Tuesday, September 9, 2014

11 Signs Your Daughter May Need A Therapeutic Boarding School

Sending your daughter away to a therapeutic boarding school is never in a family’s plan. It can be hard and overwhelming when your daughter doesn’t thrive at home and may need extra help and support. It’s hard to know when your daughter needs more help than you can provide. Here are some common signs that we’ve found in girls needing a Therapeutic Boarding School.   

  1. Isolating From Peers: Does your daughter isolate more than normal? Does she hide in her room avoiding her life? Isolating can be defined as socially withdrawing from friends and family and wanting to be alone more than usual.
  2. Codependency/Unhealthy Relationships: If your daughter is changing her core identity in order to “fit in” with a certain group or person, that is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. Needing constant approval or attention from others is another sign. If your daughter feels like she “needs” another person and even goes to extreme measures to reel them in, it may be a codependent relationship.
  3. Difficulties with School:
    • School Refusal: Sleeping in late, frequently late, unexplainably sick
    • Not meeting full potential in school: Grades are dropping, No motivation
  4. Difficulty in Parent or Sibling Relationships
    • Arguing
    • Avoiding or Isolating
    • Lying and  Stealing
    • Physical aggression
  5. Overuse of Technology or Social Media: Wanting to be on Facebook or other social media sites more than participating in real life events with others is a red flag as is using television, the internet, or video games to distract from school or other activities.
  6. Victim of Bullying or Another Traumatic Event: If your daughter has been a victim of bullying or assault, it can have devastating effects and can lead to depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
  7. Sexual Promiscuity: Does your daughter act out sexually or has she had multiple sexual partners? Has she been caught “sexting” or looking at pornography?
  8. Substance Abuse: Is your daughter numbing herself by using alcohol or drugs? Giving into peer pressure and hanging with the wrong crowd can be a red flag for substance abuse.
  9. Suicidal Thoughts or Self-Harm: Does your daughter have suicidal thoughts? Has she cut or burned herself in the past? 
  10. Non-responsive to outpatient therapy: Is attending therapy once a week or more not doing enough? Often times when teenagers don’t respond to outpatient treatment sources, you need to reevaluate their situation. Your daughter may need further care.
  11. Recommendations from Mental Health Professionals: Often your daughter’s therapist or school counselor will recognize that she needs more help than they can provide. They may recommend a Therapeutic Boarding School or a Residential Treatment Center. Even though you won’t want to send your daughter away, you should take into consideration the opinion of a professional. 

3 Steps you Can Take:
  1. For support, tell a close friend or family member what you are going through. It’s tough and you shouldn't go through this alone.
  2. Find an expert in the field such as a counselor or educational consultant who can point you in the right direction. There are thousands of options for treatment. Sometimes it helps to have someone tell you what these options are.
  3. Give us a call at 888-317-9297 for more information on how we can help you get your daughter back. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Backpacking trip in Waterton Lakes National Park

There are many reasons why we are so fortunate that Chrysalis is in Northwest Montana. One of those reasons happens to be how close we are to such expansive, wild, and dramatic scenery that surrounds us in all directions.  We decided to take advantage of our proximity to Canada and head to Waterton Lakes National Park for a backpack trip. I like to describe Waterton as the extension of Glacier National Park in Canada.  It mirrors the eastern and western boundaries of glacier and adds another 185 square miles of protected land to the "crown of the continent".

With a short window of only  three days, we wanted the girls to see some of the most magnificent views the park had to offer so we took a trip into Akimina pass on the southwestern end of the park with intent to summit Akimina ridgeline and see views into Glacier and Waterton alike. 
After several hours of measuring oatmeal, scooping craisins, and counting granola bars, we put food, tents, sleeping bags and cooking gear into our backpacks and headed north across the border.  On our way to the trailhead we passed the famous Prince of Wales Hotel.  We were inspired by the dramatic views surrounding the hotel.  We re-arranged our packs making sure they were stable and we tightened down all the straps, ready to hike the few miles into our campsite. 

We spent the evening setting up tents, huckleberry picking, and enjoying our new home for the next two nights.  The next morning we woke early around 5:30 am to start breakfast, pack up, and get ready for a big day.  We set off on the trail into Forum Lake and headed up the Akimina Ridgeline gaining elevation quickly.  The girls were such a great team supporting and encouraging each other to ascend the steep ridgeline.  After many false summits we found our selves in a cloud with little to no view of the surrounding mountains.  Many of us were disappointed while simultaneously being satisfied by the fortunate chance to be walking within a cloud.  As our view shrank to the few feet in front of us we found ourselves reflecting inwards and finding solace there.  Once the cloud cleared on the other side of the ridgeline, some absolutely outstanding views of the park greeted us.  It was well worth the suspense to experience such a beautiful site.  The energy of the group instantly sparked into a chorus of oohs and aahs.  We then descended into the Wall Lake drainage to find three mountain goats grazing above the lake and more huckleberries on the way down.  Nine miles later, we arrived to make dinner at camp after a successful day!  Early the next morning, we packed up camp and set out down the trail to arrive at the Prince of Wales Hotel where we enjoyed our lunch on the lawn with beautiful views of the lake and valley.

It was a short, but beautiful trip.  The girls put in great effort and reaped great reward.  I am so thankful to be a part of these life changing journeys.

~Ashton, Adventure Staff