Read Reviews 2018-04-13T12:16:38+00:00

Read Reviews

Review just a few of HFS’s satisfied clients

When Dore walked into my wilderness campsite, I was curious as to why she was there to see me. I was ready to convince her that I was ready to go home and all was well. All she needed to do was smooth things out with my parents. I just needed them off my back.

After two hours I realized she saw me for who I am, and knew all about what I had been doing to bring myself this to this place.

Even though I was 18 and could have walked away from wilderness, which I kept threatening to do, her ability to connect with me and support me as we talked about next steps is what kept me from running away. Her guidance and wisdom made me feel “OK” to be me.

She never gave up on supporting me. Now in my young adult transitional living program, I have hope. I believe in myself and I can see a future.

Lauren Beaullieu, Student, 18, Colorado

My name is Marilyn and this is our story. From the outside anyone looking at our lives and home  would think… wow a great American success story. Mom and dad both work, mom from home and dad in an office.

Kids go to a college preparatory school, both are in competitive sports, weekend BBQs with friends, a vacation here and there. The great American Dream in action, Life is good.

What most didn’t realize was the  turmoil, drama, fear, anger, frustration, and defiance, escalating behind closed doors. We had 16 and 13 year old teenage boys. Both quite different and both a challenge to parent.

What was worse, as parents we didn’t have the skills to parent them well, all we knew was how we were parented. My husband didn’t want any conflict, so avoiding it was best. Me, on the other hand, I was both the supportive & engaging mom, but also the disciplinarian. It was basically my way or the highway inside the house, I was a control freak.

The oldest was out-going, charismatic, a successful athlete and had just received his drivers license. As long as he kept his grades up & kept succeeding in his sports then he was on his way to college with a scholarship – we were good!

Middle of his sophomore year of High School he started to spin out of control: acting out.

So as parents we tightened down the privileges; took away access to the car, took away the phones, started to spy on texts, chats, and any other social media avenues. Of course, all of our worst fears were realized:  he was using drugs, selling drugs, lying and manipulating us all the time.

He had started to run away when things didn’t go his way, take the car without permission, leaving.. and we had no way to stop him. The final straw broke when he’d run away for 2 days, stolen our car, took our credit card, had no phone, and as parents we were CRAZY with fear & anger.

And whats worse… no way to help and no skills to manage anything. Shame was pilling up – of course this was a reflection on us as parents, what did we do wrong?  We started to look at putting him in a military school, maybe they could help him, get him “under control”.  As luck would have it, a saving grace, when looking on the web I ran across “Horizon Family Solutions”, help with troubled teens. Boy was that a shining light, help on the horizon!

I called immediately and spoke with Dr. Dore Frances.  She let me share all that was going on, without judgement.  The questions she asked me was as if my son with sitting right next to her…. how did she know what we were going through???  Her years of experience in working with families and teens was obvious. I was the most at ease I’d been in months!

She provided us with a game plan, helped us see both short and long term options.  Really, what it came down to – she provided us with hope that we wouldn’t loose him to either drugs, jail or worse. Finally a light at the end of the tunnel – and no, it wasn’t a freight train, it was real help!

We worked with the team at Horizon Family Solutions over the next 18 months. As parents we leveraged parent coaching and mentoring to improve ourselves to be able to parent as a team, improve our communication and maintain our relationship.

For our oldest, he participated in a recommended wilderness therapy program and then transitioned to a therapeutic boarding school. Our youngest was also assisted, as he had been almost “the forgotten child” while all of our attention was on the oldest.

It was Dr. Frances who pointed out how he was isolating himself, that we needed to include him in developing our family communication plans.

We followed the recommendation to attend a family workshop and while there found out that the youngest had been close to the end of his rope. Our key learnings… trust those who have the such a strong experience base. They provide wisdom and emotional stability when things are at their darkest. We are grateful to have our family back together, with healthy boundaries and strong lines of communication.

Heart felt thanks and appreciation to Horizon Family Solutions – without their support I do not think each of our boys would be the young men they are today, nor do I think my husband and I would have the relationship we now enjoy.

Thank you, HFS for the gift of my family!

Marilyn & Randy Kerr, Parents, 16 year old son, Colorado

We knew we needed help. We also had made numerous calls before finding Dore. It was early morning on a Sunday and no one seemed available. The morning I found her my son was in the hospital and I felt like everything was out of control. Our 14 year old son was in trouble and we didn’t know what to do.

Dore’s immediate calming voice and vast knowledge about what we could do helped us feel there could be an end to what seemed like an out of control crisis. She gave me the strength to intervene and take those very difficult first steps.

After wilderness we were again grateful to find the best special needs school for our son. While in wilderness he had been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Thank goodness Dore supported us in getting testing. It all made so much sense now to him and to us.

Our son just arrived home this December and is ready to start a new school that Julie Forland, M.Ed. helped us discover near where we live.

Our family is back together and we are continuing with the home care transitional support. Thank goodness for Dore and Julie!

