Welcome to Evergreen Psychotherapy Center
Our practice welcomes individuals and families from all walks of life who are struggling with a variety of mental health and relationship challenges. Our mission is to meet our clients needs and work with them to create positive change.
Meet Our Clients
Families have come from every state and several countries to complete our Corrective Attachment Therapy program. Many of them include children adopted from foster care programs or orphanages outside the United States. Some include biological children who have failed to develop secure attachments. These children lack the most important foundation for emotional health. They typically are oppositional, controlling, and mistrustful. Parents and siblings are often overwhelmed by the stress inherent in dealing with their challenging child.
The lessons we learn about ourselves and others from our early life experiences stay with us for a lifetime. They influence our self-esteem, feelings of security and our ability to maintain closeness with others. Adults visit us searching to heal the roadblocks to their growth and happiness. Most have difficulty maintaining intimate relationships or are experiencing repetitive destructive patterns in their lives.
Pursuing an intimate relationship is one of the most challenging paths for achieving emotional growth. Few other experiences provoke the depth of our fears, insecurities and vulnerabilities. The couples we see seek help in learning to communicate; resolve conflict; and, most importantly, to connect.
We share client experiences to help others understand that there is hope – even in the most challenging situations. Here families reflect on their participation in Evergreen’s Intensive Outpatient Program.
Never Give Up
OK, let’s see … “List five adjectives that best describe your family.” (Adjectives are very important at Evergreen Psychotherapy Center).
“Sad, demoralized, frustrated, confused,” I wrote. Defeated? No. Desperate, but not defeated. Not yet. But we all had the sense that if this didn’t work, we would be defeated. This was truly our last hope.
Our 19-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with a learning disorder, idiopathic hypersomnia, depression and a variety of anxiety disorders, including obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder and social phobia. She has received special services at school and has had individual therapy intermittently since the fourth grade.
We also have experienced family therapy a number of times, including five years ago, immediately after my daughter’s hospitalization for a suicide attempt. We have read every book that seemed to faintly relate to our situation, tried every possible discipline approach in a frantic attempt to impose order on our chaotic family, and, in short, tried every resource we thought was available.
In retrospect, we realize we made many mistakes, but we also did a lot of things right — the most important being that we never gave up on our daughter. Ultimately, however, it was the final diagnosis, made this summer by our current family therapist, that finally served the purpose that a diagnosis is intended to: explain the nature of her self-destructive behaviors, and prescribe the corrective treatment. That diagnosis was simple and comprehensive at the same time: attachment disorder.
Neither my husband nor I were comfortable with the diagnosis. We didn’t want to admit that the young woman we had loved so much since we had adopted her at 3 years of age could have failed to feel even a little of what we had so freely offered, and had furthermore never been able to love us back. But when confronted with the symptoms of attachment disorder, the diagnosis seemed indisputable.
When our daughter was hospitalized in early fall with alcohol poisoning, with a potentially fatal blood alcohol content, we once again explored our options. Perhaps a residential treatment center for addictions could heal her. No, insisted our family therapist. Thankfully, he was persistent. Our daughter’s primary issue was not addiction, but attachment disorder, he said. To treat the secondary problem would not solve anything. He had some knowledge of Evergreen Psychotherapy Center and encouraged us to pursue this avenue. So we explored on the Internet, and things began to fall into place. I spoke with the Center, and after I described our daughter’s history and symptoms, I heard for the first time someone assert with confidence that, “We can help your daughter.” The relief was so overwhelming that we immediately completed the necessary paperwork and returned it through overnight mail.
We were able to set up a two-week intensive treatment program. The treatment program has been emotionally taxing and exhausting. It has also brought about the only major therapeutic success our daughter has ever had. The bonus for the family is that my husband and I have also grown immensely. We didn’t come here expecting our own involvement to be either so difficult or so fulfilling, and we finally have the hope of a healthy family.
The therapy has not been comfortable or easy. We have been stretched beyond anything we could have imagined. And we are thrilled with the results. We have a new daughter with confidence in herself, her family, and her life. She is willing to trust us, be truthful — and to finally love us. She goes out of her way to demonstrate love and concern. The change is palpable. She is relaxed, and her features have softened.
I know that only time can prove that these weeks were truly successful. But my heart feels the change, and my mind tells me that she will not return to her old ways because people who display such self-assurance have no need to destroy themselves. Besides, she will be too busy pursuing new dreams.
Our work is not done, and we readily acknowledge this. We will continue to do therapy at home. We expect to continue to make great strides. What happened here to make this therapy work when nothing else has? Obviously, this is a question we have thought about a lot, but I’m sure many of the answers are yet to come, as we return home and continue to process our experiences. We went home a stronger family. Perhaps the greatest difference is that we are able to ask more of each other from love and demand less of each other from need. As for our daughter, she seems powerful rather than manipulative, ready to be a part of this new, strong family.
So now, how would I list five adjectives that describe how my family is feeling? “Resilient, renewed, hopeful, confident — and supremely grateful.”
Best Decision for Our Family
We have two adopted children and both have experienced a degree of attachment disorder, moderate for our daughter and quite severe for our son. After 10 years trying every conceivable psychotherapy, we turned to Evergreen Psychotherapy Center. It was the best decision we ever made for our family. They were the first ones to recognize the problem and were the first to be able to treat it. Their program was dramatic, as were the results. We immediately began to share a bond of love and security, as well as a mutual respect. It still takes hard work, but it is now working with our children, not against them. This program should be required for all adoptive parents. The staff at Evergreen was warm, caring and profoundly professional and therapeutic. They have continued to guide us through this process, with telephone calls and letters long after the two-week session ended. If we could, we would nominate them for the Nobel Peace Prize!
Mom: I was in a place of real doom before I came here. I felt like I can’t survive living like this. I feel totally different now. I know I’m going to survive. I felt that I have this evil child who was going to terrorize us for the rest of our lives. I now know that this isn’t true. It’s unbelievably freeing. We can handle this. We are connected on a much deeper level in our marriage. We are a real team now. It’s good for our marriage. We have the confidence and skills now. It was a long two weeks yet it goes quickly. We are getting our life back. She was running our lives emotionally and physically. No more, it’s such a different atmosphere.
Dad: The lights don’t come on until you look in the rear view mirror. Now I understand why you worked with us. I thought I couldn’t afford this and found that I couldn’t afford not to. Now I have the tools to get the job done. I can’t believe what this experience has done for us. It has meant a lot to me to feel how much you all care about people and care about us. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate you giving me my family back. I want to thank you for being so committed to families to do what you do. I can see positive changes in us all. I am so grateful. Thanks very much.
10-year-old child: I feel at first I didn’t want to come out and do this because I felt I didn’t have a problem. Then when I came out here I realized I did have a problem, and you guys have really helped me deal with the losses in my family, and I am really grateful for that. I’m very grateful that you, I feel, have brought my Mom and me close again, and now instead of being angry and tired all the time, I’m willing to open up and let love in my life. I’m really grateful for your help because you healed my pain, and me and my Mom can talk now without fighting. Thank you so much.
A Fresh Start
“We are all doing well. The boys are in the 4th grade now and they are both doing well in school. The only calls we have had from the school this year have been about minor playground injuries, not about bad behavior. Ron and I go to lunch regularly and are swapping childcare with friends, something we couldn’t do before. We have become much closer as a family. We hope everyone back in Evergreen is doing well. It still amazes me when I think back and realize how far we have come. Thank you for all you have done for us.”