All Kinds of News for July 11, 2018
Gateway Academy is thrilled to announce that it has earned The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval. Gateway Academy believes that it takes an entire team to have a successful Joint Commission survey, and they are proud of every member of the team and their hardwork. Gateway underwent a rigorous onsite survey, reviewing compliance with behavioral care standards, including care, treatment and services; environment of care; leadership; and screening procedures for the early detection of imminent harm.
The mission of Joint Commission is to "To continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value." The organization accredits nearly 21,000 different health care organizations and programs in the United States. Gateway Academy is a trusted, sophisticated residential treatment program for teanage boys, committed to providing exceptional care for our students and their families. Since Gateway Academy already had a license from the State of Utah, this is a higher level of accreditation to ensure quality standards.
About Gateway Academy
Gateway Academy in Utah, is dedicated to the healthy development and healing of adolescent boys and their families. We provide a safe and nurturing environment through five integrated programs: Therapy, Academics, Community, Outdoor Education and Fitness. With integrity and respect, we help students feel empowered and valued, build healthy relationships, make thoughtful decisions, develop life skills, become life-long learners and achieve their personal best.
Parent education has always been important at Moonridge Academy. The clinical team at Moonridge Academy has long felt that parent education and support is essential to the progress a student makes while in treatment. For many years, Moonridge Academy clinicians have provided parents with reading and other clinical assignments. Parent seminars held four times per year also provided parents and families with essential tools. Our team sensed that parents needed and wanted more — more education about parenting strategies, more information about how to support their child and more knowledge to enhance their effectiveness as parents.
In June 2018, Moonridge Academy teamed up with the other CERTS Programs (Kolob Canyon, La Europa Academy and Mountain Springs Preparatory) to introduce the CERTS Parent Education Webinar Series. As part of this new exciting program, Moonridge Academy parents are provided live webinars on a weekly basis. Topics thus far have included responding to emotional dysregulation, lessons in transition to home, the core issues of adoption and radical acceptance as part of the parenting journey. Webinars are taught by clinical and academic team members. In addition to the live webinars, recordings of webinars are uploaded to a private channel where parents can watch them on-demand. Handouts, slides from PowerPoint presentations and other learning tools are also provided to parents as part of each webinar to enhance their learning experience.
The response thus far has been positive with a large number of parents participating in the live webinars as well as a larger number of parents accessing the on-demand webinar recordings. Moonridge Academy therapists can now ask a parent to watch a webinar as part of their clinical process. One parent shared, “I learned so much about adoption! I understand how better to support my daughter”. Another parent expressed that she felt more equipped to assist her daughter during times of emotional dysregulation. She said, “This is just the kind of support and information I need”.
About Moonridge Academy
Moonridge Academy is a premier residential treatment center for younger girl ages 11-15 years located in Cedar City, UT. Moonridge Academy specializes in healing trauma and addressing mental and emotional challenges using different therapeutic modalities including EMDR, CBT, DBT, Play Therapy, Equine Therapy and Adventure Therapy. As a small program of only 16 students, Moonridge Academy allows for a high degree of individualization in both clinical and academic services. By combining a nurturing home-like environment with a sophisticated clinical approach, Moonridge Academy is tailored to meet specific needs and to assist students to develop coping skills and identity.
Montana is a beautiful place to live and to visit. Each season offers spectacular views and wonderful outdoor adventure opportunities. Whether it is skiing in the winter or hiking and boating in the summer, there is always something to do. The summer/fall season is also a time when many educational consultants come out to tour Summit Prep.
This past week Summit Prep had eight different consultants tour the campus and there will be ten to twelve more coming to campus in July. Several tours are still in the planning stages for August through November. Having the consultants on campus is so important, not only so that they can see the campus and learn about the programming, but also so that the staff has the opportunity to answer questions that the consultants ask. Educational consultants are an essential part of the team at Summit and their knowledge of our program and staff is essential when they are working with families.
When consultants come to the Northwest. they truly get a two for one special. Not only are they able to see several programs and learn about the unique qualities that the different programs provide, they also get to experience the breathtaking landscape as they drive across the states. Often when consultants visit the Flathead Valley they will have time in their schedule to explore Glacier National Park or drive to Flathead Lake. When viewing the mountains from across the lake one can truly appreciate Montana’s nickname… Big Sky Country.
About Summit Preparatory School
Summit Preparatory School is an accredited private, non-profit, co-ed therapeutic boarding school located on 520 acres near Kalispell, MT. Summit integrates professional therapy and college prep academics within a nurturing and dynamic community that energizes and challenges adolescents to succeed and transform their lives. Grounded in the concepts of the Summit Model, the program focuses on promoting the development of healthy psychological and social skills. The campus is close to Glacier International Airport (FCA) and is less than an hour from Glacier National Park.
On Wednesday, June 27th, the AIM House community faced-off in the first annual staff vs. participant kickball game.
There was an impressive turnout on game night. It was a nine-inning battle to the end, with the Staff Team coming out on top 12-8. A strong pitching performance from AIM House’s own Program Director Matt Sullivan set the tone for the majority of the game. In the end, AIM Staff's consistent pressure, chemistry, and propensity for the fundamentals of the sport proved to be too much for the Participant Squad coached and led by alum Matt G and current castle resident JK.
“The Golden Boot” was awarded to Lead Mentor Wesley Fischer, who served as an anchor in the heart of the Staff lineup. Notable performances from James Farmer, as well as a much needed energy resurgence from Lead Mentor Nathan Thomas sealed the deal for the Staff Team.
Exceptional performances on the Participant Squad included DV, who utilized his extensive soccer background to his advantage, and AF who held it down as catcher— and found herself on base three times during the game! WS held it down in the outfield, and AT was a force at the hot corner.
Kickball is fast becoming a staple in the AIM House culture. While this particular Staff Team and the current Participant Squad (comprised of players currently living in both The Castle and Shannon’s House) hadn’t ever competed, AIM House alumni/Manifest participants have been playing all spring and summer in a local Boulder league.
An overnight tradition was born as nearly thirty members of the community joined together for an enjoyable evening of friendly competition. At the end of the day, AIM House continues to recognize that one should never, ever underestimate the power of having fun.
About AIM House
Founded in 1999, AIM House is a transitional living program located in Boulder, Colorado. Young adults come from wilderness therapy programs, residential treatment programs, therapeutic boarding schools and drug and alcohol treatment centers. Mentors and therapists work with each participant to create an individualized program that meets the needs of the participant and their family. Participants have access to a large variety of educational institutions, including the University of Colorado Boulder. AIM House also offers executive functioning support, vocational coaching, and personalized artistic and entrepreneurial mentorship.
ViewPoint Center's multidisciplinary assessments provide a thorough evaluation of patients from a variety of different perspectives. With professionals from multiple disciplines working together to contribute to the assessment process, ViewPoint is able to form a more accurate assessment that gives a fuller picture of patients.
What makes their multidisciplinary assessments unique?
Their multidisciplinary assessments are unique because:
- They are carried out in “real time”: their staff are continuously communicating with each other, making adjustments to the assessment and treatment process based on what they see from patients on a daily basis. They are constantly making adjustments as a multidisciplinary team to relay the best, most useful information to parents and consultants. Their staff meet on a regular basis to share their insights about patients and exchange information that is used in shaping assessment and treatment.
- Assessments are carried out over several weeks, rather than several days: They are able to observe patients in a variety of different settings over multiple weeks. This helps them see the ways in which a patient’s behavior may change in one setting versus another, providing more data for them to form conclusions at the end of the assessment process.
- Their staff are full time and work with patients throughout the assessment process: the continuity of care at our program is unique. The same multidisciplinary staff are observing patients throughout their entire stay at ViewPoint. This helps contribute to forming a more complete, accurate assessment.
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 6-8 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.
At Elevations RTC, a residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, staff bring their dogs to campus on a daily basis to help students feel more at home throughout their time at the program.
Several studies have shown that the presence of dogs and other animals can decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. At Elevations, dogs are constant companions to students and provide comfort to them when needed.
“From the time of admission, the dogs on campus help soothe students who are feeling anxious about the transition into a treatment environment,” comments Jennifer Wilde, LCSW, Executive Clinical Director at Elevations RTC. “The students often request time with the dogs when they are dealing with tough emotions. The dogs can be a nice snuggling companion when the kids want a little affection, or can be a good outlet for high energy, when the kids play fetch and play with them. Often the students request time with the dogs during therapy sessions, they can be a nice comfort when they are sharing about trauma and other difficult things to discuss.”
According to one Elevations student, "the dogs on campus are just as diverse as the students. Some are high energy and goofy, others are subdued. There are all types to play with.“
At Elevations, the dogs on campus also bring students a connection with their home environment and offer an opportunity for them to experience and develop empathy. Additionally, dogs often mirror the students themselves in the history they bring, the issues they are working on and the emotions they are feeling.
“I bring my dog Zero to work each day,” says Wilde. “She was rescued after being abandoned in a canyon. One of our adopted students spent time her, which was a great experiential learning reflection for being taken in by others and loved unconditionally. There are many examples like this where students can relate to the challenges the dogs have been through.”
For more information about the impact dogs can have on mental health, visit the Elevations RTC blog on this topic -https://www.elevationsrtc.com/blog/send-anxiety-and-depression-to-the-dog-house/
About Elevations RTC
Elevations RTC is a unique residential treatment center that works with both all students ages 13 - 18. Elevations offers guidance, support and relief to students struggling with issues like trauma, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, behavioral problems, and substance use. Elevations RTC is located in Utah and provides specialized, clinically intensive programs to struggling teens. For more information, please call 1-855-290-9681 or visit their website: http://www.elevationsrtc.com/
With an ever expanding, diagnostically diverse popluation, Chamberlain International School is happy to welcome Dr. Jeff Turley to their clinical team. Dr. Turley is a board certified child psychiatrist and has been practicing for over 30 years.
Dr. Turley attended the Air Force Academy, Virginia Tech and Medical School at the University of Virginia. After completing his residencies, he served in the Air Force in Germany during Operation Desert Storm. Dr. Turley was appointed to be the team psychiatrist on hostage repatriation missions to Turkey, where the clinicians were the first to treat Americans and British soldiers released by their captors. Earning the rank of Major, he was tasked with creating child and adolescent psychiatric services for families deployed throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Some of the many positions he has held include: medical director of Laurel Heights Hospital, a large residential treatment center in Atlanta, and unit director of hospitals in Virginia, Georgia, and Massachusetts. Dr Turley also provides psychiatric consultation and educational services to the community funded by a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. In the past he has worked with Brockton Public Schools, South Shore Educational Collaborative, and the Department of Youth Services/Health Imperatives Inc. so he is very familiar with the type of students enrolled at the Chamberlain International School.
