The following testimonials were from unsolicited e-mails, notes, and thank you cards. They are unedited other than changing names to protect confidentiality. All were delighted to give their permission for others to benefit from their experience.
Therapy Experience of a Single Adult:
"All I can say is WOW. I am now breathing deeper than I have in 35 years. I feel so light as if I'm floating. When I think of the abuse it's just a momentary flash now. It has no emotional charge. Thank you so much for changing my life."
"If anyone would have told me beforehand that I would have gotten this much out of a two-week experience, I wouldn't have believed them. My life has truly changed. Even my employees have commented that they see a huge difference in how I relate to them. It would have been worth twice the cost. I would highly recommend this to anyone."
Therapy Experience of a Couple:
"This was so much more effective in such a short period of time than anything else I have ever experienced. Never in 10 years of previous therapy did anyone even touch what I really needed. They dealt with my symptoms on the surface but nothing to correct the problem. I feel like I wasted a lot of time and money. This is the best model that I have ever seen. It has revolutionized my thinking. I feel like I was set free. I don't know how to put it into words. I have a new life. I don't have to be bound by the past anymore. It amazed me how simple the process was. The techniques are so powerful and the team approach so effective."
"I feel free from old emotional traps. I now have permission to feel. I knew what my wife went through intellectually, but I didn't really feel it. I wasn't understanding her pain. I am now actually hearing her for the first time, without the old emotional filters that got in the way. We've been through communication exercises before in therapy but the issues were still there. Once our pasts were healed, we were able to tie it all together. The two best words to describe it are illumination and revelation. I feel like we have a whole new life ahead of us."
Overcoming "Tough Problems:"
"As a California licensed marriage and family therapist and a post adoption specialist, I see many families in my private practice who have attachment challenges. Some need more help than I can offer as an individual in a weekly 50- or 90- minute session. Since finding Mike Orlans and Terry Levy in 1999, I have been accompanying families with very tough problems to their clinic in the majestic Colorado Rockies. I have seen miracles. Orlans and Levy know what they're doing, and their respectful, no-nonsense with heart approach works. After the two-week intensive, parents go home confident with effective tools and hope. Their children, no longer frightened or needing to be in control, leave able to become the children they have wished they could be - normal kids."
"Thank you for the experience we have had in Evergreen. We feel like (and I feel) like we have a new beginning as a family and individuals. I feel like I am free from the learned feelings and behavior of my childhood and can now go forward on this new course which will help Jessica to adopt healthy actions, feelings and thoughts. My own feelings and thoughts are much more healthy and I can separate my feelings from those around me. Thank you again for all your work."
"It's hard to know how to express the gratitude that we feel. I never thought so much could change in just a few short weeks! You do fabulous work here, I have personally felt the difference and thank you for your part in our therapy. I appreciate your enthusiasm and optimism and your sincere interest and concern during the past few weeks. Jessica asked us tonight if you could come to visit us. I think she's felt 'attached' to you, she's felt your real caring and I appreciate that. I feel hope and confidence that I've never had before. Please know how grateful I feel for your part in this. God bless you always."
"I don't know what I'd have done without all your help. Thank you."
This Mom's a Victim No More:
"Thank you for all the help you've given us - not just with my son, but also for me. You've made me realize that while he needs to change his behavior, there are also a lot of things I need to work on in my own life. You have shown me that I do not have to be a 'victim', I can deal with my own anger and not be afraid of it. You have shown me how to be a 'good boss'. You are really nice people, I won't forget you. God bless you."
A Grateful Family:
"I was in a place of real doom before I came here. I felt like I can't survive living like this. I feel totally different now. I know I'm going to survive. I felt that I have this evil child who was going to terrorize us for the rest of our lives. I now know that this isn't true. It's unbelievably freeing. We can handle this. We are connected on a much deeper level in our marriage. We are a real team now. It's good for our marriage. We have the confidence and skills now. It was a long two weeks yet it goes quickly. We are getting our life back. She was running our lives emotionally and physically. No more, it's such a different atmosphere."
"The lights don't come on until you look in the rear view mirror. Now I understand why you worked with us. I thought I couldn't afford this and found that I couldn't afford not to. Now I have the tools to get the job done. I can't believe what this experience has done for us. It has meant a lot to me to feel how much you all care about people and care about us. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate you giving me my family back. I want to thank you for being so committed to families to do what you do. I can see positive changes in us all. I am so grateful. Thanks very much."
