Author Topic: Help Me Please!!  (Read 10540 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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« on: June 06, 2006, 09:10:00 AM »
I am considering a placement for my son. He is 12 years old and a very troubled boy. My psychiatrist reccomends a facility called SUWS for a short term placement followed by a long term placement elsewhere. That elsewhere has yet to be determined. Of course I am very concerned and would like to know all of my options. Sending my son off to a wilderness program does seem desirable, but on the other hand I have read so many bad articles about these places.

If I do send my son to a wilderness program what do you suggest that I look for?

What are the possible alternatives I may have overlooked?


In the end I just want my son to be safe. I accept that he will make many mistakes throughout his life, but I know I will not be able to live with myself if my child has a rotten start at life through bad choices.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2006, 11:17:00 AM »
need a ruling, please! is a wilderness program considered a facility, Mr. Moderator?

yes it is. [ This Message was edited by: Three Springs Waygookin on 2006-06-06 20:08 ]
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Offline Troll Control

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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2006, 12:37:00 PM »
Quote
On 2006-06-06 06:10:00, Anonymous wrote:

"I am considering a placement for my son. He is 12 years old and a very troubled boy. My psychiatrist reccomends a facility called SUWS for a short term placement followed by a long term placement elsewhere. That elsewhere has yet to be determined. Of course I am very concerned and would like to know all of my options. Sending my son off to a wilderness program does seem desirable, but on the other hand I have read so many bad articles about these places.



If I do send my son to a wilderness program what do you suggest that I look for?



What are the possible alternatives I may have overlooked?





In the end I just want my son to be safe. I accept that he will make many mistakes throughout his life, but I know I will not be able to live with myself if my child has a rotten start at life through bad choices. "


SUWS is a confirmedly abusive wilderness program.  

See here:

suws


Also, may I ask what your child's diagnosis is?  Has he been evaluated and given a full battery of psychometric testing by a reputable psychologist that specializes in adolescents?  If not, this should be your FIRST STEP.

What concerns me further is that your psychiatrist is recommending this course of treatment at all, considering the copious research that indicates "wilderness therapy" provides no therapeutic benefit whatsoever and that long-term placement and aggregation of distressed teens leads directly (causality, not correlation)to a higher rate of pathology and delinquency, not a "cure" for it.

You should do your research carefully and engage the services of a reputable practitioner that uses research-proven effective treatment.  The path to giving your son a good start in life shouldn't be paved with research-proven ineffective treatment.

Has he had individual/group therapy?  Has your family tried Functional Family Therapy in conjuction with an after-school program for your son?  What about mentoring?

In any case, residential treatment for adolescents should be reserved for those who are severely clinically disturbed and are a physical danger to themselves or others - this condition represents less than 1% of severe clinical pathology - and should never last longer than the requisite period to stabilize the child (30 days maximum).  

In other words, if your son has been diagnosed with a severe mental disorder, this still would not require residential placement unless it were accompanied by acts of violence to self or others.  

That being said, if your son does indeed meet these criteria, a "TBS" or "Emotional Growth" or "Boot Camp" or "Behavior Modification" placement does not and can not provide the appropriate level of care for this condition.

Good luck with your son.  Explore your community-based options with a reputable adolescent specialist and make an informed decision on your child's treatment planning.  Don't be hoodwinked by slick marketers that prey upon your desperate situation - brochures mean nothing - ask for longitudinal clinical studies that show efficacy for their particular program (not surveys).  If they can't provide that, they are hucksters, plain and simple, and should be strictly avoided.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2006, 12:58:00 PM »
We had great sucess with Second Nature Wilderness Program.  Both the Utah and Georgia campuses are good.  It is not an abusive program.  My son loved it and we we received great family therapy as well.
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Offline Troll Control

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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2006, 01:13:00 PM »
That's great that you got lucky and had a "good experience."  That in no way, shape or form provides evidence of efficacy.  Your anecdote, while some may find it "soothing," means absolutely nothing in regard to clinical validity, nor is it a typical experience.

Again, do your research.  "Wilderness Therapy" is research-proven ineffective through clinical study and the results are incontrovertible.  A single anecdote does nothing to change that.  It's like saying "I drive drunk and I've never crashed."  Well, great, but research shows it is dangerous to drive drunk.


