If you are a parent reading this it’s possible that you have a son at a challenging position in life and you are at your wits end trying to figure out if there is even a way to help him. This is where my wife and I were with our son. Our bright, outgoing and athletic adolescent turned into a withdrawn adult, with depression and anxiety, dependent on marijuana and video games. Markus was on medical leave from college having been unable to complete his first term as a freshman. For a whole summer he was cut off from us, living off of friends’ handouts and sleeping on their couches.
As you are doing right now, we read what others had to say and spoke to everyone we could. We felt that some places were too medical and psychiatric oriented and other places were too drug rehab oriented. We didn’t think a mental health facility was right and we didn’t really feel comfortable putting our son in with crack addicts and heroin users.
Fortunately, an educational consultant introduced us to Joseph DeNucci. Joseph asked lots of questions about us and our son. Once he had a thorough understanding of our situation, he told us he believed he could help and explained the “failure to launch” program at Insight Intensive. Joseph even taught us about and walked us through an intervention process helping us identify a professional local area who could help us get the process moving forward.
Joseph and his staff have a compassionate but “tough love” approach and encouraged our son—and us—to take appropriate responsibility for our situation. In addition to the personal growth work, Insight Intensive incorporates a program of exercise, good eating and sleeping, recreation, family work, and community living. Having seen the process work, I believe there is much to be said for guys building a bond with each other, living in a healthy way, and helping each other out. We saw our son get cleaned up and put on a path of responsibility during his time at Insight Intensive.
We were incredibly pleased with Markus’s mentor and appreciated the weekly family calls he led, which were wonderful while sometimes also hard work and emotional. All of the staff created a great environment for the young men. Our son enjoyed the outdoor activities, learned to ride a horse and ended his stay with a work job in the kitchen. They actually sent him home with money he’d earned at his job there. He also left with a plan for school and living in the city with roommates upon his departure.
I write this with our son having been away from Insight Intensive for 4 months. He has a B average halfway through his first term back at school; he is making therapy appointments, maintaining his meds, and appears to be staying away from marijuana. My wife and I have no false allusions that things are perfect and we know that our communication with him could be better. That said, we are in an infinitely better position now than we were prior to Insight Intensive. Markus’s stay there cleaned him up, made him responsible, gave him some tools and appears to have put him on a much better path. We really could not have expected anything more. We highly recommend Insight Intensive to other struggling families. If Joseph thinks he can help you, we would suggest you take him up on it.