Whutz Up in Paradise Cove A monthly newsletter written for parents of kids in Samoa. Paradise Cove is a residential treatment facility for troubled adolescent boys.
Volume 1, Issue 5 May, 1997
IN THIS ISSUE.... DENIAL STANDING PROUD TB TESTING PARENT SUPPORT GROUPS THE OMINOUS WORKSHEET ROOM INSURANCE CLAIMS - R & B BILLING WE CAN HAVE IT ALL! PARENT COORDINATOR'S CORNER A BETTER WAY DISCOVERY DENIAL by Tim Flood, son Jake recommended home February 1997 My wife Sandy, son Jacob, and I just completed our Parent/Child III seminar. It was yet another in a series of very powerful personal experiences. Since our journey began in March 1996, when Jacob went to Paradise Cove, we have all completed, as well as staffed, Discovery and Focus seminars, and have attended all three Parent/Child seminars. We have even staffed a Discovery seminar together as a family, which gives us a way to work together. Whether or not you have been very involved in the seminars, my purpose in writing this is to share with you my experience with why the seminars are so important. To me, it goes far beyond the issue of the seminar itself. Like many of you, I have attended personal growth seminars long before involvement with Teen Help. However, I've gained a lot more out of the TASKS seminars than any I attended before. I felt a greater challenge than ever before because of the sense of urgency our family crisis had created. When looking beyond the situation with your child, you will see that there are profound reasons you're connected with this program at this time of your life. Our kids aren't in this program by themselves . . . we're in it with them whether we choose to deny that or not. The only question is whether or not we will see and, seeing, will we choose to respond. At first, I entertained the convenient illusion that Jacob got into his pre-Paradise Cove state all by himself. But even before attending Discovery, it had become pretty apparent that I had enrolled myself along with Jacob and needed to learn how we had arrived at this place in our lives. I have met many parents facing similar challenges . . . many in the program, many outside of it. The power of denial never ceases to amaze me. It wears many disguises. . . . reasons for not taking decisive action. We're very logical people . . . we always have our reasons. But it always seems to come back to one thing: facing the truth or denying it! Yet, denial has many layers. Even courageously facing the situation, intervening in your child's destruction doesn't mean we're beyond the insidious power of denial in our lives; it only means we're willing to face the truth about our kids. But what about the truth about ourselves? Opening ourselves to using the seminars for us invites the possibility directly into our lives. Opening up to learning new things about ourselves and our families. Honesty with ourselves and others increases our self-esteem. With open eyes, we learn things about us that are working really well, as well as things that are not. The greater the sense of self-awareness, then the greater the feeling of well-being and personal mastery. We are then open to others who are also on this journey. . . fellow travelers . . . companions along life's journey. We learn we're not alone . . . we're just at a point along the way on a journey without end. There came a time when Sandy and I realized we had opened a door to an immensely powerful opportunity to grow as individuals and heal old wounds. We seized the moment. We didn't just open the door a crack . . . we blew it off it's hinges and barged in! And for that I feel incredibly blessed. Not long ago I visited Paradise Cove and spoke with several boys. Our kids are very aware of us . . . much more than we might think. Back in the US, I met a young woman who was staffing a Parent/Child seminar, whose parents are completely uninvolved in the program. She's completely dedicated to her own journey, but she knows that at a certain level her parents say, "No, not us, not even for you." This young woman knows she cannot create a companion out of someone who does not want to be one. Her life will go on . . . that's not the point. The point is that the full responsibility of relationships with her parents may well never be realized . . . not out of defiance on her part, but out of denial on theirs. Through my experiences, I've come to see that each of us in this big world is loved every moment by a power greater than us. That power has placed before us an unfolding path reaching from now into our becoming. We're no different than our children! We too stand before an always open door. We can choose to deny the reality of who we are and the unclaimed power available to us, or we can plant and nourish the seeds of our inborn possibility which includes even the deepest love and trust possible between a parent and child. As always, the choice is ours. STANDING PROUD by Eddie Davidson, recommended home April 1997 Dear Parents, I am writing to you to tell you how important it is to complete everything the program offers . . . everything from Discovery to all the Parent /Child seminars. I know some of you struggle with weighing out the benefits of your child completing his program vs. the costs . . . especially when you have seen many changes occur. It must be tempting to save some money . . . look for a shortcut. Well, I know where you are coming from. My mother is a single parent, and me being in the program for 19 months is a big bill to pay. But the way she looks at it is she would rather strive to pay for a situation that would assist me in changing my life, so I can come home and work with my family, then having to pay for my funeral, or the cost of society paying to keep me in jail. Because without this program I would likely have been in one place or the other. I will tell you this . . . it feels really good to be able to say that I completed the program. From Level 1, down to Limbo, and all the way