Monday, November 29, 2021

A testimony about Solstice Residential Treatment Center

This testimony was located on Google reviews. All rights go to the original author

This place may be good for learning to understand friendship but in the end I felt cheated out of mind. I became the ‘yes girl’ the one who will never say no and always listen. I know this might not sound bad but when your parent decides to constrict your feelings, tells you how you should dress, and breaks all your promises then you begin to have problems.

I turned 18 the month after I graduated and everything seemed fine but my dad began to be harsh and very controlling. I thought he had changed but more I changed as I was there to accept that he must control everything. I was at a point of strength but I couldn’t tell him my boundaries anymore, I couldn’t confide in him. I went to my friends and had to ask for their support because he would not listen to me if I was happy or sad. He began to get mad at me and proceeded to yell if I said an opinion or feeling. I started to snap and realize he had taken my entire freedom, to choose and to learn. He took away my college fund to pay for solstice and held it over me like I had to thank him. He treated me like I had to obey him like a god.. I got so frustrated with that.

I thought that Solstice would heal the bonds between my father and I but in the end it created me to be easily manipulated by my parents and authorities. I struggled to the point of going towards trying to die again, I failed and then he kicked me out. Told me to be homeless and wouldn’t let me back in. I was so depressed, I had no money and no life. I didn’t like how solstice affected my family. I wouldn’t suggest sending your kid to an RTC as it makes it hard to come back. You literally lose your own heart and soul. You end up feeling lost because you have no freedom. Always in the same room and trying to go up levels so you can leave. I did remember all my pain but it’s so hard to deal with that now because everyone at solstice only thinks of money. I know every year there’s this big thing called secrets group because a bunch of people do some really bad things, while I was there there were girls snorting bennadryl. Even girls who’ve never done drugs so they could be cool, it’s a bad idea to mix kids with drug problems with kids who have self harm problems they give cake to the drug girls for being sober and nothing to others. They even had a group right after about bullying and everyone realized that there were people just being flat out rude to each other. I don’t think this is a safe place. Honestly, just getting them a better therapist and locking the drugs, alcohol, pills, and sharp items would be better. Or even sending them to a different school to make better friends. I had such a hard time with everything that even in the beginning I was fake and lied, I even didn’t like it there.

I had a mentor who resorted to always provoking me and it honestly made me feel awful, it stressed me out and my eyes got bad because I was blindfolded for a day. After going in there I’m not even better, what also needs to happen was my parents needed help and to actually learn how to love their child. I don’t expect someone to read this but I know I opened up to this fact. I know my therapist was super kind but that was the only good part. I didn’t like anything else. I also don’t think cereal from Monday to Friday is healthy. There are a lot of things that just need to be fixed like the mentors and the program it self. I don’t think that your progress should be defined as signatures and a paragraph essay. I honestly would never go back to do that again, it was not fun and very upsetting. Also 10 feet rule shouldn’t exist, thats kinda stupid, and makeup should be allowed for all levels due to it being a stress relief mechanism for some people. If anything just be careful. Also they told the girls to write good reviews to cover up the bad ones, it’s so ridiculous they just want money because they’re being kinda sketchy.


The original testimony

Monday, August 30, 2021

Annie's testimony about Solstice Residential Treatment Center

This testimony was located on Yelp and might be gone if the marketing department of the facility has removed it. All rights goes to the author Annie

I attended solstice rtc for almost 2 years starting in 2015 and graduated the summer of 2016. It was the most traumatizing experience of my life. I would rather have anything happen to me again from my pre solstice trauma than ever go back there. I still have nightmares that I'm there and even though I'm too old to be forced back it is still my biggest fear.

The emotional abuse was horrific. I was forced to clean bloody tampons out of the toilet with my bare hands by the lower level staff who weren't being supervised on multiple locations. They force patients to sign off on treatment plans that include diagnosis's, medication, and bullshit "progress reports". If you don't they withhold your privileges. They also force patients to meet with perspective parents and intrerveiw with them. They tell the parents before each interview that they (the parents) can ask us (the residents) any question and we can answer however we want, without fear of retribution. THIS IS NOT TRUE. As a patient, I had to lie to the many parents and guardians about solstice. If someone didn't , the other girls in the room would snitch in the person telling the truth. That's why they always put at least two of us if possible in the room, preferably three. I will live with the guilt of convincing people to send their children to solstice and for covering those "people" for the rest of my life's. Please don't make the same mistake.

