At Blue Ridge, we are dedicated to Whole Family Support and believe in Family Systems oriented treatment. Led by our seasoned and compassionate clinical and family support teams, Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness provides the most effective and clinically integrated family experience, which contributes to foundational transformation in teens and their families. Transforming core dynamics for families occurs through the utilization of individualized clinical treatment, together with intensive family-focused support, and whole body health and wellness. As we continue to evolve, we adhere to our commitment to provide the most comprehensive, integrated family support by welcoming two Family Therapists to our treatment team.
We are proud to announce the addition of Kayla Davenport, MS and Elizabeth Newton, MS, MFT to our Family Support Program. They have spent a great deal of time training with our clinical team and spending time in the field with students and staff, under the guidance and supervision of our Clinical Director, Christine Riley. Christine shares, “We are so thrilled and grateful to have such talented, enthusiastic, committed professionals joining our clinical team! Kayla and Elizabeth are coming into a time of our program where we are putting rich, passionate intention to our family work. Having two family therapists on site, who are a part of our therapeutic team, will give us every opportunity to provide the highest level of family therapy, involvement, and education we can offer. We believe, at our core, that families must be encouraged to strengthen and grow while their child is experiencing their own unique therapeutic wilderness journey.”
Kayla Davenport, MS joins the Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness team after many years working for boarding schools in the state of Georgia, where she excelled in a variety of positions, including Counselor, Director of Residential Life, and Associate Dean of Enrollment. Most recently, she worked in international admissions and enrollment management for an all- boys boarding school. For six years, she traveled extensively, visiting 23 countries while working with families and educational consultants/agents to ensure a good education fit for each student. This experience enriched her life as she developed a love for diversity, various cultures, and working with families around the world. Her passion for the family systems perspective has grown after working with families both domestically and abroad, which led her back to this clinical role, allowing her to focus on family dynamics and supporting parents when they need it most.
Elizabeth Newton, MS, MFT is thrilled to be returning to her wilderness therapy roots, and we could not be more excited to welcome her. She loved her time in the field as a Senior Field Instructor at a wilderness therapy program in the southwest Utah desert. There she was able to experience first hand the impact that the wilderness therapeutic approach can have on students, their families, and their future. While earning a degree in Marriage and Family therapy, she developed her clinical skill set by conducting therapy with individuals, couples, and families.
At Blue Ridge, we view the student’s enrollment in our wilderness therapy program as a catalyst for change across the whole family system. Often we see family dynamics and patterns that have become unhealthy and are no longer supportive or adaptive. Family therapy is necessary to address family pain and heal a family’s wounds.This includes how families communicate emotions, manage conflict, establish and maintain boundaries, spend time together, and define their roles and identities. Our family systems approach means we take all of these factors into account to better understand, assess, support, intervene, and we consider parents’ personal work and behaviors within a larger context. By investing in the therapeutic process, parents directly contribute to the possibility of improved relationships within the family system and a better functioning home environment.
The Blue Ridge Clinical Team offers a comprehensive range of family support services to parents and other family members. Our family program is designed to help parents and students to utilize tools to better care for themselves, to understand and take steps toward individuation, and to develop a supportive family environment. The benefits include a better understanding of healthy boundaries and family patterns and dynamics, enhanced communication, better attunement, improved problem solving, and a deeper empathy for one another.
Our dedicated Family Therapists work closely with families with a goal of long-term success. We offer up to three hours of clinical support each week to Blue Ridge families, as well as support throughout the program:
- Our Family Support Therapist offers weekly calls with families as an added support. We individualize the frequency and focus of this support to a family’s unique needs, from providing a safe space for processing feelings, exploring family of origin issues and patterns, to helping parents strategize how to support other siblings at home.
- Blue Ridge offers a menu of family supports and resources so families have choices in what will work best for them at various stages of their process.
- Weekly parent support group calls.
- Parent curriculum that parallels some the student curriculum
- Facebook support group for parents.
- Mid-program visits that include family sessions and an overnight in the field, if recommended by the Primary Therapist.
- Parent Workshops are a highlight for families and provide direct experience with clinicians, field instructors, other parents, and experiential activities. Workshops educate parents on healthy parent-child relationships while connecting parents to helpful tools and parent mentorship and support.
- Graduation experience, which may include a family therapy session and an optional overnight with the group (siblings included)
- Our Family Support Therapists work closely with Primary Therapists to offer integrated, whole family care.