Family work can be tricky when a young adult is in treatment. Our clients are adults and have rights to confidentiality. Their parents, however, continue to play extremely important roles in their lives; often supporting their treatment financially and emotionally.
Many programs avoid communication with parents of their children who have reached the age of majority. At Spruce, we believe that the parents’ understanding and support of the treatment here are critical to successful outcomes. For most of our history, we have provided weekly conference calls with our clients and their parent(s) or primary supporters by phone. We work hard to balance the parents’ “need to know” and our client’s privacy. We strive for adult communication between all parties and work toward paving the way for the client’s independence.
Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that there is a direct correlation between the parents’ ability to support their young adult in the treatment and treatment success. As our clients have become younger and our parents have less experience with treatment programs for their “kids”, we see that they need more education, preparation and support to enhance the experience.
We have enlisted the tremendous skills of our recently retired, long time Case Manager, Lynn Rockwell, MEd as our new Parent Coach. Lynn has decades of experience in offering mental health services in a variety of settings that include: schools, community based initiatives, housing programs and residential treatment. In 1991, Lynn was the recipient of the Vermont Department of Mental Health’s Individual Award for her outstanding contributions to the field of mental health in Vermont. Spruce was fortunate to have benefitted from over 17 years of distinguished service. Lynn’s wealth of experience combined with natural compassion and strong advocacy skills make her a uniquely gifted professional and a natural fit for this role.
Families new to Spruce will receive several phone sessions of Parent Coaching by Lynn and an opportunity to add more later on in the process. Some of the topics she will discuss may include:
- How to support your son/daughter in treatment
- How to rebuild trust in the parent/child relationship
- Roles of various members in the family
- Styles/patterns of communication in the family
- “Letting Go”- supporting independence and individuation
We are excited about offering this resource to augment our already collaborative approach with families. This initiative will allow us to maximize our impact with our clients and families, particularly in the early and transitional stages of the program.