A Focus on Family

A healthy family system is crucial to a troubled teen’s long-term success. After treatment, teens are more likely to relapse into unhealthy patterns and behaviors if they return to the same family dynamic that they left. Outback’s Family Engagement Services enables the family to grow and learn while the troubled teen is engaged in therapy. Once the session is over, the student will return to a cohesive and trusting family system. Below are a few of the Family Engagement Services we offer both during enrollment and beyond.


Family Journey Program

Our Family Journey Program was developed through a systems perspective with a keen understanding of the reciprocal patterns of influence that exists within family interactions. Our mission of bringing families BACK together drives our commitment to creating spaces for families to heal as a collective.

Through the Family Journey Program, parents/guardians are able to experience a parallel process that mirrors the experience of their child’s experience throughout enrollment. The Family Journey program is an exclusive virtual group processing and parent coaching program that offers 16 – 20 hours of parent coaching opportunities each month to our families. Parents/Guardians move through individual sessions, group psycho-educational and processing sessions, and parent coaching within a therapeutic milieu. This intentional design results in approaching each family experience through a systemic and community-based lens while still honoring each member’s innate development for individuality and autonomy.

The overall Outback experience was created to intentionally schedule a parent visit in the middle of treatment. This provides a better assessment of the child’s progress and the family’s progress as a family system. This visit also helps direct the boundaries and treatment that will take place after Outback. Prior to the in-person visit, parents/guardians move through a series of parent workshop videos and a group parent coaching call with a family therapist. This allows for parent/guardians to be able to learn and practice tools that help them reintegrate back into their child’s world. During this parent visit, the designated primary therapist will facilitate a family session in which dynamics are addressed, progress is discussed, and the future is planned.

Midstay Parent Visit

Family Expeditions


For those families that want more tools, more therapy and more involvement, we offer a opt-in, 3-day family expedition for an additional fee. During this expedition, the parents and siblings of the teenager in treatment come out and live together as a family in the wilderness. This adventure is only one family at a time, and it is facilitated by a family support therapist throughout the three days in order to provide comprehensive therapeutic assessment, tools, and progress. Because family dynamics are assessed then addressed in such a powerful environment, parents that have experienced it have said it was “like 6 months of therapy in 3 days”.


The Family Passages curriculum is an offering purposely designed for families whose child transitions home after treatment. Family Passages is an opt-in virtual container created to guide families as they transfer the skills and tools acquired from wilderness back into life at home. This 15-hour curriculum begins with an introductory session with a dedicated family support therapist to identify needs, set goals, offer clarity of expectations and overview of the weekly Deep Immersion Sessions. We recognize not all family systems are structured the same way and therefore the pace at which each family moves through the curriculum could range between 4-6 months.

Family Passages

Additional Family Engagements

Outback's Peak Week is designed to help students transition home


Your child’s primary therapist will talk with you each week. The purpose of these talks is to update you on your child’s progress and to help you better understand what to do to maintain a healthy and functioning lifestyle after Outback.


Parents are asked to participate in the treatment of their child by learning alongside them. We understand that life at home doesn’t slow down just because your child is in treatment, so the assignments and readings you’ll be given are designed to fit into your schedule. They will help you build a common language with your child so you can better identify and communicate what went wrong and what needs to be done to fix it.