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.
Talking about something in its literal sense doesn’t always describe what is actually happening. Take Bow Drills for instance… The “Bow Drill” is a method of starting a fire using friction instead of a match. It is simply using a small wooden bow, a wood spindle, a hand-held stone, and a base board to create a tiny ember. This fragile ember is placed in a nest of tinder that catches fire, if carefully nurtured into a flame.
Starting a fire using the Bow Drill is a required assignment for new students at the intake campus of Turn-About Ranch. Why does a real working ranch program require its students to learn survival skills like starting fires without matches? Golden Trunnell, Manager of the intake campus called Roundy, explains how there is much more going on than what is seen with the eye:
“At first, there is anticipation; a sense of wanting to try something new that looks fun. The student watches others do it and it seems simple enough. They get instruction and begin trying to start their own fire only to discover it isn’t as easy as it is simple. Their excitement turns into frustration. They decide it is too hard to be fun and don’t want to do it anymore. But there is no way around it.”
Starting a fire with this method is a required “goal” for moving forward in the program. They are not allowed to do the rest of their required assignments until they pass off their fires. Some students say they even start to hate Bow Drills at this point. It has become an obstacle that they can’t get past instead of a challenge that they can accomplish.
Trunnell continues, “In some cases, the next step in this Bow Drill process is bewilderment: A sense of being at the bottom of a large cliff with no way out. It’s at these very moments when I love my job most. As the staff working at Roundy, we all fully believe that each student will accomplish this goal. We have zero doubt that they will work through it. This is when we can actually witness a transformation happening in front of us. We start to teach them about subtle changes: change in stance, change in effort, and change in attitude. They don’t become a different person but with a few subtle changes they begin to see the results happening right in front of them in the form of a small smoldering ember. Watching a young person’s demeanor transform from bewildered to elation, based on their very own efforts, is difficult to put in words.”
Descriptions from students about their Bow Drill experience include: “I know if I never give up I can accomplish anything.” and “I’ve never felt that sense of accomplishment before.” They tend to describe a fire that was kindled within them more than the physical fire they started without a match. As one Turn-About Ranch Staff exclaimed, “It is always exciting when the student gets their first fire, especially if it has been difficult for them. The best part of the Bow Drill is not the actual fire they create in their hands, it is the fire that lights up in their eyes!”
Why does Turn-About Ranch, a “real working cattle ranch,” begin their program with assignments like bow drill fires? The literal description of starting Bow Drill fires doesn’t explain what is really going on. The real value of Bow Drills isn’t in the physical skill of starting a fire. Rather, the real value is in developing a number of internal insights regarding accomplishment, determination, perseverance, and realization that they are capable of much more than they ever imagined. This experience creates a foundation for deeper understanding and growth as the student continues in their program at Turn-About Ranch. In this sense, Bow Drills are an excellent example of Turn-About’s motto, “Real Ranch. Real Values. Real Change.”
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.
This summer, several students from the young adult treatment program Dragonfly Transitions will be embarking on a very special journey to Cambodia. This trip will combine service work, international travel, and cultural immersion with the goal to instill a sense of global community and value of joy in appreciating others. The Cambodia trip also provides an incredible opportunity and therapeutic benefit for young adults struggling with anxiety, depression, or lack of motivation in life to develop self-confidence, gain appreciation for a greater global perspective, and experience things they may have never tried otherwise. An added benefit is the deep interpersonal dynamics and lifelong friendships that develop through shared experience in traveling together in a foreign country.
Among the experiences, students will volunteer at an elephant refuge, teach English to Cambodian children, and visit World Heritage Site Angkor Wat. In 2018, Dragonfly Transitions' eighth annual Cambodia trip will be led by Recovery Specialist Cory Campbell, MA, LPC, CADC and experienced Mentor Kendra Schaffer. Throughout this trip, students witness true poverty and true happiness hand in hand as they experience Cambodian culture. This can evoke greater compassion and insight, and for most propels the healing process.
Each year students return to the United States having had a profound experience. Upon returning students often report that they feel more connected to a deeper sense of joy and renewed interest in exploring connections and success in other areas of life such as school, work, and healthy peer relationships. Additionally, the students’ integration of their experience in Cambodia often translates into finding a greater appreciation and perspective regarding all the opportunities and resources granted them in the United States.
Before I went to Cambodia, I’d always taken education as something I’m required to do and also just because what else am I going to do? But going to Cambodia, working with students at the Kravanh Bright Future Center, I learned that education is really privilege, and those girls there barely get to do it and so what the &$%# am I doing squandering all my opportunities?
- An alumni interviewed for a research study on what factors support or hinder Young Adults in treatment
About Dragonfly Transitions
Dragonfly Transitions serves young adults 18 - 30 in three locations in Southern Oregon. The variety of locations allows for a continuum of care. The campus a student first enrolls in is based on the level of support desired and personal goals and interests. Students pursue educational, vocational, therapeutic, social and recreational life goals. Dragonfly offers opportunities for hands on experience in a supportive environment where students can flourish.
Benchmark Transitions is pleased to launch an explainer video, "Insurance Made Easy" to consultants and families, demonstrating the simplicty of using insurance to help cover the cost of treatment. "There is so much complexity to using insurance benefits for treatment," states Jayne Longnecker-Harper, M.Ed., Fouder and CEO of Benchmark Transitions. "Especially when it comes to using PPO policies with out-of-network benefits," Ms. Harper summarizes. "Our goal is to provide clients with the ability to easily understand exactly what their out-of-pocket costs will be."
This video helps explain that insurance typically covers the costs of the therapeutic components, such as Detoxification, Residential Treatment, Partial Hospitalization (PHP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and other outpatient serivces such as psychiatric sessions, individual therapy and group therapy. The family must meet their deductible and co-insurance/co-payments, per their insurance policy. The non-insurance covered program services of Benchmark's Transitional Living program are bundled into managable monthly payments, so that young adults and their families can access the most comprehensive and long-term programming that Benchmark Transitions provides.
To view the video - please visit our website at Insurance Made Easy at Benchmark Transitions or contact our admissions team at 800-474-4848 x1.
Founded in 1993, Benchmark Transitions is the longest running young adult-specific treatment program, providing a comprehensive multi‐disciplinary approach to the therapeutic process for men and women, ages 18-28, suffering with chemical dependency, mental health, co-occurring disorders and related behavioral issues. Gender-specific programs include sub-acute Detox, Residential Treatment, Day Treatment (PHP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP), Supportive Transitional Living and structured Independent Living Services (ILS), as well as life skills, collegiate recovery support, education and career development.
Students at Foundations Asheville, a transitional living community for young adults ages 18-24, took part in a multi-day outdoor sea kayaking expedition to Capers Island in South Carolina this past month.
Guided by members of Foundations staff, students circumnavigated the island and camped out on remote beaches. During their time at Capers Island, students had close and playful encounters with dolphins, harvested and ate oysters together and saw alligators.
“During the trip, students engaged in a variety of activities that encouraged a group process, bringing them closer together as a group overall,” comments Mike D’Angelo, Lead Clinician at Foundations Asheville. “Expedition trips allow students to face challenge through adventure together, work as a team, and support one another. They are a great opportunity to further develop a positive and supportive peer culture which is so valuable to our young men's growth in the program.”
For more information about Foundations Asheville, please visit https://foundationsasheville.com or call (828) 408-0803.
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 https://foundationsasheville.com or call 877-318-7273.
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 10-17, proudly supports Family Clinical Director Jason McKeown MS, LMFT, CPE, DCC in his research exploring the healing aspects of objects and the use of objects to maintain health.
McKeown has spent over a decade working in wilderness therapy settings. During this time, he has observed the power of objects within a wilderness therapy milieu. Over the past three years, he has been part of an interdisciplinary team building a body of research that explores the theory and application of healing through the use of objects.
With the support of Trails Carolina and research grants, this research has been carried out over numerous projects, publications, and soon it will be turned into a book.
For the past two weeks, McKeown was in Derby, UK to engage in research at the Derby Museum.
“At an innovative museum in Derby, UK, there is an exhibit called ‘Objects of Love’,” comments McKeown. “What makes this exhibit captivating is that they invite the community to come and be photographed with their object of love. That photo is then featured in a digital gallery for anyone to see. These objects have such rich stories of sadness, perseverance, significance, and healing for everyone that participates. The engagement and hands on involvement that people in the community have with the museum is inspiring — it is evidence that museums as a form of outreach have an opportunity to help individuals and communities heal and maintain health through the use of objects and the stories held therein.”
At this exhibit, the research team performed in-depth interviews with 34 individuals which included individual interviews and focus groups. The individual interviews centered on the personal relationships the subjects had with objects that they hold dear, while the focus groups centered around observations of visitor engagement with objects in the collections and direct audience experiences with the collection.
Through their research at the Derby Museum’s exhibit, McKeown and his fellow researchers found that people have a deeper relationship with objects than they realize. Additionally, they found that objects of healing and wellness help people learn, discover, grasp, and share the personal journeys they are going through every day.
Each participant in the study seemed to have their life enriched by the object they chose and seemed to have a deeper understanding of the meaning and purpose of the object in their life and a clearer understanding of the meaning or purpose of their life. They may also have felt a that the object was reminding them of the ways in which they were fulfilling their life’s purpose.
“Students at Trails will usually have, find, make, or connect with objects in the wilderness that will allow them to feel a similar connection to objects as those individuals in the Derby study,” says McKeown, “whether that be a bowdrill serving as a reminder of their perseverance, a nature sculpture resembling their family, or a piece of art they made in therapy. These objects allow them to tell their story to others or to themselves in a way that allows for insight and change within their life. I remember a former student saying after a natural sculpture activity that it ‘helped make the intangible, tangible.’”
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. For additional information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303.
Trails Momentum, a wilderness therapy program for young adults ages 18-25, has recently introduced weekly yoga classes into programming on campus. Clinical Director Mara Mueller, LCSW CADC-I carries out these weekly sessions using a combination of vinyasa flow, hatha, and yin yoga techniques. She also incorporates elements of mindfulness and meditation within yoga classes.
