All Kinds of News for February 14, 2018
The Therapeutic Consulting Association (TCA) announces its 3rd Annual Professional Training for Interventionist and Placement Consultants on April 3-4th, 2018 . The registration is available here. "Like the previous two events, this one day training allows for sessions devoted to the business concerns and the clinical needs of those whose primary job is assisting families with the placement process," said James Meyer, Chair of the Association, The event will be held at the Crown Plaza in Asheville, NC right before the Regional Wilderness Therapy Symposium to ensure that attendees can either attend that conference or visit local treatment programs.
"The Asheville, NC location is the perfect backdrop to day long training because there are so many treatment programs and wilderness therapy programs in the area," said Russell Hyken, Ph.D, Chair of the Training event. He went on to say, "The sessions are going to cover Ethics, Self Care, Collaborative round table sessions while allowing for space to discuss the nuts and bolts of running a small business." For the first time this year, there is an outside presenter, Clifton Mitchell, PhD. to come and discuss ethics. The 2017 training event was in Salt Lake City, UT and attended by 40 professionals. A similar number of professionals are expected in Asheville. Meg Lahey, EdM, MA, Chair of the membership committee said, "The membership has grown to 40. The committee is always reviewing new applications, this event is a perfect way to see if TCA's professional community is something that fits into your needs as a business owner."
TCA's founding principals: supporting Outcome Research in the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare industry, facilitating member collaboration, and providing education with the goal of helping the members provide ethical and evidenced based services to the clients they serve. TCA's day long intensive training continues and amplifies the education and support offered to their members throughout the year. TCA is a unique association because it is exclusively comprised of consultants, interventionists and other referring professionals. All members and event attendees are doing the work of referring professionals and for one day a year all are focused on their professional development. This event is the in person formal meeting that further developers the monthly telephone collaboration groups offered to TCA members, deeper conversations about Outcome studies an opportunity to meet and greet those in the email collaboration group.
TCA's founding principals: supporting Outcome Research in the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare industry, facilitating member collaboration, and providing education with the goal of helping our members provide ethical and evidenced based services to our clients. The day long training continues and amplifies the education and support to offer TCA members throughout the year. TCA is unique in many ways. This association is exclusively a consultant, interventionist and other referring professionals organization, all members and attendees at conferences are referring professionals and so TCA offers monthly collaboration groups for our members, participation in the Outcomes studies, the yearly conference, and an online collaboration group.
About the Therapeutic Consulting Association (TCA)
The TCA was founded 4 years ago to be a specialized association for Interventionists and Therapeutic Consultants that focused on professionals who spend a miniumum of half of their professional time assisting families in finding local or out of the home treatment programs for their adolescent or young adult. Providing member benefits like monthly collaboration groups, an annual conference. The first association to assist NATSAP in providing money to support their outcomes research. For questions about the day long professional training please contact the TCA firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moonridge Academy specializes in meeting the clinical needs of a younger teenage girl aged 11-14. Emotionally, developmentally and clinically, there is a difference between a younger and an older teen. Their needs and wants are different, as is the way in which they process information and in how they approach problems. Moonridge's age limitation means that girls don't get exposed to older girl issues and behaviors as often. Younger girls tend to open up more in group therapy and worry less about “looking dumb" when older girls aren't present. Different clinical modalities and a nurturing environment provide the springboard to healing and wellness for students who might struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma or attachment issues.
Modalities of therapy utilized at Moonridge Academy include:
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) provides students with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. At Moonridge Academy DBT skills are infused into all aspects of the daily program.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) aims to help a student actively identify and change their thoughts and behaviors that lead to depression and negative thoughts.
- Play Therapy which allows a student to explore and resolve problems through the therapeutic use of play.
- Art Therapy utilizes creative methods of expression as a therapeutic technique.
- Sand Tray Therapy which is a type of Play Therapy. Sand Tray Therapy involves the use of figurines and a sandbox to recreate relationships and scenes in a way that allows the student to subconsciously reveal deep thoughts and feelings.
- Equine Therapy in which a therapist uses the relationship between the girl and the horse to gather immediate feedback on emotional stability, levels of confidence, trust and team-building. Horses will often mirror a young teenager’s emotions.
- Adventure Therapy which is an experiential type of therapy that uses outdoor activities to improve self-esteem and peer relationships. Adventure therapy can include cooperative games, problem-solving and trust building activities.
Clinical Director Jennifer Hedrick explains, “Often students admitting to Moonridge Academy have not effectively responded to the more traditional types of ‘talk therapy’. Others have become therapy-weary, having been involved in outpatient therapy for many years. Our Treatment Plans allow for adjustment. We have found that using different modalities of therapy allows us to meet a student where they are.”
About Moonridge Academy
Moonridge Academy is a CERTS Program in beautiful Southern Utah with 16 beds, and is specifically designed for younger girls, ages 11-15. 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.
Fulshear Treatment to Transition is thrilled to announce Curby Rogers, MS, LPC, as the clinical director of the Redwood community. Curby started at Fulshear as a primary therapist two years ago after finding her love for residential treatment settings. In this time she's made a remarkable impact on her clients and colleagues and we look forward to seeing her continue to influence the community.
Join Fulshear in celebrating by getting to know Curby and her plans for the Redwood community!
"I'm excited to bring my own experience — educational, professional, and life — and to influence this group of young women."
Curby’s friendly and authentic nature makes it easy to educate and push her clients forward to meet their treatment goals in a way that they respond to. In this role, she is most excited about the opportunity to influence the Redwood community’s culture for the better.
Curby has identified two goals she’s working towards in the Redwood community. She is committed to helping families bridge the gap between adolescent treatment and young adult treatment. Curby has seen the challenge that parents face in transitioning out of the parent-child mindset when their young adult child isn’t acting with the maturity or cognition of an adult. She looks forward to shifting family dynamics to help parents see their daughters as more autonomous and capable individuals who are able to make responsible decisions with their support.
Additionally, she is invested in making sure that the clients coming into the Redwood community complete the program and get what they need out of it. She looks forward to working with treatment teams and therapists to implement effective interventions and therapeutic goals for clients and families.
Curby is passionate about Fulshear’s attachment model and sees the company as experts in therapy. She appreciates that Fulshear doesn’t focus on case management or modifying client behavior, but instead emphasizes on the reasons behind the behaviors.
Curby’s personal and professional life was influenced by the fear mantra in Frank Herbert’s book, Children of Dune: I will face my fear. I will let it pass through me. When the fear has gone, there shall be nothing. Only I will remain. This is what Curby hopes to teach the young women of the Redwood community.
Nikki Preece, Fulshear’s executive director, is also excited about this change, "Curby has been a wonderful asset to Fulshear's clinical team over the past two years. We are excited for her to bring her experience and enthusiasm to the entire Redwood community!"
Fulshear Treatment to Transition, founded in 2003 and accredited by the Joint Commission, is located right outside of Houston in Needville, TX and Stafford, TX. Fulshear works with young adult women ages 18-25 struggling with mental health issues along with accompanying co-occurring disorders, and is known for its development of the Fulshear Adult Attachment Model.
The Telos Programs are excited to announce two new admissions team members to both the Telos U campus and the Telos RTC campus, both located in Orem, UT. Becca Jolley, who was working at the Telos RTC (the youth campus) is now covering admissions at Telos U, replacing Chris Black. At the Telos RTC, Makale Fitzgerald is joining Director of Admissions Kristen Williams,. Makale Fitzgerald was a Telos programs Human Resources officer.
In her move to Telos U, Becca Jolley received a promotion to the Assistant Director of Admissions. She has spent the past month gaining a deep understanding of the supports Telos U offers students and is currently fielding all referrals there. Becca has a Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation at Brigham Young University.
Makale Fitzgerald has been with Telos since 2011. While working in the Telos residential department, Makale earned her Bachelors Degree in Speech Communication at Utah Valley University. Makale's goal is to continue to be part of the Telos family while achieving a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology. She is excited to join Kristin in assisting families at the Telos youth program.
Chris Black, a longtime member of Team Telos, will be leaving the company on February 20th, 2018 to further his education in nursing. Telos extends him the best in his endeavors and thanks him for the excellent service he has provided students and families over the years.
About Telos U and Telos RTC
Telos 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.
Perhaps you have been following The Campaign to Heal Childhood Trauma online or you’ve heard rumblings for a new diagnosis for childhood trauma. For those new to this initiative, The Campaign to Heal Childhood Trauma is a grassroots partnership between Calo Programs and three leading, national attachment, trauma and adoption nonprofits; The Attachment and Trauma Network (ATN), The American Adoption Congress (AAC) and the Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh). The purpose of this collaboration is to increase compassion and understanding for the lifelong effects of early life trauma often impacted by adoption and to share a hope for healing. Besides taking the message on the road via a series of bus tours that provide education and connection to hundreds of professionals, parents, clinicians and others. The tour also provides advocacy for the inclusion of Developmental Trauma Disorder in the next revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders commonly known as the DSM-5. Why is this important? Let’s explain:
Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) in its simplest form is characterized by interpersonal victimization or a disruption in the caregiver relationship via neglect, prolonged separation, abuse, death, violence or loss. According to a new survey on adverse childhood experiences by the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), almost half the nation’s children have experienced at least one type of serious childhood trauma. And, for those who work with adoptees, it is Calo Programs' view that there cannot be an adoption without a preexisting loss or trauma. Yet, these traumas are often overlooked or mistreated in clinical settings.
