Top 10 Benefits of a Live-In Therapeutic Coach in Our Wellness Adventure Program

In our wellness adventure program, a live-in therapeutic coach is not just an integral part of the support system; they are a catalyst for transformation. With their constant presence, expertise, and collaborative approach, they play a pivotal role in helping our students embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth. At Rooted Life Adventures, we are dedicated to providing the highest level of care and support, ensuring that every student’s wellness adventure is a meaningful and transformative experience.

Top 10 Benefits of a Live-In Therapeutic Coach in Our Wellness Adventure Program

1. 360-Degree Wellness Adventure Insight

When it comes to our wellness adventure program, having a live-in therapeutic coach offers a unique advantage. With their presence throughout the day, our therapeutic coach has an all-encompassing view of our students, observing their actions and behaviors in various contexts. This real-time insight enables them to provide timely guidance and support, making every moment a teachable one.

2. Leveraging Successes for Personal Growth

Our therapeutic coach is adept at recognizing and celebrating our students’ successes during volunteer experiences, cultural immersions, and active adventures. These accomplishments serve as powerful teaching tools, allowing our therapeutic coach to draw on them to support coaching efforts. It’s about turning achievements into stepping stones for personal growth.

3. Real-Life Learning in the Heart of Your Wellness Adventure

Understanding each student’s unique challenges is fundamental to our wellness adventure program’s success. Our live-in therapeutic coach is well-versed in each student’s challenges. They are also knowledgeable about past care initiatives, allowing them to tailor their approach to what works best for each individual.

4. A Collaborative Care Team

We believe in a collaborative approach to wellness. Our live-in therapeutic coach maintains communication with each student’s at-home therapist, acting as an extension of their care team. This collaborative effort ensures that all parties are aligned in their approach and goals, fostering a holistic experience.

5. Continuity of Care

We understand the importance of uninterrupted care. That’s why students continue their weekly sessions with their long-term at-home therapist during our program so no ground is lost. Our stable collaborative environment allows for ease of transition to, and from, program with their trusted at-home therapist helping them adapt to a new environment, learn skills away from home, and then utilizing their newly developed skills when they return.

6. Real Life Learning Environment

Our wellness and core curriculum are a welcomed break from the traditional therapy setting. We create a safe environment that encourages students to learn from one another through real-life experiences. This approach helps build essential life skills and reinforces personal growth, while also bringing in the healing power of play and silliness in a “camp-like” fun and games environment.

7. Group Sessions & In-the-Moment Coaching

Our live-in therapeutic coach facilitates two group sessions each week, providing students with a platform to explore and discuss their thoughts and feelings. Additionally, daily check-ins and in-the-moment coaching are available as often as needed, ensuring students receive timely support.

8. Thoughtful Transition Planning

We understand that transitions can be challenging. Our wellness adventure program includes comprehensive transition planning involving students, parents, home therapists, and educational consultants. This collaborative effort ensures a smooth transition from our program to the next phase of a student’s journey.

9. Progress Tracking & Parent Coaching

We provide clear and detailed written summaries of each student’s experiences, challenges, successes, and gains. We empower families, and their care team, to make well-informed decisions for next steps of that student’s journey with a summary of our 360 viewpoint, including recommendations. Parents are kept informed and involved throughout their child’s journey and offered supportive parent coaching. Three (3) parent coaching sessions at the beginning of our program, and three (3) parent coaching sessions towards the end of program to plan for the transition back home.

Learn more about our Parent Coach Jane Samuel, MA, CPC here.

10. Ongoing Communication for Your Wellness Adventure Journey

Communication is key. We provide weekly updates to parents, home therapists, and referral resources, ensuring everyone is well-informed about a student’s progress and challenges while participating in their wellness adventure. This open dialogue reinforces our commitment to the well-being of each student.

By Sharon Laney

Reflections | Costa Rica Summer ’23

The reactions I get when I talk about my experience leading a wellness adventure 6-week program with 6 teenage girls, staying in the same house as them, adventuring, cooking, cleaning, and doing groups with them in Costa Rica do not surprise me. I receive wide eyes and something like, “Oh wow, congratulations. How did it go?”

Over my years working with this population, I’ve come to realize how afraid our culture is of teenage girls. Yet, I believe they have so much amazing power that they are just beginning to uncover.

Elise Scribner, LSCW

During my time with our Costa Rica Summer 2023 students, I was amazed by how much they discovered about themselves in our wellness adventure program. I got to witness their motivation to return home rooted in their newfound (or rediscovered) strengths. It was such an experience to be with them from sun up to sun down. 

