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Family Engagement at Legacy Outdoor Adventures & Juniper Canyon Treatment Center

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By Mallorie Stanely, MS, MSW, CSW

Many family members start their Legacy or Juniper Canyon journey with a lot of anxiety and fear. They may be thinking: What if this doesn’t work? How will I know they’re okay? When will I get to speak with them? What happens afterward? All of these questions are completely understandable—and expected! We know it can be scary to step into the unknown. That is part of the “magic” of Wilderness Therapy. We ask our clients, (and their families!) to step out of their comfort zones and into something unfamiliar in order to interrupt the old patterns that just aren’t working anymore. 

These old patterns are often what holds us back from making lasting change. In order to begin the healing journey, we must slow things down, hit restart, and develop new ways of relating to one another. At Legacy Treatment Center and Juniper Canyon, we have a lot of ways of doing this!

Our clinical team believes that long-term healing and recovery is most successful when we can work with not only the client enrolled in treatment but also members of their family. This is because in any family system, no matter the composition, each member of the family has an emotional impact on other people in the family. This interconnectedness can have dramatic effects on how we feel, think, and behave in relationships. This is the basis of Family Systems Theory, which was developed by Dr. Murray Bowen, and is the foundation of much of the work our therapists do in family therapy. We believe that the best outcomes in treatment happen when individuals in a client’s closest support system are able to heal with them. 

There are many ways that we invite families to participate in their loved one’s treatment. Throughout their stay, families are invited to participate in:

As you get started on your Legacy or Juniper Canyon journey, remember that you will not be alone in this process. Like your client, you may be asked to share some difficult feelings and practice new skills, and your willingness to do so will set a new foundation for meaningful, connected relationships moving forward. Our admissions team, clinical team, support staff, and other families in treatment are all here to guide you along this unfamiliar but important path to healing your whole family.

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