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Family is the centerpiece of Open Sky’s program. Research has shown that a student’s success is proportional to the involvement and growth of the student’s family. By investing in the process, parents increase the potential of improved relationships and family reunification. Led by our Clinical and Family Services teams, Open Sky provides the most comprehensive family experience available in wilderness therapy. A summary of Family Services included with a Student’s tuition is provided below.

Weekly Clinical Update Calls

Each Open Sky student is assigned a clinical therapist who provides weekly individualized therapy and clinical guidance for the duration of the student’s stay. Therapists conduct weekly phone calls with parents to discuss the student’s clinical treatment objectives and progress and to review family assignments in the Family Pathway workbook.

Secure Parent Portal

Enrolled families have 24-hour access to a private and secure Parent Portal. The Parent Portal provides valuable resources and support throughout the student’s stay, such as:

  • weekly photos of the student in the field.
  • a chronological archive of all parent-student correspondence.
  • a vast resource library designed to facilitate continued education and growth.
  • detailed information and registration guidance for all Family Services events, retreats and program offerings.
  • an archive of documents including enrollment application, treatment plans, discharge summaries, Family and Student Pathway workbooks, and financial statements, all in one convenient place.

Dedicated Family Care Coordinator

Open Sky provides a dedicated, single point-of-contact to support families throughout their Open Sky journey. Open Sky’s Family Care Coordinators assist in answering questions, scheduling weekly calls, coordinating Wellness Weekend participation, updating weekly communications, and helping families to navigate resources within the Parent Portal and Family Pathway.

Weekly Family Communication

Adolescent Girl student writes letter to family at Open Sky Wilderness TherapyLetter writing serves as the foundation for communication between the family and student while at Open Sky. Mail is hand-delivered weekly to students in the field. This thoughtful form of communication provides an opportunity for the family to engage in meaningful and intentional communication with one another. Student letters are updated weekly in the Parent Portal. Clinical therapists provide guidance in effective letter-writing throughout your child’s stay.

Monday Night Parent Teleconference Support Group

Every Monday evening, parents are invited to call in for the Monday Night Parent Support Group. The first 30 minutes of the call is a guided meditation and mindfulness exercise led by one of our Wellness Facilitators. The second half of the call is an open-forum format, providing parents the opportunity to ask questions, share comments or feedback, and ask for or offer support.

Thursday Night Call

On the Thursday Night Call (available to all currently enrolled parents/guardians), Open Sky’s Clinical and Family Services experts provide education and facilitate small group discussions on a variety of topics, such as values-based decision-making, grief, stress management, stages of change, and boundary setting. Thursday Night Calls are designed to support current families in their Family Pathway work.

Parent Gateway Calls

Parent Gateway Calls directly support parents and families during the initial transition into the program. Between the 2nd and 4th weeks of enrollment, parents will receive two Gateway Calls from an expert Family Services Team therapist. The calls are designed to bring clarity and comfort to what can be an overwhelming and emotional transition for families. They will help orient you to our Family Services offerings, walk you through the first steps of the Family Pathway, and introduce some of the skills essential to personal well-being and healthy relationships.

The Family Pathway Workbook

The Open Sky Family Pathway is a comprehensive workbook which guides parents through the week-by-week process of treatment at Open Sky. The Family Pathway allows parents to engage in a parallel process with their child through a series of assignments which closely align with the student’s assignments and process. The Family Pathway provides valuable education, stress management techniques, parenting tools, and individualized assignments designed to complement the student’s work in the field.

Wellness Weekend

Each month Open Sky offers a virtual Wellness Weekend experience in Durango for parents of students currently enrolled at Open Sky. Wellness Weekends provide parents the opportunity to re-focus their energy, rejuvenate, and connect with other families experiencing similar challenges, in a supportive atmosphere and with the guidance of professional facilitators. Parents also engage in essential foundational components of the program along with a sampling of their child’s day-to-day experiences.


Once students are ready to transition from Open Sky, they are honored and supported in this transition with a special graduation ceremony at base camp. During this day-long experience, families reconnect with the support of Open Sky’s therapists and graduation team. Families will engage in activities to gain perspective, bring closure, and practice new communication skills. The afternoon will culminate in a final Graduation Ceremony that honors and celebrates the growth and transition your child, you, and your family have experienced during your time with Open Sky.

Transition Support

At Open Sky, every aspect of programming is designed not just to help students and families in the moment, but to benefit them for long-term success. Open Sky’s Transition Mentors provide critical guidance to families immediately before departure and for the initial period following graduation. Transition Mentors help families to prepare for reunification prior to graduation and the child’s first night after graduation. Transition Mentors answer questions and provide support so that families can transition with hope and confidence.



Enhanced Family Services


Enhanced Family Services are an additional fee and offered to families that want to dive deeper into in to issues and patterns within the family system, to more intensively explore their parenting skills, and to receive therapeutic support during and after their Open Sky experience. Like all of our family services offerings, the goal is to improve family communication, connection, and engagement. For additional information about Enhanced Family Services, please contact

The Family Quest™ Experience

Open Sky’s Family Quest™ therapy intensives are utilized to intimately address family dynamics that are contributing to a student’s current struggle. These might include parent-child relational issues, blended families, unresolved family grief, or young adult independence. Families and students come together for this powerful and life-changing three-day/two-night wilderness intensive guided by our Family Services team. Participants engage in a more in-depth process to re-establish healthy family bonds.

Parent Coaching

Families who engage in Parent Coaching services receive a weekly, 50-minute teleconference call with an Open Sky Family Services Therapist or Wellness Counselor. This call is unique in that it is not focused on the student’s progress. Instead, Parent Coaching calls are designed to support the parents’ growth and address issues within the family system. During this call, parents speak with a trained mental health professional about topics related to the health of their overall family system.