Why Time for Teens Is so Important
Time for Teens bereavement retreats are life changing for the teens who attend our programming. This is a prevention oriented program that seeks to reduce the incidence of self-destructive behaviors within this vulnerable population. A huge gap is apparent with services specifically targeted to teens who have suffered a loss. Time for Teens blends group psychotherapy, creative and educational workshops, individual counseling and other therapeutic methods to help teens learn how to grieve effectively and understand that they are not alone in their grieving process. An equally vital component of TFT is creative expression, primarily in the approach that is utilized during the camp week, experiential methods are employed which prove to be very effective with teens, and specifically teens who have suffered a loss.
Experiential methods can incorporate anything from improv warm up exercises to role playing, creating scenes from their lives in the past present or future and finding resolution of emotional issues arising from their loss. Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW’s) who specialize in grief therapy, adolescent counseling and experiential work specifically facilitate all camp activities, which include group therapy, individual therapy, outdoor sports and creative arts therapy workshops. The program model reflects the vision of the founder and Executive Director Laraine Gordon, and draws from her twenty years of experience in her private psychotherapy practice and 7 years of professional hospice work.
In 2017 Time for Teens is celebrating 11 years of providing programming to grieving teens ages 12-19. The connection our teens experience is best described through their own words as defined in this letter from a teen who attended a TFT Retreat.
Letter from Time for Teens Retreater:
“To all those sitting in this room at Time for Teens camp, this is for you.
First off, I would like to say Thank you to everyone, it has been a rough week for all of us and we each got through it together. There is nothing better than to watch a group of teenage strangers become such great supporters and friends. We can now call ourselves a family. Through the good and the bad everyone reacted great and supported one another. Waiting for this week the entire summer I had no idea what I was in for, Laraine tried and tried and tried to explain it but I just didn’t understand. Laraine, I finally get it! There are many ways to describe this camp but right now in my mind, I can’t think of just one thing to describe it, there are a billion ways anyone can describe it and 100% are all good things. I give each and every one of you credit to have the courage, the risk of taking chances and talent to be a part of this awesome adventure. I want you all to stay strong each and every day and please do not shut yourselves down. Everyone is a beautiful young adult, and to have pain on your shoulders like we all have does not keep you from staying strong. You must stay strong, fierce, confident, and have a ton of courage and support everyone you see who is hanging low. Remember “You are the Author of your own life story.” Say what you need to say, maybe react a bit kinder to others, respect them, and treat others the way you would want to be treated! For each participant to share their story about what has happened to your loved one, took courage and you had it and still do. Sometimes it is good to let your emotions out and this week there have been many, TRUST ME! I’m the type of person who does not like attention and somewhat tough as nail, but to shed my emotions this week has me strong, and you guys even stronger! Hang in there and hold your heads up high, never look down and represent the one who has past, picture them still with you. I am always here for each and everyone one of you, and if you need someone to talk to, everyone is listening and will help you get through it. I want you all to Thank Laraine also, if it wasn’t for her loss, who knows what we would have been doing this week!
I am sorry I had to leave early for college today, but for the emotions to run through me like that made me set and ready for the world. I will be back next year and hope to see the same group of faces again. Thank you all God Bless and “Dance as if no one was watching!”
Lots of Love, xo
Anonymous Teen TFT