“During our yoga sessions, I talk to students about the mind-body connection,” comments Mueller. “Emotions can be held within the body, affecting us physically as well as mentally. I often tailor the classes to focus on how each student is feeling and which parts of the body we should spend time working on in our yoga practice.”
In addition to emphasizing the mind-body connection, Mueller encourages students to use these classes as an opportunity to have fun and be silly.
“We do a lot of play-based activities in these classes,” says Mueller. “I think it’s really important for young adults to have some form of play in their lives. We do a lot of fun activities during yoga that help students open up and enjoy the experience. It’s amazing to see students feel more connected and relaxed with their bodies by having fun with yoga.”
For many students, these classes are often their first time participating in yoga.
“These classes help demystify what yoga is for many students,” says Mueller. “For male students especially, they may have a preconceived notion of what yoga is like. They come away from these classes feeling like this is something that is accessible to them and that they are capable of. The classes help expand their perceptions of what yoga is and what it can do for them.”
Later in July, Mueller will be bringing in a guest male yoga teacher to help give a male perspective to yoga for male students.
“The students really love and appreciate these classes,” comments Mueller. “It’s been a real eye-opener for some of them, and many have been surprised by how much they enjoy yoga.”
For more information about programming at Trails Momentum, please visit http://trailsmomentum.com or call (877) 296-8711.
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.
The role of an Academic Coach at College Excel holds many responsibilities. On the objective side, they serve as an academic advisor, academic tracker, life skills teacher, independent living skills instructor and well-being advisor. On the less objective side, the Academic Coach holds a never-ending list of responsibilities. This is why the College Excel coaches meet the highest standards for education, experience, and training before fulfilling the role.
The best coaches are the ones who ask important questions and provide the space for students to explore their own answers. What do you want to be known for? What are you hoping to accomplish? Why is that important to you?
Once a student establishes who they want to be, what they want to achieve, and why, their coach can help them break down how to do so. What can you do today to get one step closer toward reaching your goal? When will you work on that? How will you know you’ve been successful? This is where the rubber meets the road. Many students struggle with executive functioning and the ability to both conceptualize and actualize the small steps required to reach a destination. By participating in plan-making and observing follow-through (or lack thereof), coaches are able to offer accountability — an essential element in the process of change.
Of course, change does not come easy, and coaching offers an opportunity for problem-solving and encouragement when students struggle to reach their goals. What is getting in your way? What do you want to do differently next time? What strengths can you utilize to overcome the obstacles? Coaches give students permission to say, “I’m stuck,” but not to remain stuck. They prompt the student to identify the problem and generate possible solutions, and in strengths-based coaching, the student is the solution. Coaches acknowledge what the student is doing well and capitalize on their assets as an agent of continued change. An effective coach is an enthusiastic cheerleader, even once a student has achieved their original goal, because an effective coach acknowledges that growth and change are never-ending.
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.
The ASPIRE Group, a leading national and international Educational and Therapeutic Consulting practice, recently announced some changes, additions and expansions of its team of experienced and credentialed consultants.
Randi Valerious, J.D., will earn her MSW this month and will be guiding families and their children with substance abuse and addiction disorders.
Emily Jann, B.S., A.C.C., Parent Coach, will support parents transitioning their child from home to treatment programs or to other alternative environments. Emily also assists parents in addressing changes to the family system as their child enters a placement.
Bill Connor, Ph.d, N.C.S.P., L.P.C., continues to serve clients within the United States and internationally as they seek placement and guidance, whether to a traditional school or a residential treatment environment. He is a highly trained School Psychologist with an emphasis in the area of special needs.
Imy Wax, M.S., L.C.P.C., N.B.C.C., CEP, attends to a full complement of clients, continues to provide workshops and lectures, and is currently updating the highly regarded "K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences," published by Random House/Princeton Review with her co-author. The anticipated release of the 14th edition is this Spring.
Jamie Goodman has opened her own consulting practice and we wish her well.
About the Aspire Group
The ASPIRE Group, founded by Imy Wax in 1992 and now entering it's 27th year, is a premier Educational and Therapeutic Consultancy located in Illinois and continues to serve families throughout the United States and Internationally. Imy and her Associates travel over 100,000 miles each year touring schools, programs and numerous away-from-home options for children, adolescents, young adults and adults, personally meeting with their staff. Working directly with families and their support team to develop an individual "master" plan, their extensive understanding of the possibilities available, both locally and at a distance, helps create short-term and long-term goals based on a variety of individual needs of the family system. The Aspire Group’s first-hand knowledge of schools, programs, services and professionals allows them to pinpoint opportunities that enhances the client's educational, social and emotional development. The Aspire Group’s knowledge of Traditional Day and Boarding Schools, Therapeutic Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, Wilderness Therapy Programs, Colleges, Post-secondary Options, GAP Year programs and summer enrichment is unparalleled.
Newport Academy, a series of leading adolescent treatment centers specializing in mental health, trauma, eating disorders and substance abuse, announces the acquisition of NorthStar Academy, based in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
The new location in Rockville, Maryland will advance the organization’s mission to transform the teen mental health space, according to Jamison Monroe Jr., founder and CEO of Newport Academy.
NorthStar Academy now formally becomes a part of Newport Academy’s growing network across the country — including locations in California, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. The new acquisition allows Newport Academy to offer local, daily mental-health services in the Greater DC area, Maryland and Virginia.
Gale Saler, founder of NorthStar Academy, joins the Newport Academy team as an Executive Director. “Having worked with Gale and NorthStar over the past three years, we are thrilled that Gale has chosen to join the Newport Academy family,” Monroe said. “We’ll be building upon NorthStar’s excellent clinical program as we continue providing the highest quality teen mental health treatment for which Newport Academy is well known.”
The Rockville location encompasses a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and a school component, which will become the Newport Academy Day School. This move enables Newport Academy to further expand its Joint Commission–accredited, evidence-based, and highly impactful mental-health services for teens and their families.
For more information on Newport Academy, please visit NewportAcademy.com.
About Newport Academy
Newport Academy is a series of evidence-based healing centers for adolescents and families struggling with mental health issues, eating disorders, and substance abuse. With locations across the United States, including an upcoming expansion in Marin County, CA, Newport Academy offers a family-systems approach, providing gender-specific, individualized, and comprehensive holistic programs that encompass clinical therapy, academic support, and experiential practices. Offerings include residential treatment centers, partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and therapeutic day schools. Newport Academy nurtures the physical, psychological, social, educational, and spiritual needs of adolescents and their families, from a foundation of compassionate care, clinical expertise, and unconditional love. Our primary mission is to empower teens and restore families. Experts include MDs, psychiatrists, therapists, registered dieticians, nurses, licensed social workers, teachers, and more.
For more than 10 years, Greenbrier Academy for Girls has been investing in the professional development and training of residential, academic and clinical staff. This results in leading edge therapy and the most up-to-date best practices. For example, this summer, Kelly Sills, one of Greenbrier Academy’s valued therapists, is co-authoring an article on incorporating neuroscience concepts into counseling. The article will be published in Counseling Today’s June 2018 issue. Kelly will be working alongside a former professor and Program Director of Marshall's counseling program, as well as two other former program members.
Kelly Sills received her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marshall University. She has years of experience supporting families in private educational settings, and co-founded a nonprofit educational program before her employment at GBA. Kelly is passionate about integrating western psychotherapy with ancient practices of meditation and yoga, which are supported by neuroscience research. Her professional experience has shown this philosophy to be supportive of Greenbrier Academy for Girl's model of Strong Relationality.
Whether working with students who are struggling with a range of symptoms from depression and anxiety, to trauma recovery and chronic pain syndromes, Kelly specializes in integrative healing of both intrapersonal and interpersonal parts of the self.
Located in Pence Springs, WV, Greenbrier Academy is thrilled to have such a dedicated staff member contributing to the field beyond her role as therapist and counselor at GBA. The clinical and academic team at Greenbrier Academy congratulates Kelly on this accomplishment.
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.
On June 22-24th, Greenbrier Academy for Girls hosted a Mother’s Village Retreat to support the mothers of current and recent graduate GBA students. The Greenbrier Academy team was thrilled to provide a three day intensive therapeutic retreat experience dedicated to the healing and rejuvenation of GBA's mothers. Facilitated by Paul Fowler, our Village Director, Rachel Call, our Director of Integrated Coaching, and our Founder, L. Jay Mitchell, GBA hosted 11 mothers for these three days. The experience proved to be powerful and impactful for participants, and Greenbrier looks forward to hosting similar events to support current parents and alumni in the future.
The village retreat is at the heart of the deep level therapeutic work Greenbrier Academy does with students. The power of providing a similar experience to mothers enabled them to have shared language and commonality with their daughters, as well as a deeper understanding for how and why GBA’s therapeutic philosophy works.
Greenbrier hosted Friday night dinner, meals on Saturday, and Sunday breakfast. Therapeutic exercises were engaged by all, centering around the Mother Archetype and Shadow. Lodging was provided in a beautiful mountain setting, right behind campus at our Village Retreat Yurts. The environment offered privacy and peace with a full immersion in a supportive community context. Mothers were able to reconnect with self, reflect on their relationship to the Mother archetype and Shadow, and be supported by other mothers and staff.
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.
The transition from one type of therapy program to another can be difficult for students and families alike. Shannon Weaver, LCSW and Sarah Rothstein, LCSW from Aspiro Adventure, presented on this topic recently at the NATSAP UT Regional Conference. Shannon and Sarah have each worked at both residential and wilderness programs. To create this presentation, they used their own career experiences, combined with data they gathered talking with many Educational Consultants, as well as with professionals working in various residential and wilderness programs.
The presentation first focused on the differences between wilderness and residential treatment programs, which often families and students don't understand, thus leading to frustration when making the transition from one to the other. Things like the variation in how much access to information there is in each type of program, the amount of autonomy in each program, regression, and the difference in a long-term versus a short-term relationship were discussed.
Shannon and Sarah finished with ideas on how to ease the transition on both the wilderness and residential treatment side. The discussion was on the need for clear communication with students and parents about what to expect, honoring the work done in the wilderness, allowing students to tell their stories, and working closely with parents to stay "bought-in" to a longer-term process.
Read the article Sarah wrote for parents who have students transitioning from wilderness treatment to residential treatment by clicking here.
