søndag den 14. oktober 2018

John at Second Nature Wilderness program

This testimony was found on Yelp. All rights go to the original author John

I attended SNBR during the summer of freshman year (I'm 19 right now). I was there for 84 days or 12 weeks before I came home. Unlike some of the other negative reviews, I'm doing great. I just got accepted into a top university and my future is looking bright. So why the one star review? Well let me get into my rant. I was sent to SN mainly for my relationship with my parents. Yes, there was a little bit of drug use and drinking sprinkled in there, but nothing that I would classify as abnormal for somebody experimenting during high school. I was extremely honest with my parents with my drug use which caused much of the problems in our relationship that culminated with me being sent to SN. Anyway, I firmly believe that although our relationship wasn't perfect, at least it was honest. After being sent to SN (I didn't attend therapeutic boarding school after) I didn't tell my parents anything, and now our relationship is extremely fake. I feel like I can't talk to them about anything.

I don't think I had a problem when they sent me, however the program created one. I would find myself admitting to things that I never did just to appease the therapist or else she would continue to berate me for lying. I actually thought there was a mistake when they sent me, I thought they didn't know what they got me into, and they wouldn't let me call them. So I decided to run on the first night to contact them. However when I turned myself in my therapist diagnosed me with a slew of conditions. I thought of myself as a pretty happy kid before I was sent, but I started having suicidal thoughts during the program and they still continue to this day. I felt like I couldn't talk to the therapist about it because another kid in my group did this and was put on "safety watch"(not fun). Anyway, I spent most of my time there feeling terrible because showing any sign of weakness would be overanalyzed to the point where it would only exasperate what you were feeling.

I don't credit SN with how I turned out one bit. I still drink (I would smoke weed still, but I'm studying abroad in a country where the penalty is extremely harsh. In addition, my summer job has random drug tests). I even got into cocaine and messed around with various other hard drugs right after my release and I don't think I would have had I not attended SN.

The other kids in my group were not as lucky, however. The one thing I am grateful for is some of the friendships I formed there. I still keep in contact with 4 of the people from my group. Well 3 now because one died from an overdose. Anyway, one of them is doing well, but his situation was like mine, he was doing fine before he was sent. One is a drop out, and works minimum wage jobs. He was doing well in high school before he were sent, but somehow dropped out of college after graduating from his therapeutic boarding school. And one sells drugs.

Let me address therapeutic boarding school. If somehow you still want to send your child to SN or a program like it, therapeutic boarding school is not the way to go. They will always recommend your child attend one, regardless of their progress. Although SN doesn't directly pay the schools, they aren't impartial. If they send somebody to therapeutic boarding school, when your child flip out at the school because those schools are nuts and create problems that weren't initially there, the school sends them back to SN. Its a symbiotic relationship, where you're child will get the shaft 10/10 times.

So in conclusion, the only thing that really resulted from this program was a superficial relationship with my parents and depression that I'm just now starting to get over. This program creates more problems than it solves. I hope if you're a parent reading my review, you will take into account what I've said. I think I've been rational, I'm not some delinquent that is blaming the program for my problems. I wish you the best of luck getting the help you need from an alternative source.