“It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself.” – Joyce Maynard
While families typically seek out Pacific Quest because of struggles their children are facing, we recognize that the entire family system is often under strain. To support sustainable and lasting familial growth, we fully utilize family participation in the therapeutic process. Our approach to working with families is psychologically informed, as our clinicians draw on family systems theory, which emphasizes that the health of the family is the sum of its parts. By involving the entire family in the healing process, we aim to enhance communication, increase empathy and develop usable conflict resolution skills, ultimately deepening each individual’s understanding and trust in the greater process.
Weekly Discovery Calls
Families are guided through the process of meaningful and effective communication. Throughout a young person’s Pacific Quest journey, parents have weekly phone calls with their child’s primary therapist. These hour-long calls provide an opportunity to discuss observations, assessments and progress toward individualized therapeutic goals. Additionally, therapists focus on supporting parents as they establish personal goals for themselves, along with exploring family dynamics, boundary setting and parenting techniques.
Pacific Quest’s Sustainable Growth model supports therapeutic growth within the family by bringing intention and mindfulness into communication. Communication between parent(s) and child begins with letter writing, affording both parties the space to reflect on emotions before reacting. Letter writing allows all family members to compose drafts, seek feedback and increase awareness around effective communication. Once healthy communication is established in letter writing, the therapist will work with the family on deepening relationships through family therapy via phone and/or Skype calls.
Two-Day Intensive Family Program (Adolescent Program)
Pacific Quest’s Family Program provides a unique opportunity for families to explore family dynamics, deepen relationships and practice and refine new communication skills. Throughout this two-day intensive, families attend powerful therapeutic, experiential activities and participate in family therapy sessions with PQ therapists. This is a unique opportunity for parents to join with their child in his/her growth process.
Beyond engaging in experiential workshops with their children, parents attend a series of “parent-only” sessions, guided by PQ’s highly experienced clinicians. These workshops focus on psychoeducational themes, including adolescent brain development, emotional regulation, and the mind/body connection. The Family Program also offers ample opportunities for parents to process specific challenges parents may be experiencing at home. Parent-only sessions are collaborative in nature and support parents in increasing awareness and developing more effective parenting strategies, immediately applicable to their family. Often, parents arrive to the family program feeling “alone” in their struggles, yet leave with a sense of connectivity, empowerment and hope – recognizing they are far from alone in this journey.