When people enter treatment, many are in self-destructive mindsets and operating out of fear, with no direction in their lives. The majority of treatment programs provide a container and set expectations that help assure a student’s “success” while living within that container. Although the program structure can help assure compliance, it comes at tremendous cost. Students often feel disempowered, and not collaborated with — which results in a less than ideal environment for learning tools that last a lifetime.
Red Mountain is completely different in that we are not interested only in compliance; our expectations and desired outcomes are far greater. Compliance can be viewed as the first step, but it is not the goal, and it is not a marker of growth. Anyone who is motivated to leave treatment can figure out how to survive and even thrive within a highly structured treatment environment. If a student only learns compliance in treatment, you can guess what happens next – as soon as they leave treatment, things fall apart and they start acting out again.
Unfortunately, most programs lack the ability to create an environment in which a student can find their own internalized purpose and embrace treatment for themselves, not simply working within a program’s structure to “get out” of treatment as quickly as possible. By simply complying, a person can avoid doing the deep work necessary to embrace true inner change.
Our approach is different. We are not interested in superficial compliance. We are interested in transformation.
When a person actually changes – when their inner world transforms, and they are able to interact differently with the world outside themselves – treatment results are dramatically better. Ideally, a student then becomes able to thrive in any environment – not just ours. Whether they are living with family, living independently, or in an academic environment, our goal is for the changes they made in treatment to be internalized so the student takes that change with them wherever they go. Developing inner strength and trust in themselves creates a mindset to approach a future that no longer allows anxiety or fear to control how they respond to the unpredictability of life.
This really highlights one of the many differences between how we do things (which involves an understanding of where a student is and meeting them there), and how other programs do things (which involves trying to force them to be where the program thinks they need to be). It’s about getting buy-in and finding purpose versus coercing students to comply.
The main way we do this is through mindfulness. We teach our students how to learn – how to learn about themselves, other people, the environment they are in – and that “learning how to learn” about what is happening at any given moment gives them an invaluable (and critical) tool in making lasting change. We work and live as an example, as the mindfulness approach is at the foundation of everything we do as an organization.