day. Private programs and the theories behind their actions do harm, and no good. Notice I did not say they do more harm than good. The good that parents perceive, is a culmination of the child's fear and gratification of being granted leave from the precarious and dangerous situation they surprisingly found themselves in. Parents see this as some sort of result, but it is false. I saw what happens before the parents enter the room. I know what was told of us, what we were supposed to say, and what we weren't supposed to say. The program and us were partners in deception. Deception of the only people that matter, the people signing the checks. This deception continues into the home after the child's eventual return, in fear of being sent again. Many parents vocalize this thread quite regularly as a way to keep order. Fear works.

Positive professional treatment versus confrontational and coercive programs, the effectiveness to me is obvious having flavored both. Remember those normal kids who were sent to a program for ditching school, smoking ciggarettes and having sex? Some of them get out and then kill themselves because of what was done to them.

Parents want to send their kid away for conduct disorder, or depression. A proper RTC will not under any circumstances take a kid away from their school, family and friends for this. As professionals they know that these are better treated in the home. Parents are bypassing traditional treatment because they feel the bar is too high on how "bad" their teen has to get in order to do a full intervention (lockup). I've seen the consequences of this myself, and it's not inspiring.

So you claim that your views and opinions are not tolerated and you are an oppressed minority, forgive me for finding this laughable. You can imagine if fornits equated society how it would feel to be us in everyday life.

You have the entire world. We have this small sliver of cyberspace.

As far as parents finding this site and me trying to scare them into not sending their teen. I plead guilty. I would never suggest a parent follow the actions of my parents, nor would they. But we both know not many parents stop into fornits and read 5 page long threads. Google troubled teen and see what they read. It's 99.9% pro program marketing websites.

I told my parents in letters exactly what was happening, actions that would land a parent in jail if they were done at home, and they ignored it. They chose to believe the programs explanation that it was all manipulation.  

I have no anger any more, it's been several years. I love both my parents and we get along. I am more concerned that other people will follow their mistaken choice, as they freely admit, and it will result in a family's destruction instead of it's salvation. Our goals seem to be the same, our experience seems to differ greatly.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Froderik

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Re: Controversy spurs gentler approach in Utah wilderness
« Reply #62 on: September 14, 2008, 09:42:52 AM »
Quote from: "uramaniac"
Wow.  That was one of the best things I've read around here in a long time.    Thanks for that.
It was a great post; I agree with everything it said, but it wasn't quite as good as this one:

Quote from: "some joker"
Kids don't deserve no goddamn rights, cuz they ain't no better than a bunch of fuckin NIGGERS! If mine ever try to "assert their rights" I'm gonna drag 'em out to the woodshed and tear up their uppity little asses!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Redditorsubmod

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Re: Controversy spurs gentler approach in Utah wilderness
« Reply #63 on: March 27, 2011, 01:42:07 AM »
Quote from: "Guest"
But the rest of Utah's camps pitch hiking and survival skills - making a fire using a bow and arrow, setting traps for game -- as the best way wilderness can break through a teen's problems. The element of risk in being isolated in the desert makes therapy effective, said Andrew Powell, a field director for Outback Therapeutic Expeditions.

There is not therapy in Outback Therapeutic Expeditions. A psychologist goes around once a week and spends about 5 minutes with each kid asking them about whether they have suicidal thoughts. That is it. The rest of the time, the kids are guarded by other kids only a few years older and in some cases, only recently graduated from the same program.

Wilderness is not therapy; it is punishment.  The primary purpose behind 'wilderness' is to make the experience so miserable, that none of the kids want to go back there again.  Marching seven or more miles per day with little food.  Without shoelaces if they consider you a suicide threat. Wilderness is used as a threat in all of the subsequent programs. If the kid fails to comply with the program rules, they are sent back to wilderness to punish them.

And ALL of the kids in wilderness go on to other residential therapeutic programs. The only ones that don't are the kids whose parents can't afford the residential program. Lucky them.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »