All Kinds of News for January 11, 2017
Mark Regier has been working with teenagers in treatment-specific settings for 10 years. He joined the English Department at Gateway Academy in 2014. Mark loves the Gateway academic model because he recognizes the challenges traditional schools can present to modern boys. Therefore, his instruction consistently includes a "why you should care about this" conversation with his students. He helps his students see their English education in terms of the highly desirable outcomes of being understood and understanding others. Mark loves life and uses personal anecdotes to help his students stay motivated to work hard in class and therapy so they can eventually leave Gateway and enjoy some of the freedom that clear communicators can create for themselves.
- What is most rewarding about working at Gateway?
Mark: The most rewarding thing about working at Gateway is being able to teach life skills to my students. In more traditional academic settings, teachers are constrained -- either by the sheer numbers of students in their classrooms or by the so-called rules of professionalism that prevent them from truly guiding, coaching, goading, parenting and caring for their students. At Gateway, if a student doesn't feel comfortable working in a group, I have the freedom to help him improve those social skills. If a student has an off-putting hygiene issue, I can help him see how it's affecting his relationships. When I have a student who knows the answer to every question and wants everyone to know it, I can help him see how those actions are intimidating others. And most importantly, it is fully within my role here to guide students in their executive functioning development: it doesn't matter how well they can read, comprehend, write or think if they're not showing up on time and prepared for class. Teaching this "hidden curriculum" of school is highly rewarding because my students find that outlet for their intellectual energy again!
- What is your favorite book and why?
Mark: As an English teacher, this is the hardest question you could have asked me. East of Eden by John Steinbeck is equally well written and profound. Its essential message is one that is weighty and freeing: we all have the power to choose what we do with our lives. Steinbeck's characters are always earthy and fully human -- this is no "you can do anything" manifesto. Everyone is constrained by the circumstances of their birth: yet we can decide. I don't think a message like this is lost on high-school students, so even though I don't teach this 500+ page novel, I entrust them with the truths that it contains -- there's a lot about life we can't control. And there's a lot that we can.
- What is your favorite brain rule and how do you integrate it in the classroom?
Mark: Brain Rule #4 - We don't pay attention to boring things. Bored brains don't learn. Let's face it: we're all cognitive misers. We don't readily spend our mental energies on lessons, concepts, or information that isn't relevant to us. So how does a high-schooler, who has seen so little of the world, know what will eventually be relevant to them? Here's another educational secret: they have to trust their teachers. In this, I'm happy to be teaching English, because competence with language is just as essential to a researcher writing a grant proposal as it is for an aspiring author. So before, during, and often after a lesson on punctuation or topic sentences or reading strategies for difficult texts, I share my own real-life examples of times when proficiency in communication made the difference between being forgiven and being rejected, not getting the speeding ticket or having to pay the fine. Writing skills get us respect, access to services and refunds that we maybe didn't deserve.
- When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Mark: I grew up in a small town in Colorado, and I basically wanted to be an action figure. BMX bicycle rider, pro snowboarder, mountain climber, motorcycle rider. Now that I think about it, I guess I've accomplished my dream!
- What is your favorite thing about living in Utah?
Mark: Salt Lake City is a hidden gem of the west. I regularly go rock climbing or skiing before work. In very few other places can one have such quick access to mountains as in the Wasatch front. This close proximity allows me to more easily live out a truth from the Romantic philosophical movement (which has been confirmed by research): a healthy life requires a balance between action and inaction, comfort and challenge. Climbing mountains has allowed me to apply the lessons of great literature: work hard, challenge yourself, go somewhere quiet and listen for your own soul.
About Gateway AcademyGateway Academy (UT) is dedicated to the healthy development and healing of adolescent boys and their families. We provide a safe and nurturing environment through five integrated programs: Therapy, Academics, Community, Outdoor Education and Fitness. With integrity and respect, we help students feel empowered and valued, build healthy relationships, make thoughtful decisions, develop life skills, become life-long learners, and achieve their personal best.
In an effort to make the holiday season both memorable and enjoyable for our students, Gateway Academy incorporates meaningful community service and local activities with family/cultural traditions from our diverse student body. This past Thanksgiving, students and staff started the day by runing in a 5K to support Cystic Fibrosis research. Students also contrubuted to a Food Bank service project and helped sort bread and prepare a large meal for a local homeless shelter. The Thanksgiving meal on campus was prepared by the family members of one of our students, who flew in and took over our kitchen to give back to the Gateway Academy community.
We continued our focus on local service though the month of December. Just before Christmas, the Gateway Academy Kitchen sponsored a dinner for 12 of Salt Lake City’s best fire and rescue workers from Station 5 in Salt Lake City. The kitchen cooked up authentic green chili, homemade tortillas and salsa Spanish rice. Along with the meal, we were able to provide the Firehouse with new crock pots and food storage. Station 5 has a long standing relationship with Gateway Academy, allowing student interns to volunteer at the station.
During Winter Break between semesters, our students spent a week at a cabin near Park City playing games, eating delicious holiday meals, watching movies, reading and bonding. The boys also enjoyed plenty of skiing/snowboarding, a soak at Crystal Hot Springs and Christmas gifts and memory boxes prepared by parents with special traditions/cultural treasures.
The students rang in the New Year back on Campus with a late night celebration and week of service and fun. Some of their activities included:
· Snowman building competition
· T-shirt decorating
· Community service at Neighborhood House for kids: cleaning toys and preparing activities with the teachers
· Community Service at A Friend in Me – animal farm for unfortunate animals, and rescues: cleaning the environment and building canals
· Leather bracelets at Tandy Leather
· Tracy Aviary Center
· CAUC Art Museum
· Hogle Zoo - holiday lights
· Yoga & fitness
· Magic Tournaments
About Gateway AcademyGateway Academy (UT) is dedicated to the healthy development and healing of adolescent boys and their families. We provide a safe and nurturing environment through five integrated programs: Therapy, Academics, Community, Outdoor Education and Fitness. With integrity and respect, we help students feel empowered and valued, build healthy relationships, make thoughtful decisions, develop life skills, become life-long learners, and achieve their personal best.
At Moonridge Academy, a small residential treatment center for younger girls ages 11-15, Equine Therapy is a big part of our program. Therapists at Moonridge Academy are trained and certified in Equine Therapy. Each girl participates in weekly Equine Therapy groups. The magic of working on emotional and behavioral issues with a horse can hardly be explained. Girls at Moonridge Academy learn to build trust and confidence with these incredibly intuitive animals. Horses give a completely honest reflection of what's happening internally with a girl. Therapists use the relationship between the girl and the horse to gather immediate feedback on emotional stability, levels of confidence, trust and team-building.
Recently the Equine Director decided to take equine therapy to a new level by teaching our girls a type of riding called Vaulting. Vaulting involves two girls working closely with one horse. This requires the girls to communicate effectively with each other and with the horse. One girl leads the horse around the riding arena instructing the horse to walk or trot. How quickly a horse trots or walks is based on the clues given by the girl leading. While this is happening, the other girl performs different tricks on the bare back of the horse. Tricks include riding with arms straight out to the side, kneeling on the horse while holding arms straight out to the side, laying down on the horse, kneeling on the horse while extending one leg back and one arm forward and making a complete rotation on the horse first facing to the side, then the back, the other side and finally facing front once again.
Some of the girls at Moonridge Academy were excited to start vaulting and others were very scared or nervous. For most girls, it was a new challenge that helped them to also understand their own therapeutic issues. Throughout this entire process each girl’s individual therapist worked alongside them, coaching them to communicate more effectively and helping them to process their emotions. Vaulting has helped many of our girls improve their overall emotional regulation as they instruct their horse and each other. It has also helped the girls begin to talk about therapeutic issues they have not been able to address before.
The girls at Moonridge Academy are now very excited to showcase their vaulting skills to their parents at the upcoming Parent Seminar Weekend.
About Moonridge AcademyMoonridge Academy is a CERTS Program in beautiful Southern Utah with 16 beds, and is specifically designed for younger girls, ages 11-14. Younger girls need a younger environment, without the influence of older girls' more sophisticated or advanced issues. Moonridge takes a young approach to therapy and intervention, even our DBT program is taught and delivered at this specific age range level. Moonridge is intensive residential treatment for girls with issues of trauma, emotional regulation, depression, family conflict, and beginning stages of self-harm or substance experimentation. Traditional schooling is provided and Moonridge uses play and laughter to connect, a warm family environment to protect, and deep therapy to inspire and create change.
Imagine ringing in the New Year at 10,000 feet in a wintry wonderland, surrounded by friends, mentors, and some of Colorado’s most scenic alpine peaks. On December 30, 2016, Living Well Transitions teamed up with adventure-based mentoring program The Koru Foundation and offered clients a unique Colorado experience to mark the arrival of 2017. This three-day, three-night trip to the Tomichi Lodge in Salida, CO, provided clients the opportunity to draw energy from the natural world as they considered their intentions, motivations and life vision for 2017.
