In looking for an aftercare facility for our son, we were impressed that the goal at RMS was independence, the ability to live one’s life. Looking back on RMS, our son has said, “I needed to learn how to live my life again.” Another aspect in Red Mountain’s favor was its flexibility, or perhaps it might better be called adaptability. As a student moves through the program, they have more freedom and ability to make their own decisions. Our son ultimately chose Red Mountain and we supported his choice.
He benefited from all the groups at Red Mountain. He especially got a lot out of yoga and the body-image group. He had lost so much when he went there and he was very self-critical, but Red Mountain was able to work with him on all his issues.
We did not talk with him for four months, but we trusted the RMS team to give him good care because part of his work was separating from us. They gave him freedom to try new things, sometimes in situations where we would have said, “no.” Their attitude was, “Whether he succeeds or fails, it will give us something to talk about in terms of his personal growth.”
The structure meant a lot to him, as did all the people at RMS. It truly is a therapeutic environment.
Regarding our own experience, we knew he was safe, we did not feel we had to be a part of his care, and we did not have a problem with the separation. We worked through issues with his therapist, which was helpful. It was actually good therapy for us and we went through a number of phases ourselves. For example, we learned a lot about setting boundaries, even from a distance.
At a certain point, he began reaching out to us and wanted to spend time with us, which was wonderful. Apparently, he thought the experience was good for us because he said, “They have changed so much!”
Now, our son is back in school, he is very self-aware, and has a greater capacity to be himself.
We would recommend Red Mountain to other families and we have already told a number of people about it. A person going to RMS has to want to do it and really get with the program. Red Mountain is very practical; they have standards for behavior and speech that are matter-of-fact and natural. They are not preachy and don’t try to convert you to Buddhism, but they do have expectations that the students need to respect. That is what makes it work for anyone who goes there.