Journey Bound Counseling specializes in experiential mental health care for teenagers and adults. Services are provided by a masters level clinical social worker. Unlike traditional talk therapy, services are hosted outside a therapy office, often by key partners in order to foster connection between client and community.
As with every journey, ours will have a start, middle and end. Here’s what a typical journey can look like.
Every client relationship begins with an intake assessment, the purpose of which is to establish therapeutic rapport, identify presenting mental health concerns, and develop a provisional treatment plan based on your teen’s unique strengths and interests profile.
Your teen and I will meet regularly for psychotherapy. While treatment frequency varies by treatment need, most clients meet weekly during the active treatment phase. Appointments involve activity-based components that directly tie to your teen’s mental health concerns and therapy goals, and can be adapted to address learning opportunities as they present themselves. Appointments are often hosted by key partnerships, including gyms, grocery stores, parks and recreation facilities. Your teen’s treatment plan is reviewed and updated at routine intervals to assess progress and modify approaches as needed. In addition, auxiliary services may be provided if helpful to your teen’s individualized treatment plan, including psychotherapy groups, mentorship with other clients, community events, and collateral parent coaching sessions for yourself or other adults in your teen’s life.
Conclusion of Services
After meeting your teen’s treatment goals, we titrate services in preparation to conclude our work together. At times, there are opportunities for your teen to volunteer their time to support others starting their therapeutic process if desired. Your teen and I collaborate to develop a meaningful closing activity that represents the culmination of their therapeutic process. I encourage clients to consider including important people in their life, such as their families, to both celebrate their success and in recognition of the support provided by these individuals in their treatment.
I know lots of people have questions when they start this kind of thing. Let me answer some of the common ones for you.
Is this as effective as talk therapy in the office?
This is a question that many parents ask before starting, and rightfully so! Adventure therapy has a growing evidence base and overlaps with many traditional talk therapy modalities that are considered gold standard evidence-based models, like exposure therapy. As a licensed clinical social worker, I am governed by the same laws and principles as my fellow talk therapist colleagues. In addition, I am in the process of obtaining certification as a clinical adventure therapist and Game to Grow therapeutic game master. These certifications hold me to a higher professional standard of excellence and ensure my interventions remain current with industry standards.
What’s the difference between this and summer camp?
Summer camp is an amazing resource for many families. They are often times designed to provide unique recreational experiences for children, and in that way they very much align with the services offered by Journey Bound Counseling. However, they are different from adventure therapy in a couple important ways. First, most summer camps are not facilitated by mental health therapists trained in experiential learning so activities are not tailored with people who have mental health concerns in mind. This can lead to children with mental health issues feeling further stigmatized… think about a child with ADHD symptoms being reprimanded repeatedly for “not being a team player” because he is always trying to be the one to get the ball or is having difficulty sitting still long enough to listen to the coach’s instruction. Secondly, they are built around the novelty of a time-limited experience so while the activities may leave lasting memories, they are often times unable to be incorporated into everyday life because of the expense associated with them. Lastly, therapeutic benefit is seen as an indirect outcome of summer camps, not the other way around. Therapeutic needs and goals are developed first when doing adventure therapy, and the activities done in session are developed with the sole intention of serving these goals.
There is no office?
That means all appointments take place in the community or, when appropriate, at your home. While many experiential activities utilize the beautiful Pacific Northwest locale including parks and trails, we are not limited to outdoor-only spaces when the weather turns rainy. Thanks to strong community partnerships, we often utilize indoor spaces like gaming cafes, community centers, and libraries as well. I believe building these bridges in therapy helps you and your child establish safe connections to your local community. My hope is that in doing so, your child will be able to create a space that they can continue to use long after they accomplish their therapeutic treatment.
Is this safe?
Safety is of the utmost importance to me when planning and implementing experiences. I follow the same procedures expected of any therapist, as well as some in addition. I maintain a Wilderness First Responder certifion in recognition of the enhanced medical risk associated with community-based adventure therapy. At intake, legal guardians have the right to consent to any and all risk-associated activities that may be incorporated into a minor’s treatment.
What about privacy?
I take your child’s privacy just as seriously as I would if we were in an office, and am bound by the same laws governing any of your child’s medical information. Due to the nature of community-based appointments, we will discuss potential privacy limitations for any given activity prior to participating in it.