Understanding The Family: Trails Family Programming Director Discusses Outcomes of Research Findings

family services family program trails carolina For the last couple of years, I have been supporting Dr. Salli Lewis, the Director of the Research Division of CReATE (Center for Research, Assessment, and Treatment Efficacy), with a comprehensive treatment outcomes study exploring family involvement within therapeutic treatment at Trails Carolina.

At Trails Carolina, working with families to promote healing is one of the most important aspects of treatment. Trails Carolina family programming includes regular family therapy sessions, mid-treatment parent workshops, and post-graduation family reunification programming.

Family involvement leads to success

A wide body of research has shown that family involvement throughout the therapeutic process is a huge predictor of whether or not a teen in treatment will achieve success. If the whole family is on board throughout the treatment process, teens are more likely to make effective changes to the behavioral and/or emotional challenges they experienced in the past.
Throughout her research Dr. Lewis has collected findings from a sample of 185 adolescents and their families.

Presentation at 2017 Annual NATSAP Conference

Dr. Lewis and I will be presenting this research at the 2017 Annual NATSAP Conference. Our presentation will focus primarily on the ways in which  ineffective, permissive, or authoritarian parenting styles negatively impact an adolescent’s progress in therapy.

The presentation will discuss Dr. Lewis’s findings, including a clinical facet known as psychological control. Family systems with children or teenagers struggling with behavioral or emotional challenges often experience an increased amount of psychological control. When parents and family systems fall into patterns of psychological control, they often use tactics such as guilt and manipulation.

We will be analyzing the ways in which  psychological control has shown up within the outcomes research Salli has conducted. We will also consider the ways in which Trails Carolina addresses forms of psychological control in students and how we’re helping families move out of psychological control patterns.

We will be presenting this research on Thursday, January 27th, from 10:30 – 12:00/PM at the 2017 NATSAP Annual Conference.

For more information about family programming at Trails Carolina, please visit: https://trailscarolina.com/

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Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: https://trailscarolina.com/common-ground-podcast/ With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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