Comprehensive Service

Each Open Sky student and family is assigned a clinical therapist that will oversee the course of treatment during the student's stay.  Open Sky's holistic wilderness therapy program is the most comprehensive and clinically sophisticated wilderness therapy program in the industry.  Our services provided for each student and family reflects this commitment.

Open Sky's clinically sophisticated and comprehensive services include:

Accurate Clinical Assessment

Standard Assessment

Crucial to treatment is developing an accurate assessment of each student’s unique characteristics, challenges and the issues that preceded arrival at Open Sky.  This assessment provides the clinical therapist, family and student with a foundation for successful therapy.  The initial clinical assessment includes the following:

  • Strengths-Based Bio-Psychosocial Assessment
  • Physical Health Exam
  • Substance Abuse Assessment
  • Strengths-Based Family Assessment

Additional Assessment

Often, further assessment (at an additional fee) is helpful in developing a more thorough and detailed picture when complex factors are involved. These can include:

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Girl smilingIndividualized Treatment Planning

The clinical assessment is used to design a comprehensive treatment plan to support the student's and their family's growth and development. Both family and student are vital, active members in the treatment planning process. The individualized treatment plan includes both short-term objectives and long-term goals, addressing both challenges and strengths. The Open Sky treatment team is led by the student's primary therapist. Other team members include the family, student, other involved professionals, field guides, and other support staff. Treatment planning meetings occur twice weekly, and as needed with other team members.

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Weekly Clinical Treatmenttherapy session with Emily

Students are matched with a primary therapist with whom they will meet on a weekly basis for individual and group therapy sessions.  Individual sessions are designed based on the treatment plan to assist the student in developing skills to manage emotions proactively, heal past traumas, and to effectively cope with difficulties in a productive and healthy manner.  Group sessions focus on a range of therapeutic topics including communication, problem solving, family issues, substance abuse, self-esteem, and managing peer pressure.

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Weekly Family Calls

Open Sky therapists conduct weekly phone calls with parents in order to provide on-going support and updates on the student's clinical progress.  Phone calls also provide time to review the progress made on the family assignments from the Family Pathway.   Therapists are here to support the family in their experience while their son or daughter is away from home and to assist the family in modifying underlying family issues that might be contributing to the student's problems and issues.  Towards the end of a student's stay, Open Sky therapists will provide direction and support in preparing for the next step after a student's graduation. Each therapist is accessible via e-mail and voicemail between weekly phone conversations.

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Parent sharing their story at parent weekendWeekly Parent Education & Support Group


Open Sky hosts a weekly Parent Education & Support Group teleconference call.  All parents of current students are invited and encouraged to participate in this phone conversation. Each call offers an opportunity for new parents to interact with those who have been with Open Sky for several weeks. The Parent Education & Support Group focuses on a variety of psycho-educational topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, rules and boundaries, as well an introduction to holistic and mindfulness tools, such as breathing exercises. This provides an added sense of safety and comfort when interacting with other parents experiencing a similar family crisis or intervention.

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Parent Web PageBill's Site

Parents will be assigned a password to a secure and confidential web page where the student’s photos and correspondence are posted each week for the family to read.  The parent web page is also full of vital materials for each parent during the course of the student's stay at Open Sky to be downloaded for use when the time comes.  These include the Family Pathway Workbook, information about the Parent Wellness Weekend, Graduation and more.

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Coordination with other Professionals

Open Sky therapists participate in regular phone calls with educational consultants, home therapists/professionals, and prospective aftercare and transition services in order to ensure the best transition possible out of Open Sky.  We believe that our success is best measured well after our students have departed from Open Sky and therefore we are committed to coordinating with the other professionals that will support the next phase after Open Sky, whether back home or at another treatment program.

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Aftercare & Transition Planning

The Open Sky treatment team will confer with educational consultants, home therapists, residential programs, therapeutic boarding schools, and other related professionals on a continuous basis to support your student’s continued success. The Open Sky doctors are also available for consultation to ensure the holistic care of each student and family will be continued after leaving Open Sky.

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family reuniting in desertGraduation & Family Reunion

At the end of the student’s program the family returns for a graduation & family reunion, which includes family education, family therapy, camping under the stars together, celebrating successes, and preparing for the transition to the next step after Open Sky. Taking place mostly at the Open Sky base camp provides for a unique opportunity for the student to be the family’s primary caretaker, showing the family their new-found capabilities and confidence in the outdoors.  Learn More

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Family Questfamily sitting around campfire together

Optional

Open Sky therapists will recommend a Family Quest when it is deemed appropriate to have the family spend time together prior to the student's graduation.  Family Quests are an opportunity for family team-building, skill development, having a shared adventure, or a course focused on special needs or issues.   We work with each family to design a course to meet the fitness levels, interests, and needs of that specific family.  Quests have been used for families grieving the loss of a loved one, developing healthy relational skills among family members, addressing complex family systems, or re-establishing connections.  Additional Fees Apply. Learn More

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Psychological Testing

Optional

Open Sky works with a team of licensed clinical psychologists who provide a full and comprehensive battery of psychological measures to assist in developing a thorough assessment. In order to provide excellent treatment and aftercare planning, psychologists come to the field to interview and administer tests, integrate any previous testing, consult with involved professionals and members of the treatment team, including key family members, to develop a clear, accurate and useful tool for understanding the student’s unique traits. For students that go on to additional treatment after Open Sky, many of these programs require psychological testing as part of the admission process.  Additional Fees Apply.

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Student readingPsychiatric Services

Optional

Open Sky’s philosophy of treatment is holistic in nature, which means including all forms of treatment deemed useful to the client. This might include medication. Many students come to Open Sky already on medication. Sometimes the medication is working well and needs no adjusting, sometimes it is not working effectively and needs addressing, or sometimes a student is not on medication but the Open Sky therapist recommends a psychiatric assessment. Referrals are made to our Open Sky psychiatrist, who meets with the student in the field, spends an hour or more interviewing the student in an initial assessment, then makes recommendations, with follow-up sessions, as needed. Additional Fees Apply.

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Follow-Up Services

Optional

Open Sky offers services to the family, student, aftercare program, and transitional services as well as other professionals working with the student after the student has graduated in order to ensure the best transition possible out of Open Sky.  Open Sky can offer customized follow-up services for families on an individual basis.  Our success with each student is best measured well after the student has departed from Open Sky and therefore we are available to offer additional follow-up services to those students who would benefit from this.  Additional Fees Apply.

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