Families come first at Turning Winds. Our treatment approach focuses on increasing the healthy independence of adolescents in our care while promoting and strengthening the family bonds, ensuring a harmonious and successful reintegration post-treatment.
Family connection is one of the 12 character virtues taught in our program: students develop a greater appreciation for the strengths and resources they can draw upon within their own family.
“We treat the family as a collection of systems there are all these systems bumping into each other. Systems can be the people: mom, dad, the children. Systems can also be traditions, whether adhered to consciously or subconsciously. The roles that we may play in our families—all of those are systems.”Jared Sartell, LCSW – Clinical Director, Turning Winds
Understanding Family Systems: Roles and Traditions
Parenting is hard. Parenting teens can be even harder, especially in our current fast-paced society. When kids start going to treatment at Turning Winds, it is often the first opportunity in a while for their parents to be able to take a break.
“The one benefit is parents get to reassess and step back from the trauma that is caused in their house by the kid’s behavior and from having to adjust their parenting styles to survive a situation like that,” says program director Enoch Stump.
Benefits of Adolescent Treatment for Parents
“Typically we find it takes several months for parents to be able to reset and be able to challenge their own perspective on what happened and what they can do differently,” explains Stump. “And there’s a second value: it’s really good for the kids to just focus on themselves.
For these teens, not have the parent dynamic and not being able to blame the parents or not be able to justify mistakes in the family, but say, ‘all right, who am I and what am I about?’”
The Turning Winds team knows there’s a benefit for adolescent clients to be able to focus on themselves but also for their parents to deal with the stress and the challenge.
“I think all of our parents go through this balance of being really grateful that their kids have an opportunity to get help and have a lot of guilt that they’re not at home, And I always tell them, this is a time to be a role model for the kids. We ask our kids to look at their behavior, to get healthy, to not feel bad about it, but to do the next right thing.”Eric Stump, Program Director, Turning Winds
That’s actually the same thing for parents!
Family Bonds and Role Modeling
“Parents always want to look back, and I always want them to look forward at the things we have to do, the things we have to address, and their goals as parents,” Stump explains. “For the first six months of their journey, we focus on role modeling.
Parents need to be role models for their kids, not just focus on the kid, but focus on themselves and say, ‘What do I need to do as a mom or as a dad to improve and to grow?’
You have a parallel process that begins and it takes that separation, it takes the parents to focus on themselves and the kids to focus on themselves.”
Parent Parallel Growth Process
A coordinated team effort is extremely helpful. Communication is critical between all team and family members so they are aware of specific areas the child is processing at the moment. The Turning Winds team always works hard to help parents stay patient, trust the process, and give kids the time it takes to meet them where they are and not where others want them to be.
“Often, our own hopes and dreams for our kids get in the way. We want them to be ready for this or that event. And if parents can just understand we have to do it on their timetable, then the kids will be given the opportunity for success.”Eric Stump, Program Director, Turning Winds
In conclusion, at Turning Winds, we believe in the power of family, growth and transformation. We know that it’s the people who make the difference. For this reason, we built a team of some of the world’s finest academic and therapeutic professionals. All of whom share the same goal: to help teens re-engage meaningfully with their lives, families, and their futures. We are here to make a difference in the lives of teens and their families.
If you are ready to make a positive change, contact us online for more information or call us at 800-845-1380. If your call isn’t answered personally, one of us will get back to you as soon as possible.