10 Year Old
"I feel at first I didn't want to come out and do this because I felt I didn't have a problem. Then when I came out here I realized I did have a problem and you guys have really helped me deal with the losses in my family and I am really grateful for that, and I'm very grateful that you've, I feel, have brought my Mom and me close again and now instead of being angry and tired all the time I'm willing to open up and let love in my life. I'm really grateful for your help because you healed my pain and me and my Mom can talk now without fighting. Thank you so much."
After 10 Years of Searching:
"We have two adopted children and both have experienced a degree of attachment disorder, moderate for our daughter and quite severe for our son. After 10 years trying every conceivable psychotherapy, we turned to Evergreen Psychotherapy Center. It was the best decision we ever made for our family. They were the first ones to recognize the problem and were the first to be able to treat it. Their program was dramatic, as were the results. We immediately began to share a bond of love and security, as well as a mutual respect. It still takes hard work, but it is now working with our children, not against them. This program should be required for all adoptive parents. The staff at Evergreen was warm, caring and profoundly professional and therapeutic. They have continued to guide us through this process, with telephone calls and letters, long after the two week session ended. If we could, we would nominate them for the Nobel Peace Prize!"
Four Years Later:
"We are all doing well. The boys are in the 4th grade now and they are both doing well in school. The only calls we have had from the school this year have been about minor playground injuries, not about bad behavior. Ron and I go to lunch regularly and are swapping childcare with friends, something we couldn't do before. We have become much closer as a family. We hope everyone back in Evergreen is doing well. It still amazes me when I think back and realize how far we have come. Thank you for all you have done for us."
"Hi, I thought I would write you a little note to update you on Tim and all of our progress. Tim is doing great! I never thought I would be able to say those words about Tim but I can. He is just so content with himself. It is a hard thing to describe the way he is now but he seems at peace with himself for lack of a better word. He is still very opinionated and very verbal about his wants and needs but when disappointed with not getting his own way, he is just that disappointed not out of control with grief. It is great to see him cope with disappointment the way any other ten year olds would by crying or verbalizing his disappointment instead of violent disruptive behavior. He did great in soccer this year and is now playing basketball and truly is a team player (even though their team is in last place with so far only one win). He is affectionate and loving now, he is still giving lots of hugs and kisses and because of him we all are doing a lot more hugging and kissing and truly loving it. He is genuinely kind to his brothers and sisters (yes, sisters) most of the time and is really kind (yes, kind) to his brother and is helping him without any secret agenda and because of that his brother is doing really well and Tim has become sort of his protector which is really wonderful to watch and we have you to thank for this.
Joe and I also owe you all a great debt of thanks, for Tim's healing was also helpful in our own healing. The disruptiveness of Tim's everyday habits left us exhausted with just dealing with him on a day to day basis and you helped us to get back on the right track after being on the side of the road for so long. So things are going pretty good for us again thanks to you.
We keep you in our prayers daily and hope all is wonderful in your life for you truly deserve happiness for all that you give to others. Thanks again!"
Attachment Therapy -- A Parent's Prospective:
"O.K., let's see... List five adjectives that best describe your family... (Adjectives are very important at Evergreen Psychotherapy Center). Sad, demoralized, frustrated, confused... defeated? No. Desperate, but not defeated. Not yet. But we all had the sense that if this didn't work we would be defeated. This was truly our last hope.
Our nineteen year old daughter has been diagnosed throughout her life with a learning disorder, idiopathic hypersomnia, depression, and a variety of anxiety disorders, including obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder and social phobia. She has received special services at school, and has had individual therapy intermittently since the fourth grade. We have also experienced family therapy a number of times, including five years ago, immediately after my daughter's hospitalization for a suicide attempt. We have read every book that seemed to faintly relate to our situation, tried every possible discipline approach in a frantic attempt to impose order on our chaotic family, and in short tried every resource we thought was available. In retrospect, we realize that we made many mistakes, but we also did a lot of things right, the most important being that we never gave up on our daughter. Ultimately, however, it was the final diagnosis, made this summer by our current family therapist, that finally served the purpose that a diagnosis is intended to: explain the nature of her self-destructive behaviors and prescribe the corrective treatment. That diagnosis was simple and comprehensive at the same time: attachment disorder.
