These reflections are offered by our clients to post. Their wish is to inspire other people with similars needs or challenges. In the furture we will create a blog for these clients and other people suffering to communicate and support each other.
I just wanted to say thank you for the referral to Now I See A Person.
I’ll admit, when you first gave me this resource, I wasn’t excited. But, having limited options and the need to do something for my daughter (and our sanity), I started reading the information on the Nowiseeaperson.com website. I was intrigued by their approach, so I called Dr. Swim on Thursday and was pleasantly surprised, to learn that they take private insurance. Plus, it’s in the West Valley…another bonus!
We were able to get an appointment for the next day my daughter and I went Friday afternoon (unfortunately my spouse was called in at work and could not attend). “Amy” was a little skeptical, but they have a new baby horse so she was willing to check it out. Our appointment was for 4pm, so I had to get out of work early, pick up “Amy” from school and rush over there.
They had a therapist for “Amy” (Dr. Swim) and another therapist for me to get background and see how we are dealing with our situation.
Instead of a sitting in a therapist’s office, you’re outside in the dirt and dust, surrounded by nature and horses. Immediately Dr. Swim took “Amy” and introduced her to the horses and they watched them, while the other therapist spoke to me. We were there for about 10 or 15 minutes, when I remember glancing up and seeing my daughter relaxed and smiling. I also realized that I was very relaxed as well. They didn’t pressure “Amy” with a bunch of “therapy-speak.” They just focused on making “Amy” (and me) comfortable, and building trust. When we left, I asked “Amy” if she liked it and she replied, “it was really fun, but how is that therapy?” Right away, I thought that this just may work for “Amy”. There will be no behavior contracts or role playing, so this just seems like a more natural approach. Also, it’s not like the normal 50 minutes and you’re out of here. When we finished it was 6:00…we were there for two hours. I was shocked how fast the time passed.
It was a great first impression, so we are actually going back today (this time with my spouse). Even after just one session, I see the potential for them to get my daughter to open up and make progress. After what we’ve been through, and the shock of dealing with DCFS, this is much better than moving to just another therapist. It’s a refreshing approach. So why all the detail??? LOL…So you can feel good about having this resource in your tool box.
I want to thank you AGAIN for the referral to Now I See A Person. The reason I am writing you today, is because interim report cards came out this week and our daughter, “Amy”, has straight A’s.
As you know, before this therapy our daughter was filled with anger and violence. In addition to the violent episodes at home, we were really struggling to keep her engaged with school. Even though she is a smart girl, she was coming dangerously close to failing her classes, and was demanding to be moved out of the honors program and back into mainstream classes.
It has been about 4 months since we brought her to see Dr. Swim at Now I See A Person, and the turn-around has been nothing short of amazing. There have been no rage incidents since we started this therapy, she is making lots of friends, plus she made the choice to continue with the honors classes at school.
Last year we had “Amy” in traditional 1-on-1 and family therapy with little results. During these therapies, “Amy” did acknowledge her anger and a desire to improve her behavior, however things continued to get progressively worse, and she eventually refused to go to the sessions. Things obviously escalated to the point where your agency became involved.
Almost immediately after we started working with the therapists at Now I See A Person, we noticed a major shift in “Amy’s” behavior. Although initially she would still have the anger, she started to control her rage, and the violence subsided. We were so happy with the results, that I was taking her for this therapy twice a week, and there was no push-back from “Amy”. I remember walking to the car after the first appointment…we were both happy with the experience and “Amy” turned to me and said something like, “this doesn’t feel like therapy, I like it here.”
And that is one of the reasons for the success of this approach to therapy. The therapists at Now I See A Person, do not push her to talk. They make you feel comfortable in a loose, outdoor environment. In fact, you are being real with the therpists’, instead of sitting on a couch staring at you for 50 minutes. That is why the therapists at Now I See A Person really get through to these kids. And from firsthand experience, this seems to be a much better approach. I can confidently say that it does work. Some days we are there for 90 minutes or more, because they don’t just stop because an hour has past. If the patient is comfortable and opening up, they just go with it, until the session ends naturally (if that makes sense).
