This testimony was located on Google. All rights goes to the author.
Firstly, a disclaimer: my views on solstice are solely opinions. While my feelings towards it are negative overall, I know that there are some who really appreciate the program.
I have many feelings which cannot be explained in a review, so here's the overall pros/cons list.
- -good trauma therapy
- -opportunities for equine therapy & horsemanship
- -outdoor recreation
- -people can make lasting friendships there
- -helps rework family dynamics
- -provides structure which can be helpful for those who are struggling
- -only 1 individual session/week; 1 family session a week
- -very high staff turnover
- -the group therapy is generally viewed as unhelpful (to most residents)
- -residents are around mentors much more often than therapists; mentors are undertrained, and mostly burnt out college kids. this results in highly unprofessional conduct at times.
- -very poor eating disorder treatment in general
- -strict level system places pressure on residents to act perfect, so often times they'll lie and fake their way through the program
- -extremely restrictive environment; it often times takes people 5+ months to even gain the privilege of walking in between buildings on campus unsupervised or carrying a backpack.
- -personally speaking, only one person I'm still in contact with from Solstice actually appreciates the experience. The others either believe that it made them worse, or it helped them in some aspects but traumatized them in others.
- -there are some kids that really struggle there. there were occasions (such as a kid who drew on the wall with their blood; a girl who had psychotic breaks; a girl who repeatedly self-harmed in front of others and cosistently tried to kill herself, etc) which create a really unsafe space for healing. Personally I believe that they needed to let go of residents who undoubtedly needed more support/care.
- -they are a lot less holistic than it would seem... they certainly don't think that "food is medicine", as the nutrition is poor (gushers and Rice Krispies for snack, hamburgers/chips for meals, etc) and there is very little spiritual connection work there.
- -overall most residents there are miserable; not because they need treatment, but because they ARE in treatment and solstice does not provide the healthiest of spaces for this.
I hope this can help parents in making a decision in where to send their child.
In the newsEarly 2021 two teenage girls ran from the facility despite the cold conditions which they were not dressed for. We can only pray for their safe return to California where they originally came from.