Neither my husband nor I were comfortable with the diagnosis. We didn't want to admit that the young woman we had loved so much since we had adopted her at three years of age could have failed to feel even a little of what we had so freely offered, and had furthermore never been able to love us back. But when confronted with the symptoms of attachment disorder, the diagnosis seemed indisputable.
When our daughter was hospitalized in early fall with alcohol poisoning, with a potentially fatal blood alcohol content, we once again explored our options. Perhaps a residential treatment center for addictions could heal her. No, insisted our family therapist. Thankfully he was persistent. Our daughter's primary issue was not addiction, but attachment disorder, he said. To treat the secondary problem would not solve anything. He had some knowledge of Evergreen Psychotherapy Center and encouraged us to pursue this avenue. So we explored on the internet, and things began to fall into place. I spoke with the Center, and after I described our daughter's history and symptoms, I heard for the first time someone assert with confidence that, "We can help your daughter." The relief was so overwhelming that we immediately completed the necessary paperwork and returned it through overnight mail.
We were able to set up a two-week intensive treatment program for mid-November. The treatment program has been emotionally taxing and exhausting. It has also brought about the only major therapeutic success our daughter has ever had. The bonus for the family is that my husband and I have also grown immensely. We didn't come here expecting our own involvement to be either so difficult or so fulfilling, and we finally have the hope of a healthy family.
The therapy has not been comfortable or easy. We have been stretched beyond anything we could have imagined. And we are thrilled with the results. We have a new daughter, with confidence in herself, her family, and her life. She is willing to trust us, be truthful, and to finally love us. She goes out of her way to demonstrate love and concern. The change is palpable. She is relaxed, and her features have softened. I know that only time can prove that these weeks were truly successful. But my heart feels the change, and my mind tells me that she will not return to her 'old ways', because people who display such self-assurance have no need to destroy themselves. Besides, she will be too busy pursuing new dreams.
Our work is not done, and we readily acknowledge this. We will continue to do therapy at home. We expect to continue to make great strides. What happened here to make this therapy work when nothing else has? Obviously this is a question we have thought about a lot, but I'm sure many of the answers are yet to come, as we return home and continue to process our experiences here. Some things we can be pretty sure about now. For example:
- The number of hours per week spent in therapy would take months to do in a conventional one-hour per week format. Our focus day-in and day-out is on the therapy and on processing our experiences. Questions, problems, concerns are dealt with immediately.
- We have a team of professionals working with us all the time. The coordination is always smooth. There are different ideas, but never dissension.
- The therapists are personally warm and approachable. They laugh with each other and with you. There is none of the aloofness many therapists seem to feel is necessary to set appropriate boundaries. And yet boundaries are in fact clear and comfortable at all times. This combination of professionalism and personal approachability makes it possible to trust these people deeply. This may be the most important element in the success of the therapy.
- The therapists succeed in fostering total confidence in their knowledge and skill without appearing pedantic or academic.
- There is no time wasted. When they are ready to cut to the core of an issue, it is like a hot knife through butter... smooth and clean. Gently delivered but unrelenting statements leave no room for back peddling. Other therapies have allowed us to avoid discomfort to the detriment of the therapeutic results. Here, having gotten you to the core issues and shown you your own blocks, they invite you to act, to correct the problem, with their help, then and there, before your fear can change your mind! And yet there is no feeling of coercion, but rather support and concern. There is always a choice. This was very successful with our family.
- Our desperation, our knowledge that if this didn't work, we might actually be defeated, made our commitment total. We came determined that it would work.
So now... List five adjectives that describe how your family is feeling... Resilient, renewed, hopeful, confident... and supremely grateful."
Opening 18 Year Old:
"What can I say? Thank you! From the first day, I knew you were 'safe' people. I can't believe how easy it was for me to talk to you. It's a very special gift that you all have - the ability to make people feel 'okay' talking and opening up to you.
It's no wonder you work together... you guys just fit. The sessions surely would not have gone as smoothly without you all there. Thanks for gently pushing me to the 'next level.' You know what? You're right, the more I put in, the more I got out of it.
Thanks once again. You were definitely an answer to a lot of people's prayers. I know now that I can be me, and that's good enough! My faith has increased and I have my relationship with my family back. For that, I have no words to properly express how I feel. Thank you. With an open heart."
