Friday, December 14, 2012

Third Parties at Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School

Cedar Ridge Academy, a therapeutic boarding school for teens, believes in the safety of its students. This is also the number one concern that parents have when considering our program.  One of the ways that we ensure the safety of our students is with a third party. A third party is when you have two people, but there always needs to be another or third person there. With this rule, there is a bystander or witness in any situation. As a student here, I feel perfectly safe about the third parties we use at Cedar Ridge Academy.

When I first got here, the idea of it helped me feel more comfortable in the home and with the staff. I used to have no trust with the staff, mainly because I did not want to open up to them, but having a peer with me when I was doing work project or in therapy helped me feel a lot safer. As I have gone through the program, I have come to better understand my staff and build relationships with them filled with trust. I did not have this trust before and I honestly do not even feel the need to have a third party anymore.  Even though I feel this way, Cedar Ridge Academy still continues to follow the policy, and I must have a third party in therapy - and anywhere else I go.  

A teacher works with a student while another student works nearby.
I also feel pretty safe when I’m around any staff. Honestly, I think that’s one of the best aspects of Cedar Ridge Academy. In my previous lock down facility, the staff did not care to build relationships; it was all about consequences and getting their paycheck. Here it is a lot different. The staff members are willing to help you out and build a strong trusting relationship with you. They don’t jump to the worst possible interpretation when it comes to a situation that has happened. They are willing to hear you out and use empathy because of the honesty you have built in the relationship.

Overall, I do feel that our third party rule is valid and appropriate. The staff members are people that  I feel physically and emotionally comfortable with.

--Written by K.V.

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