Emotional HarmonyThe Path to Becoming
a Service Leader
Before a student is ready to change, we must first earn their trust to help them overcome attachment issues and heal from trauma. We address the student’s overall health with routines designed to progress their physical, emotional, mental, and social wellbeing. As better daily habits are established, a student becomes intrinsically motivated to let go of risky behaviors and learn new skills as they prepare for a transition to home life. Our program was built with this aftercare transition in mind from the beginning, we call it the Makana Continuum of Care.
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Our Approach to
Our goal is to facilitate transformational growth in each of our students. While much of the healing and growth happens outside the office from the environment and routines we provide all day, we take the clinical care we offer very seriously as well. We combine trusted therapeutic approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy with other science- based modalities such as Attachment Theory to help every student understand themselves better and find their path to mental and emotional wellness.
Garry Waterman LMSW, ACSW, Clinical Director
Garry Waterman received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan after serving in the army to provide his services to military personnel. He has worked with at-risk students for 25 years in a public school system. Garry is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW). Gary uses insight, empathy, and science-based methods to help his clients gain a positive self-image and optimistic outlook on life. He has a unique ability to gain the trust of young people and let them lead their healing journey as he offers helpful methods for their recovery from the various issues that our young people face.
Our clinical therapy approach is primarily based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which has proven effective at helping students uproot irrational beliefs, perceptions, and thoughts that can cause unwanted feelings and behaviors. Especially with young people, we’ve found a framework called “T.E.A.M.” Therapy to be an extremely effective and efficient way to help defeat negative thoughts, beliefs, and behavior patterns that reduce joy, self-esteem, productivity, and intimacy. This method was developed by Dr. David Burns, Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University. T.E.A.M. stands for Testing, Empathy, (Paradoxical) Agenda Setting, and Methods as outlined below.
Gaining Understanding Through
In order to understand our student clients better, we conduct a quick survey before and after each therapy session that measures their self-reported symptoms as well as their feelings about the therapists’ warmth, understanding, and helpfulness. This feedback allows therapists to assess their approach and look for ways to improve the student’s experience and outcomes.
Establishing Trust & Safety Through
One of the therapist’s roles is to view things from the patient’s perspective. The therapist’s ability to demonstrate sincere empathy is critical to gain a relationship of trust before effective treatment can begin. Students benefit from having a safe space to talk where they are understood and accepted without judgment.
Overcoming Resistance Through
Failure to heal is often due to resistance to change. Many clients feel conflicted about recovery because change is uncomfortable. We let each student set the agenda for their therapy session where we focus on the problems they find most upsetting and the problems they want to change. This helps sort out the student’s motivation to change before we establish an action plan.
Presenting Actionable Ways to Heal With
We use many different techniques to help students overcome issues like depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and addictions. Different methods and tools are introduced until we find something that works well for the individual. Once an effective method is discovered it becomes a life-long tool for them to manage their own emotional health when future challenges arise.
“All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.”
— Leo Tolstoy
We have a strong belief that to influence lasting change in our children, the whole family unit must be involved in learning and adapting together. Real progress happens when parents are taught mindfulness, self-reflection, and emotional awareness for themselves and then learn to implement these new tools into their parenting.
This self-awareness is a pivotal component of intentional parenting. When parents come to recognize and uncover old patterns in themselves and begin to understand their own minds and emotions on a deep level, they can then influence lasting change in their children and guide them toward their greatest potential.
Our Parent Program Includes
Each week our parent coach teaches a new topic that helps uncover the many aspects of the mental game of effective parenting. Homework is assigned to practice the concepts prior to the coach call.
Our coach leads each session with a helpful understanding of how to manage our minds for positive outcomes. Meet weekly with a small group of fellow Makana parents to discuss how the video lessons can be applied to real life.
Within the first month of your child’s stay at Makana, parents will attend an online seminar that teaches parents how to lead their children from an outward mindset. This Arbinger Institute philosophy.
We provide a parent advocate so the parents have someone to call when they feel uncertain and doubtful, providing support in addition to their appointments with their therapist.
Beth Hillman Parent Program Director, Board Member
Beth Hillman is a mother of five, an Arbinger Facilitator, and a Certified Life Coach. Her own hard-won experience sending a child to wilderness therapy, mixed with her exuberance for self-discovery, and passion to be on a journey helping other parents in fundamental ways, creates a rare combination and a valuable resource to any caregiver hoping to improve their parenting efforts. Her life work is to rebuild family relationships, guiding parents to a better way by teaching mindfulness, self-reflection, and emotional awareness.
"Out of all the therapy and help we have gotten in regards to helping our son, Beth and her program have been the MOST helpful by a long shot!"
"Beth is amazing at being able to come beside me where I am at. I never feel judged or incompetent with her. But at the same time, I love how she never allows me to stay where I am. She is amazing at asking the questions to nudge me to the next level. With Beth I feel safe to share my shortcomings, knowing I am not going to be judged, just encouraged to grow."
"We are grateful to have Beth’s guidance and wisdom as we navigate some tough parenting challenges. She brings clarity and a rational approach to our thinking. Beth’s coaching has helped us parent with more love and calmness."
"Honestly, I have gotten so much out of this program. The homework has been super helpful and applicable! The best part is the fear and 'end of the world feeling' is gone and replaced with peace and hope. I don't know what's going to happen in the future, but I'm not afraid anymore."
Connection & TriangulationNetwork Theory At Work
In any context and by any definition, success requires an engaged support network. For example, no company can be successful without a network of engaged customers. The same is true for any ecosystem, organization, individual or country. Everything we experience is interconnected; this is cause and effect. Our first milestone is to start recruiting, attracting, and training the student’s support network. We provide training and support to the Family, mentors and professional network, and our own internal staff to help each student reach their highest potential.