How ROOTs Creates Community Through Love & Belonging

ROOTs chose Community as a foundational value at a time when community felt very at risk in my life. As the leadership team gathered in early 2021 to turn our vision into actual programming and structure, COVID had foreclosed most personal and professional communities. As a result, it felt vitally important to build a supportive environment that included everyone: clients, their families, Guides, therapists, and operations staff. As we approach our three-year anniversary,  the way we envisioned community at ROOTs has truly come to fruition and feels meaningful both personally and professionally.

ROOTs defines community as an environment where our needs are met with understanding through giving and receiving support. I have been involved in multiple academic, athletic, and professional communities that bond over shared experiences and goals. These communities have inherently had an energy of competitiveness or a superficial level of engagement in which I have felt like the proverbial cog in a much larger wheel. In these environments, I have found myself afraid to show up as my messy, complicated self and resistant to asking for help or showing vulnerability.

In the ROOTs community, we strive to create a sense of love and belonging in how we engage relationally. This is founded on the trauma-informed belief that relationship is the crucible of healing. At ROOTs:

  • We want our clients to participate in a milieu that invites them to show up in their full humanity.
  • We invest in relationships with an implicit faith that each person has the capacity to determine their life worth living.
  • We encourage clients to consider the choices they make in how they show up in our community, challenging them to recognize their agency to begin shaping the direction of their lives.
  • Clients participate in treatment team meetings every month, in which clinical, residential, academic, medical, and recreational staff share feedback and clients can ask questions and set intentions.
  • We have regular staff meetings called 50/50, in which staff are invited to process what working within our community brings up in their emotional and relational selves.
  • These meetings are founded on the premise in NARM (NeuroAffective Relational Model) that to participate most effectively in therapeutic relationships, we need to be aware of what we bring into interactions from our past, which can get in the way of present-moment connection.

Finally, belonging at ROOTs is also defined by connection to location. We are located in a beautiful house that feels like a home, with kitchens to cook family-style meals, several open spaces for gathering, a yard in which to pass a frisbee, and even four-legged, furry friends to offer cuddles. The house is itself located in a gorgeous mountain town that offers endless opportunities for recreation during all four seasons.

Professionally, I feel lucky to be a part of the ROOTs community, a dynamic organism that all of us participate in shaping every day. Personally, I feel grateful to belong in a community that offers me opportunities to grow into a fuller connection with myself and others.

— Eliza Hitz, Parent Clinical Director

Connect with our team.

Eliza Hitz

Parent Clinical Director

Lauren Angerosa

Admissions & Outreach Director

ROOTs Transition is a residential treatment center in Park City, UT working with adolescents assigned female at birth who are between the ages of 15-18. Our mission is to heal the lives of those impacted by complex trauma through agency, curiosity, and community, while using nature as a catalyst for growth and integration.

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