Frequently Asked Questions
The Trek... A Journey of Self Discovery
The Trek is an online, self-discovery video series that educates participants about themselves, their behaviors, and their emotional reactions toward situations and people they encounter every day. This self-discovery curriculum assists adults, parents, spouses, teens, children, and families identify and celebrate the strengths in their lives while providing tools that help them to recognize and improve those areas where they feel improvement is needed.
When we talk about The Trek, we refer to it as a "belief modification" program. Traditional programs are centered around a behavior-modification focus - they tell people what NOT to do. For example, anti-bullying campaigns - which we support, by the way! - look at students and tell them, "Don't bully others!" We, at The Trek prefer to ask, "Why do you bully others?" When we can understand the "why", when we can figure out and revise any negative thoughts and beliefs that are driving our behaviors, we can make changes that will last a lifetime!
The Trek has been used successfully by a wide range of people. Individuals, couples, and families can find answers to issues in their families; while non-profits, schools, youth organizations, governmental agencies and other service programs can serve their community with this curriculum. Even businesses and churches can use these materials to encourage healthy lifestyles within their employees or congregation.
Anyone over 12 years old can take The Trek. (While we have people who share the information with children younger than 12 years of age, there are limitations to what it can do due to the cognitive development of the child.) Men, women, couples can take the 26-week Standard Edition, students can take the 18-week Student Edition for Jr. High, Sr. High and college students. The Trek is designed for anyone seeking to understand themselves better and identify why we do the things we do.
For students, schools or families of Jr. High and Sr. High students who would like a more intensive experience, our BASICS program is a week-long, residential adventure that incorporates experiential learning and in-depth discussions with trained facilitators at one of our partner camps in the Midwest.
Have you ever said or done something and wondered why? Have you reacted emotionally to a situation and walked away confused by your response? Have you ever found yourself overbooked, over-committed, and with no time left for you or those close to you? Have you ever wanted to be a better leader in your family, workplace or community? Have you wished to improve your ability to connect with yourself and others? The Trek helps you answer not just the "whats", but also the "whys" of your behavior. By using the tools within the program, you can strengthen your relationships with your family, spouse, children, parents, co-workers and others while, at the same time, changing your negative habits and developing a healthier outlook on life. There are reasons why we do the things we do!
The Trek is a self-discovery program. We understand that all people are different and our behavior reflects those differences accordingly. The Trek does not assume that you are an addict, abused, or angry - or living in denial of those things! Although this program can help people deal with these issues, we don't automatically assume that everyone has trauma in their life. Instead, we believe that everyone, regardless of their past experiences, can discover something about themselves that will allow them to live a rewarding life.
Maybe you find yourself rejected in your family. Maybe you struggle to find acceptance in school or at work. Maybe you wish you could communicate better or set solid boundaries - or just stick to the boundaries you have set. Maybe you know there are some issues in your past but you don't know where to start. Maybe you are tired of feeling constantly on edge or driven to please others. Or, like many others, you just have that general sense that something is off and you need something to change. The Trek will help you walk through your current patterns and show you how you can choose to become healthier.
If you invest the time, some of the potential benefits include:
- Better understanding of your behaviors, emotional responses and motivations
- Better understanding of others' behaviors, emotional responses and motivations
- Better emotional management
- Create solid boundaries
- Greater self-confidence
- Healthier behavior patterns
- Healthier conflict resolution skills
- Increased communication skills
- Stronger personal relationships
- Recognition of personal responsibilities
- Release from past issues
- Acceptance, worth and value in life
But, there is some bad news: like any other program, whether its exercise, nutrition, education, etc., The Trek will only work if you work. This isn't a passive process - you have to be willing to invest your time and effort if you want to see results. What will your personal triumph be? That is up to you!
Session topics include:
- "Perceptions and Expectations"
- "Identifying Behaviors"
- "Understanding Emotions"
- "Reactive Behaviors (Abuse, Control, etc.)"
- "Healthy Relationships"
- and so many more.
The 26 sessions of the Standard Edition are arranged to help you recognize and revise your unhealthy behaviors and then refocus your energy on new tools and healthy interactions. The 18-week Student Edition covers the same basic material, with a focus on the needs of students, so that parents and students can work together to build healthy relationships.
The Trek can be experienced as an individual where you can participate on your own schedule, in your own home, and at your own convenience. Just like an online college course, each week is a different topic and tool. If you need to rearrange your schedule, the program will be right there waiting for you. The Trek can also be taken with a small group. Gather your friends or family and experience the program while you meet over coffee, by phone or over the Internet to discuss each video and celebrate your achievements together! The choice is yours!
In addition, The Trek hosts "Trek Weekends" periodically at facilities throughout the country. These programs allow participants to explore areas of their life with others who are facing similar challenges and opportunities. We offer "Ladies Weekends", "Men's Weekends", "Couples Retreats", "Family Workshops" and more. These programs feature The Trek core curriculum pieces combined with other educational and recreational opportunities. Be sure to check our Facebook Page for more information. If you would like to bring The Trek to your area, please contact us for more information.
While taking a journey like The Trek with a group of people is great, many of us don't enjoy the idea of dumping our life's garbage on the table for others to see. So, regardless of how you choose to participate, you will have access to The Trek Forums (coming soon!) where you can ask for clarification, throw out ideas and receive assistance as you use the tools. You can also join us on Facebook for a place to share your questions and get feedback. These options may also help you to connect with others who are struggling with the same obstacles you are.
Each week, a new session becomes available for you to view. Each session contains a video and a workbook. (The videos and workbook differ in length from week to week, depending on the topic.) If you choose to watch the video and complete the workbook immediately after, it should take you around 90 minutes or less each week. Remember, though, you can always watch the video one day and complete the workbook over the course of the week. Also, if you have to miss your normal evening, simply take it the next day. You can catch up whenever you have the chance. You will also need to spend time during the week practicing your tools!
For the Student Edition, videos are designed to fit into a 50-minute class period, with time left over for discussion and completing the workbook page. Schools can decide how The Trek best fits into the students' scheduled day, offering it once per week, or as a class period each day.
Our goal is to help people from all backgrounds as they discover their gifts, rebuild relationships and gain insight into who they are and who they can choose to be. The Trek is written in a "secular" fashion, using current science and established studies to build your experience. We quote from a diverse set of resources, including scientific journals, textbooks, philosophers, historical documents and religious writings. The scientific information can stand alone or you can choose to adapt the information into your personal belief system, if desired.
At the request of those seeking a faith-based side, "The Bridge" was created and is offered alongside every Trek video. Each "Bridge" class provides the Bible verses that support the information from The Trek video, along with a separate set of workbooks for those who are interested. "The Bridge" is always provided free-of-charge and can be viewed by the participant, if desired. It is not required to complete "The Bridge" in order to gain benefits from The Trek program.
Schools and youth groups are encouraged to use The Trek - Student Edition curriculum with a trained adult leader present to help explain the concepts. For a more hands-on, intensive option, schools can also participate in the Trek - BASICS residential program hosted at one of our partner camps in the Midwest. Students who attend The Trek - Basics are provided with a one-year subscription to the full 18-week Trek - Student Edition program upon completion. If you are interested in using The Trek at your school or youth group, or you have other questions about The Trek, please contact us.