All Kinds of News for May 09, 2018
Skyline Recovery in Bend, Oregon is accepting young adults for our outpatient recovery support services and our men’s transitional living program. The mission is to set young adults (18-26) on a path of recovery from substances, trauma and life difficulties. The seasoned team of veterans from the treatment and behavioral healthcare industry have created a program that utilizes 12-step recovery, sober coaching, cutting edge clinical modalities, family work, rites of passage experiences, and connection with a community of like-minded peers to navigate this transition. The young adults who come to Skyline have successfully completed or attended a primary level of treatment or intervention, such as Wilderness Therapy, and are ready to start learning how to live an independent life.
The founders of Skyline Recovery have a combined 30 years of experience helping young adults navigate a life of recovery and wellness. Patrick Devlin, co-founder and clinical team member, LCSW, CADC-II, has worked as a therapist and program director with young adults, and has led rights of passage ceremonies for nearly a decade. Brennon Moore, co-founder and clinical team member, LPC, CTT, CADC-II, is a therapist, published author and national speaker in the field of childhood trauma and addiction. Dustin Westover, co-founder, mentor and operations director, is a certified recovery coach and life skills mentor who has worked with young adults all over the country, garnering a reputation for succeeding with the most resistant. “We created this transitional living program for young adults in Bend because we wanted them to be excited about a life in recovery. Whether it’s the availability of both a major university and a community college to pursue academic goals, or the vast wilderness to explore personal dreams, Bend is the perfect community for young adults to heal from their past, to develop a new tribe of supportive peers, and learn how to live life fully,” said Brennon Moore.
The residents at Skyline Recovery live in houses that have spacious shared and private rooms and a maxium of 5 people in the house to ensure a truly individualized and focused experience. Clinical offices are a short walk from the home and modalities such as EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, brain spotting, clinical hypnosis, DBT, CBT and other experiential and nature-based approaches are used to promote deeper healing and growth. Client housing is also a 5-minute walk from downtown and 15-minute walk from Central Oregon Community College and the new 4-year expansion of Oregon State University Cascades. It is also 2-minute walk from the beautiful Deschutes river and its miles of trails and white water rafting. And just a 30-minute drive from Mount Bachelor and some of the nation's best skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking. In 2006 Bend was named the best trail running city by Outside magazine.
The team is excited to utilize the livability of Bend because, according to the US Census bureau in 2017, Bend is at No. 6 on the bureau's list of the fastest-growing American cities. “Promoting and encouraging a healthy lifestyle is the culture in Bend, Oregon. It has the feel of a small town with all the amenities of a city. Also with a robust recovery community and being surrounded by snow-capped mountains, peaceful rivers and some of the best skiing and mountain biking the country, Bend makes for a great home to begin and thrive in the journey of healing,” said Dustin Westover.
About Skyline Recovery
Skyline Recovery opened in 2018 with 5 beds as a transitional living program that allows the young adults to find their recovery and live life in a vibrant growing city. Skyline Recovery also provides outpatient recovery support services such as life skills mentoring and sober coaching for individuals living in Bend and for clients leaving the transitional living house to ensure a continuity of care. Clients who attend Skyline have completed a primary treatment or wilderness program, have struggled with addiction issues (including process addictions such as pornography and technology addiction), have a history of developmental trauma, and are motivated to receive coaching and guidance to learn how to live a truly independent life.
For more information visit our website or call (541) 782-8882.
Elevations RTC, a co-educational residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, celebrates and honors diversity on campus by taking extensive measures on a daily basis to create a culture in which students feel accepted and affirmed by others on a wide range of issues, including gender identity, sexuality, religious beliefs and political beliefs.
Upon arrival at Elevations RTC, students are placed within small teams with whom they attend therapeutic sessions. These teams are heterogeneous by design to help students build a supportive, accepting peer culture.
Another way that Elevations RTC builds an affirming culture on campus is calling students by the pronouns and name that they identify as their own. Additionally, in some cases, students who identify as transgender male or female may choose to be housed with the gender they identify with. However, this is done on a case by case basis depending on the needs of the student and their families.
“Sometimes families can be on a different page than their children in terms of acceptance and affirmation,” comments Judith Jacques, M.Ed., Executive Director of Elevations RTC. “We want to meet families where they are at and honor what is best for the student and their families. Progress is made only when we have a common goal in mind.”
By creating an affirming, accepting culture on campus, students at Elevations RTC are free to express their ideas and opinions in a safe, supportive setting.
“There are a number of outlets where students can let their voice be heard on campus,” says Jennifer Wilde LCSW, Executive Clinical Director at Elevations RTC. “For example, we have a student advisory board which meets with me on a monthly basis to share their ideas. Additionally, students take part in a leadership skills class in which they develop skills and habits that help them become instrumental in developing the positive culture on campus.”
In addition to promoting acceptance and affirmation amongst students, all staff members go through extensive diversity training and are encouraged to further their training by attending conferences led by outside experts. Elevations has also invited experts to campus to lead discussions and trainings with staff, students and families.
“We want to make sure the student voice is heard on all levels of our program - from the direct care staff all the way up to the leadership team,” comment Jacques. “It’s important to us to have everyone on board in creating a non-judgmental, supportive culture on campus.”
To learn more about programming at Elevations RTC, please visit http://www.elevationsrtc.com or call 866-952-7930 for more information.
Elevations RTC is a unique residential treatment center that works with 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.
Boulder Creek Academy welcomes Tiwi Nicks, M.Ed., to the role of Director of Admissions. Nicks comes to Boulder Creek Academy from the public school sector where she worked for a school district, meeting the needs of diverse learners with autism, anxiety, ADHD, OCD and more. She led a team facilitating the proper placement and/or accommodations and interventions for students. She served on academic and administrative committees focusing on district and state special education department matters and implementation.
Nicks' master’s degree is in Education from Arizona State University.
Her interest in therapeutic programs has been developing for a great deal of time. Nicks explained, “My work in a traditional school environment has driven my keen interest in helping families faced with having a child who doesn’t fit in a specific societal box.”
Nicks learned about the therapeutic schools and program field five years ago. Since that time she has kept up to date with the educational consultant community and NATSAP. She has attended an IECA conference to obtain pertinent information related to the industry.
