Wellness Retreat

I sent my daughter to stay at Earth Spirit Lodge for a month of intensive daily counseling and peace training with Alaric…

I recently had the pleasure of having Alaric Hutchinson work with my daughter, Elise, who was at that time 16 years old.  We have known Alaric for 10 years and he has worked with my daughter off and on when she needed guidance.  This last year, I sent her to stay in one of Alaric’s apartments at Earth Spirit Lodge in Colorado for a month for some intensive daily counseling and peace training sessions with Alaric.  It was the best decision I have ever made with her.

 

To give you a brief history, Elise was diagnosed at 5 with anxiety, ODD and ADHD along with a learning disability of dyslexia.   She was extremely bright and independent but wouldn’t listen to anyone including teachers just because they were an adult.  She needed to respect them first.  This made going to counselors difficult and at the young age of 6 she threatened to kill herself 3 times if she didn’t get her way. Despite the advice of putting her in a residential home at the age of 6, I refused and found other ways to get her help. We changed her diet, school, and my job so she would have the stability she needed to succeed.  She did very well up until she hit puberty and then her anxiety started turning into OCD and other psychosis.

 

We have tried many ways of helping her through this, from wilderness therapy where they dismissed her after 3 weeks because they couldn’t handle her, to working with psychologists.  I called on my two brothers who are pastors to help work with her. We even called the police when her OCD turned into rage and she put dozens of holes in the walls of our house while stabbing at her picture with a knife and burning other pictures.  But through all this, the most effective help she has ever had was working intensively with Alaric. The daily counseling of peace teachings took a wild-eyed, high anxiety teenager with rage and turned her into a calm young woman who can smile again. I cry every time I think of seeing her walk off that plane when she came back from Colorado with a smile on her face. She faced her demons head on and with Alaric’s help gained the strategies necessary to find the peace necessary to move forward with her life.

 

I recently got a call from my brother who hadn’t even seen her at her worst and he couldn’t believe the change in her.  He told me that whatever we were doing, to keep doing it.  She actually gave him a hug which was the first time she has ever done that. If you had asked me a year ago whether or not she would ever be able to live on her own and support herself, I would have said “probably not”. But that is not true anymore.  For the first time in 5 years she is making plans for a future.  She is planning to go back to a normal high school (she has been online for 5 years) and then on to college. She can see herself succeeding in life although it still really scares her to think of becoming an adult. She is ready to face her fears of the future because she has the tools to get there. 

 

I can’t thank Alaric Hutchinson enough for the counseling, peace, and compassion that he bestowed on my daughter. He saw her for who she was and not for all the labels she had been given. Today we don’t think of her as our mentally ill daughter but as a thriving, calm, brilliant young lady who has the world at her fingertips.

 

Sincerely,

Colleen Dempster

January 21, 2021