A 19 Year Old's Advice to Other Teens:
"Horrible things happen to babies when their mothers are just children themselves.
It all started about 19 years ago with a girl named Robin who was 14 -15 and had come from a family of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and her parents not being there for her.
One day Robin dropped out of school, and that's when things really went to hell. She constantly partied, may have done drugs, and lived above a bar where people would come and go as they please.
While at one of her moments of being irresponsible and not caring, she became pregnant. On January 21, 1980, I was born. I was treated like no infant should ever be treated. I was constantly left by myself in wet diapers, crying, and no food for days. I was mostly there for decoration and not to be touched. The playpen that I was left in kept me contained in a dark, smoky and extremely dirty place. When Robin was there and I would cry, she would leave the room yelling at me to "Shut up." As a tiny infant, I felt unloved, unimportant, scared, angry, let down, ashamed of what I was and that it was my fault. After, I was put in a foster home where I stayed for a year.
I was finally adopted at the age of 3. I was a very horrible child at that age. I would purposely get into trouble, just to see what my adoptive parents would do. I was very disobedient and ill mannered. I pushed as many of my adoptive parents' buttons as I could find. Then, I would just keep pushing them. After I reached high school, I would lie to my adoptive parents, even when faced with the truth. After high school, I went off to Haure, MT for college and began to drink heavily and frequently. As a result, I dropped out after the first year. I had so many problems that I started therapy at the age of 9, and before that I had school counseling. Many of the therapists that I have seen haven't worked. A major topic that my therapist and I have discussed is that I would run away from home and get into legal trouble. Since I have been in legal trouble, my family started going to family therapy. What the therapist found was a case of attachment disorder and recommended that we take a look at what Dr. Levy and Michael Orlans had to offer.
After making the decision to come to Evergreen, we flew down, the whole family but my sister, to Colorado where we would spend the next two weeks. The therapists worked with my parents, as well as with me. After the first real session, we all knew we had come to the right place. Each session was attacked with a great strength of support from the therapists, and as I would leave the room, I would feel as if the burden on my shoulders was getting lighter.
This had never happened to me with the other therapists before. I was used to the passive person sitting in front of me saying, "So what would you like to talk about today?" This was a bunch of B.S.
At the end of my therapy at Evergreen, I felt like a new woman who had great structure and strength. What they were able to do for me was fabulous.
One piece of advice I would like to give to all those teenagers out there looking for help at Evergreen is that they can and will help you. They will in a sense make you a completely new person. I won't fool you. The work is extremely hard. But the outcome is so great that it seems to be priceless. You need to do this when you are ready. It's time that you treated yourself right.
Good luck and best wishes for great progress."
Breaking the Cycle:
"I want you to know how grateful I am to you. The therapy you have done for me has been so successful. I never dreamed I could ever feel this good and think so clearly.
I was so concerned this might not last... but I sure do not feel that way any longer. It has totally changed my life. I feel confident and as if I can do things now.
I have felt my real purpose was to break this dysfunctional cycle my family has always lived in for generations. I truly feel I have done that. Things aren't perfect, but I can deal with what problems life gives me now.
I have been depressed since I was 10 years old. I never knew it, but wow it's awesome to see the world not depressed. I got up and did things because I had to not because I wanted to. I'm not like that anymore. I truly want to now and enjoy things I didn't even know existed previously. I look up and catch myself smiling for no reason.
I have always had such a hard time finding my way around. My thinking has changed so... I can stop and logically figure things out.
Thank you seems so trite... I am so grateful! My life has changed so drastically I've come out of the darkness!"
Thinking of You:
"Thanks again for a wonderful healing journey inside myself! I gained a great lesson - that I belong on this planet. I also learned to lighten up a bit and not be so reactive. More than anything, I learned to love myself unconditionally and stand in my authentic space. It's been challenging to stay on track, however... throughout it all I'm still standing strong. My relationships are closer and easier. It's a beautiful day today and thinking of you all and Colorado. Take care."
