A few years ago, I posted here that Toughlove International had disbanded. Since it's beginnings in the 1980's, three books have been published: Toughlove by Phyllis and David York and Ted Wachtel; Toughlove Solutions by Phyllis and David York and Ted Wachtel; and more recently in 2006, The Toughlove Prescription: How to Create and Enforce Boundaries for Your Teen by Ron Zodkevitch, M.D., Forward by David and Phyllis York, Founders of the Toughlove Program.
As part of my work, I provide referrals to health-related, self-help groups and social service agencies in our community. I'm not sure why, but I continue to receive requests for information about Toughlove. Perhaps it's due power of a well chosen name. Not sure. Today, I discovered that Toughlove groups are actively meeting in Australlia. For those interested in learning more about Toughlove's founders and program, or perhaps how to start a Toughlove group, here's the website: http://www.toughlove.org.au/about_us.htm There are even listings for two Toughlove groups in Alberta, Canada, though none in the U.S.
As much as possible I prefer to utilize resources close to home. When a friend of ours, a single mother, began experiencing difficulties with her high school aged son, who has AD/HD, my husband and I tried with varying success to help.
Ultimately, it was the juvenile justice system, in-patient treatment for substance abuse, counseling, medication for depression and anxiety, living off and on with another family, and an alternative high school that helped. Unfortunately, he still drinks alcohol and smokes cigarettes, but he has made some progress. He's no longer in and out of juvenile detention, he completed his probation, and he, hopefully, will graduate this spring from the alternate high school he's attended for the last two or three years. He'll be 18 next month. Like many AD/HD teens, he's immature for his age and has a long way to go yet. It's a slow process. We remain hopeful.
A few years ago, in an attempt to help my friend and her son, I found a website that offers a step-by-step program for helping parents of out-of-control teens. The counselor who created it initially worked individually with parents who had teens in the juvenile justice system, then through weekly classes, and more recently through the internet.
The program helped our friend, but unfortunately, not as much as we had hoped, primarily because she didn't have internet service and as a result could not participate on the website's support forum. She had only the written materials and only completed half the course at our home, a mix of weekly online videos, written material, and homework assignments. Looking back I wish we'd paid for her internet service. Perhaps that would have made a difference.