Family Integration

Families play a major role in their teen’s stay at Shortridge

At Shortridge, we firmly believe in partnering with families by engaging and instructing parents in the concept of authoritative parenting. Most families have a mix of authoritarian, permissive, and disengaged parenting styles. Shortridge Academy, being informed by research on adolescent brain development and what makes up an effective family system, stresses an authoritative approach – a healthy middle ground. One of the keys to the family therapy program is developing parenting skills predicated on this middle ground and preparing for positive interaction during off-campus and home visits.

Throughout students’ time here, they will work to make sure their families have a strong understanding of our program goals. We will facilitate this through solid communication, transparency, and new parent orientation seminars and parent conferences. We recognize that each family is different, and we work to find methods that best suit each family system. Our goal is for parents to feel empowered to continue supporting their student with what they have learned at Shortridge.

family counseling


From the start, every family will have a weekly family therapy call that includes your student, their therapist, and your family members.  The structure of these is customizable for various family constellations.  Your student will also have the ability to call you via phone a few evenings per week, and fairly soon after enrollment they’ll be able to communicate with you electronically. Students are always welcome to send and receive mail from their families as well.

Family visits occur once a month and include some family work as a part of the visit. Siblings are welcome to be an active a part of the family process when appropriate.


Family visits are an important time to stay connected. Our visit schedule usually begins with on-campus visits and progresses to visits at home as a student demonstrates responsibility and readiness. Beyond spending time with your child, the on-campus visits present a valuable opportunity for parents to get to know other students and staff who are a part of your student’s daily life. These visits may also coincide with parent workshops. 

Parent Workshops

Parents are invited to attend parent workshops twice a year. These are intended to be learning opportunities as well as a chance to interact with other Shortridge families. The parent workshop includes both therapeutic and academic presentations, plus an opportunity to meet with many Shortridge staff.

Shortridge parents are also welcome to attend our bi-monthly new parent orientation workshops. These one-day events are held off campus every other month and focus on “bringing the parent manual to life.” They offer information and connections to help parents partner with Shortridge Academy staff as effectively as possible. 

In addition, many informal Shortridge parent support groups are available in various areas of the country for those wanting further connection with other families.