With treatment-specific programs located in Utah and Costa Rica, Aspiro's mission is to be the most clinically-advanced outdoor behavioral health program in the world, providing safe, dynamic, highly effective treatment modalities that are backed by empirical research. Aspiro Wilderness Adventure Therapy is a short-term wilderness program serving adolescents ages 13-17 and young adults ages 18-28 with varying degrees of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.
Aspiro is proud to announce and welcome David Mayeski, MSW, as the new Family Services Director. David comes to Aspiro with almost 20 years of experience working with families in therapeutic programs. Prior to joining Aspiro, David served in many capacities: from a primary therapist to working in admissions, and as a Clinical Director. His desire to help families heal and overcome obstacles is a passion that will continue to be realized at Aspiro.
When asked what uniquely qualifies David for the position, Aspiro Executive Director Ryan Coley said, "Dave's broad range of experience, his deep understanding of family systems and family dynamics, and his passion for helping others makes him a great fit for this position.”
Aspiro is looking forward to providing parent coaching webinars for families, as well as creating another level of support for parents through David's new role. His clinical background and affinity for serving families will add to the energy and knowledge of the clinical team, and enhance the services of the Aspiro program.
With treatment-specific programs located in Utah and Costa Rica, Aspiro’s mission is to be the most clinically-advanced outdoor behavioral health program in the world, providing safe, dynamic, highly effective treatment modalities that are backed by empirical research. Aspiro Wilderness Adventure Therapy is a short-term wilderness program serving adolescents ages 13-17 and young adults ages 18-28 with varying degrees of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.
Alpine Academy takes great pride in announcing that Michele Boguslofski, Director of Alpine Academy, has been elected as the Executive Director for the Teaching-Family Association. With Michele's appointment to this new position, Alpine is also excited to announce that Christian Egan will take over as the Director of Alpine Academy.
Michele became the director of Alpine in 2014 and brought nearly 30 years of experience in the Teaching-Family Model (the primary treatment model used at Alpine Academy). During her four and half years as Director at Alpine Academy, Michele has provided unparalleled leadership as Alpine has grown and developed in many ways, including adding 20 beds, expanding the academic building and faculty, adding therapists and increasing their training, and creating the now-crucial roles of School Counselor and Aftercare Coordinator. Under her direction, Alpine has reached new heights of quality of care, tenure of staff, professionalism, and services offered to and support of students. Her dedication, support, and love for each individual and Alpine will be a lasting legacy.
Christian came to Alpine 12 years ago as Admissions Director and has overseen the admission of over 550 students since 2006. Serving on Alpine’s leadership team throughout that time, he has played a key role in helping Alpine expand and develop in the many ways it has, growing from a population of 40 to 70 students, increasing its referral base, and improving both the physical campus and services offered to students. Christian has become a known and trusted name not only to parents and students of Alpine, but to professionals across the country due to his outgoing nature, sincerity, high caliber work, commitment to helping kids and families, and kindness. Educational Consultants and other referring professionals appreciate his professionalism, promptness, consistency, and honesty, along with his genuine friendship. Other professionals within the NATSAP world of programs recognize him as a trusted and stable presence whom they can count on for help, advice, and camaraderie.
Alpine Academy looks forward to this new chapter and continuing to fulfill its mission of "creating healthy, sustainable change for youth and families through meaningful relationships and teaching, using evidence-based best practices."
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.
Summer is a time of transition for Onward Transitions members, as several members prepare to transition both to and from Portland, Maine. Some members who have successfully completed their course of treatment will be staying on in this resource-rich and emerging adult friendly coastal city.
Co-founder Darrell Fraize, M.Ed., LCPC, LADC reports the following transitions in July:
- An early twenties female member transitioning on to a major northeast city to pursue business school and continue her work as a specialized trainer in the fitness world.
- An early twenties male member transitioning to a major western city to further his training in a specialized performing art while continuing to hone his bilingual skills.
- An early thirties male member transitioning to a different city in the northeast to be closer to family and friends while continuing to work and to further his education in business.
- An early twenties male member continuing to work in the food service industry in Portland, while honing his writing craft.
- A mid-twenties male member continuing to work with animals and writing in Portland.
- An early twenties female member coming to Portland to explore work while finalizing her requirements for her bachelor’s degree.
- An early twenties male member coming to Portland to prepare to continue his studies in technology after spending some time working.
Fraize reports that he and Executive Director Tracy Bailey are working with a handful of families in preparation for August and the start of school in the Fall. “August and September have been historically very active months for us in our short history.” Onward Transitions will be hiring a full-time therapist to work with some of these new members and their families.
About Onward Transitions
Onward Transitions (OT) in Portland, ME is a small, independent, owner-operated program for bright, motivated, emerging adults in the final stages of learning to live on their own. OT supports actual sustainable independent living and autonomy from two city locations. Participants (members) ages 18-29 never live with us; they live in their own apartments, scattered throughout the city. Members' challenges include anxiety, depression and executive functioning.
EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community recently introduced a new self-assessment tool to its program to help its students identify and reflect on their overall wellness in seven identified dimensions. Originally developed by Princeton University as part of their UMatter initiative for Princeton students, the assessment helps individuals contemplate components of their health that they previously may not have considered.
Throughout the self-assessment, EDGE students use a point system to answer specific questions about their current habits that are reflective of the seven dimensions of wellness — emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual. Students then work with EDGE Therapeutic Life Coaches to reflect on their individual results, develop specific goals and create action plans to maintain stable habits and improve wellness in identified areas of need.
The seven dimensions of wellness have always been an integral aspect of EDGE’s programming. However, the implementation of the wellness self-assessment tool further benefits students by providing a clear and quantifiable portrait of their overall wellness levels.
“Success in academics and in life is a function of a number of integrated factors, and it can be easy to lose sight of this and focus only on one identified area of need,” said Executive Director of EDGE Programs David J. Ventrelle, Psy.D. “EDGE has consistently worked with our students to maintain an emphasis on the integration of each of these areas, and the wellness self-assessment tool gives them a more objective way of reflecting on their progress in each dimension. We are grateful to Princeton University for providing permission to utilize this tool with our students.”
EDGE frequently holds discussions with its students to emphasize that the journey to wellness lasts throughout an individual’s lifetime. The collegiate community will continue to find new methods to help its students develop decision-making skills that will support a more balanced life in college and beyond.
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.
Summit Achievement has just completed the rigorous re-accreditation process by the Association for Experiential Education for Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Programs (AEE/OBH Accreditation) and has been awarded accreditation for another five years. Accredited Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare programs demonstrate that they operate above industry standards of ethical care, treatment evaluation, and risk management practices. Summit is only one of two programs in the country to have completed this vigorous re-accreditation process.
During the AEE reaccreditation process, a team of outdoor education/adventure therapy professionals spend three days conducting an on-site review of the wilderness therapy program systems and standards. The team reviews policy and procedures as well as interviews staff and inspects facilities. The outstanding team that reviewed Summit Achievement included Jed Williamson, one of the authors of the original set of standards for adventure programs and former President of Sterling College as well as Dr. Michael Gass from the University of New Hampshire and the Director of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center and Leah McDonald, Youth Program Director from Rippleffect of Maine.
The Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council has 23 members (OBH members) and Summit is only one of 15 that has met the standard of AEE/OBH accreditation. Summit was one of the first programs in the country to become accredited by AEE/OBH. Summit encourages all wilderness/adventure therapy programs to go through this vigorous and insightful process of external review by outside professionals in an effort to raise industry standards.
AEE/OBH accreditation adds to the many credentials Summit Achievement holds, including being a licensed residential treatment center with all licensed clinicians and a licensed non-traditional private school with a certified Special Educator on staff.
About Summit Achievement
Summit Achievement is, and always has been, guided by positive reinforcement and the power of choice. Our outcome-focused program employs effective therapeutic and educational principles. 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.
You are about to be impressed; It’s been over an hour since I last checked my phone. It’s ringing, buzzing, alerting, filling with LinkedIn requests, Facebook posts, and disappearing Snapchats. Do you feel anxious, yet? What’s even more impressive is that 22 teenage boys are all in the same boat. Instead of their faces buried in technology, they are smiling, talking, running, living, breathing, connecting. How? It’s quite simple, to be honest. Create an outlet that’s more powerful. For those 22 players and me, that’s a lacrosse field. A sacred place that creates a unique opportunity to grow as individuals and as a group, away from our phones.
The Rocky Mountain Rippers is an elite travel lacrosse team in Salt Lake City. All players are in the graduating class of 2021. Through the game of lacrosse, RedCliff acts from the intention of creating opportunity, serving their community, building grit, and believing sportsmanship doesn’t end on the field.
A recent study out of Kazan University showed drastic increases in adolescents' dependence on social media.
“A poll was conducted among adolescents and young people aged 14-19 which covered secondary schools and tertiary education institutions.
Associate Professor Regina Sakhieva, one of the co-authors of the research, explained, "We can detect adolescents' dependence on social networks, where everyone can feel interesting and needed. Many people become addicted to communication in social networks and replacing real-life relationships with virtual ones. Even if you are aware of your addiction, it's not always easy to get rid of it."
The authors found that the majority of those questioned have predispositions for Internet addiction. This includes weak control over time spent online, over their activity timelines and priority setting. However, they still can limit their online activities in favor of face-to-face communication with friends and other daily activities, such as studies.
A program of addiction prevention was proposed as a result of questionnaire analysis. The program is aimed at promoting social experience, self-regulation, self-management in the information space and critical thinking with regards to content consumption. The plan was tested and proved to be effective.
"We see a solution in prevention measures implemented by all the participants of educational relations. That's why the researchers proposed psychological and pedagogical guidance of prevention policies, including organizational efforts for prevention, special courses for teachers and psychologists, and new forms and methods of prevention work," concluded Dr. Sakhieva.
The program is divided into three parts - motivational and cognitive measures, practice-oriented measures and reflexive training, and a systemic plan of its implementation for the audience of 14 to 19-year-olds. *
*Reference; Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
About RedCliff Ascent
RedCliff Ascent is a therapeutic wilderness program, nestled between two mountain ranges in the high desert of Enterprise, UT. They focus on adolescents ages 13-17 who are struggling with various challenges from anxiety and depression, to school abandonment and the need to reconnect with their family. With over 25 years of experience, RedCliff uses a relational model and narrative therapy to drive an outcome and an evidence-based approach. RedCliff Recovery is a women's specific, 12-step adventure based wilderness program. Designed by women, specifically for women.
