Trails was quite a negative experience.
If you think you are sending your child for therapy, be aware that this is more of a scared straight kind of program. Yes, I did get far better and my future is far brighter than it would have been had I not gone to Trails, but I left feeling overall traumatized. There were major abuses of power on the staffs' part, with one staff even refusing to allow us to replace a broken water filter because it would have been "a waste of money" . I subsequently got very sick from the unclean water and had to take medication for my constant throwing up. The staff didn't write a medical report until the girls in my group vocally protested and stood up for me after my 15th time throwing up. (I was not the only one sick from dirty water in that group). They should have never let it get to this point.
Also, as a previous review stated, be aware when they recommend for your children to go to therapeutic boarding school because it is most often completely unnecessary and prolonging the distance from home will only make it worse. The program also overworks kids while giving them little to eat. They don't tell you future plans (i.e. how much time a hike will take). One girl purposefully broke her toe out of desperation for the 8 hour hikes to stop (something a certain staff member knew was purposeful but ignored). Certain staff members show major and unprofessional favoritism. The therapy seemed to be a joke (I had Tai as a therapist) and sessions with her consisted of reading cards to see our spirit animals and feeling extremely judged.
In the end I am happy I went to Trails because it helped me pull myself together with time for thought, fear of coming back, and a growing thankfulness for home. As with nearly all other girls that I met from Trails and contacted afterwards, my depression got a lot better but my anxiety became crippling. Hopefully, Trails staff see this to help understand these problems because I do believe Trails has the opportunity to be a good program but many issues and the general deception in their marketing really disappoint and leave lasting damage/trauma on children.
I am furious with a lot of what staff allowed to occur because of their abuse of power.
- The orignal testimony (Google)
- Trails Carolina - new program (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)