We asked Dr. Lisa Rosen, MVTC’s recently appointed Parent Support Advisor, to share some thoughts on her own family’s Mountain Valley experience. As both a parent of a former Mountain Valley resident and a clinical professional who has worked with adolescents for more than 20 years, Dr. Rosen is uniquely qualified to serve in her new role. Her responsibility is to offer support and guidance to parents at three very critical stages of their Mountain Valley journey – prior to enrollment, while their child is at MVTC and after graduation. By working closely with the clinical team, Dr. Rosen offers an additional layer of support to parents throughout their child’s MVTC experience – listening to their concerns, helping them overcome their fears, and assuaging any doubts they might have.

We thank Dr. Rosen for sharing her thoughts!

My youngest daughter has battled anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, school avoidance and depression since she was 13 years old.  She has been in and out of public school, private school, homeschooling and one on one schooling off and on until the beginning of 10th grade when she felt she had no more fight left in her.  She had been in every form of therapy available and known to be successful with these mental health issues.  She was on nine different classes of psychotropic medications.  She was so tired of fighting her own brain, and our family felt her pain and suffering so acutely, it was hard for any of us to function well.

We had heard of Mountain Valley Treatment Program from a friend whose son had graduated months earlier.  Over an emotional Labor Day weekend, we made our first contact with the incredible team at Mountain Valley.  On a Sunday afternoon, Jennifer Fullerton spent hours listening to our story,  comforting us and guiding us with knowledge and kindness.  For years we had felt our story was met with questions and concern.  On that Sunday, our story was familiar, one MV had heard over and over, one that the team at Mountain Valley heard and responded to with knowledge, guidance, expertise and empathy.  The confidence I heard in the voices of the team there – that they could help our daughter and our family and that we were making the bravest and wisest decision – left me speechless.  We were finally hopeful.

The next 76 days for our daughter were filled with tears and tremendous challenges and also triumphs and incredible pride in the hurdles she was able to overcome using the skills and strategies she was taught at MV.  She also graduated having made connections to an incredible team of support and friendships that she values and accesses daily.  For our family, we feel we have literally pressed a reset button and have begun to travel a new path filled with hope and confidence that while our daughter will always have an anxious brain, she and we all now have the tools, the team and the confidence that we need to ’sit with it’ – to survive and thrive.

Since her stay at MV, our daughter has successfully transitioned back to school.  She is planning to travel on a summer program to Australia – a trip that we would never have had the confidence she could manage before.  Our family will be forever grateful to MV.

My experiences with the MV team before my daughter arrived, while she was there, and after she has left, have motivated me to want to be a voice of support for new families beginning this very emotionally challenging process. I, of course, know firsthand what can go on in a parent’s mind while their child is away.  I know the struggles and the fears, and feel very strongly that I can help parents navigate these emotional hurdles and ease the fears given both my clinical background and my personal journey.  I am so thrilled to be joining this amazing team, and look forward to working alongside the MV staff for many years to come.