The trip began with an overnight in Salida to acclimate to the higher elevation, before the crew embarked on a 6-mile snowshoe trek to the lodge. In the morning, Katie Schwarz, Life Skills Counselor at Living Well Transitions, and Zach Weinzetl, Lead Mentor at Koru Foundation, led the group as they set individual and group intentions for the trip. “Clients spoke to creating a deeper connection with people on the trip,” and themes around “play and joy and being a kid again,” emerged as the group explored their goals for the day, Katie said.
Sledding, playing in the snow and spending time in quiet reflection rounded out the day before everyone settled into an evening group, wherein Katie and Zach, “held counsel.” This process, Katie said, involved “listening and speaking from the heart,” as clients spoke about their year and what led them to Living Well Transitions.
The trip concluded with a snowshoe trek back to the cars and a luxurious soak in the Mount Princeton hot springs. Katie reflected that the trip was a great way to support clients as they embraced the emotional transition into a New Year. It also provided many with a touchstone for their wilderness experiences. “There was lots of time to connect on a personal basis. Each person got a little something different.” Katie said.
About Living Well TransitionsLiving Well Transitions, in Boulder, CO, has been treating young adults like young adults since 2004, by offering intensive individual and group therapy along with life skills counseling to young adults ages 18-32 in a real-world, independent living environment. Living Well helps clients struggle less by developing self-acceptance, values clarity and the courage to take action, no matter the circumstance, so they can lead purposeful lives in alignment with their core values.
Red Oak Recovery Welcomes Karyn Kaminski, MSW, LCSW, to Red Oak Recovery Men's Program. Karyn earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism at Northwestern University and received a masters's degree in social work and a certificate in marriage and family therapy from The University of Georgia. She worked in Chicago as a journalist for five years before moving to New Mexico to work with youth and then spent 8 years as a wilderness therapy field guide and two and a half as a wilderness therapist. Karyn says "the outdoors is a powerful and healing environment".
Karyn's clinical experience includes individual and couples outpatient counseling, running specialty groups and being part of an interdisciplinary drug court team. She has extensively worked with clients who struggle with substance abuse, family conflict, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and anger. Along with a relational approach, Karyn uses her expertise in family systems, substance abuse and mindfulness to assist clients in defining their identity in an environment free from distractions. Her therapeutic approach draws from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, choice theory and systems theory.
Outside of her professional work, Karyn enjoys the music, culture and outdoor opportunities Asheville affords. She also loves to read and write, and enjoys hiking, skiiing and gardening in her spare time. Karyn and her husband travel and explore often together.
About Red Oak RecoveryRed Oak Recovery is located in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains, just north of Asheville, NC, and is the result of extensive experience and research for developing highly effective programming to create a foundation of long-term recovery for young adults. The program uniquely blends quality clinical care, adventure therapy, experiential therapy, 12-step work and social skills development to create positive and lasting change.
The Willows at Red Oak Recovery welcomes Corinne Brown, LMHC, NCC, back to the team as our Cultural Wellness Manager. She will serve as the expert and architect of Red Oak's cultural wellness relations, plans and programming. Corinne will oversee the identification, development, implementation and evaluation of these initiatives. Corinne will also be working with the senior management team to assess company efforts on cultural wellness programs, establish best practices and identify programs to remove barriers that help the entire staff grow and excel in their roles.
"We are thrilled to have Corinne back at Red Oak Recovery," says Jack Kline, MS, LPCS, LCAS, CCS, CTT-2, MAC. "She brings expertise, passion and a foundation for our team to help our clients build from."
About Red Oak RecoveryRed Oak Recovery is located in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains, just north of Asheville, NC, and is the result of extensive experience and research for developing highly effective programming to create a foundation of long-term recovery for young adults. The program uniquely blends quality clinical care, adventure therapy, experiential therapy, 12-step work and social skills development to create positive, and lasting change.
International travel has become an exciting addition to the offerings at Summit Prep School. Each year a new destination is determined and the planning begins. Families are given the information early to review and to decipher if they would like their teen to be considered for the trip. The staff provide input regarding the selection of each year's group. Typically 8-10 students participate along with 3-4 staff members.
This trip is set for March and the group will be heading to the Galapagos Islands. A group of students will join clinician Mick Stemborski, LCPC on this year’s international trip. During their ten day trek the students will have the opportunity to tour several places, enjoy the sights and sounds of the islands and engage in different service projects. These international trips provide Summit Prep students with unique therapeutic opportunities that they will never forget.
About Summit PrepSummit Preparatory School is an accredited private, non-profit, co-ed therapeutic boarding school located on 520 acres near Kalispell, MT. Summit integrates professional therapy and college prep academics within a nurturing and dynamic community that energizes and challenges adolescents to succeed and transform their lives. Grounded in the concepts of the Summit Model, the program focuses on promoting the development of healthy psychological and social skills. The campus is close to Glacier International Airport (FCA) and less that an hour from Glacier National Park.
BlueFire Wilderness Therapy, a leading wilderness therapy program for teens ages 11-17, offers insight into staying safe and warm in the outdoors during the winter months. BlueFire’s expert staff, having worked with clients for many years, have an extensive knowledge of preparing for winter wilderness adventures. BlueFire provides practical advice for individuals interested in outdoor activities, such as hiking and mountaineering, during the winter months. According to BlueFire, individuals should:
- Wear layers of clothing for outdoor outings: Individuals should wear three separate layers. The base layer, which is worn closest to the skin, regulates body temperature and moves sweat away from the skin. The second layer, known as the insulation layer, helps retain heat by trapping it close to the body. The third layer, called the shell layer, provides protection from the weather. Clothing should not be too tight or too loose in order to prevent injury.
- Take precautions before camping outdoors: Before individuals go camping, they should be aware of the weather forecast. They should have all of the materials necessary to make a fire and enough food to last in case of an emergency. The shelter they have brought with them should be designed to help them stay dry in case of snow or rain.
- Prepare for travel: Whether by car or foot, when an individual is preparing to travel they should fuel up. It’s also important to have an empty bladder in case there are no restrooms. Before heading out, an individual should set a course of action and identify emergency shelter options. Individuals shouldn’t be afraid to backtrack or cancel their plans in case conditions change.
About BlueFire WildernessBlueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Boise, Idaho that offers teens ages 11-17 a comprehensive adventure experience. BlueFire Wilderness combines clinical expertise, academic assessments and a family systems approach to help teens struggling with emotional, behavioral and social challenges. For more information, please call 1 (844) 413-1999.
Elevations RTC, a leading residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, provides students with a very active on-campus canine program. With the approval of executive staff, Elevations RTC employees are allowed to bring their pet dogs to campus. Students are given the opportunity to interact with these animals on a regular basis.
“Most students love to interact with the dogs. It can really brighten their day,” says Jordan Killpack, MA, NCC, LCMHC, Clinical Director of Elevations RTC. “These interactions provide opportunities for students to form connections and display affection in appropriate ways. It can be used as a positive learning tool for many students.”
Regular interaction with pets, particularly dogs, has been shown to produce positive effects for humans and dogs. The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship that positively influences the health and well-being of both. Many intuitively understand the benefits of positive interactions with animals in our lives. An emerging body of research recognizes the impact a human-animal bond can have on students' overall health.
“According to recent research, the presence of an animal can significantly increase positive, pro-social behavior,” comments Killpack. “It can also lower blood pressure and other negative responses to psychological stress. A study recently published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine showed decreased blood pressure, lower heart rate, reduced muscle tension and overall reduced stress in response to regular contact with a friendly and familiar dog.”
Additionally, this study demonstrated changes in blood chemistry. It indicated significantly reduced amounts of stress-related hormones such as cortisol. The study noted that the positive psychological effects of contact with animals often had a much more rapid effect than medications commonly used to reduce stress and anxiety.
With the introduction of visiting dogs on campus, students are provided with the same benefits discussed in this recent study. The canine program at Elevations RTC is one of many creative and exciting programming additions on campus in recent years.
About Elevations RTCElevations RTC is a unique residential treatment center that works with both young men and women ages 13 - 18. Elevations offers guidance, support and relief to young men and women struggling with issues like trauma, depression, mood disorders, behavioral problems, identity/body image, and substance abuse. Elevations RTC is located in Utah and provides specialized, clinically intensive programs for troubled teens.
The ViewPoint Center would like to extend a thank you to all the professionals who have partnered with them in helping create change for patients and their families. Without the support from all of you, The ViewPoint Center would not have had the opportunity to help over 100 patients this past year. Here is what a former patient’s parents had to say about their success at ViewPoint Center:
“Thank you for rescuing our son & our family during such a chaotic time! We have benefited greatly from this experience; our son especially has benefited. We will always remember & appreciate the care you have shown to us and our son. Wishing you all the best!”
Highlights from 2016
- Dr. Jordan Rigby, PhD - In February, Dr. Jordan Rigby came on as the new Director of Assessment. Specializing in Neuropsychology, Jordan has been a great addition to the ViewPoint team! With an extensive background in assessment and testing, Jordan has a reputation for “sweating the details”. He offers a comprehensive approach to the assessment process.
