All Kinds of News for November 10, 2015
Monarch School believes that personal growth happens organically through a range of experiences and activities, and our campus and curricula foster growth in many different ways. Our 120-acre campus lies in the Clark Fork valley between the rugged Monarch and Cabinet mountains, of which our Outdoor Programs takes ready advantage. We have recently undertaken a campus beautification program designed to improve the health of our forest and to enhance our network of trails. Students and therapists often spend their sessions walking these trails while they negotiate the many issues our students face. In addition to the natural beauty, we have set up several sites that take advantage of our pastoral setting, most notably our teepee site and meditation garden. We raised our teepee over three years ago in a traditional Native American ceremony, and the meditation garden, with its plinths and flowing water, was donated by the parents of a graduating class back in 2005. The campus also has several fire pits around which groups of staff and students will gather to roast marshmallows, make brownies and tell stories. Our campus has spaces and opportunities for each student to experience every path to find a life worth living. We truly believe in education for life, and we have developed our facilities to enable students to find their individual passions.
While many schools and districts are limiting the creative arts curricula, we celebrate the ways in which the creative arts provide our students a chance to plumb their emotional depths. Jesús Quintero, our program director, is also an internationally regarded director in theater who has directed and performed on four continents. He has renamed our new drama building La Mancha, and much of the theater he directs has immediate therapeutic benefits for our students. He has created a space in which students are free to explore themselves and shed self-consciousness. They experience healing through expression and movement, through body awareness and relaxation exercises. They also challenge themselves as they memorize lines, take risks and inhabit new roles. This exploration provides many students new insights into their own lives and stories.
The Chrysalis is a dual purpose building with two wings: one serves as an artistic refuge for the visual arts and the other a conditioning and weight-lifting room. Painting, drawing and sculpture enable students to draw on their innate creativity with mindfulness, without judgment. Our art teacher’s favorite mantra, “Don’t be attached to the outcome,” encourages students to take risks and be present in the moment. They see a blank canvas come alive with their own imagination, and seeing a work through to completion instills a unique sense of accomplishment. This artistic endeavor nicely complements our workout facility, but not merely in the artistic appreciation of the human form. Rather, students set goals and work to achieve these goals. Through hard work, students witness a tangible measure of their own achievement, and they can apply this ethic to other areas of their lives. In learning to care for themselves, both creatively and physically, our students develop a sense of empathy that connects them with others and their surroundings.
Our equine program draws on this emotional awareness in the care of our six horses. Students are responsible for the daily chores of feeding and grooming the horses as well as making sure the horses get enough exercise. In addition to the trails, we have both indoor and outdoor riding arenas that allow for year-round riding. The most challenging of all, however, is our vaulting class. In this class, students learn to perform acrobatics on horses. Students confront their fears and judgments as they master their routines before performing them in front of the school. The equine program encourages empathy in the care of our horses, and it challenges students to understand the various personalities of some very large creatures.
Monarch’s vocational program expands upon the idea of community. The greenhouse and garden work year-round to provide our kitchen with fresh organic produce. Students work with the soil: they sow, they tend and they harvest much of the food that our culinary arts class then prepares. They nurture seeds as they grow into plants and vegetables, and they take great pride in showing off the day’s harvest at dinner. Those working in the kitchen transform these raw ingredients into dishes we all enjoy. This model is at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, and these two disciplines instill in our students a sense of ownership over their food. Furthermore, providing food for the entire community inspires altruism expands beyond the dinner table.
Many spaces on our campus prove therapeutic. The meditation garden allows for our young clients to sit by water, meditate, and practice the art of being still while listening to flowing water. Our students have access to many trails around campus, and, with permission, each student can run or walk to his or her contentedness. And when the time falls back and we begin to experience darkness at four-thirty in the afternoon, students realize the necessity of the work they have accomplished on forestry crew. All of a sudden, the wood-harvesting skills they have learned during the dry months, such as peeling, sawing, splitting and mauling, become illuminated. After spending a day engaged in hard work, we are lucky to be able to offer our students and parents time in the sauna or in front of the fire, where ceremony occurs which fosters a time to relax, reflect, and reconnect.
Therapy can occur anywhere. Sometimes the floor of the woods can prove as essential as the floor in the middle of the lodge. That said, the ease with which each Monarch employee engages a student in his or her most heartfelt work, wherever that student decides to become vulnerable, reveals not only the caliber of our employees but also the safety and security that our campus provides.
Contact Monarch School for more information.
