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Open Sky Family Services Team

January 22nd, 2021

Parallel Paths Uniting for the Family Quest™ Intensive

Open Sky Family Services Team

Open Sky transcends traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family, not just the adolescent or young adult. While students are in the field learning crucial wilderness and emotional skills, parents are also progressing in their own journeys, with the help of tools such as the Family Pathway Class and Parent Coaching. As parent and child work along their own Open Sky journeys, their parallel paths come together for a unique rite of passage: the Family Quest™ intensive. 


What is the Family Quest™ intensive?

The Family Quest™ intensive is a multi-day family therapy intervention in the wilderness with individualized attention from a Family Services therapist and wilderness guide. Prior to the Family Quest™ experience, the Family Services therapist communicates with the student’s primary therapist to form individualized treatment objectives and goals for the family. It is open to all family members involved in the student’s therapeutic process who are at least 13 years old and approved by the primary therapist. For three days and two nights, family members join the students in the field. They witness firsthand what the experience of living in wilderness has been like for their loved one and engage in deep and important therapeutic work together.  

Open Sky Family Quest

Why is Family Quest important to a family’s Open Sky journey?

The Family Quest™ intensive offers families a space to practice their newly gained skills and encourages their growth, healing, and progress. With the guidance of a Family Services therapist and wilderness guide, each family member has the opportunity to vocalize the sentiments they’ve been sharing through letters, as well as any that they’ve kept to themselves. They get to look one another in the eye and see each other in the most authentic sense. Using the communication skills they have been learning, students and families are able to express themselves intentionally and articulately and begin to repair their family dynamic, all while receiving direct, professional feedback from the therapist and guide. It is often an illuminating and heartwarming experience. 

What role do siblings play?

Each member plays a specific and vital role in the family. When possible, the involvement of all family members in Family Quest is essential and encouraged. This includes siblings, as long as they are at least 13 years old and have been approved by the primary therapist. Whether younger or older, siblings bring their own perspective and contributions, sometimes turning out to be the most catalytic members in attendance: the quiet onlookers with profound offerings and/or the ones best able to reach the students. The student is usually moved by their siblings’ attendance and perspective, securing their level of commitment to change and health moving forward. Parents gain a more comprehensive understanding of their families and gain insight into the emotional lives of their children. The siblings themselves often leave with a grasp of their own work moving forward, as well as tools and skills to assist them along the way. 

What else happens during the Family Quest™ intensive?

While the primary focus of the Family Quest is therapeutic work, families also have the opportunity to engage in lighthearted activities together. They hike, make fires, play games, prepare and enjoy healthy, organic meals, and receive education on the history and nature of the land. Students are eager to show their families the physical and emotional skills they have learned thus far. Parents are often astounded, encouraged, and motivated by their child’s growth.  

 At Open Sky, we activate the potential of the human spirit and believe all people have the capacity to thrive. The Family Quest™ intensive is an opportunity for families to process, heal, pursue healthy relationships, and realize their full potential as individuals and as a family system.  


To learn about more Cornerstone Experiences for families at Open Sky, click here.
Open Sky Family Services Team

January 22nd, 2021

Open Sky Family Services Team