Parents & Alumni

I’m Working On It

Posted by Marie Svatek, M.D., FAAP on September 21, 2022 | 2 comment(s)

In November of 2020 we interrupted our son, Gabe’s, junior year to send him to Evoke. After 12 weeks at Wilderness, we made the tough decision to send him on to therapeutic boarding school (TBS). In August of 2021, we brought him back home to begin his senior year of high school.

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Shattered Fantasies

Posted by Alumni Parent on November 28, 2017 | 5 comment(s)

So much of my suffering in relation to my son—and probably with most everything else for that matter—is my desire for things to be different than they actually are—a seemingly plain and simple truth. If only I could settle into what is actually occurring. Like when it rains, and I desire the sun to be out, I perpetuate the desire for the sun to be shining by choosing to feel agitated about the rain. So, instead of simply saying to myself, today looks like it’s going to be dark and rainy, I suppose instead of hiking I will get on the treadmill,” I become agitated and disappointed, which only perpetuates my suffering. I’m purposely using this scenario of the weather to demonstrate what happens in my mind when I’m caught in the cycle of wanting things—things I cannot change or control—to be different than they are. The arena where this is most profound is motherhood.

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I Grew Up

Posted by Alumni Parent on February 10, 2017 | 1 comment(s)

I grew up in an ultra-orthodox Jewish home. My mother suffered from mental illness and my father dealt with it by being out of the house all day. As the oldest in a large family, I took responsibility of my parents and siblings from a very young age. I tried to protect my siblings from the discomfort I felt. I thought I was happy. I liked being in control. In hindsight, I was anxious, sad, scared, and controlling. I used food for comfort, being overweight most of my life. I married young, possibly, as an escape from my parents’ home, or just because it was culturally the right next thing to do. Within a short period of time our family grew. I continued behaving in the way that was familiar to me, keeping everyone safe, controlling, rescuing and enabling. My anxiety escalated. I isolated. I thought I was in control.

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What Led Me To Evoke & My Experience There

Posted by An Alumni Student on February 22, 2016 | 6 comment(s)

Beginning in the eighth grade I lived in the spurious bubble of my own mind. I based my priorities on my desire for acceptance from peers. This led to a dangerous lifestyle, and on August 23rd, 2015, my life changed forever. I was sent to Evoke's Wilderness Therapy program in Santa Clara, Utah. Before jumping into this incredible experience, I need to explain what led me here.

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My Parent Workshop Experience

Posted by Alumni Parent on October 29, 2015 | 6 comment(s)

A “parent workshop” weekend. Really? I have already admitted to myself that I failed as a parent. I am in the most emotionally exhausting and agonizing time of my life. My family system had malfunctioned. I dislike “group” meetings and I am supposed to feel comfortable in a room of total strangers? It really was something I did not want to attend.

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Doing Parallel Work With Your Child - The Key To Success

Posted by Alumni Entrada Parent on May 07, 2015 | 0 comment(s)

All the promotional points that describe the value of wilderness therapy were meaningful in our daughter’s recovery: simplifying her life down to bare bones for a while, being away from everything, rekindling her love for the outdoors. Through mastery of physical skills she realized how capable she is. She turned the corner to a more authentic life at Entrada.

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Filling Our Tool Belt - A Parents Reflection on Parent Support Groups

Posted by Barb, Evoke Therapy Programs Parent on May 04, 2015 | 1 comment(s)

I've always joked about how parenting is one of the hardest jobs but comes with no manual or training requirement. My husband and I took each phase of parenting as it came, always a few steps behind the curve. With two healthy, happy kids, we seemed to be succeeding. Suddenly, when our second child, our son, was 16, we hit a bump. Our parenting education went into high gear as we sent him off to wilderness to deal with his depression and substance abuse issues. It became clear that there was a parenting manual - many parenting manuals. Books and classes, support of therapists and counselors. There were exercises, letters, webinars. We filled our parent tool belt with this information. So much information and all of it useful, enlightening, and, somehow, overwhelming. Why didn't we know about these resources before we were in the woods? Were other parents equally blindsided?

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