Parent Support

Star Guides provides support to the parents and families of our students in each of the following ways:

Weekly Parent sessions with the Therapist

Upon entering the program, students are assigned to a therapist who oversees all aspects of their treatment. This therapist functions as the parents’ liaison with their child while in the program.  Parents have direct access to their therapist and participate in weekly parent sessions with him/her usually via Zoom video conference to review progress and collaborate on treatment planning.  Parents can communicate with him/her between sessions and at any point during their child’s stay via phone and email.

Parent Narratives

Parents are assigned to draft a series of narratives that correspond with the various sections of their child’s autobiography that they will be working on during their enrollment in Star Guides. These narratives become an important component of treatment for your child as they gain perspective concerning themselves and the nature of the relationship that they have with you and their family. The narratives were not developed with the intent to merely obtain factual information in one-or-two-word answers but were designed for parents to assist the child in “telling their story” about how things came to be the way they are. While we tend to be quite strategic with the letters that you write to your child, the parent narratives are an opportunity to share with your child specific details concerning your experience, thoughts, and feelings associated with the various aspects of growing up with your child. It needs to be you telling the story from your perspective. The narrative is read to your child by the therapist in the course of an individual therapy session. Your child will also share the narratives in a group therapy session with his peers. In this manner, the parents are included in the therapy sessions and your child will hear your narrative spoken to them in the adult voice. Additionally, this allows the therapist to discuss various aspects and information revealed in the narrative with your child, and the therapist will be able to directly observe your child’s response to the narrative that you have crafted.

Parent Portal

Parents are provided a personalized parent portal to stay connected with their child’s progress which provides additional updates twice per week between therapy sessions.  Photos, letters, and clinical progress notes are uploaded on Monday and Thursday evenings.  Phasework completion checklists are uploaded weekly on Thursdays.  Medical check-ups are uploaded every fourteen days.

parent portal star guides parent support

Parent Tools Section on the Website

This section on the website includes recommended readings and a video library of parent training and past parent seminars that you can use to strengthen your understanding of the treatment process and your role as parents.  There is also a series of videos on safety and risk management protocols to help you understand the measures we use to ensure student safety.

Family Therapy Sessions via Video Conference

Your therapist will determine at what point in the treatment process that beginning family therapy sessions is clinically appropriate based on your child’s progress and readiness to participate in a productive and meaningful dialogue.  Typically, this occurs toward the latter stages of treatment as a student has advanced into phases 4, 5 and 6 of the program.  These sessions are facilitated using video technology, typically Zoom video conference.

STAR Guides Wilderness Therapy | Parent Support

Face-to-Face Family Therapy in the field

Star Guides allows parents to participate in face-to-face family therapy sessions with their child.  These ‘in the field’ therapy sessions occur on the Solstice and Equinox events in March, June, and September.  Therapists and parents also plan and carry out in-the-field family therapy sessions with the dates and times customized as it is deemed clinically helpful and when parents can arrange to travel to the field.  Parents can work directly with their child on various issues including family dynamics, communication skills, and experience time in the field which leads to fond memories in the future.

STAR Guides Wilderness Therapy | Parent Support

Program Graduation—Two-Day ‘In the Field’ Experience

When your child has completed the requirements of the program, then you as parents are invited to travel to Utah to participate together with your child and the therapist in a family expedition.  This two-day event allows the parents to experience wilderness living for themselves, to witness firsthand the progress that their child has made while in the program, and allows for the important process of family issues to occur in a therapeutic setting in the wilderness.  Parents spend two days and one night in the wilderness.  We provide all the needed camping equipment and gear the parents need for this experience.

STAR Guides Wilderness Therapy | Parent Support
graduation ceremony two day in the field at star guides for parents
graduation ceremony wilderness therapy starguides parent weekend

Parent Seminars and Solstice/Equinox Events

Star Guides hosts parent seminars three times per year and invites parents of current students to travel to the program to participate in the seminar, the field activities, and in face-to-face family therapy with their child.  The seminars occur in March, June and September and are held in conjunction with the Solstice/Equinox events that occur in the field.  (See the events page on the website for exact dates).  The solstice/Equinox events are special days in the field wherein the treatment groups come together for a day of competition participating in in various events including stone throws, tug of wars, bow drill fire building, rap battles, haka chant, and culminates with enjoying a delicious meal together.  For many students, the Solstice/Equinox events are a highlight of their Star Guides experience.  Parents are able to observe their child participating in these events with their treatment group and see firsthand the growth and improvements in their attitude, behavior and interactions.