Eva Carlston Academy, a residential treatment center for adolescent girls, understands that it is important for their clients to generalize the skills they are learning. One way Eva Carlston accomplishes this is by providing experiential learning opportunities for their students. For the general population, they go on three trips a year: Arches National Park, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Yellowstone National Park or Zion National Park. In addition to those trips, girls who have advanced in the program have the opportunity to go on two additional trips: Washington, D.C., and an Extended Shakespeare Festival trip with volunteering at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Not only do these trips give students opportunities for practical application of what they have learned in the classroom, but also provide an environment to deepen their understanding of the world around them.
After going on the trip to Washington D.C, one student said, “I feel that this trip was not only educational and gave us the incredible experience of visiting many historical landmarks and culturally important museums, but also helped prepare us for our transition for our life after Eva Carlston. We were given independence and the opportunity to make our own choices and handle many situations that we will be dealing with outside of here. It also helped us find a balance between applying all that we've learned over the past 12+ months and living in a way that will be more normal for us after we eventually graduate.” While planning for the trip, another student noted, “I hoped to gain more friendships, develop better relationships with the staff, and find out what it is like to be held accountable in the real world without your parents.” After coming back form the trip, she resolved, “I definitely felt like those expectations were met for me and I feel very good with my takeaway from the trip.”
While in D.C., students are able to see many of the typical tourist locations, including several Smithsonian Museums and George Washington’s Mt. Vernon. At the Utah Shakespeare Festival, in Cedar City, UT, they are able to attend 6 plays (both Shakespeare and others) and then spend several day in Kanab, UT volunteering with a variety of animals at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Some of the skill development focus of these trips is to give participants an opportunity to practice tolerating differences, use their cell phone more freely and go on social media, implement a budget, and build and maintain relationships. Eva Carlston finds that, after going on the trips, students are able to understand what strengths and deficits they have with regards to social skills, understand more clearly what challenges lie ahead post-program graduation, and understand the intent behind their therapeutic journey. With this greater introspection, Eva Carlston hopes their clients are better able to find their place in the world and understand what they are passionate about to create a more fulfilling life.
About Eva Carlston Academy
Eva Carlston Academy located in Utah is a licensed residential treatment center located near the urban center of Salt Lake City. The program serves young women between the ages of 12 and 18 in a clinically intense, family-style program which focuses upon creating opportunities for students to explore the arts while working toward continued growth and healing.
PRN for Families is excited to announce some changes on their clinical team. The Lakewood, Colorado-based program is pleased to welcome a new clinician, Matthew Laycock, LMSW, LAC to their team of Family Consultants. Based in Denver, Colorado, Matthew has assumed responsibility for PRN’s Denver area clients, while another of PRN Family Consultants, Kelsey Morell, LMSW, has relocated to the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. Kelsey will work with PRN clients in the midwest, and has also taken the lead on PRN’s ongoing collaboration with Voyageur Outward Bound School.
Matthew Laycock LMSW, LAC, comes to PRN after earning his master’s degree from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in New York City. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a dual minor in Adolescent Studies and Spiritual and Cross Cultural Beliefs, from Hobart and William Smith College. Matt’s prior professional experiences include working with behaviorally and emotionally struggling adolescents at Wediko Children's Services in New Hampshire and in New York City; serving as a jail-based clinician specializing in dual diagnosis treatment at the Jefferson Center for Mental Health in Colorado; and as a Clinical Case Manager working with disenfranchised members of the community through The Mental Health Center of Denver. Matt is originally from Taos, New Mexico, where he grew up skiing and spending his time in the mountains. His love of the outdoors – and especially the mountains – compelled him to move to Colorado after graduate school. He works with PRN clients in the Denver area, where his primary focus is on supporting young adults with the skills and strategies needed to live more productive, independent lives.
Kelsey Morell, LMSW, has been working with PRN for Families since 2016, focusing specifically on PRN’s young adult clients in the Denver and Boulder area, as well as with other Colorado-based PRN for Families clients. Having recently relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kelsey now works with PRN families in the Midwest region, and leads our collaborative extended care program with Voyageur Outward Bound School. The VOBS / PRN collaboration is in its third year, and has seen tremendous growth in participation as families seek to extend the benefits of their wilderness experience. Families who participate in the VOBS Intercept program are eligible to enroll in PRN’s extended care program, which makes available a high level of support at low cost to families who otherwise may not be able to access a wilderness experience, or for whom this experience may be an early attempt at behavioral intervention for their child. Kelsey has also been spearheading a webinar series aimed at helping VOBS families understand how to best prepare for their child’s transition home. More information about PRN's Extended Care for VOBS families may be found at: http://www.prnforfamilies.com/outward-bound-aftercare/.
Matt and Kelsey will work closely with Charles Elias and the rest of the PRN for Families team to serve the needs of clients beyond their geographic regions as appropriate and necessary. PRN for Families is known for its customized approach to working with families, and all of the programs Family Consultants are trained in home-based assessment, and in the family preservation model that is utilized as a model for the wraparound services the program provides. Matt can be reached at email@example.com, and Kelsey may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About PRN for Families
PRN for Families is an accredited, home-based support program that serves families who have children or young adults who are struggling, or for whom an out-of-home placement may be necessary. Since 2003, PRN for Families has offered intensive at-home intervention, crisis support, transition and reunification services that empower and support families so that they may live together successfully and safely.
Minnesota Life College announces a change in name to Minnesota Independence College & Community with expertise in adults on Autism Spectrum and those with Learning Differences who need both training and community to live independent, vibrant lives. The Board of Directors of Minnesota Life College voted in support of a resolution to change its name in August to MICC, pronounced ‘em’ ‘eye’ ‘see’ ‘see’. MICC stands for Minnesota Independence College & Community.
The new name reflects the equal importance of offering a three-year vocational college program and a community program with lifelong services that enable individuals on the spectrum and those with learning differences to live independent and vibrant lives.
Amy Gudmestad, Executive Director of MICC explained that offering both post-secondary and lifelong services in a city with exceptional employment partners and robust public transportation brings success for its students and graduates, adding “We leverage the uniqueness of the city, with all its excitement, challenges and diversity, because we believe a vibrant life comes from continuous learning in the world.”
The new name reflects the importance of vocational training. In a society where the ability to get and keep a job is one of the single most important factors to being able to live independently, only 32.5% of young adults with autism spectrum disorders currently work for pay. Through MICC College and MICC Community programs, 90% of graduates become employed and achieve independence.
The new name also reflects a focus on the benefits of being engaged in community. Roughly one in four young adults with autism is considered socially isolated – meaning no contact with anyone outside of family for over a year. They are more likely to never see friends, never get called by friends and never be invited to activities.
MICC College students receive experiential community learning and graduates can opt for a MICC Community program with lifelong services, which include apartment-living coaching, career support and the opportunity to participate in over 80 structured social, community and wellness activities every month.
“Our students learn and practice the social skills needed to create friendships and enjoy the Twin Cities community,” explained Gudmestad. “And the community enjoys the extraordinary talents offered by our students and graduates.”
And the new name reflects Minnesota’s reputation for offering excellent education, progressive programs and organizations that serve underserved populations, including those on the spectrum and those with learning differences.
“Our graduates, who have come from all over the country - and in some cases other countries - are now living successful and productive lives. Those who are on the spectrum and with learning differences are seeking our Minnesota program to learn how to live the kind of lives they deserve,” said Gudmestad. “We look forward to continuing our mission to transform the lives of individuals and families affected by autism spectrum and learning differences.”
The National Longitudinal Transition Study -2, through the National Center for Special Education Research, funded by the US Department of Education. Roux, Anne M., Shattuck, Paul T., Rast, Jessica E., Rava, Julianna A., and Anderson, Kristy, A. National Autism Indicators Report: Transition into Young Adulthood. Philadelphia, PA: Life Course Outcomes Research Program, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Drexel University, 2015.
About Minnesota Life College Now Minnesota Independence College & Community (MICC)
Minnesota Life College is a 501(c)3 nonprofit vocational and life skills training program for young adults with learning differences and autism spectrum disorders. Since our founding in 1996, MLC has remained dedicated to helping our students make successful transitions towards independent living and financial self-sufficiency. MLC is proud to be recognized for three consecutive years as one of the Top Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune.
TechieForLife (TFL), a college support and licensed vocational school, supports neurodiverse students so they can find belonging and a career path to independence. Finding a school with the right fit for a student can be challenging but may make all the difference in success. For young adults with learning differences, customizing an individual career path is even more important. That's why TechieForLife has begun offering apprenticeships.
When Hunter came to TechieForLife looking for support and a viable career path, it didn't take long to discover Hunter's passion for guns. He expressed his love for gun history, his fascination with the mechanical aspects and his natural skill at meticulously cleaning and repairing guns. When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, "I enjoy target shooting with my rifles." After looking at his career interest and aptitude assessment and with his diagnosis of Autism, it quickly became clear that Hunter would greatly benefit from an apprenticeship where he could be mentored, learn through doing, repetition and develop his skills.
TFL's Executive Director and Founding Partner Jason Grygla was able to connect Hunter with a local and renowned custom gunsmith. As soon as Hunter finished his level one phase work with TechieForLife and completed a gun safety course, he was ready to begin his apprenticeship doing what he loves. "I can't remember ever being happier!" expressed Hunter after just a few weeks there. He is now self-motivated and excelling. Hunter's mother agrees, "It is the first time he feels accepted, successful and at peace with where he is at personally. I truly have never seen him genuinely happier."
Hunter's apprenticeship in gunsmithing is with Justin Sip. His website can be viewed at www.justincustomguns.com. To find out if TechieForLife might be the right fit or to request a free interest and aptitude assessment for a neurodiverse young adult, email GetStarted@TechieForLife.com.
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. Neurodiverse 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.
Pure Life is pleased to announce its five year anniversary. Five years ago, Pure Life partnered with Aspiro to develop a unique adventure program specifically built for young adults. They expanded upon Aspiro’s adventure model by including formal certifications and cultural immersion in a foreign country as part of the treatment process. Pure Life is pleased to announce that, over the last 5 years, more than 500 nationally recognized certifications have been awarded to Pure Life students.
