Building Bridge’s Clinical Approach to the Summer Adventure Program
Building Bridges uses the summer to create space for the students to focus more on introspective work, in an amazing landscape that removes day-to-day distractions. Students started their summer adventure program with a two-week bike and climbing trip in June, this trip the first of four excursions that take place during Building Bridges’ summer activities. The program utilizes the beautiful wilderness of Montana to create new experiences that allow the students to grow and have fun while learning about themselves.
There is a personal treatment plan for each student for each trip. While having fun, they are continuing to work on their issues. The therapists visit the trips to do sessions and see how the individual work is going. Once they return home more work is done around the completed tasks and a new plan is made for the next trip. The three days in-between trips includes cleaning up, getting ready for the next trip and spending time on the water. The campus is on the Clark Fork River, so a day is spent swimming, boating, waterskiing, wake boarding and tubing.
Each trip, generally ten to fourteen days, is designed to create space for the boys to enjoy learning about new things, each other and themselves. It’s also about giving back. One of the favorite trips is the Bob Marshall Wilderness hiking trip into the fifth-largest wilderness in the lower 48 states. There are no motorized or mechanical equipment allowed. The boys use crosscut saws to do trail work and fly fish one of the most pristine places in the US. Kurt Fairbank, the owner and clinical lead travels in by horseback to bring back up and have group. The final piece is to have a four-day Parent Workshop where all the personal work can be shared with family.
About Building Bridges
Building Bridges is a Therapeutic Boarding School in Thompson Falls, MT for boys 14-18 with substance and behavior issues. Our passion is creating a structure that mirrors real life including the opportunity of attending public school. We strive to show our students how substance use has created behaviors that have gotten in the way of pursing their passions. We believe by teaching them how to have self-confidence and create a more positive manner they can see their growth through using what they learn in a normalized safe environment that will transfer to wherever their next step is.