As parents take the big leap into wilderness therapy and longer term therapeutic placements, they are experiencing severe grief and loss, while at the same time being inundated with information.
Parents are often asked to study thorough write ups on their children and memorize parent manuals that contain vast amounts of information. Naturally, it becomes difficult for families to juggle all of this.
Solutions Parenting Support would like to address the ways in which we help parents understand the goals of treatment; both their own and their child’s.
Here is where we find our parents often start to struggle:
- Understanding the techniques and structure used day-to-day within the program.
- What communication to expect and how to process the information when it is received.
- How to interact during weekly family call times while advocating for their child’s well-being and their own.
Information can quickly start to get fuzzy and overwhelming for parents to process.
Typical questions we are often asked are:
- “What does ‘ready’ mean?” (In reference to when their child is ready to transition)
- “What issues is the program trying to ‘fix’ and are they ones that need to be ‘totally fixed’ for our child to be ready?”
- “My child is not showing any of the same behaviors in wilderness and the program is saying we should start looking at transition, but we don’t understand what has been worked on and what still needs to get worked on?”
- “Why is the program recommending a therapeutic boarding school?”
- “We thought wilderness would ‘fix’ the problem?”
Here is where Solutions Parenting Support can help:
- Solutions Parenting Support coaches are able to join those wilderness calls as silent observers. This helps to reiterate messages from the wilderness therapist who are focused on helping parents better understand what is happening in the moment. Solutions Parenting Support solely focuses on guiding parents and helping them understand what is happening in the moment and in the big picture.
- Here at Solutions Parenting Support, we understand how easy it is for parents to lose information in the whirlwind of everything they are experiencing. We help organize the information in a way that parents can more easily understand and retain.
- Once the family is focused on processing this information, it allows them to see the amazing learning transformation that their child is experiencing in the woods or garden.
In order to develop a solid and sustainable foundation of trust with the parents, Solutions Parenting Support finds it extremely useful to frequently identify the major issues that are the primary focus of treatment for their child. These can be:
- What are the specific behaviors and emotions that have the most negative impact?
- What are the strengths-based specific ways a program is supporting the development of a new understanding and habits within the child?
The role of Solutions Parenting Support is to continuously clarify these pieces to help parents feel confident in the program and supporting the goals that have been defined.
This is critical since in many ways the program has taken over their parenting role during this period of time. Solutions Parenting Support fully understands that it takes a village to help families move positively through treatment.
If you are the parents of a child in long-term therapeutic treatment or wilderness programs or you’re a professional working with families who could benefit from our services, please feel free to contact us at (970) 871-1231 or head here for a detailed list of services provided.
Hilary Moses & Jen Murphy
Founders of Solutions Parenting Support