Nicks had the opportunity to develop a relationship with Judge Mason, a well-known educational consultant in Arizona, who shed incredible insight on the therapeutic school industry and its nuances. This relationship inspired Nicks and set her on the path to wanting to positively impact young people in the most effective way possible.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to have Tiwi leading Admissions at Boulder Creek,” explained Executive Director Lisa Hester. “She has wanted to make the leap into the field of therapeutic schools and programs and we feel incredibly fortunate to offer her that opportunity. She is passionate about education and committed to helping students find their right path. Plus she has an impressive work history that aligns perfectly with the work we do on behalf of our students. When you meet her in person and experience her positive attitude, warmth, compassion and innate intelligence, you’ll immediately understand why we’ve added her to our team.”
About Boulder Creek Academy
At Boulder Creek Academy , students rediscover their academic and social confidence. The key to our success is that we reignite our students’ belief in themselves by utilizing time-tested and proven methods. Students begin to experience academic achievement, regain self-esteem, learn to embrace their uniqueness and become capable learners who are confident in themselves. Each day at Boulder Creek Academy is purposefully designed to maximize experiences that allow students to practice social skills, improve self-worth and develop healthy identity, benefit from therapeutic learning and to have fun.
Boulder Creek Academy has been creating a therapeutic learning environment for high school students ages 14-18 with anxiety, depression, untapped academic potential, interpersonal relationship difficulties, limited executive function skills and overlooked strengths and talents for more than 25 years.
Point School Puerto Rico is pleased to announce that they will be re-opening their hybrid gap year program to clients as of May 14th, 2018. After seven months of hurricane relief and staff development, Point School is finally re-opening their doors to young men, ages 18-22, who are searching for motivation, direction, and self-identity.
Point School Puerto Rico is a gap year program with therapeutic support that focuses on cultural integration, spanish immersion, service projects, and experiential activities. Through these pathways, young men will discover and integrate their strengths, learn about and develop their professional and personal direction, and begin creating and implementing goals for a meaningful and thriving future.
Our incredible staff team including Program Director Jonathan Little, Clinical Director Tina Cottone, and Academic Director Mark Zangari are excited and ready to facilitate a meaningful and exploratory experience for the young men entering Point School Puerto Rico. If you are interested in learning more about the services at Point School Puerto Rico, please visit our website: www.pointschoolpr.com and contact Coordinator of Business Development, Tracey Bachrach at email@example.com.
About the Point School Puerto Rico
Point School Puerto Rico is a hybrid gap year program designed for young men who are searching for a one-of-a-kind experience designed just for them. We aim to help our young men grow into adulthood with the ability to thrive. Our hybrid model includes therapeutic support delivered by a licensed clinician, life coaching with trained mentors, support for academic and/or vocational momentum, and a considerable amount of experiential opportunity and cultural immersion.
Expedition Therapy Associates LLC, an adventure based therapeutic gap experience for young adults of all genders, officially announced its newest professional certification: FAA Remote Pilot with SUAS rating.
“Shortly after the FAA announced the introduction of the new pilot certificate in August, 2016 we began integrating the necessary curriculum and practical training into our existing Take Flight: Subscale Aeronautics STEM Experience, and by November, 2016 graduated our first class with high marks,” said Executive Director Aaron Wilson. “Our unique experiential approach has evolved over the years and has been highly successful. We are so pleased to offer this exciting professional certification to our Expedition Students.”
Since 2010 ‘Take Flight’ has served as Expedition Therapy's inquiry into the science and art of aviation. The experience develops over several week-long expeditions, and includes both personal, and team projects. Essential to the approach is the organization’s ‘Expedition Mentality Model’ comprising: risk/resource management, human factors, situational leadership, awareness, communication, and performance evaluation. Expedition students gain practical experience piloting, and technical proficiency operating a number of state of the art, SUAS flight control systems utilizing both fixed wing and rotorcraft to carry a variety of micro avionics, and sensor payloads. Perhaps most significantly, Expedition students experience ‘Take Flight’ as a metaphor for launching into their own adult lives. For individuals struggling with so called "failure to launch" syndrome or related difficulties, Expedition Therapy’s ‘Take Flight: Subscale Aeronautics STEM Experience’ including FAA Remote Pilot Certification with SUAS Rating not only provides Young Adults with professional level certification and training but valuable insight into effectively launching into their adult lives.
About Expedition Therapy Associates
Expedition Therapy Associates LLC, based in Hurricane Utah, is a clinically sophisticated adventure therapy, and gap experience featuring high staff to student ratios and a small group size of no more than 9 students. Founded in 2010, Expedition Therapy nurtures a caring, and supportive therapeutic environment while offering the highest quality outdoor education, valuable professional certifications, and unparalleled adventure travel experiences, across several western states. Expedition Therapy has been featured for its unique and innovative approach to personal growth in publications such as Recovery Magazine and on several cable channels including The Discovery Channel.
Breakwater Expeditions announces two different teen trips this summer to Yellowstone National Park and Upper Missouri River, MT. These trips are geared towards helping teens develop “true grit” while at the same time helping them re-boot their lives and get connected to their authentic self. The focus of these trips is perseverance, inspiration, resilience, identify strengths, and develop community. This will be accomplished through small group processing, graduated challenges, goal setting and mastery of skills.
The first trip, 16 days in length, June 27 - July 12, 2018, will encompass both “boots” and “boats”. Participants will first visit Yellowstone National Park and get off the beaten path for a 4 night/5 day backpacking section. Upon completing the backpacking route, participants will then transition to the wild and scenic Upper Missouri River and canoe 100+ miles, following in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. A previous participant's mother wrote us “The experience for him was something so outside of his norm. He really needed this! I would send him again! No regrets as a parent.”
The second trip is 7 days, August 8 - 15, 2018. Participants will find themselves taking the 'road less traveled' as they navigate through a section of Yellowstone, America’s first National Park. “Breakwater Expeditions did an over-the-top job. The guides came across as genuine, knowledgeable and safety aware. They made the trip both fun and interesting. They know their stuff and clearly enjoy their work,” said a teen participant.
This trip is designed for teens who do not need a 6-8 week wilderness program but could use a shorter expedition led by experienced therapeutic wilderness guides. Our team can help facilitate an experience that will propel adolescents into a more productive and fulfilling summer, and positive start to the new school year. The ideal student for a Breakwater Expeditions teen trip could use the power of an outdoor course and would benefit from being in a smaller group with seasoned guides with therapeutic training.
