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Category: Clinical

 

Back to School: Addressing Refusal and Motivation Issues

The complexities of being a young person today are unprecedented, and many adolescents face challenges with school refusal, truancy, and motivation issues. In this blog, Senior Clinical Therapist Jonathan Mitchell, MA, LPC explores some of the underlying reasons adolescents might refuse to attend school; how to have fruitful conversations with your child around these topics; […]

Back to School: Creating a Supportive and Structured Environment for Adolescents

It’s that time of year: school is starting again! As their children navigate the start of the school year, parents may grapple with how to set their kids up for success: academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. In this blog, Senior Clinical Therapist Jonathan Mitchell, MA, LPC shares tips for parents seeking to create a supportive […]

Adoption, Attachment, and Wilderness Therapy

Parents considering Open Sky for their adopted child often have a unique set of questions pertaining to their relationships, family dynamics, and clinical concerns. Below, we aim to answer common questions regarding our work with adopted students and their families. (article updated November 2019) Q: What is Open Sky’s approach to working with adopted students? […]

Supporting Young Adults Navigating Gender and Sexual Identity

One of the most important components of wilderness therapy treatment is creating an emotionally safe, open, and accepting space for students to truly be themselves—away from the pressures of school, society, and even family. This safe space is especially important for students exploring their gender identity, questioning their sexuality, or struggling with issues related to […]

The Neuroscience of Connection: Applying Polyvagal Theory in Family Therapy

  If you have ever engaged in your own therapy, enrolled a child in wilderness therapy, or have accessed Open Sky’s blog or SKYlights podcast, you have likely been introduced to the process of recognizing, naming, and feeling your emotions. The nervous system actually informs your emotional response before you are consciously aware of it. […]

Tuning Inward: Creating Meaning in the Midst of Challenge

Uncertain and unsettling times bring us face-to-face with our deepest anxieties, our most basic needs, and our often-neglected longing. When “business as usual’ is disrupted, we are confronted with a rare opportunity to see ourselves and our lives with new eyes. We remember that impermanence and interdependence are the nature of reality and that our […]

Managing Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown began in the United States last March, our “normal” routines of daily life were interrupted in countless ways. The home transformed into the office, the classroom, the gym, the church. Businesses closed or greatly altered their operations. Layoffs were abundant; gatherings and events were nearly nonexistent. Social distancing and wearing face masks became familiar ways of life. And […]

Understanding Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

Earlier in my career, I felt something missing from the treatment I was able to provide some of my adolescent girl clients. Many of these clients had experienced traumatic events that often manifested in the field. Therapy sometimes was particularly complicated because those incidents tend to be deeply intertwined with other treatment issues (identity, interpersonal […]

Purposefully Present (Pt. 2): Three Resources for Becoming Centered

Welcome to the second installment of Open Sky’s “Purposefully Present” blog series! Clinical therapist Nick Lenderking-Brill (adolescent boys) walks us through three useful skills and resources to mindfully center yourself. Being purposefully present with these practices can have a huge impact on personal wellness and relational health. (Click here to access part 1 of this […]

Purposefully Present (Pt. 1): Understanding Mindfulness & Interoception

Welcome to Open Sky’s “Purposefully Present” blog series! By sharing the basics of mindfulness practice, we hope to empower you to regulate your nervous system, center yourself, and be in the present moment. To kick off the series, clinical therapist Brian Leidal (adolescent boys and young adults) gives us an introduction to mindfulness and interoception. […]

Helping Young Adults Navigate a Not-So-Normal College Year

(Note: We refer to “your young adult child” as they/them throughout the article. As you read, feel free to adapt the writing to the pronouns that your child uses.)   Let’s imagine September 2020 without coronavirus. Football teams would be competing in front of packed stadiums. Music lovers would be dancing shoulder to shoulder at music festivals. College […]

Academics at Open Sky

Students at Open Sky have the opportunity to earn 3.5 high school credits in six academic areas. In the following article, Education Director Dr. Melia Snyder describes the philosophy of Open Sky’s academic program, the ways it intertwines with the organization’s clinical approach, and the types of credits available. Melia has a Ph.D. in counseling […]

Full Circle: A Conversation with Sam Verutti, Clinical Therapist for Adolescent Boys

Meet Sam Verutti, MSW, clinical therapist for adolescent boys at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. Sam’s clinical approach is enriched by his childhood immersed in the outdoors, his experience as a wilderness therapy student, and over three years working as an Open Sky field guide. His journey has come full circle since earning his Master’s of […]