The Blind Spot: A System of Order Over Chaos - Wholesome Life Journal

The Blind Spot: A System of Order Over Chaos

dont-miss-the-rest-of-the-stories-in-our-series-the-blind-spotThis week Alaska Public Media is exploring the Blind Spot – how youth who are part of and outside of the juvenile justice system are getting help for substance abuse. One option is inpatient programs like the Adolescent Residential Center for Help in Eagle River, part of the Volunteers of America in Alaska, which KSKA’s Anne Hillman toured with one young resident.

Summer walked me through the crisp white, high-ceilinged halls of the ARCH substance abuse treatment facility. Summer is a minor, so we aren’t using her real name. We pass artwork painted by some of the center’s residents and stop at a massive whiteboard covered with rules and notes.

“This is our reflections board,” Summer told me.

“What’s that mean?” I ask.

“Basically,” she replied, “if you’re on reflections with someone you can’t actually talk to them. You kind of pretend that they don’t exist.”

The idea is to stop having unhealthy conversations or codependent relationships. Sometimes the whole house of 24 youth is on reflections, and they can only talk to each other during allotted times, like group therapy. Summer hasn’t been allowed to talk to one of her friends for months. (Read More)

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