Our daughter had been in several highly-recommended independent living programs after high school. She was not successful, until she came to LWT. The program provided structure, guidance, and emotional support, while allowing her to maintain her own apartment. She had many helpful counselors over the two years at LWT, but her closest relationship was with her Therapist. She was warm and caring. She challenged her to assume more responsibility, by her calm demeanor, and her wonderful sense of humor! Our daughter felt accepted as she was, which gave her the confidence to try new things.
Since we live out of state, I really appreciated weekly phone conferences with her Therapist. She helped us define our role in helping our daughter. I looked forward to the calls with LWT, as I could see that they really knew our daughter, and had accurately assessed her strengths as well as her challenges. Her therapist helped her set reasonable goals, and broke each one down into manageable steps. Our daughter began to experience success! She really liked living and working in Boulder. Now, six years later, she still lives and works in Boulder. We thank LWT, and have recommended the program to other parents!
– written 5 years after completing with LWT
I came to Living Well in 2010 at 17 years old. I had just graduated from a residential treatment program and was looking for a step-down/transitional living program when I found Living Wellʼs website. After touring the office and meeting with various staff, we all decided it would be the best fit for me.
It was a huge risk for me to travel to the other side of the country after struggling so much as a teenager with emotional and behavioral problems and being so young, I was terrified. However, with Living Wellʼs support, I found that the transition was an incredibly positive experience. I loved the activities Living Well offered to help structure my time while I worked to achieve my bigger goals of finding a job and after that, starting college. The support from my team was invaluable and helped me learn how to take care of myself and manage the stresses that come from living on my own. In addition, the therapeutic support I received was paramount in my own self growth and transformation, allowing me a safe place to build my self confidence and work through my internal struggles. Finally, the relationships I built at Living Well, both with staff and other clients have been some of the most meaningful and unforgettable relationships I have had in my adult life and I still cherish them. I would recommend Living Well a thousand times over as I truly believe that if I hadnʼt found this program, I would not be living successfully and healthfully on my own.
– written 3.5 years after completing with LWT
We had so many fears that it's hard to encapsulate the biggest. We had already made use of several programs and each had its strengths and weaknesses, but our daughter was now older (21 years old) and wanting to be more independent despite not having displayed the kind of judgement that would make us comfortable. Living Well seemed less restrictive which was appealing, but also scared us. We were unsure about how well the program would protect our daughter on every level.
Living Well did an amazing job of providing a safety net, combining accountability of the client and extraordinary attentiveness on the part of the staff. While allowing our daughter to truly take steps to learn about running her life in a more self-protective and sensible manner, we always felt that Living Well had a coherent plan guiding their choices of when to step back or step in. It was an amazing balancing act that they handled with true caring and utmost professionalism.
I think perhaps it was the way they helped us as parents to recognize that our child's difficulties were unlikely to disappear entirely, how painful that was for so many reasons and, most importantly, that desperately trying to intervene locked us in a circular and unproductive pattern which would not control the outcome, but could succeed only at perpetuating dependencies and frustrations. They were supportive and at the same time realistic about the paradoxical idea that we could be most helpful by relinquishing the belief that we could be the ones who would make it better.
Living Well does not provide a panacea because there is none. It helps your child learn more about their own needs and learn how to care about and for themselves in the real world. If you let it, the program will also help parents handle their own distress without expecting the relief will come from the child fulfilling a parental fantasy. A new equilibrium can be established and a loving relationship can emerge out of the strain. Each member of the family can struggle to listen and change, to take responsibility primarily for their own wishes, attitudes and choices and to envision life going forward on an imperfect, but stronger, more individuated footing.
~written 3 years after completing with LWT
By the time our daughter enrolled at Living Well, she had a long resume of experience in wilderness and other residential treatment programs on the East Coast and out West, spanning almost five years. While many of those programs succeeded in shedding some light on the causes of our struggles as a family and on our daughter’s individual challenges, those struggles and challenges continued largely unabated. Although Living Well’s program seemed a little too unstructured (e.g., individual apartments in Boulder) and trusting of its clients compared to other programs, we were out of ideas and our daughter thought Living Well preferable to living in another highly structured residential program. So we gave it a try.
What was different about Living Well was that the therapeutic team dealing with our daughter did not just learn about her past and acknowledge how painful things can be. They also consistently challenged her—confident that if she would focus on the present and the future, she could figure out new ways of thinking and planning, leading to more happiness and less pain. They used compassion, challenge and then celebration of accomplishments—over and over and over. At the same time, her team explained Living Well’s philosophy to us as parents, and worked with us weekly by phone on how to avoid undermining their approach and how to be supportive of it. Though not nearly as intense as our daughter’s experience, we went through a similar transformation in our thinking. After about a year in the program, our daughter became comfortable enough with herself in the present to focus on her future. Two years after finishing at Living Well, she is now a successful young professional with a tremendous zest for life. She has also maintained some great friendships with other amazing young people who graduated from the program. If you have a bright young adult who is “sick of therapy” and stuck in neutral (or worse), consider Living Well. It may be a good fit.
--written 2 years after completing with LWT
My biggest fear before hiring Living Well was that living independently in a new place would be too difficult. Before I came to Colorado I could barely manage doing my laundry and getting groceries. Today, in large part because of Living Well, I have developed the most independence I have ever had in my life. I keep my room clean, pay my bills, work, go to school, practice self care and feed myself. Living well has helped me bridge the gap between my old low functioning lifestyle to one filled with independence and stability.
The most transformative part of working with Living Well is the amount of support I receive. At old treatment centers I was constantly flooded with support in every area of my life. I was not given the opportunity to build skills independently and privately. At Living Well I am supplied with just the right amount of support. In contrast with other programs I have been a part of, if I want help I need to ask for it. I need to advocate for what I need and this is what makes each client's program different. Because I am encouraged to give input my program is shaped just for me.
Although Living Well is involved in my life, the amount of support I am supplied encourages me to take ownership of my struggles and work through them just as much independently as with my team. Most of the work I have done has been outside of the therapist's office in the real world. If I am struggling, I can always access support but I have developed most from independently solving issues that may come up. When I first came into the program I asked for a lot of support, whether it be calling on call or my parents. As the months went by, I needed less and less support and it was a very fluid natural process. My mom and dad both pointed out how amazing it was to have me call them when nothing is wrong. Because of the independence I have developed as a part of Living Well, I can now have a healthy relationship with my family. The flexible levels of support that I was able to advocate for helped me the most on my journey to gaining more independence.
If you're a "therapy kid" like me you may be getting sick of going from program to program and not being able to take what you've learned back into the real world. When I was 17, I went to a wilderness program in Vermont that was very effective but I was back in treatment 2 years later. The difference between this time and the last is that Living Well helped me transition out of treatment. I learned a lot in my rehab program but the knowledge is worthless if it can't be applied outside of treatment. Through my time at Living Well I've been able to get a job, go back to school, reestablish a relationship with my parents, pay my bills and take care of myself. That may seem overwhelming now, but after a few months of guided support, I promise you'll be able to do the same. If you're sick of being in treatment and ready to get your life back then Living Well is a great opportunity you can take advantage of. It took a lot of hard work and wasn't always easy but looking back after 9 months, Living Well has revolutionized my life. My experience here has been so powerful because I put a lot into my recovery. If you are committed to getting back on your feet, the possibilities are endless. This year has been the most life changing of my life and Living Well has been a huge reason why.
~written by a client 9 months into LWT