Former therapists from teen or young adult residential treatment program have opened businesses to support the transition of adolescents and young adults coming out of treatment (be that from wilderness, RTC, boarding school or hospital/rehab) but in a very different manner than the other described models. The key to this model is that it is geared towards the parent having the therapeutic support and the seasoned experience of a clinician intimately familiar with the program the child is transitioning from. Despite all the dialogue and intellectual preparation to prepare the family, the actual life process is much more tense than can be prepared for and these clinicians help the parents, and therefore the entire family as a system, work through the upwelling dynamics as they occur, and to build resilience and comfort for the years ahead.
With this clinician-as a-parent-coach model, the coach does not always come into the family’s home, like the wrap around services (see Parent Coaching, 2: Wrap Around companies) nor partner with a student’s advocate. Jen Murphy, LPC, co-owner of Solutions Transitional Support and parent coach says that, instead, “the focus of support is entirely on the parents, while creating a wraparound program on the ground for the returning student”. She explained that they accomplish this by very purposely collaborating with home therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, thereby defining an active, responsive support network for the family inside the home community. This specific type of support provides the parents with local professionals, confidence, skills and resources for managing the challenges inherent in reintroducing their child back into the family system and all that encompasses.
One exception to the rule is Darrell Fraize, LCPC and Onward Counseling and Coaching. Darrell works with the student (adolescents and young adults) transitioning to boarding school or back to home.
While this blog is dedicated to parent coaches who were previous wilderness and RTC program therapists, some no longer maintain their licensure, due to cross-state regulations. And some of coaches in this category work part time coaching and maintain private practices in their area.
The key to choosing a mentor/coach/therapist in this category is understanding their background and how it will fit into your needs as a parent and as a family. Many of these coaches are referred by the concluding program and can target specifically what the transitioning family needs. All coaches practice a topical, solution-focused approach, teaching, supporting and honoring a parent’s work throughout the transition process
Murphy said, “As much as folks have already invested in the process, it’s important to honor the work done in treatment.” STS and other coaches are going to leverage skills that the families have learned through their process, like the “I feel” Statement and instead of duplicating the literal practice from the program, these professionals translate the approach and concepts for what the family is experiencing now that they’re reintegrated.
So how can parents be collaborative with their young adult children, while parenting and providing autonomy at the same time? How do families adjust to everyone in the home again, how do they develop reassurance and respect within the family system? The approach and vision is to support the family by focusing the support directly towards parents, teaching them how to help their children adjust to the family system they are re-entering and providing ongoing resources and guidance while they navigate the difficult steps of transition in the most effective way for their family.
Your teen or young adult will be impressed and relieved if you sign up for a parent coach. It shows that you, the parent, are working hard for success in your family and care about being accountable for the changes you must make.
7 Questions To Think About When Hiring A Coach or Mentor
1. What has you considering coaching at this time? What outcomes would you like to achieve?
2. What process do you believe would work best for you, your family, your child? Individual parenting coaching, family coaching?
3. What is your budget?
4. What time commitment do you have for this process?
5. How important is it for this professional to interface with others professionals already working with your family or child?
6. If your child is in a program, are there coaches already available? Would an objective party be beneficial to you?
7. How do you work best with professionals, do you prefer face to face, Skype or do phone sessions work well?
About the Author
Jenney Wilder M.S.Ed launched All Kinds of Therapy in 2015, as the only independent online directory for the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Industry. With an impressive case of ADHD and her starter career in the 90's in Silicon Valley, the dream for creating a website with features like side-by-side comparison and an integrated newsletter was born. Jenney stopped counting treatment centers and all types of schools that she has visited when she hit 500 many years ago. She was the sponsoring author of the only Economic Impact Study of the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Industry, which revealed the only true financial figures about this industry (in Utah). Jenney has a Masters in Special Education from Bank Street College (NY) and a Bachelors of Arts focused on History from Wheaton College (MA).