All Kinds of News for May 09, 2018
Parents of teenagers and young adults who have struggled can easily lose themselves in the process of supporting their children. For the past couple of years, Angie Shockley, Owner and CEO of Q&A Associates and Kimberly Mlinarik, LCPC, LMHC and Co-Founder of Alchemy Adventures, have been hosting Parent Retreats for the parents of the young adult clients enrolled in the Q&A Family of Programs. Many parents of young adults in transitional living programs have dedicated two decades or more to caring for the special needs of their child and so these Retreats are focused on helping parents rediscover their passions and truly live their own lives. While the transitional living program provides the support and opportunities that the young adult needs, the best thing parents can do is let go of control and focus on themselves. While involved in the process of their young adult becoming independent, many parents need training on how to coach and challenge rather than rescue and persecute ("The Power of TED", by David Emerald).
Q&A Parent Retreats provide two and a half days of focused education and training on how to become the coach and challenger. The parents spend time identifying roles they have played in the family dynamic. They also begin to release the roles they want to change, making space for new roles and a new family dynamic. The Retreat is structured as a three part series with the first two parts guiding parents to focus on creating the life they want as complete individuals rather than simply as parents. The third part, which both stands alone and complements the work parents have previously done, is an international trip. The parents travel to Tuscany with their guides from Q&A Associates and Alchemy Adventures.
This past April, a group of parents participated in the inaugural Trails of Tuscany adventure, which provided parents with an opportunity to step out of their comfort zones, experience significant emotional growth, rediscover their own curiosities, and explore the new roles, all while traveling and hiking in the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy. The parents met their guides and each other at the Florence train station on April 6. The group then traveled by train to Montepulciano, where they spent two days and nights becoming acquainted with each other and immersing themselves in the culture, history and beauty of this medieval town. The trip made stops in the cities of Pienza and Montalcino. A highlight of the trip was tiny Bagno Vignoni where the group enjoyed an ancient natural hot spring, a full service spa, and a cooking lesson in the home of a traditional Tuscan chef. The group spent nine days among these hilltop towns. Four days were spent hiking between the towns, immersing themselves in the countryside, walking amongst picturesque vineyards and olive groves, meeting locals, taking in stunning views, sampling incredible traditional food and wine, and building lifelong friendships.
“We honored the parents who have spent so much of their time and energy on their children and who are now ready to celebrate the next phase of life, one that will not be dictated by the needs of their child or children,” said Shockley. “In some ways, this trip was like a mini-wilderness experience for parents with a lot of pampering and self-care woven in,” continued Shockley; “the parents definitely demonstrated growth in the areas of self-awareness, strengthening of marital relationships, and authentic excitement about what is next for them and their ability to choose their next adventures.”
“It was an honor to guide these amazing parents on a personal journey through the hill towns of Tuscany,” said Mlinarik. “Travel abroad is such a catalyst for personal reflection and inspiration. Through the workshops, the beauty of the Tuscan countryside and slow-paced culture, each parent was inspired to reconnect with a passion or goal that he or she was ready to put into action by the end of the trip. It was a gift to support them in having so much fun and pampering these parents who are so used to giving to their kids.”
The mission of Alchemy Adventures is simple: provide each traveler with a magical and transformative adventure that inspires a new way of seeing the world, its culture, and ourselves. “If we allow it, travel has the power to be deeply transformative,” said Alchemy Adventures Co-Founder Eric Fulgenzi. “The time I spend traveling and guiding allows me to slow down, live simply, and be present. Alchemy Adventures strives to tap into our presence of mind while traveling and creating a container for meaningful self-exploration, all the while experiencing some of the most beautiful places on our planet.”
“I am grateful to be partnering with Kim and Eric to provide incredible opportunities for our parents,” said Shockley; “I look forward to our fall Parent Retreat which will be held Sept. 21-23, 2018.”
Shockley and Mlinarik plan to offer Trails of Tuscany on an annual basis, and this opportunity will be open to any parents of young adults who have or are participating in a therapeutic or transitional living program.
About Q&A Family of Programs
Q&A Family of Programs works with young adults ages 18 and up, providing opportunities for each of them to develop independent, functional, and happy lives with a high level of quality. Our clients have struggled to reach independence for a variety of reasons such as the inability to develop and/or implement the life skills needed to be successful, or struggling to obtain consistent employment. Our goal is to help these individuals find meaning and an authentic purpose for their lives and a practical path to achieve their goals.