Family Involvement Improves Student Outcomes
Your child’s long-term success is predicated on the support, participation, and growth of the most important people in their life – family. A child that returns home to an unchanged family who hasn’t developed the skills to support their progress is far more likely to slip into well-worn, negative patterns of behavior. For this reason, we’ve developed a comprehensive wilderness therapy program for the entire family.
Involving the Family
Throughout your child’s time at Trails, you’ll remain involved at a level unmatched by other wilderness therapy programs. You can expect to participate in the following ways:
- Weekly Calls With a Family Therapist – For healing to occur and positive change to last, there need to be changes made at the family level. You’ll work with our family therapist to set “big picture” goals, understand your child’s behavior, and build healthy strategies for communication.
- Weekly Calls From Your Child’s Primary Therapist – Your child’s therapist will keep you up-to-date on their latest progress and remaining challenges throughout their time at Trails, so you can support their continued growth. During these calls, the family therapist provides information about parenting techniques and other skills that you can utilize with your child.
- Parent Skills Workshop – We want to provide you the toolkit necessary to sustain positive change, which is why we hold a parent workshop to teach you new skills to improve your relationship with your child.
- Family Reunification Weekend – When your child’s time at Trails is drawing to a close, you’ll attend a graduation ceremony along with other families, an ideal time to reunite with your child, practice new skills and tools together, and begin a successful transition.
- Common Ground – We also offer an optional four-day extended stay option for the entire family, called Common Ground. Families stay in a lovely home and benefit from extended time together in a supported environment to begin using your new ways of communicating, re-establish family roles in healthy ways, and implement the skills you have all been working on. It’s highly effective in helping students slowly and purposefully transition out of the very-structured environment of our Trails program and back into everyday life.
Family Calls & Support
One of the core components of how we keep the family involved is the weekly call you’ll receive from your child’s Primary Therapist. This therapist will be able to share a more specific understanding of the progress your child is making, and what challenges still remain to be overcome.
We also believe that the weekly Family Support Calls are incredibly valuable, allowing you to connect with other Trails families who are facing similar challenges. Struggling with your child’s behavior can feel isolating, but you aren’t alone. Becoming connected with other families who have experienced similar emotions can provide tremendous relief, honest perspective, and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Moving Forward: Common Ground & Reunification
In our decades of experience helping students and their families through our therapeutic wilderness programs, we have found that there is often blame, guilt, and frustration within the family dynamic that serves as a catalyst for negative behavior.
We support you in breaking the cycle and helping you to chart a path towards healthier, happier relationships. Focusing on the family “system” is vital to changing student’s habits and behaviors for the better, and healing your family. With this in mind, we have a variety of opportunities for you to stay involved in your child’s journey as a parent.
A few weeks into your child’s stay, you’ll be able to attend a workshop that will help you learn the skills needed to support your child’s continued growth. After completion of the Workshop, you’ll be able to implement new tools to create a healthier family system.
Your family will attend a two-day family reunification/graduation experience led by our expert staff and licensed therapists. This is an opportunity to practice the new skills both you and your child have learned during their Trails Carolina experience and set the foundation for a healthier, more peaceful family dynamic.
Common Ground is our optional four-day family program for parents, siblings, and your Trails student. Common Ground allows for bonding time and an intentional return to home life with renewed connection. Families who participate in Common Ground are supported through activities designed to practice communication skills, conflict resolution and strengthen communication.
Take a Virtual Tour of our Common Ground House:
Resources For Lasting Change
Family Resource Library
Trails offers an extensive library of audio / video resources available for parents to download on a variety of relevant topics. These can help you to better understand the dynamics at play within your family, the challenges teens face today, and what strategies are likely to help your child achieve long-term success.
We understand that navigating the decision to send your child to any therapeutic treatment program isn’t easy, so we’ve developed a family guidebook that elaborates on our core values, as well as specific tasks and projects you can undertake during each stage of your child’s journey and other useful topics. Please call our Admissions Department at 888-387-2457 for more info.
“I can honestly say that we are a closer family because of what we learned at Trails. I loved it all!”
Darla W., mother