All Kinds of News for April 08, 2020
Equinox RTC is a residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18 that offers experiential-based family therapy, helping make its adventure programming stand out from other treatment options. Earlier in March, before travel restrictions were put in place, Recreation Therapy Director Natalie Stark led a small group of Equinox boys and their parents on a canoeing trip around the Ten Thousand Islands in Everglades National Park in Florida. After the success of the first parent-child trip, Natalie hopes to organize up to three family adventure trips a year.
Equinox RTC partnered up with Breakaway Expeditions, a company started by professionals in the outdoor therapy field, to facilitate adventure activities, group dynamics, personal reflection, and conflict resolution on a multi-day canoeing trip around the Ten Thousand Islands.
“It was powerful for families to experience the experiential side of our Relationship Based Trauma Informed Care (RBTIC) program first-hand, after hearing their child’s experiences on our weekly recreation outings,” describes Natalie. “Parents were grateful to reconnect with their child off-the-grid and outside of a traditional therapeutic setting. I believe this trip served as a launching point for these families to rebuild the foundation of their relationship that had been affected by their child’s mental health struggles.”
Each morning of the trip, students and their families would set intentions before packing up and paddling off to a different island. As they prepared to leave each island, they would create different artistic representations of the memories and emotional baggage they wanted to leave behind. At the end of the day, the group would gather around a bonfire and process how their intentions played out throughout the day.
“One of the biggest takeaways for the boys was that they had to take a look at how they communicate with others and how respectful communication was necessary both when navigating the canoes and spending time on these isolated islands,” Natalie explains. “They learned that although they may have these challenges and struggles in socializing with their peers and family members, they are also capable of communicating and working through conflict together.”
Equinox believes that adventure therapy is a powerful way of teaching individuals how to handle their anxiety and frustration in the moment. At Equinox RTC, students participate in weekly recreation outings and overnight camping trips throughout the year to practice these skills. These parent-child adventure trips are part of their intensive family programming, which includes family therapy and parent workshops designed to help families rebuild their relationships.
About Equinox RTC
Equinox RTC is a leading residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18. Equinox is unique in its focus on Trauma, Loss, and Attachment, providing clinically intensive treatment for boys struggling with anxiety, depression, OCD, ASD, learning disabilities, and other emotional and behavioral needs. Equinox offers a combination of clinically sophisticated support with a whole-person approach including adventure therapy, integrated Crossfit program, and a whole foods diet. Equinox provides a fully accredited school, with broad course selections taught by licensed teachers in a college-preparatory environment.