The Journey of Success Continues, Even After Equinox
At Equinox, we believe that what happens during the 60 days following treatment are as important—or even of greater importance—than what happens during treatment. Because of this, we have created a fully integrated aftercare system that is available to families upon graduation from our struggling teen program.
Recent research has identified three primary factors that are associated with long-term success following completion of a residential treatment facility:
• Parental involvement throughout the process of treatment.
• Appropriate stability and structure in the discharge environment.
• Utilization of aftercare services following discharge.
Because our ultimate goal is to help boys achieve lifelong success, and not just positive experiences while in treatment, the three factors above have played a dominant role in the creation of our program.
We strive to provide the most cost-effective and research-based aftercare support option to our students and their families, and are confident that by doing so our graduates are much more likely to experience long-lasting success following treatment at our troubled teen program.
Starting at the beginning of treatment, we educate both students and families on the factors that will increase success following treatment. Families are provided with a book entitled, Not By Chance: How Parent’s Boost Their Teen’s Success In and After Treatment, by Tim Thayne, Ph.D. This provides a solid educational framework in which parents can learn how to best support the treatment process, as well as prepare for the return home.
Beginning about 3-5 months prior to graduation, students participate in weekly transition groups, and families in bimonthly transitional support webinars. These serve to provide an excellent foundation for launching aftercare services—months prior to a student’s formal graduation. We have also found that graduates need a home community to return to following treatment that include not only their parents and siblings, but also others in their home community such as coaches, teachers, ecclesiastical leaders, etc. Our transition coach works directly with families to assemble a healthy and supportive home team.
Shortly following graduation, our transition specialist will travel to the family’s home to conduct what we call a home visit. The objective is to provide specialized consultation and support services including coaching, education, and the development of natural mentors and support systems for the child in the home community.
We have found that completion of the Equinox aftercare program enhances long-term success for those families who participate. For this reason, the Equinox aftercare program is considered part of the RTC process and is fully integrated into our troubled teen program.
 Heather Hair (2005), Outcomes for Children and Adolescents After Residential Treatment: A review of Research from 1993-2003