The RLA Difference

Rooted Life Adventures is scheduled so that our students are able to experience a wide variety of new challenges and activities. They learned how to deep clean their rooms, cook a variety of meals on a budget, rappel down waterfalls and fly on a high trapeze, work different positions in an animal sanctuary, and how to handle conflict with each other and ask for help. Embedded within these activities, I facilitated wellness groups and psychoeducational groups that helped form a culture of inclusivity, feedback, reflection, and emotional vulnerability.

During the first days of orientation, I led a group on the Stages of Group Development, including the observable behaviors, feelings, thoughts, and team needs at each stage, and the leadership required to get to the next stage. We wrote these notes out on big papers and hung them in the house to refer back to. Most all the students expressed anxiety about the “Storming” stage, and how they hoped the group could just “skip it”. Conflict was a big fear for most students in the group, as they were used to ignoring it or cutting people out entirely if it came up.

One week later, the group was whispering about each other, expressing frustrations, having small explosions, and communicating passively. I held a group again on the stages of group development. Everyone agreed that we were in the storming phase… and we celebrated! We discussed how conflict is inevitable and productive, and as we practice conflict resolution and communication skills, we can continue to move forward through the stages.

Healing with Silliness

This was a time when play and silliness, very important parts of our program, perfectly intersected with the student’s wellness and personal growth. After this group on storming, we physically played it out and had a huge paint gun fight! Everyone ended up laughing, covered in paint, returning to the house in high spirits.

I must admit, there’s something really cathartic about throwing paint bombs at everyone around you to let out some tense energy.

Elise Scribner, LCSW

The group thrived in a unique way when silliness and play emerged, whether it was a planned glow in the dark pool party or singing and dancing to music while cooking dinner. Our students experienced a safe space to let their walls down and bring out their goofy parts in a safe space. Many of our students had not allowed themselves to show these parts of at home, for fear of judgment by other peers, or because they forgot they had them. Their sense of their true self grew as they accessed these parts again within our wellness adventure curriculum, and the rest of the group welcomed them. This process also had a huge impact on the formation of close friendships; because authenticity is a required part of any healthy relationship, the students grew to have tight bonds as weeks went on.

Benefits of a Live-In Therapeutic Coach

I also witnessed the way that the psychoeducation and wellness groups helped deepen the experience that the students had while on our program. During these weekly groups, they were learning and discussing important concepts such as components to healthy relationships, personal values, and core beliefs. These conversations did not end when the groups were over — they carried on as the students slowly started turning toward each other and took risks like practicing assertive feedback to their peers, or challenging each other’s negative self-talk. Each student made great strides in becoming more vulnerable with their peers and the instructors as they learned the importance of being vulnerable and the tools to be able to do so.

Continuity of Care: At-Home Therapist

The students’ growth was not only limited to the program, because within our wellness adventure approach they also had the opportunity to share it with their at home therapist and receive even more support each week. Their weekly therapy sessions provided a continuation of care, as the therapist learned about their struggles and strengths during the week and was able to help the students generalize and prepare them to re-enter their lives back at home. I also helped coach the students to on how to share their new insights and goals to their parents, especially at the end when we prepared for reintegration.

Cultivating Community & Learning Independence

During the first few weeks running this wellness adventure program, Amalia and I were working on setting firm boundaries while also gaining rapport and doing lots of in-the-moment coaching with the students. As the students got familiar with the daily routines and schedule and learned to trust each other, however, a magical thing began to happen. They began to run themselves. Instead of us instructors setting up after-dinner activities, they would discuss it together during the day and have a plan on what they wanted to do after dinner and present it to us. They began to work out small conflicts on their own instead of asking us to speak to the other student(s) involved. They held each other accountable if someone was skirting responsibility in cooking or cleaning. Near the end of the program, they were excited to return to a check-in group on the stages of group development and were proud to recognize that they were in the “Performing” stage, the highly productive stage involving true interdependence.

Overall, it was a true privilege to see how the students thrived when they were given the skills, space, support, and opportunity to dig into who they are and who they wanted to be within our wellness adventure format. Watch out world, we have 6 more powerful teenage girls coming out of Costa Rica who have learned to own their strengths and sense of self!

View the full photo album from Rooted Life Adventure’s Costa Rica Summer 2023 6-Week Adolescent Girls Program here.

Learn more about Elise here.