By Rob Gent | Added April 5

Families being a part of Calo is an essential ingredient in the experience of treatment.  The most frequent means of family involvement is their time spent on campus during family visitations.  These visitations are opportunities for parents/guardians to engage with their child while practicing and maintaining therapeutically productive interactions.  A significant aspect of treatment for families is that Calo continues to be a resource and environment which emotional and behavioral expectations are maintained.  This is important for parents/guardians to feel empowered and supported while implementing the relational experiences acquired during family therapy.  The expectation is for families and students to rely on Calo as a safe foundation from which trust, coaching, assistance, and consistency exist.  

Family visitations are encouraged as frequently as beneficial for the student and the family.  Traditional visitations usually occur over one week day and last over a weekend (i.e. Friday-Sunday) where the therapist provides coaching and expectations for time off campus.  Of course, families are welcome to coordinate visits with the therapist for any other time during the week.  The visits consist of families arriving and departing according to Calo visitation hours (see below *) and require that all guests sign in and out.  Visitations are expected to be a time when families interact with the Calo community and enjoy all aspects of treatment (therapy, meals, games, canines, loft time, recreation therapy, academics, etc.). 

The expectation is that parents/guardians come prepared to interact with their student as a coach and involve themselves in as many activities and scheduled events as possible.  This is consistent with the relationship model and provides opportunity for connection, trust building, limit setting, follow through, and healthy vulnerability.  The exciting factor is that coaches will come along side of parents/guardians to assist and guide in maintaining safety and productive growth within the relationship.  This means that families should wear appropriate clothing and shoes for participating in the active and engaged setting of the milieu. 

Much like the home environment, weekdays are more structured with academics, therapy sessions, and scheduled activities, whereas, weekends are usually filled with more personal, spiritual, loft, and relaxation time. This means that students and their parents/guardians will experience adjustments in schedule, rhythms, and activities similar to a traditional home environment while maintaining focus on boundaries, safety, and emotional/physical regulation. 

One of the most meaningful and exciting times for families to experience visits are during holidays and parent retreats.  Though the expectations are the same (being a coach, setting boundaries, experiencing healthy intimacy, and regulating safety), holidays and parent retreats are a time to connect with other parents, guardians, staff, therapists, and the leadership of Calo.  These events are centered on family experiences and the opportunity to participate in sit down meals, games, parent support groups, seminars, recreational activities, and many other meaningful interactions.  Parents have often reflected at how difficult the holidays are when their child is in treatment and yet when they have experienced them with Calo, they have become some of the most meaningful, enjoyable, and unforgettable holidays.

Family visitations are a significant part of the treatment process and the safe, dependable, and consistent environment which Calo maintains is one of the cornerstones of the familys growth.  We need students and parents/guardians to feel safe and experience Calo as a resource of acceptance and reliability from which they can connect, create vulnerability, experience joy, and practice safe relationships.    

*Visitation hours:

·        Monday- Saturday 9:30am-6:30pm

·        Sunday- 11am-6pm

*Parent Retreat:

·        Spring Retreat- April 28th & 29th

·        Fall To be announced

*Parent Seminars

·        New Parent Orientation- April 27, 2011

·        Regular Seminar Schedule

o   Spring- May

o   Summer- September

o   Fall- November

o   Winter- February

About the Author

Rob Gent, MA, LPC Owner, Vice President of Training and Development

Originally from San Clemente, California Rob headed south to San Diego where he graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication. He then headed to the Midwest where he graduated with honors from Webster University with a Master of Arts in Counseling. Rob has had a passion for working with youth since he was in college. He feels extremely privileged to be able to participate in the emotional and behavioral growth of adolescents and their families. This passion led Rob to complete all of his practicum units at a child advocacy center where he became intimately experienced with the therapeutic healing and growth of children and their families faced with varies types of trauma and abuse. This invaluable experience motivated Rob to work in private practice where he specialized in testing, assessment, group therapy with adolescents in a school setting, and individual therapy. Being a part of CALO has allowed Rob to utilize his education, experience, and passion in a therapeutic environment focused on providing the highest quality of treatment. Rob lives in Osage Beach with his wife Katy and their sons Bailey and Riley.

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