Being Prepared for Support or a Negative Reaction
Astute community professionals and like-minded friends and family are an important part of supporting you as parents when an out of home treatment program is considered. Many are supportive of Venture Academy and are an important part of pre-admissions logistics. As you may have discovered, however, not everyone has the same opinion about residential treatment and it can be challenging to introduce and discuss your decision about accessing residential treatment to others.
The first challenge may come from family members – perhaps a spouse, ex-spouse, step-parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent. It is not uncommon to find other family members are not supportive or have their own opinion about what is best. First, it is important to own and accept that your experience with your child is unique. You know your child. Others see or interact with your child in different environments, situations and contexts where the problematic behaviors may not present themselves in the manner they do at home or may not be present at all.
Rather than ask for and accept their approval, it is better to explain the challenges you have faced, the research you did, the knowledge you have and the decision you have made – and invite them to trust your judgment and support your decision.
We are always glad to speak to other family members to help them better understand Venture Academy and the continuum of services we provide – and why it is necessary and beneficial for your child. We are glad to hear and address their concerns.
At times, parents may feel guilty, like they have failed in some way when asking for help. We can have an unrealistic expectation that any and all help should come from home, from me (the parent). But, we regularly invite professionals and experts to help our children in ways they are better prepared than we to do so. Examples are teachers, dentists, doctors, coaches, etc. The same is true for Venture Academy. You are asking us to come alongside you, provide expert intervention, assessment and treatment that we can uniquely provide in our environment with our expertise – with the goal for your child to return home better equipped to function as a healthy, positive, productive member of your family. This is an explanation that can sometimes help family members understand why you are choosing Venture Academy.
Professional Circle of Support
Venture Academy is never the first call that parents make when things aren’t going well for their teen or have progressed to the place where things are actually falling apart. There has usually been a number of professionals involved during this challenging time and most often are currently involved at the time you are considering our program. Families are often supported by those professionals as they are considering our program (many professionals have engaged our program for their own teens). The more those professionals know about our program the better they can help. This is the perfect time for Venture Academy to connect with those professionals if they don’t know about us already. Sometimes it takes a group effort to help get your child into treatment!
Pushback From Professionals
Be prepared that not all professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, school counsellors) will understand or be supportive of your decision. While most are supportive, unfortunately, there are those out there with limited understanding and values different from yours (yes values and personal bias come into play in this field all the time). There are many reasons why professionals may not be supportive of your desire to get help for your child in the manner that you are exploring.
Here is a list of reasons professionals can be unsupportive of your ideas:
- Unfamiliar with Venture Academy and the concept of out of home treatment
- Can’t distinguish between government-funded programming and Venture Academy
- Only trained to refer to the government-funded system
- Values and goals incongruent with parental values and goals
- Only see your child in a moment in time, don’t live the 24/7 or don’t see the real problem