Passages Alaska Family Work Encompasses More Live Communication
Passages Alaska believes in real-time family therapy work even when the student is out in the field. Granted, letter writing is one very important communication tool but to family dialogue, Passages Alaska adds the Marco Polo phone application, a video messaging and video hosting service. letting the teens and their families see each other’s emotional responses and bringing family therapy to a higher level. This technology allows a student’s family to video record themselves on a preassigned topic. When the student’s therapist goes out to the field, they bring the video and the student can more holistically experience their family speaking about the assignment. The student can then respond to their family with honest reactions while working through their issues with their therapist.
This form of communication allows for more rapid growth. By the time the students have been with Passages Alaska around six weeks, they are used to “speaking” with their family. This creates the flow of movement in a positive direction in their relationship and towards using Zoom conferences in real-time. Even though the operating area is extremely remote, there are certain areas of cell service, so the student doesn’t have to come out of the field to make the call.
Weekly individual calls between the families from the therapist help with understanding and learning about the work everybody needs to do. Passages Alaska felt that wasn’t enough and so has created a weekly support group for families with the therapists on a Zoom teleconference. Since wilderness is generally the beginning of the journey supporting this form of intervention, the evening support group gives the families a chance to express their feelings of the new experience. And then amilies who are farther down the road can support the newer families. It also allows the therapist time to teach more of the process and what it encompasses.
About Passages Alaska
Passages Alaska is a unique wilderness therapy program in Southeast Alaska serving adolescent males and young adults aged 18-28 in gender-specific groups. As participants come into the Alaskan Wilderness the coastal waters offer a fresh perspective and a new path. Hands-on therapeutic interventions include paddling, whale watching, fishing, primitive skill-building, and service to others. Extensive therapy and coaching is built in for those with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and failure to thrive.