In just 4 months, they have dramatically built up my daughter’s confidence and self esteem. They have brought peace to our home. We are seeing a dramatic shift in “Amy’s” social skills, and she is meeting new friends. “Amy” is also realizing how smart she is, and is doing very well in school. Even her play in soccer has greatly improved with her new sense of confidence.
I cannot help but wonder how many kids and families out there could greatly benefit from this type of therapy. These can be life changing results.
So please, use this resource and relay our story to other social workers in your department.
-From a grateful parent
***Six years later Amy and her parent recently dropped by to visit and reflect on the transformation and changes. Therapy has not been needed since termination and she excels in academics as well as socialization and family interactions. All names and other identifying data was changed for this client’s desire to share this story.
We cannot thank enough Dr. Susan Swim for the wonderful care and treatment my daughter. We came to Now I See A Person Institute as our last hope for our daughter. During the course of many therapies and therapist, our daughter was in and out of hospitals numerous times. In addition to many medications that had numerous side effects. We as parents got to the point where we saw our daughter as a diagnosis and not a person because of the many therapist we had before coming to Now I See A Person Institute. Since coming to this wonderful place we have learned to see our daughter as a person, not a problem. The unique way they do therapy is kind, caring, and nurturing environment. They are very responsive when a client needs them in any situation. They work with each client teaching coping skills and not just giving into more medications (which she had adverse reactions to in the past). They gave my daughter the confidence and skill to go to college which she will begin very soon. She is living her life as a whole person. Thanks to Dr. Swim and staff. This is from a grateful parent. Sent 8/12/2018.
When things go wrong, we naturally want to make them right. But it is not always in our sphere of influence. Sometimes there are other people, agencies or medications making a change for the better seem impossible. When we reached out to the Now I See A Person Institute they lived up to their name and did not spend time judging or focusing on the past, a diagnosis or hashing out what prior reports said. Instead, they made us feel like were are part of a family that wanted things to get better. They worked to allow the relationship to heal at its own pace. The staff at NISAPI invited us to a place that felt like a healthy home and not another impersonal clinic. You could tell that it was built in the kind of wisdom that takes a lifetime to understand. I am writing this because it really helped us at a time when nothing else worked. I am also writing this because people need to know that this is a good place where intelligent professionals are there to listen, laugh and remind us about love. It is a very human experience. I am sure there are books and conferences to talk about the technical aspects of how it works but I just wanted to say it works and my relationship was really hurting so they took time to help. We rebuilt a new healed foundation that we continue to build on now. They really deserve a heart felt thank you for helping when nothing else did. Sent 8/23/2018
I believe that I have been to four therapists before I started working with the Now I See A Person Institute. When I first arrived I had so much damage from trauma narratives and the over prescription of both antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication that I swore this would be my last attempt at seeking out a therapist. There was little inward hope that I would be able to find someone that could help me. When I first started working with David, at Now I See A Person Institute, I had sincere apprehension that he would be another therapist that would make me relive the worst moment in my existence over and over under the pretense of treating me. Instead I found someone that respected me, someone who supported me, and believed that I wasn’t broken or damaged. He led me back to the parts of me that I love about myself and truly thought I’d never see again. I had missed the parts of me that are brave and strong, they had been overshadowed by my own projected insecurities. During our sessions it made abundantly clear that I never had to talk about the rape if I didn’t want to and that my therapist’s goals were aligned with making me as happy and healthy as I could be. We focused on leading me to the acceptance that being victimized is something that happened to me, but being a victim does not define the totally of my life. He truly helped me understand that I am not what happened to me no matter how much that experience informs my thoughts and behavior presently. After the first couple of weeks, I came to understand that I could sincerely approach my therapist with the horrible things that were eating away at my life. He helped me understand what I was experiencing and gave me a lens to deconstruct my night terrors and PTSD. My previous therapists would instead throw text book definitions at me and there was never an elaboration on how I could effectively reduce these afflictions. It was always the digging, the raw digging into every detail of what happened, hoping the answer would be in the flashbacks. My therapist helped me move forward, and become more independent by helping me find healthy coping mechanisms. He encouraged me to be active, and I found myself doing the things I loved again. Additionally, he introduced mindfulness techniques to help me recognize and counter the things that trigger my panic attacks. He also helped me understand the difference between emotional reactive behavior and being rational and logical when I am triggered so that I can resurface to reality instead of being swept away in what isn’t real. But most importantly, he taught me self compassion with the additional reminder that I have been through so much and I need to be kinder to myself. During that period of time he called me frequently between sessions to check on me, and after approval from my primary care physician I ceased all use of prescription drugs (Prozac and other medications). Working with him led me to a place of mental fortitude where I could live my life without feeling like a ghost of a person. There after I found that although I was making steps, I found myself frustrated that they weren’t larger, and that I wasn’t “better” already. My sessions really were vital in realizing that there was nothing wrong with me and I wasn’t sick or crazy to begin with. I was hurt, and there shouldn’t be shame attached to feeling that way.
