What is the most important part of cooking? Is it having the right tools? Is it having the right ingredients? Is it knowing all of the fancy techniques that those famous chefs use on TV? While these are all important, reading a recipe is the most important part of cooking. How else are you going to know what tools, techniques, or ingredients you are even going to need? This same principle can be applied to the world of recovery.

The founder of Clearview Girls Academy has always said, and still says to this day, that her goal for students leaving Clearview Girls Academy is for them to be able to “cook a Thanksgiving dinner.” She feels that “if they can do this, their time at Clearview will have been a success!” 

What this Thanksgiving metaphor is addressing is how important learning life skills are at Clearview Girls Academy. That is why we incorporate teaching these practical yet crucial life skills in all that we do at our treatment center.

We want to give our students the recipe for success. That way, they will have all of the tools, resources, and skills they will need on their path to recovery. They can then utilize all of these skills long after they leave our doors here at Clearview Girls Academy. They will also be able to make one heck of a turkey!

The Founder and Origins of Clearview Girls Academy

Dr. Mary Thielbahr founded Clearview Girls Academy over twenty years ago with one mission in mind, to help young women recover from the mental health issues that were holding them back.

While her specialty areas are emotional problems, drinking and self-medicating problems, learning disabilities, trauma, and sexual abuse, Dr. Thielbahr has expanded and evolved these categories. She has always understood that young women struggling with mental health issues are much more than a statistic in a category. These young women are the future leaders of society.

Dr. Thielbar has long brought her “individualized care” approach to address all the students’ needs here at Clearview Girls Academy. She has instilled in our mission the need to take a three-part approach to recovery. Those parts are academic, behavioral, and spiritual, and each category has a focus on instilling life skills.

Those life skills range from the seemingly invisible to the visibly practical. For example, creating a spiritual life is not something that is necessarily worn on the sleeve. Yet, accepting and incorporating a spiritual life will pay dividends for your daughter’s future. Then there’s that practical life skill of cooking. While it may seem a small feat, it can truly make all the difference in living a long and healthy recovery.

What Does “Cooking a Thanksgiving Dinner” Mean for Recovery?

By this point you know it’s not actually about cooking the Thanksgiving dinner. That perfectly basted bird is only a byproduct. The real mission is to build your daughter back up from the point where she lost herself.

Many of our students come in lost, confused, and mad at the world. Many have lost hope, and many have lost their faith as well. With our students coming to see us in such a devastated state, we feel it is important to begin treatment slowly. 

We see our students as individuals, and as individuals, we create a plan that is unique to them. This plan begins with a focus on restoring their self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-love. They need hope before they can start healing. Believe it or not, that hope can sprout from the simple act of learning life skills.

Learning life skills can rebuild all of these emotional components that our students have lost. For example, relearning basic academic tools can rebuild self-confidence. We want to remind our girls what academic success feels like. 

Learning to handle emotions that once felt out of their control can feel empowering. This new outlook on life will give them the self-esteem they need to say to themselves, “I can tackle anything!”

Learning or relearning what it means to have a spiritual connection to God can offer a lifelong serenity that will be crucial in getting your daughter through all the inevitable struggles that life will throw her way. This spiritual life will renew her love for the world, for others, and most importantly for herself.

The Continued Mission of Clearview Girls Academy

Over twenty years ago, Dr. Thielbahr introduced her mission to the world: Giving young women their lives back. 

Now twenty years later, at Clearview Girls Academy we carry on that mission. We give our students hope, and we have been blessed to see them grow into the exceptional women they were always meant to be. 

We are also proud to say that thousands of families have come back together thanks to Dr. Theilbahr’s mission. Many of them still come together, and many of them do it every year over an incredible Thanksgiving dinner.

We like to say that learning to cook a Thanksgiving dinner can go a long way toward establishing a healthy recovery. That’s simply our fun way of saying that learning basic life skills can be crucial to maintaining and sustaining recovery. These life skills can be as simple as learning to do their laundry, to something more complex like schedule planning, or even cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner. If you feel that your daughter may be struggling with her mental health, Clearview Girls Academy is here to help. We have all of the tools and resources that can help get your daughter onto the positive path of recovery. For more information, please contact us at (888) 796-5484.