Visit our website at www.monarchschool.com
At The Crossroads (ATC) is thrilled to announce that we have welcomed both Jillian Broeckert and Brittany Horigan to our team. Jillian will be a member of our clinical team as a Primary Therapist while Brittany will be filling the Director of Marketing and Admissions role.
About At The Crossroads
At The Crossroads is a transitional program for young adults utilizing a highly individualized and client centered approach to treatment. Upon enrollment, each client is assessed to formulate a treatment plan unique to his or her strenths, challenges, needs and goals. Our multi-disciplinary team comprised of highly trained professionals aims to honor each young adult as a distinctive individual. There are no two pathways to success that will be exactly the same and therefore we, as a team with the client, navigate towards individuated success.
Alex Young, Psy.D., will spearhead Mountain Valley's clinical outreach initiatives in the greater Boston area. He will be fostering relationships with physicians, mental health professionals, clinical social workers and other specialists working with adolescents challenged by anxiety and other related disorders.
Alex is a graduate of Wheaton College (MA) and earned his M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. His clinical background is both strong and diverse, having worked in many settings ranging from McLean Hospital to Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Alex completed his pre-doctoral training at the Edith Norse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital and his post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. Alex's most recent appointments were at Penikese, where he was Associate Clinical Director, and South End Community Health Center, where he worked as a staff psychologist and assisted in the design and implementation of the South End's Integrated Behavioral Health Program. Alex brings to his MVTC position his experience as a thoughtful and caring clinician who approaches therapy from an integrative perspective, drawing from behavioral, dynamic, systems, and experiential approaches.
Viewpoint Center is excited to announce the addition of a meditation room. Practicing mindfulness improves both mental and physical health. Mindfulness involves letting go of judgments and accepting what is.
Many of our youth experience emotional suffering by being stuck in the past or having fears of the future. Practicing mindfulness helps alleviate suffering. By offering a space where our youth can practice deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness, on a daily basis, they will have the opportunity to improve their ability to stay in the moment, calm their bodies, let go of judgments and accept what is.
Viewpoint is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary diagnostic facility that provides Psychiatry, Clinical, Medical, Milieu, Academics and Testing for their clients ages 13 -18. The assessment clients receive is unique because we evaluate your child’s functioning across a variety of settings which gives us a more complete picture compared to more traditional psychological assessments.
Last fall, the clinical team at Pacific Quest began a year-long training process to achieve site certification in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics™ (NMT), an evidence-based practice developed by Dr. Bruce Perry. NMT is a developmentally sensitive, neurobiology-informed approach to clinical problem solving (www.childtrauma.org). NMT training will develop capacity for clinicians to assess students using the NMT brain mapping matrix. From there, treatment interventions can be designed and tailored for each student to enhance brain functioning and relational health.
Why target the brain and relational health? More and more of our young people find themselves distressed, dysregulated, and overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life. They shut out people that care about them. They turn to alcohol, drugs, or a screen for fast relief from their emotional pain. Their search for belonging and excitement often leaves them alone and arrested in development. A better understanding of neurodevelopment and the teen brain can help us address these problems more effectively.
The teen brain undergoes developmental changes in stressor-sensitive brain regions at a time when the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed. Hence, their stress response system is on high throttle at a time in development when the part of their brain that helps them to "think first" is not fully on line. Although most young people weather this stormy time in life, those who enter adolescence with pre-existing challenges do not fare so well. Young people with conditions such as anxiety, trauma, loss, chronic stress, or sensory integration disorders are highly vulnerable during this critical stage of development.
"I am thrilled to work with my team at Pacific Quest and the Child Trauma Academy on NMT site certification," says Dr. Lorraine Freedle, Clinical Director and Pediatric Neuropsychologist. "Our Sustainable Growth™ model and mind-body techniques fit nicely into the NMT paradigm."
Many students come to Pacific Quest because traditional therapy methods have not been successful. NMT recognizes that students with heightened stress response systems often need "lower brain" therapeutic techniques such as patterned, repetitive, rhythmic sensory experiences to help them develop the capacity for self-regulation. They cannot benefit from "higher brain" methods such as talk therapies until this fundamental work is done.
At Pacific Quest, students are immersed in a sensory-soothing environment. With a foundation of optimal nutrition and exercise, students practice mindfulness and interact with the garden in restorative ways. They are progressively challenged through our camp system and work in therapy. Site certification in NMT will help our team use our enriched environment and clinical expertise more precisely, to create lasting changes in the brain.
Dr. Freedle is a certified NMT provider and trainer. Dr. Freedle shares, "Parents gain a deeper understanding of their child's behaviors when they see the brain maps. By designing and pacing the right type of intervention at the right time, our clinical team elevates treatment effectiveness. Everyone wins, especially our students."