An Adult at Peace:
"Hi Guys, I am doing so much better. I am calm and at peace. I am still very impatient, but not stressed and fearful. I am learning to trust myself - something I could never do before meeting with the three of you. Being alone is no longer lonely. I am learning to love myself and find peace in me instead of running. Yes, life is a little scary - but also very exciting. I have never been free before to live and choose. I can relate to what it might feel like to be in prison for your whole life and suddenly be set free. Wow! Freedom. I have absolutely no reason to beat myself up. I am so ready to live and I am ready to give. To really give. I feel an abundance of love and peace and all I want to do is share it. All of the hurt and pain from the past is gone. I am a new person. Thanks for being good listeners. You are my surrogate parents in a way. It does not mean I expect anything from you. Just that I feel connected for the first time. Also, I know that you understand me. Thanks again. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate your good work."
How Can I Even Begin to Thank You:
"I believe that two weeks with you is a Rite of Passage that everyone should experience in growing up! You made it possible for me to sort out my emotions and conceptions of myself, and my most intimate relationships, from my earliest life to the present, so that I can now go forward and make a life as truthful, bold and deep as I can, which won't be determined by wounds originating from the time when I was most vulnerable.
I have spent 45 years in mortal fear that others would discover my secret- that I was a bad person at my core, in perpetual struggle with myself, utterly terrified of being abandoned, needing to control the meaning of everything, knowing myself as a liar and coward, self-loathing, self-pitying, shame-driven, depressed. I was recreating my confused childhood in my closest relationships. I came to you without ever having sought professional counseling before, in desperation. My experience with you has profoundly changed me. You may recall my saying to you at one point that you had given me a second chance at life, and you rightly corrected me, that now I've got my first chance. I've been home for a month now, and am still absorbing this new freedom. My initial giddiness has subsided, and I've had my ups and downs. Two changes in particular are noticeable that I want to tell you: When I get sad now, it doesn't turn into self-loathing and I don't turn against (others and) myself in self-destructive behavior. And I have stopped lying, sneaking and manipulating! I'm still stunned, because this is new- the quality of solitude, loneliness, trusting are all different, without some ever-present underlying anxiety. It seems that every bit of therapy I recall is of value, even what seemed like off-hand encouragement at the time.
Two weeks is a short period of time to effect lasting change. But you know that old saying "You can give a woman a fish, or you can teach her how to fish?" You taught me how to look after myself, how I can take care of myself. Now I can begin to do so.
I felt less vulnerable throughout the intense emotional experience we went through together, compared with the feelings of terror underlying my despair and bewilderment that I've been living with. It was soothing to be in the care of such a team of professionals. There was an abundance of deep support from each of you. I don't expect old patterns of behavior to reassert themselves- the soil has changed where they could take root again. And really, such radical advice you gave me: Breathe! Feel!
I don't know how to thank you. I feel like I owe you my life. You let me catch hold of that littlest one inside me and give it voice, my voice.
I look forward to keeping in touch with you. With grateful love."
The Rockies Were Beautiful, But Evergreen Offered Me Healing!:
"Before I met Dr. Terry Levy, Michael Orlans, and Anthea Coster, I spent my life seeking counseling because I was convinced there was something wrong with me. I decided to go on an all women's retreat in the Rocky Mountains. It was not only physically challenging, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well. It was there I met someone who mentioned 'attachment disorder' and told me I needed to look into it. Eventually I contacted Michael who was very patient with my frequent phone calls and all my questions. I so desperately needed to believe that this was going to help me. Initially I was attempting to convince a friend to go. However, when he backed out last minute, and I had already paid for the trip, Michael encouraged me to come out to learn about the program and get some counseling for myself.
Seeking counseling for years in New England, nothing really clicked until they took me back - way back - to my childhood. And although it was extremely painful to relive, it was after that I felt a sense of relief. I learned that it really wasn't my fault. I was a little girl who saw things as they really were with no protective mechanism to aid me in denying it. Instead, I blamed myself and always thought, 'If I just do... it will all be okay.'
Being raised a Christian has given me a strength to survive the pain and to give that pain purpose. But the two-week program at the Evergreen Psychotherapy Center gave me the choice to be me, to forgive me, to accept me, and to love me - 'all' of me. I definitely came back a changed person and very happy. Everything I learned in the two weeks I spent in Evergreen pulls through every single day. I can live through anything! I have one precious life to live, and I want to live every moment fully.
I thank you all for instilling in me the confidence and courage to trust myself and my 'gut instinct'. My choices are wiser now and I'm clearer as to what I really want them to be. It takes courage to face the pain and this team walks you through it, never leaving you to face it alone.
I hope more clinical psychologists living and working in New England will discover this program.