About Breakwater Expeditions
Breakwater Expeditions, based in Sandpoint, ID, has been offering meaningful, custom outdoor experiences for 8 years. With areas of operations ranging from Alaska to the Bahamas, Breakwater has been working with traditional boarding and day schools, treatment programs of varying levels of care, non-profit organizations, families in search of experience, and professionals looking to create custom experiences.
SUWS of the Carolinas welcomes back Daniel Fishburn, LCSW, LCAS, MAC, CCS-I as the new Executive Director. Daniel will begin his new post with SUWS officially on May 29, 2018. From 2014 - 2016, Daniel was the clinical director at SUWS of the Carolinas. He has been helping people find their way in a variety of settings for 30 years, including almost 20 years as a licensed clinician. Daniel received his BA in psychology at the Catholic University of American in Washington, DC, and his MSW from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work. His extensive work and life experiences (like the war zones of El Salvador to the streets of Dallas and Houston) has been serving families and clients at a variety of different organizations including Child Protective Services, public health agencies, community mental health, adolescent and adult substance abuse treatment, young adult transitional living programs, and a therapeutic boarding school.
In Daniel’s personal life, he is committed to mindfulness practices, nature adventure and volunteer service in the Asheville community. Daniel serves on the Board of Directors of Refuge Recovery International, and turns to his personal experience of recovery to inspire others in their own. Daniel stated, “I look forward to returning to SUWS in my new role as it was home to me a few years ago. I spent a fulfilling 18 months at Montford Hall, a program that is a next step to students who sometimes began their journey in wilderness. I am as amazed as ever by the nearly mystical therapeutic power of what happens in the woods, having witnessed the before and after. I am passionately devoted to helping families break the suffering they have experienced as a result of the many struggles the team at SUWS addresses. I believe this aspect of wilderness is a setting that unlocks these students’ potential to realize a life worth living. Therapists and field guides are stewards of the space and pace that makes radical change possible, moving families forward from crisis to brave and engaged living. This is an opportunity to support all involved, from staff to students, to families, in the healing force that is SUWS of the Carolinas, and I welcome the challenge and opportunity.”
The change was brought on by Shawn Farrell’s departure after 10 years as the Executive Director of SUWS of the Carolinas. He has joined Martha Moses, Education Consultant in Miami and will continue to serve families in the capacity as an Educational and Therapeutic Placement Consultant. Shawn described SUWS as a magical place and stated, “I will miss SUWS tremendously. I wandered through the buildings and saw the pictures and names of staff and students who have been a part of this place and want to thank everyone for the many life lessons, and laughter. This really is a place where the magic of wilderness happens.”
About SUWS of the Carolinas
SUWS of the Carolinas is a licensed, CARF International-accredited mental health facility, committed to helping families rediscover their strengths and fostering growth for young people. Operating in the Pisgah National Forest under permit from the National Forest Service, SUWS delivers wilderness based therapeutic interventions for 10-17 year old boys and girls with compassion and excellence.
ViewPoint Center is excited to announce the addition of Bailey Rinaldi, CSW as a Primary Therapist.
Over the last five years, Rinaldi has worked with teens in a variety of treatment settings. With Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Utah State University and the University of Utah, Rinaldi has gained experience and expertise in therapeutic techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing.
In the past, Rinaldi interned at Elevations RTC where she discovered her passion for working with the teen population.
“Lewis Carroll once said ‘I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then,’” says Rinaldi. “I believe this applies to each and every student we help. Students learn to live in the moment and experience growth throughout their treatment process. Each student is unique in their own way and I am dedicated to helping students along their path towards a happier future.”
In addition to giving back to the community, Rinaldi utilizes her free time to take care of animals, craft and spend time with her family.
“We are thrilled to have Bailey has a member of our team,” comments Judith Jacques M.Ed., Executive Director of ViewPoint Center. “With her experience and passion for working with this age group, she will help many teens and their families work towards creating positive change.”
About ViewPoint Center
ViewPoint Center, a teen mental health hospital for teens ages 12-17, is located just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. With a program lasting 6-7 weeks, ViewPoint Center provides superior assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and stabilization for teens struggling with mental and behavioral issues such as suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. In a safe, personalized environment, ViewPoint helps teens focus on the healing process. For more information about ViewPoint Center, please call 855-290-9682.
Moonridge Academy, a small residential treatment center for younger girls ages 11-15, is a proud member of the CERTS family of programs. Each March, three of CERTS programs - Moonridge Academy, Kolob Canyon and Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy - join together for a 2-week international trek. In past years, treks have included trips to New Zealand, the British Isles, Western Europe and Eastern Europe. This year the three schools' students joined together for a two-week tour of Italy. Students and staff started their tour on March 10, 2018. They spent time touring Rome, Pisa, Florence, Siena, Pompeii and Naples. They also spent time hiking between the towns of the Cinque Terra and exploring the Amalfi Coast.
All Moonridge Academy students on Stage 4 or higher in the program were reviewed by the Moonridge Treatment Team to determine if they were therapeutically ready to participate in this international trek. The team’s review included a student’s ability to emotionally regulate, be mindful and manage conflict resolution; the student’s ability to independently use coping skills and DBT skills when feeling emotionally dysregulated was taken into consideration as well. Because this trip is an added expense for parents, not all students nominated by the treatment team actually participated. A total of 12 students from all three CERTS programs including 3 students from Moonridge Academy participated in this international trek.
Students and staff arrived back at Moonridge Academy on March 23, 2018 with new friendships, more self-confidence, and memories to last a lifetime. Executive Director Tawny Thomas, who provided direction on the trip, reported, “This was an amazing trip that allowed students to experience things they had never experienced before and might never again.” One of the students who went on the trip said that it was a “trip of a lifetime”. She also reported that confidence in herself grew as she did things that she never thought she would be able to accomplish.
About Moonridge Academy
Moonridge Academy is a premier residential treatment center for girls in Cedar City, UT. This is a program for girls ages 11-15 that assists them in healing trauma, addressing mental and emotional challenges, and finding themselves through recreation and adventure. We are a program of only 16 students, so this is a very tight, individualized program with a very cohesive and fun group of coworkers. La Europa helps students unlock the potential you know is there and develop the skills she needs to overcome her current challenges. We combine a nurturing, home like environment, a sophisticated clinical approach tailored to her specific needs and a challenging academic curriculum to develop her coping skills and identity.
