ANASAZI recognizes the irreplaceable role that parents play in the lives of their children. For this reason, ANASAZI requires parental participation in their child’s treatment. Their involvement directly affects their child’s success during and after the program. During treatment we facilitate involvement through communication via letters. At every step of the process – from the parent’s initial contact with ANASAZI until the final stage of aftercare – communication with the family is a major priority.
Overview of Family Involvement:
- Admissions: Feel free to talk with the admissions counselor to get your questions answered and to enroll your child.
- Parent Workshop: An one-day Anatomy of Peace workshop for parents will take place at the beginning of the child’s placement at ANASAZI. Workshops are held weekly.
- Parenting Education: Consists of materials supplied by your child’s therapist.
- Communication: This occurs with the ANASAZI therapist, as well as letters exchanged between you and your child throughout the program.
- Family Days/Graduation: A three-day experience with your child in the wilderness and a four-hour Family Walking of WE session.
- Parent Shadowing: A family session and a parent group session each week for seven weeks following graduation.
Step #1: Admissions
After contacting ANASAZI, admissions staff will help you determine if ANASAZI can serve the needs of your child and the family. If you agree that ANASAZI is an appropriate place for the child, the admissions director will help you through every step of the admissions process.
Step #2: Introductory Parent Workshop at the Beginning of the Program
Parents attend an orientation and a one-day workshop at the beginning of the program. Questions and conversations with staff members during this time can begin the dialogue that will continue throughout the program.
Step #3: Parenting Education
ANASAZI offers in-depth intervention training for parents. During the orientation, workshop, and weekly counseling, parents familiarize themselves with materials and skills central to the ANASAZI Way philosophy. These skills provide a foundation for parents to find practical solutions to help their child. Throughout the program, parents work with their child’s therapist and use this model to resolve issues that may arise in therapy sessions or in letters from their children.
Anatomy of Peace sessions are held weekly at ANASAZI. Parents may attend a course for no charge for the first year after their child graduates ($100 fee for replacement or new materials if necessary). To register for a class, please contact ANASAZI.
a. Communication with ANASAZI Staff while the Child is in the Program
While the child is in the program, the therapist talks with the parents at least once a week. These conversations focus on the progress of the child and the progress of parents. Consistent communication ensures that the treatment plan is relevant and useful for the parent and child. The therapist will also use these weekly sessions to work with the parents in creating an aftercare plan.
b. Communication between Parents and Child
Throughout the program, parents and children communicate through letters. Letters are a powerful form of communication while the student is in the wilderness. Students often cherish these letters as reminders of home. The letters offer hope as well as provide the vehicle for the students and parents to broach difficult issues. ANASAZI staff and therapists provide guidance to parents and students when writing letters about specific issues.
Step #5: DawnStar Walking
Parents attend a three-day celebration of their child’s achievement at the conclusion of his or her wilderness experience. Students are empowered by having the opportunity to demonstrate their new wilderness skills by taking responsibility for their parents during the activities. Parents and children use this time to prepare for the teenager’s transition to living either at home or in another placement. The therapist facilitates the transition for families in therapy sessions. ANASAZI staff is readily available to help the family have a new beginning.
Step #6: Family Walking of WE
Parents and their children participate in a half-day session held the morning after they return from the trail. This is an opportunity for parents and children to reflect upon their experience and to refresh the skills they have learned at ANASAZI.
Step #7: Parent Shadowing
To help with the transition following ANASAZI, parents participate in seven weeks of parent shadowing following discharge. Parent shadowing includes a family session and a group parent session each week. During these sessions, parents can continue their learning and resolve issues as they arise.