Pain, Patience and Progress for Struggling Teens

As therapists at Oxbow, we are here to help students develop insight into their thought, feeling and behavioral patterns.  We love this work and are privileged to work with wonderful students and families. As our students change, their families change.  And as the families that we work with change, we are influenced for the better.

There is no set time line for how quickly one gains insight. Insight comes in its own time, dependent upon the individual’s willingness to “go there”. True insight cannot be given away and cannot be forced upon anyone.  All that we can do to assist in this process is to encourage the student through interaction and  hopefully foster a desire  within him.  Throughout this often long process, patience is tried and tears are shed.  Nights of sleep are lost and stress can frequently seem overwhelming.

One family recently showed great patience with their son’s journey to insight. This family has waited patiently as their son played games that hurt them and avoided his treatment for months. This family waited in their pain and showed their patience with their son by being available for every contact made; whether it be a weekend phone call with little depth of conversation or a family or parent track session where they were asked to gain insight into their family system and how their personal functioning  contributed to the family dynamic.  This family showed patience with the Oxbow program by following the recommendations given by the Oxbow treatment team, regardless of how difficult these recommendations were.  Due to working together as a team, their son is making progress.

I congratulate your son for the efforts that he has invested in his therapeutic work and for the maturity he has chosen to gain and to show. He is beginning to investigate his personal emotional depths. He is, at last, ready to learn from his own experiences.

I congratulate you as parents.  I congratulate you for all of the work that you have invested physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I congratulate you for the personal growth you have decided to gain and for your willingness to not only teach, but to learn.  For your patience with your son as he struggled to make a decision to move forward in his life, to move beyond fantasy and sit in reality.

This process is painful and continues to be tender for the many involved.  Hope is fostered through patience and understanding.  Thank you for all of the above.  Thank you to the parents and family members of all those who have been willing to look at their pain and to work through it in positive ways.  Your sons notice your growth and it encourages them to move toward gaining their own insight, promoting internal changes.  Your love and devotion cannot be replaced.  Your influence is remarkable, life changing.  by Rachelle Gallup, Clinical Social Worker