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Welcome to the Open Sky Webinar

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to the Open Sky Webinar"— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to the Open Sky Webinar
The webinar starts at 6pm, see you soon!

2 Dragons: The Hero’s Journey Through Adolescence and Into Young Adulthood Kirsten Bolt, LMFT
Intro me as clinical therapist working with adolescent girls, but worked all groups and ages. Background is family therapy orientation

3 Overview Purpose of Webinar is to highlight our use of the Dragon metaphor… but in the context of several other concepts… Rites of Passage Family Life Cycle Hero’s Journey Stages of Change Differentiation Dragon Cycle at Open Sky Parents’ Hero’s Journey The Call…

4 Questions? Please type in your questions or comments during the presentation using the Dialog box For any technical questions, please contact:

5 Rites of Passage “For the greater share of human history, young people benefited from the precious gift of rites of passage. Formal occasions, if you will, created by their cultures as stepping stones to help them find their way across that delicate, even dangerous bridge from adolescence into adulthood. … … What is missing today are meaningful stepping stones – those experiences that used to help young people anchor their budding sense of identity.” - Gary Ferguson Says it all, but really acknowledge lack of these rites in modern Amer majority culture. Birthdays meaningless. 18 holds much weight, but so many kids just unprepared for responsibility of being y.a. at 18.

6 Wilderness Therapy Deliberate or not, you have offered your child a significant rite of passage in the process of adolescence / young adulthood by enrolling at Open Sky. Open Sky offers parents a similar rite of passage as well, as you navigate parenting an adolescent / young adult. We all walk the Hero’s Journey many times throughout our lives… My interest in WT started as a field guide and the passion and creativity that we bring to this work in creating a major (and many smaller) RofPs.

7 Family Life Cycle (Birth, Childhood, Adolescence, Young Adulthood…)
Other Stages: Separation & Divorce Young adulthood & Leaving home Single-Parenting Coupling / Marriage Re-marriage/-coupling Parenting Young children Blending of families Parenting Adolescents (End of life) Launching young adults Empty Nesting Looking primarily at the FLC, but in context of more linear chronological frame. Each of these stages offers a new RofP and journey

8 Hero’s Journey Joseph Campbell as an authority
Several versions of the model exist, some including 17 stages…. We will highlight only a few here… Other folks have developed similar models but based on Joseph C.

9 Books & Movies with Hero’s Journey stories…
Harry Potter Wizard of Oz Star Wars Batman Lord of the Rings Superman Iron Man The Matrix Despicable Me Karate Kid Hunger Games Little Mermaid Eat, Pray, Love Aladdin Cast Away Babel 28 Days Tempel Grandin Hope Floats Steel Magnolias Pick one movie (from this list or otherwise) that you know well. While we review the various HJ stages, try to imagine different scenes from your movie pick to highlight the stages.

10 Hero’s Journey Stages…
Ordinary World (where something is amiss) The Call (external or internal - perhaps Open Sky?) Refusal of The Call (fear of the unknown) Meeting Mentors or Guides (who offer advice, training, equipment) Crossing the Threshold & Belly of the Whale (committing to the journey… lowest point - can’t return) Tests / Allies / Enemies (assessing new surroundings) The Ordeal (confront greatest fear and/or death) The Reward (treasure won by facing death) Refusal of the Return & The Return (must leave new world to bring treasure home - often hard to do)

11 Stages of Change Pre-Contemplation Contemplation Preparation Action
Maintenance Relapse Prochaska & DiClemente Can you see where these two models line up?

12 Dragons: Terminology…
Dragon … core belief or fear Cave … where we hide the dragon Boulders … how we try to hide from, or numb, the dragon Dragon Cycle … how we get stuck reinforcing the dragon *The dragon cycle looks differently for each of us, but fundamentally is the same Dragon as metaphor great especially for adolescents… helps them embark on journey. Maybe another metaphor parents can use? Dragon examples…. I’m not good enough, smart enough, have enough integrity, pretty enough, loveable, worthy, … Worthy of what? … acceptance and belonging … the process of finding self in relationship (really we all seek connection - but true connection necessitates a true sense of self and a belief in one’s worthiness Big Boulders: alcohol and other drugs, food, porn/sex/internet, relationships, rage, shopping, self-harm, isolation/withdrawal, MASKs we wear Smaller Boulders: blame others, abdicate responsibility, not take risks, no vulnerability, self-deception, using powerlessness or worthlessness to hide (no point in trying), feigning apathy, cognitive distortions

