In Phase 3 the focus shifts from the individual to the group dynamic. The group-oriented focus requires the student to address how they cope with their life issues in a wilderness environment of increased peer interaction and dependence. This is the phase where education, nutrition and fitness come into play. By this time, they have naturally lost weight and gained in fitness without even thinking about it – eating our holistic food diet, exercising and the natural speeding up of their metabolism. Detox-ing off of sugar and fatty foods and replenishing their system with nutrient rich foods and plenty of water! The program has many dimensions and their bodies have done this without conscious thought. Now we begin to really delve into how to achieve this newfound, tremendous sense of well-being once they leave Rites of Passage NW Wilderness Therapy obesity health and wellness camp.
The student is supported as they begin to internalize, extend, and practice what they have learned in a supportive, therapeutic environment. They are assisted in creating a healthy peer culture that requires them to master new skills and participate in the work necessary to achieve group goals. Each student will work their way through leadership positions, which will challenge them and motivate them to work toward specific goals, meet a clear set of expectations, and master certain tasks in order to earn more privileges, responsibilities and leadership opportunities. Self-Esteem and Confidence leads to incredible transformation in this phase and has been referred to by past parents as the “growing up” phase where maturity meets self-confidence to bring home, in the true nature of a Rites of Passage experience.
In Phase 3, our therapeutic staff works with the students to help create a plan for their future. They also employ some of the following techniques to aid in the transition from the program: cognitive therapy aimed at realism and self-responsibility, role-playing and the practice of difficult situations they may encounter, and emotional preparation for the inevitably painful challenges, failures, and set-backs that will occur in their lives. How to succeed through these painful challenges is key for progress.
The students will start to self-council each other during their meetings, improving their soft skills. The rotating leadership will challenge each individual student to explore their strengths and weaknesses. This phase encourages students to answer the question, “How am I going to continue this at home and what support do I need?” This will help them understand what it means to take responsibility for their behaviors. Students will learn to express themselves within their group and complete tasks that contribute positively to the group.
Phase 3 includes:
- Education around nutrition, fitness and taking this home
- Developing communication skills
- Problem solving
- Learning how to ask for help
- Exploring of personal issues within the trail family
- Learning to work with others
- Guided communication with family