Provo Canyon Case Study

499 Words2 Pages
First and foremost, it is important to note that the clientele in both settings are teenagers, attempting to navigate their own worlds as best they can. Many of them suffer from mental and behavioral issues that affect their daily functioning, and these issues have had a significant enough impact on theirs and their families lives, that a more intensive option was sought. Needless to say, they are often apprehensive, even combative and angry. This is an understandable reaction and can be dealt with in different ways, some more effective than others. At Provo Canyon, there was a remarkable amount of personal distance between the staff and the youth. Forcible holds were common methods of maintaining order and rigid rules and regulations were enforced, via coercive methods such as “progressive restoration of liberties” (aka “level systems”) and lie detector tests. While structure and order are certainly key components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, this type of forced compliance often does more harm than good, especially regarding long-term effects on the residents. Second Nature, however, approached the issues faced by students with much greater capacity for understanding the teen’s perspectives. The likelihood that a youth in a wilderness program will run—attempt to flee…show more content…
This participation of staff members and their ability to share their own personal experiences and the difficulties they have faced in their lives allows for much greater mutual respect and, more so, it fosters the trust students have in the staff and the advice that they provide. Helping youth understand that they are only human is a key exercise in trust building. At Provo Canyon, the staff acted more as prison guards than as adults providing support for troubled youth. This creates a dynamic of guard and prisoner, which often increased feelings of anxiety and a need to rebel, in order to control one’s
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