I would consider ourselves a typical middle class American family. We have 4 children, I am a stay at home mom, we have read plenty of parenting books, we are involved in our children’s lives in school, as well as in our church and community. Somewhere along the line, things started going wrong with one of our daughters. We tried talking to her; we tried punishing her; we tried lecturing her; we tried loving her “more”; we tried controlling her; we tried EVERYTHING. Eventually, we started therapy, and then a day treatment program. We woke up one day and wondered “how did we get to this place? We are good people with the best of intentions. This can’t be happening to us”.
I started researching RTCs and talking with our doctors and therapists. From my first conversation with the admissions counselor at Sunrise, I had a very positive feeling about this facility. I was sent quite a bit of material about the program, and contacted several of their references (speaking with both previous parents and students). I made a trip to Utah to tour the facility and interview the staff. From the moment I walked in the door, I really felt like this was the right place for our daughter. They patiently answered my many many questions, as well as asked a lot of questions to have a better understanding of our family.
Sunrise uses a variety of different therapies and individualizes each girls’ treatment plan. Their treatment team meets on a weekly basis and is constantly making adjustments, as needed, to better help each girl. We have been well informed of what is happening with our daughter, as well as given detailed explanations as to why they are using particular approaches. The level system has been a remarkable and rewarding approach for our daughter; this method builds trust, respect and self confidence. One of our biggest concerns was “what happens after treatment?” How does our daughter acclimate to the “real world?” Sunrise does NOT keep the girls in a therapeutic environment at all times. They do service projects and infiltrate into the community in a positive way while still in treatment. This is such an important and vital piece that is missing from most other RTC’s.
Although our daughter was the one acting out, we also realize this is a “family issue” and we as the parents have some work to do too. Sunrise offers much guidance in this area as well. There are Parent Weekends every quarter, family therapy, suggestions on reading material, required assignments, and weekly webinars that coincide with what the girls are working on. One of the most important things we had to remember while our daughter was in treatment, was that “our way didn’t work”. We had to trust that Sunrise had a “better way” (proven by their track record and the many families we spoke with), and become students ourselves, too.
On my first visit to Sunrise, I asked “would you be honest with us, if after a month or so, our daughter wasn’t progressing and this just wasn’t the right fit for her?” Their response was, “If after a very short time, your daughter wasn’t responding, we would be asking ourselves, ‘what do we need to do differently? What is our next approach?'” That spoke volumes to me…and every word of it has been true.
Our family is so grateful to Sunrise for helping ALL of us get back on track. We feel like our family is better and stronger than ever.