As part of the NMT site certification process, clinicians at Pacific Quest have participated in case consultations with Dr. Perry and other trainees from across the globe. They have learned to use the clinical practice tools with fidelity, and are completing over 100 hours of training in core principles of neurodevelopment and traumatology.
Now many people might not think wanting snow was a good thing. But for Summit Prep students in Kalispell Montana, snow means that there is skiing and snowboarding right around the corner. The students have a great opportunity to head to the slopes up to three times a week on Big Mountain, about an hour away from campus. From beginners to advanced, the mountain has slopes that fit all levels. Students have the opportunity to take lessons to improve their skills. Some of the students even participate in night skiing. Residential Director Dave Perisho worked hard to make this happen for the students, "We wanted our students to have the opportunity to truly engage in the sport not just try it once or twice in the season. Montana is a beautiful place and we want our student to enjoy it. Many of our alumni come back to visit and go skiing or hiking. We are helping them to become life long learners of the out of doors."
If you would like more information about the skiing/snowboarding options, please get in touch with Dave @ 1-406-758-8128.
Check out Summit Prep's new website at www.summitprepschool.org
Brie Shulman, MA recently accepted the position of Family Therapist for Outback’s Roots and Wings Family Expedition Program. Brie received her MA in Counselor Education from University of Montana. She has over eleven years of experience both in residential treatment and wilderness therapy. Most recently she was a therapist for one of the girls groups at Outback Therapeutic Expeditions. As the Family Therapist, Brie will accompany each family on their customized three-day intensive family therapy experience not only facilitating intensive family therapy but helping the family have fun together as well.
Evoke Therapy Programs is excited to announce this new included service for all Evoke families. As part of our commitment in supporting our families, Evoke now provides a full review of the client’s insurance policy and creates a Claims Plan specific to their policy. Evoke also provides the family with a Claims Specialist to consult with regarding their Claims Plan and facilitates pre-authorization and utilization reviews when appropriate.
In 2014 language was added to the Federal Mental Health Parity Act explicitly stating that most insurance plans are required to cover medically necessary “intermediate mental health treatment”. This is an exciting and positive change, because Evoke’s wilderness therapy programs at Cascades and Entrada are intermediate mental health treatment programs and are covered by some healthcare insurance plans.
Please contact one of our Admissions Counselors for more information at 866.411.6600 or Admissions@Evoketherapy.Com
Turn-About Ranch is a real working cattle ranch where students learn to work hard both physically and academically. Our academic program affords students the opportunity to learn to love learning again. With solid academic and therapeutic support, students recognize areas for growth and begin to utilize study skills for success. Students often become excited about their education and realize that they are capable of learning and producing great work. Once this happens, it affords us the ability to help students recover lost credits. Students are able to have a customized education plan with the flexibility to choose to recover credits for classes they received poor grades in or are behind in and can earn up to a full semester of credit in a variety of courses. Course work can be customized for credit recovery using both our online curriculum and direct teacher-led instruction in the classroom. At Turn-About Ranch, you can recover a full semester of credit in 100 days of treatment.
With our small class sizes, students benefit from one-on-one help and feedback. In addition, small class size allows students opportunities for more immediate feedback; teachers check for understanding and students improve their scores as well as their GPA. We try to incorporate hands on learning opportunities and use the ranch to help facilitate that as well. Another benefit to our classroom dynamics is that students improve and feel more confident in the classroom setting and have more opportunities to interact in front of the class in a safe, less intimidating environment.
Turn-About Ranch works hand in hand with a student’s former school to create an Individualized Academic Plan. This plan is put in place to help insure success at Turn-About ranch and also as the student transitions home into a traditional school setting. Turn-About Ranch is unique. In traditional wilderness treatment settings a parent may be forced to choose between academics and treatment. At Turn-About Ranch, students receive quality treatment and instead of falling behind in school, they are able to recover credits, become caught up, start to enjoy school and see it as a privilege. Our Academic Director Sherri Steele works hard to create a schedule similar to their home school that they will attend upon graduation. Our partnership with their regular school helps ensure they are on track when they return and continue to be on track for graduation.
At Turn-About Ranch, students experience therapeutic and academic change. You can often measure the internal change they make by the changes you see academically. One of the biggest gifts parents receive when reunited with their students is their child’s new found love of reading. Students read a minimum of 8 inspirational and uplifting books while in the program. This is a first for many students and helps foster a lifelong love of learning!
