In order to help differentiate its young adult program from its adolescent program, Legacy Outdoor Adventures has named its adolescent program Legacy Protégé. Beginning in the fall of 2012, Legacy Protégé has been treating 16-17 year old boys who are dealing with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues, using the same basic model that has proven to be effective with our young adult clients. The model includes a weekly therapeutic adventure integrated into the profound wilderness experience, the application of Motivational Interviewing techniques to invite clients to identify and address their ambivalence, daily practice and mastery of self-awareness skills, and both a substance abuse counselor and a therapist working individually with each client.
The Legacy team selected the name Protégé, which refers to one who is guided down a path by a wise, experienced mentor, because it accurately reflects the Legacy practice of assigning a seasoned, caring mentor from the guide team to walk beside and guide each protégé. Research and observation suggest that the therapeutic alliance between mentor and mentee is a powerful change agent in guiding young people over the threshold to responsible adulthood.