Military Families Services

The Family First Patriot Support Program at La Amistad offers specialized treatment and care to military families, focusing on the unique challenges faced due to frequent moves, deployments and other factors. The program provides a supportive environment for sustained success through comprehensive therapies and family workshops.

military family services

Stronger Family, Stronger Life

Offering specialized treatment and care to the children and families of military service men and women. We serve the family first.

Specialized Treatment for Military Families

Our brave service members are not the only ones who endure for the sake of our country. The unique challenges that their children, adolescents and spouses face can complicate already existing mental health and behavioral needs.

La Amistad has been proud to treat active service members, reservist, retired service members and their families for many years.

Family First Program

The result of those accumulated experiences and treatment was the development of the Family First Program. We are honored to be recognized by TRICARE® as a specialty program in the treatment of adolescents who find themselves struggling with military family-life and mental health challenges as well.

La Amistad has been at the forefront of the behavioral health industry for over 50 years in the Central Florida area, treating adult and adolescents with a blended combination of evidenced-based treatment and a unique “wellness model.”

Our Family First Program has been designed to treat adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17. However, our focus is not only on the adolescent, but the family as a whole. We require active weekly participation of the family in the form of family therapy and family workshops. Our aim to not only stabilize the needs of the adolescent, but to equip the family as well for sustained success post-treatment.

The tenants of our Family First Program were born from the recognition that the needs of our service members and their dependents are complex and unique. Their lives are in a constant state of flux. Frequent moves, deployments, prolonged home absences and stigmas potentially add more barriers to seeking help when help is needed.

However, by harnessing the similar experiences and collective support of like-minded adolescents, the Family First program works to create an environment in which change is significantly more probable.

How Family First Works

The Family First Curriculum features three phases of treatment:


  • Anticipate issues and challenges that affect military families
  • Assess for vulnerabilities in the family dynamic
  • Educate on the needs of the individuals and the unit as a whole
  • Educate on progress of change and mental health issues
  • Connect to the facility and the treatment team
  • Advocate for the family’s voice/role in the treatment process
  • Prepare treatment goals as a family


  • Increase insight into the impact of the rapid changing military culture
  • Engage skill use in family sessions and family visitation
  • Ongoing assessment of problem areas
  • Focus on parent needs and parental mental health
  • Increase in therapist role as coach, trainer, and expert
  • Grow awareness that “things get worse before they get better”
  • Increase in family participation with psychiatrist, as academic performance issues may arise, parenting styles may shift and you can “finally see the real problem”


  • Integrate or encourage addition support systems
  • Create and implement new procedures for future conflict resolution
  • Identify barriers to resources/military healthcare management
  • Process relocation adjustment plan
  • Increase in focus on future
  • Prepare for crisis prevention
  • Focus on maintenance of stabilization
  • Increase awareness of red flags, triggers, and vulnerability factors
  • Grow family confidence in preparedness plan
  • Establish identified/clear roles

Care That Understands You and Your Family

Our Family First adolescent clinical track focuses on the unique aspects that are specific to military culture. This population already feels misunderstood due to the nature of the lifestyle — carving out a cohort experience while in treatment offers the opportunity to build camaraderie, reduce isolation and build hope.

Programming for our military dependents includes participation in the regular clinical schedule with an additional afternoon track that includes:

  • Having access to certified military clinical counselors on site
  • Twice weekly breakout psychotherapy groups focused on specific military culture topics utilizing evidenced based interventions
  • Weekend breakout psychoeducation skills group
  • Clinical Focus on:
    • Relocation trauma and reintegration
    • Social anxiety and Third Culture Identity
    • Resiliency training
    • Family dynamics
      • Shift in parenting roles and role of children
      • Nature of service member job role
      • Connection and attachment wounds
      • Vicarious Trauma due to service members Military role
    • Family and adolescent combat stress
    • Ambiguous grief and loss
    • Academic performance
    • Stress management, life skills and goal setting
    • Risk factors/Addiction
    • Other culture specific topics
  • Strong Family, Strong Life treatment workbook
    • A selection of curated resources targeted at the military experience, in conjunction with LABHS developed text
  • Eligibility for off campus passes after 30 days (TBD on a weekly basis by the treatment team)
    • To include family therapeutic outings and special therapeutic and recreational activities (e.g., Equine therapy, Ropes Course, local eateries, etc.)

Why Families Matter

The lynchpin of an adolescent’s outcomes are not only their motivation for change, but the health of the family system.

Military service members support civilian safety and freedom, and when they come home, their family supports them. Reciprocally, the family system is paramount to supporting long-lasting change in our military dependents.

Programming includes weekly family therapy sessions, weekend family visitation, nightly phone calls, off campus therapeutic passes and collaboration with the treatment team. LABHS Family First program also offers a focus on:

  • Family enhancement of communication skills
  • Parental psychoeducation on:
    • Diagnoses
    • Medication management
    • Service member resources
    • Academic support
    • Service member experiences and impact on family system
    • Parenting Skills
    • Behavioral Management
    • Conflict resolution
    • Relocation Adjustment
    • Reintegration of service member post deployment into the home
    • Continuing care/aftercare coordination
  • Military Multi Family Group Therapy:
    • Led by a certified military counselor
    • Held monthly. During the week, virtually
    • Only accessible to parents, and a required part of treatment enrollment
    • Offers peer support, parenting skills, and wellness of parents in a safe, supportive environment, alongside other parents with a shared experience

Patriot Support Programs

Patriot Support Programs logoLa Amistad’s Family First Program is pleased to be part of Patriot Support Programs, serving the children and adolescents of members of the U.S. military. Patriot Support Programs offer specialized behavioral health and substance use treatment specifically designed for the needs and challenges of military dependents (children and adolescents ages 6 to 18). Using a trauma informed approach, the programs focus on the challenges faced by the children of military personnel, building upon the resiliency skills used to overcome challenges in their personal lives. For more information about Patriot Support Programs, please visit

Patient Stories

“Our daughter needed help and our entire family was suffering. As we searched for support and resources, it became evident that individual therapy and efforts were wholly inadequate to addressing the challenges our entire family faced. When we found La Amistad, our greatest fears and challenges were finally addressed. Not only did our daughter get individualized care to address her challenges but the entire family and familial relationships were addressed. Our uncertain future with growing strain on our family shifted to rebuilding relationships with our daughter and a path to making us a family again. La Amistad went beyond providing my daughter with the treatment that facilitated her well-being but also the structure and therapy to bring us back to being a family.”

Parent of Former Patient

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