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Category: Family Services

 
November 26th, 2019

Clinical Team Attends Training: How to Talk About Cannabis Use in the Age of Legalization

Open Sky Clinical and Family Services staff recently attended the training: “How to Talk about Cannabis Use in the Age of Legalization.” Attendees walked away from the training up to date on the latest research on cannabis use. They were educated on the risks associated with use amongst a clinical population or for those with […]

November 22nd, 2019

Creating Systemic Change for Lasting Success

The “What Now?” Now that your child or family member is enrolled at Open Sky, do you find that you are asking yourself, “what now?” While your loved one is hard at work in the wilderness, rather than simply waiting to see what happens, you also have a unique opportunity to also look inward and […]

November 19th, 2019

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? […]

October 29th, 2019

Family Care Coordinators: Experienced and Steady Support

At Open Sky, family support begins on day one. Our Family Care Coordinators are dedicated to supporting parents from the day a student arrives, through graduation. A Family Care Coordinator (FCC) is a family’s administrative point person at Open Sky throughout their entire journey in the program. They are a friendly and familiar voice on […]

June 21st, 2019

Family Matters: What is Wellness Weekend?

Wellness Weekend has been foundational to family programming at Open Sky since the company’s inception in 2006. Guided by a team of Open Sky professionals, families participate in rejuvenating and healing activities that our students participate in each day, including yoga, hiking, meditation, psycho-educational groups, and eating delicious meals made with organic and nutritious whole […]

June 13th, 2019

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy Launches SKYlights Podcast

Open Sky, a wilderness therapy program nestled in the mountains of Colorado and the canyonlands of Utah, is excited to announce the launch of its podcast.

December 21st, 2018

Tradition, Feasts and Fun: Celebrating the Holidays at Open Sky Wilderness

  Holidays in wilderness are an important time for students and field staff alike. They are fun and filled with joy; they offer unique moments to reflect on love and gratitude for family and the simple things in life. Staff put a lot of intention into programming for the holiday season. And it all starts […]

November 30th, 2018

Pursuing Their Heart’s Work: Assistant Therapists Jenny McDermed and Nick Lenderking-Brill

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy is committed to advancing the standards and evidence-based, best practices of the wilderness therapy industry. Part of this commitment is expressed through the clinical internship experience Open Sky offers. We are grateful and excited to have clinical interns Jenny McDermed and Nick Lenderking-Brill on our team as Assistant Therapists. Jenny and […]

November 14th, 2018

The Invaluable Support of Open Sky Transition Mentors

A student is nearing the end of his or her stay at Open Sky. For the past 10-12 weeks, this student and the family have grown in immeasurable ways. So, what happens next? How is this growth integrated into life beyond Open Sky? Transition Mentors, part of the Open Sky Family Services Team, are entirely […]

October 1st, 2018

Family Matters: Parenting with Distinct Styles

  A United Front At Open Sky, we are committed to our vision of being the premier family-centered wilderness experience. This means we support the entire family system, rather than just focus on the student’s experience. We come alongside parents in their endeavor to grow personally and better lead their family system. This involves addressing […]

August 13th, 2018

The “Yes” Within the “No”: How to Parent So Your Teen Trusts You

  The Infamous Hair-Cut At dinner one night, a friend of mine and I were speaking about our teenage years and how much we pushed the envelope of our parents’ rules and boundaries. She lightheartedly recounted a vignette of what occurred years before when her son came home after smoking marijuana for the first time […]

July 1st, 2018

Navigating the Transition Process After Open Sky

Article contributed by Family Services Therapist Aaron Belson. Updated November 2019. At Open Sky, students are immersed in a new environment and removed from many of the distractions that kept them from thriving at home. This is an essential part of stabilization, assessment, and initiation of real change. When students leave our program to return […]

June 22nd, 2018

Codependency and Adolescent Girls: A Conversation with Therapist Sierra Williams, MA, NCC, LPC

 What is codependency? Codependency is a clinical term used to describe a relationship dynamic in which two individuals mutually rely on each other to meet their own needs and wants. Although not a diagnosable condition, codependency is a relationship phenomenon that is quite common – and quite problematic.   Another clinical term we could use to […]

May 30th, 2018

Enhanced Family Services: Parent Coaching

Article contributed by Family Services Therapist, Jessica Chacon. At Open Sky, we live with the core purpose of activating the potential of the human spirit and by the belief that all people have the capacity to thrive. We apply this purpose and belief to our work with not only students, but families as well. Parent […]

May 25th, 2018

From Distant to Connected: Effective Communication Strategies to Improve Parent-Child Relationships

It is common knowledge that adolescent boys and girls face many challenges during their exciting and trying developmental years. And it’s no surprise that those challenges can often persist into young adulthood. Many parents struggle to reach out, connect to, and partner with their child throughout this phase of life. Most of the students and […]

April 24th, 2018

Three Ways for Open Sky Parents to Engage in the Process

Updated November 2019 Open Sky was founded with the desire to actively engage parents in their child’s therapy experience. To pursue healing for the family system, parents with children enrolled at Open Sky are encouraged to look inward, to engage in their own work through Open Sky’s Family Pathway workbook and to utilize the many […]

March 29th, 2018

Family Matters: Involving Siblings in the Family Quest™ Experience

Are you curious about how the Family Quest™ could work for your unique family system? Do you have questions or reservations about including siblings on this endeavor? Can they even come along? By and large, the quick answer is a resounding, yes. The Open Sky Family Quest™ experience is a rich opportunity with the potential […]

March 8th, 2018

Family Matters: The Family Quest™ Experience

Updated October 2019   A Family Quest™ intensive is a multi-day family therapy intervention in the wilderness with the individualized attention of a Family Services Therapist and Wilderness Guide. The concept comes from the age-old Native American practice of the “vision quest”, a rite of passage in which an individual enters the wilderness to gain […]

March 2nd, 2018

Family Matters: Family Programming in Wilderness Therapy

Since its founding in 2006, Open Sky has transcended traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family (not just the adolescent or young adult), and the application of evidence-based clinical modalities. Our family systems therapy approach also includes innovative, well-researched, holistic healing practices such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. When a family partners with […]

February 28th, 2018

Open Sky Alumni Reunions: Coming to a City Near YOU!

