One of the best books to be published in the last few years was a book called The Parallel Process. Krissy Pozatek worked in a wilderness program with students and found that often, the missing ingredient was the process that parents needed to go through to support the change of their son/daughter. Therapeutic Wilderness Programs do not “fix” kids. What they do instead is give a young person time to slow down, get unplugged, and reflect on how their negative behaviors have influenced their lives and the lives of their family.
Recently wilderness programs around the country have made a concerted effort to involve parents more in the therapeutic process. Usually this involves parents going to a 2-3 day workshop where they learn some of the terminology and therapy processes that their students had been engaged. We applaud this very important change in wilderness programs.
Often for parents, they actually go through a grieving process when their student leaves home. They view the empty table at supper time or the empty bed at bedtime and feel as if they have been failures as parents. The truth is that many things contributed to their child’s attendance at a wilderness program. Several programs specialize in parent coaching and in transitions when a student leaves either wilderness or a therapeutic program. Krissy Pozatek is now consulting with one of these programs, 2nd Nature 360.
Krissy has had over 15 years of experience in the wilderness therapy and adolescent treatment field. She graduated from Middlebury College with a joint undergraduate degree in environmental studies and geography. She started in the therapeutic field as a wilderness instructor at Aspen Achievement Academy, working with both adjudicated and at-risk youth in 1996. She then worked at Montana Academy when it first launched.
Krissy completed her graduate training in clinical social work, at both Smith College School for Social Work and at N. M. Highlands University.
Krissy returned to wilderness therapy, first at Aspen Achievement Academy, working with both adolescent boys and girls and their families. She then worked at Second Nature Wilderness Program in Duchesne. Krissy’s clinical experience includes the treatment of adoption issues, trauma, self-harming behavior, substance abuse, personality disorders, and family systems problems. Krissy also worked at True North Wilderness Program in Waitsfield,Vermont.
Krissy currently works with parents of struggling adolescents and young adults in her parent coaching practice, Parallel Process, LLC, established in 2006.