In 2007, a team from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a consortium of seventy child mental health centers founded and funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, brought together clinicians who work with children who have complex trauma histories and were the first to propose DTD and capture the central realities of life for these children and advocate for DTD’s inclusion in the 2011 iteration of the DSM-5. How will this help?
- Recognition of DTD will help parents obtain insurance reimbursement for clinical services, which will improve access to much needed treatment and encourage early intervention.
- Clinicians who treat young people who experience the effects of DTD will no longer have to stitch together a medley of inaccurate diagnoses to get a workable treatment plan. In addition, inclusion of DTD in the DSM will require further training for clinicians to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to provide more effective treatment interventions.
- Recognition of DTD will help social services, including adoption agencies, provide parents with a host of proven therapeutic parenting techniques that can be implemented in the home and mitigate the effects of early trauma on children’s behavior.
- School systems and classrooms will evaluate their environments to become more trauma informed.
- And finally, recognition of DTD will open the door for more federal funding for research to better understand the pervasive effects of this complicated issue.
The vast majority of behavioral health and substance abuse problems can be traced back to early life trauma, so join The Campaign to Heal Childhood Trauma and help change the face of behavioral health treatment in this country. Go to www.endchildhoodtrauma.com to learn more, sign up and see the dates and locations for the next bus tour scheduled for May 2018.
About Calo Programs
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 its programs. This unique model facilitates establishing, deepening and maintaining healthy and safe relationships that ultimately lead to co-regulation and joy. Calo exists to Profoundly Change Lives and Create Joy.
All 10 therapists at the Greenbrier Academy will begin a 40 hour training on February 14, 2018, conducted by L Jay Mitchell. This staff training will be held on our beautiful campus in Pence Springs, WV to support staff in implementing the GBA therapeutic model. All therapists have previously received 80 hours of training from Mitchell on skills and interventions to change personal identity, deep rooted subconscious beliefs, and mental strategies.
The February 2018 training will use a Case Studies approach. All therapists will submit Case Studies revealing significant client challenges to practice creatively combining skillsets and develop greater competency in the GBA therapeutic model of Applied Relationality.
Relationality actually focuses on the meanings about self and the world created through relational experiences. Significant experiences are often intense (like trauma) and can lead students to conclude life controlling beliefs about themselves and others. Beliefs like "I am helpless"; "I am hopeless", "I am unworthy", and "I am not enough" can elicit negative behavioral patterns. Much of the training pertains to eliciting these subconscious beliefs and replacing them with positive beliefs.
The Case Studies include the following contexts.
- Students who fake being "okay" all the time: working with conscious and unconscious denial.
- Students who get angry when core beliefs and feelings are elicited.
- Building rapport with students resistant to it.
- Parents who are continually trying to rescue their daughter, oftentimes reaffirming detrimental relationship patterns.
- Students who are stuck seeing things from only one perspective.
The focus of resolution includes the various combinations of the following skills and interventions.
- Neurologically accessing how a student views self and others, and the relationship between the two.
- How to ask the right questions: being specific or vague depending on context.
- Pursuing assumptions and presuppositions we make in communication.
- Using focus and physiology to neurologically activate the "whole mind”.
- Clarifying outcomes.
- Creating consensus and permission to set up accountability.
- Using anchors, physiology, affirmations, and focused meditation to achieve resourceful emotional states.
- Use of Archetypes.
- Therapeutic use of existential questions such as: "Who Am I, Who Are You, What is My Life Purpose, Why Should I Care About Other People, What is Really Important, What is Right and Wrong and Why, What is Virtue".
All therapists at Greenbrier Academy are dedicated to supporting students to heal and thrive long after their time on campus. These trainings support clinical staff to give students the tools needed to heal and transform their relationships with self and others.
About Greenbrier Academy
Greenbrier Academy (GBA) is an all-girls' therapeutic boarding school. The mission at Greenbrier Academy is to mentor and empower adolescent girls and their families to create quality, healing intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships through inspired critical thinking, advanced therapeutics, college prep academics, and stimulating adventures.
Point School Puerto Rico received a long-awaited text message last week at the annual National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) Conference. The text message proudly proclaimed, “Power is back on finally. Now we can get some work done.”
There were many high fives, hugs, laughs, and sighs of relief to follow. Tracey Bachrach, Admissions and Outreach for Point School Puerto Rico (PSPR), exclaimed, “I was so excited, I could not sit still for the next two hours. I felt like I was going to burst with joy and excitement!”
Just one month after PSPR announced its restructure and rebranding efforts as a hybrid gap year program for young adult men, Hurricane Maria hit the island, knocking out power. Jason Cox, co-owner of PSPR recalls, “We didn’t feel comfortable allowing students into our program without stable electricity. It has been difficult for the staff of Point School Puerto Rico to patiently await the restart of their program, and they would like to thank everyone who has reached out over the past four months with kindness and concern. Now it’s time to celebrate and get to work!
Now that power is back on, the celebratory electric slide has been happening non stop. The pool is being refilled, walls repainted, reinstalling the air conditioners, and hanging some brightly colored curtains.
If you have questions about this unique hybrid gap year or are an 18 -22 year old interested, please contact Tracey Bachrach at email@example.com
About the Point School Puerto Rico
Point School Puerto Rico is a hybrid gap year program designed for young men who are searching for a one-of-a-kind experience designed just for them. We aim to help our young men grow into adulthood with the ability to thrive. Our hybrid model includes therapeutic support delivered by a licensed clinician, life coaching with trained mentors, support for academic and/or vocational momentum, and a considerable amount of experiential opportunity and cultural immersion.
Almost two decades ago my wife Jan and I shared a meal with two dear friends - Mark Hostetter and Alex Habib. Our conversation over dinner was about starting a program to help teens. This idea began as a dream of Alex’s and mine in college, and now in partnership with Mark and Jan it was about to become a reality. We had decided to start a nonprofit therapeutic boarding school. At dinner we asked ourselves the question one final time “Why a Therapeutic Boarding School?”. It is now Summit Prep’s 15th anniversary. Looking back how did we answer that question?
I had run a number of psychiatric hospitals, so I knew the importance of short-term stabilization of psychiatric symptoms. But especially for teens who are still developing emotionally and socially, short term hospitalization often didn’t seem to help them get “back on track” developmentally. There needed to be a longer-term option. Outpatient therapy was one such option, and as former outpatient therapists both Jan and I recognized the value of long-term relational outpatient therapy for struggling teens. But outpatient therapy didn’t seem enough for a number of teens, who increasingly struggled in spite of quality outpatient therapy. They needed more professional support and structure. So a longer term residential option offering both relational therapy with supportive structure seemed the best solution.
But what type of residential option? Given that teens are in the midst of a developmental process, we also knew that the residential option needed to balance residential support with the experience of learning to live within a more normalized social and school environment. Teens need to learn to face these challenges in preparing for life, while still having the therapeutic support necessary to mitigate personal issues and to grow in maturity. So we needed to create an environment that would provide structure and supervision, without isolating teens too much from the realities of social and emotional life that they need to learn to navigate in life. In addition, we also wanted to help teens finish high school strong in preparation for college. (Which is why one of our first board members was Todd Fiske, a school superintendent that now serves as our Executive Director.)
Given all these factors, we choose to start a therapeutic boarding school. And although over the years we have continually sought to make improvements to our program, we believe we made the right choice 15 years ago. Summit offers a unique mix of structure, supervision, longer-term relational support & therapy, college-prep level academics, and the experience of living within a more normalized adolescent social and school environment. This is why we choose to start a therapeutic boarding school, and I believe why so many families have chosen Summit Prep.
New Vision Wilderness Therapy program, located in Bend, Oregon and Medford, Wisconsin, is pleased to announce the addition of Jillian Broeckert, MS, LPC to their core clinical team in Wisconsin. Jillian earned her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix, Saint George, Utah and has worked in wilderness therapy and the mental health field since 2005. Also included on Wisconsin’s clinical team are Jacob Thomasson, MS, Lacey Heinzelman LPC, LMFT, Wesley Bruce, M.A. and Ashley Perez, CAPSW.
Growing up in the north woods of Minnesota, Jillian has always had a passion for the outdoors and its therapeutic value. She loves the experiential work and believes in taking a person-centered approach, looking at each student as an individual. Jillian also believes in not only giving her clients the opportunity to heal, but that treatment is an opportunity for the whole family. “I have had training in mindfulness and believe in taking a holistic approach,” she noted. “I also believe in taking a family systems approach and with New Vision’s emphasis on intensive family work, it’s a great match.”
According to Jacob Thomason, Assistant Clinical Director, “Jillian works well with students who have borderline traits because she has a calm/caring demeanor. She is also highly skilled in DBT and holds firm boundaries.” Jacob also noted that Jill enjoys working with older adolescent boys who are emotionally avoidant; for example, students who believe emotions show weakness. “I am passionate about helping my students see the potential in themselves that we see in them. My favorite moments are when you can see that in their eyes,” she said.