- Programming additions- This year, The ViewPoint Center added a formal Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and music therapy program to their services. Their patients attend two DBT group and Music therapy groups each week. Not only do they see clinical results from these approaches, they also found that patients enjoy the opportunity to try a variety of therapeutic interventions.
- Renovations - In the spring, ViewPoint got an interior facelift. Now with a warm, adolescent-friendly setting, the facility looks and feels inviting. Removing the nursing station and “medical feel” of the interior has provided the patients a comfortable setting to socialize and relax.
The ViewPoint Center is looking forward to helping many more families find happiness and success in 2017.
About ViewPoint CenterViewPoint Center, a licensed mental health hospital for teens ages 12-18, is located just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. With a program lasting 6-7 weeks, ViewPoint Center provides superior assessment, diagnosis, treatment and stabilization for struggling teens. Many teens at ViewPoint Center struggle with mental and behavioral issues such as suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders and eating disorders. In a safe, personalized environment, ViewPoint helps teens focus on the healing process.
The Leadership team and Board of Directors for the Telos family of companies is thrilled to announce its launch of TELOS U, which will provide support services to young adults (18-26 years old).
Telos U is the result of two years of development and research into the need for RTC-based services for college students and young adults transitioning to independent living. Housed in a newly constructed 80,000 sq. ft. facility, Telos U offers its residents the use of a full size gymnasium, additional cross-fit studio, individual self-catering living suites, and all within a therapeutic environment structured to cultivate each young man’s Telos!
Telos U (http://www.telosu.com) will provide full-time occupational and career support services, as well as educational counseling and assistance for those enrolled in local and online undergraduate courses. Telos U will also provide a full spectrum of mental health counseling services and family systems support, under the guidance of Dr. Ryan Anderson, PhD, Clinical Director, and Janet Stodtmeister, Director of Psychiatry.
About TelosTelos U and Telos RTC, located in Orem, UT, specialize in small class size and low pressure education systems support. Telos provides a therapeutic boarding school enironment for adolescent boys who need help with Processing of Information Disorders, ADD/ADHD, ASD and emotional disorders that prevent them from thriving in a typical high school environment. Telos offers a family systems approach to therapy, working with parents and siblings alongside Telos' students, and structuring a therapeutic mileu around triathlon training programs and other engaging activities outside of school class time.
Evoke Therapy Programs welcomes Andrea Warden as their new Project Coordinator.
Andrea joined Evoke Therapy Programs in 2016 to become a part of an impactful group making such a lasting difference in the lives of teens and adults. She graduated from college in 2007 and brings over 18 years of work experience in customer care fields and operations.
Andrea grew up on a hobby farm in Illinois before moving to Colorado; both places have brought an appreciation for the outdoors and being in touch with nature. She loves to spend time with her husband and her two young daughters. They bring her so much joy. One of their favorite things to do is explore the outdoors and find new parks together. She also enjoys camping, movies, reading, baking and making fun food art for her girls.
About Evoke Therapy Programs at CascadesEvoke Therapy Programs at Cascades, in Bend, Oregon provides innovative mental health treatment solutions for struggling teens, young adults and their families. Their programs foster lasting change utilizing the power of nature and Wilderness Therapy. They also offer Personal Growth Intensive Workshops for individuals and families that are looking to create dynamic changes in their life or to simply find the balance they are seeking.
Evoke Therapy Programs offers all-inclusive Adventure Trips for young adults, families and groups that include rock-climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, backpacking, cycling, rafting and fly fishing. They also offer International, custom, and service-oriented trips. They employ guides with extensive experience who are Wilderness First Responders and hold current certifications in the skills being taught on the adventures. These trips are a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
The Adventure Trips Scheduled for 2017:
High Uintas Backpacking & Fly Fishing
- April 5 - April 14
- August 6 - August 15
- August 29 - September 19
- September 25 - October 4
- October 15 - October 24
Moab Multi-Sport Hiking, Rafting & Biking
- August 9 - August 17
- September 11 - September 19
- October 8 - October 16
The Canyon Adventure - Canyoneering in Southern Utah
- June 2 - June 10
- July 7 - July 15
International Adventures include:
Nepal: Around the Manaslu Circuit
- April 24 - May 14
Nepal: Above the Clouds
- November 19 - December 15
- March 5 - April 2
Peru: High Andes and Lowlands
- May 15 - June 6
- July 9 - August 1
- August 1 - August 24
Peru: The Giving Journey
- June 7 - July 1
- August 23 - September 19
For more information and trip descriptions, please visit evoketherapy.com/Pursuits or call 866.411.6600
About Evoke Therapy Programs
Evoke Therapy Programs at Entrada, in Santa Clara, Utah provides innovative mental health treatment solutions for struggling teens, young adults and their families. Their programs foster lasting change utilizing the power of nature and Wilderness Therapy. They also offer Personal Growth Intensive Workshops for individuals and families who are looking to create dynamic changes in their life or to simply find the balance they are seeking.
Clinicians from Calo Programs enjoyed three days of Brainspotting training (Phase 1) from one of the top Brainspotting trainers in the country. Steve Sawyer, LCSW CSAC, New Vision Wilderness Co-founder and Clinical Director conducted the training. According to Steve, "Like all of the Calo therapeutic interventions, Brainspotting is rooted in the power of attunement and relies on the security of the relationship with the therapist to generate the most effective healing possible."
Rob Gent, MA, Calo's Chief Clinical Officer who organized the training, noted "I love working with Steve. The opportunity for us to collaborate on trainings and put our clinical minds together provides our clinical team with unparalleled opportunities for personal and professional growth while fostering mutual support and teamwork."
Brainspotting training includes three days of neurological education, therapeutic interventions and experiential practicum where each clinician not only practices implementing various aspects of Brainspotting but engages in their own therapeutic reflection and processing. The training is the first in a two-part Brainspotting training sequence that all Calo Programs clinicians attend. Brainspotting is one of the many integrative aspects of Calo’s treatment because of its effectiveness in utilizing the interpersonal relationship to access, release and reorganize trauma stored neurobiologically and its coherence with Calo's other treatment modalities.
About Calo Programs
Calo (“kay-low”) Programs is a behavioral and mental health provider specialized in healing the effects of complex developmental trauma. Calo is comprised of Calo Teens (www.caloteens.com), Calo Preteens (www.calopreteens.com) – both residential programs located in Lake Ozark, MO predominately serving adoptive families, New Vision Wilderness (NVW) (www.newvisionwilderness.com), the therapeutic outdoor behavioral health programs located in Bend, Oregon and Medford, Wisconsin, Calo Young Adults (www.caloyoungadults.com) – transitional living program for young adults - and Embark by Calo (www.embarkbycalo.com) a therapeutic workshop and family intensive program for those reeling from issues of trauma, attachment and adoption.
New Vision Wilderness establishes Assistant Clinical Director positions; Enhances Clinical Services
(Bend, Oregon) Long time lead therapist Ricky Becker LMSW, CSWA was promoted to Assistant Clinical Director responsible for day-to-day clinical operations and supervision of clinical interventions. An exceptional therapist for adolescents experiencing the effects of early trauma, he has over six years of combined experience working with youth in a wilderness therapy setting as both a field instructor, field supervisor, field therapist and lead therapist. "Ricky’s progression to ACD is natural. He is highly organized and embodies our clinical model in everything he does. He remains one of our most sought after therapists", said Andrew Scott, Executive Director, NVW Bend.
Ricky is a firm believer in the transformative power of nature and the outdoors as a medium for therapy, growth and positive life change. He utilizes a focus of family system, interpersonal process and attachment/relationship-based therapies within a trauma-informed model to strive for the most impactful healing process possible.
Ricky received his BA from The Evergreen State College in Washington State and his Master of Social Work in Oregon State at Portland State University. During his graduate education, Ricky focused on working with at-risk youth, their families and communities as an addictions counselor, case manager and a school social worker. He has been trained in Brainspotting (BSP) and continues to focus his professional development and career in the trauma informed arena, specializing in the treatment of adolescents. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and is currently certified as a Clinical Social Work Associate (CSWA) and licensed in the state of Oregon as a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW). Ricky can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Medford, Wisconsin) Jacob Thomason, MS was also promoted to Assistant Clinical Director and will take on the day-to-day clinical operations and overall clinical staff supervision of this nationally recognized, trauma-informed wilderness program. Jacob has worked tirelessly since arriving at NVW two years ago and has acquired more than 7 years as a therapist in the wilderness in Utah, Wisconsin, and at an extended care sober living program in Maine. "His strength as a leader was evident immediately upon arrival to NVW Wisconsin and his positive impact on his clients using NVW's clinical tools has proven his ability to lead our Wisconsin clinical team, said Heidi Strand, Executive Director, NVW Wisconsin.
As an adventure therapist, Jacob also has experience leading clients on international outdoor treks. He is a big believer in utilizing the challenges of the outdoors to build confidence in those who are struggling to identify personal strengths and growth areas.
