This letter is to thank Pacific Quest for their care of my daughter and to single out three of your staff members for their skill and professionalism. Please feel free to share it with other parents who are deciding whether or not to entrust their child to Pacific Quest.
My 19 year old daughter was a student at PQ from July through October, 2015. Before she arrived, she was overwhelmed with depression, anxiety, and loneliness. During her first year of college she had struggled to the point of wanting to harm herself, and she had abandoned good study and sleep habits. When she had difficulty getting out of bed or participating in family activities this summer, we knew she needed more help than the weekly counseling sessions she had started at school. After checking references, we said a prayer and put our daughter on a plane and sent her 3600 miles from home to Pacific Quest.
Johnny Tock, her primary therapist, established a rapport and trust with our daughter and helped her begin restoring her health. He kept us well informed, collaborated with us, answered our questions, and guided her progress. Johnny helped our daughter uncover behaviors that had hindered her growth. Together, they began building new habits that fostered physical and mental health. From day one, Johnny’s communications with us showed that he was attuned to our daughter’s specific needs and was developing a plan tailored to those needs. One of our daughter’s boyfriends presented a particular challenge; because he was not allowed direct contact with her, he accused Pacific Quest of holding her hostage against her will and instituted a negative personal campaign against Johnny to provoke responses. Through it all, Johnny remained professional and compassionate toward our daughter and our family; he never let the bad behavior of the boyfriend interfere with his judgment and dedication to his work and our daughter. Lorraine Freedle also holds a special place in our heart, although we did not have an opportunity to meet her. Our daughter responded well to Lorraine and the sand tray therapy and developed insights into her personality through this therapy. By the end of her stay, our daughter had identified her strengths with Lorraine’s guidance. My husband and I traveled to Hawaii in late September to spend a couple days in family counseling at PQ; we toured the Reed’s Bay facility and engaged in family discussions led by Johnny and Dara. Dara subtly encouraged our daughter to take a leadership role during our visit by having her describe the schedule, tasks and philosophy of PQ; show us the building and grounds and their functions; and guide us through a variety of horticultural and bonding activities. Dara’s easy but intentional manner, her enthusiasm, her clear communication, and her positive outlook helped make our visit successful. Johnny and Dara each praised her insights and each challenged – gently but directly – any flawed thinking (whether hers or ours). Spending two days at Pacific Quest enabled us to witness, firsthand, the skills that Johnny and Dara employed to support our daughter’s improvement and the unique environment that contributed to good health.
Just a few words for parents who have the same concerns we had:
We were surprised at the amount of time it took for our daughter to finish the PQ program; her progress was not always linear. It was also unsettling to learn that she would need to follow up with a longer transition program instead of starting her sophomore year of college. Frankly, we had hoped she would bounce back in a few short weeks and resume life as we had known it. While she was at PQ, however, we learned that life as she had known it had been harder and more complicated than we had realized. Without Johnny’s skill and ability to develop her trust, our daughter would not have revealed the depth of her struggles nor identified the issues that needed work. She would, indeed, have returned to life as it had been – complete with its destructive habits. The additional time at PQ was critical to her development. The curriculum included some fundamentals: restorative sleep habits, nutrition, hydration, exercise, and physical work. The staff did not let our daughter get away with breaking rules, but were consistent, clear and fair in enforcing rules and communicating with us. We also witnessed a number of small habits and rituals that built positivity, such as having students express gratitude.
All of the staff at PQ knew what to expect from young adults in crisis, including the resistance that often accompanies difficult changes. They told us what to expect at each stage of her growth; consistently maintained professional boundaries with our child; tailored the treatment plan to her and adapted it as new issues unfolded; and modeled authentic healthy habits. These are good people.
Our daughter still has work ahead of her, and recently transitioned to a facility closer to home. Johnny has remained a valuable resource in this transition.
My husband and I are grateful to Pacific Quest for creating a bridge to health and wholeness and wanted you each to know of our appreciation for Johnny, Lorraine and Dara.