Ascend Healthcare, a dual-diagnosis residential treatment center for adolescents, has been accredited by the Joint Commission. Joint Commission standards are the basis of an objective evaluation process that helps health care organizations measure, assess, and improve performance. The standards focus on important resident care and organizational functions that are essential to providing safe, high-quality care. The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards set expectations for organization performance that are reasonable, achievable and surveyable.
“We are exceedingly proud to bear the literal gold standard of treatment accreditation. Joint Commission accreditation is no small undertaking, as everyone knows. It was one of the first industry hurdles we set out to achieve, and to have it coincide with our first anniversary of operation is the perfect icing for our birthday cake. I am exceptionally proud of our clinicians and our staff for providing the highest quality of care possible to both our clients and their families,” said Managing Director Effie Goldberg.
Joint Commission certification serves to improve the quality of patient care by reducing variation in clinical processes. It provides a framework for program structure and management as well as providing an objective assessment of clinical excellence. It is dedicated to creating, recognizing and unifying top-notch clinical teams while promoting a culture of excellence across certified organizations. It is also instrumental in facilitating contracting and reimbursement with a majority of medical insurance providers. Most of all, it strengthens community confidence in the quality and safety of care, treatment, and services for accredited organizations.
"I’m glad to see that the Joint Commission recognizes what I’ve seen in the level of care provided by the staff here at Ascend: a high-quality and cohesive clinical and technical team providing life-saving treatment to teens with the highest level of need," said Jess Beck, Clinical Director.
About Ascend Healthcare
Ascend Healthcare is a residential treatment center for adolescents located in Los Angeles, CA. The 45-90 day program treats teens for mental health and substance abuse. Ascend’s program is co-ed, diverse, and LGBT-affirmative, has school on-site, and incorporates a strong family therapy component. The center works to empower teens to emotionally self-regulate in a healthy manner in order to return to living healthy, fulfilling lives in safe, healthy, and supportive environments.
Sunrise RTC uses outcomes data to enable clinicians and staff to provide 'Feedback Informed Treatment.' The students/clients take Outcomes Surveys comprising a few different measures (YOQ, PHQ-9, FICS), to rate their relationship with their therapist, family, peers, staff and themselves. Parents participate by taking the family system survey (FICS) quarterly. The Sunrise Treatment Team -- clinicians, residential supervisors, the academic team, and nursing staff -- meet weekly and compare outcomes data with the behavior and demeanor mentors, teachers, and therapists are seeing in the students in the milieu. It is through this comparison that interventions to help students complete their Master Treatment Goals are created and implemented throughout all parts of the students' daily schedule.
Megan Belcher, LCSW, and Sunrise therapist, spoke of an experience she had using outcomes data to create goals for one of her students. "[My student's] PHQ-9 (the outcomes test that scores Depression) was always going up and down. She was self-reporting being in the health range (9 or below) only once every 3 or 4 months. Our overall goal was to get her to be consistently below a nine, and as a team we worked hard to help her get there. I even printed off her PHQ-9 scale and had her check-in with staff and her peers daily, so they could help her see the pattern. She seemed to struggle with the idea that she was, indeed, becoming healthy. We realized as a Treatment Team that a new intervention was needed and so we had her start EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Once she engaged in EMDR, she reported feeling more healthy and less depressed. Her PHQ-9 score echoed this as well. She came into Sunrise reporting a 13 and left reporting a 4. Her PHQ-9 really did help us find the missing piece in helping Jane's recovery -- EMDR. After engaging in EMDR, she was able to be more open and honest about all of her traumas."
Feedback Informed Treatment provides us the opportunity to meet our students and families where they are -- providing them the best treatment possible and the best chance for success.
About Sunrise RTC
Sunrise is a residential treatment center for adolescent girls ages 13-17 aimed at uncovering the academic, social and emotional potential of girls who have been held back by emotional or behavioral struggles. Sunrise combines the warmth of a home, the safety and clinical expertise of a residential treatment program and the community access of a transition program.
We’d all like to belong to something greater than ourselves. And, as counterintuitive as it may sound, a community can be integral in finding one’s self. Of course, being the odd man out can be kind of cool too; y'know, going to that black-tie wedding in a seersucker suit and bucks, no socks of course. There’s no need to be embarrassed when you show yourself as different, or as confident enough to be different, but we all need support sometimes. We need motivation, inspiration and love from people who “get” us and how we live our lives.
I am Jewish and I’m proud to be a member of the Jewish nation. I find it supportive and fulfilling. It’s not always so simple, mostly when bad people represent themselves as a member of the tribe, but on the whole, it tethers me to this world and what’s in it... and what’s beyond it too. For some, it’s a soul cycle that they relate to, or a group of people with the same profession. And of course, there’s the sober community, where everyone is welcome. But, what about when someone doesn’t feel welcome? What if they’re not new, but they’re still not working the steps well. Or if they’ve been around for a while, but they still haven’t stepped up to do service?
My hope is that I don’t need to be perfect in order to belong to my cultural community, though it helps that it’s something I was born into. You can’t take that away from me! But seriously, everyone may not like or agree with me on everything, or even most things. Yet, surely there will be some people who will. So what if I’m not doing it all or I’m not doing it right? Should I be cast out, or am I only hurting myself while the other members can go about their business and hope I eventually catch on? That’s what treatment is here for: to welcome you. Because we don’t expect you to be perfect, and we don’t even expect you to know how.
I have been teaching teens for over 15 years, but I’ve only focused on healthcare for the last year and a half. I’m not a clinician or psychologist, but I’m an effective resource and I’ll do whatever I can to help. To others’ surprise, for me, this business was an obvious transition. I get teens, and I love to help. I’ve also found the recovery community to be open-armed and amazing, That network is so immense, that you can be anywhere, anytime, and you can find someone to step in and help get someone through it, and to teach them how. I’m naturally compassionate and I already fully believe in a higher being, but now I have knowledgeable people teaching me the ‘how', to help teens get sober, and stay sober, and how to help shepherd others into the fold. And for that, I am immeasurably grateful.
