After the Wilderness Program

“Keep your flame lit, and you will never feel darkness.”

—J. Parker

Transition: We believe that transition planning begins when the student enters the program. The Treatment Plan includes plans for how and where the student will be transitioned after completing the wilderness program. Those plans are continuously monitored throughout the program, and modified if needed. Near the end of the program, the teen and parent, along with the therapist will develop a plan for implementation after the program, whether the teen is returning home, or transferring to a long-term program. Additionally, each student develops either a Behavioral Relapse Prevention Plan, or a Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention Plan during the Action Passage and refines it during the Journey Passage. This is shared with the parent and becomes the student’s road map for avoiding the return to negative behaviors.

The therapist makes recommendations to the parents regarding the type and intensity of aftercare placement. If the student is returning home, and does not have a local therapist, then the wilderness therapist assists the parents in finding a therapist who would be appropriate for their teen to do aftercare—transitional treatment. Typically, this would be the lowest level of care to be expected and some aftercare with a local therapist is always recommended to help the student transition back into the community. The wilderness therapist writes a Discharge Summary and both the Psychological Evaluation and the Discharge Summary are sent to the therapist of the parent’s choice, whether an outpatient therapist, or a residential treatment center therapist depending on where the student will go next.

Aftercare: We always recommend that the student participates in some form of aftercare with a local outpatient therapist while transitioning home. Obviously if he/she is going directly to another program, the student will be continuing therapy with the residential clinical staff. Regardless of which placement the student transitions to, included in the cost of the program is a weekly contact with the wilderness therapist for six weeks following graduation from the program. The contact helps with transition back home or to another placement. This can be with the youth, parents, or both. It is available as a resource to the family, but is not required of the youth or parents.

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