Please purchase and read The Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute, and The Parallel Process by Krissy Pozatek. These short, easy-to-read books will give you additional tools and skills that reflect how we work and interact with the students during their stay with us. You’ll be writing a Placement Letter to inform your child about the wilderness therapy program. We suggest reading them before writing the letter. You may purchase the books from a local bookseller, or they are online at Amazon:
Before writing your placement letter, please talk to your Outback Therapist. The letter will be a two-to-three-page typewritten letter to your child explaining your placement decision. Please use the principles of Anatomy of Peace to guide your words as you list the specific behaviors that led to your decision to place your teen in crisis at Outback.
This letter should also include your feelings regarding the placement, a paragraph of encouragement for your child, a list of his/her strengths and positive experiences, and your feelings about your child. This letter will be used to guide your child’s Outback wilderness therapy process.
The Parent Manual (which you will receive when your child is admitted to Outback Therapeutic Expeditions) was prepared to help you find answers to questions that you may have about our program. It also provides information that will help you assist us as we strive to provide your teen in crisis with a meaningful experience.
The Parent Manual contains detailed wilderness therapy program information and is for parents’ use only. Please talk to your child’s Outback therapist before revealing any information from the manual to your child. It is crucial to your child’s progress through the program that you not share information with your teen in crisis inappropriately, as this can reduce their ability to focus on their current experience, and can impair their ability to gain the maximum benefit from the program.
You may send letters to your child weekly (FAX: 801-766-3932; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send letters by noon on Fridays. The therapist brings the letters to your child on therapy days.
Any letters your child writes to you will be faxed to you on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Friday mornings. If you have questions or concerns regarding the letter process, please call the front office at 801-766-3933.
After your child arrives, our admissions director will call you to confirm your child’s arrival and give you the name and contact information of the therapist assigned to your teen in crisis. Please contact your therapist to set up your Wednesday appointments. You will be asked to call the office at your scheduled times to provided additional insights. We use these calls to involve you in the treatment planning and begin the aftercare process.
In addition to your weekly phone calls, Outback Therapeutic Expeditions offers parent workshop seminars twice a month. Parents are asked to attend one workshop (usually around the fourth or fifth week of the child’s placement).
This workshop starts with a one-day seminar to explore the underlying concepts, strategies, and philosophies of the Outback wilderness therapy program, as well as ideas and skills for working with teenagers. The following morning you will drive out to the field to reunite with your child and participate in a family session.
Although it is not required, Outback Therapeutic Expeditions strongly recommends you attend this workshop. Please discuss the details of the seminar and your visit with your therapist.