We are introducing a new blog series written by a graduate of Solstice East and our sister program, Journey Home East. Below are her insights and observations of transitioning out of residential treatment.
Your daughter is finally ready to start planning her transition out of the Solstice East program. You as parents might be excited and also nervous for this next step. Whatever you’re feeling, your daughter is feeling a thousand times more. It can be a scary thing to think about transitioning. During her stay at Solstice, she has built an immensely strong community of friends and peers. She is feeling comfortable about her place in the community. She might even be in a leadership role. Now, all of this is about to change.
We can all admit that change, no matter what kind, is scary. That’s why it’s really important for you as parents to listen to your daughter as she communicates her needs. As parents, it can be tempting to take charge and plan out the next steps for your child. But your daughter has spent the last 6-12 months learning how to plan out her own life by learning skills to help her communicate her needs. Following the direction of your therapist, have open and honest conversations about what is expected of her as she begins the process of graduating the program. Whether it be going to school or returning home or starting a job, it can be helpful for her to hear out plain and simple what her next steps are. Then the discussion can begin, and you as a family can come up with a plan that works with the expectations as a parent and with what she wants to do. Compromise and working together is key.
When I went it came to transitioning out of residential treatment, I wanted to go directly to college, as education is very important to me. It took many conversations with my therapist, treatment team, and my parents to help me realize that going to the school directly after treatment wasn’t the best option for me at the time. We reached that conclusion with open dialogue. That’s the best thing you can do for your daughter to help her reach a successful end of this part in her journey.