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“Trust the process!” – A letter to future parents of Rogers’ patients

07/26/18 01:10:pm

letter.jpgWe ask parents of Rogers patients to pen letters to the parents of future patients. The response we’ve gotten has been heartwarming and astounding. We’ll be sharing the best of them in Insight. This month’s letter comes from parents with a child in an OCD PHP who have some tips and words of encouragement.

Hello Rogers Parents –

First and foremost, remember to give yourself credit that you've taken a significant step towards helping your child get better by bringing them to Rogers’ PHP program for treatment. As parents, we tend to beat ourselves up over past actions and decisions we've made, but know that bringing your child here is truly a testament to your love and commitment to helping your child get better.  

When we first arrived at Rogers we were in crisis. It was a very exhausting, frightening, confusing and anxious time for our family.  It was another chapter in our child's seven-year journey with OCD that was preceded by 5 years of outpatient therapy with limited success. We felt like we were running out of options.

Our first day at Rogers was like finding shelter during a storm. Each staff member was so friendly and welcoming, but most importantly, their obvious confidence and competence provided us with assurance when we were filled with so much uncertainty. We thought our child had a confusing and complicated case.  However our child’s treatment team was able to quickly distill our child’s numerous difficulties down into a few key triggers and get our child working on them immediately. 

The program will take a lot of work, commitment and dedication from your child AND you as their parent. They cannot do it alone. In the beginning your child will hate coming to Rogers. They will hate you for making them come, and most of all they will hate doing the exposures. In order to really get better, your child must do the exposures including the assigned daily homework exposures. The hard work will pay off. Resist the urge to ease your child’s suffering as they perform the exposures because they are so much stronger than we realize and they can handle it!  In time, they will amaze you by sitting through and performing the exposures on their own because they learn to sit with the discomfort and anxiety through consistent repetition at Rogers and at home. They will even further surprise you by coming up with their own exposures one day, but this shouldn’t be a surprise as the goal at Rogers is to teach your child to become their own therapist, which seems like an unlikely outcome, but trust the process!

If your child is at Rogers, OCD has taken over your child’s life and has likely had a significant impact on the rest of the family.  This probably means that exposures are going to be a huge challenge, especially at the beginning.  We want you to know that progress won’t be linear, and that there will be really good days followed by days that are extremely challenging, and on those days, you and/or your child will want to quit.  Don’t give up and model that behavior for your child.  Cheer them on, acknowledge their hard work, and support them and help them to push through the emotional pain and discomfort without accommodating the OCD.  Your child’s therapist will possibly be retraining you as well out of unhelpful behaviors, so be open to their advice and recommendations.  Remember, they are well trained and care greatly about the welfare of your child, and most importantly, they have a plan.  It’s up to your child to follow through on it with your support, of course.

Keep in mind that your child’s treatment team not only supports your child, but they support you, the parent as well. Make the best use of your time here and go to the weekly family therapy sessions and weekly Parent University education class.  Ask questions if you don't understand.  We sure did. 

None of us is born knowing how to deal with OCD.  OCD isn’t your child’s fault and it isn’t your fault, but regardless, we all have to figure out how to manage it.  Luckily, you’re at a very special place made especially for families like us.

Good luck on your journey.

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