There is always a gap when a student in treatment looks at going home or on to living independently.  They are tired of the rules and boundaries of treatment, but they have also learned the ropes and are comfortable too.

Families also get a little dizzy when viewing the gap that exists between the therapeutic setting of a wilderness or residential treatment program, and the public school and home environment.  There are no trained therapists or field staff to deal with issues that arise, they themselves are the ones on call.

The gap is not a permanent barrier, just an obvious challenge that can be met and crossed successfully with proper planning, equipment, and training.

Just as all hikers need water, boots, maps, and possibly ropes, families need ways to communicate safely, set rules and consequences, enlarge the support network, and plan for changing needs in education, employment, living situations, etc.

Being aware of the needs, rather than wandering blindly towards the gap, is undoubtedly the primary step in a successful transition.

As Earl Nightengale reminds us “Your problem is to bridge the gap which exists between where you are now and the goal you intend to reach.”

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