Guest post by Bob Ruprecht, parent of daughter at E-Nini-Hassee: Outdoor Therapeutic School for Girls
I hope parents find the following helpful as they consider next steps for their daughter. Shortly before turning 17, my daughter’s view of her future began to spiral down. We were a relatively affluent family with few of life’s unfair challenges in our path, yet no matter how much we as parents tried to reassure her and guide her, it wasn’t working. In her frustration and uncertainty she lost her center and reached out in all the wrong directions; she was inconsolable, felt alternatively hurt and enraged, and was unable or unwilling to conform to the structure of daily living and responsibility. She was in a panic, running away – literally – and in need of help.
In one unbelievable year, we tried everything else from counselors, psychiatrists, hospital emergency rooms, a short term intervention and treatment center on the west coast, along with various medications. Thank goodness we finally found Eckerd.
Eckerd allowed life to become simple and safe for our daughter; and allowed her to find her inner strength, confidence, composure and direction. Surrounded by the company of peers and devoid of society’s distractions, the campsite environment provided a rugged but manageable day full of activities and engagement that allowed my daughter to find the handle on her thoughts, her decisions, her words and her behavior. The program is proven, it does not promise rapid change; it allows individual acceptance, which proves to be rewarding and enriching and stabilizing. It allowed my daughter to regain the beautiful foundation within her and aspire to learn and grow again.
What a change it was: My daughter came to Eckerd with the mindset that when she turned 18 in five months, she would simply leave, that she would not be “held there” against her will. She was also sure that she was “not like any of the other girls there.” Instead, as her 18th birthday approached, she realized that walking out meant giving up on herself; and so, she committed to stay, to accelerate her high school completion, and graduate from the program. We couldn’t be more pleased. She composed a graduation speech on the topic of entitlement and it was wonderful.
I am most appreciative of the staff at Eckerd; they each go beyond what can be reasonably expected to provide the in-person support and environment that is healthy.
My best wishes go to every family in their search for the support that is right for their daughter – Eckerd was most helpful for us.
Do you know a girl that can benefit from holistic residential therapy? Read more about Eckerd Kids’ E-Nini-Hasee and how to apply.