Suggested Readings

An Unchanged Mind begins with a clinical riddle: Why are American teenagers failing to develop normally through adolescence? We are presented with case studies from a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teenagers: All new students had been deemed treatment “failures” after conventional psychiatric care. All were bright teenagers, full of promise, not obviously “ill.” Yet they found themselves unprepared for the challenges of modern adolescence and inevitably failed – at school, at home, and socially among their peers.

An Unchanged Mind is the discovery of the essence of this problem: disrupted maturation, and resulting immaturity. The book explains the problem carefully – with a brief review of normal development, and an examination of the delays today’s teenagers are suffering: the cause of those delays, and how they produced a flawed approach to living. There is a solution. With a sustained push to help troubled kids catch up, symptoms abate, academic and interpersonal functioning improve, and parents pronounce their teens miraculously recovered. This remedy is not a matter of pharmacology – and the cure is not in pills. It is, instead, to grow up.

An Unchanged Mind begins with a clinical riddle: Why are American teenagers failing to develop normally through adolescence? We are presented with case studies from a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teenagers: All new students had been deemed treatment “failures” after conventional psychiatric care. All were bright teenagers, full of promise, not obviously “ill.” Yet they found themselves unprepared for the challenges of modern adolescence and inevitably failed – at school, at home, and socially among their peers.

An Unchanged Mind is the discovery of the essence of this problem: disrupted maturation, and resulting immaturity. The book explains the problem carefully – with a brief review of normal development, and an examination of the delays today’s teenagers are suffering: the cause of those delays, and how they produced a flawed approach to living. There is a solution. With a sustained push to help troubled kids catch up, symptoms abate, academic and interpersonal functioning improve, and parents pronounce their teens miraculously recovered. This remedy is not a matter of pharmacology – and the cure is not in pills. It is, instead, to grow up.

Your struggling teenager is going to a residential or wilderness treatment program. Their addictions, learning disabilities, or emotional/behavioral issues have brought you to a moment of decision. Heartsick, anxious, and exhausted, questions bounce endlessly around your mind, “Will this work? Was this really necessary? Will she ever forgive me? Can we handle him at home when the time comes?”

Dr.Tim Thayne delivers the answers in his groundbreaking book Not by Chance. As an owner/therapist of wilderness and residential programs, Thayne was frustrated when young people made monumental progress, only to return home where things quickly unraveled. His mission became to vastly improve long-term success by crafting and proving a model to coach parents on their power to lead out through full engagement during treatment and management of the transition home.

Not by Chance engages readers through solid research, simple exercises, and captivating stories taken from Thayne’s own life and the living rooms of hundreds of American homes. This book serves up concrete tools, hope, confidence, and stamina for families, professionals and mentors.

--From Amazon.com

Finally, there’s a guide — written for parents, not just clinicians — describing the unique challenges you are likely to face when your teenager or young adult comes home from therapeutic treatment.

Using a wealth of examples, sample dialogues, worksheets, and insights gleaned from real families’ experiences, The Road Home illustrates how to manage the scenarios you can expect to face in the weeks and months ahead—or that you may already be facing—and how to avoid the most common pitfalls awaiting you and your child after treatment.

Whether your child is returning from a wilderness therapy program, a therapeutic boarding school, or a drug and alcohol treatment center, The Road Home will empower you to:

  • Practice key communication skills and strategies for ensuring a successful transition home.
  • Reduce your fear and anxiety by forming realistic expectations and setting appropriate boundaries.
  • Confidently approach specific situations that parents today face, including those involving drug and alcohol use, curfews, chores, school, friends, and sexuality.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step process to prepare for your child’s arrival home — and to strengthen your relationship with your child — this book is for you.

--From Amazon.com

By the author of The Parallel Process: Growing Alongside Your Adolescent or Young Adult Child in Treatment (2011)

Writing from her own extensive experience and psychological wisdom, Krissy Pozatek shows us how children can develop the resilience, confidence and creativity that enables them to find true joy in living.

-- Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance
--From Amazon.com

When a child is hurting, it can be the most painful challenge a parent will face. With compassion and perspective, Dr. Brad Reedy offers hope and wisdom for children who struggle and the parents who love them. The Journey of the Heroic Parent will take you on a journey to a happier, healthier relationship with your struggling child—and yourself. Through lessons learned, mother, father, and child will achieve greater understanding, love, and humanity—no matter what the outcome.

Every day parents face heartbreaking situations. Raising a child struggling with mental health issues, addictions, depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders or just the normal angst associated with growing up can be frightening and confusing.

When all you’ve done is not enough, when your child seems lost and you feel inept and impotent, Dr. Reedy can help you take the necessary steps to find your child, not with cursory cures or snappy solutions, but rather by effecting positive change in your own behavior.