back up to Level 6, and Transition. All the while going through all the seminars which were very influential to me and my family. When I went to Transition, something I highly recommend for your son in the program, I went through Parent Child I with my mother. There we focused on things that were not working in the family. PC I gave us tools to be able to solve the problems as a family. Believe me, when I was gone from my mom and then we reunited again upon returning from Samoa, it felt real good for a little bit. Yet when conflicts came up it was as though nothing had changed for us. However, things really had changed, but some of the same old feelings and responses I had 17 months before were still there. I had not expected that. Thankfully the Parent Child I seminar was there to assist my mother and me to realize that. We came to understand that this is normal, after being not being a family for so long. I also learned tools to become a better working family. After the seminar I had the opportunity to go through Transition in Montana. I spent 2 months there working on the things that did not work for me when I was with my mom for those 4 days at PC I. I also worked on things that would allow me to succeed at home. Another part of Transition that helped me was when we got to go into town and intermingle with society for the first time in a long time, while having the support I needed. I was also learning to let go of the program in the sense of it not being a crutch for me. So that I could stand on my own two feet without falling. Another reality check for me was watching other guys begin their Transition as I was about to complete mine. It was very powerful to me to see guys I had trusted very much in the program, and how quickly, after 4 days of being in the States, influenced them to get back into their old patterns that didn't work. I was so glad that they are in Transition so they can get the support that I had received so they can realize that it's time to really shape up because time is flying by . . . and there may be no tomorrow. Transition helped me slow things down so I can now stand on my own two feet and still be my magical child. Together my mom and I also completed Parent Child II & III, where we continued to strengthen what we have built as a family. . . something very powerful and loving. I am a BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL, HAPPY, SENSITIVE, CARING AND LOVING YOUNG MAN. WITH LOVE, Eddie Davidson TB TESTING Paradise Cove Staff As a precaution, and matter of procedure, we are administering TB tests for all students and staff. This will be a yearly procedure. It will be ongoing, throughout the year to accommodate all students. All staff and students will complete the testing, which includes a sputum test and a chest x-ray. Again, this is only a precaution. We want to take all measures necessary to ensure that the boys are in the best of health. Their safety and well being are of utmost concern to us. PARENT SUPPORT GROUPS Seattle : John & Sue Morton 206-941-6828 St. George: Lori Tebbs 801-656-2612 Salt Lake City: Denise & David Bern 801-266-4518 Maryland/VA./D.C. Debbie Mould 410-721-9372 & Maria Gallagher 703-327-3364 Bay Area: Tim & Sandy Flood 415-349-4358 Chuck & Sharon Brothers 415-948-6628 San Diego: Dan & Ellen Koller 619-481-2077 Miami: Lynne Pretzfeld 305-595-7912 Anchorage: (new group forming) Pam Phillip-Knapp 907-338-1214 Atlanta: Dina Dalton 770-971-3853 Dallas/Ft. Worth: Charles Parks 817-795-3030 & Julie Aderman (after hours) 817-296-9975 Chico, Ca: Shelly & Pat Tedford 916-893-2141 Fairbanks, Ak: Bill Lanning 907-457-7384 THE OMINOUS WORKSHEET ROOM by Nelson Shumway, Stateside Coordinator The worksheet room is an alternative discipline which has been implemented at Paradise Cove. When a boy's choices and actions result in consequences involving the worksheet room he spends that time listening to informational tapes concerning historical figures such as American Presidents, classical musicians, famous artists, etc. Upon completing the tape, the student completes worksheets in which he answers questions pertaining to the information contained on the tape. Multiple worksheets may be required, depending on the particular inappropriate behavior. A student who makes choices that result in repeated visits to the worksheet room may be asked to repeat work previously completed. A question I am asked often concerns time spent in the worksheet room removes that student from other aspects of the program, such as activities or even school. It is important to remember that the main focus of the program is behavior modification. It can be expected that as a boy's behavior is improved his attitude will also change, and this includes an improved attitude toward completing his schooling. The worksheet room is a significant resource in this modification process. Be assured that it is a very informative and educational form of discipline which has advantages that outweigh disadvantages. In speaking with Doreen, one of our Case Managers, she remarked that the comments she overheard most from the boys that have been in the worksheet room is that they have no desire to return. She feels that it is an effective means of deterring unwanted behaviors as it takes them out of circulation with the other students and the more enjoyable activities. I'm not sure the historic figures would appreciate knowing they're the subject of a behavior mod program, but I think they would feel good in knowing that, in a small way, they've helped someone improve their life. "It is important to remember that the main focus of the program is behavior modification." INSURANCE CLAIMS - R & B BILLING A service we offer to parents is the billing of their insurance company. This is an optional service. It has not been included in the overall tuition costs, as that would have necessitated the increase of all tuitions, and not limited only to those that desire this service. The