From Psych Hospital to Emotional Maturity

We have used the services of Bodin for both our children. First for our then 15 year old daughter who had attempted suicide and was in crisis, then months later for our 17 year old son, who was struggling in school, needed evaluation and some extra help in starting college; two very different plans were created and both have been wonderfully successful.

We first called Bodin when our daughter, H, was in a psychiatric hospital after her second suicide attempt in nine months. We knew that she hadn’t been honest about the extent of her depression with anyone, not the therapist we had her working with since her first suicide attempt, not with her friends, nor with us. We realized we could keep her safe at home and had to find out, first of all, what sort of mental illness H had, and secondly, what treatment options would be best for her.

We heard of Bodin from two totally different sets of friends. Each spoke highly of the help they had received. We’ve since been able to recommend Bodin without reservation to other families in crisis.

We knew H needed a treatment program of some sort, but felt totally lost trying to research them ourselves. Which were legitimate, which were boot camps, which would be right for the specific needs of H? Our daughter’s survival depended on the decisions we made at that point. We called Bodin and felt immediately that a huge burden had been lifted from our shoulders. Our Bodin agent assured us that Bodin knew the programs out there very well, had visited them, had relationships with them, and knew which programs were the best therapeutically. She needed to get to know our daughter in order to make recommendations. She asked detailed questions, went to the psychiatric hospital to interview and test H, and was calm and reassuring throughout.

Our Bodin consultant recommended 3 or 4 programs for us to chose from, with a strong leaning toward a Wilderness Program, as a first step. Recommended as the most therapeutically sophisticated wilderness program in the country H was sent out into the wilderness to get back to the basics of survival, of facing herself with no distractions, to receive intense therapeutic challenges and assessment. She was there for 11 weeks and loved it. Our consultant helped us line up an agency to transport our daughter to the program in Utah. She participated in every phone call we had with H’s primary wilderness therapist, so that she would know exactly how H was progressing and what program might be right as a next step.

Based on H’s progress, and the evaluation of her wilderness therapist and the testing done by the psychologist, Bodin recommended four residential treatment programs for H. After visiting them, my husband and I chose one where H spent the next 11 months. The program provided the intense therapy to help H learn to regulate her emotions. The process wasn’t always easy, and our consultant was always available to hear our concerns and talk with the program if necessary. The program is very family based, challenging us to change as well as our daughter. H did so well that she no longer struggles with depression. She learned skills there which she uses daily still. As she gradually succeeded in achieving her therapeutic goals, H gained more freedoms, including visits home and successive privileges.

Bodin helped us choose the next program for H, a step-down program where she would live in a teen home with foster parents, have weekly therapy sessions, yet go to a public high school, get a job, do extra curricular activities, and community service. The idea was to introduce the complexities of normal life while still receiving therapeutic support to maintain the skills H had learned in the residential program. H did spectacularly well, and she loved the program. And H was able to catch up to her grade level so she could graduate on “schedule,” which was important to her.

Overall, H was living away from home for 2¼ years. It was challenging for us, but we knew we needed to provide the help she required to save her life, and give her the tools for a happy future. The plan Bodin helped us choose was a complete success. H is a delightful, responsible, motivated mature 17 year old, with ambitious college aspirations. Moreover, she has tools for remaining emotionally stable that many adults would envy. Thank you to our consultant, and thank you, Bodin.

Our son, N, was struggling with anxiety and didn’t fit the learning style at the highly competitive public high school. Thorough testing at Bodin revealed that he was struggling with ADHD. The same Bodin consultant helped us devise a plan whereby N could have the independence he passionately craved, yet still have oversight and support with independent living skills, time management, and extra tutoring in college. She recommended he go out of state and told us about a program that is concurrent with college enrollment and teaches financial planning, apartment living, provides extra help with college classes and registration, etc. N is in his second year in the program and has succeeded beyond our dreams for him at age 19. His sense of personal identity has blossomed under the guidance of this program, and we are thrilled that he gets the oversight he needs without the parental nagging that was ruining our relationship! He has really built a life for himself in Denver and we couldn’t be more proud.

We feel very close to our Bodin consultant. We’ve been through nearly 3 years of down and ups, of soul searching, questioning ourselves, the programs, the kids. She has always been there for us. She hasn’t hesitated to say if we were interfering in the process, and I’ll still call on her for the occasional parenting reality check. Basically, all of these programs require an enormous leap of faith, because we are entrusting the welfare of our most precious treasure to strangers. The first step in that leap of faith is Bodin. Did we trust Bodin? Yes, with no doubt or hesitation, yes. When our family was in crisis or even needed that extra boost, that faith is worth more than I can ever express. We have so much gratitude. Thank you, Bodin. The choice to go with Bodin was literally life-saving.