All Kinds of News for October 04, 2017
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 10-17, engages and supports siblings of students throughout the therapeutic process by incorporating regularly scheduled sibling calls, workbook activities, and including siblings in the family transition process during graduation.
From the very start of a student’s time at Trails, involving the entire family in the therapeutic process is one of the most important aspects of the healing process.“ At Trails, we believe that involving siblings in the therapeutic process is extremely important to the healing process of the entire family,” comments Jason McKeown, MS, LMFT, CPE, DCC, Family Clinical Director. “Siblings have a really unique perspective of what it’s like to grow up in the same home as their brother or sister in treatment. They may have access to information about their sibling at Trails that the parents are not aware of. It allows us to gain a rich amount of information which can help the sibling’s healing process, and also helps inform their brother or sister’s treatment at Trails.”
Siblings are engaged on multiple levels throughout family programming. The sibling workbook is one example of their involvement in the therapeutic process.
“The sibling workbook helps family members better understand the therapeutic process,” says McKeown. “It also teaches siblings some of the tools that their brother or sister is learning here at the program so that there is a commonality of communication post-treatment. The workbook covers a lot of frequently asked questions, concerns and information that many siblings have when their brother or sister is in treatment.”
Another way Trails keeps siblings involved in the therapeutic process is through regularly scheduled sibling calls.
“Throughout programming, we carry out multiple sibling calls which engage either individual siblings or groups of siblings in order to help them process what this experience has been like for them,” says McKeown. “It also provides a chance to give them a voice in the treatment process. They are encouraged to provide input, feedback, and insight into what it has been like to have a brother or sister in treatment.”
Upon graduation, families have the opportunity to engage in the Common Ground family experience. This programming allows families to feel immersed in the positive changes their child/sibling has made during treatment.
“Common Ground helps families celebrate what their student has achieved at Trails and take it in emotionally,” comments McKeown. “It also helps transition new forms of communication and other therapeutic techniques that they learned during their time at Trails. We don’t want siblings to miss out on reconnecting with their brother or sister during this time. It sets the whole family up for success and empowers them to take what they’ve learned here and move forward with it.”
At Trails, sibling involvement in the therapeutic process helps students effectively transition the progress they’ve made during treatment back home.
Learn more about family programming and sibling involvement at Trails Carolina on our website or by calling 800-975-7303.
About Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Asheville, North Carolina that offers a multi-dimensional wilderness therapy model to troubled adolescents, ages 10-17. Trails capitalizes upon the profound effects of a student’s wilderness experience, and then combines that experience with strong clinical assessments and therapy.