 

Amanda Redwine, Parent, 14 year old son, Indiana

Dore was a God send at a very difficult time for our family. She provided excellent service, advice and wise counsel that lead to a very successful placement for our son.

She is very knowledgeable about a number of programs and is able to short-cut what could be a very challenging selection process with knowledgeable, first-hand experiences with a number of programs and options. Not only did it save us time, but we felt confident when we made our choice that we were on solid, empirical ground during what can be a very emotional time and decision set.

Claire Holmes, Mother, 16 year old son, California

Our family is from Southern California, and we had no idea where to send our adopted son (who was 15 at the time) after his wilderness program. Dore was an amazing resource because she visits all the schools and programs she recommends and also visits the students she is helping to get to know them before and after they are placed. Another thing that touched my mother’s heart is that Dore prays for all the children she places. She has a special spot beside her bed, and truly takes time to think and pray about their success.

LuAnn and Rick Campo, Parents, 15 year old son, California

Doré came to our rescue when our son was floundering during summer vacation a few years ago. She met with all of us and recommended a wilderness program that though initially met with resistance turned out to be an life changing experience that my son still talks about. Dore was a great listener, compassionate, and very knowledgeable about the various programs available. Peter returned to his college prep boarding school, graduated and is now attending college. I would highly recommend her!

Gail Leopold, Mother, 16 year old son, Oregon

Honestly, we felt absolutely hopeless when we contacted Dr. Frances. She brings a keen first-hand experience to her work and can accurately as well as quickly assess a situation. She quickly assessed our adopted son’s situation. We are happy to have found Dr. Dore Frances.

 

Jeff and Terri Sanders, Parents, 24 year old son, Arizona

Dore’s vast knowledge, expertise and objectivity in the wake of our crisis provided us the strength to intervene. Her service to our family reinforces the need for more professionals of her caliber. We are truly grateful for her dedication to her work and to the genuine care of our family.

Laura Six-Stallings, Mother, 17 year old son, California

Honestly, I felt absolutely hopeless when I contacted Dr. Frances. If I didn’t love this child and see the goodness in him – maybe this wouldn’t hurt the way it does. I spent well over a year trying to get help for my adopted son. I had doors slammed in my face at every turn. I personally felt like a pariah for even seeking help. On the other hand, the medical professionals tasked with caring for my son told me I was overreacting.

As you can imagine, my regret is enormous in that I waited so very long to look elsewhere. I am happy to have found Dr. Dore Frances.

 

 

Rebecca Wallin, Mother, 13 year old adopted son, Minnesota

I am the Administrative Director of a specialized residential treatment program for adolescent males with sexual abuse issues. Dr. Frances and I first met during a tour of our program about 7 years ago.  She was working as an educational consultant for families needing residential placements for their teenage youth.

From our initial visit I found Dr. Frances’s knowledge of sexual abuse prevention and treatment was beyond other educational consultants. We had a long discussion about treatment philosophy and the effects of internet pornography on the youth of today.

C. Lynn Loftin, MS, LPC, Utah

If you looking for a wonderful resource to help you explore the options available for you as a parent trying to do the best thing for your teen who is either out of control or simply not thriving call Dore!

She has a wealth of experience and led us through the maze of therapeutic interventions, wilderness programs, therapeutic boarding schools  and next steps. She is passionate about her work and can tune in specifically to what your child and your family needs. We were at our wits end about how to keep our daughter safe in what was an escalating series of scary events, unhealthy choices, and our lack of capacity to have sufficient influence over her behavior. Dore picked out programs suited to her personality and needs. She held our hand through the process.

And now our daughter is a mature, sober, high functioning young woman with a close and loving relationship with us.

 

 

S.P., Psychologist, Mother, 14 year old adopted daughter, Boulder, Colorado

I have known Dore for over a decade in my capacity as Clinical and Academic Director, and previously as a colleague Educational Consultant.

Over the years I feel blessed to have gained a friendship with her and we have worked together  to assist several Special Needs families. Dore has a number of strengths to offer young people and their families. She has a compassion for youth, a genuine commitment to family systems and strives to help students emotionally grow and realize their hidden strengths.

I have been continually impressed with her dedicated efforts to find solution-focused strategies.

Bernie Zimmerman, MA, LCPC, Idaho

Our son was sinking into a black hole of poor behavior and personal problems.  He was exhibiting oppositional and defiant behavior within our family and was also exhibiting physically aggressive behavior.  He was jealous and resentful of his sister and his treatment of her was very poor and inappropriate. Our son is a complicated case.  My wife and I came to believe we did not have the appropriate resources to deal with this situation in our home city.  We tried a variety of doctors and therapists in our area but were not getting the desired results.  In fact it appeared to us things were getting worse.  We also realized there was not a therapeutic boarding school anywhere in our area that would be appropriate for our son.

Before selecting Horizon Family Solutions, I travelled to Colorado to meet with Dore Frances in person.  She was very thorough and professional in her approach.  She devoted plenty of time to our case and listened carefully as I described our situation. Dore showed a good deal of compassion and understanding toward our son but also dealt with our case in a fairly straightforward manner.  She did not mince words.  She answered our questions with direct answers and specific recommendations.  Dore also showed a good deal of compassion and understanding toward the parents.

