Learning that your teen is struggling with mental health and substance use can bring up a lot of feelings. You might be asking yourself, How did this happen? What did I miss? Your teen might be isolating themselves and you fear what might happen to them. You've reached out for help and learn that Residential Treatment is the best option for your family. You probably have a lot of questions about what to expect in an intensive treatment program. What does daily life like for your teenager in residential treatment? Let's explore what happens at Cascade Canyon.
Our schedule was created around the use of evidence-based practices conducted in our peaceful, home-like environment. Evidence-based means that a treatment has been researched both from academic and scientific perspectives, and has been proven effective in the treatment of mental health disorders with substance use.
We offer a full day of group programming while keeping the teen’s specific needs in mind. Each day provides a structured curriculum to ensure a productive healing process. Individual therapy sessions are held multiple times a week, and teens will have the opportunity to check in with staff throughout the day if need be. Weekly experiential activities like ropes courses and community social events allow teens to continue being teens while learning and understanding more about themselves.
Mornings at Cascade Canyon start early, with a wake-up time of 7am. Teens are given adequate time to get ready for the day ahead of them before they’re asked to come downstairs for breakfast. Once the teens have eaten a nutritious breakfast, they meet as a group to have a morning check-in. This check-in is a time for everyone to share with the house what they’re feeling, details about their mood, and anything else they feel is important to discuss. Teens are also asked to briefly discuss their goals for the day.
Clients engage in a morning therapeutic group to get grounded in the day. Following this, the remaining of the morning is spent in the onsite classroom. We know it’s important for teens to stay on top of the academic workload from their school at home, which is why we employ certified and credentialed teachers. These teachers are there to guide teens through their assignments and provide one-on-one academic support in whatever way would be most supportive to the student. This time is also used to support life skills such as organization, decision making, hygiene, vocational aspirations and money management.
After the teens eat a chef prepared, healthy community lunch, they engage in an hour of daily fitness. Staying active is an important part of mental and physical wellness, and is sometimes overlooked in substance abuse and mental health treatment programs. Fitness activities vary from day to day, but often include walking or hiking, yoga, and Crossfit.
After fitness, teens sit down with one of the therapists for the afternoon process group. The weeks are themed, and different topics within the weekly theme are covered each day. Teens are asked to share their thoughts, experiences, and emotions about things like self-discovery, relationships, emotional wellness, and living life differently. Art therapy, journaling, traditional talk therapy, music, experiential activities, and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) are all utilized throughout the week as teens explore these topics and take a closer look at what brought them to this point in their lives.
Dinner is served family style, with staff and clients sitting down to eat together and engage in positive conversations. After dinner, teens are given time to work on homework, journal, and decompress from their day. Depending on the day, they will participate in yoga, psychoeducation groups, art and music therapy, tai chi, or an evening hike. Before lights out, they have one last group check-in. This gives teens a chance to go over the goals that they set for the day, make any amends they feel are necessary, talk about the positive things that happened during the day, and share with the group any difficult emotions they are feeling.
Sleep is important for everyone, but especially for teens. Experts recommend that the average teen get between 8.5 and 9 hours of sleep each night, so the days end just in time for teens to get a good night of sleep.
Weekends include opportunities for teens to connect with family through a call or visit, participate in off-site group activities, enjoy time to themselves, or work on homework. Our Family Immersion program also takes place on the weekends. For those families scheduled to participate on any given weekend, they will attend family therapy and take part in off-site activities. The team takes full advantage of the beautiful scenery and activities in the area. Pikes Peak, the Manitou Incline, Cave of the Gods, and Manitou Springs are all great off-site experiences where families are encouraged to spend quality time together.
Family time, fun time, and time to oneself is an integral part of the weeks activities and aids in a balanced healing process. We want to make sure teens are feeling refreshed and recharged going into each new week.
When parents come into town for the Family Immersion program, they are expected to join in their teen’s scheduled activities, meet one-on-one with the program director, and participate in family therapy. Therapists and staff work closely with parents during immersion in order to understand the routines and styles of interaction that work best with their teen. Ultimately, parents will learn better ways to communicate with their teen and practice skills to use when they return home.
Family Immersion is integral to the healing of the family unit and the basis for success back home. It is a big commitment for parents and they are held accountable to work on improving communication and dynamics with their teen. We firmly believe the problems did not start in isolation; they won't be solved if the teen is the only one expected to change. It is up to every part of the family to compromise and make changes.
Our goal is to provide the most helpful information. Please reach out to us if you have any additional questions. We are here to help any way we can.