cost of this service is $100. per month, while utilizing the service. It has been our experience that when using the standardized insurance forms there is a greater likelihood insurance companies will reimburse costs. This service includes, but not limited to, researching all the information required such as diagnostic codes, treatment plans, as well as working cohesively with the insurance personnel. We will also follow up with any ongoing or additional requests from the insurance company on pending submissions, or even resubmitting the claim if necessary. Our purpose for offering this service, on an as needed basis, allows us to keep the tuition rates lower. It also allows us to be the mediator for you so that you may avoid the insurance company hassle. You are certainly welcome to do your own insurance billing, however based on experience insurance reimbursements are a higher probability when billed professionally. Please note that Brightway Adolescent Hospital automatically bills for your child's stay there. Any treatment needs beyond that must be requested by the parent, to be billed. If this service would be useful to you, it must be requested individually to R & B Billing at 801-656-0630. Please refer to your contract stated under the heading INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENTS. It states, "Unless otherwise stated in writing (the program) takes no responsibility for the approval or processing of insurance reimbursements, payments, or billings . . . Sponsors agree to reimburse (the program) for insurance billings at a rate of $100. 00 for each month billed." On a final note, if you choose to submit claims yourself, it appears that tenacious persistence is the key. Remain patiently consistent and it may produce results. WE CAN HAVE IT ALL! by Nancy Inman, son in Samoa 10 months I am the sister of the famous Kate Burdette, and it was through the antics of her young son, Ben, that our son, Bryan, found his way to Paradise Cove. After Ben's initial stay at Paradise Cove, Bryan saw the power and self-love Ben came home with. So, last July, he asked us if he could go. Bryan did not have any drug issues and was only 13 at the time of his departure. He was 6'3", 225 lbs. He had major self-esteem issues and began dropping out of sports. His grades were falling and he became more and more involved with fantasy games, computer games, Magic cards, Dungeons and Dragons etc. Danny and I knew he was suffering and decided it would be a huge opportunity for Bryan to find his wings. Little did we know the journey we were about to begin for ourselves. Last September we attended the first Parent Discovery in Seattle. Danny stayed . . . I walked out. I had already dealt with my stuff and I didn't need some schmuck telling me otherwise. To make a long story short, Danny graduated Discovery a transformed man, and I knew I had made a major error in walking out early. I returned to complete Discovery the following week in Los Angeles. Then I completed Focus, which I attend with 7 other members of my family. What a powerful, life-changing experience. I got to see how I really showed up to the world. We all got set free and life has not been the same since. Our marriage of 16 years has been reborn. I have lost over 50 pounds. Danny has lost over 30 pounds and quit smoking after a 2-pack a day, 30-year habit. We joined a gym and we are opening a business called Paradise Cove Espresso. It's a symbol that drastic change is possible and that life can be inspiring and beautiful if we choose it to be. And it can be easy. I am so thankful to Ben and Bryan for leading us down this road. I never knew life could be so huge. My life was so miserable before we took this step and I didn't even know it. The incredible relationships we have made with others in this program are so beautiful. I have never felt so much support and love. We truly get to have it all! PARENT COORDINATOR'S CORNER Glenda Cook I hope you have all received your updated Parent Manual by now, and have had a chance to read through it. There is a lot of additional information that should be helpful. In fact, there are answers to many of the questions I am asked each day. Using the Parent Manual as your reference guide could save you time, frustration, and a money on your phone bill. If for some reason your manual did not arrive, please let me know and I will have it sent out. 801-656-5823 - phone 801-656-1899 - fax firstname.lastname@example.org A BETTER WAY by Johnny Morton, in Samoa 12 months The past had gotten pretty bad And I made a lot of people sad And though I didn't even care What I did could not be fair. So my parents made a very hard choice And that's when I last heard their voice. And now I've been working for one long year Through sweat, pain, blood and tear. Soon homeward bound, I will be To start all over with my new family And now, from my long Samoan stay I have searched and found a better way!! Submitted by proud mom, Sue Morton. She writes: I was thrilled to see my son use his tender creative side!! Our first phone call was well worth the wait. Exactly one year to the day from his arrival in Western Samoa!! He sounded so good!! DISCOVERY Anonymous I just completed the Discovery Seminar and it was life changing to say the least! It showed me how much work I need to do on myself. I immediately signed up for the next Focus seminar. It's exciting to have the opportunity to grow along with my child. To those out there who are single moms or dad whose child is in the custody of the other parent and stepparent, which is the position I'm in, I know how much it hurts and how helpless it feels. All I can say at this point is to stop feeling sorry for yourself and take action. Make yourself an example for your child. You do it first! For Discovery, and PC registration contact Ren: 801-635-0918. For Focus registration contact Kate: 801-688-2856 Whutz Up in Paradise Cove P.O. Box 3109 St. George, Utah 84770