Family Wilderness Treatment

Family Involvement For Long-Lasting Change

Helping Families Repair Relationships

At Trails, we understand that the family is an integral part of every child’s healing process. Our wilderness treatment center was developed to help the whole family do the work, move forward, and come together in a healthier and happier space than before.

As a leading wilderness treatment center, we offer innovative and extensive family programming that enables parents and their children to realize incredible progress.
We do this through a combination of family therapy, weekly phone calls and updates, dedicated family therapy, sibling involvement, scheduled reunifications, our optional Common Ground family camp program, and more.

Designed to develop and maintain important skills for the entire family, the family programming at our wilderness treatment center provides the support necessary to reach lasting change.

Hope Is Here - Trails Carolina

A Family-Systems Approach & Our Parallel Process

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We believe that in order for your child to move forward at our wilderness treatment center, your whole family needs to move forward with them. While a student is doing the work on the Trails campus, the parents and siblings are back at home doing work of their own—all in meaningful and specific ways. This technique is called Parallel Process.


“Parents have a choice to be part of the solution and make use of this life experience.” —Krissy Pozatek, author of The Parallel Process

We use this technique at our wilderness treatment center because we want to best prepare your family to handle challenges in the future and what comes next. In order to do this, the family and child do the work separately—giving both the chance to heal, recover, and then reconnect. 

This way, the family isn’t just watching their child move forward and work through issues at our wilderness treatment center, they’re facing their own challenges and obstacles. This technique inspires true change within the family dynamic.

Trails Carolina’s family wilderness treatment programs are dedicated to helping adolescents and teens work through behavioral or emotional difficulties, build trusting relationships with their family and peers, and achieve academic success.

Rebuilding Family Connections


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.

Family/Parent Support

Parent-to-Parent support calls: For a parent, this experience can feel lonely. With a family coach present, we provide parents the chance to connect with other parents going through the same journey every week.

Parent Workshop: Halfway through our program, we organize a two-day workshop geared towards learning helpful skills for maintaining a healthy family system.

Sibling Support: Based on assessments and calls, we keep sibling support calls available if needed.

Weekly Zoom Classes For Parents

Each week via Zoom, we host a meditation/yoga class and a mindfulness class for current families. Our meditation and yoga class provides an opportunity for parents to learn meditation and yoga techniques while setting grounding intentions each week.

The parent mindfulness class is a wonderful opportunity for parents to exercise self-care and learn some of the skills their children will be practicing throughout the program.

Therapeutic Calls

For healing to occur and for positive change to last, there need to be changes made at the family level. You’ll work with our family coach to set “big picture” goals, understand your child’s behavior, and build healthy strategies for communication.

Student's primary therapist: This weekly call focuses on treatment planning and catches your family up on how your child’s progress and growth process is going.

Family coach: This bimonthly call is led by a separate, dedicated therapist with specific training and expertise in family dynamics. This therapist knows your child through working with the whole therapeutic team, workshops, group therapy sessions led by them, and through family assessments.

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. It’s highly effective in helping students slowly and purposefully transition out of the environment of our Trails program and back into everyday life.

Common Ground uses family adventure-based therapy (hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, etc.) to give the whole family the opportunity to practice new skills in a supportive, nurturing, and fun environment.

This program helps build a "bridge" for parents, siblings, and Trails graduates, allowing your family to reconnect, celebrate, practice, and ease the anxiety surrounding transitioning from Trails Carolina. Learn more about Common Ground.

Parent Assessments & Workbooks

We want to provide you with 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 Assessments: These assessments happen 5 to 6 times. Parents and siblings are given assessments to complete and review. Critical information is gained from these assessments that drive your family coach calls.

Workbooks: The parent and sibling workbooks help the whole family build the necessary skills to move forward. While the student is on a journey to healing at our wilderness treatment center, the family has their own journey alongside them.

Transitioning From Trails

Our entire program is designed to support lasting, positive outcomes for students and families beyond Trails. Using an integrated family systems approach and parallel process throughout helps. We have also designed a graduation ceremony that helps families transition from the Trails experience to back home.

Graduation: For a smoother transition from our wilderness treatment center, the whole family attends a two-day graduation experience led by therapists and staff. This allows the family to practice new skills in a controlled setting.

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.

Parent Workshop

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.

Family Reunification

Your family will attend a 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

Common Ground is our optional four-day family program. This allows for bonding time and an intentional return to home life. Families who participate in Common Ground are supported through activities designed to practice communication skills, conflict resolution and strengthen communication.

Get started today

Contact us today to learn how Trails Carolina can help your family

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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