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Skills we were never taught
98
A 3 Minute Lesson
on Ending Conflict
Communication Skills-
Don't Be Invalidating
Listen with Empathy -
A Powerful Life Skill
Setting Boundaries
and Setting Limits
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Author Topic: Critical Review | Sunrise RTC: Residential Treatment Center for Teen Girls  (Read 439 times)
PumpkinK
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« on: October 08, 2017, 09:33:13 AM »

Hello- we are seriously considering placing our 16 yr old daughter who has been diagnosed with anxiety depression and definite BPD traits.  We feel this is a crucial time to intervene with treatment.  Obviously it's a heart wrenching to think of sending her away to a residential treatment program in another state but  we feel fortunate that it's an option and want her to get the treatment she needs. We have been vetting sunrise and think this is the way we will go. Does anyone have any experience with sunrise they can help us in our decision? Much appreciated.
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Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
mom2ela

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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 08:05:19 PM »

I have heard great things about McLean and Timberline Knolls. They were both highly recommended by our DBT therapist.
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Bepatient
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 11:45:05 PM »

PumpkinK, a friend's D went to Sunrise four years ago and stayed there for nine months.  A short while after she returned, she relapsed and was sent to a therapeutic boarding school.  She graduated from high school there, but has been struggling with adjusting to life in the "real world". Our D was sent to a wilderness program for two months, and it made her worse, and she has PTSD from her experience.  For someone with emerging BPD traits, being sent away against their will reinforces the feeling of abandonment.   My D is now enrolled in an excellent local IOP that teaches DBT in the evenings, and she attends a public high school during the day. I'm seeing miraculous changes because she can address the triggers she experienced at school the same evening in her DBT IOP.

Why didn't Sunrise work for my friend's or my D? In both cases, the girls were sent involuntarily.  I wish we had done things differently.  It's not that the programs were abusive or bad; my experience is that the teen has to "buy into" the program to work.  Our daughter has turned the corner thanks to the DBT IOP and the support of my husband and me, as well as her therapist andj psychiatrist.  Our D was hospitalized three times in less than two years, so we thought we were doing what we had to do to save her life when we sent her away.  We wish we had given the IOP a chance first.  Be wary that insurance barely reimburses for a residential, wilderness, or therapeutic boarding school.  Also, the admissions director at all of the places I researched told me everything I wanted to hear.  In truth, none of them did the intensive DBT that the IOP offers.  My D's treatment team emphasizes that it's important that the teens practice as many skills in their every day world and not in a manufactured environment. Unless it's a true life threatening situation, I advise that you try at least an IOP or partial hospitalization first. 
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 09:07:16 AM »

Our EC came back with recommendations. I still have a strong like of Falcon but our EC is stronly discouraging us from attending. The reason our EC is so against Falcon is because they are under the umbrella group of schools called Red Rock Canyon schools. Some of there other schools have wide spread abuse. I have not found any bad reports of Falcon but I am still looking for anyone else with experience with Falcon.

The other commendations were for YouthCare, Sunrise, Elevations and Discovery Ranch of girls. Sunrise and Elevations both want us to do a Neuro Psych evaluation before we can be approved. Further delaying us probably another two weeks and even then she could be denied. I have looked at Discovery Ranch and it looks like a resort but have found a review that made me very ill from a recently released resident. It was detailed and horrific!

We are reearching these new RTC and trying to make a decision. Help

Recent information about the sole psychiatrist at Sunrise (all documented if you know where to look) has made that place slip down a few notches and I did read about your visit there as well.

yes, i did look at sunrise... .it did not make the cut... .i talked with molly several times and it sounded good... .when i actually visited it was not at all what i hoped it would be for my then BPD13.  

there are many reasons why i did not chose sunrise... .see more

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dahlias
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 10:29:30 AM »

My 16-year-old with anxiety, depression, ADHD and emerging BPD traits is at Solstice East in North Carolina. I can't speak specifically to Sunrise, but I read some reviews of it and it sounds like a very similarly-structured program.

DD didn't go willingly, but we could tell that while wilderness helped her become aware of the need to change and it knocked her out of her dysfunctional orbit, it didn't give her the tools or the deep understanding of her issues needed for long-term, lasting change. We cried through the intake process because we didn't want to leave her there but we knew we couldn't keep her at home; we were afraid she'd slide back into patterns of substance abuse and self-harm.

In the 5 months that she's been in RTC, she's learned to manage her dysregulated moods and balance social dynamics, academics and activities with no medication. (They tapered her off her medication in a controlled environment, which gave them a baseline "her" to evaluate. So far, so good, knock wood.)

She comes to the weekly Skype therapy sessions cheerful and thoughtful about what she's uncovered in therapy, and while she describes some of it as "overwhelming," she's acknowledges that she's learning a lot from it. She calls us every week for social calls and she's usually pretty chipper and excited about an upcoming activity. She's been on camping and cycling trips that she's really enjoyed. She's preparing for college by studying for the SATs, etc, and we're going to visit schools on upcoming leaves of absence. She feels like she understands herself a lot better. She feels more comfortable being in a structured environment with girls who can relate to her issues and vice versa. She works hard to move through the levels, and she's very proud of her accomplishment when she does.

It isn't all sunshine and roses - some days are tough, not only because of things she deals with but because she's witness to repercussions for behaviors of other girls. I know she's missing out on normal teenage life outside RTC and this isn't the high school experience we hoped for, but it's a long-term investment that we hope will bear out. I read online reviews of the program from other students and parents that honestly scare me sometimes, even though I feel very comfortable with all of the staff and the other parents we've met in person at Parent Seminars have all affirmed our decision to send her there. It's never an easy or straightforward decision, even when things seem to be going well. But we're going to see it through, and I suspect that graduating from the program will, in DD's mind, help her see herself as "emotionally healthy."

With the parallels I see between Solstice and Sunrise, I think it's worth a shot. It's the best-case solution I can think of for our situation - I honestly can't imagine this kind of in-depth work and change in any other environment. Best of luck to you and your family.
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