Family Services at Second Nature
Dr. Brad Reedy
February 06, 2009
In this new economy, many of our previous assumptions about treatment approaches should be questioned. Wilderness therapy has long been considered a "beginning" to treatment. Whether viewed as a wake-up call or a mix of treatment and assessment, wilderness is always most effective when paired with extensive support for the family.
With recent economic challenges, wilderness therapy may be used more and more as a one-stop intervention, followed by intensive wrap-around services at home. In such cases, it is imperative that we understand how to help families reap the greatest benefit from the Second Nature journey.
Second Nature has long been a proponent and pioneer of "family therapy in the woods." Second Nature offers a comprehensive family support program for each enrolled family, which includes:
Weekly therapeutic conference calls with a Masters or Ph.D. level therapist
Guided reading lists from Second Nature's therapeutic library - tailored to each family's unique circumstances and needs
Access to Second Nature's extensive parenting curriculum, which includes; home and transition assignments, parenting therapy, sibling and family assignments
Family Mentor Program - Second Nature staff carefully select Second Nature Alumni parents to mentor current parents throughout the Second Nature journey. Every family receives a call from an alumni parent offering support, insight and encouragement within the first 72 hours
Online, Live-Interactive Webinars - Two hours of online web seminars per week-one topic session and one Q&A open session on a variety of related parenting topics to dovetail with each family's experience
Online Parent Portal - 24 access to digital pictures of the students, journal postings, letters and group updates - updated weekly.
Satellite phone calls with the student and family
Mid-program field visits coupled with guided family therapy sessions
Parent seminars and transition programming with student in the field
National parent support meetings (Bay Area, L.A., Washington D.C., New York) allowing parents access a variety of parenting breakout sessions presented by Second Nature therapists
Additionally, Second Nature has assembled the most clinically sophisticated team in the country. All Second Nature staff members are involved in an extensive training program. Second Nature owners are highly involved in day to day programming. Some carry caseloads, working directly with students in the field. Therapists create comprehensive treatments plans for each student and family. Length of stay is determined by each student's individual treatment needs as opposed to program needs or level benchmarks. Second Nature pioneered unique "niche" groups to ensure the best possible fit for each participant's individual treatment needs.
Families are hungry for ongoing parenting and communication skills and a greater sense of community during the wilderness experience. It is not enough to simply treat the student in our care. Parents strongly desire support and tools to help maintain gains from wilderness therapy.
It is inherent within the culture at Second Nature to ask our families how best can we serve their needs. What else is needed? We will always ask these questions and challenge ourselves to evolve with the needs of the family.