April 19, 2018, was the first anniversary of our very first client. Throughout this year, 24 clients have graduated our program at an average stay of 48 days. In the name of transparency, we had a few who we found weren’t quite the right fit, but we worked hard to find them placement that was. We received our JAHCO accreditation, solidified our wonderful team, and grew in our education, compassion, and knowledge of this field. We have met and spoken with so many wonderful people, and we have redoubled our dedication to the cause. We have created our own community, within an even larger community, and we endeavor to give our clients a real and ongoing sense of belonging, support, and motivation. These are the same qualities we try to give ourselves, our family members, and our employees. Because being part of something larger than just yourself can help you find your sense of self, however counterintuitive that may sound.
Ascend Healthcare is grateful to have been welcomed into the mental health and recovery communities, and we are proud to share a space that saves lives. Thank you all for all of your support, and we look forward to helping teens for many, many years to come.
About Ascend Healthcare
Ascend Healthcare is a residential treatment center for adolescents located in Los Angeles, CA. The 45-90 day program treats teens for primary mental health and secondary substance abuse. Ascend’s program is co-ed and LGBT-affirmative, has school on-site, and incorporates a strong family therapy component. The center works to empower teens to emotionally self-regulate in a healthy manner in order to return to living healthy, fulfilling lives in safe, healthy, and supportive environments.
Last week, Elements Wilderness Program celebrated its 10 year anniversary with friends and family at the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) Conference in Austin, Texas. The nearly 300 in attendance helped Elements celebrate in authentic Country Western style with a live band and dance instruction.
“We are extremely grateful to all the friends, Educational Consultants, and of course to our families for all the support they have given us over this past decade”, said John Karren, Admissions Director and Co-Owner. “Without such an outstanding community, we would not be where we are today.” Karren went on to speak of all the amazing and caring individuals who make Elements Wilderness Program what it is, saying, “The staff we have seen come through this program, from direct care to our therapists and my own partners, have all made us better in their own way. Furthermore, I couldn’t even begin to thank all the families who have placed their trust in us. They all hold a special place in our hearts.”
Elements Wilderness Program operates in central Utah’s beautiful canyon country of the San Rafael Swell as well as the high alpine area of the Wasatch Plateau. Elements started in 2008 and has remained true to its roots of being a small and specialized, owner-operated company, with its five partners serving as Admissions Director, Clinical Director, Director of Family Services, Program Director, and CEO. As a Wilderness Therapy Program, Elements seeks to provide intervention, treatment, and assessment through experiential learning activities, various therapeutic modalities, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills development, and the Seven Challenges program for substance abuse treatment. The diverse topography of Elements’ field allows for a multitude of adventure activities that groups can experience right within their hiking itinerary. Elements Wilderness program is third-party accredited by the OBH Council through the Association for Experiential Education.
About Elements Wilderness
Since 2008, Elements Wilderness has been providing a specialized therapeutic intervention for adolescent boys aged 13-17. We at Elements envision a world in which everyone has the skills and support necessary to live a full and healthy life. Through innovative therapeutic and psychiatric intervention, a comprehensive outdoor living experience complete with expeditionary backpacking and adventure programming, a robust family program involving the family at every step, and evidence-based substance abuse treatment, we strive to provide our clients with intervention, treatment, and assessment.
Summit Preparatory School Kalispell, Montana
Here are 10 things that you will want to know
S Stellar Staff - Diverse backgrounds and highly qualified with years of experience. WOW what a group!
U Unbelievable Facility - 520 acres. Purposely built as a therapeutic setting. Pool, full gym with a climbing wall and state of the art science lab.
M Montana - need we say more? 10 miles from Kalispell, MT. Close to Glacier National Park and Glacier International Airport (FCA)
M Model - The Summit Model, developed by co-founder Rick Johnson, outlines the 4 stages that students travel through on their journey.
I Identity Formation - A developmental skill which is embraced throughout our programming.
T Therapeutic Excellence - Summit’s team comes with a wide array of expertise.
Individual, Team, Focus Group, Family, and Expressive Arts Therapies.
P Parent Involvement - Summit embraces parent involvement with visits, retreats, therapy sessions and workshops.
R Rigorous Academics - Comprehensive college prep curriculum.
E Experiential Activities - A key component of Summit’s programming including; challenge trips, family retreats, individual and group opportunities.
P Single Gender Programming - Purposefully embedded within our co-ed setting.
Transforming Lives for 15 years!
Check Us Out!
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.
AIM House is extremely excited to welcome Lily Wilkinson and Charlotte Cox to the outreach and development team. Lily and Charlotte are alumni of the AIM House program; Lily came as a participant in 2010 and Charlotte in 2007. Both Lily and Charlotte have begun careers in the treatment industry, but this Spring they are especially excited to be coming "home" to AIM House.
While at AIM House, Lily fell in love with Boulder and the holistic approach to life and wellness she found there; it was the perfect place to support her recovery and growth as a young adult. She graduated from the University of Colorado in 2015 with a degree in Anthropology. In school, she took advantage of studying abroad in Tanzania, where she connected with the people and the culture so much that she has returned since to work with service projects aimed at women's empowerment and mental health. Lily also became very involved in the creation and growth of the CU Collegiate Recovery Program (CUCRC). After graduation, she began working with students in recovery from addiction and other mental health challenges. She's also a yoga and Pilates instructor and enjoyed teaching regular classes around Boulder.
After the births of her (numerous) nieces and nephews, Lily felt an urge to be back on the East Coast. She moved to Maine in early 2017 and started working in young adult treatment, doing outreach at national conferences and visiting therapeutic programs and schools. She is passionate about helping young people and their families find the help and support they need. Lily is excited to come back to AIM House in her new position—and who better to represent AIM House than someone who's been connected to the program for so long?
Lily also enjoys spending time outdoors, practicing yoga, and rereading Harry Potter.
Charlotte began working in admissions at AIM House while she completed her BA at Naropa University, studying psychology. Once she graduated, Charlotte became the Director of Admissions. After 5 years with the team at AIM House, Charlotte was pulled to Santa Barbara, CA by her husband and took on an admissions role for an interventionist and educational consultant based in Los Angeles. She then had 2 children and took some time to be a full-time mother.
