Contact Us| Careers Parent Portal

Skills Development

Open Sky offers families a variety of resources and opportunities to empower them in their journey toward wellness and self-discovery. By learning more deeply about the therapeutic foundations of treatment at Open Sky, parents complement their child’s work in the field and enhance both personal and family growth.

Family Pathway Workbook

The Open Sky Family Pathway is a comprehensive workbook that guides family members through the Open Sky journey. The Family Pathway allows parents to engage week-by-week in a process parallel to their child’s through a series of assignments that closely align with the student’s. The Family Pathway provides valuable education, stress management techniques, parenting tools, and individualized assignments designed to complement the student’s work in the field. While the workbook consists of core assignments divided into eight weeks, your timing through the pathway may not perfectly align with this format. Since Open Sky individualizes the therapeutic process, you may spend more or less time in a certain stage.

Working through the assignments of the Family Pathway supports both personal growth and family growth. Each assignment in the Family Pathway is designed to increase awareness of an important component of the parent’s relationship with the child. Each page provides a new opportunity to consider the underlying intention of the content and its application to life and relationships.

Family Pathway Class

Family Pathway Class is an hour of psycho-education each week, allowing parents to learn more deeply about the therapeutic foundations of treatment at Open Sky. The weekly class is conducted through a video call format and led by members of the Clinical and Family Services Teams.


10-15 minutes - introductions and grounding exercises
20-30 minutes - skill-building class presented by one of our
primary clinicians
20-25 minutes - small group discussions, processing, and
Q&A, facilitated by a therapist

The Family Pathway Class is broken down into an 11-week rotating curriculum. Classes cover helpful topics, including parenting styles and isomorphism; Glasser’s needs (Choice Theory); core values and values-based decision making; mindfulness and interoception; emotion regulation; communication skills; boundaries and manipulation; and grief and loss.

Family Pathway Class takes place each week on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. MT. Classes are packed full of research, examples, vignettes from the field, role-playing, tangible practice, and resources for further learning.

Parent Coaching

All Open Sky parents have the option to participate in Parent Coaching services which include six weekly 50-minute teleconference calls with an Open Sky Family Services therapist or wellness counselor. Parent Coaching sessions are distinct from the weekly clinical update calls in that they are not focused on the student’s progress. Instead, Parent Coaching is designed to support the parents’ growth and address issues within the family system. It is a prime opportunity for parents to learn, practice, and use the mindfulness, emotional regulation, and communication skills their child is learning in the field. Parent Coaching builds on the skills and concepts introduced in the Family Pathway and Family Pathway Class, creating space to practice and implement these skills in their daily lives. For some, learning these new skills is like learning a new language. Parent Coaching helps make these skills more concrete.

By coming alongside parents, Family Services Therapists help parents see and remember who they are, what they are passionate about, and how to be good role models for their children. Parents begin to understand more about themselves, their child, and the connection between them. Parent Coaching contributes to the transformation for parents and the whole family.

Open Sky Blog

Open Sky has a robust and active blog presence, with weekly articles that educate on our clinical approach to specific issues, programmatic foundations, family systems work, and alumni testimonials. Blogs about clinical issues include research, definitions, poignant examples, and application in the field. Blogs provide an excellent resource for continual learning and are easily shared with family and friends for a glimpse into the Open Sky experience.

Skylights Podcast

The SKYlights Podcast is another platform for diving into clinical and wilderness topics. In each episode of SKYlights, Open Sky co-founder and executive director Emily Fernandes thoughtfully guides conversations with clinical therapists, family counselors, directors, field guides, and other experts about topics related to wilderness therapy, clinical issues, and Open Sky’s family systems approach. The podcast explores the unique value that nature and wilderness therapy provide on the journey toward wellness, self-discovery, and growth. SKYlights can be accessed on any podcast platform.

What Parents are saying

“Open Sky taught me how to communicate better and more importantly how to listen to my daughter’s needs. Our family’s communication has grown and because of this, I believe that we will become stronger”

― Leslie, Alumni Parent (2018)