For Parents, A Family Expedition Of Rediscovery

It’s hard to find words to capture all the emotions we felt during our three-day Family Expedition with our son and the Expedition Therapy staff. The young man we had said goodbye to eight weeks earlier was lost, trapped in a self-defeating spiral of depression, impulsivity, denial and guilt. He was a stranger to himself and to us.

From the moment we first arrived at Expedition Therapy base camp and were reunited with our son, we knew we were in the presence of a completely different young man. From the gleam in his eye and the smile on his face to the hugs that we will never forget, the son we reconnected with that day was inspired by a renewed sense of self and purpose. We knew immediately that his experience with Expedition Therapy had renewed his love for life.

Throughout our visit, our son’s words and actions proved time and again that his journey had restored him. We had the privilege of seeing him as an accomplished student, empowered by the skills Expedition Therapy has taught him; as an able teacher, eager to pass on what he’s learned; as a willing communicator, open to sharing what he’s discovered about himself; as a compassionate mentor who has earned the respect and trust of his peers and staff; and as a changed young man, humbled by the pain he’s experienced and intent on living his life differently. His patience and his truly caring interactions with us demonstrated the self-confidence and learning that has been achieved with the help of the Expedition Therapy team.

 

When we headed out to Utah, our goal was to see and experience how our son had been living since he left home. We got a taste of that, and so much more. Through the planned activities, we definitely got a feel for the physical space…that incredible landscape and huge night sky! But even more important, you made us feel from the start that we were part of something bigger.

This has been the most rewarding and emotional three days that I think I have ever experienced. The Expedition Therapy team helped us feel like old friends, welcome and supported – and that motivated us to be open and engaged. They challenged and encouraged us, and that allowed us to reach a deeper understanding of the issues and emotions at play. The team facilitated our discussions with direction that was inspiring without being threatening. The entire experience was a kind of awakening that helped us understand why our son was willing to embrace his journey with you so fully. And that only served to reaffirm how grateful we are to have found Expedition Therapy!

During our visit, we enjoyed a variety of great outdoor activities that included learning aviation principles by flying the model airplanes, hiking through Zion with a beautiful sunset as the backdrop, and a truly challenging rock climbing experience, capped off by a great warming fire when we were done. Intertwined with all of this were the skillful and caring therapy sessions that the three of us participated in. Our son was patient and caring, communicating to us his well thought-out concerns that showed his serious commitment to change.

Our son’s journey is just beginning, and his next steps are key. As we navigate that course with him, we’ll remain forever grateful to the entire Expedition Therapy staff, for giving him a solid head start, rebuilding his self-confidence, and refocusing his energies on pursuing a bright, fulfilling future. His choices begin with him, and with your help and encouragement he has reconnected with who he is and who he wants to be. The Expedition Therapy staff is an incredibly talented, caring and dedicated group of people. Thanks everyone – you all are the best.

We can say, with complete and total commitment, that this experience has made us better people and parents. We feel that our son has been made whole again and returned to us. We count our blessings to have found Beth and the Expedition Therapy team, and we feel that they will always be a part of our lives from here forward.

Thank you so much – for our son, for us, and for our family.