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School Refusal: A Family’s Journey to Resilience * Best Teen Counseling In Utah * Life Launch Centers

School Refusal: A Family’s Journey to Resilience * Best Teen Counseling In Utah * Life Launch Centers

School Refusal:

Meet the Hansen family: Jeni, a caring mother; Mike, a devoted father, and their teenage son, Jake. Like many families, they’ve faced their fair share of challenges, but nothing quite prepared them for the ordeal of school refusal that turned their lives upside down. Through their journey, they discovered the power of understanding, support, and the transformative effects of DBT skills that they learned at Life Launch Centers, helping them overcome school refusal and find resilience in both their emotions and academics.

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The Hansens’ Frustrations Unravel:

For Jeni, mornings became battlegrounds, with each day bringing a new struggle to coax Jake out of bed and into school. Her heart ached seeing her once-vibrant son retreat into himself, plagued by anxiety and fear. She couldn’t understand why he was so resistant to attending school, and the constant battles left her feeling exhausted and helpless.

Mike shared Jeni’s frustrations but struggled to connect with Jake, often resorting to tough love in an attempt to motivate him. He found himself caught between wanting to support his son and feeling overwhelmed by the strain it placed on the family dynamics.

As for Jake, the thought of facing another day at school filled him with dread. The pressure to perform academically, coupled with social anxieties and the fear of being judged because of the overly critical digital world of today’s teens, became too much to bear. Each morning brought a tidal wave of panic, leaving him paralyzed and unable to set foot outside his bedroom, he’d rather just hid behind his screens.

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Discovering Life Launch Centers and DBT Skills:

Desperate for answers, Jeni and Mike sought help from Life Launch Centers, a mental health counseling center recommended by a friend. Here, they discovered Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills—a set of practical tools designed to help individuals manage their emotions, improve relationships, and cope with stress effectively.

Through DBT group sessions, the Hansens learned valuable skills such as mindfulness, distress tolerance tools, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. These skills provided them with a roadmap for navigating the challenges of school refusal and rebuilding their family’s resilience to stress and intense emotion.

The Journey to Resilience:

Armed with newfound knowledge and support from Life Launch Centers, the Hansens embarked on a 12 week journey to overcome school refusal together. They began by learning what they individually value in life and then creating goals. Building a supportive environment at home, where open communication and understanding were encouraged was the result.

Jeni and Mike learned to validate Jake’s feelings, acknowledging the overwhelming anxiety he experienced without judgment. They worked collaboratively with Jake to identify their triggers and develop strategies to address them effectively.

Meanwhile, Jake found solace in practicing mindfulness techniques learned through DBT. He discovered the power of grounding exercises to anchor himself in the present moment, easing the grip of anxiety and allowing him to approach each day with greater clarity and calm.

As a family, they gradually introduced exposure exercises, starting with small, manageable steps to help Jake become more comfortable with the idea of attending school. They also implemented DBT skills such as distress tolerance and emotion regulation to navigate the inevitable setbacks and challenges along the way.

Finding Emotional Resilience at School:

Through perseverance and the support of Life Launch Centers, the Hansens began to witness remarkable progress. Jake’s confidence grew as he applied DBT skills to manage his emotions and cope with the demands of school. He discovered a newfound sense of resilience, realizing that his emotions didn’t have to dictate his actions or define his future.

As Jake found resilience in his emotions, he also found resilience in school. With the unwavering support of his family and the skills learned at Life Launch Centers, he tackled his schoolwork with renewed determination and confidence. The once-daunting prospect of attending school became an opportunity for growth and learning, paving the way for a brighter future.


The Hansen family’s journey highlights the transformative power of understanding, support, and DBT skills in overcoming school refusal. Through their experience, they discovered that resilience in emotions and resilience in school are interconnected—they learned to navigate their emotions effectively, empowering them to face academic challenges with confidence and resilience.

If your family is struggling with school refusal or other emotional challenges, know that you’re not alone. Seek support from resources like Life Launch Centers, where you can learn valuable skills to help you overcome obstacles and build resilience together as a family. With the right tools and support, you can navigate the journey of adolescence with strength, compassion, and resilience.

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