Albert Einstein once mused, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” What we believe Einstein was stating here is the importance of self-expression. 

Many people might be under the false assumption that recovery must be strictly administered and regimented. Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we do not believe that. Of course, we have rules and our utmost priority is keeping your child safe. At the same time, we believe it is vital to our students’ recovery to express their emotions and thoughts to the fullest. 

In our therapeutic boarding school, we call self-expression allowing ourselves to be “messy.” After all, life is messy sometimes. What happens first, though, is that the “mess” must reveal itself. Once you know what it looks like, you’ll know how best to clean it up.

The Joys of “Messiness”

You may have heard of Marie Kondo and her popular book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In the book, Kondo discusses the importance of discarding things that don’t bring you joy. Believe it or not, our policy of “messiness” is a similar concept. While for Marie Kondo, this may be deciding that a pair of socks should be thrown out. For our students, the stakes are much higher, and letting go is more abstract. They may decide that the trauma that they are holding onto is destroying their joy. Hence, it must be “thrown out.” We believe trauma can only be thrown out one way: by expressing it!

At Clearview Girls Academy, we encourage our students to be authentic. We want them to be open and honest, not only with us but also with themselves. Teenagers often keep secrets buried within themselves. This is understandable. Being a teenager is a difficult time in life. When you begin to add issues like trauma, and life-controlling issues, it can be utterly miserable.

There is a saying in many 12-Step programs that “you are only as sick as your secrets.” At Clearview Girls Academy, we subscribe to this belief. It takes time and trust for girls to become comfortable expressing the secrets they hold inside. This is why our program requires a one-year stay minimum. During that time, things may get a little messy for a while. Things might seem a little worse before they seem better. This is all part of the healing process.

Creating a Healthy “Mess” at Clearview Girls Academy

Granted, if you feel like your and your daughter’s world is falling apart, the last word you want to hear is “messy.” You may have even thought to yourself, “How are we going to get out of this mess?” This is not the type of mess we are referring to here at Clearview Girls Academy.

Yes, we are going to get messy. But that mess will be an experience that may change your and your daughter’s life for the better, forever. That mess may involve going out into nature and reconnecting with the wonders that are all around them. Another type of mess may be learning how to lead a horse and connect with someone like she never thought possible. It might mean being brave and disclosing shameful thoughts.

Yes, that mess might even look scary at times. We want our students to express all of their emotions, whether they’re mad, glad, sad, or afraid. Hopefully, they will express all of them at some point in their journey here. This is why we have trusted professionals who can help them when these emotions rise to the surface and feel overwhelming.

Recovery Out of Love, Not Enforcement

Tuesdays with Morrie author Mitch Albom once said, “Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say.” Sadly, our children often fail to express their true feelings. If your child has shut down, they may very well be going through some emotional pain. Of course, we don’t want our children to feel pain. The humbling truth is that pain is a part of life. Instead of hiding, rationalizing, or “putting a happy face” on their pain, we help our girls to expel it.

Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself, no other commandment is greater than these.” That is why we treat all of our students with the love and compassion we would want ourselves. We don’t judge the messes that girls make at our treatment center. We offer compassion. There are no exceptions here.

Also, we know it takes having experiences to truly change. No one makes lasting changes just by following rules and guidelines. It’s not our policy to simply tell someone to do better, to act better, or to be better. What’s more, we don’t teach our students to put on a show so they can go out and play characters in the world. Instead, we help our students to grow into fully realized people.

Arriving at Authentic Self-Love

The truth is, many young women arrive at our facility with a lack of self-love. Our belief is that you can love someone until they learn to love themselves. We can help your daughter to recognize the beauty of her inner self and her true perfect spiritual nature. While she is here, we will encourage her to seek out her own truths, even when that feels difficult. From this place of increased power and authenticity, she can begin to feel self-acceptance and self-love.

We want your daughter to be as messy as she wants to be while she’s here. This will help her healing process. As she grows, she can feel cleansed of all that is stopping her from becoming the greatest version of herself. 

We believe self-expression is vital to a full and well-balanced recovery. At Clearview Girls Academy, we insist that our students feel entirely safe and comfortable to express themselves fully at all times. We are not here to change our students into something new and unrecognizable. We are here to help our students become the powerful young women they were always meant to be. If you feel your daughter has shut down and don’t know what to do, please reach out. We are here to help her to open up, grow, and ultimately succeed. Please call Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484 for more information.