We are pleased to announce Open Sky will soon begin hosting Alumni Reunions across the United States! Open Sky Alumni Reunions will provide unique and meaningful opportunities to reconnect with Open Sky staff, alumni students, and alumni parents. “I am struck by the strong bonds we share through our individual, yet connected Open Sky experience,” […]

February 14th, 2018

Breaking Down the Barriers to Love 

Article contributed by Family Services Therapist, Jessica Chacon. “We are as attracted to love as we are intimidated by it. We are motivated by love, controlled by it, inspired by it, healed by it, and destroyed by it. Love is the fuel of our physical and spiritual bodies. Each of life’s challenges is a lesson […]

February 7th, 2018

The Transformational Practice of Meditation: a Q&A with Family Wellness Counselor, Norman Elizondo

Mindfulness is a key component to a student or family member’s journey of overall healing. In 2006, Norman Elizondo helped found Open Sky with an emphasis on mindfulness practices like yoga, meditation, and other tools. Norman created the original programming for Wellness Weekends and served as Open Sky’s first field guide, a senior field instructor, […]

December 28th, 2017

Monday Night Parent Support Group: Guidance Throughout the Open Sky Journey

Whether one week or ten weeks into the Open Sky journey, it can be an emotion-filled experience for parents. Parents may feel anxious, overwhelmed, concerned, hopeful, relieved, or a combination of all of the above. The Monday Night Parent Support Group call provides an opportunity for parents at all stages of the journey to come […]

December 12th, 2017

Renewal of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Accreditation

We are proud to announce that the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) has renewed Open Sky’s Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Accreditation. This accreditation is a symbol of our unending commitment to providing our students, families, and team members with the highest quality practices in the industry. AEE has a long-standing reputation for accreditation of experiential and […]

December 1st, 2017

Do You Speak the “5 Love Languages”?

Do you want more love in your life? Don’t be bashful – of course you do! We all do. As a Family Services Therapist at Open Sky, I frequently work with students and family members who feel unloved, misunderstood, or unappreciated by their loved ones. It’s okay to experience these feelings. It means we care […]

November 14th, 2017

Parenting the Healthy, Independent Teen: Pitfalls and Tools (Part II)

In Part I of  Parenting the Healthy, Independent Teen: Pitfalls and Tools, I discussed how parents can listen so that their teens share more with them, as well as how to accept feelings, not behavior. Now, we move on to a few other critical points I have found in my work with teenage boys, and […]

July 10th, 2017

Open Sky announces dates and locations for Alumni Parent Wellness Retreats

Connect, Recharge, and Thrive with Open Sky!   Open Sky is pleased to announce dates and locations for our Alumni Parent Wellness Retreats! These inspiring two-day wellness retreats will be facilitated by Family Therapist, Kendall Smith, MA, LPC, NCC and Wellness Counselor, Norman Elizondo. Open Sky Alumni Parent Wellness Retreats are designed to further personal […]

June 5th, 2017

Open Sky Therapists Author Chapters In New Book

Dr. Tony Issenmann, Kirsten Bolt and Kendall Smith, author chapters in the recently published book: Family Therapy with Adolescents in Residential Treatment Open Sky Clinical Team and Family Services Team members Tony Issenmann, Ph.D., LMFT; Kirsten Bolt, MEd, LMFT; and Kendall R.E. Smith, MA, LPC, NCC were honored to contribute chapters to Family Therapy with Adolescents in Residential […]

February 15th, 2017

Culture and Community at Open Sky

In 2015, Open Sky’s leadership team unveiled a document which outlines the values of our program. We call this document Open Sky’s “Culture Pathway” in a nod to the Student Pathway and Family Pathway, which are instruments designed to guide students and their families through the program. The Culture Pathway encompasses Open Sky’s mission, our […]

December 18th, 2016

A Nourishing Rain: Reflections from Parents and Staff on Open Sky’s Inaugural Parent Wellness Retreat

It has been a few weeks since we gathered with alumni parents at the EarthRise IONS Center in Petaluma, CA. Our inaugural Open Sky Alumni Parent Wellness Retreat was a full, wet, and beautiful weekend. The part that stands out to me today, as I look at the snowy, winter landscape in Durango is the […]

August 1st, 2016

Introducing Open Sky Wellness Retreats; Learn More and Register

Background and Overview For more than a year, we have contacted alumni parents at the six-month anniversary of their child’s graduation. The purpose of this being twofold: to find out how parents and their child are doing, and to understand how Open Sky might better serve graduate families moving forward. From these calls, one thing is […]

June 16th, 2016

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy Celebrates 10 Years of Helping People Thrive

This year Open Sky Wilderness Therapy celebrates its tenth anniversary. The Durango, CO based organization assists teens and young adults struggling with difficult challenges and unmanageable dynamics by providing life-changing experiences and long-term skills enabling them to thrive. Through its success, Open Sky has grown to employ over 150 staff, making it one of the […]