Generational Empowerment Model

At First Light Wilderness, parents will engage in a parallel therapeutic process with their students through a vast array of services.  Parents will engage in a weekly phone call with their student’s lead therapist to hear about their student’s process in the program and examine the family dynamics at play in the system.  Additionally, parents will engage in a second weekly call that dives more intensively into the parenting process where parents develop skills to better understand their child’s difficulty and create a secure caregiving relationship.  Though ongoing family work, provided readings, and therapeutic assignments, parents will feel more confident in their parent/child relationship.    

Family therapy with their child via phone and/or video calls will occur over the course of the wilderness experience.  In collaboration with the student and parents, therapists will determine the best time to start these sessions in course of a student’s stay.  A family intensive program will be offered once a month for students who have been in the program at least 4 weeks and will take place on location.  Parents will be invited out for a 3 day intensive program which will include parent only workshops, an individual family therapy session with their child, multifamily experiential sessions with their child, and dedicated parent-child time. 

Parents will have access to weekly parent seminars conducted by Steve Sawyer, New Vision Clinical Director and be provided with access to a private parent support through New Vision’s affiliation with ATTACh. 

Family Intensive Program Sample Build Out: 

Day 1:  

8-10 Parent Only – share your story, Prepare for what’s next talk, psychoeducation: Stages of Change and Development, Heartmath intervention, set Intention 

10-11 Welcome Ceremony and setting of Family Hopes and Fears 

11-12 Quick Co/ Drama Triangle Group/Quick Co 

12-1 Lunch 

 1-3 Bonding Activities (Family Mask Making) and Student Led Lesson 

3-4 Experiential Multi-Family Group 

4-430 Day End Ceremony 

Day 2: 

8-9 Parent Only – Process previous day, set daily intention 

9-10 Multi-Family Experiential Group 

10—12 Family Sculpture 

12-1 Lunch 

1-3 Individual Family Therapy Sessions/Free Family Time 

3-4 Bonding Activities  

4-430 Day End Ceremony 

Day 3: 

8-9- Parent only check-in  

9-10 Experiential Mult-Family Group (3D minefield) 

10-12 Johari Window and Family Intent Council 

12-1 Lunch 

1-2 Bonding Activity 

2-3 Free Family Time 

3-4 Closing Ceremony