SUWS of the Carolinas and Phoenix Outdoor Wilderness Therapy Programs Help Parents Raise Teens Using Love and Logic

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After completing a three-day training to become a certified Love and Logic™ facilitator, Family Program Manager Dr. Brooke Judkins has begun training parents and staff on using Love and Logic™ techniques with troubled teens.

Our wilderness programs help teens who are struggling with substance abuse, attachment issues, depression, anxiety and other issues get to a place where they can be receptive to these parenting techniques.

Parenting styles are as varied as parents themselves. Although there’s no one right answer, one parenting method that has been helpful to many parents of troubled teens is the Love and Logic™ approach created by Jim Fay, Charles Fay, PhD, and Foster Cline, MD.

Brooke Judkins, PhD, LPC, the Family Program Manager at SUWS of the Carolinas and Phoenix Outdoor, two wilderness therapy programs for teens, recently completed a three-day training to become a certified Love and Logic™ facilitator. She now brings a wealth of knowledge to parents of struggling teens at the programs as well as the staff of field instructors and therapists that works directly with the teens in the field.

The main principle behind the Love and Logic™ theory is that parents should be loving and empathetic while letting teens experience the natural consequences of their choices.

“One of the main premises of this approach is that parents need to take care of themselves,” said Dr. Judkins. “By doing so, they encourage their teens to take responsibility for their own choices rather than rescuing or enabling them. As a result, teens develop their own decision-making and problem-solving skills, and both parents and teens feel respected.”

Based on her Love and Logic™ training, Dr. Judkins also teaches parents and staff the following tools:

  •     Giving teens age-appropriate choices, all of which are acceptable to parents, so that teens can exert their free will without parents dictating to them
  •     Responding to teens’ frustration and anger with empathy, using comments like “I’m so sorry you’re going through this,” which gives them time to think through their choices
  •     Using “enforceable” statements, such as “I’ll drive you to the mall when you’ve finished your chores,” rather than barking an “unenforceable” statement like “Do your chores.” Unenforceable statements put the control in the hands of the teen, who can choose whether or not to obey, while enforceable statements keep the authority where it belongs – with the parent.

Dr. Judkins has incorporated these techniques and others into a two-day family workshop at SUWS of the Carolinas and the weekly parenting seminars at Phoenix Outdoor. Upon admission to SUWS, parents receive the Love and Logic™ CDs, which parents have found extremely helpful and easy to understand and use.

She will also introduce basic Love and Logic™ principles into her half-day trainings with the staff at both wilderness programs. In addition to reading and discussion, the trainings will include role play so that all staff can work with teens and referring professionals more effectively.

“Our wilderness programs help teens who are struggling with substance abuse, attachment issues, depression, anxiety and other issues get to a place where they can be receptive to these parenting techniques,” said Dr. Judkins. “By teaching both parents and teens new skills, we’re able to make the whole family stronger.”

About SUWS of the Carolinas and Phoenix Outdoor

SUWS of the Carolinas is a therapeutic wilderness program for adolescents ages 10-17 with a focus on clinical intervention and assessment. The program uses the outdoors as an alternative to conventional treatment environments, while engaging students using traditional therapeutic methods. Since 1981, SUWS programs have provided guidance and support to thousands of misdirected and at-risk teens experiencing low self-esteem, defiant behavior, attention deficit, depression, substance abuse and other behavioral issues.

Phoenix Outdoor is a therapeutic wilderness program for teens ages 13-17 who are struggling with substance abuse, as well co-occurring behavioral and mental health issues. Located in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Phoenix Outdoor blends clinical assessments, wilderness therapy, the 12 Step model, and traditional therapeutic interventions to help teens realize the extent of their substance abuse problem and commit to the process of change.

SUWS of the Carolinas and Phoenix Outdoor are programs of Aspen Education Group, the nation’s leading provider of therapeutic education programs for struggling or underachieving young people. Aspen’s services range from short-term intervention programs to residential treatment, and include a variety of therapeutic settings such as boarding schools, outdoor behavioral health programs and special needs summer camps, allowing professionals and families the opportunity to choose the best setting to meet a student’s unique academic and emotional needs.

Aspen Education Group is a member of CRC Health Group, the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. For over two decades, CRC Health has been achieving successful outcomes for individuals and families.

For more information, please call (866) 515-5202 or visit SUWS of the Carolinas.

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Shawn Farrell
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