Residential Aftercare Programs: Lasting Change After Wilderness Therapy

Coming home after wilderness therapy can be an exciting event if you’ve been away from your teen for weeks, or even months. You want the transition after wilderness therapy to be a smooth one, and maybe you know you’re going to need extra support. Residential aftercare programs can ensure your teen is able to maintain the changes they made during their adventure therapy program.

If you’re concerned about choosing a program after wilderness therapy, the good news is that you have many options available to you. Let’s talk about how to choose the right one for your teen.

Know Your Teen’s Needs

If your troubled teen has gone through an adventure therapy program, you’re probably aware of their therapeutic strengths and weaknesses.

  • Is your teen easily influenced by the peers they surround themself with?
  • Do they tend to isolate if not integrated in regular group activities?
  • How much structure and community support will your teen need after wilderness therapy?

These are all great questions to ask yourself as you consider a residential aftercare program for your teen. As you consider your options, the answer to some of these questions will help inform your decision.

Thinking About Regression After Wilderness Therapy

As your teen approaches the end of their time at wilderness, your field therapist has probably been having conversations with you about the potential for regression after they exit the program. Remember that this is a normal part of the recovery process. Your child’s treatment process will swing like a pendulum. Expect this as part of the journey and you’ll avoid a lot of unnecessary emotional heartache. Your teen may swing from overcoming huge milestones in healing and communication one week, to reverting back to old behaviors and patterns the next.

The point of residential aftercare programs is to help you navigate this pendulum swing by providing an entire support network for you and your teen.

Therapeutic Boarding School & Residential Treatment

The pros and cons of residential treatment are difficult to weight because each program can vary in their therapeutic model, tuition, and length of stay. In order to narrow down your options, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Ask your wilderness therapist to recommend some residential aftercare programs. Let this professional recommendation dictate some of the essential criteria you’re looking for.
  2. After narrowing down the aspects of the program that will serve your teen’s transition in the best possible way, call to talk with these programs at length to get your questions answered.
  3. Go visit the programs you’re interested in! Talk to the staff and the teen participants. Get a feel for the facilities and the programs they offer.

Remember that there are supports built into these programs that you can lean on as you go through this process. You’re not alone. Congratulate yourself for sticking with the work and moving towards healing for your child and your family.

Coming Home After Wilderness Therapy

Something that many parents don’t ask themselves as they search for residential aftercare programs is:

“What kind of support does this program provide after my child comes home?”

At Greenbrier Academy, we offer a 4 Month Semester Forward Program that has a 4 month residential component. This allows students to practice healthy patterns that were created in wilderness in a more traditional environment.

At the completion of the 4 month residential stay, parents have the option to extend month to month based on their child’s needs, or continue their healing journey at home with the help of 3 months of Integration Coaching that’s built into the tuition price.

If this sounds like a great fit for your teen daughter coming out of a wilderness therapy program, give us a call today at 1-877-788-8422

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