13 Dragon, Cave, Boulders

14 Dragon Cycle DRAGON FEELINGS Shame, Anxiety, Fear BOULDERS

15 How We Use Dragons… Identify the various parts of dragon cycle - map it and continue mapping Notice the dragon cycle - guides, therapist, and peers help highlight; students might tally Start doing things differently: Sit with uncomfortable emotions - mindfulness practices help balance emotion & logic Develop and use a mantra that helps you face dragon Taking space, Coping skills, I-feel statements “Dragon Ceremony” - ritual punctuates the hero’s journey Help them see benefit of doing this work (motivational interviewing) We all use this differently, but in general, here are some basic ways we use it… Offer details and examples of these…. Tallying, stop what we are doing to highlight patterns/dragon cycles, talk about relapse and stages of change, map it, have students draw it or write poem about it, practicing healthy coping strategies when dragon arises - guides leading students in how to do this. Case example: “John” (Spencer) - noticing dragon, could id dragon, but hadn’t looked deeply yet at his own tricks to hide from dragon…. Started seeing that he was really afraid to show up in life, to fail, to be rejected, to be vulnerable… and therefore wasn’t engaged fully in life so he couldn’t truly be ACCEPTED either. So boulders of ODD, feign apathy, victim, using dragon to avoid trying - succumbing to powerlessness and worthlessness. Offer some solid examples of dragon ceremonies… sometimes the dragon ceremony happens just in asking students to design one sometimes guides create it but often we ask students to design their DC - helping internalize what they are learning by teaching it… and empower them to do this work… Examples:

16 Goal in Facing the Dragon
Despite the temptation, the goal is NOT to slay the dragon… Instead, the goal is to BEFRIEND it! Sit with the uncomfortable emotions so you can respond more effectively - balancing emotions and rational thought Bring it into the light; let others see it; and stop hiding/numbing - SOOTHE the dragon! Be vulnerable!

17 Why DO this work? Like any Hero’s Journey, this is going to be HARD and PAINFUL… so why do it?

18 Treasure… As we each skillfully navigate this Hero’s Journey and befriend our Dragon, we discover… True self-worth True connection with others As parents skillfully navigate the Hero’s Journey of parenting an adolescent / young adult, we discover… Truly connected, loving relationships with our children

19 *We have another webinar devoted entirely to this topic.
Differentiation “To become an adult, every person faces the task of the differentiation of self. Not to differentiate is to fuse (the failure to become a separate person) and is evidenced by the propensity to place responsibility on others (or on situations, predicaments, and hurdles) for the way in which our lives develop. To differentiate is to provide a platform for maximum growth and personal development for everyone in your circle of influence.” -Family Systems “Differentiation of self” is the goal of adolescence: becoming one’s own person while balancing connection with others True Connection necessitates true Individuation - otherwise we err toward the extremes of enmeshed or cut-off relationships *We have another webinar devoted entirely to this topic. If time, talk about children’s pattern of pushing for freedom/ independence, but not having the skills necessary, so doing it poorly. Trading connection for “independence” Refer back to Tony’s webinar

20 Parents’ Hero’s Journey
Many (most?) of us enter young adulthood with our own dragon cycles not fully resolved, making this life-long work Having children tends to bring that work to the surface Then enter our children’s adolescence … and parents have a new hero’s journey with this new stage of the family life cycle … as well as the bigger process of our own differentiation/life-long hero’s journey. Our goal in this stage of the family life cycle is to help our children differentiate. Other webinars to help explore more in depth how to help our kids differentiate

21 The Call…? If you are interested in working alongside your child re: the Dragon cycle, here are some ideas… Journal about, or map, your own Dragon cycle Ask your child what s/he is learning about his/her Dragon cycle Write to your child about your own Dragon cycle Start noticing your Dragon cycle - and ask your family/friends/therapist to help you notice it Sit with the uncomfortable emotions your dragon elicits Practice mindfulness skills (yoga, meditation, etc) Start to respond differently to the dragon Consider how you might design a dragon ceremony for yourself Commit to do one of these - ask child about it, map your own

22 References Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Brené Brown) Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall?: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager (Anthony E. Wolf) Parallel Process: Growing Alongside Your Adolescent or Young Adult Child in Treatment (Krissy Pozatek) Shouting at the Sky: Troubled Teens and the Promise of the Wild, 2nd ed. (Gary Ferguson) The Changing Family Life Cycle: A framework for family therapy, 2nd ed. (Betty Carter & Monica McGoldrick) The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Joseph Campbell) The Knight in Rusty Armor (Robert Fisher) The Transtheoretical Model: Stages of Change (Prochaska & DiClemente)

23 Thank you! Your participation speaks volumes to the dedication and love you have for yourself and your families.. Contact Information: Please keep this browser window open; it will take you to a short survey.

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