We hear it all the time: cut to the chase, just the fact, bullet points, simplify, less is more. And it’s true - usually. Except for when it isn't - for example, in the admissions process for a residential behavioral health program. Then, more is more, expand and expound, bullet points and narrative, facts yes, but your opinions also, and don’t just cut to the chase - take your time, it’s a process, and part of the process is expanding into the process.
When investigating programs, consider as many pieces as possible, and share as much as possible. Share your son or daughter’s strengths, and look for ways in which those will be fostered and nurtured; share your biggest concern areas, previous diagnosis, and any relevant incidents in your child’s past that might bring bearing on his possible enrollment in a therapeutic program. This often means openly discussing difficult or problematic behavior but thorough descriptions and details, narrative explanations, and documentation, all come together to help Admissions personnel evaluate the potential efficacy of enrollment.
Finally, the Admissions Process is just that - a process. This is your first step in engaging with a program, and learning about the potential benefits and opportunities, as well as a way in which you can begin to learn how the program will support not only your son or daughter, but also you. The Admissions Process is meant to be an exploration, a discovery and an evaluation from all parties, and the more information that is provided, the better chance everyone will have of achieving the intended outcome. So go ahead - more is more!
ABOUT THE AUTHORJake Weld holds a masters degree in education and has over twenty years of experience in traditional, LD, and therapeutic schools, adolescent and young adult programs, and conventional, wilderness, and residential settings. He has served as the Executive Director of a therapeutic boarding school, the Assistant Headmaster of a specialized LD boarding school, and as the Academic and Program Director of various schools and programs. He is currently the Director of Admissions and Business Development for Mansfield Hall, a specialized college support program in Burlington, VT, and Madison, WI.