Life is grounded in relationships, especially for those who have endured trauma and loss. The foundation of our program is based on this understanding, and the milieu (social environment) in our therapeutic setting is geared toward providing a safe, healthy and relational environment for boys to heal and grow.
Our students learn through everyday interactions with peers and Mentors how their behavior affects others and what a healthy relationship truly feels like. These interactions are also very diagnostic, as they are the clearest indicator of where each young man is in relation to his therapeutic progress. To help support growth in these areas, we have included the following key components within our milieu:
Students are organized into four teams of up to 12 boys, which are named after the seasons in the year. We have found 12 students to be an optimal number to maintain an intimate and supportive milieu environment. At our treatment program, teams are structured based on which primary therapist the student gets paired with. Operating within a team approach allows the students to build and maintain deeper relationships with one another and their team mentors.
We want our students to make decisions based on what they believe is right, not due to fear of a potential consequence. We approach interventions individually and relationally. This means utilizing Hero’s Code principles and natural consequences to help our students internalize and create lasting change. We do not attempt to control behaviors while your son is in our program, we are trying to help him learn from personal experiences that it is fulfilling, and good for relationships, to make choices that are rooted in his principles and values.
Our phase system is based on the archetypal Hero’s Journey. As students progress through their journey at our residential treatment program, they learn about responsibility, accountability, and community; becoming a leader among their peers; and promoting the healthy living environment that our boys thrive in at Equinox. Progression through the phase system is meant to highlight a student’s growth and development, while also providing him with opportunities to face and overcome his fears.