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Teen Help

Cultivating a “Growth Mindset” in Wilderness Therapy

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When my best friend first tossed the idea my way, I had two competing thoughts, of equal size and strength, immediately pop into my brain. Thought #1: “She believes in you, and wants what’s best for you. She wants to have a fun experience together.” Thought #2: “She is a lunatic, and even after being friends for 35 years, she is clearly trying to kill me.”

What was the idea she dared me to consider? To run a 10k race together, under the guise of “It’s for a GOOD CAUSE! Don’t you want to see these elementary school kids have the chance to have a new school?!”

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Putting On Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care for Parents and Givers

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As the Family Support Therapist at Blue Ridge, I work with the parents of our students in the field. My role is to offer space for families to experience their own process, which often parallels the student process but is distinctly different for obvious reasons. Teens are in the woods, with both the discomfort that it brings and the luxury of not having to attend to their “normal” lives. 

They get to be completely present with their feelings, wrapped up in 24/7 support. On the flip side, parents are trying to manage day to day life, kids, finances, responsibilities, etc. AND participate in this incredibly intense emotional experience. Parents have often been in crisis mode with their kids for months or years leading up to the wilderness experience and are quite simply exhausted. This sets the stage for discussion of self-care…before we can do meaningful work on family dynamics, parents must restore some semblance of their own emotional balance and stability. This is the essence of

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Putting On Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care for Parents and Givers

They get to be completely present with their feelings, wrapped up in 24/7 support. On the flip side, parents are trying to manage day to day life, kids, finances, responsibilities, etc. AND participate in this incredibly intense emotional experience. Parents have often been in crisis mode with their kids for months or years leading up to the wilderness experience and are quite simply exhausted. This sets the stage for discussion of self-care…before we can do meaningful work on family dynamics, parents must restore some semblance of their own emotional balance and stability. This is the essence of the oxygen mask.

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