This is a podcast from Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. Nestled in the mountains of southwest Colorado and the canyonlands of southeast Utah, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy transcends traditional wilderness therapy programs by emphasizing treatment for the whole family. Our clinical approach integrates the latest in evidence-based clinical treatments with innovative and well researched holistic healing practices. On each episode of the SKYlights podcast, we speak with an expert in the field of wilderness therapy and explore the unique value the outdoor provides on the journey towards wellness, self-discovery, and growth. Open Sky treats at-risk adolescents, young adults, and their families. To learn more about Open Sky, visit us at Welcome to the podcast! We’re glad you’re here.

PREVIEW: While your child is in wilderness therapy treatment, a big question mark can be: “what next?” The transition after wilderness looks different for every family. Whether transitioning home, to school, or to an aftercare program, how can parents foster a healthy environment for their child to continue thriving?

On today’s episode, Clinical Therapist Chris Blankenship answers common questions parents have as they prepare for their child to graduate wilderness therapy. He addresses the risk of missing underlying successes and challenges by focusing solely on boundaries and details. He also guides us in how to best attune to each other in the transition period, focus on the big picture, and stay committed to family values. With the right approach, parents can help their child carry on with the skills, growth, and progress they gained while in wilderness therapy treatment, no matter what the next steps are.

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Chris is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a therapist for transition age young adults (18-20) at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. These young adults have not been able to find a healthy sense of self and often experience depression, anxiety, trouble launching into adulthood, destructive relationships, substance use, personal trauma, and problematic dynamics with family members. Chris’s clear and direct therapeutic approach helps students deepen their understanding of their presenting issues as well as the underlying processes resulting in these symptoms. Using a relationship-based approach, Chris provides direct and supportive techniques that help families to understand not just their child, but their entire family system. He strives to help his young adults stabilize, to give them the tools necessary for growth, and to provide a sophisticated assessment for future treatment options to effect positive change and growth.

Recent Episodes

  • Episode 21: Strategies for Successful Transition Post-Treatment

    2 months ago
  • Episode 20: How to Support your Child in Wilderness Therapy Treatment with Clinical Therapist Mariah Loftin

    3 months ago
  • Episode 19: How to Build a “Communication Toolbox” and Improve Family Relationships with Clinical Therapist Nick Lenderking-Brill

    3 months ago
  • Episode 18: Understanding the Link Between Trauma, the Nervous System, and Addiction with Clinical Therapist, Brian Leidal

    4 months ago
  • Episode 17: Heroes and Legends of the Field: A Conversation with Robin Wolthausen

    8 months ago
  • Episode 16: How Healthy Expression Fosters Healthy Masculinity with Adolescent Boys Therapist Morgan Seymour, LCSW

    9 months ago
  • Episode 15: Emerging Adults: Supporting the Unique Needs of 18-20 Year-Olds

    9 months ago
  • Episode 14: “Winter Safety: Best Practices Promote Opportunities for Empowerment and Resilience in Wilderness Therapy” with Program Director Danny Frazer

    10 months ago
  • Episode 13: Understanding EMDR with Clinical Therapist for Adolescent Girls, Kirsten Bolt, M.Ed., LMFT.

    10 months ago
  • Episode 12: “Nature-based Expressive Arts Therapy” with Clinical Therapist and Education Director Melia Snyder, PhD, LPC, REAT

    11 months ago