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Our Generational Empowerment Model

First Light Wilderness Therapy offers families a parallel therapeutic process where parents will engage in self-exploration, healing, and growth alongside and with their child. As students at First Light work towards building confidence and healthy coping skills, providing parents with the tools to better understand unhealthy family dynamics, develop more effective and impactful parenting skills, and continue progress at home is critical to long-term success and meaningful and sustainable change. Parents engage with the program via weekly phone calls with their child’s primary therapist; during weekly online support groups with our program co-founder and Chief Clinical Consultant, Steve Sawyer, through regular assignments and webinars, and with a parent workshop conducted onsite at our Dahlonega location as well as in the field with their child in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. Our Family Therapist works directly with parents to better understand their own underlying beliefs, family dynamics and communication patterns that contribute to relationship challenges, and to identify and support changes that will contribute to healthier family life moving forward.

Parent Services and Resources

The role of parents involves everything from offering support to gaining an understanding of child behavior and actions. Communication between Our Primary Therapists and the staff in our programs Field Guides communicate and collaborate closely to ensure that we can observe and share an accurate picture of each student’s successes and challenges, and how these relate to what has been observed prior to enrollment. Our therapists are intentional in their approach to engaging children and families, as caregiver involvement is vital to ensure all families are engaged with their children’s to each child’s success. The parent model includes:

Weekly Phone Calls With the Lead Therapist

This is an opportunity for parents to hear about their child's progress in the program and provide an opportunity for therapists and families to discuss, understand, and challenge family dynamics.

Skill Development

We want to provide the tools and knowledge for parents and challenge them to gain a deep understanding of their child's difficulty and work to create a secure caregiving environment.

Building Stronger Parent/Child Relationships

Ongoing family work consists of assigned readings and therapeutic assignments, including letter writing, journaling, and webinars to complete intended to provide parents with more confidence and healthier communication skills to use in the their relationship with their child. In addition, weekly parent support groups and regular calls with our Family Therapist help parents to better understand underlying issues, gain new insight and skills, and be better prepared to create a healthier family dynamic.

Mid-Program Family Workshop

Our Family intensive programs Workshops occur over a two or three-day period after students are about halfway or more through the program. These are multi-family experiential workshops intentionally designed to address family system issues, such as communication styles, re-establishing healthy connections, intergenerational trauma, and the foundation for healthy caregiving. This on-location program includes parent-only workshops, individual family therapy sessions with the child, multi-family sessions, multi-family adventure programming, and dedicated parent-child time. Contact us to learn more about our family program.