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 are encouraged to send weekly letters to your child to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send letters by midnight (MST) on Sundays. The letters will be brought to your child on therapy days.
Any letters your child writes to you will be emailed to you by Thursdays at noon (MST). Please contact our admissions department If you have questions regarding the letter process.
After your child arrives, a member of our admissions team will contact you to confirm your child’s arrival. They will forward staff updates and connect you with your child’s primary therapist. The primary therapist will then contact you within 24 hours to arrange your weekly calls.
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.