All Kinds of News for October 10, 2018
Completed in January 2018, the Oxbow Academy Evaluation Center provides a safe place for teenage boys with issues related to sexual addiction to receive a thorough 90-day clinical evaluation. The completed evaluation will determine whether or not the young man requires sex-specific treatment. The Evaluation Center is separate from the rest of the campus, and only includes young men who are undergoing assessment. Each young man receives an evaluation which includes a sexual history disclosure which has been confirmed by a clinical polygraph, a write-up from the teen’s therapist, teacher, and residential staff, as well as an informed recommendation for future treatment.
The evaluation process has been refined by Oxbow Academy’s more than two decades of experience in providing sex-specific treatment to teenage boys. That experience is reflected in the design of the Evaluation Center itself. The Evaluation Center is a homelike environment that is also easily monitored and safe. “We designed it. We built it. We know how to ensure that everyone is safe and treatment can be most effective,” said Clinical Director Todd Spaulding, LCSW, CSAT.
Young men stay at the Evaluation Center during their first 90-days of treatment. The principal focus during this time is to understand the young man’s sexual experiences and fantasies in order to identify his therapeutic needs.
“Oxbow Academy functions with a fundamental belief that unless you have the truth, you can’t heal. So, the evaluation center is built on that notion that we have got to get to the truth in order for the whole family system and the student to heal,” said Spaulding.
An important part of this is a disclosure. This process takes time and requires patience from parents and the clinicians working with the young men.
“I like to tell parents it is like breadcrumb-dropping, like in Hansel and Gretel,” said Admissions Director Tiffany Silva, LCSW. “They will drop one piece of information, and they will see how their parents and therapist react. Then if it is safe to keep going, then they will drop some more.”
Generally, a disclosure will take one or two months to complete due to the need to build rapport and trust with the student. After a young man’s therapist has obtained what appears to be a complete disclosure, then the young man will be expected to complete a clinical polygraph. The polygraph is used to confirm the thoroughness and truthfulness of the disclosure. The polygraph is conducted by a former therapist who is trained in working with people on sex-related issues. Far from being an antagonistic experience, the polygrapher’s goal is to help the young man tell the truth and pass the polygraph.
After the young man successfully completes the polygraph, then he is sent to an independent psychologist of the parents' choosing, to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation. Other programs that offer psycho-sexual evaluations typically do so without the benefit of the polygraph-verified disclosure and treatment, academic and residential notes. Providing this information prior to the psycho-sexual evaluation makes the evaluation more accurate. At the end of the evaluation process, parents will know with confidence whether or not sex-specific treatment is right for their son.
“We get the whole history, and we use a polygraph to validate that history so that we know that it is accurate. Then based on that accuracy we can take a [psycho-sexual evaluation] which is going to give us a roadmap of exactly where we need it to go,” said Spaulding. “Psycho-sexual evaluation is only as good as the information that is provided. And if I only give you half of the information, you are missing half of the picture.”
About Oxbow Academy
Oxbow Academy is a residential treatment center specializing in helping young men between the ages of 13–18 with issues related to sexual abuse, sexual addiction, pornography addiction or other compulsive behaviors. For more information, visit Oxbow Academy’s website at https://oxbowacademy.net/