Family therapy occurs once a week or more often if indicated, with a master’s level or licensed clinician. Participation in family therapy is of the utmost importance to assist in preparing the child and family for readiness of discharge and transition back home. Research shows that outcomes are much more favorable when the family has been an integral part of the child’s treatment. SandyPines takes a holistic approach when addressing family dynamics. The importance of participation in family therapy is made very clear to the parents/guardians prior to admission, again at admission and throughout the treatment episode. Most, if not all, insurance companies require the families to participate in therapy while their child is placed in this facility.
For the families’ convenience, SandyPines offers video teleconferencing or conference call services for families that cannot consistently drive to the facility due to distance. However, it has been our observation and experience that outcomes are much more favorable when the family consistently attends sessions in person.
As SandyPines strives to build bridges between our families and this treatment center, we developed the Family R.O.P.E.S. program. Family R.O.P.E.S. is an exciting event that occurs weekly on Saturday afternoons. Families are strongly encouraged to participate in this program, as it enhances and supports what is being taught to the child on the milieu and in individual/group sessions, as well as to the family during family sessions. It is a fun and non-threatening way to develop positive communication and problem solving skills within the family unit. All activities are presented as a “challenge by choice.” Participants are never forced to engage in any exercise they are not comfortable participating in. However, participants can still remain in the group and offer feedback and encouragement to those individuals who engage in the challenge presented.
Following the Family R.O.P.E.S. program, participants are afforded the opportunity to engage in a family barbecue. Our dietary staff provides families with protein to grill themselves, along with several prepared side dishes. We believe that for many of our families, the trauma, chaos and illness they have been challenged with, have prevented them from engaging in an activity many might take for granted – a home style cookout. We strive to normalize the experience of placement in a residential setting as much as possible. Facilitating a fun family activity followed by a cookout, is one way we strive to achieve this.
Dinner With Your Child
Following our philosophy to normalize the experience as much as possible for our families, we offer the families the opportunity to dine with their children twice weekly on Wednesdays and Fridays in our cafe. This enables the family to experience what the child experiences on a daily basis. Family mealtime is a time to get together and talk about the experience of the day.