FAQs for Students

Question: How long will I be at Mountain Valley?

Answer: Most students are with us from 60 to 90 days.

Question:  Will I have a roommate in the dormitory?

Answer: The MVTC dormitories have both single and double rooms.  When students arrive at Mountain Valley, they are placed in rooms as space allows, so while we will take requests for a single or a double room, we cannot always honor those requests.

Question: What will I do on first day at MVTC?

Answer: Our goal during the first day is to assist you in adjusting to your new environment. For some, this is very easy, and for others, is it very challenging. We have found that helping you engage in an activity (e.g. art, bike riding, cooking) that you enjoy may be helpful. You can also expect to participate in group and individual therapy. There will also be time for you to meet with a residential staff member to get your room arranged and to review basic MVTC expectations.  You may even have the opportunity to begin designing your dinner plate.

Question: When will my parents be able to visit me?

Answer:  Visiting about once a month is typical.

Question: What technology can I bring to MVTC?

Answer: We do not allow any device that can connect to the internet.  We do allow ipods/mp3 players, but they cannot have wireless capabilities.  We believe in an “unplugged” culture.  This limits distractions and allows for residents to focus on their treatment goals.

Question: Can I bring money to MVTC?

Answer: No.  You will not need any money on you during your stay.  We also do not want to risk the chance of the money getting lost or stolen.

Question: Can I bring my own food?

Answer: No.  We will provide you with a variety of meals and snacks.  We do not allow personal food being brought to MVTC for a few reasons – we need to be aware of all food allergies and we believe in maintaining a healthy diet.

Question:  Can I call home and my friends?

Answer:  You will eventually be given phone privileges.  This will be determined with your therapist and can look different case by case.  All calls will be supervised throughout your stay

Question:  Can I go home on the weekends?

Answer:  Home visits are driven by your treatment goals.  Most residents do not have home visits.  Visits are arranged with families, but this is also driven by your treatment goals.

Question:  Will I have any free time?

Answer:  There is down time at the dorm during the evenings.  The schedule during the day is very structured and filled with different activities, individual therapy and group therapy.

Question: Can I receive Care Packages from my parents?

Answer: Yes, but we do not want parents sending sugary foods and snacks. Items such as books, magazines, art supplies, new clothing, games and sports equipment are all OK.

Question: What happens if I refuse to participate? Can I go home?

Answer: Mountain Valley’s staff will work with you for as long as it takes. It is our hope that you will find the benefit in the work that you will do while here.  Refusing to participate is not a ticket home. We expect there to be challenging moments and our staff will be there to support you every step of the way.

Question: Does Mountain Valley force me to do things, such as weekend trips, if I don’t want too?

Answer:  At Mountain Valley we believe in “challenge by choice.”  It is our philosophy to encourage residents to achieve their goals, and we provide them with a safe environment to go beyond their comfort level.  It’s also our philosophy not to push residents in situations that are NOT therapeutically relevant.

Question:  When will I know that I am ready to graduate from Mountain Valley?

Answer:  Each resident has an individualized treatment plan with specific goals based on their presenting issues.  You will help to create this plan in collaboration with your therapist and parents.  The plan may be periodically adjusted and updated during your time at MVTC.  When goals have been completed, and you have taken ownership of your exposures and therapy work, then a discharge date will be scheduled.  “Ownership” of your own exposure therapy work simply means that you can put yourself into a fear causing situation and manage through it – not avoid it.  The situation, scenario or object may still cause anxiety, but it won’t be debilitating.

Question: What happens if I think that MVTC is too challenging?

Answer: At times, MVTC will feel challenging.  Prior to MVTC, many residents have spent much of their time on their own, not attending school, not spending time with others, and not spending much time outside their homes.  Others were able to attend some activities and school, but did so with discomfort or significant accommodations (e.g., needing parents to be with them).  Some residents will initially have difficulty being involved at MVTC and the entire program can feel like an “exposure.”  This is normal and expected.  In time, you will learn to cope with discomfort and anxiety and you will begin to feel differently about your time at MVTC.  During graduations, many residents speak about the difficulties they faced at the start of their time at MVTC and then celebrated their successes and the challenges that they overcame during graduation.

Question: What will my parents be doing while I am at MVTC?

Answer: Parents are a necessary part of treatment.  Although you are at MVTC, your parents are working with your therapist, learning new ways of supporting you, and learning more about anxiety, OCD, depression, and other difficulties.  Parents also take part in family therapy with you and your therapist.  Additionally, you and your parents will learn together how to create your own individual and family exposures.

 Question: What does family therapy look like?

Answer: Family therapy involves education for the entire family on ways that all of you can change your behaviors in ways that work for your family; that reduce anxiety; that provide support for all of you; and, that create a positive environment for healthy risk-taking.