Wingate Wilderness Therapy’s philosophy and treatment models are based on relationships. In addition to therapists developing a therapeutic relationship with teens in the program, WinGate focuses on the family programming model, helping the entire family to learn and heal.
What is the Family Programming Model?
Family programming looks at the family as an interconnected whole, where everyone has an impact on everyone else. It posits that individual behavior should be considered on a family level as well as an individual level.
This philosophy recognizes that when one person within the family is struggling, this also has a large impact on other family members.
Family Programming Techniques
Many family programming techniques can be useful in repairing damaged family relationships and healing dysfunction. Let’s take a look at the top two:
Psychoeducation can help members of the family understand the struggle their teen is experiencing. If a family member has mental health issues, including addiction, depression, or anxiety, it can be very helpful for the entire family to better understand the issue and what it’s like to live with it.
In addition to understanding the condition, psychoeducation allows family members to learn tools and techniques to help their loved one cope, allowing them to become more supportive and empathetic.
Structural and Strategic Family Therapy
Structural family therapy focuses on understanding the family and one’s role within it, which can help individuals communicate more effectively and improve the function of the family unit.
Strategic family therapy allows family members to identify specific challenges or issues within it. The family will then work with the therapist to determine specific interventions or methods to resolve the problem. This type of therapy can be used to address and resolve various issues commonly faced by families.
Issues Family Programming Can Help With
According to WinGate Wilderness, family programming can help with substance abuse, depression, dysfunctional relationships, stress, trauma, and parenting conflicts.
Family-focused therapy is especially helpful for improving relationships with conflict, including conflict between parents and children as well as sibling conflicts.
Family Programming at Wingate Wilderness
Wingate provides weekly therapy sessions for parents and other family members. They have up to three field visits, where parents can visit the program in person, as well as a possible home visit—if it suits the child’s therapeutic treatment plan.
During Parent Orientation and Development sessions, they will learn about the program and its philosophy while gaining a deeper understanding of their child’s challenges, strengths, and goals.
The focus on the family from the beginning to the end of the program allows parents and children to grow together. When the child comes home, the foundation for a better relationship has already been built.
WinGate Wilderness uses nature-based therapy to create lasting change for teens. Their relationship-focused approach helps teens to develop healthy relationships during and after their stay. They specialize in helping teens suffering from anxiety, addiction, depression, and relational difficulties.
Through an actual wilderness experience, or AWE, alongside supportive, knowledgeable staff, teens have the right environment to explore and grow. WinGate’s location and team-based experience allow youth to develop autonomy, resilience, and an expansive mindset; lessons they will treasure throughout their lives.