I thank God for gently pointing me in the direction of Evergreen, Colorado.
Thank you for hearing my cries for help, listening to me, and helping me to heal.
Peace and Love."
"Hello. I am 32 years old. I was referred to Evergreen Psychotherapy Center by a friend. I spoke with Dr. Levy about coming out to participate in the two-week intensive program. He was reassuring that the process was right for me. I made my arrangements and before I knew it I was in Colorado. I was quite nervous and filled with anxiety once I was out there, but the Rocky Mountains and the view that goes along with them put my nerves at rest.
Upon my arrival, the treatment team were more than great about making me feel welcome and comfortable. We started right away on what would turn out to be a scary, confusing and unbelievably difficult road. I am the type of person who likes to know how things are done. I tried to have them explain the process, but they couldn't answer me. They just said something to the effect that "it just works." I thought that they were just being elusive. Trust me, they weren't! The only way I know of how to explain it is this way. They know where they are going but they donąt know how they are going to get there. Why you ask? It is because each person and his/her story is different and they have to get a good idea what is going on with each person. I was a little skeptical. I anticipated that it would take weeks upon weeks to get the information from me before they could even start "the process." I was wrong. The only thing I can say about "the process" is this: It is hard; it is scary; and sometimes you donąt want to do it. After two weeks, though, it is done! They understand and will get you to where you have to go to put your demons to rest or at least to understand what those demons are and how to control them.
I had, what I call, "tapes" running in my head for years. These tapes ran my life; they controlled me. These tapes were programmed by my parents who often said that I was not good enough. I was not handsome enough. I did not talk, walk, or act right. You get the idea. I had very low self-esteem, if any at all. All this resulted from a lack of love, understanding, or caring from my parents. I have come to know this is the basis for "Attachment Disorder." I was so low on myself almost all the time. Every day living was just so hard and unwelcome! For this, I have my parents to thank.
After completing the therapy, I must admit that I did not want to go home. I felt safe and, for the first time in my life, I felt "understood." Why would anyone want to leave that feeling? I came home feeling I could do anything and that I could conquer the world. The gang, as I now affectionately call them, said that I would be the last person to see any "changes" and I have to say they are right. Others will see the changes in me. It is all about how I now relate to others. Even my mood and outlook on things has changed. Don't get me wrong, you don't change drastically. You stay the same person you were but you are more grounded and focused. You see "life" more clearly. I was terribly afraid that having this feeling would only last a few days or weeks. I do not think that is going to happen. I do not want that to happen. I have a few bad days here and there, but I am only human and that is to be expected! My tapes are gone and I am finally starting to see the changes in myself. My wife pretty much saw them as soon as I got off the plane. I, on the other hand, needed a little more time.
I can only say that going through "the process" was the most difficult part of my life, but it was well worth the work and effort that I put into it. I am so pleased with myself and the work I have done that I am more than happy to sing the praises of Evergreen Psychotherapy Center to the world. After you go through "The Process" you will see that, in my opinion, Attachment Disorder is the basis of all the problems with today's youth."
An Objective Observation:
I truly have seen a difference with the families and children that have stayed here while they have been attending sessions with you. It is my pleasure for you to include my personal testimonial:
I have worked at the Quality Suites at Evergreen Parkway Hotel for four years and we have many families stay with us while they are attending the Evergreen Psychotherapy Center here in Evergreen. The changes that have occurred with these families has been so very remarkable that it has been noticeable to myself. Many times when they check in they seem very uncomfortable and anxious. The children are not listening and the parents are embarrassed not knowing what to do or how to handle their children. During the course of their stay I see more "happy faces" and even greetings to myself as they leave the hotel. By check out time the parents and children seem a lot more relaxed and so very happy. It seems as if a tremendous burden has been lifted from their lives and spirit.
Thank you for making a difference in so many people's lives! It is a pleasure and honor to work with you!
Quality Suites at Evergreen Parkway
a 15 Year Old's Poem:
Evergreen Colorado, what a place to see
You overlook the moose and deer and all the trees
And our family came for some psychotherapy
And can't you see, o can't you see
What it did to me...
I'm letting go of all the pain inside... yeah...
It's hard to see through painted glass of hate... yeah...
But I'm not the same girl I was yesterday
I turned around and looked the other way
Doesn't it look like I'm not the same...
