Presentation on theme: "Welcome to the Open Sky Webinar The webinar starts at 6pm, see you soon!"— Presentation transcript:
Welcome to the Open Sky Webinar The webinar starts at 6pm, see you soon!
Dragons: The Heros Journey Through Adolescence and Into Young Adulthood Kirsten Bolt, LMFT
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 Heros Journey Stages of Change Differentiation Dragon Cycle at Open Sky Parents Heros Journey The Call…
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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
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 Heros Journey many times throughout our lives…
Family Life Cycle (Birth, Childhood, Adolescence, Young Adulthood…) Young adulthood & Leaving home Coupling / Marriage Parenting Young children Parenting Adolescents Launching young adults Empty Nesting Other Stages: Separation & Divorce Single-Parenting Re-marriage/-coupling Blending of families (End of life)
Heros Journey Joseph Campbell as an authority Several versions of the model exist, some including 17 stages…. We will highlight only a few here…
Harry Potter Star Wars Lord of the Rings The Matrix Karate Kid Hunger Games Eat, Pray, Love Babel Tempel Grandin Steel Magnolias Wizard of Oz Batman Superman Iron Man Despicable Me Little Mermaid Aladdin Cast Away 28 Days Hope Floats Books & Movies with Heros Journey stories…
Heros 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 - cant 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)
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
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 heros journey Help them see benefit of doing this work (motivational interviewing)
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!
Why DO this work? Like any Heros Journey, this is going to be HARD and PAINFUL… so why do it?
Treasure… As we each skillfully navigate this Heros Journey and befriend our Dragon, we discover… True self-worth True connection with others As parents skillfully navigate the Heros Journey of parenting an adolescent / young adult, we discover… Truly connected, loving relationships with our children
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 self/ Differentiation of self is the goal of adolescence: becoming ones 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.
Parents Heros 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 childrens adolescence … and parents have a new heros journey with this new stage of the family life cycle … as well as the bigger process of our own differentiation/life-long heros journey. Our goal in this stage of the family life cycle is to help our children differentiate.
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
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 Parents 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)
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