In Phase 3 (Weeks 3-6) the focus moves from the individual to the group. The group-oriented focus requires the students to address how they cope with their issues in a wilderness environment of increased peer interaction.
The students are 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 his or her 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.
In Phase 3, our 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 setbacks that will occur in their lives.
The students will start to self-counsel each other during their meetings, improving their soft skills. The rotating leadership will challenge each individual student to explore his or her strengths and weaknesses.
This phase encourages students to answer the question, “Now that I’m aware, what do I do next?” 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:
- Developing communication skills
- Exploring personal issues within a group
- Learning to work with others
- Guided communication with family