Jacob earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. A native of Georgia, Jacob and his wife Kelsey reside in Medford, WI where they are raising their daughter to explore and appreciate the great outdoors. Jacob can be contacted at email@example.com.
Steve Sawyer, NVW's Clinical Director and co-founder reflected, "I am extremely excited to work with these two emerging leaders. Working alongside this new ACD team ensures the quality of our advanced clinical work and ensures our mission is fulfilled". Both Ricky and Jacob will perform occasional Clinical Specialist work, run group sessions, operate a caseload, and provide other clinical support as needed.About New Vision WildernessNew Vision Wilderness (NVW) is a proud member of Calo Programs, a unique organization comprised of an extraordinary family of programs, all dedicated to healing the effects of early childhood trauma. New Vision Wilderness offers intensive, short-term outdoor programs all focused on cutting edge, trauma-based interventions that deliver immediate impact.All Calo Programs implement a unique and truly relational treatment model based on the science of neurobiology and evidence-based attachment and trauma treatment research. Calo’s proprietary treatment model is pervasive throughout the programs. This unique model facilitates establishing, deepening and maintaining healthy and safe relationships that ultimately lead to co-regulation and Joy.We exist to Profoundly Change Lives and Create Joy. To learn more contact Thomas A. Ahern, MA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the Director of Embark by Calo, it's important for me to share my passion for working with families and a little about our families journeys with us. I originally started working with Calo in 2012 as a girls therapist and left some time in 2014 after giving birth to my daughter. After that, I was employed as a counselor in the school setting, and also did outpatient therapy, and while I loved working with my students, and clients, I wasn’t feeling quite as fulfilled as I did while I was at Calo.
There was just something about Calo! The people, the connections, the care for one another, and most of all the families and students I had the honor of working with. In the Fall of 2015, Rob Gent, Chief Clinical Officer for Calo, called me and shared his ideas about developing Embark by Calo, a 5 day family intensive for families struggling with the effects of early life trauma. I loved the idea. I knew that families would greatly benefit from a short term program designed to divert from residential care or provide differential diagnosis, and was excited about the potential of being a part of Calo again. It wasn’t until the spring of 2016 that both Rob and I decided it was time. I joined the Calo family again as the Director of Embark by Calo, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of the team.
To date we have worked with over 35 families. Each family that I have the pleasure of working with has a unique and individual story that touches me personally, and constantly reaffirms why I do the work that I do. Not only are parents satisfied, I myself as a clinician am satisfied too! It brings me joy having parents leave their "family intensive" feeling encouraged, hopeful and truly grateful for their experience with us. Because of the great feedback, we know we have doing exceptional work. This is why we offer Embark by Calo, so we can provide families with life transforming experiences. We profoundly change lives, and create joy; one family at a time. Our most recent family just sent me this note this morning describing their experience:
“I want to express, once again, how amazing it was to be involved in Embark and how eternally grateful I am to have this opportunity. It not only helped our families' perceptions change regarding our child, but allowed us to safely face and tackle many years of unresolved issues between all of us that have, no doubt, changed our lives. You are both (Cecily and Christy) very, very good at what you do and your guidance and ability to remain professional and at the same time exert a level of comfort so strong that we could feel such vulnerability and confidence is amazing!!! “ -Calo Preteen ParentBoth Christy Maher PsyD, Embark Facilitator and I do this work, because we love it, and we know what we are doing works. Being able to see families transform their perspective, gain new tools and leave with a greater understanding of one another is truly rewarding for us. Each week comes with its own unique challenges, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. To learn more about Embark by Calo go to Embark by Calo (embarkbycalo.com).
About Calo ProgramsCalo (“kay-low”) Programs is a behavioral and mental health provider specializing in healing the effects of complex developmental trauma. Calo is comprised of Calo Teens, Calo Preteens, (both residential programs located in Lake Ozark, MO predominately serving adoptive families), New Vision Wilderness, trauma informed outdoor behavioral health programs in Wisconsin and Oregon ("NVW”), Calo Young Adults, a transitional living program for young adults on Winchester, VA and Embark by Calo, a therapeutic workshop and family intensive assessment and treatment program for those reeling from issues of trauma, attachment and adoption.
Trails Carolina’s Director of Family Services Jason McKeown, MS, LMFT, CPE, DCC, will deliver a presentation with Dr. Salli Lewis, the Director of the Research Division of CReATE (Center for Research, Assessment, and Treatment Efficacy) on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 10:30AM at the NATSAP Annual Conference.
At Trails Carolina, working with families to promote healing is one of the most important aspects of treatment. As the Director of Family Services at Trails, McKeown leads a team which works with families throughout the treatment process. At Trails, family programming includes regular family therapy sessions, mid-treatment parent workshops, and post-graduation family reunification programming (see http://trailscarolina.com/why-trails/family-wilderness-treatment-center).
McKeown and Lewis will be presenting research findings entitled “Do We Need To Understand The Family To Treat The Kid? Utilizing Scientific Findings To Improve Therapeutic Outcomes In Youth”. This presentation will focus on parenting behaviors and how they influence adolescents’ development and overall functioning. The presentation will review and discuss empirical findings associated with adaptive versus toxic parenting approaches (of which psychological control is one example) and whether ineffective, permissive, or authoritarian parenting styles negatively impact adolescents’ progress in therapy.
“A wide body of research has shown that family involvement is the greatest predictor of success in youth,” comments McKeown.
The presentation will explore findings from a comprehensive treatment outcome study currently being conducted at Trails Carolina. Data to be presented includes general therapeutic outcomes, including changes in family functioning following wilderness therapy. Findings regarding parenting styles and their impact on youth’s functioning and response to treatment will be a particular focus of the presentation.
“For youth with psychopathology or challenging behavior, the health of the overall family, as well as the various methods used by adults to parent their adolescents, can directly impact the teen’s capacity to engage and benefit from therapeutic interventions,” states Dr. Lewis.
An analysis of Trails Carolina’s family programming, including interventions used to target maladaptive parenting, will be provided. Clinical case studies will be utilized to illustrate parenting concepts, as well as the use of experiential interventions to promote healthier family systems.
Dr. Salli Lewis and Jason McKeown will present on Thursday, January 27th, from 10:30 – 12:00/PM at the 2017 NATSAP Annual Conference.
About Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Asheville, North Carolina that offers a multi-dimensional wilderness therapy model to troubled adolescents, ages 10-17. Trails capitalizes upon the profound effects of a student’s wilderness experience, and then combines that experience with strong clinical assessments and therapy.
(Midway, Utah) January 10, 2017 Chateau Recovery today announced the joining of Cy Hirsche to the Chateau Recovery Team as the Director of Admissions.
Cy Hirsche started his career as a successful entrepreneur who founded multiple companies in the software industry. However, personal circumstances and a passion for helping others led him to make the life-changing career choice to become a recovery specialist. Cy is a creative, flexible and dedicated professional who brings his keen business skills, savvy communication and passion to serve in the behavioral health field.
Cy attended Utah State University and Brigham Young University and is advancing his studies in addiction counseling at Utah Valley University. He is also a certified Interventionist and Sober Coach. Prior to Chateau Recovery, Cy was a client liaison specialist at one of the world’s most reputable treatment facilities. There he gained firsthand knowledge of the individual needs that must be addressed in order for clients to experience successful long-term recovery. Cy also held Director level positions at other programs throughout his career and feels honored to be involved with the dynamic team at Chateau Recovery. He is excited to use his skill sets to influence change and inspire hope. Cy is in recovery himself and has a love for his work because he knows firsthand the misery of chemical dependency and the joy of recovery. He has great compassion for those struggling with addiction and truly loves to help clients find their way into the empowerment of recovery.
Cy volunteers and has contributed to many high schools’ annual red ribbon weeks, where he shares his recovery story with hundreds of high school students. He sits on the DARE committee in Utah where he works with youth to help them understand the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Cy played an instrumental role in bringing hope and recovery to men and women in jail and prison as he has spoken multiple times per year to inspire hope and change.
When asked what drew him to join the Chateau Team, Cy said, “Throughout my career I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with some of the world's most esteemed treatment centers. With that experience I have learned that addiction is not a "one size fits all" solution but truly an individual process. At Chateau I am excited to pair my skills with such a talented and dynamic group of like-minded professionals. My experience has taught me that lasting change comes when we empower our clients to take accountability and invest in their lives and with that empowerment comes choice. I'm thrilled to be part of that choice, here at the Chateau!”
“I am thrilled to have Cy on our team at the Chateau,” added Danny Warner, Chateau Recovery’s CEO. “He brings a wealth of experience and passion for empowering others in their individual paths to recovery."
The founding principles of the Chateau’s program are individuality and acceptance, as opposed to labeling and shaming. The center doesn’t adhere to the 12-Steps or any other treatment method. Rather, it runs a detailed, thorough assessment of each incoming resident — including analysis of the individual’s personal history, personal relationships, skills and abilities, and support network — and uses this to assemble a treatment plan that may or may not use the 12-Steps or other traditional models. There’s a particular focus on co-occurring disorders, since the center holds that mental health problems almost always come hand-in-hand with addiction.
