For teens ages 15-18
Few things are more painful for parents than to have a child who is troubled. How do you respond? What can you do to help? And what about you – how do you get through this challenging time? The Teen workshop is a safe place for your daughter or son to get informed help in a non-shaming environment. It’s also a safe place for you to process what’s happening in your family and get specific tools that help all of you heal.
IMPORTANT COVID UPDATE
All workshops are IN-PERSON at our facility in Nashville.
For the protection of participants and staff, everyone must provide proof of full vaccination, or either an antibodies test that shows prior infection or a negative PCR or antigen (rapid) test (at the individual’s expense) taken within 48 hours of coming to a Bethesda Workshop. Masks are optional, although encouraged, and all participants will have a roommate.
About the Offerings
TEENS & PARENTS ATTEND
These clinical intensive offerings are family-based, rather than a program just for the adolescent guy or girl themselves. Whoever is identified as the teen’s parents (whether parents or step-parents – those who have primary residential and legal responsibility for the teen) are REQUIRED to attend.
To accommodate the needs of students during the school year, a WEEKEND offering has been developed in addition to the longer WORKSHOP format. Both options provide teens a strong foundation for arresting problematic sexual behavior and support parents in establishing boundaries and realistic expectations.
- Convenient Friday-Sunday schedule
- Behavioral focus on problem and solution
- Individualized recovery plan for teens
- Positive, practical tools for parents
- Community development for teens and parents
Includes everything covered in the Weekend PLUS:
- Longer schedule that maximizes investment
- More family groups
- Additional experiential activities
- Exploration of personal wounding
- Systemic emphasis in addition to behavioral
- Dynamics of healthy families
- Parents’ relationship
- Additional off-site activities
- Breaking denial about problematic sexual
- Influence of culture and social media
- Pornography’s impact on the brain
- Cycle of problematic sexual behavior
- Identification of triggers and rituals
- Development of boundaries
- Stages of development for teens
- Effective responses for parents
- Healthy family communication
- Impact of personal woundedness (Workshop)
- Stress on parental / marital system (Workshop)
The fee includes attendance for the teen, parents, and step-parents if applicable. The fee includes all lodging and meals for all attendees during the workshop (excluding any extra nights at the conference hotel due to travel arrangements).
Deposit: $1,000 (non-refundable)
Deposit: $1,500 (non-refundable)
See Financial Information for details.
About the Program
For an adolescent to heal and that healing to last, parents must be part of the process. Struggling teens are much more likely to change in the context of family-based healing. That environment takes some of the pressure off, as they realize the treatment focus isn’t solely on them as the “problem.” It’s vital that the whole family be involved in a coordinated process of understanding, growth, and change.
The program is a group process where multiple families attend at the same time (normally four to six families). The participants move between brief educational segments, activities, and group settings. Some of the groups are separate gatherings of the
teens and the parents, where each population has a safe space to share their challenges as a family. Other groups are family therapy (with the teen and parents together) in a multifamily group setting, meaning one or two other families will be part of the group. The intensive is active, experiential, and engaging for both the teen and the parents.
Participation is limited to six families. Individual counseling is not part of the program, but each family gets significant dedicated attention within the group setting. A family greatly benefits from observing other families’ work, as well as from doing their own.
Research and experience shows that families with a struggling teen benefit from family therapy as well as help for the teen individually and for the parents. We strongly recommend that a family continues their healing process with appropriate therapeutic
help after the workshop.
Bethesda Workshops will communicate extensively with the family’s therapists after the program. Because teens don’t have access to 12 Step meetings, we will provide a platform for them to remain connected and have one of our leaders participate in the first two calls with the teens.
Note: If the teen is not currently in counseling, teen and the parents must separately complete an intake phone session with one of our clinicians to be sure the Weekend or Workshop is an appropriate fit for your situation.
Important Workshop Information
- Technology Free Environment
- Lodging & Meals
- Travel & Flight Information
- Workshop Leaders
- What to Bring
The format is intense and specifically
designed to maximize a family’s time and investment. Full-day sessions begin first thing in the morning and continue until mid-evening.
Activities include a combination
of teaching, exercises, small groups, and experiential activities. The format is designed to be non-judgmental, non-adversarial, and engaging for all involved. The small number of families accepted at one time ensures that each teen and family has extensive time to share and receives dedicated attention.
The workshop is a technology-free setting that we call the “Bethesda Bubble.” Participants take a total time-out from contact with the outside world, including family and friends, by turning in all electronic devices – cell phones, laptops, smart watches, tablets, iPads, etc. – for the duration of the workshop. Participants refrain from watching tv in their hotel rooms and are not allowed to make or receive calls or use the business center at the hotel.
Participants are required to arrange all work and home responsibilities before arriving so that they are totally off the grid during the duration of the workshops. Communicating with anyone or any type of work-related activity is not permitted, including during overnight hours. If participants aren’t willing to be completely disconnected from work and home, they are encouraged to attend a future workshop when they can dedicate time.
If you’re concerned about not talking with minor children, we suggest you leave notes that can be opened each day you’re gone or leave video messages the child can listen to.
