Residential Family Treatment Program
Parents play an active role in the treatment process. They are directly involved in developing treatment plans and are presented with new therapeutic opportunities.
At ThreePeaks Ascent, young people attend both individual and group therapy sessions. They also experience weekly family therapy sessions. This professional guidance helps teens and their families to come together while they are physically distant.
When teens leave behind everything familiar, it breaks them free from the patterns of behavior that may have been holding them back. In an entirely new environment, the absence of familiarity makes it difficult to rely on unhealthy behaviors as a crutch. Instead, something remarkable often happens – entering a novel environment becomes a catalyst for teens to re-engage in healthy psycho-social development. The unfamiliar surroundings, coupled with the support and guidance provided, create an environment where positive change can flourish. It is in this space of newness and exploration that teens have the opportunity to break free from their old ways and embrace a fresh start.
Nature-based Residential Treatment Promotes Change in Family Dynamics
Nature-based residential treatment not only focuses on the individual teen but also recognizes the vital role of family dynamics in the healing process. At ThreePeaks Ascent, we understand that the well-being of a teen is intricately connected to the overall family system.
Through our nature-based residential program, we create an environment that promotes positive change and growth within the family unit. While teens engage in immersive nature-based activities and therapy sessions, parents actively participate in weekly family therapy calls. These calls serve as a platform for open communication, addressing concerns, and working together toward healing.
By involving parents in the therapeutic process, we aim to strengthen family bonds, improve understanding, and equip families with the necessary tools to support their teen's recovery journey. Our nature-based residential treatment program goes beyond individual healing and extends its transformative power to the entire family, fostering lasting positive change and healthier family dynamics.
Parents cannot fail to notice the change in family dynamics. When teens learn new coping skills and self-efficacy, then the entire family benefits.
Family Therapy at ThreePeaks Ascent is Different
Family therapy at ThreePeaks Ascent is different from other residential treatment programs. Teens and their family members take part in a unique treatment called Narrative Family Therapy.
While young people participate in experiential education activities in Utah's high desert, they meet with family members weekly during a family therapy phone call or video conference and via narrative writing assignments and letters at least once a week. These therapy sessions focus on repairing family systems. Teens, parents, and others examine family dynamics. They look at what is and is not working in their family system.
Often families have stories about why some family members are struggling. Sometimes, these are victim stories that focus on placing blame. Family Narrative Therapy focuses on not finding victims or heroes. Instead of identifying any one person as being the problem, situations are reframed so that problems are the problem. Rather than being in adversarial positions, family members become team members. They use teamwork to solve problems together.
- A Case Study of Narrative Family Therapy in an Outdoor Treatment Program with a Struggling Adolescent
Communication During Treatment
Like the treatment plans, the ways that parents and teens communicate during treatment is unique. However, there are some common patterns.
During the treatment process, teens typically create an autobiography. This exercise allows them to reflect on the issues that have led to their need for treatment.
Students share this writing with their therapist and with their treatment group. Students find the confidence to be open and genuine about their lives as they share their writings. They find healing as they authentically share their life experience with others.
Parents also have the opportunity to participate in this process. They can draft narratives that correlate with their teen's autobiography. These are called parent narratives.
These narratives provide parents and teens with the chance to share their perspectives on their child's life. This form of therapy, called Narrative Family Therapy, brings the parents' voice into therapy sessions. Therapists read the parents' narratives together with the students' narratives in the therapy sessions.
Like every other aspect of treatment, treatment professionals base communication strategies on teens and their families' needs.
Many young people and their families correspond through letters. Writing letters gives parents and teens time to contemplate the thoughts they genuinely want to share. Often, families communicate more kindly and respectfully in writing letters than when talking to each other-at least in the beginning.
With time and practice, families learn to use thoughtfulness and compassion when writing letters when they speak to each other.
In addition to writing letters using the postal service, parents are encouraged to write letters to their teen by emailing their teen's clinician.
Likewise, teens' letters are scanned and emailed to their parents.
During the first difficult weeks, your teen's therapist may suggest how to maximize your letters' impact strategically. You will learn how to provide appropriate encouragement and support for your teen while still directing the relationship.
By examining the letters you exchange with your teen, your teen's therapist will also help you identify behavioral patterns in your family dynamic.
Within three days of admission, your teen's treating therapist will contact you to arrange weekly family therapy sessions.
Regular, consistent communication via telephone and email will be especially important. It is important to make sure you and your teen get the greatest benefit from the therapy experience.
Similarly, we prioritize your family's well-being by offering weekly formal family therapy sessions tailored to your schedule. These sessions serve as a valuable opportunity to assess your child's therapeutic progress, address any inquiries or worries you may have, and provide guidance on breaking harmful relationship patterns within your family. Through these consistent phone calls, you stay actively involved in your teen's progress, fostering collective growth and unity as a family. Additionally, these sessions equip you with the necessary tools to prepare for the next phase of your student's therapeutic journey.
Although family therapy is held once weekly, parents are welcome to set up a phone call or email their child and therapist as often as necessary.
ThreePeaks Ascent has a password-protected Parent Portal that allows parents and guardians to stay informed about their teens' progress. Because parents and guardians are valuable members of the treatment teen, keeping them informed is a priority.
What Happens After Treatment?
Short-term residential treatment is a transformative experience for teens and their families. Parents and guardians can witness some of these changes during the graduation ceremony. During this ceremony, families and teens reunite and celebrate the growth they have experienced.
However, the graduation ceremony does not mean that treatment is at an end. Some teens return home and receive treatment in their community. Other teens move on to less restrictive programs.
Regardless of what happens, teens who have completed our nature-based treatment program are primed to make more significant therapeutic progress in less time than those who took part in other forms of treatment.
Does My Teen Need Treatment?
Every teen's strengths and challenges are different. Complete the no-obligation assessment below to help us understand your family's needs.
We respect your privacy. We will not share your information.
I'm Not Sure Where to Start.
We're here to help - take the first step and contact us to see if short-term residential treatment could be the path to healing for your family.