If a child is behind and struggling in academics in addition to their personal struggles, contact us at Turn-About Ranch and let us see how we can help!
Valley View School recognizes the value in providing our parents with nurturing, support, tools and strategies that they need to build healthy and strong relationships with their sons while enrolled in our school. We understand the importance of our parents feeling empowered while learning to set boundaries, developing more effective communication, understanding their family dynamics and utilizing the provided tools to address specific issues within the family.
Valley View is pleased to announce our collaboration with Parent Coach Professionals. Parent Coach Professionals uses a solution-focused approach that supports our parents through their Valley View School journey to their sons' transition back into a more traditional setting. They incorporate the family's values and characteristics into their planning, which aligns with the Valley View approach to instilling traditional values while providing therapeutic and academic structure and support to our students. The Parent Coaches will help evaluate the current family situation, identify strengths and abilities and then explore possibilities and solutions. Through the support of Parent Coach Professionals, our parents will gain self-awareness and confidence in their parenting skills. They will learn to create structure in the home, learn to remain consistent and involved in their sons' growth while attending Valley View and they will learn how to better support the mission of the school.
The Parent Coach Professionals team is comprised of experienced, highly trained and certified Parent Coaches who are dedicated to ongoing training and development to provide the highest quality parent coaching and parent education available. They are proud members of the International Coach Federation.
Valley View School is a therapeutic boarding school based on traditional values, serving boys in grades 6-12 since 1970.
We are pleased to announce the College Excel Life Fit program, opening December 2015. Life Fit is designed to ensure that our students have the foundational life and classroom skills necessary to be successful when they begin at College Excel. The immersive three month course introduces students to College Excel’s time-tested approach -- a crafted balance of performance coaching, life skills, academic tutoring, mindfulness and wellness programs. Upon completion of the Life Fit program, students will transfer to College Excel with greater confidence. There, students will continue to receive residential support and progress through the seven step behavioral and neuro-coaching model. Additionally, students will enroll in college classes and receive full academic and life coaching services.
- For students needing support prior to beginning College Excel
- Located in Bend, Oregon
- Young adults, ages 18-26
- Residential setting with a high level of supervision
- Year-round enrollment
- Average 3-month stay
- Family and parent coaching
- Life coaching
- One-on-one tutoring and academic skill building
- Social skills, mindfulness, and anxiety management training
- Independent living skills
- Holistic wellness program
- Community activities and outdoor adventure
- LD support and services
- GED completion
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (541) 388-3043
Benchmark Transitions is pleased to announce that it now offers young adult chemical detoxification services. Detoxification is typically the first step of intervention services designed to address chemical dependency, and the withdrawal of the chemical, as the initial step of the recovery process.
Common substance abuse detoxification includes:
- Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ambien, etc.)
- Prescription Drugs
- Opiates (OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Norco, Opana, etc.)
- Methadone / Suboxone
Detoxing with Benchmark is more comfortable in our home-like and peer group supportive living environment with trained and experienced staff. Each client receives a customized detoxification plan that may include a full health and medical assessment, individualized case management and counseling, 24/7 monitoring, routine drug and alcohol screening, individual and group therapy.
Detoxification varies on a case by case basis. Our addictions medicine physician and State California certified substance abuse counselors will monitor young adult clients throughout the detoxification process. A Benchmark Transitions addictions specialist physician will monitor the client and may prescribe medication to help the client cope with withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification alone is not adequate for the treatment of substance abuse-related disorders and should be implemented with the plan of ongoing substance abuse treatment services.
Benchmark Transitions® is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to residential transitional living for young adult men and women. Programs are individualized to meet each client's unique needs, offering a full continuum of care including Detox, Residential Treatment, Day Treatment (PHP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP), Transitional Living and Extended Care options. Length of stay can vary from 30 days to 2 years, depending upon individual needs.
Benchmark is licensed for residential detoxification via the State of California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS.)
Elevations RTC is excited to announce the addition of Logan Kupitz, Health and Wellness Instructor for our students and staff. Logan is a graduate of the University of Utah with a degree in Exercise Science. He is also a Medical Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves. Logan has created and made available new workout plans and fitness education to help enhance our clients' and employees' personal growth by being physically active. Elevations believes in helping staff and students find a balance by improving their knowledge of different ways to exercise.
Gaining experience, increasing knowledge and raising excitement for health and fitness has been one of the primary goals since Logan has taken over the Physical Education position at Elevations. Logan has established a new workout regimen and grading scale to better educate and increase the fitness levels of all students. He has created multiple types of workouts for the students to further their knowledge of how to keep physically fit. New sports are introduced monthly to help the students learn to work together as a team. He is helping our students by getting them more involved with their physical education and learning lifelong habits they can take home with them. Logan is very understanding of different levels of skill and plans accordingly for those students who may need extra help in certain areas.
