Skip to main content

Troubled Teens "Picture" Success

Guest blogger
Jennifer C. Jones

To the casual observer, the piece of poster board decorated with magazine cutouts might be just another art project.

But to Oxbow students, these are “vision boards,” tangible reminders of their personal mission statements. It is a picture of what they hope to achieve in the future.



“The vision board serves two purposes,” says Executive Director Shawn Brooks. “It helps the student who is struggling to have a visual representation of his mission statement and it helps him believe in what he is saying.”

These vision boards are also helping therapists and staff tune in to what a boy is really feeling.

“In his mission statement we might have a boy who talks about being a loving family member but there are no pictures of his family on his vision board,” Shawn explains.

“There’s a conflict there. He stands up and says it but he’s not visualizing himself as part of that family. You start to get quite a bit more insight on how a boy is thinking.”

He says students who have internalized their mission statements and are sincere about them have been excited about creating their vision boards.

Boys who are just “going through the motions” with their mission statements are finding the vision boards a much tougher assignment.

That, too, has a therapeutic benefit, Shawn says. Some boys begin to re-examine their mission statements, changing them to reflect ideas they truly believe.

Each boy hangs his vision board near his bed and is required to spend about 30 seconds looking at it right after waking each morning.

In addition, the boys must bring their vision boards to their phase review. They must explain their board and the meaning of the pictures they selected.

“No one completes the next phase until the vision board is completed,” Shawn says.

He adds, “Therapeutically, we’re always looking for a multi-dimensional approach. We’re hoping if the boys can visualize it they can believe it.”

Comments

Unknown said…
Fantastic...
See it Believe it This is a wonderful project.
Thanks so much Tracy! It is amazing how these teens respond...and how their vision board changes and evolves over time. It is not static, but a dynamic process!

Popular posts from this blog

Perfectly Wicked - A new take on an old fairy tale!

Guest Blogger Amanda Schultz Age 15 There she was…hair as black as night, lips as red as blood, skin as white as snow. Standing by the window, washing dishes, whistling while she worked. Snow White. I shudder with disgust every time I hear her name. What kind of a name is that anyway? “Snow White”. Gahhh, it’s a name that practically begs to be made fun of. Yet, there she goes, frolicking around like she owns the Enchanted Forest. No. I’m the Queen. I’m in charge. My magic mirror was mistaken. I’m the Fairest of them all, not that sorry excuse for a princess. One bite from my poison apple and that air-head will be so ugly not even her mother could love her. And I will be the Fairest once again! I suppose that I should rewind a little bit. It wasn’t always a competition between Snow White and me. In fact, back in the day, we had a nice little system going on. I would rule the kingdom and practice my magic, while Snow did the dishes and tended the garden. She stayed out of my w

An Open Letter to Parents Researching RedCliff Ascent

By Stephen C. Schultz "We will be known forever by the tracks we leave." Having been raised in Oregon, I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage year’s steelhead fishing the coastal waters, climbing the Middle Sister in the Cascade Mountain Range, drifting the McKenzie River and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  I have mentioned to friends, family and colleagues on many occasions;   “From a therapeutic standpoint, there is no better place to have a student’s issues manifested quickly than in a wilderness setting.” The question then becomes, “Why do therapeutic issues rise to the surface in an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare program like RedCliff Ascent ?” Throughout the years of teenage development, most teens spend a lot of time with friends. These friends think the same, dress the same, act the same, listen to the same music and sometimes get into the same types of trouble. Some teens also develop patterns of communication and manipulation

Life transitions are inevitable! I'm no exception

By Stephen C. Schultz This is just a quick email to share with you that after 20 years with the Ascent Companies, I am making a transition. I want you to know that the last 20 years have been more than I could have ever wished for. What a great opportunity I have had to not only work with, serve with and be friends with all who are a part of the RCA , DRG , DRB , Oxbow , Discovery Day PHP , Connections and Oasis programs. I owe such a debt of gratitude to the four original owners, Dane Kay, Steve Peterson, Scott Peterson and Jim Salsbury for seeing my potential and taking a risk on me back in 2002. Steve Nadauld, Brent Hall, Andrea Burgess, Clint Dorny, Shawn Brooks, Steve DeMille and the program teams have been like family and an absolute joy to be around.  I feel honored to have played a small role in the success you as educational consultants, private clinicians and us as treatment providers (working together) have had over the years on literally thousands of families.  #GRATITUDE