September 1, 2020 | Comments Off on Making an Impact When They Need It Most
As the Director of our adolescent residential treatment program in Greensboro, Meaghan Whitson shares how working with teens has molded her into a better clinician but also provided unique opportunities for growth for her clients.
“Teens are brutally honest. You have to be okay with who you are and even end up doing some self-reflection yourself while working with them.”
Whitson notes that she has always been drawn to working with teenagers. For high-risk youth, it is often their last chance to seek the help they need before turning 18 and actively becoming a part of society. Many of the teens in our Greensboro program fall into this high-risk category and often have complex diagnoses which may include self-harming behavior or thoughts of suicide. These youth may also have pending legal charges.
The sad reality for many of the clients in Whitson’s program is often the first time they have had mentors care about them or had access to the skill building therapeutic activities they offer. Whitson mentions how helpful it is to have a small program as this enables the counselors and staff to build meaningful relationships with each of the kids in their program.
“Our one-team approach makes it easy to put therapy first and the kids first. We all look out for one another.”
Under Whitson’s one team approach, each staff member is dedicated to each client in the program. Everyone wants to do as much as possible and make a positive influence on the youth they serve. This was true for one of Meaghan’s first clients in the program. Though he did not leave the program in the best of terms, he still checks in with Meaghan frequently commenting on the positive impact she made in his life. The memories he has of the support and cares the program’s staff gave him during his time there were influential in putting his life back on track.
Whitson notes that her time at the residential program has given her deeper insight into the challenges within the social influences and macro environments many of the teens are a part of outside the program. With this understanding, the staff in her program have been able to tailor their therapeutic techniques to provide real-world solutions that address the stress their clients are under on a daily basis. As Meaghan and her staff continue to grow professionally through their interactions with teens in the program, this growth expands the impact they are able to have on other youth in the program – giving them the skills and the hope to succeed when they need it most.
To connect with Meaghan.
Meaghan Whitson is originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin. She moved to Greensboro in her teens and has stayed close to the area since then. She is heavily involved in the dog rescue community of Greensboro, where her husband is a firefighter and where they live with their two boys and two rescue dogs.
Written by Emily Gordon.