On your journey, you will confront, reevaluate, and grow confident in your beliefs as a parent. You will learn how to lovingly and effectively communicate your intentions to your child.

Reedy’s process will teach you how to find peace and security in your skills as a parent, and help you get comfortable exactly where you are. Even if you’ve made mistakes, even if you think you’ve failed, you still have the power to be a great parent.

Healthy parenting leads to a healthy life for your whole family, and The Journey of the Heroic Parent will be your guide as you walk the path to hope.

--From Amazon.com

Sometimes it’s a little thing, like the way a teen dresses.  Other times it’s more serious, like problems in school or finding drugs in his or her bedroom.  But something tells you that your teen may be in or headed toward a crisis.  Whatever the circumstances, the turning point, say authors Carol Maxym and Leslie B. York, comes when your child’s out-of-control behaviour takes control of the entire family.  And however we label such a teenager – troubled, high-risk, out-of-control, or “in turmoil” – your lives are defined by fear, worry, anger, and walking on eggshells.  Teens in Turmoil helps concerned parents turn fear and desperation into hope and action.  Maxym and York guide parents in charting a course to putting their families – and teens – back on track.

Nature as few have imagined it: Utah, a windswept desert thick with spring, the flash of primrose, treeless hills, and canyons shining in the sun. And in the distance, all but lost in these great sweeps of rock and sky, a group of teenagers, fresh out of suburban America, are struggling desperately to build new lives – beyond crack and crystal meth, beyond sadness, beyond a pain that has brought many to the brink of self-destruction. In Shouting at the Sky, award-winning writer Gary Ferguson is once again bound for the back-country, this time to spend a season in one of the country’s most remarkable programs for troubled teens. Here you’ll share in the daily triumphs and heartaches of an unforgettable group of kids. Witness their shock at the wilderness, outrageous with its bluster and open spaces, its lack of bathrooms and cooked meals, its absence of television, malls and old friends. Huddle with them on moonlit nights around a juniper fire. Sit for an afternoon on a canyon rim in the middle of nowhere and listen to their stories and poems: tales of anorexia and amphetamines, of depression and workaholic parents, of the grating fear that will not let them be. Shouting at the Sky is a story resplendent with glimpses into the power of the human spirit and the healing that is possible when the beauty and challenges of the wild are linked to it. But along these trails can also be found issues of striking gravity: insights into how young lives can go terribly wrong and, in the end, how many of our fondest hopes for tomorrow are teetering on the brink, waiting for us to find the will, the courage to build more genuine connections to our children. “I can't imagine being broken down without a wild place to fall apart in,” Ferguson writes. So this is also a very personal account of his participation as an observer, leader, and storyteller in the rites of passage these teenagers undergo in the Utah desert. It is a story of individuals, counselors and participants alike, grown-ups and youths, sharing the struggle to find themselves.

Millions of parents struggle to grasp what goes on in their kids’ heads, on their computers, and among their friends. As an education correspondent for U.S. News, David Marcus discovered astonishing crises and surprising truths. He focuses on four remarkable kids who run the demographic gamut: a southern girl whose privileges cannot save her from sinking into drug abuse and unsafe sex; the self-destructive son of teachers grappling with his anger about being adopted; a black kid from a tough New York neighborhood who is silenced by consuming depression; and a once high-achieving Florida girl broken by the death of her mother. While uncovering what drove these kids and their parents to Swift River, Marcus opens the black box of the teenage mind. As he reveals the intense, dramatic process that sets most of these kids right, he weaves a taut, absorbing tale and charts a path to hope that any kid, any parent, can take.

 In 1986 Melody Beattie introduced the world to the term codependency. Now a modern classic, this book established Beattie as a pioneer in self-help literature and endeared her to millions of readers who longed for healthier relationships. The subtitle of the book offers a hint at the apparent contradiction that accompanies codependency: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself.

In Codependent No More, Melody Beattie introduced the world to the term codependency. Now a modern classic, this book established Beattie as a pioneer in self-help literature and endeared her to millions of readers who longed for healthier relationships. Twenty-five years later, concepts such as self-care and setting boundaries have become entrenched in mainstream culture. Now Beattie has written a follow up volume, The New Codependency, which clears up misconceptions about codependency, identifies how codependent behavior has changed, and provides a new generation with a road map to wellness.

The question remains: What is and what is not codependency? Beattie here reminds us that much of codependency is normal behavior. It’s about crossing lines. There are times we do too much, care too much, feel too little, or overly engage. Feeling resentment after giving is not the same as heartfelt generosity. Narcissism and self-love, enabling and nurturing, and controlling and setting boundaries are not interchangeable terms. In The New Codependency, Beattie explores these differences, effectively invoking her own inspiring story and those of others, to empower us to step out of the victim role forever. Codependency, she shows, is not an illness but rather a series of behaviors that, once broken down and analyzed, can be successfully combatted.

