Family Therapy, Education & Support
At Mountain Valley, we recognize that the families of our residents need support, too. Many families, especially those with children who have been suffering from OCD and anxiety symptoms for a long time, want help learning how to communicate more effectively with their children – and need education on how they have been unknowingly accommodating their children’s anxiety and OCD – and what to expect during the transition out of Mountain Valley.
When a family member’s world has become incredibly small due to their worries, fears and thoughts, stress and strain can permeate the entire family system. For adolescents and emerging adults who should be in school – but can’t get to school or, if they do, can’t stay there long – life can be challenging. Parents need to get to work and other children may need to get to activities or school. Life has to go on.
Many families have been able to adjust somewhat to the turmoil and strain by making accommodations for their child who is suffering. This is understandable and common. This “family accommodation” or “maintenance” of the anxiety or obsessive-compulsive behaviors does not lead to long-term symptom reduction and will ultimately increase and entrench the behaviors.
Allowing a child to stay home from school, meeting a child in the school parking lot at lunch time because their social anxiety is such that they cannot go into the lunch room, or waking a child up early to complete their rituals before school so they won’t be late, are just a few examples with which many Mountain Valley parents struggle.
Mountain Valley’s family therapy, psycho-education and support is comprehensive and is integrated with exposure therapy and the clinical curriculum. Immediately upon enrollment, families will be contacted by their assigned Mountain Valley therapist to set up regular, weekly phone and/or video conferencing. During these sessions, parents receive updates on how the child is doing in the different program components of Mountain Valley, treatment goals are reviewed and/or updated, and the prescribing of assignments for parents may be given. After the first few initial calls, the child will also join the call and/or video conference. Additionally, within a few days of enrollment, families will be contacted by our Parent Support Program Director, Dr. Lisa Rosen who will offer availability for connection and review the virtual family psycho-educational curriculum and parent support webinars schedule. Specific education around where anxiety comes from, what happens in the body when debilitating fears, thoughts and worries are occurring and how to manage it all – and how to not accommodate it – are addressed within our family curriculum.
As the resident – and the parents – progress through the Mountain Valley treatment phase, specific experiential assignments may also be prescribed by the assigned therapist. This could include visits to campus or activities off-campus. Some residents may even go home for a few days during the course of treatment for individualized work, to include touring schools, interviewing for summer jobs, driving the family car in preparation for a driver’s test, or medical specialist appointments.
We encourage all families to connect with Dr. Rosen and participate in the webinars. For more information on parent psycho-education and support, contact Lisa Rosen.
Parents Speak up About Anxiety in Teens
Questions for Us?
Give us a call or submit a question to learn more about Mountain Valley Treatment Center.