For more information about Chateau Recovery, please visit the company’s website at http://chateaurecovery.com
For information about our innovative treatment programs, or to schedule an interview with Cy Hirsche, please call (801)899-5704 or e-mail email@example.com.
About Chateau RecoveryChateau Recovery is a co-ed residential treatment center serving adults struggling with mental health and substance abuse disorders and are looking for an empowering, collaborative way to heal and move forward. Chateau believes that the journey of individual wellness and recovery starts with personal choice. Understanding and nurturing all aspects of personal development creates empathy, honesty, lasting motivation, and opportunities to live life outside of addiction.
Bend, Oregon-based College Excel - the nation's leading comprehensive, residential college support program - has a 14-year history of guiding students to sustainable academic and personal success. College Excel offers co-ed students (18+) with learning differences the opportunity to earn transferable college credits while receiving additional structure and support from a dedicated team of professional Academic and Student Life Coaches.
During the fall 2016 academic term, College Excel students completed a total of 130 credit hours of collegiate coursework at Central Oregon Community College (COCC). They earned A’s and B’s in 90% of their courses, and the average combined GPA was an impressive 3.3.
On Monday, a new cohort of College Excel students kicked off the winter academic term at College Excel. They are currently working towards earning a total of 6 collegiate credits each this term.
College Excel's spring academic term begins on Monday, April 3, and it offers rolling admissions. Learn more about College Excel's one-of-a-kind approach to sustainable student success by visiting www.collegeexcel.com now.
About College Excel Founded in 2003, College Excel is the nation’s leading residential college support program located in beautiful Bend, Oregon. At College Excel, post-secondary adults (18+) with diverse learning needs who require extra support are provided with the structure they need to move forward, both academically and personally. Using a proprietary, blended coaching model rooted in Harvard research-based neurocoaching and behavioral coaching techniques, College Excel students receive daily support from a team of credentialed and experienced Academic and Student Life Coaches while earning transferable college credits.
There are a number of different models and philosophies regarding the process for facilitating emotional growth and change. At Greenbrier Academy, we adhere to a model known as Relationality. This article will illuminate the features of a model that employs this approach, and will hopefully provoke discussion and thought as to how to create desire and facilitate change, particularly within the adolescent population. The distinguishing characteristics of a Relationally based program include:
- Emotional healing occurs in the context of relationships. We have found that many "problems" are formed when a girl develops a perceptual distortion regarding a significant relationship in her life. As an example, a girl may develop a belief that she is “not good enough", when as a small girl she overhears her parents complementing a sibling, and she interprets this in a way that causes her to believe that she will never be as successful as her brother and sister, and therefore begins living a life consistent with the belief of not being good enough.
- The primary cause of your daughter’s “symptoms" are her perceptions regarding relationships, past, present and future. Therefore, the focus of treatment is creating powerful, healing quality relationships to inculcate new positive beliefs.
- Therapeutic change is measured through identifying these old unconscious limiting belief systems, exploring, examining and reinterpreting the meanings attached to these experiences, and providing opportunities to begin exploring life through the perspective of a new belief, i.e., 'I am good enough'. We are able to 'check" our work through providing relational experiences with peers, family and staff to evaluate how effectively they are showing up in a healthier way.
- Our contention is that mental health is defined by the quality of our relationships, including our relationship with self, with friends, with family, with nature, and with our sense of purpose and/or higher power.
- We believe that literal learning has significant limitations. Many of your daughter's beliefs were formed illogically, and simply talking to her about them will not provide a deep level resolution. We provide a number of contrasting experiences that give her an opportunity to indirectly confront old belief systems, and as she has experiences that challenge her former limiting worldview, we find that she will begin to seek healthy relationships based on a realistic and positive sense of identity.
How it works
- Deep level therapeutic work is engaged around how their beliefs were formed. Methods utilized include specialized trauma work, psychodrama, neurolinguistic programming, DBT, CBT, family systems work and guided imagery. Through the insight that is gained, they are able to begin articulating to their family and other significant people in their life how they have viewed the world, and they become open to "new" realities as their perceptual views are brought into open discussion.
- Weekly family therapy provides an opportunity to discuss the issues that have arisen during individual therapy, and provides further awareness as to the healing that needs to occur within the entire family system.
- Intensive family workshops are held three times per year. Siblings are encouraged to attend and the focus is on illuminating and healing multi-generational family patterns.
- The quality of their relationships is greatly enhanced through Greenbrier's Aspirational System. Girls have the opportunity to create a foundation of values, morals and a sense of how to have healthy relationships through their work in the Aspirations. They move from a sense of self-centeredness to becoming much more acutely aware of how their behavior and actions affect those around them.
- The girls are exposed to a number of different contexts. These include the various animal programs, community drumming, participation in intramural sports, learning to live as a contributing member of a community, service projects and the opportunity to participate in overseas service trips and planned times at home to measure the degree to which they are changing on an identity level. We measure their progress through calibrating how consistent they are in all of these different contextual areas.
- The girls participate in four "Villages" during their time at Greenbrier. This unique dimension of our model provides opportunities for them to heal at a deeper emotional level through concretizing many of their past feelings and experiences. Most girls report this to be one of the most powerful aspects of Greenbrier.
- Group therapy occurs at least four days a week. Some groups are process oriented, meaning that issues that exist in the here and now are dealt with, while others have a theme focus, such as addictions codependency etc.
- Each girl is assigned an academic adviser and a residential staff member, who along with the girl’s therapist, work together as a team to continually access, monitor and challenge her throughout her time at Greenbrier.
- We are continuously evaluating the effectiveness of our model, and have had several research studies that confirm the girl’s perception of self, their value and "place" in the world, and their developing self respect, compassion, empathy and honor are significantly enhanced through their experience at Greenbrier. All of our graduates that have elected to pursue college have been accepted, and our alumni report that the virtues they acquired at Greenbrier actually develop further following their graduation.
Through this relational process that has been described, students are able to reframe the meaning they have attached to relational experiences, while simultaneously exploring the existential meaning of their life. Through this process, they become able to develop a much more solidified since of identity, which then enables them to pursue relationships that reflect their authentic self. We would identify that as a successful therapeutic outcome.
Mike Beswick, LICSW, BCD
Clinical Director, Family Programming
Greenbrier Academy for Girls
Our mission at Greenbrier Academy is to emotionally heal and educate students and families, helping them virtuously take care of each other and themselves.
Brightstone Transitions, Vantage Point Aspiro, Black Mountain Academy and SUWS of the Carolinas are excited to announce the 4th Autism Symposium in Asheville, NC, from Sunday, April 2nd, and Monday, April 3rd, 2017. This will be held in conjunction with the Gender Education and Demystification Symposium (G.E.M.S.) Conference and the Southeast Wilderness Symposium.
The Autism symposium will include an expert panel discussion and will highlight best-selling author Liane Holliday Willey, EdD, as the keynote speaker. Willey is presenting on the perspective of females on the Autism spectrum, as a woman diagnosed with autism at the age of 35. The conference includes numerous breakout sessions by professionals specializing in working with this population. Be sure to mark your calendar to join us for these incredible few days.
The Autism Symposium was created in order to bring more awareness to the increasing need for services for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and to facilitate conversations on the most pertinent topics regarding these students and their families. With this symposium, the hope is to highlight top notch treatment approaches and provide insights that will continue to aid professionals that serve this population.
Northwest Passage is proud to announce a new partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Arboretum to bring Earth Partnership for Schools to their campuses. The Arboretum's investment in Northwest Passage and its clients ties together the two entities’ commitment to both honoring the value of nature in their missions and recognizing the potential for greatness in all children. Each year hundreds of children from across the country will be exposed to a strong project-based core curriculum grounded in lessons from nature that will allow children of all different academic levels to learn together as a team. Executive Director Mark Elliott says, "We are looking forward to plugging into the experience and wealth of knowledge that Earth Partnerships will bring to our commitment of creating hands-on, environmentally focused, flexible educational opportunities for our clients. Key staff have traveled to sites around the state for training and are working closely on implementation of this new curriculum."
Earth Partnerships for Schools (EPS) "collaborates with diverse communities to create vibrant outdoor learning spaces using a curriculum-based ecological restoration process. Through facilitated relationship-building and dialogue, communities identify their shared stewardship vision and the ways EP can help make it a reality." Northwest Passage has identified a beautiful 20-acre site as its stewardship project and has the goals to bring it back to its prairie roots.
"Everything came together to allow us to be able to make this commitment to our clients. Our outdoor classrooms are nearly finished, the pledge to the National Park Service to increase pollinator space was approved, and our desire to bring more flexibility and capacity to our educational curriculum was made a top priority. With all these things in place, we just had to make the connection with UW-Madison and the rest is history,” Northwest Passage’s Education Director, Andy Flottum, says of the prairie restoration initiative through Earth Partnership.
Andy goes on to say that "using hands-on experience to foster learning and skill-building by working through a long-term project that requires our students to really dig in to investigate and engage with a challenge and solve problems helps to connect our kids to the knowledge we want them to walk away with in a strength-based approach.”