I have experienced so much growth while working with the staff at the Now I See A Person Institute. I was at the end of my rope literally and figuratively after my past bouts with therapy. I never thought I’d ever be this happy with myself or my life, but I’m excited for every moment instead of being filled with dread when I think about the path before me. Posted 08-30-18
When I discovered that my daughter was a victim of a violent of crime and bullying at school, I had to manage her experiences with self-harm, suicidal thoughts, running away, and aggressive behavior (not listening, using foul language and acting up). During this time, I also had to put my career on hold and stop working so that I could focus on my daughter’s behavior and the impact that it had on the rest of my family. My daughter could not return to school as a result of students at her school having knowledge of the fact that she was a victim of a heinous crime and later found out she was bullied by other classmates. As a result, I had to homeschool her and take a leave of absence from my work. There were many long nights that my daughter had sleepless nights, while she dealt with her suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
My daughter’s symptoms and the impact that it had on our family, where so serious that every minute had to be dedicated to keeping her safe. We need to prevent her from failing school and death. We also were trying to ease her anxiety, depression and post stress traumatic disorder. During this time, I was also in contact with law enforcement, the department of children and family services and lawyers in an effort to obtain a resolution in this matter while minimizing the impact it would have on my daughter’s life. This was a very difficult and changeling time for my family. I had a difficult time sleeping, gave up the comfort of my bedroom and slept on the floor in my daughter’s room to help ease her anxiety, stress and depression. Through this process, I also endured significant signs of depression, anxiety, stress, migraine headaches and financial stress as a result of lost wages and these traumatic events. I will say, I found hope and recovery at the ranch with the horses and Dr. Swim and Now I See A Person Institute.
The treatment that my daughter received with Dr. Swim and Now I See A Person Institute, has helped us tremendously cope and deal with this tragic episode in our lives. My daughter is recovering due to the therapy she and our family received. Prior to Dr. Swim my daughter saw numerous therapist and psychologist both private and HMO providers. The therapist and psychologist all prescribed medications that made her suicide symptoms worse. What was most tragic was the psychologist and therapist had given up on her. Here is one of the quotes that I heard numerous times, “If she does not want to get better, it is impossible to treat her”. By this point she had been admitted to various hospitals and the doctors were giving her prescriptions that were not helping, instead making her depression, anxiety and stress a “Living Nightmare” for our family!!!!!
Dr. Swim and her team at Now I See A Person Institute gave my daughter intensive counseling in a nontraditional, setting which makes it relaxing and non-threatening. A safe place to get your feelings and mind in order. The ranch and the gentle, loving horses gave my daughter a new beginning. I am happy to report that; she is now in college. One day hopes to be a therapist to help others recover from depression. This type of treatment is so unique, but provides amazing outcomes, especially if you are looking for alternative ways to heal safely. They can treat a variety of problems from mild to severe. Which for us was our last hope. My family and friends are so grateful to Dr. Swim for the remarkable changes that my daughter has shown. I strongly believe that this treatment is one of the best for people that want to recover from pain and suffering.
Sincerely, a grateful parent Posted 9/17/18