About New Vision Wilderness
NVW has programs in Wisconsin’s beautiful North Woods and in Oregon’s picturesque Cascade Mountain Range, near Bend, Oregon. NVW offers programming for adolescent and pre-adolescent boys and girls, as well as young adults. They are a specialty wilderness therapy treatment program that is clinically intensive, highly specialized and trauma informed. The foundation of our program is designed to heal the consequences of early childhood stress. This early stress, often referred to as Complex Developmental Trauma, manifests itself in controlling behaviors such as defiance and opposition, as well as debilitating behaviors such as anxiety, ADHD, substance abuse and depression. NVW is the nation’s premier relational model wilderness therapy program, and integrates the latest research on adverse childhood experiences. This relationship centered approach coupled with a safe environment and the most effective clinical interventions serve as the backbone to their success and reputation. NVW believes in relationship, not consequence, as the main vehicle for change.
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program which helps teens ages 10-17 who are struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges, implements specific procedures and activities which help protect the environment. The principle behind these procedures, Leave No Trace, is based on the idea of leaving no human mark or impact on the environment.
"Through Leave No Trace, we try to have as low of an impact on the environment as possible," comments Thor Jones, Field Supervisor at Trails Carolina. "We want to be able to preserve the resources we have and the ability to experience the beauty of the wilderness. If we don’t take steps towards making sure we’re leaving nothing behind in the environment, no one will be able to enjoy the wonders of nature in the future."
Students take part in Leave No Trace exercises throughout their journey at Trails Carolina. Each time students leave a campsite, the entire group does a full sweep of the area to ensure that no trash or food is left behind.
Other Leave No Trace exercises include traveling in a single file line in order to not disturb the surrounding trees and plants, disposing of all waste in specific containers while leaving nothing on the ground, and leaving all rocks and plants where they were found.
“It can be hard for some students to get behind these exercises when they first arrive at Trails,” says Jones. “However, many students make the switch from completely not caring about the environment to being a complete stickler for all the Leave No Trace principles that are enforced. Students gain so much from Leave No Trace. It helps teach them important values such as respect and responsibility for their actions. These are all skills that students can take with them back home.”
For more information about Leave No Trace, click here to read Trails Carolina’s blog on the subject.
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.
Trails Momentum, a co-ed young adult wilderness therapy program helping men and women ages 18-25, works closely with young adults who struggle with technology addiction or overuse to form healthy transferable habits and skills.
Technology addiction is a growing issue in today's society. In a recent study evaluating more than 2500 college students, 60 percent of participants admitted to feeling addicted to their smartphone.
"Unfortunately in our society, it's nearly impossible to avoid technology use completely. For young adults struggling with an addiction to technology, it's important for them to develop the skills they'll need to self regulate their technology habits," comments Blake Smith, Primary Therapist at Trails Momentum. "That's why Trails Momentum is such a unique opportunity for these young adults. We can provide the support they'll need to develop these habits and form personal goals moving forward."
When individuals become addicted to technology, their relationship skills may suffer. It is often hard for them to develop close relationships with others because they have spent most of their time in the virtual world without face-to-face communication.
At Trails Momentum, students work closely with therapeutic staff to develop communication skills and form meaningful relationships with their peers.
"The group therapy carried out at Trails Momentum allows students to connect on a deeper, more personal level than they would chatting with friends online," says Smith. "It helps students realize that forming relationships in-person can feel just as important as the connections they've made in the virtual world. Students share their goals, passions, and fears with one another and begin to relate to each other in a way some have never experienced before. It's extremely powerful.”
The self-regulating skills and habits formed at Trails Momentum can be transferred into their lives after their launch into adulthood. This allows them to carry on the progress they made during their time at Trails Momentum and continue their journey towards a more successful future.
For more information about therapeutic options for technology addiction, click here.
To learn more about the ways in which Trails Momentum helps teens struggling with technology addiction and other emotional or behavioral challenges, please call (877) 296-8711 or visit http://trailsmomentum.com.
About Trails Momentum
Trails Momentum is a co-ed adventure-based wilderness therapy program for young adults ages 18-25. Located in the mountains of western North Carolina, Trails Momentum offers a transformative, whole student centered growth experience for young adults struggling to launch themselves into adulthood. Adventure programming, clinical services, education, service-learning, and community living are seamlessly interwoven to maximize the transference of important life skills in order to empower students to make the transition into independence.
Jessica Beck, LCSW, has joined Ascend Healthcare as Clinical Director. Ms. Beck comes to Ascend with over 10 years of experience in mental health treatment with both adolescents and adults. As the former Acting Director of the Addictive Behaviors Clinic at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center, she has developed considerable and expert clinical knowledge in the field of evidenced-based addiction treatment. At the VA Medical Center, Jessica has trained colleagues on therapeutic practices and provided treatment to hundreds of at-risk veterans.
“We are extremely enthused to have such a strong clinician lead our team and our program. Her record of success is as diverse as it is long, and we look forward to her insight and guidance for both clients and staff,” said Managing Director Effie Goldberg.
Jessica also gained extensive experience in the treatment of depression, anxiety and trauma while working at medical facilities, community-based outpatient programs, and a residential treatment center. Jessica is passionate about helping her clients identify their personal values, strengthen their resiliency, and learn ways to effectively manage emotions. Her therapeutic approach is holistic in nature and builds upon her client’s strengths to help them live a full and meaningful life. Jessica received her Masters in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of California.
"I'm excited to join the hardworking and passionate team at Ascend Healthcare. I look forward to working at such a robust program with a strong emphasis on quality," said Ms. Beck about her new role.
About Ascend Healthcare
Ascend Healthcare is a residential treatment center for adolescents located in Los Angeles, CA. The 45-90 day program treats teens for primary mental health and secondary substance abuse. Ascend’s program is co-ed and LGBT-affirmative, has school on-site, and incorporates a strong family therapy component. The center works to empower teens to emotionally self-regulate in a healthy manner in order to return to living healthy, fulfilling lives in safe, healthy, and supportive environments.
Elevations RTC, a co-ed residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, provides an accepting therapeutic community environment for young people of all gender identities.
At Elevations RTC, acceptance and support of transgender students and students who identify as gender non-conforming or gender questioning takes place within programming at every level. For example, transgender students share dormitory spaces with students who are the same identity, regardless of their assigned sex at birth.
“When teens are struggling with any issue, whether it be depression or challenges related to gender identity, support plays a major role in their healing process,” comments Judi Jacques, M.Ed, Executive Director of Elevations RTC. “If a teen doesn’t feel like they are safe, supported, and accepted in the place where they are supposed to make positive changes, it will be very difficult for them to make those changes and begin to heal. The support system at our program provides a safe, accepting environment for students to work through their challenges and gain confidence in their sense of self.”
Each week, Elevations RTC holds a group meeting for LGBT students which provides a forum for them to share their experiences and provide support to one another.
"After being in and out of programs for the past year and a half, Elevations is the most accepting and supportive program that I have experienced,” comments an Elevations student who identifies as transgender. “There is so much diversity here and I think that’s what makes the program really unique. All the students and staff members are really supportive and I feel like I’ve definitely grown the most here than anywhere else.”
Elevations RTC will be a sponsor for this year’s GEMS (Gender Education deMystification Symposium) which takes place from Feb 21-23. Learn more about GEMS here: http://www.gemsconference.org/
For more information about Elevations RTC and their support of all gender identities, please visit https://www.elevationsrtc.com or call 866-952-7930.
Elevations RTC is a unique co-ed residential treatment center that works with teens ages 13 - 18. Elevations offers guidance, support, and relief to teens struggling with issues like trauma, depression, mood disorders, anxiety, behavioral problems, and substance use. Elevations RTC is located in Syracuse, Utah and provides specialized, clinically intensive programs to struggling teens. For more information, please call 1-855-290-9681.
Alpine Academy is excited to offer a yoga class for students and staff members, taught by a certified yoga instructor. Recognizing the role yoga plays in improving physical and emotional health, bringing balance to mind and soul, and the potential power it has to increase positive thinking, as just a few of its attributes, Alpine Academy has been mindful in implementing this additional programming in a way that will produce genuine outcomes.
Alpine Academy recently received a very generous donation from an alumni family designated to improve awareness and provide authentic opportunities to integrate wellness and healthy living into our lives. Their donation is providing yoga equipment for the students, including mats, straps, blocks, and more. The willingness of families to help other students on campus, even after their own daughters have left, really speaks to the overall feeling of a greater "Alpine Family."
Elin Isakson is one of Alpine Academy’s fabulous family teachers. She and her husband, Hans, have been an incredible force for good in the lives of the students in their home. They have always enjoyed an active lifestyle and Elin wanted to be able to share some of her passion with the students at Alpine. Elin and Hans incorporate “farm to table” and conscious eating lifestyle in their home and Elin’s certification as a yoga instructor is just one more way they are making a difference in the lives of the students and staff on campus. (To learn more about Elin and Hans, click here)
Alpine Academy resolutely believes in and acknowledges the power of physical fitness in improving mental and emotional health. Elin’s teaching will focus on a weekly theme of altruism and personal resiliency. Alpine is delighted to have yet another opportunity for students to develop their physical and emotional strength and well-being in a way that is impactful now and for their future.
About Alpine Academy
Alpine 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.
The International Travel Program has been a component of the Valley View experience for more than 45 years. Over the years, students have travelled to countless countries including Russia, China, Africa, Vietnam, France, Jerusalem, Peru, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala and the Galapogos.