My bonds are gone and I'm a free girl
And all I wanna do is show the world
Doesn't it look like I'm not the same...
Because I'm letting go of, letting go of,
Letting go of my past...
A Couple's Thanks:
We cannot begin to thank you for what you have done for our family. You have given us a future that is full of hopes and dreams again. We have not only learned how to be better parents but how to be better spouses. We owe this to all of you. As a couple we have seen plenty of therapists throughout our lives together, but none of them have done what your team has done. You're a lifesaver.
An Adult Female from Australia:
To three incredible people. Words just don't convey my deep gratitude for walking every step of the way through the past two weeks with me. To say a massive thank you, to each of you, just seems too trite. You hold a very special place in my heart for giving me a brand new life and truly understanding me. It helped give me the courage to work hard and move forward, facing my pain head on. May God bless you richly.
Six Years Later:
We wanted to send you this note - we knew you would be proud of Dan and his accomplishments. Ron and I are amazed at his growth and we are so happy for him. We know that this never ever would have been possible without the work you have done for all these children.
It has been incredible to see him progress, and Dan has worked really hard too to improve his emotional life. When I think back to that phone conversation I had with Mike in the summer of 2000, as I was watching any hope of a relationship with Dan slipping out of my hands, and this confident voice told me, "I know what these kids are thinking before they do,” I knew help was out there.
I wanted to write to all three of you, because you are such a great team. I can not tell you how much hope and support you gave us and how good it all has been for Dan. I hope you can see him soon - but every time we mention Colorado he growls (although with a little smile on his face too). He is a fine young man. We all still have work to continue I know that, but he now knows better who he is and what a family means to him.
There is no doubt that family life is complicated to begin with, then you throw in adoption, then add Reactive Attachment Disorder, but the gift our family has, and one that I talk to our children about often is that as an adoptive family, we weren't just stuck with one another biologically, it is our choice to make this family thing work and that is both powerful and constructive.
I hope this finds you all well - and I do hope we will see you sometime.
Keep doing what you are doing - as I have told you before, you are saving lives and it is such important work.
Thanks so much for all you have done for us!
A 10 Year Old Boy:
Thank you so much for helping me and my family a lot over the past two weeks. Thank you for teaching me how to do the communication skills with my brother and parents. Thank you for teaching me to love. I appreciate all the work and help you gave me. You have done so much.
An East Coast Family:
Thank you for giving us back our family. We are flourishing. We will be forever grateful for your wisdom, sensitivity, and talents. You will always remain in our prayers.
Greetings from the Badlands:
We are doing great. I'm off anti-depressants for the first time in 12 years! Plus I think Bill and I are closer than we have ever been. (By the way, we both think that our marriage would have dissolved without your help.) Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing what you do, and doing it with such caring and kindness.
A 16 Year Old Girl:
Thank you all very much for everything. I am so happy to know that there are people who know what they're talking about. You really did know how to help me.
Good Morning from Balmy Minnesota:
Just wanted to check in and give you an update. Time flies. The kids overall are doing real well - Logan especially. We can't tell you how much we appreciate our time with you. Many, many friends and co-workers have asked us about our time there and we always answer it was very, very worthwhile. Logan has asked about learning how to email so he can send you a note.
An Appreciative Dad:
When we left Evergreen things were great... ever since... it's only gotten better. THANK YOU AGAIN. Our lives are so different, it's incredible. The kids have been doing awesome; very, very little trouble. School has been good. Dimitri is actually playing team sports. He's never been so active and so anxious to talk about it. We haven't had to use an alarm or lock since we've been home. When we were in your office during one of the sessions, someone asked me if I cry often. I said that I find myself crying more when I'm happy than when sad. I want you to know I have cried many times since we've been home and I am crying right now as I write this because of tears of joy. Please know that we are doing great. We feel such deep appreciation for the help you all gave to us, and we miss you.
A Mom Writes:
We want to thank you for all the help you have given us. We are adjusting in a new way to our lives. Beth has been doing great. She is learning new ways to test boundaries and we are learning new ways to set the boundaries. We have been listening to your parenting tapes and reading your book. We know we still have a lot to learn, but we are now excited about what the future holds - thanks to your help. I'm finding that I have a little bit of time to paint everyday - something I never dreamed was possible. Thank you again and may God bless each of you.
