Therapeutic Schools and Programs
Multi-family Expeditions and Student Expeditions
Breakwater Expeditions strives to create an environment where the strengths of each individual are exposed, and where family members use their individual strengths to help form a stronger and better functioning whole.
In the atmosphere of wilderness settings families have the opportunity to suspend the myriad distractions of daily life and rediscover the often forgotten gifts of play, humor, gratitude, and understanding. Part or whole family expeditions focus on breaking down barriers and building relationships.
Our goals on family expeditions are:
- To improve communication and relationships
- To show how the family operates as a system, and to initiate corrections in the system
- Parents and children co-create a Family Wellness Plan that facilitates improvements in individual and family health, personal growth and conflict resolutions.
- Families articulate their basic values and explore the range of alternative values.
- Families identify and challenge patterns and specific behaviors that sustain communication and relationship barriers.
- Children and parents learn how to effectively communicate and how to reduce negative patterns in communications.
- The healthy expression of feelings is accepted, validated, and encouraged. As vulnerability increases, relationships deepen.
- Parents learn and practice effective parenting skills in a real time environment.
- Play and cooperative/collaborative efforts are employed to facilitate relationship building.
- Current and alternative coping skills are evaluated for effectiveness.
- Acceptance of differences is emphasized as an essential first step toward understanding. Interfamilial discourse and engagement enrich perspectives towards one’s own parent or child.
- Roles enacted within the family are examined, evaluated, questioned, and refined.
Each school or community group is unique in its makeup, strengths, weaknesses, character and functioning. Schools and programs can vary in their history of shared experiences, in their collective knowledge, in their current functioning, and in the goals they have for investing in and embarking on a trip with Breakwater Expeditions. The power of the wilderness and its challenges interacts with these variables to create a meaningful learning environment. Itineraries and initiatives are customized on the basis of thoughtful collaboration with group leaders and/or representatives.
Our own overarching goals for these Expeditions are likely to include some variation on the following themes:
- Improving cohesion within the group
- Reducing resistance
- Finding consistency between group and individual goal
- Improving goal-directed functioning