Charlotte’s experiences as a participant and Director of Admissions give her a unique perspective of the program. Working with a consultant has given her a thorough understanding of the options for young adult treatment. With her background and education, Charlotte can offer valuable insight to families and professionals working with AIM House. Charlotte has received trainings in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and attends meditation and mindfulness workshops regularly at Pacifica Graduate Institute and other local organizations. She enjoys sharing her personal journey in recovery from addiction and connecting with individuals and families needing support. In her free time, Charlotte loves to be active: trail running, practicing yoga and chasing after her two young children.
"Lil and Char" have been friends for years. They were roommates in Boulder, loyal yoga and hiking buddies, and Lily was even a bridesmaid in Charlotte's wedding! Needless to say, they’re thrilled to add “colleagues” to their friendship resume...
Lily and Charlotte will both be doing outreach and creative development for AIM House. They look forward to sharing exciting updates and changes at AIM House with prospective families, professionals in the field, and other programs.
About AIM HOUSE
Founded in 1991, 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.
Parents of teenagers and young adults who have struggled can easily lose themselves in the process of supporting their children. For the past couple of years, Angie Shockley, Owner and CEO of Q&A Associates and Kimberly Mlinarik, LCPC, LMHC and Co-Founder of Alchemy Adventures, have been hosting Parent Retreats for the parents of the young adult clients enrolled in the Q&A Family of Programs. Many parents of young adults in transitional living programs have dedicated two decades or more to caring for the special needs of their child and so these Retreats are focused on helping parents rediscover their passions and truly live their own lives. While the transitional living program provides the support and opportunities that the young adult needs, the best thing parents can do is let go of control and focus on themselves. While involved in the process of their young adult becoming independent, many parents need training on how to coach and challenge rather than rescue and persecute ("The Power of TED", by David Emerald).
Q&A Parent Retreats provide two and a half days of focused education and training on how to become the coach and challenger. The parents spend time identifying roles they have played in the family dynamic. They also begin to release the roles they want to change, making space for new roles and a new family dynamic. The Retreat is structured as a three part series with the first two parts guiding parents to focus on creating the life they want as complete individuals rather than simply as parents. The third part, which both stands alone and complements the work parents have previously done, is an international trip. The parents travel to Tuscany with their guides from Q&A Associates and Alchemy Adventures.
This past April, a group of parents participated in the inaugural Trails of Tuscany adventure, which provided parents with an opportunity to step out of their comfort zones, experience significant emotional growth, rediscover their own curiosities, and explore the new roles, all while traveling and hiking in the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy. The parents met their guides and each other at the Florence train station on April 6. The group then traveled by train to Montepulciano, where they spent two days and nights becoming acquainted with each other and immersing themselves in the culture, history and beauty of this medieval town. The trip made stops in the cities of Pienza and Montalcino. A highlight of the trip was tiny Bagno Vignoni where the group enjoyed an ancient natural hot spring, a full service spa, and a cooking lesson in the home of a traditional Tuscan chef. The group spent nine days among these hilltop towns. Four days were spent hiking between the towns, immersing themselves in the countryside, walking amongst picturesque vineyards and olive groves, meeting locals, taking in stunning views, sampling incredible traditional food and wine, and building lifelong friendships.
“We honored the parents who have spent so much of their time and energy on their children and who are now ready to celebrate the next phase of life, one that will not be dictated by the needs of their child or children,” said Shockley. “In some ways, this trip was like a mini-wilderness experience for parents with a lot of pampering and self-care woven in,” continued Shockley; “the parents definitely demonstrated growth in the areas of self-awareness, strengthening of marital relationships, and authentic excitement about what is next for them and their ability to choose their next adventures.”
“It was an honor to guide these amazing parents on a personal journey through the hill towns of Tuscany,” said Mlinarik. “Travel abroad is such a catalyst for personal reflection and inspiration. Through the workshops, the beauty of the Tuscan countryside and slow-paced culture, each parent was inspired to reconnect with a passion or goal that he or she was ready to put into action by the end of the trip. It was a gift to support them in having so much fun and pampering these parents who are so used to giving to their kids.”
The mission of Alchemy Adventures is simple: provide each traveler with a magical and transformative adventure that inspires a new way of seeing the world, its culture, and ourselves. “If we allow it, travel has the power to be deeply transformative,” said Alchemy Adventures Co-Founder Eric Fulgenzi. “The time I spend traveling and guiding allows me to slow down, live simply, and be present. Alchemy Adventures strives to tap into our presence of mind while traveling and creating a container for meaningful self-exploration, all the while experiencing some of the most beautiful places on our planet.”
“I am grateful to be partnering with Kim and Eric to provide incredible opportunities for our parents,” said Shockley; “I look forward to our fall Parent Retreat which will be held Sept. 21-23, 2018.”
Shockley and Mlinarik plan to offer Trails of Tuscany on an annual basis, and this opportunity will be open to any parents of young adults who have or are participating in a therapeutic or transitional living program.
About Q&A Family of Programs
Q&A Family of Programs works with young adults ages 18 and up, providing opportunities for each of them to develop independent, functional, and happy lives with a high level of quality. Our clients have struggled to reach independence for a variety of reasons such as the inability to develop and/or implement the life skills needed to be successful, or struggling to obtain consistent employment. Our goal is to help these individuals find meaning and an authentic purpose for their lives and a practical path to achieve their goals.
An interview with AJ Frithiof, Program Director of RedCliff Recovery.
AJ, as we get started, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I worked for a wilderness therapy program for about seven years full-time as a field staff and supervisor. Ultimately, I went back to graduate school and got a master’s in social work. I ended up moving to Utah. I’ve been in Utah, now, for about four years. During that time, I was a clinician at a therapeutic boarding school and then a residential treatment center. In both places I specialized in substance-use disorders. I have also been a therapist supervisor.
Ryan Walton and I worked together a couple years ago together at the therapeutic boarding school. When this opportunity came about, he recommended I look into RedCliff. I had been looking at getting back into wilderness anyway. Then came the opportunity to develop a recovery program. I was really excited. I’ve got a lot of program development experience from my time working at the wilderness company that I was at before. I have done recovery programs at the last two places I’ve worked at as well.
Tell me about the new program.