Take Pride in How Far You Have Come, and Have Faith in How Far You Can Go:
Thank you for sending me this message throughout the two weeks we have been together. There were a few low moments for me and I felt you sensed them and sent me the message that I was on the right path. You were all so honest and open and giving of yourselves to my family. It went beyond professional and was very human. The safety that we all felt was so much a part of the work we were able to do. We really appreciate it. We will keep in touch with updates and questions.
19 Year Old Boy:
Thank you so much for everything you have shared with me. I did make some bad choices in the past but I feel like I have learned from them. Thanks so much for all the skills you have taught me and all the other things that I will remember for the rest of my life. The two weeks with you have changed my family and in a way that will help us forever. Although it will be hard. I know that this is being healed and fixed. The morals, advice, skills, and thoughts that you shared will stay with me. Thank you so much.
A Grateful Wife:
Things have improved greatly in my relationship with Tom. He is reaching out more for people connection and he clearly feels entirely unburdened by his parents. He is no longer running from his past. Thanks to you, Tom is much more supportive of my work situation. I am also finding that my ability to deal with unpleasant work situations has greatly improved. I attribute this to my new awareness of how I relived my childhood environment everyday at work. This has been an invaluable insight and has caused me to be more assertive and empowered. I do appreciate your persistence in holding the mirror up for me. I no longer compartmentalize my feelings and no longer become overwhelmed by my feelings. I am now also reinforcing boundaries in my marriage and am no longer a victim. The communication techniques we learned have been a big help. It is definitely building the trust and changing our interactions for the better. It was an honor to have worked with you. I also really appreciate your ability to use humor in the treatment. That, along with your infinite skills and wisdom enabled us as a couple to be more open to your help. Graduate school isn't very good at teaching optimism, humor, or timing. Thanks forever. Would you believe I have you guys' picture framed in my office? When my staff ask who you are, I tell them that you are the friends that we stayed with while in Colorado. Best to all of you.
Update from Texas:
Just wanted to give you a quick update on our journey with Alexa's miracle. Getting ready for school in the morning has been a dream compared to control battles we faced every single day prior to the intensive program. John and I have been successfully using the techniques you so patiently instructed us on. A few times Alexa would slip into old patterns to test us but we would catch ourselves before overreacting and would use the techniques and she would immediately respond appropriately. I am still pinching myself on the transformation. She also seems much warmer and gentler with me. I notice her softer approach and a new sense of wellbeing that she carries with her now. Of course, we still have a journey before us but we now have hope and reduced stress which help our motivation and stamina. Also, we have noticed a calming in her brother that is exciting. I think this is because of the techniques we are also using on him and because the constant strife between he and Alexa is much less. Thanks again for all your help.
Another Update from Texas:
Alexa wanted me to give you her "thumbs up" regarding all the great treatment we received from you in Evergreen. Although we continue to have a few bumps and testing periods, all in all John and I are amazed. I think Alexa is too. The "control struggles" are brief and are quickly diffused thanks to the wonderful techniques you taught us. Alexa and I have a new level of intimacy that wasn't really there before. We are so much closer and she is so much more content. We are hoping she has a maturity leap this year but will patiently wait for that. I do know that she is fairly controlling at school but they have her number and will not let her get away with it. I also met with the teachers and admin staff to discuss what we had learned in Evergreen so that we are all on the same page. Thank you again for everything... Our future looks so much brighter!
16 Years Later:
Hi. I just want to say that your center was a God send for my family and me. I was a very messed up little girl 16 years ago when I first came to the program at evergreen. Though it took a long time I, with your help, was able to over come some major hurdles that were preventing me from loving my family and letting them love me. I am going to be honest, life wasn't all peaches and cream at first. I still had work to do. But I know, as well as my family, that if not for your program I would be a lot worse off. I am 25 now, I just celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary in July and have been with my husband for almost 6 years. We have 3 beautiful little boys, and a relationship with my parents and family that at 9 years old, I never thought was possible. To this day when we talk about the past my mother still tears up about the opportunity that presented itself when it came to hearing about the program and the hope that it gave them that they would have a "normal" life with me in it. 6 years ago I found my biological mother and that DIDN'T go well at all. But it answered that "what if" question, and helped me realize that the family I have was and is the only family I need. Thank you for all the time and effort that you put into helping me get better. If it were not for your center I would not be here today a free woman. Thank you so much and keep up the good work.