Therapist in the Wild
A few weeks ago I returned from a trip to Granby Colorado, where I volunteered at a Project Sanctuary retreat. Project Sanctuary is an organization that provides therapeutic retreats for military families.
This was such an incredible experience for me. I was eager to get outside of the four walls of my private practice get out in the wild mountains, and interact with the families who have made one of the greatest sacrifices by serving our country in the military, or being related to, or married to someone who gave their service to our country. Here are my takeaways from this retreat and working with these heroes.
Family time is so incredibly important! AND it needs to be FUN! Not only did we equip the parents and kids in better ways of communicating and sharing their feelings, but we also showed them the importance of play. It was so incredible to see each family member light up and connect in new ways. Being able to play as a family set you up for greater success to talk about the wounds and harder things that a family needs to talk about.
In order for the parents to navigate difficult conversations with their kids, they need to first be able to navigate difficult conversations with each other. During the couples-only time, Project Sanctuary facilitators and therapists educated the couples and lead them through exercises to connect better with each other. The phrase “knees to knees“ was used frequently as a guide on how to have more intimate conversations. You have to have eye contact and a posture of connection…sit knees to knees!
Community support is so important! It was incredible to watch a group of strangers turn into close friends in just over four days. At the closing of the retreat, many reflected on how they have never felt such community support on such a deep and understanding level.
Community support is so important, but also has its risks. You have to risk being vulnerable in expressing your needs. You also have to be flexible and open to helping them with their need and meeting them in their vulnerability. Once you push past these barriers you get to experience the richness of someone truly caring, which helps you experience the world as a safer place. Something we all need to experience more, and especially so for for military families.
I’m looking forward to being a part of more retreats with this incredible organization. If you’d like to find out more about these retreats visit their website at www.projectsanctuary.us.
If you would like a therapeutic setting to talk more about how you and your spouse and your family can connect in more intimate and vulnerable ways, please reach out to me and let’s set up a session together. I can help you and your family find the love and connection you are all craving. I provide family counseling and marriage counseling to the Loveland, Fort Collins, Berthoud area in person. I provide counseling services online to anyone in the state of Colorado and Wyoming.