We’re RedCliff Recovery. We work with women ages 18–30. These women will usually have dual diagnosis, so substance-use disorders. We’re specializing also in trauma. From there we anticipate that we’ll have lots of other things like anxiety and depression, and perhaps some bipolar or perhaps some personality disorder. But our main focuses are substance-use and trauma.
When will this program start?
We are launching May 1, 2018. Our website just went live and our Facebook page went up. Slowly, but surely, we’re getting the word out.
How is RedCliff Recovery different or similar to RedCliff Ascent?
We’re working specifically with adult women. Our focus is on substance-use disorders and trauma. So those two things already distinguish us from RedCliff Ascent. And then we’re adding some adventure components. We’re going to be doing some bike-packing. So one week the women will be hiking and the next they’ll be bike-packing and then they’ll be hiking, and so forth. We’re also going to be having some climbing days in there, as well as some fishing days. So once a week they’d either climb or fish, in addition to whatever the nomadic activity is.
RedCliff Recovery is also quite Twelve Step centric, if you will. We’re using the Twelve Step model as part of our program curriculum. We’ll focus on Step 1, 2, 3, and 4.
What could one expect to learn at RedCliff Recovery?
One could gain an understanding of the Twelve Step program. The women at RedCliff Recovery will get individualized treatment planning and individualized therapeutic work.
One will also gain new skills, as well as skills to live healthier lives. A focus will be a healthy and clean diet. Connecting to nature is another big part of what we do, as well as gaining exposure to new healthy hobbies and activities like mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and climbing. Women at RedCliff Recovery will learn new things to replace the old behaviors that they were engaging in, those unhealthy behaviors they were engaging in.
We’re using the line, “we are women for women.” Another thing that sets us apart from other programs and wilderness programs is that we are women who have somehow been touched by addiction and recovery. We’ve created this program. We feel really strongly that we know what they’ll need, and know how to provide for those needs.
About RedCliff Ascent and RedCliff Recovery
RedCliff Ascent is a therapeutic wilderness program, nestled between two mountain ranges in the high desert of Enterprise, UT. We 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 evidence-based approach.
RedCliff Recovery is a women's specific, 12-step adventure based wilderness program. Designed by women, specifically for women.
Evoke Therapy Programs hosted its 5th annual Forum for Innovative Treatment Solutions conference (FITS) April 8th – April 10th in Salt Lake City. More than 100 attendees, including Educational Consultants, Therapeutic Programs, and Treating Professionals participated in this year’s event. From its inception, the intention of FITS has been about bringing people together from various areas in the treatment field to share ideas, perspectives, and experiences in an effort to better serve those families with whom they work. In doing so, the FITS intention is also to recognize the importance of connection, self-care, and doing ‘your own work’; attendees were invited to participate in small experiential groups, interactive breakout discussions, and activities including a nature walk, drum circle, yoga, and meditation, in addition to an AA meeting each morning.
The topic of Shame was also a primary theme at this year’s conference. Keynote presenters included Dr. Harriet Lerner, who spoke on The Power of Apology and the Complexity of Forgiveness; Judy Crane, LMHC, CAP, ICADC who spoke about The Trauma Heart and #MeToo!; Robert Walter from the Joseph Campbell Foundation addressed Shame in Our Lives, Our Culture, and Our Myths; and Dr. Brad Reedy, Owner and Clinical Director of Evoke Therapy Programs, discussed Psychology versus Therapy: Implications for the Practice and Supervision of Therapy in Residential Treatment and Wilderness Therapy Programs.
Attendees at this year’s FITS offered these comments in response to their experience:
- Inspiring, meaningful, likely the best conference that I have attended in many years.
- FITS is a wonderful combination of connection and education. I think Evoke has created something that should be emulated at other gatherings -- healing for the healers!
- Attend FITS for a unique conference experience that feeds your mind and soul in equal measure and invites meaningful lasting connections with colleagues.
- Year after year, Evoke puts on one of the best, if not the best, conferences in our field with FITS, and the 2018 conference was the best one yet. With the incredible presenters, the experiential programming, and the solution-driven group of attendees, this shaped up to be a very moving experience. This is what all conferences should be.
- Finally, relevant education in a relaxed forum with meaningful personal interactions. Loved this experience.
- FITS feels like stepping away from our work to spend time developing a better human and personal experience. No other conference can say that.
About Evoke Therapy Programs
Evoke Therapy Programs at Entrada, in Santa Clara, Utah provides innovative mental health treatment solutions for struggling teens, young adults and their families. Their programs foster lasting change utilizing the power of nature and Wilderness Therapy. They also offer Personal Growth Intensive Workshops for individuals and families that are looking to create dynamic changes in their life or to simply find the balance they are seeking.
Students get into the college of their dreams, but then their lives begin to crumble. Every college intervention has been attempted, but ultimately the student withdraws. What’s next, and how do they get back on their feet?
Mona Treadway, PhD and Gary Borjesson, PhD from Dragonfly Transitions, a young adult program in Southern Oregon, present on this topic in June at the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) in Dallas, Texas. The presentation will include videos of interviews with students in a therapeutic transitional program designed to help such young adults. They will share about their hiccups in college and the journey to recovery. The presentation will also delve into qualitative research on areas that young adults in transition have identified as supporting and hindering their growth process in this phase of life.
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.
With Summit Achievement’s 22-year history of success with non-traditional students, Summit is well suited for participants with a history of school anxiety, refusal or academic underperformance; to best serve the challenges of the summer cohort, Summit dedicates 3 days each week to classroom learning and then utilizes experiential education with 4 days of adventure therapy expedition.
For students attending in the summer, Summit offers an intensive academic credit recovery component for each core subject. With these powerful summary courses, Summit’s summer courses provide school-challenged students the wonderful opportunity for individualized support, clever instruction and curriculum and engaging environs where grades recover and confidence blooms. Then, along with condensed core classes, Summit offers executive functioning classes tailored specifically to the individual student’s academic needs.
All of this is combined with individual, family and group psychotherapy by licensed clinicians.
By providing a fresh and empowering experience in learning, Summit reconciles the student's relationship with school and refreshes their skills in core curriculum subjects. (Summit does not utilize interns or unlicensed clinicians during the summer months nor does the program expand to more teams than any other time of year.)
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.
