How much can you really accomplish in two weeks?

Participants in our two-week, Intensive Outpatient Program spend approximately 30 hours in therapy over 10 consecutive work days. At one hour per week, this is the equivalent to 6 1/2 months of therapy. A synergy (combined effects exceeds the sum of their individual effects) develops between the family and treatment team that allows more to happen in less time. Our intensive, short-term approach has many advantages when engaged with typically resistant, controlling and non-trusting individuals.

Confronting deep emotional issues requires timely support and direction. The consistency and intensity of daily therapeutic contact helps lower defenses, increase motivation and promote trust. Although significant changes often happen, this program was never intended to be a “magical cure.” The experience often opens previously closed doors. It also increases the likelihood that follow-up will be successful.

Is there hope for older children?

Absolutely. We have had some of our best successes with older children. You cannot force a child to work in therapy, particularly an older child. Our approach facilitates involvement and self-motivation. We specialize in helping adolescents and young adults achieve their treatment goals.

Has your center ever been involved in harming a child?


Evergreen, Colo., is considered a mecca of attachment treatment. Several attachment-focused programs originated here. These programs are very different in their philosophies and practice. Understandably, this has caused a great deal of confusion and mistaken assumptions. Several years ago, a tragedy happened at another facility in Evergreen: A 10-year-old child was wrapped in a blanket and suffocated during a highly questionable technique called “rebirthing.” The therapists involved were jailed, and their center was closed.

We at Evergreen Psychotherapy Treatment Center do not use, nor do we advocate the use of, any methodologies that are coercive or unsafe for children. Our program is based on sound, well-founded and evidence-based therapeutic methods.

Does my partner have to come to family therapy?

Yes. We are a family-systems program. It is imperative that both parents participate in treatment. Under special circumstances, one parent has missed brief segments; however, the integrity of the program can be severely compromised without significant parental involvement. With challenging children, both parents must be on the “same page” in how they view and how they parent their child. We become familiar with family interactions, helping to heal strained relationships: parent-child and parent-parent. These children are masters in provoking reactions from caregivers.

To be proactive, we must help parents disconnect their “buttons.” This prevents the triggering of powerful, emotional overreactions. Parents learn and practice specific parenting strategies most likely to succeed with their child. Also, when a demoralized parent experiences his child being emotionally honest, it helps him to feel more empathic and hopeful. You cannot be told about your child’s experience; you must be a part of it.


Can a family come with more than one child?

Foster and adoptive parents can have more than one child with attachment issues. In our research, a high number of children we treated (45%) were adopted as part of a sibling unit. These children often develop pathological patterns of relating to each other and their families. It is not uncommon to treat more than one child from a family. We see one child in the morning and one in the afternoon. Our work with the parents does not have to be duplicated, reducing the clinical hours for the second child by one third.

What about missing school?

Our program runs continuously and throughout the school year. It is common for children to miss two weeks of school. With pre-planning, teachers are happy to give your child her assignments for the missed days. Children have ample opportunity to do their homework in our office while we are conferring with parents. School success — and success in general — becomes more likely after treatment.

What about follow-up after the completion of a two-week intensive program?

Follow-up treatment is recommended to reinforce positive changes and support continued progress. We invite the follow-up therapist to participate in all or part of the two-week intensive. We provide free training as an incentive to facilitate the consistency of post treatment. On the last day of treatment, we process the clinical experience and discuss specific follow-up recommendations. If the family does not have a follow-up therapist, we offer our input to help them to find one.

Do you take insurance?

We have seen a wide variety of outcomes regarding insurance coverage for our two-week Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Our program is out-of-network and charged under Evergreen Psychotherapy Center. Some insurance carriers have paid for our entire fee, some have paid a percentage, and others have refused to pay anything. If your carrier refuses coverage, you can initiate an appeals process.

How should I dress?

A good rule in Colorado is to dress in layers. You can experience all four seasons in one day. The dry climate removes unpleasant humidity in summer and takes the bite out of winter, making it a pleasant place despite temperature extremes. Many people are surprised to learn that Colorado has 310 days with sunshine per year. In summer, you can count on cool mornings and evenings, hot midday temperatures and brief afternoon showers. A warm jacket, hat and gloves are recommended for winter comfort.

The snowiest months are March and April. Heavy, wet snows in spring typically melt away without a trace within a day or two. Winter roadways are well maintained. The altitude (approximately 7,500 feet) can contribute to dehydration. We recommend drinking lots of water during your stay.

Is there somewhere to exercise?

Guest memberships are available at the Evergreen Fitness and Racquet Club. The Buchanan Park Rec Center is directly across the pond from our building. The recreation center has a weight room equipped with treadmills, stairmaster, aerobicycles, free weights, and a wide array of resistance-training machines. The pool has a kiddy area play structure, a two-story slide, two lap lanes, hot tub, and a sauna. The rec center has Jazzercise, Pilates, aquatics, yoga and gymnastics classes.

It also features a 41-foot-tall rock climbing pinnacle. Evergreen has hundreds of miles of hiking, cross country skiing and mountain biking trails. Evergreen Lake is open for canoeing and fishing in summer and ice skating in winter.