Elements Resumes Its Signature Mid-stay Visits for Parents and Families
After closely following the guidelines of the CDC and consulting with its Medical Director, Elements Wilderness Program last month resumed its mid-stay overnight visits for fully vaccinated parents. In order to maintain program safety throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Elements had shifted all mid-stay visits to the end of the clients’ stay, supplementing this important work with Virtual Parent Visits facilitated by their child’s therapist. Following strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines, non-vaccinated parents can still participate in visits and Family Focus intensives at the end of their child’s stay.
“We have always placed immense importance in family and parent involvement as one of the keys to successful outcomes for our clients,” said Dr. Neal Christensen, Clinical Director and co-owner at Elements. “Creating opportunities for our parents to participate in our in-field overnight visits and/or our 3-day Family Focus intensives has always been seen as a key part of the process. I can think of nothing more validating for our clients than having their parents travel to them and share the realities of their experience.”
Since its inception in 2008, Elements Wilderness Program set itself apart by inviting parents to travel to the program and spend time inside their child’s group. This mid-stay visit comes at no extra charge to the family, including group therapy and a session with their child’s therapist as well as time away from the group for the family to work together. Since 2014, Elements has provided even deeper opportunities for growth within the family system through optional single-family intensives in the Elements Family Focus, which provide a 3-day “glamping” experience outside the group setting.
“We count ourselves incredibly fortunate to be running an expedition model wilderness therapy program during this uncertain time,” said Andrew Powell, CEO. “We have been able to keep all our programming intact for our backpacking adventure model, with the only missing element being in-person parent involvement during the process. There is something irreplaceable about spending an overnight in the group with their child’s peers and staff. We are thrilled to have parents back in the midst of this critical process, and parents themselves have met us with matching enthusiasm. The feedback we’ve received has been incredibly positive.”
About Elements Wilderness
Since 2008, Elements Wilderness has been providing a specialized therapeutic intervention for adolescent boys aged 13-17. We at Elements envision a world in which everyone has the skills and support necessary to live a full and healthy life. Through innovative therapeutic and psychiatric intervention, a comprehensive outdoor living experience complete with expeditionary backpacking and adventure programming, a robust family program involving the family at every step, and evidence-based substance abuse treatment, we strive to provide our clients with intervention, treatment, and assessment. Elements is licensed and supervised by the State of Utah Department of Human Services and accredited through the Outdoor Behavioral Health Council and the Association for Experiential Education. For Young Adult wilderness therapy clients, there is Elements Traverse based in central Utah.