Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness Extends Family Intensive Program to Alumni Families
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, a wilderness therapy program for adolescents ages 13-18, emerging adults ages 18-29, and their families, is committed to offering families the tools and skills necessary to thrive in lasting ways. With leadership from Blue Ridge Family Programs Director, Dr. Tony Issenmann, Blue Ridge has developed a robust catalog of family services to support parents and families during and after their time in the program, including weekly calls with a Family Therapist, peer, and alumni parent support, access to resources like the Parent Pathway and Alumni Network, the Transition Program, and the Family Intensive.
Now, Blue Ridge has extended the Family Intensive as a service to alumni families as well as current ones. Following their stay in the program, current and alumni Blue Ridge families have the opportunity to unite for the first time in, or return to, the wilderness setting for 3 days and 2 nights. To maximize effectiveness, the Family Intensive is customized and specific to each family system. With the guidance of a licensed Master’s or Ph.D. level Family Therapist and a Family Intensive Field Instructor, families have the unique opportunity to reconnect, witness each other’s growth, dive into therapeutic conversations, and practice the new interpersonal patterns and skills they have been developing. The Family Intensive can also serve as an opportunity for alumni families to reinforce and freshen up on skills they learned while at Blue Ridge.
One participating parent shares: “The Family Intensive is a great capstone to the wilderness experience. It allows you the opportunity to hear about your child’s experience and learnings [in the program] while also allowing you to reflect on and communicate on your own recent growth. It also allows the family the opportunity to set intentions for communications and relationships moving forward.”
Each Family Intensive is designed to help families thrive through individualized goals unique to the attending family. These goals are developed by the student’s Primary Therapist, with input from the Family Therapist. In addition to being customized, the Family Intensive is also individually facilitated: One Family Intensive Therapist and one Family Intensive Field Instructor are devoted to supporting one family for the duration of the experience. This dedicated time and space allows for deeper conversations, intensive family therapy, and guided practice with new family patterns. Many Blue Ridge alumni families have shared that the Family Intensive was an invaluable part of their process, stating that it’s not only “helpful and effective” but also “necessary for navigating the family issues that we need to work through”:
“The Family Intensive was a moving experience, greatly adding to our family’s healing and progress. It is hard to imagine beginning this new experience any differently. This was a job well done; professional and compassionate. It added to my confidence moving forward.”
To learn more about Family Program offerings at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and Emerald Arrow, visit www.blueridgewilderness.com or call (888) 914-1050.
About Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and Emerald Arrow are honored to participate in the healing and recovery process for individuals and families like Dawn’s. To read the full story, purchase a copy of Chasing Carson online by visiting Amazon or Barnes and Noble. To learn more about Emerald Arrow: A Bold Path for Young Adults, visit the program’s website at www.blueridgewilderness.com.