If you are interested in being considered for admission to Mountain Valley.Visit Admissions

FAQs

Student reading a book in his dorm room

For Parents

How would you describe the program?

MVTC is a unique, nonprofit, residential treatment program combining evidence-based Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy delivered within the context of an experiential wellness curriculum. Activities focusing on organic gardening/farm-to-table, fitness, mindfulness-based programming, recreational therapy, and stewardship projects engage residents in ways to develop skills for a better quality of life after Mountain Valley.

Whom does Mountain Valley serve?

MVTC treats adolescent and emerging adults of all genders, ages 13 to 20, suffering from:

  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive/OC Spectrum Disorders
  • School-based and performance anxiety
  • Perfectionism
  • Specific phobias

What makes Mountain Valley different than other anxiety and OCD treatment programs?

Mountain Valley is unique – and effective – because of our purposeful programming and un-paralleled environment for healing. Unlike other residential treatment programs that focus solely on anxiety and OCD (and there are very few), Mountain Valley is not an institutional or hospital-like setting. Our campus is situated along the Connecticut River on 25 acres of iconic New England landscape. Our clinical programming will match up with the most recognized institutions; yet, the “fun stuff” is what sets us apart. The experiential education modules, our caring, competent and professional staff, and our commitment to serving the whole family system truly makes us a special place.

What will my child do on his/her first day at MVTC?

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

How do phone calls work after the initial one?

After the first phone call – which typically occurs within a week – your child will fall into the regular phone call system. That is, each evening residents are able to sign up for phone call time – typically occurring 4 times per week. Letters and emails to your child’s therapist are welcome.

What if my child won’t talk to me?

Adjusting to Mountain Valley does take some time. Please know that your child’s therapist is working with them to be able to express their thoughts, feelings and concerns to you over the phone. In the meantime, sending a supportive card or letter to let your child know you are thinking of him/her may be helpful.

What if my child asks to come home?

It is very likely your child will ask to come home. This can be due to a variety of reasons: homesickness, an increase in the intensity of therapy, fears related to separation anxiety, a new Mountain Valley friend graduating, feeling overwhelmed, knowing they are missing a family trip or event, etc. Whatever the reason, please respond by validating their reasons for wanting to come home, while reminding them you believe that continuing treatment at Mountain Valley is very important and what is needed right now. We would also recommend following up with your child’s primary therapist regarding how your child is doing and their request to come home. Talking with the therapist will help you understand your child’s concerns and also provide support with how to respond to your child’s request to come home.

When will I be able to visit my child?

Visiting about once a month is typical. Some families, due to distance, may not return to MVTC until their child’s graduation. Coordination of visitation with the primary therapist is essential so family therapy can occur as part of your visit to campus. Feel free to join us for any meals while you are on campus.

How is it determined that a resident has completed the treatment program?

Each resident has an individualized treatment plan with specific goals based on their presenting issues. This plan is created in collaboration with the resident, therapist and family. It is periodically adjusted and updated during the 60 to 90-day stay. When goals have been completed, and a resident has taken ownership of his/her exposure therapy work, then a discharge date will be identified along with the family and aftercare supports. “Ownership” of his/her own exposure therapy work simply means that a resident can put him/herself into a fear causing situation (rather than avoid) and manage through it. The situation/scenario or object may still cause anxiety, but it won’t be debilitating.

What if my child has dietary needs?

You will be given the opportunity to discuss your or your child’s dietary needs with our nurse. Our chef is also able to accommodate a variety of dietary needs, and will want to talk with you about specific food products and/or brands you typically use at home.

Can I send a Care Package to my child?

Yes, but please do not send any food items. This is due to allergies of other residents and overall health and safety. Please send items such as, books, magazines, art supplies, new clothing, games and sports equipment.

Who will be my point of contact during my child’s stay?

The primary therapist will be your first point of contact during your child’s time at Mountain Valley. The primary therapists are available via phone or email. Prior to leaving on your first day, you will arrange a phone call with their therapist. Typically, this first call is the day following intake.

Whom do I call if I have a question or concern?

Ideally, please work with your primary therapist first. The Resident and Family Handbook has a list of administrative staff who are able to address questions and concerns. You may also contact the Executive Director at any time.

Do you involve siblings in family therapy?

Each resident’s treatment is specific to them and involvement of siblings and the extent of that involvement is determined on a case-by-case basis with the therapist, the resident and the parents.

What is the average length of stay?

60 to 90 days.

What if my child becomes sick while at MVTC?