Brendan O'Neil, Assistant Director, and Ryan Trzpit, History Teacher, will travel with students to Greece in March. Brendan states, "It is with great pleasure that we offer this trip in March. Students will participate in a number of experiences at historical and archaeological sites throughout the country dating back as far as 1000 BC that have lent to the development of western civilization as we know it today." Valley View students and staff will visit a school, several villages, urban and countryside settings, and participate in an international service project with an organization serving refugees. During this effort, students will serve meals, distribute clothing, and interact with children at the project site. These experiences will be balanced with a modicum of travel every day or two, some active excursions, and a myriad of enriching cultural, historical, and educational endeavors.
Trip organizer Brendan O'Neil states, "Each of these trips has the potential to further refine the students' perspectives on the values of life, humanity, and culture, which further enhances the work we do at Valley View School. It is our intention to make these opportunties available to our students as they continue to develop their particular world views." Brendan shares in the belief of the late Dr. Philip Spiva, founder of Valley View School, that "International travel and cultural immersion is a very powerful instrument in the education, development, and rounding of a youngster."
About Valley View School
Valley View School, founded in 1970, is a private therapeutic boarding school serving boys in grades 6-12. A non-profit 501(c)(3) school, our campus is located in the central Massachusetts town of North Brookfield. Our overall program consists of a comprehensive blend of Therapy, Academics, Athletics, Arts and Activities challenging our students emotionally, intellectually, and physically. The boys learn self-control, emotional regulation, and social skills in order to create and cultivate relationships with peers and adults, while developing compassion, empathy, and respect for others in realization of their true potential.
Red Oak Recovery and The Willows introduce Recovery Management services designed to meet the needs of clients who have been in recovery for at least ninety days and have experienced a recent relapse or are about to. Based on the Gorski-CENAPS model of recovery and relapse prevention, clients will receive a minimum of twenty-five hours of clinical care per week by master’s level, dually licensed (substance abuse and mental health) clinicians as well as work with a Gorski-trained case manager.
Focus is placed on individual thoughts, feelings, urges, actions, and reactions around triggers and relapse in a gender separate environment over the course of three weeks. Families also participate in an intensive Family Program to continue to work on relationships and family systems.
About Red Oak Recovery and the Willows at Red Oak
Red Oak Recovery and The Willows at Red Oak are located in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains, just north of Asheville, NC, and are the result of extensive experience and research for developing highly effective programming to create a foundation of long-term recovery for young adults. The Willows is dedicated to woman-only programming uniquely blending quality clinical care, adventure and experiential therapy. Both types of programming include 12 Step work and social skills development to create positive and lasting change.
ViewPoint Center helps adolescents struggling with a variety of challenges; one of the difficulties they help teens face is trauma. If a student has experienced trauma in their past or is suspected of experiencing a response to trauma, ViewPoint conducts a comprehensive assessment of trauma. The assessment is conducted through a multidisciplinary approach which involves every member of our staff.
The ViewPoint Center’s team includes a psychologist and several therapists, psychiatric practitioners, nurses, and direct care staff. As a team, they work collaboratively to assess for a wide range of traumatic events. The assessment is conducted through several avenues which include clinical interviews, standardized measurements and observations.
The entire team also gathers information from a variety of sources including key figures in the child’s life such as parents and caregivers. ViewPoint also seeks information from school representatives, past providers, and education consultants.
After gathering information and observing the adolescent, the professionals at ViewPoint discuss how each traumatic event has interfered or impacted:
- Functioning (daily living, social, interpersonal)
- Emotional regulation
- Risk factors for behavioral expressions of symptoms.
During the assessment, their team also discusses how other mental illnesses may be contributing to the functioning of the adolescent. As part of the assessment, it is essential to determine what trauma-focused interventions, as well as other interventions, may be effective in relieving the symptoms and trauma responses many of our adolescents experience.
After an initial assessment is completed, we work towards establishing the next steps. An ongoing assessment is beneficial in determining the relief of symptoms, changes in symptoms and the effectiveness of ongoing treatment.
Throughout an adolescent’s time at ViewPoint Center, they are dedicated to providing the most thorough assessments possible in order to form an accurate treatment plan.
About ViewPoint Center
ViewPoint Center, a mental health assessment center for teens ages 12-17, 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 teens struggling 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.
This year, the Autism Symposium is being held on April 2 - 3rd, 2018 at the beautiful Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. Registration, sponsorships, and rooms are filling up quickly. The early bird rate is only available through Wednesday, February 28th.
2018's keynote speaker is Nancy Tarshis, MA, MS, CCC-SLP of The Social Thinking Informal Dynamic and Core Treatment Strategies. Nancy’s clinical work includes Altogether Social, a Social Thinking practice she co-founded with Debbie Meringolo, that serves clients age 14 months through 22 years. Altogether Social provides individual and group sessions, consultations to public and private schools, and trainings for parents and professionals.
Due to feedback received after previous Autism Symposiums, the breakout presentations are broken into two tracks intended to meet the varying levels of expertise symposium attendees have in regards to working with clients diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
- #MeToo, Relationships, & Disabilities by Shayna Abraham, M.A., CEP, Jake Weld, M. Ed., and Molly Shriver-Blake LCSW
- ILAUGH on the Mountain: Utilizing Social Thinking Concepts in Wilderness by Taisir El-Souessi, LPC, REAT
- It’s Never Too Late: Evaluating, Diagnosing & Treating Autism Later in Life by Carla Shorts LPC and Lisa Cheyette, PhD
- Taking Autism Outdoors: Treating Sensory Overload in Nature by Amanda Cencak, LCMHC and Anna Pierotti, BA
- "How to Work with a Neurologically Different Student who exhibits Limbic Dominant Behaviors" by Doug Moughan, PhD and Shane Whiting, PhD
- It’s Time to Talk About Sex: Understanding and exploring development and treatment of problematic sexual behaviors among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by Maria Watters, MA
- On the spectrum and in the woods: A Panel on Best Practices for ASD clients in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Programs by Dr. Will White featuring Caitlin Galt and Brandon Moffitt
- Gender Differences in Autism: One size doesn't fit all when you're looking for community by Caitlin Galt, LPC, Tim McMahon, & Sean Rose, M.A.
- Utilizing a Trauma-Integrated Approach to Working with ASD by Molly Baron, M.A and Neil Wallace, MBA/HSA
The historic and beautiful Grove Park Inn was established in 1913 and is quite literally built into and from the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina. As a five star hotel, The Grove Park Inn has been host to a variety of Presidents and Celebrities since its opening including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Barack Obama, Harry Houdini, Michael Jordan, John Denver, Harry Ford, etc. The Grove Park Inn features a 6,400 yard championship golf course, an award winning spa, and numerous dining and nightlife options. Every evening, guests have the opportunity to watch the sun set over the Asheville skyline and layers of blue mountain ridges. For more information on the the Omni Grove Park Inn, click here.
For more information about the 6th Autism Symposium, sponsorship opportunities or registration please visit please visit: https://theautismsymposium.com
Summit Achievement, with its unique hybrid wilderness and residential model, has been conducting and involved in outcome research since the year 2000 and has been recognized for its long term investment in research. The organization has worked diligently with the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBHC) and the University of New Hampshire over the years to compile evidence-based data to help people understand the quality of the program and to help the organization make any necessary adjustments to the treatment it provides families. Summit’s commitment to research has been recognized by the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) by being named a research designated program. Summit Achievement is one of the few NATSAP programs to be awarded this designation.
Many of the students enrolled at Summit are referred for depression. On intake and discharge all students take a series of inventories, and the Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) is one of the inventories that focuses specifically on depression. The BDI is a 21-question multiple choice self-inventory, one of the most widely used instruments for measuring the severity of depression.
Students take the BDI at intake and at discharge. In the most recent review of data which focused on the past two years (where lower scores indicate less depressive symptoms), students report an average score of 13.15 at intake and 3.94 at discharge. A score of 0 -10 is considered within the "normal" mood range. Even more significant, students who enroll with moderate to severe depressive scores report an average score 28.58 at intake and 7.7 at discharge.
About Summit Achievement
Summit Achievement founded in 1996, is, and always has been, guided by positive reinforcement and the power of choice. Our outcome-focused treatment program employs effective therapeutic and educational principals. Through the process of engaging therapy, classroom academics and exciting wilderness expeditions, students experience the therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure-based activities while learning to manage the demands of a more traditional environment. As an intentionally small, owner-operated wilderness therapy program, we serve adolescent boys and girls, ages 13-20, from around the world.
Evoke's Professional Growth Retreats are for professionals working in the therapeutic and recovery communities. Participants will work on issues related to their roles in these fields, while also addressing relevant issues from their personal life that may be affecting their ability to maintain a healthy, balanced relationship between work and home.
These reoccurring annual groups are single-gender, by invitation only, and are facilitated by professionals with leadership experience in the therapeutic industry. Since these groups will be cyclical, the peer group offers individuals ongoing support beyond their annual participation. Programming involves psychodrama, mindfulness practice, leadership training, and peer-to-peer support.
If you have an interest in participating in an upcoming group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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 that are looking to create dynamic changes in their life or to simply find the balance they are seeking.
Montford Hall is excited to announce that Sharon Findlay, MS, has joined the Montford Hall team in the role of Director of Admissions and Marketing.