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-Arnold Schopenhauer[ This Message was edited by: Dysfunction Junction on 2006-06-06 10:14 ]
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2006, 01:30:00 PM »
Just sharing our "real life" experience with Second Nature Wilderness Program.  It worked for our son and many, many others.  Most pro-wilderness families don't come around these parts.  There are terrible boot camp type wilderness programs but SNWP is not one of them.  I urge you to give them a call.  It is the only wilderness program I would recommend.  You won't hear this often on this site but it can be just as dangerous to do nothing.  Since you've been seeing what I'm sure is a reputable psychiatrist, I can only assume that you've tried everything the previous poster listed above.  Sometimes you run out of options- we did.  Use this site to rule out the worst of the worst and keep in mind that there are good places out there.
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Offline Troll Control

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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2006, 02:11:00 PM »
Quote
You won't hear this often on this site but it can be just as dangerous to do nothing. Since you've been seeing what I'm sure is a reputable psychiatrist...


I don't think anybody here is advocating "do nothing."  That's a mischaracterization designed to erode credibility of some people here.  Don't set up strawmen to knock down - that's not a fair or accurate assessment of what people are saying here.

I question your statement that a particular psychiatrist is "reputable" based on absolutely no evidence.  This is the same type of judgemental, factually bereft reasoning that fills teen warehouses to capacity.  I take issue with that line of thinking.

The fact of the matter is that there are disreputable psychiatrists, just like there are disreputable mechanics, lawyers and business managers.  

I have heard parents report that their psychiatrist recommended "wilderness" because they had received a brochure in the mail and "it looked nice."  There are also psychiatrists who try to medicate every issue.  Both of these sceanarios illustrate poor judgement and certainly psychiatrists aren't immune to it.

Get out of your feelings and into your head.  Use your brain.  Research, compare, ask questions and make an informed decision.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2006, 02:49:00 PM »
I agree with Dysfunction Junction. What is this boy's diagnosis by this psychiatrist? Why does this psychiatrist feel unable to treat this boy himself/herself? Why must this young 12 year old be sent away from home to be treated?
His "start in life" should begin at home, around people who love and care for him.
Is he a danger to himself or others?
I'd ask this psychiatrist to show be medical studies that PROVE wilderness programs and long-term facilities actually WORK for whatever this boy's diagnosis is. This psychiatrist will not be able to provide any such studies.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2006, 03:28:00 PM »
I'm assuming he/she knows the boy and the family circumstances better than we do.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2006, 03:32:00 PM »
On 2006-06-06 11:11:00, Dysfunction Junction wrote:

"
Quote
I have heard parents report that their psychiatrist recommended "wilderness" because they had received a brochure in the mail and "it looked nice."  


Post the link.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2006, 03:42:00 PM »
FYI, Dysfunction Junction believes that NO reputable psychiatrist would recommend Wilderness.  This is untrue.  Our son's psychiatrist, the Adolescent Psych. Director of a major hospital/institution, not only recommended the program, he had previously been on site several times and consulted with the staff psychologists that treated our boy. He doesn't recommend the program for all kids- just the ones he thinks would benefit.  There is certainly a type of kid that would not do well in that setting.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2006, 03:49:00 PM »
What type of kid would not do well in a wilderness program? Could you enlighten us? That is a serious questions.
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Offline Troll Control

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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2006, 03:54:00 PM »
Quote
On 2006-06-06 12:42:00, Anonymous wrote:

"FYI, Dysfunction Junction believes that NO reputable psychiatrist would recommend Wilderness.  This is untrue.  Our son's psychiatrist, the Adolescent Psych. Director of a major hospital/institution, not only recommended the program, he had previously been on site several times and consulted with the staff psychologists that treated our boy. He doesn't recommend the program for all kids- just the ones he thinks would benefit.  There is certainly a type of kid that would not do well in that setting."


This is a parent who has already admitted to sending her kid to wilderness FIRST and only LATER having the psych that is EMPLOYED AT THE FACILITY recommend HIS OWN PROGRAM.  Her kid was never diagnosed with any mental disorder whatsoever.  Take it for what it's worth - this lady has an agenda to promote programs and to attack other PEOPLE instead of their ARGUMENTS.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2006, 03:59:00 PM »
To the parent who said DJ doesn't believe any PSY would recommend a wilderness program:
Did you enroll you kid at a wilderness program BEORE seeing this shrink or NOT?
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2006, 04:02:00 PM »
After he had been seeing the psychiatrist for nearly a year he recommended Second Nature.
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