The Story of My Life: Troubled Teens Write Autobiographies

Autobiographies and Parent Narratives:  A vital Part of the Treatment Process

An important aspect of the therapeutic process for students at RedCliff Ascent is the compilation of an autobiography.  Students write a 40 page autobiography while in the program as part of completing the phase work.  This exercise affords students the opportunity to reflect on the issues that have led to their need to be in treatment. Students share this writing with their therapist and with their treatment group.  Students find confidence to be open and genuine about their lives as they share their writings.  Students find healing as they authentically share their life experience with others.

 Parents also have the opportunity to participate in this process as they draft writing assignments that correlate with the autobiography called parent narratives.  These narratives provide parents  with the chance to share their perspective on their child’s life and brings the parent voice into the therapy sessions.  Therapists read the parent narratives together with the students in the therapy sessions. 

Many families have found healing through the process of the autobiographies and parent narratives.   Students leave the program with a 40 page written story of their life along with their parents’ written version of their life.  These documents become even more valuable over time as students look back on their process of growth and how their wilderness experience has impacted the path they choose for the future. By Matt Bulkley, Clinical Director, RedCliff Ascent

Watch the video: Matt explains the significance of these therapy assignments.