Sharon has been providing leadership in the areas of admissions, marketing, and communications in the Family Choice Behaviroial Healthcare industry since 2007. She has worked at different levels of care and residential treatment throughout the country. Most recently, she was admissions and communications manager at a wilderness therapy program for teens and young adults. “With her combination of professional expertise, strong relationship-building skills, and authentic desire to help people heal, Sharon is an ideal addition to our organization,” says Alex Kirby, Psy.D., Executive Director.
“I was actually drawn to Montford Hall before it even existed,” says Sharon. “When Alex told me about the program in 2010, I instantly knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. The mission-drive approach, the commitment to providing scholarships, the choice to be a nonprofit all touched me at a core level. Eight years later, here I am! I’m looking forward to connecting with referral sources and families about this wonderful program.”
About Montford Hall
Located in Asheville, NC, Montford Hall is a nonprofit residential treatment program for teenage boys in early recovery. 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 by the State of North Carolina and a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP). For questions about admissions please email Sharon Findley at email@example.com
The TechieForLife (TFL) students, responsible for building the new NATSAP Connect app, participated in its preliminary launch at the recent 2018 Annual NATSAP (National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs) Conference in Tampa, Florida. In between answering questions, collecting feedback and addressing tech issues at the TechieForLife exhibitor table, TFL students could be found taking pictures with a new-found friend. Residing in a nearby pond at the convention resort was what they'd all been hoping to see... a baby alligator.
This wasn't Florida's only treat for these six TFL tech students. A day at Disney World's Magic Kingdom, an afternoon at The Florida Aquarium and some beautiful beach time were a good reason to take a break from their computers. While staying at a vacation rental house in Weeki Wachee during the conference, the students may have experienced their best surprise of all. A short canoe paddle down from the house, leading to a 160-foot-deep natural spring that attracts manatees, did not disappoint. They found the baby manatee to be much friendlier than the baby alligator.
TFL's students are now back from their trip and countinuing their work on the NATSAP Connect app. For those interested in participating and offering feedback in the development and beta testing of the apps features, email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get involved and updated as tools and features are introduced.
NATSAP Connect is a new free app developed as an internal industry tool so that educational consultants and NATSAP members can now...
- Connect quickly on handheld devices
- Contact the right person confidently
- Use clickable map links to easily locate destinations
- Search more effectivly with updated capabilities
- Stay current with school and program staff changes
- Share and update direct internal contact information
TechieForLife (TFL) is a co-ed, young adult, residential and licensed vocational school located in St. George, Utah. Dubbed "Silicon Slopes South," beautiful Southern Utah is home to one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the U.S. Neuroatypical students who need a safe social and emotional environment gain important life skills, mentoring and a college track or marketable technology training, leading to internship/job placement through TFL's close private sector partnerships. TechieForLife gives students a place to belong and the supports to succeed.
Solutions Parenting Support is grateful to experience continued growth and with this growth and evolution, they have recently decided to take a deeper look into their client feedback. In order to accomplish this, they have developed a system for data collection to evaluate their services with families over the past five years.
Through this extensive data collection process, Solutions Parenting Support will be looking at several different areas of service and evaluating the following:
- What skills from our coaching/teaching have proven useful for the client’s family system?
- How has our coaching/teaching impacted your family?
- What about our services positively served your family during transition?
- What aspects did you find to not be useful or helpful?
Solutions Parenting Support is always evaluating and re-evaluating their techniques in an effort to provide the highest quality service to their clients. They hope to have all data collected and compiled by the end of March 2018. Hearing from former alumni and current families on tools and strategies that have been successful or unsuccessful within their family dynamic is an integral part of Solutions Parenting Support’s continued growth.
Solutions Parenting Support’s goal is to invite parents to see the importance of the personal work needed and to also invite educational consultants, wilderness therapists and programs to encourage this needed support in helping parents navigate the path of treatment, as well as their own personal growth. Through years of experience and ability to hold an objective position, Solutions Parenting Support creates an experience that allows for increased awareness, sustainable growth and effective decision making while helping parents utilize the entire team of professionals who are supporting their child.
About Solutions Parenting Support
Solutions Parenting Support, LLC is a nationally recognized parent support and transitional program assisting families during and after wilderness therapy treatment and/or residential treatment programming. With business offices in Steamboat Springs, CO and Tucson, AZ, the team is supporting parents and families in the United States and globe. The team of parent coaches and transitional specialists are family system focused, licensed professional therapists and/or licensed social workers with a combined 40+ years of experience working in wilderness therapy programs, varying levels of residential treatment programming and transitional support.
Krissy Pozatek, MSW, of Parallel Process announces an at-home email-based course for parents. This 30 day course is designed for parents who could be asking these questions:
- Are you stuck in negative parenting dynamics with your child?
- Are you feeling caught in frequent power-struggles?
- Do you struggle with how to respond to your child who is defiant or shut-down?
- Are you over-involved as a parent? Unsure how to back away, how to let go, or how to provide the best support as a parent?
- Do you fear your child can't handle life's obstacles?
Are you ready to examine your parenting patterns? Are you ready to do The Parallel Process? In this Parallel Process Intensive, parents will come away with a new clarity and a fresh perspective in how to have healthier boundaries with their child and how to promote their child's emotional maturation.
- In this course, parents will receive a daily email providing fresh content and step-by-step guidance to lead parents through TheParallelProcess.
- There will be a daily action item that will allow parents to engage in the material in a direct and experiential way.
- The course is interactive with Krissy. Krissy will be answering your direct questions in her weekly webinars (pre-taped so parents can watch at any time). The best learning comes from applying the concepts to your life situation.
- The course requires just 15-20 minutes of attention each day. You will be blown away by the cumulative effect of staying engaged in the daily process.
This course is 100% email-based. There is no set time parents have to be available to do the course. It is designed for parents in any time zone or work schedule.
Throughout the week, parents can email their parenting questions which will be answered in a pre-taped webinar and emailed each Saturday. The course is aimed to fit into busy schedules and for parents to engage with the material at their own convenience. 8am only indicates that the daily emails will be sent by 8am each morning.
Course Fee is $199 - If a school or group has 10 or more parents that want to sign up, please email Krissy for the group discount rate of 20% off. You can email Krissy at email@example.com
Chamberlain International School has always made activities and extracurriculars as an integral part of the programming, because of the proven research behind incorporating an activity that reduces anxiety and depression in adolescents. Treating the whole student is part of what a therapeutic boarding school does and finding creative solutions and evolving the program is what the Chamberlain School is interested in doing. One of the first changes new program director Marjan Naghavi, MA. MEd., wanted to implement was transforming the space between the art room and gym into a matted exercise room, following the old adage "If you build it, they will come." She then contracted yoga instructor Derek Januskis from the Maha Yoga Studio in Bridgewater, MA to come and teach at the school weekly. Derek says, "Hatha yoga encompasses all types of movement and postures suitable for any level. It can provide a foundation for any other activity. Through sequenced movements and proper breathing, the ever chattering mind can have a moment of rest and allows you to observe how you and your body feel together."
With the presence of winter continuing to loom over campus, the clinical staff is always looking for creative ways to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Yoga sessions are now offered at the school every Tuesday evening and the practice is open to all students and staff. In addition to the yoga, the school has invited therapy dogs to visit with the students on a regular basis too.
About Chamberlain International School
Located in Middleboro, Massachusetts, Chamberlain International School offers a therapeutic residential learning experience for students ranging in age from 11 to 22. Students at Chamberlain International School struggle with a variety of learning disabilities and mental health challenges.
Pacific Quest's Young Adult Family Program offers a unique opportunity for families to explore family dynamics, deepen relationships and practice and refine new communication skills. Parents have the opportunity to participate in experiential workshops with their children, and attend a series of "parent-only" sessions. In addition, parents participate in family therapy sessions with Pacific Quest therapists.
Dr. John Souza, Young Adult Family Program Therapist comments, "Pacific Quest's Young Adult Family Program has become a haven in which families come to practice joyfully breathing life into their relationships." In 2017, the Family Program had the privilege of hosting 316 students and caregivers. With over 90% of the students participating in Family Program, Pacific Quest is an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) program that continues to emphasize integration and diversity. Dr. Souza adds, "As a research-informed clinician, what I've found is that the research on Wilderness Therapy and OBH, that continues to point to the importance of family involvement in the development and maintenance of gains made by youth in such programs, is spot-on."
These gains Dr. Souza highlights are being supported by the development of mutual trust and empathy between parents and their sons and daughters. In a time of environmental and social stress, the opportunity for families to have such a place of respite is essential for them to engage in what is called the Corrective Relational Experience (CRE). The CRE is about rebuilding trust and increasing mutual empathy.
By involving the entire family in the therapeutic process, the goal is to enhance communication, increase empathy and develop usable conflict resolution skills. Oftentimes, after completing the family program, parents leave with a sense of connectivity, empowerment and hope.
For more information about Pacific Quest's Young Adult Family Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Pacific Quest
Pacific Quest is an outdoor therapeutic program, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, for struggling adolescents and young adults that offers a clinical, yet holistic, approach to treatment. Our neurodevelopmental approach, combined with horticultural therapy, integrates evidence-based therapeutic methods, whole-person wellness and organic gardening to sustain a healthy community and motivate change. www.pacificquest.org
Onward Transitions is excited to share about its own growth and development since launching April 2016; there have been several lessons learned. "When we started planning for Onward Transitions, I advocated fiercely for a limit of eight participants," recounts co-founder Darrell Fraize, MEd, LCPC, LADC. "It was like I always was working with a group of eight: coaching basketball, facilitating a group on a ropes course, guiding in the wilderness, even teaching a graduate course. I had a group of eight as a therapist in residential treatment, eight in my caseload as a wilderness therapist. I even had eight clients in my specialized private practice focused on transition to traditional environments. Like they say, when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Evolving and changing is what Onward Transitions has had to do as an organization and it is what they ask their members to do.
