Why New Haven?
Some people spend their lives working because they have to work, but I’ve had the luxury of being passionate about what I do for years now. Over the course of my career I’ve been able to work with people from all walks of life. Some were trying to reach personal goals, others were changing decade-long habits, and still others were fighting for their lives.
Joining New Haven has been a fantastic addition to my professional world. But more than that, it has allowed me the privilege of working with a remarkable group of young women. They are strong, smart, and capable of far more than they realize. They are impressive in many ways, but what they are doing to change the direction of their lives is amazing. Recently, I had the experience of spending a few days on the river with some of those girls and their parents.
There is something different about camping under the stars alongside your clients, as opposed to meeting them in an office one day a week for an hour. Boundaries are important, yes, but when you experience the beauty of the outdoors together, fight the wind and rapids, catch lizards and toads, and brush your teeth side by side in a setting like that, everything changes. You come to trust each other on an entirely different level.
Working in private practice is nice, semi-controllable, and somewhat exact. But working at New Haven allows me to help others change in a completely different way. Residential treatment is intense, to say the least. These girls don’t have the luxury of working one hour a week. They work for hours each day, every day. They are faced at every turn with their issues; no hiding from reality, no escaping the things they need to confront and overcome. So change becomes possible more rapidly for some families. And for some of these girls, it may not have occurred in any other way.
But it’s not only the intense nature of the treatment that makes the difference. For me as a professional, and for these girls very personally, it is the strong importance of relationships that makes the difference. That is what separates New Haven from other programs. Each of these girls is building relationships with the people around her as well, not only with the students but with the teachers, the staff, the nurses, and the therapists. She hears every day that she is valued by those who are fighting alongside her. She is told that she is loved. And I am certain I have never been hugged more in my life!
This is not just a job, after all. We are affecting people’s lives. Being at New Haven makes it a natural, positive, and satisfyingl way to spend my days. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.