They once took a girl's speaking privileges away did weeks. She couldn't SPEAK to staff, therapists, or patients, or HER FAMILY for weeks. She slept in a (finished basement). She wasn't allowed to go to groups, school, or therapy. This was because she kissed a couple girls and lied about it. They sometimes made us, the patients vote on whether or not we wanted this to happen to people. They didn't always listen to the vote, but still. They call this "positive peer pressure". I can assure you, this pressure is nothing more than rewarded bullying and emotional abuse. It was this emotional abuse that lead to my suicide attempt, while in the program. The pressure was nonstop. My therapist, literally said they would, " break [me] down to build [me] back up."

They broke me for so long. By the time I left, I was almost completely brainwashed. I believe what had been drilled into my head again and again. They told me I wasn't abused as a child, that I never had a "legitimate" eating disorder, that I didn't use substances before solstice and so much more. They also convinced me that the awful things that they did there were a result of my poor decisions that led me there. If I was bothered by the abuse or stood up for myself it was because I was "entitled". It makes me want to throw up to know that my name and face are still proudly displayed on the walls as a success story. I am, but in spite of solstice, not because of it. I will never erase the guilt of helping that system run, you don't want to feel the same way, I promise.

This place should be shut down, it robbed me of my own voice and autonomy in a way my previous physical, emotional, and sexual abuse can't compare to. They bill themselves as a tough love treatment center that will give you you kid back again. In one way, they were right, but only in the sense that I would literally prostitue myself before ever going back. Please don't let this happen to anyone else. No child deserves what happens behind those close doors


The original testimony on Yelp

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Ellen at Solstice Residential Treatment Center

This testimony was found on Google. All rights goes to the original author Ellen

Throughout my time at Solstice, I had Jeff as a therapist. He insisted that I did not have an eating disorder despite my existing diagnosis and my intrusive thoughts pertaining to my body weight/shape/size, exercise, and food intake. Prior to admitting to Solstice I did not have compulsive exercise tendencies because I was too depressed and simply used restriction as my disordered behavior. By the end of my time at Solstice, exercising no matter my mood felt necessary and easy to do. Once I left, I was consumed by my eating disorder worse than ever before, including both my old new behaviors. In the last months of the program I had begun to lose some of the weight that I would then lose before getting back into treatment (this time for eating disorders). I had only stopped engaging in most of my behaviors while I was there because I was desperate to leave the program and return home. This of course eased up as I reached the highest levels of the program, and the behaviors started returning. I would throw away food on Fridays, not eat dinner after horsemanship, sneakily count calories, push myself harder in my workouts, and more. It was second nature for me, and I had gotten back to it with no one noticing. I wouldn’t stop unless someone stopped me. With these behaviors came suicidal thoughts, so I decided to confess to Jeff. He had me continue with applying for my final level because he felt I should leave anyway. For what reason, I am unsure. I had been there for over a year and didn’t have anything left to gain, so I didn’t fight it. I went up in front of the treatment team, and when Jamie asked me if I was engaging in behaviors, I said yes. Jeff said to me in response, “Well weekly weights were done yesterday, and if you’re trying to lose weight you’re not doing a very good job.” When I went home shortly after, my mother and the scale confirmed that that had been wrong. I don’t know his motivation for saying that, but it was mortifying to hear in front of the whole room of people and especially because my eating disorder was louder than it had been for a while. Since leaving Solstice over three years ago, I have been in and out of eating disorder treatment at Monte Nido, only spending at most 3 months in a row in outpatient treatment. It has been nearly impossible, and I have lost significant amounts of weight over that time. None of the tens of therapists who I have had since Jeff have even doubted for a second that Anorexia Nervosa is my main diagnosis.

  • - The length of stay for a residential program should NEVER be so set in stone and should be flexible for each individual.
  • - The message given to parents to ignore their children, regardless of diagnosis, upon request to be pulled or sent home.
  • - The disregard for requests in switching therapists, ~50% of the success in therapy is found to be a result of a good match with patient and clinician.
  • - The harsh consequence based organization of the program, including children deciding the consequences and levels of other children (safety council), being forcefully silenced and punished if not done correctly (com-block), and so much more.
  • - The requirement (for most) to engage in exercise in a rigid manner despite clinical diagnosis that should suggest otherwise.

There are more things that I believe were wrong with the way that things were run, however I believe that those are more opinion based as opposed to based in true clinical negligence. I do understand that for some people, especially those with defiance disorders or tendencies, Solstice could be productive. The strict policies and follow-through with consequences can teach a different set of behaviors leaning towards respecting authority. However, for many, including myself, it should be indicated to prospective parents that this treatment is not for everyone. The parents should be informed of all treatment approaches used, and about the logic for length of stay for their individual child.

Early 2021 two teenage girls ran from the facility. They were not dressed for the winter. We pray that they can be brought back to California where they came from.


  • The original testimony on Google
  • Layton police ask for help to find missing teens (Fox 13 news)