Turning Point Camp, a camp held for children with emotional and mental disorders, had a successful inaugural event in Chattanooga last week and future camps are already being planned.
Attachment is at the root of most mental illnesses, according to Hardwired to Connect: The New Scientific Case for Authoritative Communities. The report (http://www.americanvalues.org/ExSumm-print.pdf) was written by a group of 33 leading children’s doctors, neuroscientists, research scholars and mental health professionals. Of these mental disorders, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is often misunderstood or undiagnosed. Most local therapists know little about it. While all professional therapists have heard of disorders such as Oppositional Defiance Disorder, OCD, ADHD and Anxiety disorders, few are familiar or experienced in the treatment of RAD. Due to current research and more accurate diagnoses, however, this is changing.
Turning Point Camp Host Jennie Landreth’s own adopted daughter was diagnosed with RAD. For years, Ms. Landreth was the target of her daughter’s rage and anxiety that was, some say, caused by trauma she experienced before her adoption.
“We had gotten to the end of our rope and were terrified of what lay ahead for our daughter. We had tried everything,” said Ms. Landreth. “We sought help from every professional we could find and still just ended up watching our daughter get worse and worse. After how much the camp we attended helped my family - it was just the next logical step,” Landreth says. “We have to keep passing along this message because local professionals don't know enough about Reactive Attachment Disorder to be able to help the families in our community. This is a great way to train them as well and we hope to have more local therapists become involved in this camp. It is my hope that if I can help even just one family with the camp and the seminars, that I can pay it forward and keep hope alive for other families that are out there struggling with RAD and other mental disorders.”
According to attendees, the camp was successful in helping not just one family, but many that were feeling hopeless and desperate due to the aforementioned disorders that existed within their own families.
Camp Attendee Tim Stowell and his family were skeptical of the camp, but desperate enough to give it a try.
“I went to the camp somewhat optimistic, but also doubtful,” Mr. Stowell said. “Camp ended this past Saturday and I am still dumbfounded at the change it has wrought on our family's life. Never in my wildest dreams could I have believed this possible in so short a time.”
To read more firsthand accounts from other attendees, visit Turning Point Camp’s website.
The next Turning Point Camp will be held at Fort Bluff Camp in Dayton on March 9-15, 2014, and is sponsored by Advanced Parents Stepping Up (APSU). Seminars will also be held March 6 and 7, 2014 by highly sought after Author and Therapeutic Parenting Specialist Nancy Thomas. These seminars are available to educators and mental health professionals and may potentially be used as continuing education credits and professional development hours. Turning Point Camp Director Nancy Thomas will also be facilitating the camp.
For more information or to register, visit http://www.turningpointcamp.com/.