About Us

TOUGHLOVE was started in the 1970's by Phyllis and David York. The Yorks were family therapists who worked in one of the most famous drug and alcohol rehabs of its time, training counselors, working with clients and their families, and conducting a private practice in addition to being State Drug and Alcohol Trainers for Pennsylvania. Phyllis and David York

While they were gaining acclaim as experts in their fields, they were suffering the same kinds of problems we all have here - their kids were out of control. They tried everything - counseling, therapy for the kids, themselves, the family, private school, judo lessons, riding lessons, getting tougher, more permissive, more understanding, etc.

Nothing worked, and things got worse until their daughter was arrested for armed robbery. Then the Yorks asked other adults to intervene for them. They took a STAND that said, "We will not tolerate a criminal in our house."

Their supportive adults went to the prison, decided when to bring clothing, cigarette money, etc. They provided bail money when it was appropriate, let her know what she had to do to come home - go through a drug treatment program and get a job, and - most importantly - they provided ONGOING SUPPORT for her to help her make the necessary changes. They also kept the parents informed of progress, letting them know that their daughter was okay.

Finally their plan worked, and their daughter began to change, to be successful at new, acceptable behaviours. The Yorks started a support group for parents of their clients at the rehab, wrote a manual for other parents to form self-help groups, TOUGHLOVE was recommended by Ann Landers and 20,000 letters came to the Yorks' little office in Pennsylvania!

Since then, the Yorks have been on most major magazines and newspapers and there was a TOUGHLOVE movie on ABC-TV. Groups are all over the United States and Canada and many foreign countries, concluding New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Korea and Brazil.

TOUGHLOVE programs are available for Parents, for Kids, for Teachers, for Professionals and the Yorks are always working on new manuals, books and professional materials. They do personal appearances and trainings and they have trained TOUGHLOVE Representatives to do the work of TOUGHLOVE out in the community.

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