Since we began pioneering independent living in young adult treatment in 2004, we have been guided by a singular conviction: we all have within us a kind heart and a sane mind. This startlingly simple belief forms the basis of a clinical approach grounded in dignity and a willingness to give our clients room to take real risks in the service of real growth. In this atmosphere of trust and support, clients get clear about their genuine motivations as well as insight into what’s been holding them back. It’s deep and challenging work, and it’s worth it. Through engaging wholeheartedly in their own progress, our clients gain real traction in creating and sustaining a life of genuine meaning and satisfaction..
In order to have a smooth transition to Boulder and our program, clients begin their time with LWT in our Landing Pad: a beautiful home in the heart of Boulder. Clients typically live at the Landing Pad for 30-60 days, giving them time to learn their way around Boulder, immediately feel the support of a community, deepen relationships with their LWT team, and receive support and guidance around the life skills involved with finding and moving into their own apartment.
Clients arrive at LWT eager for change and clear about their goals, so the beginning of their program is structured in a way that captures that momentum and clarity. About 25 hours/week are scheduled with LWT contacts; a mix of 1:1 meetings with their LWT Therapist and Life Skills Counselor, groups, and activities.
While clients are busy building a social network and getting to know Boulder and all that LWT offers, they are also working with their Therapist to create a Transition Plan —a comprehensive blueprint of a clientʼs values and goals, around which the frequency and type of support from LWT is tailored. The client and LWT team work diligently to design a customized program that offers enough autonomy and accountability to honor clientsʼ strengths and provide plenty of support for their areas of struggle.
The heart of LWTʼs clinical work is creating relationships that are based on trust, dignity and mutual respect. We do not punish or shame clients, but rather notice and honor their successes and help them relate to the natural consequences of their actions.
Most LWT clients genuinely want to be making better choices but feel stuck in old, unhelpful patterns. Before focusing on results or outcomes, the team intentionally prioritizes the clientʼs process, including how a client is approaching challenges, reflecting on mistakes, and exploring their beliefs about themselves and the world. We must dig into this “inner work” first in order for the external changes to be truly durable. Like a seed germinating underground, there is no visible growth, yet this process is essential and requires patience.
This courageous work is happening, at times, in the context of a therapy office. Most often it happens in the community—in a clientʼs apartment, at the grocery store, on a hike, or in any other real-world scenario. As struggles arise, the LWT team is there—in real time, in the real world—to help clients learn and practice the skills necessary to follow through with actions that align with their values and goals. As a client gains traction in movement toward independence, their schedule with LWT adjusts to provide support when and where they need it.
A key reason for the durability of the changes made by LWT clients is practice. We honor the “learning curve” that comes with any new skill by supporting our clients to have time to experience successes and setbacks. LWT clients discover a deep sense of empowerment and confidence: They stop waiting for problems to go away or to be fixed by someone else and instead, they trust themselves to handle the inevitable ups and downs of life. LWT clients are willing to do what it takes to act in alignment with their goals and values.
When a client has been consistently demonstrating this willingness and commitment, they are ready to end with LWT. Typically, this ending doesn’t feel like a big change to clients’ day-to-day lives, since they’ve been successfully attending school, working, socializing, managing finances, and doing whatever else is important to their sense of a healthy, meaningful, independent life. Some clients stay in Boulder, having already built a full life for themselves here, while others get support from their LWT team to move to another city. Regardless, the ending with LWT is a significant celebration, honoring the client’s successful transition out of programs and into independence.
THE PARENT JOURNEY
We know it has often been a tough road for parents and we understand the worries you have as your son or daughter takes these big steps toward independence. We also know that one of the biggest predictors of success for a client is the level of engagement the parents have in the LWT journey. For all these reasons, we have a system specifically designed to support you which includes:
- orienting you to the who, how, what, and why of LWT
- giving you the tools you need to skillfully deal with the stress involved with witnessing your son/daughterʼs transition into adulthood
- helping you and your son/daughter improve communication
LWT works with the whole family system to create new dynamics that support healthy individuation and connection.
Each client has a core team comprised of three Masters-level clinicians. The client meets individually with the Therapist 1-2 times per week, the Life Skills Counselor 2-3 times per week, and the Parent Liaison/Supervising Clinician 1-2 times per month. The LWT team has frequent and thorough communication to ensure that the clientʼs contact with LWT is optimized to support growth.
- Life Skills Counseling:
work, school, fitness, finances,
socializing, grocery shopping,
cooking, time management,
A key developmental task for young adults involves improving social intelligence. In order to help our clients create and sustain meaningful relationships, LWT offers 1-3 groups/activities per day and 4 trips per year. These give clients the opportunity to practice budding relationship and communication skills, to give and receive feedback, and to have fun with other young adults who are also on a similar path of self-discovery.
- Saturday Activities
- Community Meetings
- Client Completion Parties
Supporting the family system throughout the LWT experience is a critical component for a clientʼs success during, and especially after, the program. The shift away from unhelpful parent-to-child dynamics is a significant transition for most families, but especially those who have encountered struggles along the way to young adult independence. LWT provides the necessary support for parents to maximize their emotional and financial investments.
- Parent Calls
- Visit Planning
- Family Therapy
- Parent Workshops
- Parent Discussion Forums