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Schools & Program Visits - Aug, 1999 Issue #60 

New Haven
Provo, Utah
Scott Davis, Admissions
(800) 484-2314 Scode-2297

Visit Report By Jodi Tuttle
June 23, 1999
(435) 656-1251

‘Peaceful’ is the word that comes to mind as we approached New Haven during the Utah Consultant Tour. This is truly a haven. Located at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon near Utah’s majestic Wasatch Mountain Range, this 7000 square foot country home on nine acres of cherry and apple orchards reminds one more of a retreat center than an adolescent treatment center. No wonder the young ladies, ages 13-17, who are in the program seem to be more relaxed than one might expect.

Upon entering the front door one is greeted by a sense of openness. The entry opens into a large living room and dining room, separated by a magnificent fireplace. The sliding glass doors in the dining room provide a sweeping view of the orchards and mountains. The young women were in the dining room finishing lunch as we arrived. Some were taking their turns at washing dishes and cleaning the area, while others had a bit of a chance to relax. Yes, household chores are a part of the program.

Our visit began with a welcome by the treatment team. They explained the philosophy at New Haven, which consists of five areas: 1) family; 2) love; 3) locus of control; 4) self-esteem; and 5) values. The owners and therapists are trained in family systems theory. In other words, they believe that in order to change an individual, the family system must change. Family commitment is important to the success of a student. The emphasis of the program is on creating a loving environment in which students can learn how to give and receive love and respect.

New Haven’s treatment team explained that a student’s “locus of control” is central to her belief in her ability to manage her life. A person with an ‘external’ locus of control attributes their success or failure to other people’s actions, which tends to reinforce a ‘victim’ mentality. In contrast, a person with an ‘internal’ locus of control feels her success is a result of her own actions. Thus, if a student can change her locus of control from external to internal, she will view her life in terms of actions she can take, instead of feeling helplessly controlled by what other people do. By giving students the insight to shift their locus of control, New Haven assists students to become empowered, and able to assume responsibility for their choices and the resulting consequences.

Building self-esteem also plays a big role in the program. New Haven believes that low self-esteem has much to do with the poor choices students have made in the past. They assert that when students attempt to feel better about themselves by using external means, it leads to depression, anxiety, and many other psychological disorders. Instead, New Haven helps to build their student’s self-esteem by assisting them to develop their own value system, then helping them align their lives with those values.

Therapy and education are included to make a well-rounded program. Therapy includes recreation and family therapy, along with individual, group, and psycho-education therapy. Recreation therapy includes horse care, riding, agriculture, theater, private music or sports lessons, skiing, games, fishing, rowing and a ropes course. Special intensive tracks include education about substance abuse/addictions, depression/self-esteem and trauma. The education department uses an individualized program to help students move at their own pace.

The young ladies explained to us that New Haven provides them with a wonderful nurturing, caring environment. They discussed how each girl kept an exercise log, and how they receive social skills education on Saturday. One student reported that she had learned to change a car tire since she’d been there. Another, thought that working with her parents on the ropes course was a key factor in her progress in the program. While the girls were looking forward to going back home, they all felt that the program at New Haven was positive, and were grateful for the changes that it had brought in their lives and the lives of their family members.

Copyright © 1999, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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