mandag den 14. november 2011
I attended Ashley Valley Wilderness and feel totally betrayed. If you are looking to send your adult child to this program you should consider some of the following before you do so because my family and I felt very deceived after my stay there.
They claim to be a wilderness program but there isn't much wilderness to it other than the fact that you sleep in a tent and make your food at a fire. They claim to take your child on hikes and do all sorts of outdoor activities and they even show you some videos on their website this is all false(towards the end of your stay the owner Marty takes you out fishing but this only happens once in your entire stay).
During my stay at Ashley Valley we would go on an hour long hike once a week every other hour is spent on what they refer to as "blackout" (no one can talk to each other) during blackout you are expected to complete a packet and if you dont finish this packet you fail your week and have to stay another. These packets are the only form of help they offer your child while they are there.
They also only let you speak to your kid once every other week for an hour with a therapist there they do this so your child can't truly explain what is going on at the program. The packets offer little to no help in terms of recovery they are simple fill in the blanks and define the term packets that look like they were photocopied from some random textbook. When a packet is not finished by the end of the week you are expected to stay an extra week and do the same packet again and also write a 3 page paper on why you couldn't complete the packet none of this therapeutic in any way. Also when you stay another week you are expected to fork out thousands of more dollars to the program.
Which reminds me about the money side of this program the staff and the directors are paid the same amount of money I gained this information from and employee that quit because he felt that the program was a scam this pay is modest compared to what Marty Bingham and Rob Caldwell get they both have very nice trucks and wear fancy cloths and Marty owns a very very large house outside of Vernal which he offers to RENT to you when you come and visit your child (as if 40,000 wasn't enough) it is obvious where your 40,000 dollars go when your at the program they go so far as to not explain the money aspect of this to students in fear that you will write home and shine light on what your family has been conned into.
Most all of the staff are not certified counselors and really have no knowledge of addiction, in fact your addiction is not allowed to be talked about while you are there if you do they fail your week and make you stay another. pretty much everything you do at this program can fail your week they do this on purpose because they want to make more money.
Please i wouldn't make this blog if i didn't want to truly warn people about the conning this program will do to you they make you pay up front because of this. There are many other wilderness programs out there such as outward bound and blackwater those programs are very good and you child will do nothing but hike and spend time outdoors and learn how to live in the woods while also engaging in beneficial dialogue with staff. If you are considering sending your child to this program please email me and ask me your questions don't be sold this by one of the crafty salespeople at this program.
I have been to this program and my family and I will be happy to explain to you in further detail why this is a terrible program. This program has much potential and isn't as bad as other programs but for the money you pay to send your child there it is not worth it. TRUST ME there are plenty of other programs. they really exploit the whole doctor phil thing too.
I WANT TO GIVE YOU A NON BIASED opinion about this program any former students or parents they put you in contact with are totally biased and say exactly what the program wants them to say they totally lied to my family and me. I went into this program thinking i would be hiking every day and learning about nature and then engage in group therapy where we could openly talk about our issues nothing could be further from the truth and the therapists they put you in contact with are not PHD psychologists which they could easily afford and are very closed minded people who try to tell you to submit to people and let others control you if you ask me this is just teaching your child to be even more co-dependent.
I want to help you and could even point you in the direction of many other better wilderness programs for adults that aren't nearly as expensive.