With the idea of eight members, "we found we had difficulty at times finding that critical mass. In residential and educational environments people more or less have to show up at a given time. The structure is such that their days are programmed around that event. What we had created with Onward Transitions was something different. Our members might have to work, go to a study group, have family in town or be involved in a volunteer opportunity. When our group was smaller, it was harder to secure the “critical mass” you’d like to have to bring a group activity or group therapy to life," Fraize reports. "Now that we have more space, more staff members we can support more members, and more importantly, provide members with a larger space to convene in for therapeutic work, life skill development and recreation. They will tell you themselves that most times they are more likely to show up for things if they know that others are showing up too. That's an important feature to our culture."
With the opening of the Hay Loft, Onward Transitions now operates out of two distinct locations in Portland, ME. The original Pine House location provides that home-away-from home feel and is a short walk to the University of Southern Maine campus. The Hay Loft serves as a larger-scale group meeting place and staging area for forays into the downtown/Old-Port/Arts District center of the city.
"I had a hard time letting go of the number eight," Fraize begins "and some of our members had a hard time thinking about going to the Hay Loft at all. They worried we might let go of the Pine House, and that kind of change was scary to think about. What they found though was that they really embraced the additional space, and could laugh about it during a group meeting when we talked about the change. Now some of those same members are talking about how we should move particular meetings over to the Hay instead of the Pine House." Currently Onward Transitions supports 14 members (and 9 staff including three therapists and an art therapy intern) and has seen an increase in drop-in use of program services and greater participation in scheduled activities and events like the skiing trip last week featured below.
"We know what research has been telling us since the 90's – that among the predictors of group participation success are safety, relationship with the facilitator and prior experience and success with group work. What we forgot about in our design process is that no one wants to feel like a single fish swimming in a pond alone. Our members want our attention, but what they want more is to avoid being the sole focus of it. They don't like the feeling of the entire staff dragging their lines in the water trying to hook them. Having a stocked pond helps them feel like they're back to swimming in the mainstream. When everyone, particularly one's peer group, is doing 'a thing' it's more natural. This kind of groupthink can be good or bad. Here in our small world, it's looking like a really good thing," said Fraize, reflecting on the growth and development of Onward Transitions.
About Onward Transitions
Onward Transitions is a comprehensive, non-residential living service that supports emerging adults ages 18-29 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 moving towards independence.
Vive's National Director Leah Madamba participated on a panel session at the annual National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) conference earlier this month titled, "Multi-Systemic Care in the Home and Community: What you Need to Know to Successfully Extend the Continuum of Care." Other panelists included Tim Thayne from Homeward Bound, Charles Elias with PRN for Families and Kris Brightbill with Turning Tide Transitions and was moderated by John Stewart from Innerchange.
The panel outlined the phases of transition and also gave the audience common challenges that transition programs face when recieving new clients. The panel offered great suggestions for solutions to the challenges with input and discussion from the audience. Some of the key challenges discussed were:
- Treatment Fatigue- for some families that have been actively involved in their child's treatment journey, by the time they transition home, everyone is tired and worn out from all the emotional work and just want to get back to everyday life. Some solutions discussed were reframing the transition care to the clients and families to more of mentoring and coaching framework and not therapy - as well as educating them on how this type of support is much more likely to lead to long term success.
- Home Contracts- Some are not realistic and may not even have the client's input. Ideally the discussion and specifics of the home contract happen 6 to 8 weeks prior to transition in long term programs and 2 to 3 weeks in short term or wilderness settings. But ideally transition/discharge planning starts upon admission. During the discussion around this the panel and audience members discussed how to start discharge plans earlier in the process and those that already do that commented on how much smoother their transitions happen the earlier the planning begins.
- Addressing Sobriety- many clients commit to being sober while in a program but once home they want to experiment, believing they can manage it and create a healthy balance. Some of the suggestions around this topic included making sobriety part of the home contract, providing support groups or other recovery resources, and helping parents accept that if this does happen it's not the end of the world and is actually quite likely.
The panel closed with a discussion around the multi-systemic piece and how important it is for clients to have many levels of support once they go home in their community.
About Vive Family Support Program
Vive Family Support Program is a relational and experiential therapeutic support service for pre-teens, adolescents, young adults and their families. With our unique approach and roots in the community, Vive works closely with families to offer insight, implement coping skills, and rebuild trust within the family system. Our goal is to ensure lasting positive change.
As reSTART Serenity Mountain continues to grow, it is exciting to announce the expansion of the education team with the addition of Madelyn Jansma, MEd. She joins as lead teaching staff and parent coordinator. Madelyn holds current teaching certification in 4-12 Mathematics and Physics. Her experience is vast, including coaching thousands of teachers and parents in the Puget Sound region of Washington as an Institute-trained Love and Logic facilitator and has consulted on classroom management for several school programs. She has taught middle school; volunteered with homeless youth, kids with special needs, and incarcerated teens; served as a director for a 22-classroom early childhood program; is a certified DiSC® facilitator and loves being a mom to two college-age kids.
Madelyn has transitioned into the classroom this past week. She is ensuring that the classroom environment is a warm, welcoming and safe space where students are supported, encouraged, and have every opportunity to succeed. She and her fellow education coaches are delighted to be working with reSTART students, and taking advantage of every possible teaching moment. Madelyn is also helping the students with their planning, prioritation and self-management. She sees everyday as a fresh opportunity for students to make great decisions and a new opportunity to choose to succeed academically.
Headquartered in Fall City, Washington, reSTART is a leading advocate of healthy sustainable digital media use (internet, VR, and videogames) for people and the planet. reSTART offers staffed residential care for youth (13-17) and life sharing retreats for adults (ages 18-30), along with independent living support.
Gem Academy is proud to announce Britney Fiandra, MS, RDN has joined the team as the new Registered Dietitan and Culinary Director. Native to New Jersey, Britney traded her ocean breezes for the desert sunshine to join the Gem Academy team. Her passion for nutrition was fueled after observing the correlation of daily food choices to overall health. Britney earned her Bachelors degree in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University, where she mastered the art of preparing healthy foods in a delicious manner. Continuing her studies, she completed her Dietetic Internship and Masters degree in Nutrition and Physical Performance at Saint Louis University.
Throughout her career, Britney has carried her aspiration to inspire others in the community by leading culinary nutrition classes in schools and outpatient centers. In addition, she has done training in health resorts, weight-loss facilities, and athletic complexes from coast to coast, where she developed effective tools to optimize the nutrition and weight status of her clients. She specializes in designing customized nutrition plans based on an individual’s genetics, environment, and medical background. Her creative and comprehensive approach helps catapult her clients towards reaching their goals.
About Gem Academy
Gem Academy located in Scotsdale, AZ is the nation's only solution based treatment program for overweight and obese adolescent girls. The format is that of a boarding school with a curriculum inclusive of high school general studies, nutrition and culinary, fitness, therapy, community service and experiential learning.
CooperRiis, a healing community located in western North Carolina, has reached its 15th year of supporting mental health recovery for people with mental illnesses from across the United States and Canada. After a couple with a family member with mental health challenges identified a need for more communities to support whole person wellness, they launched a residential program. To date, over 1000 residents have experienced recovery at CooperRiis.
To reach this momentous milestone, CooperRiis has emphasized 3 building blocks:
- Purposeful work: All residents participate in structured work
- Wellness: A focus on whole person health, supported by whole foods, yoga, meditation, massage, personal fitness training, and supplements
- Clinical Care: psychiatry, therapy, family support and group work
Speaking to the incredible success possible at CooperRiis, President Michael Groat introduces Karen, a woman who describes finding a place of belonging after years of isolation and depression, and who feels renewed hope. “One of the most touching things about Karen is that her recovery has reconnected her with poetry. Her poetry is healing and contributes to the life of the community. She recently read a beautiful poem about her recovery during a community meeting:
"The Sunflower blossom will never refold
Into a tiny bud.
But you, if you choose, can revive and rebuild
And re-peace and re-hope and re-love.”
About CooperRiis: Founded in 2003, CooperRiis is a tiered residential program with an urban campus in Asheville and a working farm located in Mill Spring, North Carolina. Residents can move from one of its two main campuses into a transitional living community program that features nearly a dozen group homes and teams that support increased independence and recovery.
One of the biggest concerns parents have when considering a treatment program is, “How do I know this will work?” Turn-About Ranch strives to help parents understand their role in making long-term changes with their teen throughout treatment and beyond. It’s normal to experience a mix of emotions including hope, excitement and love, but also fear, apprehension and anxiety about your child’s return home from treatment. Having a “cautiously optimistic” attitude is quite healthy. The reality is that there are likely to be challenges on the horizon, especially if your child has been a heavy drug user. Before you push the panic button, realize that there is indeed hope for change, continued sobriety, and long-term happiness. Here are some tips to help you support your child’s continued change and long-term sobriety.
