Our family-style living environment should give you peace of mind, knowing that your daughter is safe and in good hands. Our unique living environment for residential treatment is one of the many positive features that sets Chrysalis apart from other therapeutic boarding schools.
Your daughter is a long way from home, which is why she will live in a house, rather than a dorm, and have meals at the family table, not a cafeteria table. Each home is complete with a large deck providing beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. Even their names conjure up a homey feeling, beginning with the Lake House residence, which sits on a hill just above the lake. Here, students swim all summer and ice-skate or play a friendly game of hockey in the frozen winter months. Our six horses, our greenhouse, and our large vegetable garden surround the Horse House residence, which is a large, three-story Amish-built log home. The Cottage residence, which was designed for more senior girls who have gained a measure of trust and are ready for more independence, sits on the Lake House side of campus next to our tennis court. These buildings become home, where staff and students function as a large family. Staff members are responsible for cooking and serving a healthy meal three times a day. Of course, students help cook occasionally to develop healthy living skills. Students participate in daily chores, gardening and other crucial aspects of community living.
Students have one to three roommates and decorate their rooms to be their own. Housemates have the opportunity to develop deep friendships, and many students have referred to their Chrysalis peers as “sisters.”
Erich Fromm first used the term “biophilia” to describe humans’ love of life or living systems in 1984. Simply put, Fromm realized that humans feel drawn to nature. Chrysalis campus is outside of town, sprawled along a lake and extending into the surrounding woods, allowing ample time and opportunity for students to find or expand upon their own innate love of the outdoors. With minimal landscaping, we’ve preserved much of the natural environment and students love to spend their time outside, whether they’re playing guitar, drawing or painting, writing or going on a walk with their therapist.
Teaching Life Skills
The benefits of our unique, intimate setting continue to emerge with each generation of Chrysalis students as they settle into relationships that matter to them. And through those relationships, our students are able to see themselves clearly and accurately – perhaps for the first time – via mirroring that can only be provided by caring others who are close enough to see through any facade and into the heart of their friend or student.
Our academic program consists of 37 students and six faculty members. It’s easy to do the math and see that with that remarkable ratio, our teachers are able to provide instruction and support, both within their small classes and outside of class, which are individualized to meet each student’s unique academic needs. Surrounded by a savvy clinical program consisting of four therapists and a clinical director, our students steadily mature into well-rounded adolescents and young adults. There’s more to life than school and therapy, though, and Chrysalis is dedicated to improving all the other areas of students’ lives as well.
As one would expect, life skills gradually emerge along the way, mostly in an organic way that students hardly notice in the moment, but which will become all-important as adolescence gives way to young adulthood. Some of these practical skills are carefully taught, intentional and prescribed because they’re essential to a healthy community. Others are almost invisible, simply embedded in the routine of daily life at Chrysalis, and are therefore virtually absorbed by our students. In this context, they increasingly begin to manage themselves and all the important skills they’ll use in the next stages of life.
All of these critical developments are made possible by the carefully constructed and well-maintained intimacy in which the Chrysalis program environment has been steeped over the years.