She understands dealing with a troubled child is hard on the parents and other family members. Dore recommended a therapeutic wilderness program for our son as well as a therapeutic boarding school. The wilderness program was an important component of our son’s treatment and had a positive effect on him.  This was interesting because we had never heard of a therapeutic wilderness program until meeting Dore.  Our son is now enrolled in a therapeutic boarding school and is making good progress. We feel HFS has been thorough and conscientious in recommending a therapeutic path for our son.

We have now returned to a more functional family environment and have hope that our son is on the right path. We have also entrusted Dore with our daughter who entered wilderness and then residential treatment this year.

Things are never perfect but we now feel our daughter and son are getting the appropriate level of treatment.  As parents we are more relaxed and confident about our family’s future than we have been in quite a while.

When you have a child with strong behavior issues, emotional issues, adoption issues, or other similar problems, it’s very difficult to deal with this in a normal family environment.

It’s stressful for the parents and potentially damaging to the other children in the family.  Unfortunately the large, large majority of parents do not have the capability to deal with a child with these types of problems. Potentially HFS can help with this type a situation.

HFS can use their expertise to advise the parents on a proper therapeutic path for their child.  Importantly, HFS can relieve some of the burden from the parents who are trying to deal with this situation on their own.  This will definitely reduce the stress level of the parents and allow the family to return to a healthier home environment. As parents most of us are poorly equipped to deal with a child with strong emotional or behavior problems.

It’s difficult because as the parent you feel like you just need to try harder, spend more time with the child, be more patient, love the child more, or be more disciplined. But unfortunately some problems are simply bigger than this. HFS can advise you on the proper therapeutic path for your child.

They will relieve you of the burden of trying to do this by yourself.  Dore Frances will be your ally and an advocate for your child.  She will use her expertise and experience to make specific recommendations for you and your family.

David and Leslie Hiller, Parents, 13 year old adopted son, 16 year old adopted daughter, Kentucky

We adopted a boy from Romania when he was 16 months old. He had been subjected to extreme neglect and malnutrition, as well as a complete lack of any kind of stimulation. He quickly progressed after being placed in our loving family.

However, there was always something “off” about him. He had many temper tantrums and was aggressive. We tried to deal with these incidents and just continue to provide a loving and supportive home for him.

We knew that we had to make up for the trauma he experienced as a baby. One night he became so enraged at his best friend, that he beat him up for a joking remark. We had to take our son to the hospital as it was clear he had no control over his behavior.

He was admitted to the Adolescent Psych Ward for about a week.

It was clear that we needed to place him in a Therapeutic Residential Treatment Program before he ended up either incarcerated or dead.

Dore Frances is someone who is highly experienced and had direct knowledge of all the various programs in order to be able to choose the right placement. At first I thought “I’m a Special Education teacher. I can handle all the arrangements necessary to get him into the program. I don’t need Dore. I can save that money.” But then my husband said that I was making myself sick trying to handle everything. He was completely right.

I was in bad shape. I couldn’t eat, think, or sleep.

We realized that Dore was worth every penny because she not only had the appropriate knowledge and experience to find the right program, but she handled EVERYTHING. I felt such a sense of relief that Dore was involved. I could now focus on my son, and also on getting myself to a good place.

I highly recommend Dore Frances to any family having difficulty with their child and don’t know where to turn.

She knows about all kinds of children, not only the ones dealing with adoption issues. I have kept in touch with Dore over the years because she is a a one of a kind person and my family is lucky to have her in our lives. She was truly a Godsend.

Dennis and Jeanne LaValle, Parents, 15 year old adopted son, California

We appreciate Dr. Frances’s expertise,wisdom and discernment. We thank her for all of her work, leadership and counsel surrounding our son and our family.  We know that it is truly a day at a time for all of us. We thank her for being so very honest and insightful!

Ed and Terri Allen, Parents, 20 year old son, Alabama

We started out with having Dr. Frances help us with our younger adopted son and a year later we contacted her again to assist us with our older adopted son. She knew not only which programs would work best for them both independently, she also know which therapists to request. We thank her of her help and her patience in assisting our family. We are most happy to recommend her to other families in need.

Bob and Trish Diehl, Parents, 15 and 17 year old adopted sons, Florida

In September 2007,  son overcome some personal issues while staying current on his education. Dore and I exchanged many emails and phone calls. Dore seemed to know what my son needed. While my son was attending this school, some issues became apparent. I either emailed or called Dore regarding them and she was in contact with the school immediately. I have to say, when I first started looking, I have one “bump” in the road. My sons father was not supportive of enrolling his son in a therapeutic boarding school. Dore made herself available to him at anytime. He contacted her regarding some issues and she responded immediately. Dore took the time to visit my son at his school. She explained some things to him which helped him to start realizing why he needed to be there. Dore has been of great help and reassurance.

I would be happy to recommend her to anyone.

Carolyn Little, Mother, 16 year old son, Alabama