Our therapists, teachers, and residential life staff know that the success of their work with your child depends not only on your child’s involvement, but on yours as well. Utilizing a Family Systems Approach, our work with your child is always done with reference to, and the involvement of, the family. Because the family is such a powerful system, it’s tough for any one member of the family to achieve lasting change unless the family-the system-learns support and accommodates that change. Many adults experience this dynamic when they return home for the holidays; once back in the family system, even the most well-adjusted adult can struggle to not fall back into earlier, less mature behaviors! Our therapists know how tough it can be for a family to go through a healing process together, so they provide a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental place for the whole family to heal and support each other’s change. To support this balance, we provide both individual and family therapy on a weekly basis.
It is easy for parents, teachers, and other caregivers in a teen’s life to err on the side of being either permissive or authoritarian. Both extremes can create real difficulties in the family system, difficulties that are best overcome by a more balanced approach to relating to a teen, an approach that melds nurturance, discipline, and respect. Similar to the Authoritative Parenting Approach, which is based on the research of Dr. Diana Baumrind, our therapists, teachers, and residential staff approach their relationships with our students with what we call Dynamic Guidance. Dynamic Guidance emphasizes an engaged approach to leading young people, an approach that upholds clear boundaries while encouraging dialogue and, ultimately, fostering independence. This approach balances a young person’s need for high standards, caring, and mutual respect. We also work with parents to help them achieve a similarly balanced approach to parenting, based on the Authoritative Parenting Approach.
Because of its location, facility, and program structure, Sunrise is able to offer an unsurpassed balance of security and community involvement. While many RTCs are located in remote areas that emphasize security at the expense of community, Sunrise offers both security and community. Our in-town location gives our students access to internships, jobs, volunteering opportunities, and even shopping and movies as they become ready for those privileges. Our small size, close supervision, and sophisticated but unobtrusive security system allows us to manage that access in order to provide the highest level of safety. Students at Sunrise often comment that the balance of security and in-town access allows them to enjoy a sense of both safety and normalcy as they go through the treatment process. This balance allows us to provide opportunities for students to safely apply what they’ve learned in a real-world environment, without having to go through a program transition and with the ability to return to a more secure situation as needed.
Talk to our staff and they’ll tell you that they love the collaborative environment at Sunrise. Our emphasis on holistic growth means that we apply a team approach to everything we do. You’ll notice when you visit Sunrise that our therapists, teachers, and dorm staff talk to each other. A lot. Our teachers know what’s happening in therapy, and our therapists know what’s going on in residential life. Staff from all departments function as a tight community and operate with a high level of trust. Our commitment to a team approach means that every staff member knows every student, and not just from one angle, but as a whole person. This allows us to support their success holistically as a result. Because of our size, our commitment to balance, and our robust communication, we offer a program that is both integrated and individualized-one that balances our student’s need for therapy, learning, and experience.