As an intrinsic part of Pure Life’s young adult programming, students have the opportunity to earn their Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Swift Water Rescue, and Technical Ropes and Rescue certifications while in Costa Rica. Not only are clients benefitting from the challenge and experience of the courses, these clients are going on to other communities that will benefit from their newfound knowledge and experience. By partnering with Costa Rican staff to achieve these goals, Pure Life participants become part of a global community where an exchange of cultural ideals and learning can occur. It is these partnerships along with those in the therapeutic care community that has led to Pure Life’s success over the last five years.
During the two to three month stay at Pure Life, students have amazing adventures while developing therapeutic skills and strategies for overcoming their challenges. The program gives the young adults opportunities to excel at surfing, rafting, hiking, and other adventure activities, while challenging their notions of what they can accomplish both in the rainforest and back at home. Certification courses are a large piece of this programming. The certifications allows Pure Life students to accomplish measurable goals that serve as a functional skill that they can utilize during the next steps in their growth and development.
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.
This summer students at Equinox RTC have been exploring the various outdoor recreational opportunities that the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina have to offer. The adventure therapy program provides opportunities to gain proficiency in a wide range of outdoor recreation skills including rock climbing, canoeing and kayaking, white water rafting, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, biking and camping. Students participate in weekly experiential activities that are seamlessly integrated into their therapeutic experience. In doing so, students are able to transfer their lessons learned, skills gained, and interpersonal experiences during outdoor recreational activities to their therapeutic journey, personal goals, and interests.
Currently, the Equinox RTC mountain biking program is thriving. Students are in the process of building an on-campus pump track and skills areas to practice and build upon their foundational skills such as balancing on uneven terrain, transferring weight while riding, and navigating over small jumps and hills safely. In addition to the on-campus activities, students have been going off-campus to local areas like Dupont State Forest and Bent Creek to bike. For fly fishing, students have been getting out on the river to practice their techniques. Fly fishing is a great way for students to practice mindfulness and grounding techniques for emotional regulation. The small Equinox kayak fleet is also growing. Students and staff have taken the kayaks out on fishing trips and to coast along the French Broad River taking in the scenery.
The students also participate in community service each week, volunteering at community farms and gardens, planning activities for the elderly, working with our local humane society, and helping to maintain and beautify our campus. Learning to give back and to be empathetic is crucial to the growth of a young adult. Recent community service projects have included helping at Manna Food Bank in Asheville and with the Carolina Mountain Club. At the Carolina Mountain Club, students worked on part of the Mountain to Sea Trail and learned how to use a Pulaski and McLeod. These are both tools they are starting to use on campus to build a pump track and skills area for our mountain bikes.
Outdoor challenges and community service projects provide an excellent medium for building self-esteem and strong relationships. The goal is for all students to leave Equinox RTC with healthy, lifelong interests and skills. As students develop and learn alongside one another, they form trusting, caring relationships within peer groups and beyond. Equinox RTC Recreational Therapy Director Natalie Stark comments, “These activities give students the opportunity to work on trust, emotional regulation, and pushing students outside of their comfort zones.”
About Equinox RTC
Equinox is a leading residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18. Equinox is unique in its focus on Trauma, Loss and Attachment, providing clinically intensive treatment for young men struggling with anxiety, depression, OCD, ASD, learning disabilities, and other emotional and behavioral needs. Equinox offers a combination of clinically sophisticated support with a whole child approach including adventure therapy, integrated Cross-Fit program, and a whole foods diet. Equinox provides a fully accredited school, with broad course selections taught by licensed teachers in a college-preparatory environment.
At Journey Home East, residents work with an in-house Interdependence Coach to develop an individualized plan for achieving their personal goals both during and after completion of the program. Journey Home East’s goal is help residents grow into mature, responsible, accountable and successful young adults who can apply the lessons and principles that they have learned to the real world. At Journey Home East, students work on Five Core Principles that will help young adults live happy, productive lives. They include life skills, healthy living, education, personal responsibility and social integration. Some examples of skills learned from the Five Core Principles are:
- Daily Accountability (chores, hygiene, cleaning, personal care) – Students are required to take care of themselves and their environment.
- Financial (budgeting, balancing check book, saving) – Journey Home East provides life coaching for young adults on how to set financial goals that are at or below earnings.
- Shopping – While fun, shopping excursions are also teachable moments to encourage sound financial planning.
- Cooking – For themselves and for the community of students, both cooking and clean-up.
- Job searching and interviewing skills – Part of being successful and productive means having a job. Being successful in a job search is vital for finding a job that is rewarding.
The Five Core Principles at Journey Home East are essential in helping to guide residents to discover the goals they want to aim for, giving them an idea of the different areas where they might be interested in developing confidence and skills in before they leave the program. Upon enrollment to the program, residents meet with the Interdependence Coach to plan and set their non-therapeutic goals, which could range from educational to employment aspirations. Residents' goals are completely tailored to each individual, so every plan is unique to the resident and their personal journey. Some examples of goals that the Interdependence Coach helps residents with include:
- Applying to college or other educational programs
- Scheduling college courses, college-prep courses, or other standardized test courses
- Creating a resume that focuses on strengths to gain and sustain employment
- Learning how to better manage personal finances
- Scheduling classes and getting involved in the community (writing, photography or pottery for example)
- Gaining independence to be able to live on their own, or learning how to resolve conflict to live with roommates
- Gaining confidence to take a gap year and travel abroad
- Learning how to balance multiple responsibilities and practice self-care
After residents begin to make strides or even accomplish items within their goal plans, the Interdependence Coach then checks in with each resident individually to see how they are doing mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is imperative that the residents are able to balance their responsibilities, social lives, and self-care. If a resident is focusing on gaining employment, the Interdependence Coach incorporates mock interviews and mock follow-ups into the goal plan to help residents practice their skills and ease anxiety. Trained in motivational interviewing, the Interdependence Coach also helps resident pin-point what their passions are and how they can use these interests to develop self-esteem and confidence for when they complete the program. As a gradual process, the goal planning and life skills program at Journey Home East is done with individualized care to purposefully support residents with reaching their ambitions. Staff meet weekly to discuss and provide updates on each resident’s goals to see how things are going or overlapping from therapeutic sessions. The Interdependence Coach at Journey Home East, Tatiana Martinez, comments, “Watching residents come in to the program and seeing their confidence build as they build their life skills is a remarkable process.”
About Journey Home East
Journey Home East serves females aged 16-21 and provides structure for students while they learn independent living skills. Much of the structure and support provided by our 24/7 staffed home is managing electronic devices, managing free time and social life appropriately, and budgeting, shopping for groceries, and cooking meals. Clients enrolling at Journey Home have a previous therapeutic placement, where home was not an option afterward. They are provided with a therapist in the home to work on individual and family issues.
The location of Journey Home West in Layton, Utah is a perfect backdrop for checking off the classic summer bucketlist for its residents. Just minutes away from green mountains, blue lakes, red deserts, service opportunities and night time outdoor events, these residents are getting out and about. The Journey Home experience assists residents in learning the fundamentals about how important shared experiences are in relationships and how planning doesn't have to be a big ordeal. The activities are discovered and planned by the residents and staff, and the memories made during these outtings become an important mile marker to growing up and being more independent.
Shortly after three high school graduations in late May, the girls started the summer season by planning a surprise birthday party for a resident who had never had a birthday party of her own. Next was hiking Timpanogas Cave, Bonneville Shoreline, and walking around the Spiral Jetty. The great location of Journey Home West offers a variety of other fun activities for the residents, such as evening car shows of classic rides, outdoor movies at the drive-in, enjoying the music at the Twilight Concert Series in nearby Ogden and loving on some furry friends at the Tinker Cat Cafe. In addition to all the fun outings, there are always important Life Skills activites built into the schedule. For example, the latest life skill focused on car maintenance, where the girls spent time learning how to change a tire, jump start a car and change the oil.
The girls are also diligent at making sure they are getting out to serve the community in various ways, such as weeding and gardening for the Habitat for Humanity homes and volunteering at Arrowhead Stables. Beautifying where they live has also been on the agenda, and this year the residents re-fashioned flower beds at the Journey Home.
The various events and activities are attended by residents when summer job schedules allow, and all are documented in some way, from keeping movie and concert stub tickets, to getting just the right filtered picture. All of these memories are kept and saved, to be made into a memory book for the residents and given to them upon their graduation from the program. This can remind them of the fun that was had, the challenges that were met and overcome, and the friendships they were able to make and maintain. There is no better backdrop to growing up than getting out and making memories, even if it is trying different things.
About the Journey Home
Journey Home West was established in Layton, UT in 2008 after noticing there were limited options for our clients from Solstice RTC West needing a community-based step down option. Journey Home West serves females aged 16-21 and provides structure for students while they learn independent living skills. Much of the structure and support provided by our 24/7 staffed home is with managing electronic devices, managing free time and social life appropriately, and budgeting, shopping for groceries and cooking meals.
Clients enrolling at Journey Home have a previous therapeutic placement, where home was not an option afterward. They are provided with a therapist in the home to work on individual and family issues.
Seven Stars, a residential treatment program for teens ages 13-17 who struggle with neurodevelopmental disorders, is excited to shine the spotlight this month on Team Director Courtney Allred.
For the past three years, Courtney has worked closely with young people in a residential treatment setting, striving to assist everyone she works with.
“I’m extremely passionate about working with the students at Seven Stars,” comments Courtney. “I like to focus on the little steps in students’ progress. My favorite aspect of my work at Seven Stars is getting to know the different personalities of students and what they bring to the table. Even on a rough day, they can turn the entire mood around with a simple act or comment.”
Currently, Courtney is working on getting her certification as a registered behavior technician. She is also a Safety Care trainer and is certified to train and re-certify staff annually. Safety Care is a specialized behavioral management system that emphasises de-escalation, crisis prevention and restraint reduction.”
When asked what she would want parents to know about Seven Stars, Courtney replied, “I’d like to let parents know that our staff take care of students like they are their own children. Parents should feel at peace knowing they are in good hands.”
Courtney is the proud mother of two boys who keep her busy when she’s not at work playing sports and being outdoors. She enjoys going into the mountains and hiking with her husband, kids and two dogs as well as exploring the many National Parks throughout the west coast. She has made it a goal to get every Junior Ranger Badge from all the National Parks and Historic Site around the country. She is also hoping to further her education and start school this fall.
For more information about Courtney and other members of staff at Seven Stars, visit https://discoversevenstars.com/about-us/staff/.
About Seven Stars
Seven Stars is a leading assessment program and residential treatment center for teens ages 13-17 who struggle with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD.
