As a licensed professional counselor (who loves nature and all it holds), I feel that these teens would be better off in a program where they see the reality of poverty in the world, where they could feed the hungry and listen to those in impoverished countries that are under the control of misdirected and/or selfish adults. One teen refused to buy expensive sneakers because he knew kids in sweat factories made them.
I believe real situations bring real self-esteem, self-worth and real attitude changes as priorities are put in real order.
As a former brat, I didn't have to have my parents pay $10,000+ to put me in a program to listen to adults I didn't know and respect. I learned from real life experiences that changed me from within.
I question the ethics of this program, it seems to use superficial means to make superficial changes (and a TV show).
By imitating and misusing the rituals and using symbols that have deep roots and meaning to others, only proves that this program is not only culturally insensitive but is also unethical. We need to teach respect for all people and their cultures and this "therapy" seems to be breaking the rules.
Our youth need reality checks, not more meaningless activity. Real self-esteem comes from helping the poor and the exploited.
I hope this program ends and the producers and therapists will come up with something more genuine, selfless and ethical to teach respect and true self-worth for the teens and the authority figures. Maybe we'll have a more sensitive generation for others who in turn will teach by example and not be filmed by a TV program.
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