#1- Become educated on addiction. Learn how addictive behaviors and substances impact the brain, the decision-making process, judgement and the way we experience pleasure. Read, study about and listen to other people’s stories and experiences of addiction, what has helped them continue in their sobriety and what the challenges have been. Kevin McCauley’s “Pleasure Unwoven” is available on YouTube and is a great resource. Attending an Al-anon or Narc-anon group may be a useful way of learning how to support challenges that your child is going through. The more educated you are on this issue, the more empowered and confident you will be in supporting your teen the right way.
#2- Understand why your teen was using drugs or alcohol to begin with. Were they trying to escape the challenges associated with being a teen or life circumstance? Were they using to deal with emotions or mental health struggles like depression or anxiety? Did they use substances to fit in with their peers, help them sleep, or simply to meet their need for fun, thrill or excitement in their lives? Understanding the why informs how we support them, and what we need to watch for in their behaviors moving forward. Make sure you have an in-depth discussion with your child and their therapist regarding these issues so that they know you understand the issue and can trust you to be a non-judgmental resource for problem solving should the trigger arise again.
#3- Expect continued sobriety at home and clearly communicate this expectation to your child. If you are not clear on your stance regarding your child’s future use of drugs/alcohol, then they will likely start second guessing their decision to be sober as well. Lines get blurred when we communicate (verbally or otherwise) that recreational use or occasional weekend use is okay as long as use doesn’t become a “significant problem.” Clear communication through our behaviors as parents that we do not condone use by being sober ourselves and being careful not to glorify using behaviors. Encouraging your child to submit to regular drug testing is another effective way to communicate that you take sobriety seriously. Actions do speak louder than words.
#4- Be patient with the process and support your child as they learn to be sober at home. Turn-About Ranch will definitely give your child a head start on the path to long-term sobriety. However, there is a difference between being sober at a program and being sober at home. Understand that there are going to be triggers such as peers, loneliness, boredom, and a variety of situations and circumstances that will likely test your child’s resolve more than they anticipated prior to graduation from their program. It is crucial that they can rely on you, other loved ones, and professional support during these times of trial. Welcome and encourage open conversation about triggers, temptations, and challenges. Be patient and supportive. Realize challenges and even an occasional relapse are not uncommon in the recovery process. If relapse does occur, hold them accountable - but separate the use from the user. Remember, your job is to influence rather than control their behaviors and choices. Simply put, set them up for success by making it easier to do the right thing and harder to relapse again.
#5- Continue to nurture and re-establish your relationship with your child. Your relationship with your child will likely play a large role in their continued sobriety. Watch for and learn how to create and take advantage of windows (opportunities) to connect with your teen. Pay attention to times where it seems like your child is opening up (communicating well) and be willing to listen without dominating the conversation. Pay attention to how your child feels loved and cared about and try to show you care in those ways (using principles like those found in Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages”). Let the consequences be the teacher and don’t withdraw love when they make choices that disappoint you. When you get discouraged, seek support from those who understand positive parenting and focus on what you can do to affect change, rather than waste energy on what you can’t control.
Remember sobriety is a journey. Your child has lots of new anxiety provoking tasks to take on when they come home - new school, new friends, new behaviors, and added pressure to succeed. Your teen will likely struggle with loneliness as well. Remind them loneliness is a temporary emotion. The more quickly you can get your teen involved in healthy productive activities, the less time they have to focus on what they don’t have or can’t do and it helps facilitate their need to make new friends.
About Turn-About Ranch
Turn-About Ranch is a wilderness therapy and residential treatment program located in the heart of Southern Utah’s canyon country. Students experience life on a real working ranch while undergoing treatment to improve their life back home. Surrounded by multiple national parks and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Turn-About Ranch is the ideal location for youth of today to have the space they need to find healing and purpose.
Seven Stars, a residential treatment center and assessment program for teens ages 13-18, utilizes a behavioral management system for students based on positive reinforcement and immediate feedback. Based on ABA best practices, our system uses frequent feedback and immediate points which promotes important life skills and behaviors. Instead of using a traditional level system, which can be frustrating for students with significant executive function deficits, this system provides the opportunity to reset quickly if a students has a rough patch.
"Our students do best when they have frequent coaching and feedback and when they can reset quickly from a difficult time.” comments Dr. Gordon Day, Executive Clinical Director and Founder of Seven Stars.
Each day, students are divided into four teams which focus on improving and encouraging a specific set of behaviors. These teams are: Safety, Cooperation, Relationships and Leadership. Each team is focused on a specific set of expectations and moving through the teams builds confidence and emotional regulation. Students can be on any team at any given time, depending on what they are working on that day. As students gain skills and improve behaviors, there is a progression as they move from Safety team into the Leadership team. As students go about their day, staff members check in and go over the progress students are making. Feedback and awarding of points happens in a very timely, immediate fashion.
"With every change in activity, (every 1 to 2 hours), staff meet with each team and ask them questions about their progress,” said Dr. Day. "For example, on the Safety team, one of the behaviors students are focused on improving is following directions the first time. We’ll ask them ‘How did you do on following directions the first time?’ These questions encourage them to think about their behavior during the time they were on the Safety Team. We then ask them to give us a specific example of the ways in which they carried out the behavior effectively.”
Dr. Day explained, "Based on what students display in terms of concrete behaviors, we provide feedback. This feedback focuses on the positive elements of their behaviors rather than what students may have done wrong. "
Students earn "pluses” and "points” based on the behaviors they exhibit during each team session. Pluses allow students to move up to the next team. Points can be used at a store on campus in exchange for items like fidget toys and snacks.
"The behavioral management system we have put in place focuses on what students have done correctly and helps students understand what they are doing well," comments Day. "This positive feedback is continued throughout the day. After implementing this system, we’ve seen a dramatic improvement in each student’s behaviors. Students have undergone a significant amount of growth due to this system.”
About Seven Stars
Seven Stars is a premier therapeutic program for teens ages 13-17 struggling with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Learning Disorders (verbal or nonverbal). Seven Stars " treatment model takes a revolutionary shift from normal therapy methods. By combining acute care stabilization, with residential treatment and academics, true multidisciplinary assessment and treatment, outdoor experiential therapy and positive psychology, Seven Stars therapeutic program understands, assesses and builds the confidence and skills of students struggling with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Foundations Asheville, a young adult transitional program helping young men ages 18-24, offers a variety of academic options for students who wish to continue their education.
Foundations students come from a diverse set of learning backgrounds. The team at Foundations helps students carve a path that integrates individual histories and goals.
Many students at Foundations choose to pursue coursework on campus at Asheville Buncombe Community Technical College (AB Tech), a top community college with rolling admissions and multiple start dates for classes.
“At AB Tech, one may pursue dual enrollment to obtain both high school and college credits, engage individual classes while determining a longer term track, or fully enroll in one of their outstanding two-year programs,” comments Natalie Bryenton, Director of Education and Career Development at Foundations Asheville. “All AB Tech credits are transferable one-to-one within the state of North Carolina, and most are accepted nationwide. If a student is in need of just a few credits before obtaining a high school diploma, we provide the option of online classes through Straighterline.com, so that we may expedite their movement into collegiate-level learning.”
At Foundations, students are coached by trained staff members on an individual basis to help them get the most out of their studies. In addition to staff providing guidance for students at home, AB Tech offers support services that work with students to make classroom adjustments based on their backgrounds.
“As the education director, I may touch in with professors to assess a student’s academic advocacy, investment, and performance,” says Bryenton. “Several of our Foundations scholars are in class together, so they are able to challenge and support each other. An educational environment is a thought-provoking platform for maturation and the development of discipline, time management, organization, and accountability - all critical elements for a successful transition to independence.”
About Foundations Asheville
Foundations Asheville is a transitional living community located in Asheville, North Carolina. Foundations supports young men between the ages of 18-24 through the process of transitioning into adulthood by helping them gain confidence and motivation within a structured, individualized community environment. While at Foundations, young men gain skills to succeed academically, socially, and in the workforce. For more information about Foundations, please visit http://foundationsasheville.com or call 877-318-7273.
SUWS of the Carolinas is sponsoring the 2018 Autism Symposium held in Asheville, NC, at the Omni Grove Park Inn from April 2nd-3rd. Approach therapist Taisir El-Souessi, LPC, REAT, will be presenting on the ILAUGH model she uses with her clients in the Approach program. The ILAUGH model is trademarked, and used as a Mode of Social Thinking. It is a core framework created and developed by Michelle Garcia Winner to help professionals and parents understand and think about the struggles faced by those with social learning challenges. Taisir will cover the following learning objectives in her presentation:
- Review basic concepts and appropriate clients for use of Social Thinking concepts and tools.
- Learn about the ILAUGH model and other core tools of Social Thinking.
- Understand applications of Social Thinking in a Therapeutic Wilderness setting.
Approach is a unique behavioral health wilderness treatment program that focuses on helping teens between the ages of 14-17 overcome their battles with issues that stunt their emotional and psychological growth and cause development disorders. Often students will experience a difficulty forming and maintaining positive peer relationships. As a result, many of Taisir's clients have given up on relationships outside of the digital realm. The ILAUGH model is integrated in Taisir's work to help students turn the corner toward a more fulfilling social experience.