Experiential Coordinator Ian Karl, one of the staff charged with the implementation of this new curriculum, is a naturalist himself and sees the obvious connection with Passage's commitment to providing kids with all the tools possible to live a therapeutic lifestyle well into their independent lives. "If we can empower our kids to improve their world and learn from it, we'll be fostering healthier lifestyles."
What will this all mean for the students at Northwest Passage? Ellen Race, Program Director at Prairieview and Assessment, says that all the curriculum in the programs will be filtered through a project-based, environmentally-themed lens. "Our classrooms often have kids with varying skills in math, science, and reading. EPS will be a great tool in setting up projects in the classroom with tasks at varied levels to allow students to feel success in academics while still providing a challenge for our students who exceed. A child at a low-functioning level may do measuring, while a student who functions at a higher level may assist their groupmates in calculating the measurements and mathematics, while another student may draw out the space, and yet another will write a narrative of the group’s efforts. What you have is a win/win for students, teachers, and parents. We hope to send kids home with a greater dedication to their education."
Founded in 1978 on the belief that time spent in a natural environment will improve both mental wellness and capacity for learning, Northwest Passage is devoted to meeting the educational goals of a diverse group of learners while transforming the mental health of clients through the healing process.
About Northwest PassageNorthwest Passage has been working to restore hope for clients through innovative health services since 1978. Over 5,000 children and their families have been served at their residential treatment centers in northwestern Wisconsin.
As of December 5, 2016, the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) officially recognizes the Teaching-Family Model as a promising evidence-based practice for the treatment of “Non-specific Mental Health Disorders and Symptoms.” NREPP is a highly selective registry of evidence-based practices in mental health services and part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
As a comprehensive model of care, the Teaching-Family Model (TFM) serves as the foundation for treatment at Alpine Academy. When the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently published the results from a research study it funded, NREPP responded by including the TFM as a promising evidence-based practice. Published in the Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, the study found the TFM to “produce significantly better outcomes” for youth post-discharge. “Short-term gains are relatively common, but for developing youth, shifts in long-term trajectories form the springboard for improved development, socialization, functioning and flourishing,” write the study authors.
Alpine Academy is proud to provide that springboard for students as the only National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) treatment program accredited to use the Teaching-Family Model. Having a long-lasting impact on the lives of students and their families is the driving force behind Alpine’s efforts and the resources devoted to maintaining TFM accreditation.
The Teaching-Family Model has been recognized as a promising evidence-based practice since 2008 by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC), a similar and oft-cited registry of evidence-based programs. In addition, the American Psychological Association has recognized the Model as an evidence-based practice since 2003, prior to the creation of NREPP or CEBC. The American Psychological Association's profile of the Teaching-Family Model suggests that the Model has “given hope” that youth “with even the most difficult problems or behaviors can improve the quality of their lives and make contributions to society.”
“The Teaching-Family Model provides comprehensive care as a program model for children, youth and families focused on building relationships and services that are client-centered, strengths-based, trauma-informed and outcome-driven,” reads a release from the Teaching-Family Association, an international community of care providers using the TFM in a wide range of contexts.
About Alpine AcademyAlpine Academy is a licensed Residential Treatment Center for girls ages 12-18 located in Utah. Students struggle with emotional disturbances that are severe enough to prevent them from going to school successfully. Alpine is a fully accredited school with dual-endorsed teachers at the front of every classroom. Therapy is built into the school day. It is a nationally certified Teaching Family Model treatment program. The students live in homes with married couples, Family Teachers.
Over the past eight months, Onward Transitions’ past and current members have been engaging in a number of independent activities in Portland, Maine. Here are some highlights:
- Living in their own, individual apartments, all over the city
- Going to college part or full-time
- Taking continuing education workshops in the arts and personal finance
- Working part-time (mussel farming, coffee shop barista-ing, substitute teaching at a charter school, French tutoring, restaurant serving/hosting, wedding catering, dishwashing, prep cooking, retail working, food delivery driving, day laboring and “Save the Bees” canvasing)
- Volunteering (Boys and Girls Club, community arts playground projects for girls, immigration events at local schools, Preble Street Resource Center)
- Hosting dinner parties at their own apartment as part of their unique nutrition program
- Exercising (studying acrobatics with Circus Maine, local gyms, Pilates, urban trails, cross-fit, 5K’s, skating, biking)
- Performing live stand-up comedy and music at open-mic venues
- Traveling by bus, train, plane and their own cars to visit family and friends for weekends and holidays
- Participating in Equality Maine and Pride events
- Organizing social events, excursions and meeting with members past and present outside of the Pine House and OT programming.
- Enjoying museum memberships to Portland Museum of Art and the International Cryptozoology Museum, First Friday Art Walks, and our own “Friday Night Out” each week at a restaurant of their choice.
Clinical Director Darrell Fraize noted that: “Our experiences since our first members enrolled in May of 2016 have helped us to hone the profile for the member who tends to be most successful here with us”:
- Has lived away from home, at college or in an apartment before, but couldn’t manage all of the responsibilities and has some insight to what support they need
- Is managing mild to moderate anxiety, depression and executive functioning challenges
- Is compliant and stable on medication and mostly manages them independently
- Is both kind and tolerant
- Is willing and able to engage socially and seeks friendships
- Is not a substance abuser
- Can get out of bed and mostly keep appointments
- Has a recommendation from their referral source and from their current therapist that they are ready to pursue some form of independent living
- Can navigate public transportation or can manage their own car
- Is willing to commit to a minimum of 6-9 months in Portland
Onward Transitions is looking forward to a number of exciting developments in 2017, including programmatic updates and staffing additions.
- Expanding the number of members that can be served
- Providing a fitness tracker and individual fitness and sleep hygiene plan for each staff and member
- Continued program development with the Wellness Coordinator, Program Coordinator and Community Outreach Coordinators
- Updating the family agreement process with specific measurable outcomes
- Creating more integrated nutrition and budgeting programs
- Hiring a full-time Program Coordinator
- Adding another therapist to the clinical team
US News and World Report continues to rate Portland as the best city to live in the Northeast. It is a resource-rich destination for emerging adults looking to take their next step forward towards greater autonomy. Fraize adds that Onward Transitions’ founders chose Portland because of these reasons, and “for the wealth of opportunities the city can provide to emerging adults who are looking to find a bridge between treatment and their next destination, or for those who want to stay awhile while and set up some roots for themselves.”
About Onward TransitionsOnward Transitions is a comprehensive, non-residential independent living service that supports young adults, ages 18-27 living independently in the neighborhood of their choice in Portland, Maine. Our members choose and live in their own apartment from day one. They do not ever live with us. Members' challenges include anxiety, depression, executive functioning and meeting the requirements of launching towards independence
As a young adult transitional program located in the city of Chicago, EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community maximizes the opportunity for students to grow and develop, both academically and in other areas of their lives. At EDGE, students are encouraged to take advantage of all the city has to offer, and doing so provides them with unique possibilities for growth that many have not been exposed to previously. From a variety of educational environments to world-class cultural and recreational activities, Chicago has something to offer everyone.
Many may view Chicago as essentially a summer city. Every weekend for four months there are multiple festivals -- some of the neighborhood variety and some that are citywide -- that celebrate the food, music, and arts of the city and the world. The lakefront and parks are full of runners and cyclists, families and sports leagues.
What's perhaps less understood is that Chicago is a vibrant, energized winter city as well. The stores and theaters are bustling, featuring gifts of all kinds and holiday-themed productions, traditional and modern. The parks have survived their late-autumn identity crisis and are reborn as winter wonderlands alive with ice skating, lights and all the concessions meant to warm the body and soul.
Throughout their experience at EDGE, we support students’ engagement in Chicago’s opportunities, both independently and as a community. From individually planned adventures to structured activities, EDGE students find the ability to grow and develop in ways greater than even they may have anticipated. According to one EDGE student, "Living in Chicago means everything is literally at your fingertips."
The successful transition into adulthood and independence involves multiple challenges, and exposure a variety of experiences can significantly influence this transition in a positive direction. With the investment in our students by EDGE staff and the opportunities presented by living in the City of Chicago, students can greatly increase their abilities to manage both current and future challenges in the best way possible.
About EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate CommunityEDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community is an accredited transitional living program located in Chicago, IL. EDGE offers therapeutically supported residential and non-residential options for post-treatment young adults. The participants, ages 18 -24, are striving to excel academically, while creating a life of balance, joy and wellness.
True North Wilderness Program is thrilled to welcome Ryan Corbey to the team as the Associate Director of Admissions. Ryan will be working side by side with Courtney Merrill, Admissions and Outreach Director, to support all inquiries and admissions procedures for True North. We are looking forward to reconnecting you with Ryan, or introducing you to him for the first time at the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) conference in Tucson later this month. Ryan has great experience and a deep commitment to the work of wilderness therapy. He became intrigued by the value and challenge of outdoor adventure while participating in a NOLS course as a young adult, and found a great home working in wilderness therapy. He spent 200 days in the field as a guide before moving into the admissions role at a wilderness therapy program in the mountains of Utah, and feels that he has really found his niche in this role. Ryan loves helping families to understand the power of the wilderness and guiding them through the stressful and emotional process of enrolling their children. He is an avid outdoorsman himself and enjoys spending his spare time in various adventures with his wife and 3 year-old son.
Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at (970) 903-5905. You are welcome to reach out to him directly or to Courtney (email@example.com, 202-494-0667) with any admissions questions.
About True North WildernessTrue North Wilderness Program is located in Waitsfield, Vermont and operates outdoors year-round, with heated indoor sleeping spaces in the winter. Serving adolescents and young adults and their families with a wide range of mental health, behavioral, and relational issues. True North provides assessment, intervention, and transitional planning during the 10-12 week average stay.
Winter break is winding down, and every parent is eager to get their children back to the routine and structure of school. So why think about PRN for Families' Home From School program now? Because tempus fugit, as they say, and summer break will soon be looming. While it would be ideal to believe that all of the sweet Johnnys and Susies out there will be gainfully employed, taking tennis lessons, catching up on summer reading and volunteering to help with vacation Bible School in their spare time, reality often paints a considerably different picture. Parents and families struggle with how to structure all of the free time that comes with the end of the academic year.
PRN for Families' Home From School program is based on a Family Preservation model, and provides customized support to families with children or teenagers who may require added structure, direction and guidance. Many times, families who participate in PRN's Home From School program do so to prevent their child from becoming involved in high-risk, unhealthy behaviors; for other families, it is the added support that is needed to maintain progress the child and family have made during treatment at a residential program. The goal is to prevent further upheaval and maintain family balance by strengthening family relationships, building their communication skills, and teaching them how to engage with one another, and to utilize community resources effectively so that they can safely live together.
PRN's Home From School program provides pre-assessment; up to five days of intensive in-home family assessment; Love & Logic curriculum materials; eight weeks (or more) of consultation with crisis and case management by a licensed clinician / Family Consultant. Our programs are always customized to meet the specific needs of our clients, including specialized services such as substance abuse testing, mentor support, academic tutoring, etc.You can learn more about PRN for Families' Home From School program by visiting our website (http://www.prnforfamilies.com/home-from-school) or by contacting our Admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Chrysalis student is open to treatment, and often comes to us after attending a wilderness therapy program, another residential program or some type of treatment facility. We do have a number of girls who come straight from home who have been doing outpatient therapy but need additional support. Students want to be healthy, and they want to be their best version of themselves. While our students range from formal diagnoses of anxiety, depression, ADHD, parent-child relationship struggles, mild substance dependency, poor executive functioning or social anxiety, we believe their struggles do not have to define them. Lack of depression does not necessarily equate happiness, which is why we also focus on healthy identity development.
This is why Chrysalis is so relationally focused in all aspects of the program; we strongly believe that healing happens in relationships. Thus we make building connection the center of everything - meals, living situation, adventure, school and therapy. Once a student has connected with staff and peers, she feels safe to dig deep and begin the process of healing wounds. We all have wounds, big and small, that have hurt us and at times caused us to feel that moving forward is impossible. Chrysalis helps students to move forward, and not only find healing, but to find strengths.
So who is a Chrysalis student? In a way, it could be any of us. The skills that a Chrysalis student learns are valuable for everyone. We all are regularly developing and modifying our identity. But a Chrysalis student has the unique privilege of doing so in a structured, safe environment. Not to mention we have loads of fun!
About Chrysalis SchoolChrysalis School is an all girls therapeutic boarding school in northwest Montana for ages 13-18. Its mission is to provide the best-quality therapeutic services, education and experiential opportunities to adolescents and their families in the context of a warm and nurturing residential boarding school environment while maintaining a commitment to integrity in all that they do.
Most clinicians have no clue about Bill W and Dr. Bob (i.e. the founders of AA). For a group of flexible, wonderful, and accepting people, it is amazing how many mental health workers not only reject the 12-steps, but mock and ridicule it. The 12-step format was established in 1939, almost 80 years ago. As this article was being submitted, there are at least four 12-Step meetings within walking distance from the Portland, Maine downtown office for Ginger’s House. Worldwide it is believed there are over 2 million active 12-step members in approximately 170 countries. So why isn’t this a fully embraced program? Many think it is the lack of research and statistical evidence of its efficacy that leads the clinical community to shun it. The 12-step community adamantly refuses to participate in research studies. This is mostly driven by a desire to remain purely anonymous but there is also a mentality of “we don’t care about research. That’s your thing, we believe it works and that’s all that matters.” While many 12-steppers are proudly in therapy, the programming itself rejects therapeutic intervention or perspective in the meetings. This highlights the two-way conflict that is likely a big part of the split.
At Ginger’s House there is equal respect for both the mental health treatment and the 12-step recovery processes. The result is that they work together very well, because, as this article will highlight, they are not that different. The best part is that Ginger’s House clients are benefiting from a true wrap-around approach.
So here is a basic introduction to the first three steps from a purely mental health perspective using three client statements and how they relate to each step:
“I am so anxious all the time. It’s ruining my life, but I don’t know what to do about it.”
Step 1 asks people to recognize that their life has become unmanageable and they are powerless. One of the biggest critiques of this step is that admitting powerlessness means that they no longer need to be responsible for their decision to use drugs. But in this example, would a therapist tell the client saying they feel powerless to their anxiety that they are wrong because they always have a choice to manage it better? The point of admitting someone is powerless is about acknowledging that this (drug addiction, crippling, anxiety, etc) is not a fulfilling way of life and realizing there needs to be a change.
“I need to have hope that things will work out for me, that I will gain control of my life.”
Step 2 asks people to find hope and comfort in their world. The biggest critique of this step is the focus on God, though most meetings/literature/sponsors will talk about a Higher Power. People in the 1930’s were more into God than they are now… BUT even in 1939 Bill W wrote a whole chapter for agnostics in the Big Book (the text lays out the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous). He stated that people need only ask themselves if they are willing to believe that there could be a power greater than themselves. The goal is to give people a sense that they are not alone in this long and painful journey. Would a therapist tell this client not to pursue hope? There is a big difference between the hopeless and the hopeful client.
“I am ready to do whatever it takes, even if that means giving up old patterns and trying new, scary ones.”
Step 3 is crucial to the process of change. It basically asks people to acknowledge that their way of changing has not worked and they are not going to try to control the process anymore. Basically, it is the 12-step way of saying “trust the process.” The critique of this step has a lot to do with the involvement of a higher power but there is also a frequent misunderstanding of the point of the step. It is often viewed as an abdication of responsibility for changing. Imagine a therapist telling their anxious client to hold on to all their old ways of coping while trying to change? It is unlikely that client will progress. This step is crucial because it makes room for all the introspective work to come and allows the client to trust what others are asking them to do.
Hopefully, this has helped bring some awareness of the true meaning behind steps 1-3 and helps minimize some of skepticism about the 12-step programing. The clients at Ginger’s House all have their own critiques of the process but they have far more gratitude and respect for the process. Many credit it with their sobriety. As a mental health professional the steps have proven to be more of an ally than an adversary, because they are not different from what clinicians everywhere try to bring to session: acceptance, humility, introspection, honesty, hope, empathy, challenge….to name a few!
About Ginger’s HouseGinger’s House is an extended care program for women ages 18-30, who are seeking support in maintaining sobriety while re-entering the world. The focus of the comprehensive treatment program is on recovery from addiction to substances, eating disorders, sex and love addiction, trauma, anxiety, depression and other co-occurring disorders. Clients receive individual and group therapy services, medication management, life skills training, relapse prevention planning, art and equine assisted therapy….and so much more! Please call us today to gather more information about our wonderful program.
Skyland Trail, a residential mental health treatment program in Atlanta, welcomed Tim O'Donnell as National Referral Relations Representative in December.
Tim is well known nationally as an experienced behavioral health outreach professional. For the past 10 years he has worked for the industry on the West Coast. Tim and his wife live in Oregon.
He is excited to connect with mental health professionals on the West Coast, including California, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, and Washington. If you are on the West Coast and would like to learn more about the psychiatric residential treatment program at Skyland Trail, please reach out to Tim for a conversation.
We are excited to welcome Tim to Skyland Trail.
Second Nature Therapeutic Wilderness Program has been a long time leader in the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Industry, pioneering the first clinically sophisticated Wilderness based model. Now, Second Nature is again blazing the trail for the industry by turning important Field Instructor positions into full time careers.
Field Instructors, or Field Mentors as they are called at Second Nature, are a vital link between the therapy sessions (conducted by the therapist) and translating those concepts into the daily milieu for real time practice and integration. This removes any disconnect between the therapy and "real life", creating a unique and incredible 24 hour a day, 7 days a week experience. The therapists regularly invite the Field Mentors assigned to the student into individual therapy sessions, allowing them to incorporate the issues identified in the session throughout the rest of the week, and to identify patterns and dynamics in the moment as they emerge. Field Mentors are provided extensive ongoing training and are key in implementing treatment plan objectives as outlined by the therapist.
