When people set long-term goals to change unhealthy behaviors, they often refer to their progress as a journey, which can involve more twists and turns than they initially expected. This doesn’t mean that the obstacles that they face are insurmountable, but it may suggest that most goals feel out of reach without shorter-term goals and patience. The Hero’s Journey, a popular literary trope, is used as a template for goal setting at residential programs to empower teens to recognize they are the heroes of their own stories.
Who is a Hero?
Not all heroes wear capes. Anyone who sets personal goals for themselves strives to be more “heroic.” The hero’s journey deconstructs the idea of a “Superhero” by revealing that challenges are part of the journey. Many teens struggling with low self-esteem and confidence hold out hope for people who are willing to offer them a hand and struggle to recognize that the power might be within. People assume that the role of a “hero” is to help other people. Instead, the hero’s journey suggests that in order to do so, individuals must learn to confront their own insecurities and continue to follow their goals.
Elements of Goal Setting
Studies suggest that people who set their own goals are more likely to follow through than people who accept challenges from others, as they are more intrinsically motivated. When people write down their goals, they are 33% more successful in achieving them than those who formulated outcomes in their heads. Goal setting involves careful planning, prioritizing self-development, and looking for other resources.
Evaluating Goals Through Hero’s Journey
Many people think that goal setting involves checking off a to-do list sequentially. Instead, stages of change may be more gradual and relate to themes based on short-term goals rather than goals themselves. Residential programs use the model of the Hero’s Journey as a road map to help teens evaluate their goals.
Separation: At this phase, teens often feel lost and accept that there are many changes they may have to make in their lives. As they recognize they have a lot to learn, they accept the challenge of leaving his comfort zone to follow his adventure. Often, they are consumed with fear and insecurity about what may await.
Threshold: This phase refers to first embarking on the adventure and trying to prepare for future challenges they may face. Once your daughter embraces the idea of change, she encounters a new culture with different rules, expectations, and relationships. This stage involves accepting help from others who offer insight, training, and guidance.
Initiation: After the hero has crossed the threshold, she begins to take responsibility for the outcomes of her choices and sets personal goals for moving forward. Supportive mentors help your daughter in this stage as she learns new coping skills and gains confidence. At this stage of self-discovery, there is “no turning back.”
Transformation: The hero begins to transform as she gains a deeper understanding of the challenges she faces and is able to apply the skills she has learned to real-life experiences. In this process, she realizes her old patterns of living are no longer relevant and uses her new skills and strengths to transform the way she lives her life.
Atonement: This period of transformation is marked by a new sense of inner peace and accomplishment. As she has addressed his fears, she has become more wise, independent, and optimistic about her future.
Return: During this phase, the hero prepares to transition home and share the skills she has learned with others. For some heroes, they see their return as coming full circle, while for others, it is a launching point for their next journey. With the transition and family therapy resources provided along the way, families also have the skills to create a structured, supportive environment to welcome their daughter home.
Solstice Can Help
Solstice West RTC is a residential treatment program for young girls ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy to allow girls to explore themselves in a variety of ways. Through groups on various topics, girls learn to become more aware of their emotions and to express them appropriately to others. Solstice Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to teaching young women how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions.
Contact us 866-278-3345. We can help your family today!