One goal of a therapeutic boarding school is to help troubled teens break through the barriers that keep them locked in their distress. Students here learn that talking is healing and that the truth will set them free, although admitting the truth can take enormous courage.
A 17-year-old boy who has been here for 18 months and who has said repeatedly that he has no wish to return to his former lifestyle, "came clean" just a few weeks ago and admitted that his use of drugs at home was far more extensive than he previously let on. He now sees that in hiding this truth from others, he also hid it from himself and thus left the door open for future use. In facing it, he is strengthening his resolve not to return to old behaviors.
A 12-Step saying,"you're only as sick as your secrets," reminds us that the rewards of being open and honest far outweigh the risks.