Bethesda Workshops will provide participants with emergency contact information to share with immediate family so that you can be reached in the event of a serious family emergency. Staff will not interrupt your process for a work-related situation.
The workshops & weekends are held in Nashville, Tennessee.
All participants (including Nashville area residents) stay together in a nearby hotel. This total time-out from normal responsibilities and distractions is an important “container” for the intensive work.
Each person shares a room with another workshop participant; there are no private rooms. Having a roommate forces you to break the isolation that’s part of the picture for both addicts and partners. It also provides accountability and safety. It’s wise to bring ear plugs in case your roommate snores. All hotel rooms are non-smoking, and smoking is only permitted in a designated outside area at Bethesda Workshops.
The hotel has a small exercise room you may use before breakfast or late evenings when you return from the workshop. You aren’t allowed to leave the hotel to use another exercise facility like the YMCA or a health club.
The Bethesda Workshops staff will handle your hotel reservation, and all lodging and meals are included in your workshop fee. If you have to stay over the day the workshop ends or need to arrive a day early, the Workshop Coordinator can arrange lodging at your expense at the workshop site. Meals during the times before and after a workshop are also at your expense.
Participants eat breakfast at the hotel, which is a complimentary buffet of continental and hot items. Lunch and supper are served at Bethesda Workshops. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and a green salad are available daily. Lunch is usually some kind of hearty sandwich, salad or soup; and supper is a meat entree with vegetables and salad. Dessert or sweets are limited to the supper meal. Beverage choices include coffee, soft drinks, iced tea, and water.
Bethesda Workshops can accommodate a vegetarian or gluten-free diet with advance notice. You must make your own arrangements for vegan meals or other special dietary needs by bringing food that can be quickly prepared in a microwave, if necessary. A refrigerator and freezer are available.
It’s critically important that you be present for the entire workshop. As a group intensive, everyone needs to begin and end together. You WILL NOT be admitted to the workshop if you plan your travel in such a way that you arrive late or leave early, even if that means you get to Nashville the day before the workshop starts or leave the day after it ends. You shortchange yourself and disrupt the workshop process if you arrive late or leave early.
It’s in your best interest to arrive rested. Please arrange to arrive the day before the workshop instead of flying overnight or leaving at dawn to travel the day of the workshop. Don’t arrive exhausted before these intense, long days.
Once you register for a workshop, a Travel Arrangements Form is one of the documents you’ll receive, and it provides space for you to communicate your travel plans and lodging needs to the Bethesda Workshops staff.
Bethesda Workshops will be prepared to welcome participants beginning at 10:00 am Central time. You should arrive no later than 9:45 am.
If you’re flying you should arrive in Nashville (airport code BNA) no later than 9:00 am Central time on Friday so you’ll have time to eat breakfast and get to the workshop site. The Teens & Parents Weekend ends at 3:00 pm on Sunday, and participants are free to leave then. Don’t schedule a flight before 4:30 pm at the earliest; ideally your flight should be 5:30 pm or later.
Transportation from the airport is provided, and participants carpool back and forth from the conference hotel. There’s no need to rent a car.
The Teens & Parents Program is staffed by at least master’s level clinicians who specialize in working with adolescents and their parents. Each teen group is led by the same gender therapist. Male and female therapists are present at most weekends and workshops.
Bring clothes for four days, personal toiletries, medicine, and any other essentials you’ll need. Plan to dress in layers and bring a light jacket or sweater even during warm weather, because some find the meeting rooms cold. If you like, feel free to bring a Bible, a journal, recovery related reading or personal devotional materials. It’s helpful to bring a watch since you won’t have your cell phone. We’ll provide everything you’ll need during the workshop itself, including a workbook, paper and pen.
Participants are not permitted to use cell phones, laptops, tablets and similar items at the workshop. Please do travel with a cell phone so you can communicate with us in case there are travel difficulties. Staff will collect all cell phones and other electronics and keep them until the workshop ends. No weapons are allowed at the workshop site, at the conference hotel, or in participant vehicles.
Some participants are highly sensitive and/or allergic to perfume, cologne, and essential oils. We ask that you not use any fragrances of essential oils during your time at the workshop, including at the hotel. Please leave them at home.
Attending a Bethesda Healing Workshop is best viewed as a huge jumpstart for recovery. A specific aftercare plan is crucial. The intensive workshop often identifies core family and trauma issues which need further healing. Each participant – whether an individual, couple, or family – is helped to outline a personalized aftercare program before leaving the workshop. In general, a recommended aftercare plan consists of four main components:
• Behavioral measures to address acting out and other forms of unhealthy coping
• Regular connection with a supportive community (a 12 Step program is recommended)
• Continued counseling for core issues, especially around trauma and relationship concerns
• Cultivation of a deeper connection with God and spirituality
• Active self-care regarding nutrition, exercise, sleep and recreation
Participants are also strongly encouraged to maintain contact with each other. Many groups text or video chat regularly, and some groups even plan reunions to celebrate their recovery and connection.