Courageous Parents: Loving Pressure Brings Honesty, Accountability and Healing
For the past several months Oxbow staff has been working with a young man on completing his full disclosure. He was initially highly resistant to disclose, although had dabbled in it. As the items on his disclosure were altered by the week, it was clear that he was not being fully accountable for his sexual behaviors with those on whom he had perpetrated. He initially tried to convince us that he was ready to take and to pass his polygraph exam. After failing, having used countermeasures, he returned to campus admitting that he had not been honest. Both the Oxbow staff and his parents felt that he must have been holding onto something very important to him- and his parents and I had a good guess as to what that may be.
The next two months were spent processing and adding pressure from his therapist, parents and peers in hopes that he would take full accountability for his sexual behaviors. He literally sat on Structure, putting minimal effort into his therapy for weeks. His peers lost trust in him and they no longer allowed him to speak in group therapy session. His parents made frequent trips to Utah to visit with and encourage him to come clean. We finally severed phone calls with his parents until he agreed to come clean and to pass his polygraph. We went through all of the disclosure prompts and questions again, pushing for additional information, but one area always met with resistance. That is until one day, in an emotional session this teen began to let me in. He shared with me his feelings of being a “monster” when he perpetrates, especially with regards to one of his victims, which was someone he truly cared about. We discussed this “monster” in depth, and later that week he came clean on his second polygraph.
If it had not been for the pressure that was placed on this young man by Oxbow staff and his parents, I believe that he would have continued to hold onto the secrets he held regarding his deviant sexual behaviors. I cannot stress enough how courageous this young man’s parents were for trusting the Oxbow staff in implementing the pressure that was necessary for this young man to come clean. It took time and a considerable amount of pressure to break through this barrier. It is my belief that the trust that these parents displayed during this crucial time is what is often required of the parents involved in the Oxbow Program. These parents are courageous, trusting and willing to implement new parenting strategies in order to help their sons. Parents’ willingness to change and to set and maintain clear boundaries play a very important role in their son’s success, not only while at Oxbow Academy, but for the duration of their lives. – Rachelle Gallup, Therapist