Research shows one of the biggest predictors of a teen’s success after completing a program is the extent to which their families are involved in the treatment process before discharge (Hair, Heather 2005 Outcomes for Children and Adolescents after Residential Treatment: A Review of Research from 1993-2003). We ask teens to do difficult things every day to drive their change process and expect parents to do their work as well. It takes courage to become vulnerable, admit imperfections and more importantly to work towards change. There are few things as motivating to a teen as seeing their parents share things they are working on as well. At Turn-About Ranch parents will participate in weekly sessions with their child’s therapist to identify and work on parenting strengths and weaknesses. Where indicated, a therapist may recommend that parents see a therapist of their own while their teen is enrolled at Turn-About Ranch. We work with parents to help them assess their communication and parenting styles and understand how they mesh with their child’s personality. We update parents weekly on their child’s progress and give assignments to help parents grow, increase in understanding of their child’s issues, overcome past obstacles, and become more confident in their parenting.
About midway through the program, parents come to the ranch for a visit. They will participate in family sessions with their child and therapist. Together, they will experience; family sculptures, ropes course, equine therapy, and other activities developed with the express intent of helping parents create a plan and prepare to bring their child home.
Additionally, parents participate in workshops and sessions when they come for their teen’s graduation. Free time is built into the midterm and grad experiences to provide opportunity to re-build parent/child relationships, practice parenting skills and for teens to demonstrate the changes and skills they have learned during their time with us.