Each section offers an overview of and a series of activities pertaining to a particular behavior – caretaking, controlling, manipulation, denial, repression, etc. – enabling us to personalize our own step-by-step guide to wellness. These sections, in conjunction with a series of tests allowing us to assess the level of our codependent behavior, demonstrate that while it may not seem possible now, we have the power to take care of ourselves, no matter what we are experiencing.

Punctuated with Beattie’s renowned candor and intuitive wisdom, The New Codependency is an owner’s manual to learning to be who we are and gives us the tools necessary to reclaim our lives by renouncing unhealthy practices.

“In this meticulous, evocative memoir… Lewis’s unusual blend of scientific expertise, street cred, vivid subjectivity and searching introspection yields a compelling perspective on the perils and allure of addiction.” Publishers Weekly Starred Review

In Addictive Thinking, author Abraham Twerski reveals how self-deceptive thought can undermine self-esteem and threaten the sobriety of a recovering individual. This timely revision of the original classic includes updated information and research on depression and affective disorders, the relationship between addictive thinking and relapse, and the origins of addictive thought. Ultimately, Addictive Thinking offers hope to those seeking a healthy and rewarding life in recovery.

Like the people who care about them, addicted individuals in early recovery are filled with hopes and fears. They want to be free of the pain and chaos their addictions have brought them. They hope to build a productive life. But they also fear that they may not be able to live without their drug of choice.

During uncertain times of early recovery, families face new and difficult challenges in their relationship with their loved one: How involved should we be? How can we be supportive without setting ourselves up for disappointment? How can we help without enabling? What kinds of boundaries should we maintain? And what kind of relationship will we ultimately have?

Everything Changes is a guide to help families navigate the first year of recovery. It explores the addicted individual’s many challenges, examines ways that families can be supportive without sacrificing their own peace of mind, and suggests ways to build a new, more rewarding relationship with their recovering loved one.

A leading wellness advocate offers a step-by-step holistic plan for the 50 million people in recovery – a personalized blueprint for adding years to their life and life to their years. Includes a foreword by leading relapse prevention expert Terence T. Gorski.

Based on over thirty years in the trenches as a wellness professional and counselor, John Newport, Ph.D. shares the missing dimension in recovery and the reason why the majority of people battling alcoholism and drug addiction fail to reap the full benefits of recovery and optimal health: They don’t adopt a wellness-oriented lifestyle.

Newport breaks down the nebulous concept of wellness into 7 steps, and gives people in recovery – and their families – specific tools to design their own blueprint for optimal health, including:

Nutrition: nutritional hazards associated with alcoholism and drug addiction, and how to lay a sound nutritional foundation for recovery.

Exercise: role of exercise in preventing relapse and enjoying optimal health, with tips on how to get started.

Stress Management: practical tips on stress management and meditation, specifically geared to people in recovery.

Spiritual Needs: tips on how to manifest your unique sense of central purpose, and how this will help you stay clean and sober and move toward optimal health.

Social Supports: how to develop a strong social support system, sexuality in recovery, and more.

Conquering Substitute Addictions: including nicotine addiction, caffeine addiction and junk food binging.

Health Care: why our health care system is “wired backwards,” and how recovering people can effectively work with doctors and other health care resources.

Written in a voice that is timeless in its message of understanding, The Road Less Traveled continues to help us explore the very nature of loving relationships and leads us toward a new serenity and fullness of life. It helps us learn how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become a more sensitive parent; and ultimately how to become one’s own true self.

Recognizing that, as in the famous opening line of his book, “Life is difficult” and that the journey to spiritual growth is a long one, Dr. Peck never bullies his readers, but rather guides them gently through the hard and often painful process of change toward a higher level of self-understanding.

Pine River’s Director of Research and Evaluation, Laura Mills, Ph.D., published this article in the journal Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, 2013. She and her co-authors, Dr. Debra Pepler (on PRI’s  International Research Advisory Committee and a member of PRI's Research Committee of the Board), and Dr. Robert Cribbie (York University) investigated the benefits of Pine River’s treatment program for youth abusing substances.

This distinguished journal offers peer-reviewed articles targeted specifically at the unique conditions of residential care.

Read the full article here.

This is a PDF of an electronic version of an article published in Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, Laura Mills MA PhD Cand , Debra Pepler PhD & Robert A. Cribbie PhD (2013) Effectiveness of Residential Treatment for Substance Abusing Youth: Benefits of the Pine River Institute Program, Residential Treatment For Children & Youth, 30:3, 202-226, DOI: 10.1080/0886571X.2013.819273​