Navigating the Holidays: A Guide for Families with Young Adults in Therapeutic Programs

November 13, 2023

As the holiday season approaches, families with young adults in therapeutic programs may experience a mix of joy and challenges. To ensure a positive and supportive atmosphere during home visits, our Clinical Director Gwendolyne Tuttle, MSW, LCSW has compiled recommendations for both young adults and parents. At Cornerstones of Maine, our treatment team is also on hand to provide guidance and support, making this holiday season a time for growth and connection.


Recommendations for Young Adults:


Establish a Consistent Routine


Set a daily schedule for bedtime and wake-up time, fostering stability and routine in your life.


Prioritize Personal Hygiene


Incorporate daily hygiene habits, such as showering, brushing teeth, and wearing clean clothes, to enhance self-care.


Manage Computer Use


Limit computer use to specific times of the day, avoiding excessive gaming and ensuring a healthy balance with other activities.


Recommendations for Parents:


Set Clear Expectations


Clearly outline expectations for the visit, including restrictions on alcohol and substance use, limited gaming hours, and responsibilities around the house.


Assign Daily Chores


Encourage a sense of responsibility by assigning daily tasks like walking the dog, clearing the dinner table, loading the dishwasher, or vacuuming.


Recommendations for the Family: 


Shared Meals


Plan to eat at least one meal a day together, fostering a sense of unity and creating opportunities for open communication.


Engage in Fun Activities


Identify enjoyable activities that everyone in the family can participate in, such as board game nights, going out to eat, taking walks, or simply spending quality time together.


Conflict Resolution Pro Tip


If conflicts arise, remember that processing them during the visit is not mandatory. Share the nature of the conflict with your treatment team, and it will be addressed in family therapy. Healthy conflict resolution promotes growth and understanding.




By implementing these recommendations, families can create a positive and supportive environment during the holidays. Remember, your treatment team is here to offer guidance and ensure a harmonious and growth-oriented experience for everyone involved. Wishing you a joyous and transformative holiday season!