What was happening with your child and family that prompted you to call Bodin?
Our daughter, B, was in serious crisis at 16. She had been having issues with depression, eating disorders and body image issues starting at 14 ½. She was hanging on, but 6 months later got sexually assaulted and the downward spiral began. Our daughter began using drugs more frequently, didn’t eat, and within 6 months was in serious condition. She admitted to intravenous drug use and became very ill from use of a dirty needle. B did not think she could continue as she was and requested help.
Who referred? What had you tried prior to calling Bodin?
I have a friend from college who is a psychologist. She treats adolescents in the Bay Area and had contact with clients who used Bodin. She gave me Bodin’s name and number. Prior to calling Bodin, my daughter had been seeing a local psychologist.
What was your initial experience with Bodin and why did you hire us?
We hired Bodin because I had heard they were the experts to go to. Once we met with them and heard their recommendations, what they would offer, and the costs involved, my husband I discussed the decision. We got additional information, input from friends, and looked at our family’s problem. We knew that looking on the Internet was no way to makes such important decisions. After reviewing all this information, we decided to put our trust in our educational consultant and hired Bodin.
What kind of plan was developed for your child and family?
Initially we did not develop a full scale plan for our daughter, only because we were resistant to it. We were sure our consultant at Bodin was wrong and we could not possibly need all those services for all those months. She was very patient and allowed us to come around to the necessary conclusions at our own pace.
When a wilderness program was first recommended, we resisted for about 3 weeks. Eventually we were convinced that the therapist our consultant recommended there would be a good choice for our child and we took the advice and proceeded.
At each stage, as options were presented to us, they were discussed, the benefits listed for us, and we came around to the proposed plan. At each stage, the advice of our consultant was sound and helpful. She helped us find a way to finance the RTC [residential treatment center] and assisted in finding a good aftercare program upon my daughter’s return. Bodin’s services were excellent and the quality of my daughter’s experiences were enhanced by their knowledge and expertise.
In the time that my daughter was in wilderness and the RTC, I was able to compare notes with other parents; Bodin’s services were the best. The other parents did not have either the consistent relationship which we had with our ed consultant, nor did they have the same level of support.
What was your child’s experience in the schools or programs chosen?
My daughter had good experiences in the programs chosen. The wilderness program was awesome. The staff and the education and experience were top notch. All of the staff was well-trained and professional. We truly believe that our daughter’s therapist there walked on water; we could not have made a better choice. Our consultant did a good job in guiding us in our RTC choice as well. Cost was an issue and we felt that overall, a good fit was made. That was not to say that it was a perfect fit, but we worked out the problems with Bodin’s help, and my daughter’s overall experience was positive. She was able to finish the program and graduate from high school at the same time. Hooray!!!
What was your experience while your child was away?
Our experience was numbing, wonderful, depressing and joyful all at the same time. We were filled with apprehension, suffered periods of missing our child dreadfully, were saddened by her absence at holidays, and were filled with relief that we did not have to worry about her safety in the same way we had become accustomed to in the preceding 18 months.
We also were reassured by our therapists and consultant, had support from other parents and friends, and began to receive communication from our daughter.
We learned something new every week, learned to dread our weekly therapy calls for the horrible truths it would expose, and rejoiced as our daughter slowly began to feel better and re-establish a relationship with us.
Were there any bumps along the way?
Of course there were bumps! If there weren’t bumps, we wouldn’t have needed Bodin. And every time there was an issue or problem, with the program chosen, or with finances, or other problems, we were able to contact our consultant and get some input. At times, we were just able to vent and get a different perspective after talking with our consultant: other times our consultant was able to problem solve with us: a few times our consultant would solve the problem for us. I feel that we made good use of our consultant. We called her and used her services often. We felt she was just as invested in our daughter’s success as we were.
How did your relationship with your consultant develop?
Our relationship with our consultant at Bodin developed quickly. She was straight-forward, didn’t sugar coat anything and gave us lots of information. She covered the process, the expense, the difficult aspects of what we were about to embark on. She was knowledgeable and understanding. We developed a trusting relationship with her fairly quickly and contacted her and counted on her throughout our daughter’s experience.
Our consultant was also able to connect with our daughter in a short period of time. She was able to re-connect with our daughter at different points along the way and gauge her progress. A few times when we were a bit overly optimistic about when Brianna could finish her program, our consultant was able to gauge our daughter’s condition, tell us she was “fragile”, and warn us to proceed more slowly.
How long did you work with Bodin?
We have been working with Bodin for about 16-17 months, and are still “working” with Bodin. We expect to continue actively working with Bodin at least another 6 months. I believe our consultant will always be interested in my child’s progress and well being.
How is your child/family doing now?
Our family is doing well and cautiously optimistic. Our daughter has been home three months, she is attending the local community college, is considering playing soccer, and is meeting with her therapist weekly. My husband and I have a weekly parenting session, our family has biweekly family meetings and a game night. We participate in a family therapy session every six weeks. We are continuing to work on open communication and active listening skills. Overall, the family is working harder at being a family than we ever have, but we are enjoying ourselves and each other more.