For teens ages 15-18 year olds still attending high school,
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.
About the Workshop
The Healing for Teens & Their Parents Workshop is a four-day, intensive setting that maximizes a family’s investment of time and money. The workshop is clinical, meaning all the leaders are at least master’s level, licensed counselors who are specifically trained in addressing problematic sexual behavior from a family-systems perspective. The comprehensive approach addresses not only the teen’s acting out behavior but also its roots and the dynamics of the family system.
Participation is limited to six families. For group processing, no more than three families are in a small group, usually with a male and a female leader. Individual counseling is not part of the intensive; however, each teen, parent, and family receives individualized attention in the group setting.
All participants (including Nashville area residents) stay together in a nearby hotel. The teen is required to stay with at least one parent in a hotel suite; a separate room for the teen isn’t an option. Additional rooms for step-parents are available if needed.
Families may be referred by a therapist or clergy person, or they may self-refer, which means you simply sign up on your own. You don’t have to be working with a counselor before attending the workshop; however, those who are not in counseling will complete a required phone appointment with our Clinical Specialist.
Bethesda Workshops comes from a Christian perspective that emphasizes grace and God’s unconditional love. Everyone is welcome and will find an accepting, non-pressuring environment.
Whoever is identified as the girl’s parents (whether parents or step-parents – those who have primary residential and legal responsibility for the teen) are REQUIRED to attend. Parents are responsible for the teen overnight.
Dates & Times
Wednesday, 1:00 pm – Saturday, 3:00 pm, Central
UPCOMING WORKSHOP DATES
The workshop fee of $5,000 includes all lodging and meals for the duration of the workshop for all family members attending. See Financial Information for details.
The workshop consists of a combination of activities, exercises, communication sessions, reflection, and experiential activities. The format is designed to be non-judgmental, non-adversarial, and engaging for all involved. Each teen develops a specific recovery plan to guide her process after the workshop. Each family also formulates a plan to guide their interactions and expectations. Specific topics include:
- Shame and reactivity
- Creating a family culture of support
- Education about problematic sexual behavior
- Cycle of acting out
- Influence of culture and social media
- Tools of recovery
- Relapse prevention
- Dynamics of healthy families
- Family communication
- Positive parenting
- Realistic expectations about behavior and recovery
Important Workshop Information
- Workshop Format
- Technology Free Environment
- Lodging & Meals
- Travel & Flight Information
- Workshop Leaders
- What to Bring
The workshop is a group experience, and individual counseling sessions are not part of the intensive. During the small group breakouts, though, each participant has extensive time to share personally. Sessions normally begin at 8:00 a.m. and continue until around 8:00 p.m.
The workshop format is intense and specifically designed to maximize time and investment. This is not a retreat. Participants move between educational segments, individual work, and small groups. The approach consists of a combination of instruction, writing or drawing, small groups, interactive exercises, and activities.
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, 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 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 12:15 pm Central time. You should arrive no later than 12:45 pm.
If you’re flying you should arrive in Nashville no later than 11:15 am Central time on Wednesday so you’ll have time to eat lunch and get to the workshop site. The Healing for Men workshop ends at 4:00 pm on Saturday, and participants are free to leave then. Don’t schedule a flight before 5:15 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.
If a participant is flying, Nashville is the destination airport (airport code BNA). The following are the suggested flight arrangement times (all Central) for each workshop:
Healing for Teens and Parents Workshop Flight
Latest flight arrival time on Wednesday: 11:00 am Central time
Earliest flight departure on Saturday: 4:30 pm
Workshops are staffed by licensed clinicians who hold at least a master’s degree. Many have earned the CSAT designation, a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, which is the highest certification recognized in our field. Workshops are primarily led by same-gender therapists, though most workshops also have at least one opposite-gender therapist. All workshop leaders are committed Christians with specific clinical training in treating sexual addiction and related issues. The majority of the workshop leaders are in some form of personal recovery as an addict or a partner.
Meet Our Staff
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.