Banyan House – A Review

I recently wrote an internet review on Banyan House, the organization helping our family refocus and rebuild. Unless you personally scan the internet for information on adolescent treatment facilities (something in which I’ve recently become very engaged), you probably won’t stumble upon my words so I am reposting to hopefully reach someone who may need this information. Please pass along to anyone you may know who is searching for a solid and reliable solution to the disease of addiction in their teenage son.

For more information on Family First, the Banyan House, and the men and women who work there, visit:

Banyan House Extended Care for Adolescent Males

Family First

Banyan House

Banyan House – Palm Beach Gardens



For over two years my husband and I tried “everything we could” to address our son’s erratic and increasingly angry behavior brought about through substance abuse and emotional need. We truly believed his growing desire to be “disconnected” from our family and the havoc his choices brought to our household could be “fixed” . . . if we withdrew privileges or rewarded good choices . . . if we took him to a therapist for “his problem” . . . if we tough loved him through the legal process. Unfortunately nothing changed; in fact, the situation grew more volatile. 

With the support of family and friends we made the difficult decision to intervene by placing our 15-year-old son Jack in a well-regarded 60+ day primary care facility. During this initial treatment Jack thrived and we were encouraged as our entire family began to participate in his process. As the day of his discharge approached, however, our encouragement was replaced with anxiety. We realized and accepted that a next-step transition was crucial to our son’s continued sobriety and well-being. For our family that next-step transition would be the Banyan House Extended Care for Adolescent Males.

James McManus and his staff at Banyan House is now walking our family through this journey, supporting Jack in a safe and caring environment in which to continue his hard work while encouraging us to do our own hard work at home. Rather than an interruption of Jack’s teen years, Banyan provides one-on-one and group therapy as well as quality academic opportunities and engaging, meaningful activities. They see Jack – our son – as a whole person, not just a client.
The highly qualified staff that work with Jack are never too busy to take our calls and answer our endless questions. The weekly phone sessions assist us in reestablishing communication with Jack as the counselors help us regain trust and dialogue. The counselors also call us separately, gently pushing us to see our own need to grow as parents and people. The site itself, a beautifully maintained facility that feels like a home, is open and welcoming.

As parents, admitting that our son needed help beyond what we could offer at home was a harsh and painful reality. Working together with Banyan House; working to support Jack as well as ourselves;  is slowly but surely replacing that harshness and pain with healing and hope.


Filed under Adoption, Conversations, Family Counseling

10 Responses to Banyan House – A Review

  1. Angela Langlands

    You continue to amaze me Sheila. By reading about your family’s challenges I am moved to tears… not just for what Jack has been through, but how you all walked through the darkness with hope and dignity. Your testament to the amazing work of the Banyan House is so meaningful because it hints at the struggles that all families have in keeping it all together–but alas we don’t often know where to go for help. Thanks for being a voice of clarity. I wish you all healing on this journey! Blessings.

    • Journey indeed. I am discovering more everyday that everyone has a story of which we know not, and those stories represent who we truly are. We don’t keep it all together – at least it doesn’t feel that way – but admitting our need for help has certainly been our first step towards health.

  2. Erin Fiedler

    Sheila I’m so glad you were able to find the right place for your son. I had a similar experience with my son two years ago when he was only 16. My son was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when he was only 10 years old. We struggled daily with his condition because like your son, this was not a single person issue, it effected our entire family. I also struggled with admitting my son into such a facility but thank God every day he gave me the strength to do it. Pejay came out of the place a different person, he came out as the person he was meant to be. He has since gotten his GED, taken a few classes at SJRSC and is now working full time. Sometimes as parents we have to make those difficult decisions and put our trust in God that things will work out. I’m so happy it did for you and Jack.

  3. Amanda Boulier

    My family is still suffering through the pain and brokenness as a result of my brother’s addictions and rejections. I wish that we had found a place for him that worked toward my brother reentering the world and our family as a whole, sober, functional man. Unfortunately neither of the two facilities in which he lived was able to teach him those skills. He is sober but still struggles with his first non substance addictions. He has mostly shut us out of his life and chooses to live among a group of people that control his finances and limit his freedom and yet he calls them family.

    I am so glad that you seem to have found a far superior situation for Jack. It gives me such hope to see pictures of him smiling and being present with y’all from your visits. I feel as though I lost my brother and I struggle with maintaining hope that he will return. I am so glad that your family is in a season of hope and recovery.

    • Amanda – thank you for sharing. You’ve shared a bit about your brother but I never knew the full extent. The Banyan House is an exceptional place that addresses the real issues of addiction, and also assists us in seeing our own need for change. xoxo

  4. Mary Beth Martin

    Such a humble, faithful, and transformational journey for your family. Bless you all.

  5. Laura Britton

    I love the part where you said to never say never. You are an amazing woman. The more I get to know you, I am amazed at your bravery. After leaving an unsafe relationship involving alcoholism as well as addiction, raising three sons was challenging. The hardest part was having my decisions and my sons judged from some on the outside. You are part of an amazing family. The love that you share freely with them warms my heart.
    It might not make sense to you but you are one of a few people in my life who inspire me to be a better person. Thank you for that. Laura

    • You’re right – it doesn’t make sense to me! Smile. For whatever reason, I am grateful that my journey encourages you. Praying that 2016 brings more opportunity for time together.

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