Solutions Parenting Support is proud to announce a collaborative relationship with Dr. Richard Falzone and RADWellness. Dr. Falzone engages his outpatient clients, adolescents and young adults, in “Recovery and Development" through active movement in the wilderness surrounding North Reading, Massachusetts. In order to support the growth and development of these young people, Dr. Falzone refers the parents to Solutions Parenting Support, to provide a holistic approach and ensure important shifts in the entire family dynamic are happening smoothly.
The role Solutions Parenting Support plays is to coach families who have children currently working with Dr. Falzone in his outpatient wilderness therapy setting, for a period of 6 weeks. Solutions Parenting Support staff will assess:
- Strengths and struggles in the parenting approach
- Observe and help families identify triggers with their parenting styles
- Assess the current ability to co-parent
- Identify habits important for parents to develop
- Provide support for families by shaping the home in ways that allow everyone to better thrive
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 around the 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.
As a community-immersed family systems model, the Vive team often gets questions on how to distiguish what they provide from what a traditional outpatient therapist could provide. The Vive model assigns two clinicians to each family. All of the staff are master's level clinicians and are either licensed or license eligible. One of the clincians assigned to the family is the therapeutic Mentor to the young person and the other is the therapeutic Parent Coach assigned to the parents. Vive uses these titles to help the staff be more approachable to the clients and their families. Both are the advocates and agents of change to each respective member of the family unit. The Mentor and Parent Coach communicate often about the family system and the goals they are each working on. However, there is rarely communication between the Mentor and the parents or the Parent Coach and young person. This is done intentionally so that boundaries are kept clear and each participant knows they have an advocate during their process in the program.
Vive quite often works in conjuction with individual therapistss that the family already has in place. If the Vive clinicians feel there is a need from support with individual therapists, they will recommend that to the family and help them find the appropriate therapists. The Vive team then collaborates with those therapists to make sure the clients are receiving the most appropriate treatment to reach their goals. Vive does not want to replace traditioinal therapy, only enhance and improve the support with our on the ground, in home perspectives.
If a family is trying to distinguish the different value Vive can bring them versus traditional therapy, the best way is to give examples of how the clinicians partner with the family. Vive Mentors and Parent Coaches meet the family where they are at, both literally and figuratively. They are there to build relationship and trust in the home and community settings where the family is working, living, and socializing. For instance, there are many examples of the Mentors taking their clients to job interviews, prom dress shopping, AA/NA meetings, helping them to navigate public transportatioin, and some things as simple as learning how to use a laundromat. There was a great story recently shared by our Chicago Vive Regional Director, Sarah Schwartz, where she described taking a client to just walk on a college campus so she could get a visual and physical feel and understanding of what it would be like to experience college as she starts to fill out school applications and considering her options. This is what sets Vive apart - the experiential opportunities in the real world that allow us to support and guide the client in the moment as their anxieties and challenges may arise.
As the relationship builds between the Mentor and client and the Mentor begins to find out what motivates the client, including some of their passions and interests, the Mentor will get them out in the community doing those exact things. It could be taking an art class yoga, rock climbing, hiking, biking, etc. During those activities they are able to build a relationship and trust which provides many opportunities for the Mentor to approach any challenges that arise in the moment. These live educational moments can be some of the most important therapeutic work that happens. The relationship becomes the agent of change for the client and family. Another piece of the Vive model that distinguishes it from traditional therapy is the availability of the Mentor to the client outside of their session time, which is called "In Between Time". Each family has at least 4 hours a month of extra support via phone or text with the Mentor or Parent Coach, which can be used any time.
Vive enjoys partnering with other community resources, including outpatient therapists, to provide the appropriate level of support for each family. There are families and clients that require more support and and the Vive team appreciates as much scaffolding as possible for those families. Working together in this process is only going to increase healthy change to the family system.
Vive Family Support Program is relational and therapeutic support service for pre-teens, adolescents, young adults and their families. With a 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. Vive's goal is to ensure lasting positive change.
Corner Canyon Recovery embraces the philosophy that those struggling with a dual diagnosis of mental health and addiction need inclusive assessment, sophisticated clinical treatment, and comprehensive holistic programming in a comfortable home for optimal recovery. Our model is relationship oriented and emotionally safe with trauma informed programming, and is carefully designed to lead to successful life-long recovery and happiness.
Corner Canyon Recovery is research driven, utilizing modalities that are empirically validated, and outcome studies to measure the progress of each client. Families and loved ones are critical components in treatment and our program involves them intensively during treatment if clinically appropriate.
A continuum of care after primary intervention has been proven to lead to more positive outcomes and a reduction in recidivism. Corner Canyon offers Residential Day Treatment, Intensive Outpatient, Outpatient, and Alumni programming. Therapists work with clients and referral sources who are not local to establish effective aftercare where they live.
About Corner Canyon Recovery
Corner Canyon Recovery, a 16 bed, trauma informed, adult, co-ed with gender specific programming, dual-diagnosis, holistic Residential Treatment Center in a large attractive home in Draper, UT opened in November, 2017.
Montana Academy's curriculum guidelines are consistently aligned with the Montana Common Core Standards and our courses are developed to prepare students for college and other academic opportunites after leaving Lost Prairie. Within these standards, the academic faculty has traditionally strived to deliver content in a holistic and interdisciplinary manner in order to provide more experiential learning opportunities that take advantage of small student-to-teacher ratios and a general flexibility of where learning takes place.
Twice per calendar year, Montana Academy breaks from the normal academic routine to offer two three-week interdisciplinary sessions. These sessions provide courses that allow students to spend their entire academic morning in one class to delve deeply into material as well as take time out of the classroom for travel, recreation, projects and community involvement.
This June, Montana Academy spent a week in Moab, Utah with twelve students who were enrolled in our Field Drawing class. This coed trip spent time prior to the trip planning itinerary and travel logistics as well as developing ideas for their academic projects. While in the desert, the twelve students and four staff balanced their time and were able to explore Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, rock climb in some of the classic desert locations, hike and then escape the heat swimming in the Colorado River. Academic time was built into the daily schedule to complete art projects involving landscape, flora and fauna and intentially took advantage of various times of day to capture the extraordinary lighting of the desert rock.
The trip was full indeed and provided students the opportunity to take their artistic creativity out of Montana and into an entirely different realm while offering them the ownership and collaboration of planning the entire experience.
About Montana Academy
Founded in 1997, Montana Academy is a coed, accredited, privately-owned therapeutic boarding school located in Northwest Montana. Unique in the nation, Montana Academy provides students a robust combination of clinical sophistication, an effective therapeutic program and a challenging prep school all situated on a 500 acre Montana ranch. Instead of limiting treatment to symptom relief (pills or brief therapies), Montana Academy pursues a two-step diagnosis and dual treatment: (a) to identify and then to remove, insofar as possible, the obstacles to psychological development and (b) to prod students to achieve new psychological milestones and so to restore the momentum of normal adolescent maturation.
Northwest Academy’s academic program combines both the cognitive and emotional learning processes. Cognitive learning is facilitated through problem solving, recall, and application. Emotional and social learning aids in the development of the skills, attitudes, and values necessary to achieve academic goals. Together, they create a foundation for students to find academic success.
Northwest Academy is the only therapeutic boarding school designed to meet the unique needs of high school juniors and seniors (ages 16-18). The academy’s focus is on preparing these emerging young adults for the rigors of college or a vocational pursuit.
As part of the admissions process, a student’s academic transcript is assessed and an academic projection is created. This projection indicates the courses a student needs in order to graduate from high school. Upon enrollment, a student meets with Northwest Academy’s Academic Director to review the courses they need to complete in order to obtain a diploma. Students learn that they can take dual-enrollment classes, attend community college classes and retake classes to expunge a poor grade in order to improve their grade point average. Each student has a voice in how they want to chart their academic future, a skill that is invaluable when pursing undergraduate studies. At Northwest Academy, students are assisted in applying to and being accepted to the colleges and universities of their choice.
“A graduate contacted me recently to report that all of his college buddies were struggling with their Freshman English course. While he was with us we discussed his plan of pursuing Engineering in college. He lamented about his dislike of English. So together we devised a plan to have him take English as a dual-enrollment course. Therefore he didn’t have to take any English classes in college,” shared Northwest Academy Academic Director Julie Williams.
Northwest Academy assists students to learn to identify their academic areas of strength and to utilize techniques to allow them to overcome their areas of weakness. Students benefit from academic coaching, adaptive technology, specialized instruction, small class sizes and extended time for testing. Students use the resources available to this generation through the use of a computer tablet. They access the planning and calendar features in an effort to allow them to gain independence in their planning and management of appointments and deadlines. Further, they explore features which allow the learning process to be more accessible to them, from voice-to-text and audio books to web-based resources.
At Northwest Academy each student is encouraged to participate in a community college course. This early access to post-secondary coursework serves to demystify the college experience and sets students up to begin college with confidence.
When students graduate Northwest Academy, they depart with the academic skills and personal self-confidence and motivation to be successful in college and beyond. Moreover, the majority, through the help of Northwest Academy’s College Guidance counselor, have been accepted to anywhere from one to five colleges of their choice.
About Northwest Academy
Northwest Academy specializes in working with high school juniors and seniors, ages 16-18, who are college capable but expressing unhealthy independence, defying authority and family rules, have lost sight of their post-secondary dreams, and oftentimes are using or abusing drugs and alcohol. These negative behaviors are often a result of underlying issues including ADHD, trauma, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, and adoption/identity challenges.
Through individual, group and family therapy students work on addressing family dynamics and their own thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and the relationships and patterns between them. They participate in a recovery program and evaluate their substance use, co-dependency, and excessive social-media use.
Northwest Academy provides the people, place and experiences that equip students with the knowledge to manage life’s ever-changing and challenging situations.
The Glenholme School, one of the nation’s most comprehensive special needs boarding schools, celebrates its fourteenth commencement amidst its 50th anniversary.
The Glenholme School, a special needs boarding and day school, celebrated its fourteenth commencement in Washington, Connecticut on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. It was an important celebration for the Class of 2018 and for Glenholme, as the occasion is distinguished by the school’s 50th anniversary.
Over 200 parents, family members, friends, faculty, and fellow schoolmates gathered to salute the 18 members of the graduating class.
