Program Phases: What to Expect

Two-Phase Approach

Summit Traverse is structured into two program phases that a student, with consistent effort, can complete in a minimum of two months. Since each family system is unique and the treatment process individualized, some teens and their families may require additional time. Factors that impact program duration include:

  • The severity of the teen’s individual issues
  • Their level of motivation
  • The specific details of their transition plan
  • Timing of school enrollment
  • What will be required to reintegrate them into the family system

Orientation Phase

The orientation phase typically spans the student’s first few weeks in the program, with a primary goal of developing the student’s treatment plan and helping the student adjust to the program. The focus is on:

  • Integration into the student team
  • Initiating relationships
  • Building trust
  • Introducing the student to program guidelines

Academic courses are selected and the student begins work in the self-paced, accredited academic curriculum. The therapist, with input from the teen and their family, develops the student’s treatment plan. Weekly family therapy sessions, via telephone or video conference, are initiated the week following enrollment and, toward the end of the Orientation phase, the first off-campus family connection is scheduled followed by a face-to-face family session. Family connections will likely occur during the orientation phase. The location and duration of these visits will be dependent upon the individual case and details will be arranged with your primary therapist.

Action Phase

The student spends most of their time in the second program phase, the action phase, focusing on specific treatment goals and
objectives. The student works on:

  • Putting new skills into action
  • Experimenting with behavioral changes
  • Practicing personal responsibility
  • Working on emotional and interpersonal issues

Group processing is utilized to provide consistent feedback and encouragement, while providing a safe environment for self-expression and personal development.

Therapy In Traverse

Weekly family therapy sessions continue and approximately one family connection occurs per month within the student’s own home. The first involves a long weekend at home, while the second is usually about a week in duration. These family connections are thoroughly debriefed during both individual and family therapy sessions to evaluate the student’s functioning within the family system, address problem areas, and reinforce demonstrated growth.

Final Weeks

The final weeks in the program are a time when the student and their family finalize the details of their transition / discharge plans. The focus on handling increased responsibility and addressing temptations intensifies, both within the Traverse community and during off-campus excursions. Whenever possible, academic coursework is completed, or plans are made for the student to continue the coursework at home or the next educational setting. If the student is transitioning to a private boarding school, a visit and tour of the school may be scheduled. Parents return to campus to participate in the final face-to-face family therapy session.

A completion ceremony is conducted, attended by the teen’s family, the peers with whom they has been living, and the staff responsible for guiding their treatment process. This is a time for offering final feedback, sharing stories about the student and reminiscing about occurrences during the program.

More On Approach

Each day the student meets with their academic advisor and individual guide to assess their progress. These conversations center on the student’s demonstrated and observable progress within each of the program components (i.e. therapeutic, academic and campus life), paying particular attention to those behaviors that are regressing to a level expected in a more structured treatment environment, behaviors that remain inconsistent, and those that demonstrate progress by meeting the expectations of a traditional environment.

The Traverse treatment team (therapist, academic advisor, and guides) meets weekly to evaluate each student’s progress. Staff members review overall progress on treatment issues, review each student’s portfolio to assess completion of family-centered goals, evaluate weekly campus privileges earned, and progress toward phase completion.