Taisir is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Expressive Arts Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher based in Asheville, NC. She earned an MS in Mental Health Counseling in 2009 from the University of North Florida, a post-graduate certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy from Appalachian State University in 2012 and a Master of Entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University in 2017. She is currently the Primary Therapist for the Approach Program at SUWS of the Carolinas, a therapeutic wilderness program for adolescent males struggling with a variety of social-cognitive and executive dysfunction challenges. Some of her clinical specialties include; social cognitive deficits, communication, behavioral issues, family systems, personal growth work, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and person-centered experiential art therapy. She has experience working with young children, adolescents, adults, older adults, couples and families in individual and group therapy.
About SUWS of the Carolinas
SUWS of the Carolinas is a licensed, CARF International-accredited mental health facility, committed to helping families rediscover their strengths and fostering growth for young people. Operating in the Pisgah National Forest under permit from the National Forest Service, SUWS delivers wilderness based therapeutic interventions for 10-17 year old boys and girls with compassion and excellence. www.suwscarolinas.com
EDGE Learning and Wellness students enjoyed a day full of fish, fins and fun at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium this past January. The trip was EDGE’s first Community Outing of 2018 — a twice-monthly excursion that helps students explore the cultural, intellectual and recreational aspects of Chicago.
“There are so many places to go and things to see in Chicago, so we are meticulous with our efforts to plan activities our students want to do,” said EDGE Life Coach Carissa Johnsen. “Group activities like this one also help students overcome the anxiety of going through a new experience alone.”
Students made the most of their new experience by walking through every exhibit and learning about places such as the Amazon River, Caribbean reef and Pacific Northwest. After getting up close and personal with the likes of beluga whales and penguins, students gained a newfound appreciation for the beautiful wildlife residing just a few miles from EDGE.
“I really enjoyed the aquarium,” said one EDGE student. “I liked seeing the blacktip sharks; they are aggressive and enjoyable to watch.”
Although EDGE students have successfully crossed one activity off of their Chicago bucket list, they still have an endless number of things they’d like to do in the future. For one of next month’s outings, students have decided to attend the Chicago Auto Show, the nation's largest and longest-running event of its kind.
“What I continue to find interesting is that Chicago contains something for everyone,” said EDGE Executive Director Jason Wynkoop. “Therefore, every community outing that students choose ends up being highly desired and exciting for some of the group and really challenging and difficult for other students. That's the beauty of it: we are helping students understand that there's value in shared experience. We can grow together and have fun even if we enjoy different things."
About EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community
EDGE 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.
College Excel understand the hurdles international students are facing while studying in the United States. The challenges can go beyond the typical academic, linguistic, and cultural differences - and usually include insight and coaching into more social and community challenges. College Excel is excited to provide truly unique services to a growing international student body who struggle to achieve their goals in life and at the university, which include:
- English Language Tutoring
- Immersive experience with American students
- Closely monitored and individualized attention
- Cultural seminars and support groups
- Proactive outreach
- Intentional housing and community building
- Guided admissions process to Oregon State University - Cascades
Building on the solid foundation that has made them unique in university support programs, College Excel is confident their services will address the needs of the international student community. Students from abroad can utilize College Excel's services and highly qualified support team to learn how to develop the essential life, academic, and self-management skills college requires while also having a life-changing cultural experience.
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 requiring extra support are provided 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.
Sober College, the premier substance-use and co-occurring disorder treatment center for young adults, recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of opening their new 30,000 sq. ft. Therapeutic Learning Center. With a professional music recording studio, visual arts studio, television, and film studio, yoga studio and modern academic classrooms, the new Center allows Sober College clients to further their clinical and recovery work with creative, academic and fitness activities that encourage passion development.
“We know, from 12 years of working with young adults, that their long-term success is going to require an emotional attachment to the idea and the experience of being sober and healthy,” says co-founder and CEO Mindi Pfeifer, LCSW. “That is why, in addition to our top-notch clinical team and comprehensive life-skills program, we offer our clients opportunities to have fun in sobriety and discover their passions and interests outside of drug and alcohol use.”
“We are really excited that we’ve added some additional clinical programming as well this past year,” reports Clinical Systems Director Dr. Holly Daniels, LMFT. “We’ve developed a detox program for our male clients, including a full-time nursing staff in addition to our psychiatrist and medical doctor. Our clinical team, counselors and house staff have had 8 hours of intensive training in DBT Skills so that we can better meet the needs of our clients. We’ve been able to boost our trauma support by implementing Somatic Experiencing as well as EMDR therapies onsite. And of course, we still offer our 3-credit college courses on-site as well.”
In addition to the clinical and creative arts programs, Sober College’s robust fitness program including mountain biking, climbing and kick-boxing and their experiential therapies including surf therapy, trapeze therapy, and equine therapy are still in full swing. “We are continuing to grow and work hard to provide the best treatment and transition experience we can for our young adult clients,” says Pfeifer. “Our clients are usually with us for 8 to 9 months, and we want to make sure that when they leave here they have the skills they need to live their best lives.”
About Sober College
At Sober College, we examine and manage addiction treatment from a brain perspective. And it is under this umbrella of understanding - that addiction is a primary and chronic disease of the brain - that Sober College’s highly trained team of experts has developed a comprehensive, long-term, creative, refreshingly real and frankly, fun approach to healing for young adults (ages 18 - 26). Here, we encourage young adults to revel in sobriety by exploring life and all its possibilities while still in rehab. From continuing their education with our unparalleled, on-site, accredited college program to discovering passion in music with our resident rock star, from finding fitness, directing films and engaging in auto shop to testing boundaries with skydiving and showing off their gifts at monthly talent shows, we lead our clients down a path of self-discovery and self-expression to find self-esteem and self-determination. This is a treatment program that redefines rehab. Period.
Pure Life Adventure is thrilled to welcome Kjrstin (KJ) Walters, MA, LMFT to Costa Rica as an Adventure Therapist. KJ will be joining our multi-cultural, multi-lingual staff beginning in March 2018.
KJ joins Pure Life with an impressive background and experience in the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare industry with young adults and adventure therapy. She spent eight years as a therapist and then Clinical Director at New Haven RTC, located in Utah and recently spent a year at Wingate Wilderness Therapy, also in Utah, working with young men and women. KJ not only possesses a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Ambridge University, but she also has received her certification in EMDR.
”I am eager and honored to be able to join the team at Pure Life. The team has an energy that is infectious. The Costa Rican culture is warm and friendly. I’m excited to make that a part of my therapeutic practice as I help Pure Life young adults start on a healing and growing journey to move forward in their lives", said KJ about the move to Costa Rica. She went on to say, "As a kid, I was able to live in the jungle for a year and I am hopeful that my family will have a growing, adventurous experience that will impact our lives. We look forward to learning to surf, speaking Spanish, and especially seeing sloths.
About Pure Life Adventure
Pure Life Adventure is located in the Central Pacific region of beautiful Costa Rica. Relying on decades of experience in the Costa Rican outdoor industry, the 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. The 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. The Pure Life integrated and dynamic approach includes an emphasis on fitness, mindfulness, life skills and cultural immersion.
All Kinds of Therapy, the website that publishes All Kinds of News, is excited to announce 7 new advertising partners to website. All advertising programs pay a subscription fee and choose to be transparent about the facts of how their program is operated and types of treatment that are used. The partners include Evangel House (LA), The Glenholme School (CT), Lifeskills South Florida, Magnolia Creek Treatment Center (IN), Pasadena Villa (TN & FL), Sober College (CA), Selah House (IN), and Shortridge Academy (NH). "I am super excited to welcome these diverse treatment programs from around the US. There are a wide range of treatment approaches that have joined recently - from 18 and older treatment for Eating Disorders, treatment programs with Christian Values, rehab/recovery programs that focus on psychiatric treatment to two types of teen treatment options on the east coast," said Jenney Wilder, the owner of the website. "I am thankful that these programs are choosing to put their facts up on the website and be transparent about how their treatment programs are operating and transparent about how their clients receive treatment."
The website is the only treatment directory on the web that is independently owned and operated; Instead, AKoT is focused on providing a safe place to land for families who have a troubled teen/young adult in crisis as well as a fact-filled place for young adults who are researching their own treatment options. The goal of the website is to demystify staff-student ratios and licensed vs. unlicensed clinicians and state vs. national accrediting bodies. "Those of us in the industry speak a 'short hand' or jargon about treatment programs or clinical approaches. Allkindsoftherapy.com blog content is based on email inquiries and questions that I recieved as a referring professional to this industry," said Wilder. "Using the web as a springboard to capture and clarify is the only way to illuminate this incredibly dynamic industry that is creating ever more specialized treatment programs for its clients on a regular basis."
All Kinds of Therapy has had over 100,000 visitors since its launch. There are always new features evolving as the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare industry evolves. "I am thankful that all the advertisers trust the website as a place to put their marketing dollars. It is always very humbling to announce new advertisers, because trust comes with that," said Wilder.
About All Kinds of Therapy
All Kinds of Therapy is located in downtown Salt Lake City, UT. The Intermountain West is surrounded by cutting-edge Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare and substance abuse industries for troubled teens and young adults. The website provides the only comprehensive, independent, online directory with a ‘search and compare’ function to distinguish among the vast options of treatment models, locations, clientele and included features available throughout the United States.
All Kinds of Therapy donates 1% of its net income to nonprofits that they believe encompass all types of education, all types of learning and all types of therapy.