Glenholme Executive Director Maryann Campbell provided a charming welcome address. She highlighted the history of the school, beginning with the gift of the Glenholme Farm to the Devereux Foundation in the mid-1960’s and all the school’s amazing accomplishments on campus, in the community, and the around the world over the last 50 years. She followed with memorable tributes to the soon-to-be-graduates as their images scrolled across the backdrop. Ms. Campbell echoed praise to the graduates and all who supported them throughout their incredible journey.
The Student Council President Michael proudly voiced, “Today, we are recognized for all of our hard work and achievements. But more importantly, we leave Glenholme as positively changed people.”
After the moving speeches, awards and scholarships were bestowed upon six most deserving seniors. The honors included the Susan Clark Memorial Scholarship and the Harry Van Sinderen Award for exceptional character values. Ms. Campbell returned to the podium to convey the Campbell Spirit Community Awards, recognizing two individuals for their participation in every after-school program available that Glenholme has to offer its students.
Following the honors, each member of the Class of 2018 received his or her diploma and time in the spotlight.
Additional musical pieces were perfectly woven into the event including “Light of Glenholme,” the school song, and the graduates’ touching rendition of “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” summoned a few tears from the audience.
Glenholme Executive Administrator Mr. Noyes shared some inspiring thoughts in the closing remarks. He noted, “Remember the power of positivity.” With a demonstration of “The Glass Half Full,” he impressed upon all, “Perhaps you do not concern yourself with whether the glass is half full or half empty. Rather, challenge yourself to define what fills your glass.”
With that, the Class of 2018 received a standing ovation, preceded outdoors, joined together in the celebratory cap toss, and enjoyed farewell festivities with lots of smiles, laughs, hugs, and warm partings.
Congratulations to the Glenholme Class of 2018 on their notable achievements. They are matriculating to competitive universities, colleges, and career opportunities across the nation including Adelphi University, Mercyhurst University, Mitchell College, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Pace University, and Schreiner University.
About The Glenholme School
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health — The Glenholme School, is an independent, coeducational, special needs boarding and day school for young people with high functioning autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, OCD, Tourette, depression, anxiety, and various learning differences. The program provides a treatment milieu designed to help students build competence socially and academically. The learning environment supports and enhances the ability for young people with special needs to succeed. Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is a leading nonprofit behavioral health organization that supports many of the most vulnerable members of our communities.
Magnolia Creek is excited to welcome Dr. Danielle Cornia as the Clinical Director and LaShunda Chapman as the Director of Nursing. Dr. Cornia has been specializing in eating disorders since 2005. In addition to her specialization in eating disorders, she is proficient in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and family systems. Dr. Cornia has a passion for the treatment and education of eating disorders and particularly enjoys leading and facilitating community outreach projects.
As the Director of Nursing, Lashunda oversees the care provided by the nurses and maintains relationships with clients, families, physicians and other ancillary staff. She has over 15 years of experience that has encompassed various clinical and management roles in the healthcare industry. As a leader, she fosters a professional work environment that values nurses and treats clients with dignity and respect, and patient care and safety is always the priority.
We are excited to expand the Magnolia Creek team!
HopeWay is thrilled to announce that they launched an Evening Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) on Monday, July 9th. This expansion of HopeWay's treatment program allows HopeWay to meet the needs of those in the Charlotte community and beyond who are seeking mental health care, but who are unable to attend treatment during the day.
Evening IOP classes will take place:
Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
6:00 - 9:00 pm
HopeWay's IOP Program is designed to help individuals who are needing more support than traditional outpatient care, learning how to best manage transitions in their life, wanting to use group therapy to gain perspective on their mental health issues or those who want to continue therapy and growth as they navigate the intricacies of life.
HopeWay looks forward to the opportunity to serve an even greater population as they continue working towards making HOPE accessible to as many individuals as possible.
HopeWay is an accredited, non-profit residential mental health facility for adults, 18 years and older. Located in Charlotte, NC, HopeWay is a physician-led treatment center with The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Behavioral Health Care Accreditation and certification as a Behavioral Health Home. The center offers a continuum of care that includes residential and day treatment programs within a holistic model of medical, psychological and emotional wellness and education. Each client receives an individualized treatment plan with a clinically structured schedule based on specific therapeutic goals.
On Saturday, June 30th, several Auldern Academy students volunteered at Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, NC. As part of the Auldern phase system, students can earn privileges and responsibilities, while practicing specific core values. For this community service trip, students at the Humanitarian phase or above, spent the day caring for rescued animals while learning to be good stewards of the environment.
“I loved it there,” one student said. “The tigers were so cute and they had really big cages with lots of structures for them to play around on.”
Volunteers and donations are in high demand at Carolina Tiger Rescue, and they have developed workgroup opportunities for the community, including special programs for high school students. During this service trip, students assisted with various construction, maintenance, and grounds tasks.
“We got to help get a cage ready for one of the tigers,” a student said. “We had to clear away vines and debris that was covering the cage. It was awesome.”
Because many Tiger Rescue tasks involve some construction and moderately strenuous activity, students have to be at least 16 to participate. Some jobs, however, require using leadership and interpersonal skills, for example, students have the opportunity to help supervise youth volunteer groups from local schools and clubs.
“The girls really enjoyed the experience,” Auldern Executive Director, Angie Fusco said. “The campus was abuzz with excitement when they returned."
About Auldern Academy
Auldern Academy is a college preparatory, therapeutic boarding school for young women ages 14 to 18. We provide a positive platform that helps transform the lives of young women academically, emotionally, and socially.
Polaris Teen Center in Los Angeles California is excited to announce their Partnership with the Adolescent & Young Adult Collective for the 2018 calendar year.
This is Polaris’ second year of co-sponsoring the Adolescent & Young Adult Collective (AYAC) series - a gathering of professionals and treatment centers dedicated to working with adolescents and emerging young adults in both the mental health and substance abuse fields. Together, Polaris and the AYAC are changing the approach to mental health treatment for young adults, offering intensive training, education, resources, networking.
This year’s AYAC is scheduled for July 26-27 at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu. Polaris Family Therapist Edward Shahrokh, MA will present “The Impact of Parentification and Role Reversal” on Day One of the conference. For more info on the conference please visit - https://www.theayac.com/#schedule
As Polaris moves into this exciting event, they have also brought on a new team member, Angi Grassley, as their Admissions Director. Angi comes to Polaris with nearly a decade of experience working in the mental healthcare field. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Metropolitan State University, she started working towards her Masters of Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University, which she is currently completing.
Angi has vast experience working with the LGBTQ+ population, formerly serving as the Admissions Director at the PRIDE Institute in Minnesota. Angi knows from personal experience the struggles that families can go through when trying to find the best program for their child. That experience drives her passion for helping families navigate the many options they face when looking for a program that will bring the best possibility for recovery.
If you are planning on attending the AYAC, please be sure to set up a time to meet with us so we may introduce you to our team members. You may contact our Marketing and Development Manager Wendy Adamson by calling 1-844-836-0222 or emailing email@example.com.
Polaris Teen Center (Encino):
4670 Encino Ave
Encino, CA 91316
Polaris Teen Center (Tarzana):
19554 Wells Dr
Tarzana, CA 91356
About Polaris Teen Center
When Ari Brown, CEO and Dr. Michelle Waters-Butler, COO launched Polaris Teen Center in 2014, their goal was to provide the best Residential Psychological Care to teens and their families. Today, with two locations in the Los Angeles area, Polaris Teen Center is at the forefront of adolescent mental healthcare – offering innovative programming and evidence-based care traditionally not found in the industry. To learn more about the Polaris program, their team of mental health experts and their progressive treatment options for adolescent depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and trauma, visit Polaris on the web at https://polaristeen.com/
Polaris is the leading choice for families in need of residential psychological care for their teen.
New Vision Wilderness (NVW) programs is pleased to announce that Co-founder Steve Sawyer, LCSW has been chosen for a 2018 HeartMath Humanitarian Heart Award for his efforts at improving people’s lives. According to HeartMath Institute President Sara Childre, the award recognizes the good works people have done around the world giving aid, comfort, shelter and hope to millions who are sick, impoverished, homeless, afraid and desperate. Mostly, their good works go unheralded and so HeartMath Institute recognizes those who have been improving people’s lives over many years. Steve stated, “I am honored to be recognized by the HeartMath Institute. We use HeartMath regularly to empower youth to manage their stress and calm their fear-driven brain,” he said.
Steve Sawyer has worked with HeartMath going back 15 years when he was first introduced to it when working with adolescents from the rough streets of Milwaukee’s inner city. Because of his pioneering work, HeartMath invited him to co-author the Heartmath interventions training modules. This training manual includes many of Steve’s case studies on substance abuse, trauma and anxiety. The most noted of these is a case in which Steve used self-regulation techniques with a young man struggling with rage and convicted of homicide.
Since that time, Steve has employed the HeartMath system of managing stress and self-regulating emotions across his career. He has consulted with dozens of school districts, integrated it fully in all New Vision Wilderness program sites and overseen the HeartMath implementation at Calo Teens and Preteens programs. Steve also authored the Preface for HeartMath’s Transforming Stress for Teens manual. His work has impacted the treatment of hundreds of struggling adolescents and young adults using the scientifically based tools that HeartMath offers.
About New Vision Wilderness
NVW has programs in Wisconsin’s beautiful North Woods, Oregon’s picturesque Cascade Mountain Range, near Bend, Oregon and the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Asheville, North Carolina. They offer groups for adolescent and pre-adolescent boys and girls, as well as young adults. New Vision Wilderness is a specialty wilderness therapy treatment program that is clinically intensive, highly specialized and trauma informed. NVW was founded and designed to heal the consequences of early childhood stress. NVW is the nation’s premier “relational model” wilderness therapy program and integrates the latest research on adverse childhood experiences. Their “relationship centered” approach coupled with a safe environment and the most effective clinical interventions serves as the backbone to their success and reputation. They believe in relationship, not consequence, as the main vehicle for change. To learn more, go to (NVW) or contact Patrick McAvoy at 518-524-7676.
About HeartMath® Institute
HeartMath Institute (HMI), www.heartmath.org, is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit research and education organization headquartered in Central California. For more than two decades HMI has researched and developed reliable, scientifically based tools and programs through its research and education divisions that bridge the connection between heart and mind and deepen people’s connection with the hearts of others. The HeartMath methodologies offer hope of new and effective solutions for the many daunting problems that face society by restoring mental, emotional and physical balance and maximizing every individual’s potential.