Elements Eclipse Empowers Neurodiverse Adolescent Boys Through Dr. Mark Bowers’ “Sōsh” Model
Opening in November 2023 under the direction and care of Dr. Neal Christensen and Jamie Kaczmarek, Elements Eclipse is taking strides to create a transformative and empowering experience for neurodiverse adolescent boys. One of the keys to their approach is the utilization of Dr. Mark Bowers’ “Sōsh” model, designed to aid adolescents’ cognitive and emotional development in social skills. The 5 R’s of the Sōsh model – Relate, Relax, Regulate, Reason, and Recognize – have been seamlessly woven into Eclipse’s everyday practices.
The “Sōsh” Model: Developed by Dr. Mark Bowers, a pediatric psychologist and leading expert in neurodiversity and social-emotional learning, is designed to address the unique needs of individuals with diverse neurological profiles. This model focuses on fostering essential skills in five key areas:
Relate: Through carefully crafted group activities and team-building exercises, Elements Eclipse facilitates an environment where participants learn to establish and nurture meaningful connections with their peers. The program encourages collaboration, communication, and the development of interpersonal skills crucial for building lasting relationships.
Relax: Acknowledging the importance of stress management and overall well-being, Elements Eclipse integrates relaxation techniques into its daily routines. Whether through mindfulness exercises, nature walks, or therapeutic activities, the program aims to instill lifelong habits that contribute to a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Regulate: Outdoor adventures inherently provide a dynamic setting where clients face various challenges. Elements Eclipse leverages these challenges to help adolescents regulate their emotions and stress responses. Through guided activities, participants develop coping mechanisms, emotional resilience, and self-regulation skills.
Reason: Elements Eclipse recognizes the importance of cognitive skills (also described as executive functioning) in the social, family, and academic spaces of neurodiverse adolescents. The program incorporates experiences that stimulate critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. This approach helps Eclipse clients make and maintain peer relationships, and creates opportunities for greater academic and extracurricular success.
Recognize: Self-awareness and understanding others are key components of social-emotional success. Elements Eclipse places a strong emphasis on activities that promote self-reflection, mindfulness, and empathy. Clients are encouraged to recognize and pay attention to their thoughts and feelings, as well as those of others, while also identifying important social cues to help them connect with those around them.
Elements Eclipse’s innovative approach to outdoor adventure programming in South Central Utah stands as a testament to the transformative power of Dr. Mark Bowers’ “Sōsh” model.
“Gaining these social skills is essential for building connections,” says Jamie Kaczmarek, Eclipse co-founder and primary therapist. “The 5 R’s serve as a road map for our clients who want to be social but have faced barriers in the past. The in-vivo practice of the 5 R’s with Eclipse clients has resulted in the improvement of not only the confidence of the clients but also in the overall quality of their social interactions.”
By incorporating the 5 R’s into everyday routines, the Elements Eclipse program provides neurodiverse adolescent boys with a unique and enriching experience that extends beyond traditional outpatient therapy and school-based programs. As Elements Eclipse continues to make a positive impact on the social and emotional development of its clients, it serves as a beacon of hope for the broader neurodiverse community, highlighting the potential for growth, empowerment, and success.
If you would like to visit or get more information about Elements, in person or virtually, contact Brandi Bradbury at (435) 231-3961 or Brandi@elementswilderness.com.
Elements, Traverse, and Eclipse Programs:
Since 2008, Elements has offered the most clinically comprehensive outdoor adventure programs for adolescent boys and all-gender young adults. Elements is owner-operated by renowned professionals, is licensed and supervised by the State of Utah Department of Human Services, and is accredited through the Outdoor Behavioral Health Council and the Association for Experiential Education.