A program is only as good as the boots on the ground, yet these critical staffing positions have typically been lower paid positions in many programs, leading to higher turnover and less experienced instructors. Second Nature has decided to put their money where their mouth is by showing staff their value through dramatic salary increases across the board. If you want to attract a high caliber of staff to work with your student population, you have to be willing to pay for them, and that is precisely what they are doing. Second Nature has always had one of the highest Field Instructor retention rates (an average of over 2 years) and Student/Instructor ratios (3:1) in the industry due to their reputation in Instructor training and development but now, with field positions becoming a career opportunity, they aim to break that retention and ratio record.
Wilderness therapy involves a unique approach that takes years to master. Field Mentors and clinicians alike are expected to recognize and utilize nature’s lessons in order to create parallels, analogies and powerful emotional experiences. With an industry retention rate of a little over a year, many field Instructors move on right as they are mastering the intricacies of the job. We want to allow our staff to have financial stability so they can stay in the jobs they love and make a career of it. We hope that this trend catches on so that all Wilderness Therapy Programs can develop a strong and experienced Field Instructor team where the rewards far outweigh the cost.
About Second Nature Second Nature is a licensed wilderness therapy program located in Duchesne, Utah that was founded in 1998. Second Nature works with adolescent male and female 13 - 17 year olds in single gender groups, using the wilderness as an intervention and clinically guided by licensed Masters and Ph.D level to assess and diagnose a client's specific needs.
Pure Life is excited to announce that Amee Hardy, LCPC is joining the team as Clinical Director in February 2017.
“Amee’s experience and leadership in the therapeutic industry will make her a valuable asset to our team. She has made a strong connection with the Costa Rican people and culture and she will be a great addition to our unique setting.” – Andrew Taylor, Executive Director
Amee Hardy grew up exploring the mountains and rivers of Idaho where she developed a love of the outdoors. She comes from a family of educators and it was natural for her to pursue her undergraduate degree in education and began her professional career as a teacher. During the summer months, Amee worked for the Casey Family Program backpacking with foster teens in remote wilderness settings. It was on these trips that Amee saw the immense healing power that can occur when wilderness and therapy are combined. With this in mind, Amee went on to pursue her advanced degree and received her Masters in Counseling from Boise State University. She has received training in the Trauma Resiliency Model, Social Thinking model, the Arbinger Institute Leadership model and the Ruler Approach for emotional literacy and Equine Therapy.
Amee has since worked as a therapist in a wide variety of clinical settings including an inpatient psychiatric unit, community agency and a regional hospital. She specialized in a wide-range of diagnoses and clinical modalities: autism spectrum, NLD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, acute mental illness, transition planning, parent coaching. She has spent the last 6 years working at Cherry Gulch Therapeutic Boarding School first as a therapist and then as the Clinical Director.
When not working, Amee spends her free time running, rafting and skiing through Idaho’s outdoors with her husband and two young sons. Amee is thrilled to join the Pure Life team where she will have the opportunity to combine her therapeutic skills with her passion for the outdoors.
About Pure LifePure Life Adventures is located in the Central Pacific region of beautiful Costa Rica. Relying on decades of experience in the Costa Rican outdoor industry, our bicultural team provides a therapeutically sophisticated and holistic approach to helping young adults with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, executive function deficits, trauma and substance abuse. Our students are individuals with very real challenges looking for lasting change. Pure Life utilizes traditional individual and group therapy in combination with outdoor experiential learning and adventure. Our integrated and dynamic approach includes an emphasis on fitness, mindfulness, life skills, and cultural immersion. For more information, contact us at (801) 896 9490.
The newest work of world renowned documentary film maker Werner Herzog addresses the prominent, permanent and sometimes dangerous influence the Internet has around the world. Herzog’s ‘Lo and Behold; Reveries of the Connected World’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc1tZ8JsZvg) is a brief yet hard-hitting eye opener to the new age of technology. In this feature length documentary, many hard truths are discussed about technology and the various roles it plays in the lives of people around the world.
In addition to featuring Dr. Hilarie Cash, reSTART co-founder, it also chronicles the stories of two reSTART program participants who courageously provide valuable insight into what goes on in the lives of those battling Internet and videogaming addiction.
‘Lo and Behold’, a documentary Rotten Tomatoes gave a 93%, can be found on Netflix. After viewing this film, we hope you'll connect and share your thoughts with us about the risks and benefits of digital media use, at https://www.facebook.com/netaddictionrecovery
About reSTARTFounded in 2009, reSTART Life, LLC is the nation’s premiere program for digital technology sustainability located in the Pacific Northwest. reSTART serves adolescents and emerging adults with problematic digital technology use and co-occurring mental health conditions. Adolescents 13-17 and Young Adults 18-28 are referred by family members, wilderness therapy programs, treatment centers, Educational Consultants and Healthcare Providers who recognize the benefits of having a plan for managing digital distractions. reSTART provides innovative, evidence-based care through closely monitored programs and unique resident incentives, creating a comfortable, safe environment for people to heal and flourish. Two different programs include: a Short-Term Intensive Care Program consisting of an 8-12 week assessment and de-tech period for youth and adults, during which time individuals create a plan for healthy sustainable tech use now and in the future; a longer term 9-month staffed residential care/boarding school program for adolescents, and an independent living program for young adults embracing a limited digital lifestyle while attending college, working, or volunteering in the community.
Montford Hall (NC), a residential recovery program for teenage boys, extended $270,000 in scholarship funding to offset tuition expenses for 8 students in 2016.
“We can’t change the fact that good treatment for teenagers is expensive," says Alex Kirby, Psy.D., Montford Hall’s executive director. “But as a nonprofit organization—thanks to our donors—we’re able to mitigate some of the cost for parents in truly meaningful ways.”
In what is already a very small market, Montford Hall stands alone in offering significant scholarship funding to prospective families. “These students were clearly in need of long-term treatment,” Kirby says. “And their parents had nowhere else to turn.”
One of the recipients says, "I honestly don't know what we would have done without Montford Hall. They came through for us in a very difficult time, with a scholarship that made treatment viable—and gave us hope for our son's future."
Montford Hall uses an outside service to evaluate applicants’ need. This ensures objectivity and fairness, says Kirby, and “keeps finances out of the therapeutic relationship.”
About Montford HallLocated in Asheville, NC, Montford Hall is a nonprofit residential recovery program for boys 13-17. The program combines comprehensive clinical care for substance use and co-occurring disorders, innovative academics, 12-step facilitation, family support, and a wide range of health/wellness and recreational activities to give students an integrated, individualized, an inspiring recovery experience. Montford Hall is licensed as a therapeutic boarding school in the State of North Carolina, and a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP).
Elm Tree Recovery (elmtreerecovery.com) announces its opening spring 2017 in Tempe, AZ. Elm Tree is a co-ed residential clinical program for substance use disorders that focuses on recovery, life skills and an introduction to the young adult's academic goals and creation of a path. By treating young adults with substance use disorder, Elm Tree aims to provides young adults the opportunity to enter into recovery and go to college, get a GED, or enter in a vocational school. Elm Tree will have residential treatment services and combine clinical and collegiate services. It will be located less than 1/2 mile away from Arizona State University campus.
Dr. Stacey Smith, PhD, CSAT, EMDR certified, will be the clinical director of Elm Tree. Dr. Smith is licensed psychologist in both Arizona and Texas that has extensive experience treating individuals with alcohol and chemical addictions, process addictions (gambling and gaming) with the co-occurring disorders like trauma, depression and anxiety. Dr. Smith’s extensive professional experience creating family treatment program in previous clinical director positions of national recognized residential treatment centers, manager of an Intensive Outpatient Program and as a family therapist allow the clients that enter Elm Tree Recovery under the care of one of the more experienced clinicians in the industry.
Elm Tree combines clinically sophisticated residential programming with academic coaching. This provides young adults in recovery an opportunity to build a life that includes clinical treatment and create their own academic goals. The program helps clients develop life skills like planning and cooking and engaging in sober fun activities like traveling, outdoor adventure, yoga, acupuncture, nutrition education and exercise to provide an integrated treatment experience. Elm Tree Recovery aims to initiate the young adults into their healthy life in a real life supportive collegiate environment.
The residences for the students at Elm Tree Recovery are one or two bedroom apartment style living. This exposes the young adult to what life in recovery is with staff supervision and community allowing the client to find their authentic self. Partnered with Treehouse Learning Community (treehouselearningcommunity.com) clients are able to create their own educational path with strong recovery and clinical services and support.
About Elm Tree Recovery
Elm Tree Recovery is an residential treatment program with extensive clinical services partnered with Treehouse Learning Community to provide males and females down a path of integrated collegiate learning with recovery. Located in Tempe, AZ there is access to state universities, community colleges and 4 year private colleges, TreeHouse students are able to craft the educational path that is right for them. To learn more about Elm Tree Recovery visit ElmTreeRecovery.com or email us at email@example.com