For the staff at Elevations, Logan has started a workout regimen three times a week to help promote health and fitness. Just like with our student, Logan introduces different types of workouts for staff as well as explains the benefits of these workouts. He has also started an internal newsletter called “Health Watch”. Logan gives health tips to increase the employees’ knowledge on the benefits of exercise and maintaining a healthy diet. Good physical health is vital to living a high quality of life, and that is what we are striving for here at Elevations.
Q&A Family of Programs Cabin Mountain Living Center is our new long term, independent, supportive living program that serves adults, usually diagnosed with ASD or other neuro-cognitive disorders, who are challenged with living a fully independent life that has a sense of purpose.
Cabin Mountain will be moving to a beautiful 15 acre farmstead with multiple residences on property. The acreage will allow us to have expansive gardens, chickens, goats, horses and other farm animals. The property is on the national and state historic registries, and boasts an operational grist mill. The Cabin Mountain clients will operate the mill and produce corn meal, flour, horse feed, etc. They will also have the opportunity to work with a large historic loom to create textiles. The products from the garden, farm, mill and loom will be sold in a store front in the old mill.
This expansion will also allow us to serve more clients. It wil be a self-sustaining, productive home for the clients to have a sense of purpose, gain life skills and contribute to the community in many ways.
Stay tuned for more details as they develop. The move is expected by the year end.
- Second Nature’s clinical therapist averages 10 years of wilderness therapy experience within the company, with several having been employed by for over 15 years.
- 43 current Field Instructors have worked in the field at Second Nature for over a year.
- 17 current Field Instructors have worked in the field at Second Nature for over 5 years.
- 5 current Field Instructors have worked in the field at Second Nature for over 10 years.
- Administrative, support and logistical employees who support families and staff, average 5 years’ employment with Second Nature.
This unique combination of remarkable experience and passion helps Second Nature to achieve what families consistently describe as “…transformative, inspiring and life changing” and “…exceptionally well organized with a compassion that is unmatched.”
Working with her Calo preteen girls, therapist Karen Moist often tells them the story of The Hulk, the comic book character. The Hulk, a huge, green giant, is the alter ego of Bruce Banner, a mild mannered physicist. When Bruce experiences fear and anger he transforms into the Hulk, often destroying anything in his path. In one storyline, Bruce discovered that in the serenity of the Amazonian rainforest, he was able to tame the Hulk. “For my girls, I want to be their rainforest,” says Karen.
Because so many Calo Preteens students struggle to manage their own feelings of fear and anger, Karen’s analogy of the Hulk is an apt one. A comic book hero is likely to appeal to preteens and the metaphor is straightforward. “I use lots of art and toys with the girls,” Karen explains. “Their language is play.” Because many of her students have experienced trauma before they had language to talk about it, toys and play are especially effective therapeutic ways for students to access those traumatic experiences.
Karen Moist brings a wealth of experience to her new work at Calo Preteens. Karen comes to Calo from the Children’s Home Society of Missouri in St. Louis, where she was a therapist. She has also worked in private practice and for many years worked with children in the Woodland School District in Gurnee, IL. But most important for Calo Preteens, “I have a passion for trauma work,” Karen says. “I love that we have the opportunity to do a wide range of therapies.” She is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, and Rhythmic Movement Therapy. All of these specialized therapies give Karen ways to treat traumatized children beyond just “talk therapy.” Karen earned a B.A. in Psychology from Ashland University in Clinton, IA. Her master’s degree is in forensic psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where she is also working on a doctorate in international psychology with a trauma focus. Karen stresses that she has been in the shoes of many of her students’ adoptive parents. Karen has served as the guardian for five teenagers, who are all now young adults. “I’ve been there, and I know how hard it can be,” she says. That’s why in her work with parents she stresses acceptance and forgiveness. “I’ve found that I’ve had to learn to forgive both my children and myself,” she says. “Trauma isn’t the child’s fault,” she concludes.
Waterfall Canyon (UT) is now listing their facts about the continuum of care on All Kinds of Therapy. Waterfall Canyon takes a unique client who could be on the spectrum, mild to moderate intellectual disability, specific learning disorders, depression, anxiety, executive functioning &/or processing disorders, emotional dysregulation, or struggling with adoption. Their client can be very complex & have behaviors that other treatment centers could not handle.