Our son was hurting himself and others through bad choices he was making. He went from one private school to the next, and even home school, then to several wilderness programs, only to return home and go back to the same patterns as before. Just when we thought there was nothing else to do, except leave him to his own devices, which was a scary thought, (but believe me, I thought it), the last treatment center recommended an in home therapy service for the whole family called, Homeward Bound. I was skeptical at first when my husband said he was going to call them and set up an appointment. My skepticism was due mostly to the fact that I felt I had exhausted my resources, (read and reread books, gone to many counselors, with my son and by myself, etc.) and thought, there was not much more I could do. I was believing, however, and still do that God has a plan and it is not to harm us, but to prosper us.
My husband set up the initial appointment. Our Homeward Bound coach arrived and each family member was introduced. He was very professional but not uninviting or stiff. We all warmed up to him very quickly, even our oldest son, who had been very leery about someone trying to “fix” him, yet again. It was different this time. We all participated in the process of learning how our family unit functioned and what was working and what was not working.
Our coach listened to us and gave us solid, concrete ideas to better communicate with each other in the family. It helped relieve the pressure of the volatile atmosphere in our home. We had “solution talks”, that he facilitated and we are still putting into practice. He also helped us set up a family rules and consequences plan, so that when a conflict did arise, we would not revert to old patterns of hyper-focusing on the problem, but have a plan already established that was clear, concrete and consistent.
My husband and I have a weekly conference call with our Homeward Bound coach, as he continues to educate and support of our family value system. I have to say that these weekly calls not only help me see things more objectively as a parent but it continues to grow me as a wife and individual. He helped us when we have encountered a situation that we didn’t quite know how to handle. When we call him, (outside our weekly calls), he is readily available. He has tremendous patience and a calming demeanor. I feel so encouraged with his clear and consistent advice. His coaching is not rigid or judgmental, but the antithesis. He is personable, and truly supportive, with high integrity and a humble spirit. He has become a family friend and long after our program with him has ended, we will remain truly thankful for his input into the lives of each family member.
Lastly, my husband and I believe, that if we had known about Homeward Bound before sending our son away to wilderness programs, we think we may never have sent him away, but had greater results by utilizing this wonderful program for the entire family. I highly recommend calling Homeward Bound before taking another course of action.
Trisha Craft, Georgia