Our health services staff oversees all residents’ health needs. Should your child need to see a medical provider, there is a nearby Urgent Care facility. Should there be the rare medical need, we would go to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Additionally, if your child needs to see a specialist (e.g. pediatric endocrinologist), he/she would see a practitioner at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

How do families afford Mountain Valley?

Mountain Valley is a private/self-pay program and offers need-based financial assistance. Contact Jen Fullerton for more information.

What should my son/daughter bring to Mountain Valley?

We have a suggested winter and summer packing lists in the Handbook. If you have additional questions, please contact Jen Fullerton.

Can prospective families schedule a tour of Mountain Valley?

Yes, please come and visit! It is best to visit on a weekday. Tours can be arranged with Jen Fullerton.

Do you have past parents willing to speak with me about their MVTC experiences?

Yes, there are many past parents, who would be happy to talk with you. Please contact Jen Fullerton, and she can provide contact information for you.

My child hates the outdoors, what will he/she do at Mountain Valley?

We offer a range of activities for our residents. Some your child may enjoy, some will be new, and others will be challenging. Our goal is to help residents prepare for life after Mountain Valley. Gaining the confidence to try something new can be very rewarding.

Whom do we contact for further information?

 

For Professionals

Whom does Mountain Valley serve?

MVTC treats adolescent and emerging adult males and females, ages 13 to 20, suffering from:

  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive/OC Spectrum Disorders
  • School-based and performance anxiety
  • Perfectionism
  • Specific phobias

How would you describe the program?

MVTC is a unique, nonprofit, residential treatment program combining evidenced-based Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy delivered within the context of an experiential wellness curriculum. Activities focusing on organic gardening/farm-to-table, mindfulness-based programming, recreational therapy, therapeutic equine experience, and stewardship projects engage residents in ways to develop skills for a better quality of life after Mountain Valley.

How would you describe your clinical model?

Mountain Valley’s approach is rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and specifically utilizes Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy to treat our residents’ anxiety and OCD.

  • Three individual therapy sessions weekly and three thematic group therapy sessions
  • Daily milieu-based individualized exposure therapy activities as well as two, 3-hour clinician-led ERP groups twice per week
  • Medical professionals on staff for medication management and general wellness
  • Weekly family therapy and family curriculum focusing on psychoeducation to educate and reduce “Family Accommodation” that contributes to the anxiety dynamic in the home

What makes Mountain Valley different than other anxiety and OCD treatment programs?

Mountain Valley is unique – and effective – because of our purposeful programming and un-paralleled environment for healing. Unlike other residential treatment programs that focus solely on anxiety and OCD (and there are very few), Mountain Valley is not an institutional or hospital-like setting. Our campus is situated on 25 acres within an iconic New England countryside as our back drop. Our clinical programming will match up with the most recognized institutions yet the “fun stuff” is what sets us apart. The experiential education modules, our caring, competent and professional staff, and our commitment to serving the whole family system truly makes us a special place.

Do you involve siblings in family therapy?

Each resident’s treatment is specific to them and involvement of siblings and the extent of that involvement is determined on a case-by-case basis with the primary therapist, the resident and the parents.

What is the average length of stay?

60 to 90 days.

How is it determined that a resident has completed the treatment program?

Each resident has an individualized treatment plan with specific goals based on their presenting issues. This plan is created in collaboration with the resident, therapist and family. It is periodically adjusted and updated during the 60 to 90-day stay. When goals have been completed, and a resident has taken ownership of his/her exposure therapy work, then a discharge date will be identified along with the family and aftercare supports. “Ownership” of his/her own exposure therapy work simply means that a resident can put him/herself into a fear causing situation (rather than avoid) and manage through it. The situation/scenario or object may still cause anxiety, but it won’t be debilitating.

Whom do we contact for further information?

For Students

How long will I be at Mountain Valley?

Most students are with us from 60 to 90 days.

Will I have a roommate in the dormitory?

The MVTC dormitories have both single, double and triple 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.

What will I do on first day at MVTC?

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.

When will my parents be able to visit me?

Visiting about once a month is typical.

What technology can I bring to MVTC?

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.

Can I bring money to MVTC?

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.

Can I bring my own food?

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.

Can I call home and my friends?

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

Can I go home on the weekends?

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.

Will I have any free time?

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.

Can I receive Care Packages from my parents?

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

What happens if I think that MVTC is too challenging?

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.

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.

What does family therapy look like?

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.

More Questions?

Speak to an MVTC staff member. We are happy to chat!