In her article “Bridging the Distance, a Clinical Phase Model of Family Therapy,” recently published by the Journal of Contemporary Social Services, Johanna Creswell Baez focuses on the relationship between the Wediko School and the families of our students. For families considering Wediko, it’s important to understand how integrating the family into the treatment program impacts the success of the child. We asked John Barth of our admissions team to explain why.
Q: How does the Wediko School interact with the families they serve?
A: Family, and a focus on family, is a huge component of the work we do in our residential treatment center. This increased emphasis on family helps with the students’ transition home, whenever they reach the point of being ready for that. We are the mediator to help transition these students back and we help nurture a strong family bond. With this model, we really help establish a mutual understanding between the family and the kid.
Q: Given your background within education administration, what academic benefits does this article help highlight?
A: The students here at Wediko School often were not successful in their mainstream school environment, and this very often became a mutual frustration for the student and their family. Johanna’s article helps demonstrate how Wediko can be a positive learning environment for students, certainly, but also helping students achieve academically can positively impact the whole family dynamic. When a student starts seeing success in their school life, the parents are elated and it eases tension.
Q: As someone with an intimate knowledge of the Wediko School, did anything in the article surprise you or teach you something?
A: Yes, absolutely! I learned a great deal about the therapeutic process and the phases of family therapy. The emphasis Johanna placed on the relationship piece was so necessary and important, as it really reflects the work we do here. To see our model so clearly defined and articulated really helps me describe this program to families. We emphasize families so much, it was wonderful to learn about the multitude of ways we’re doing that to help these students transition back home.
Q: For anyone reading this, what benefit is there to reading this article?
A: This article helps to articulate the Wediko School clinical phase model and how we do what we do so well. We talk about the importance of relationships within families all the time here, but this helps to connect that passion to our model and externalize how hard we work and how much we care. It’s easy for families to forget the importance of the structure and the relationships that are so integral to our functioning here. When asked, our students emphasize that they like the structure because it feels safe.
At Wediko, we center our clinical practices around the most up-to-date evidence in the field. The publication of Creswell Baez’s article shows how we also use our clinical model as the foundation for important research. Through this evidence-based practice and practice-based research, we are providing consistent and informed research and clinical care.