Learning To Live Again

by Lon Woodbury on August 25, 2014

Guest Blogger:   Saleem RanaMonday, August 25, 2014

Interview by Lon Woodbury and Liz McGhee

Lon Woodbury and Elizabeth McGhee, radio show hosts on Parent Choices for Struggling Teens on L.A. Talk Radio interviewed Emily, a teenage girl who had been invited to speak on her journey with therapeutic care.   She was accompanied by Carrie Weatherhead, the Director of Development with Saving Teens in Crisis Collaborative.  Emily talked about her experiences in a wilderness treatment program followed by her stay at a therapeutic boarding school.

Lon Woodbury, the publisher of Woodbury Reports and the founder of StrugglingTeens.com and the radio show Parent Choices for Struggling Teens on LATalkRadio.com has worked with families and at-risk adolescents since 1984.  He is an independent educational consultant and an author of a number of books on teens in crisis.  Elizabeth McGhee is the Director of Admissions and Referral Relations at Sandhill Child Development Center in New Mexico.  She has almost two decades of clinical, consulting, and referral relations experience.

About the Guests

Emily is a teenage girl who attended and graduated from a wilderness therapy program and a therapeutic boarding school.  Today, she writes a weekly blog on the Saving Teens website www.savingteens.org.

Carrie Weatherhead is the Director of Development at Saving Teens in Crisis Collaborative (SavingTeens).  She has been a community organizer and a management consultant for non-profits specializing in helping organizations that serve at-risk adolescents.

Emily’s Journey with Therapeutic Care

Emily talked about her journey with therapeutic care and how she learned to live again.  She described how her parents had tried everything before they placed her in a wilderness treatment program in Utah.  However, once she got there, she continued to rebel, refusing to follow directions by staff members.  A turning point came when one of the therapists was able to win her confidence.

After she graduated from the program, she then transitioned to a therapeutic boarding school.  But, once again, she rebelled, trying her best to manipulate her parents to take her back home.  This recalcitrance lasted for 6 months.  Emily decided to cooperate with the program only after her exacerbated parents canceled a visit.   She finally figured out that she had to work the program and graduated 12 months later happy that she had changed her thinking.  Today, Emily is planning on going to college after graduating from high school and aspires to help other troubled teens.

Through the course of therapy, Emily discovered that her obnoxious behavior had been an elaborate attempt to cover her deep sense of shame.  In retrospect, she now views her behavior as dangerous and suicidal.  She offered advice to parents who might be listening to the radio show, suggesting ways to talk to their rebellious teenagers

Carrie Weatherhead contributed to the discussion by talking about how her organization Saving Teens in Crisis Collaborative (SavingTeens) sought to raise funds to help families like Emily’s.  With financial support, these parents can then afford to enroll their at-risk teen in therapeutic boarding schools that are much better equipped to handle the crisis then the parents could back home.  Emily currently is a regular blogger on the Saving Teen’s website.  Sharing her journey with therapeutic care through her blog contributes to the understanding of parents and teens.

For a complete archive of Woodbury Reports articles, go to  strugglingteens.com

Author of Parent Empowerment Handbook on   amazon.com

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