Seven Stars, an assessment center and residential treatment program for teens ages 13-18 who struggle with neurodevelopmental disorders, is pleased to announce the addition of community service projects into programming each week.
Once a week, students will visit various agencies around the local community to take part in service projects. Students will take part in a variety of service projects such as sorting through donations at a local food bank, visiting a local animal shelter to feed and walk the animals, and taking care of horses in a nearby center for abandoned horses.
Another service project that students will engage with is the LDS Welfare Square in Salt Lake City. Welfare Square is a facility that contains a variety of opportunities for service projects including a clothing donation center, food donations and a cannery.
“Community service helps students feel confident and empowered in their ability to help others,” comments Gordon Day, Executive Clinical Director and Founder of Seven Stars. “It helps build self-esteem and a sense of purpose. We’re really excited to be adding community service to weekly programming because it will reinforce many of the skills we help teach students on a regular basis.”
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. Seven Stars treatment model takes a revolutionary shift from normal therapy methods. By combining acute care stabilization, with residential treatment and academics, true multidisciplinary assessment and treatment, outdoor experiential therapy and positive psychology, Seven Stars therapeutic program understands, assesses and builds the confidence and skills of students struggling with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Greenbrier’s Academic Director Lowell Galford has volunteered his time as Site Observer for AdvancedED’s accreditation team. Part of his role is to note powerful practices and deficiencies within a program, while discussing with the on-ground team whether the school meets accreditation standards. Lowell recently assisted the AdvancedED team at Darter High in Cincinnati, OH and has since been invited to be a team leader, giving him a position on the AdvancedED leadership board.
As the AdvancedED team makes its recommendations, Lowell contributed to the team's final report that goes to the AdvancedED headquarters. Greenbrier Academy’s entire academic and clinical team is proud to have Lowell contributing to AdvancedED's mission. Being an experienced educator in math, science and special education, with a background in research at UGA and Clemson, Lowell provides unique expertise to maintaining high academic standards as an AdvancedED volunteer, and as Greenbrier Academy's Academic Director.
Whether it be school refusal, anxiety and depression from bullying, or a lack of individualized attention, Greenbrier Academy is able to provide an engaging atmosphere in the classroom with Lowell Galford as the Academic Director. Greenbrier Academy applauds Lowell's dedication and service to AdvancedED's certification of high quality programs with innovation, and a research-based foundation.
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.
College Excel is thrilled to welcome Jaci Wamberg to their team of coaches. The role of Academic Coach holds a great deal of responsibility and requires a high level of knowledge and patience. After receiving a tremendous number of very experienced applicants, College Excel found that Jaci possessed the ideal level of education, experience, motivation, and compassion needed for the role of Academic Coach.
Having earned an M.A. in International Development from Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Vermont, Jaci has always been drawn to the teaching profession. Most recently, Jaci has worked extensively in Gap Year education leading students around the world as an International Program Leader. In this work, Jaci was able to witness and be apart of the transformational changes and growth amongst her students, by cultivating spaces for her students to challenge themselves academically, socially and culturally. From all her work as a student and educator, Jaci can attest and continues to advocate for the critical importance of being exposed and immersed in experiential educational environments.
The team at College Excel is excited and grateful to have such a wonderful addition to their community of professionals.
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.
On April 19th and 20th, 2018, Solstice families joined residents and therapists in seminar activities that revolved around the equine assisted therapy modality, Relationship Logic. This trauma-informed model challenges people to consider how they apply and accept pressure within relationships.
Every family that participated had three hours at the barn to practice Relationship Logic principles with the horses. Everyone participated in group activities aimed at examining roles and communal problem-solving, and how these affect relationships both with self and with others. Equine Specialists and therapists also facilitated individualized experiences with horses, both in ground work and in the round pen, challenging each person to experiment with her/his way of being and assertiveness progressions.
Participants were led through several exercises with their horse aimed at building internal groundedness and awareness as a way to facilitate deeper connection relationally. Throughout the two days, families also engaged in multi-family psycho-educational and psychodynamic groups to process family funtioning using the framework of Relationship Logic. Relationship Logic is a training that is pulled from Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psycho Therapy (TFEAP), which was developed by Tim and Bettina Jobe.
About Solstice West RTC
Solstice West RTC was founded in 2008 in Layton, UT. We serve females and transgender students aged 14-18 as a licensed residential treatment center focusing on complex diagnoses while using our clinicians' deep understanding of Trauma Based Therapy. As a clinically focused treatment provider, our clients receive individual, group and family therapy in conjunction with a variety of treatment modalities like Adventure Therapy and Equine Therapy program. All the different treatment modalities offered assist clients in learning new skills kinesthetically and get to their core problems quicker.
This summer at Montford Hall, school will be organized around thematic “mini-mesters” that allow students to have some seasonal fun while catching up on credits and developing important life skills. The themes are food, water, and shelter.
Inspired by the expeditionary learning (EL) model of education, these mini-mesters incorporate field work, explore real-world challenges, emphasize collaboration, and highlight connections — among team members, across disciplines, and between self and community. Each mini-mester also culminates in team presentations of business plans related to the unit theme.
For the “food” mini-mester, for example, teams will be working on plans for a mobile eatery that specializes in locally sourced food. They’ll visit area farms and farmers’ markets to find out about potential suppliers, investigate the Asheville food truck scene to evaluate the market, and learn about food waste (and waste reduction) at the landfill. On campus days, they’ll be using all this information and inspiration to develop and refine their own business venture.
For the final presentations, “teachers will be potential investors evaluating each team’s pitch,” explains Montford Hall Academic Director Sarah Jean Couture, MSA. “It’s like 'Shark Tank,' but much friendlier.”
Within teams, individual roles will be assigned based on credit needs. If a student needs to catch up on math, for example, he’ll be the number-crunching CFO; if he needs more visual arts, he’ll be the Creative Director — designing a company logo or creating a website home page.
“In terms of credit recovery, this a great way to give students that final quarter or half credit,” says Sarah Jean. She adds that the desire to break up the school year without actually breaking from school was also part of the motivation: “When June rolls around, these kids are well aware that the rest of the world is on vacation. Broadening ‘school’ to include food trucks, waterfalls, goat farms, and other fun locations around WNC means they get to enjoy some summer adventures too.”
About Montford Hall
Located in Asheville, NC, Montford Hall is a nonprofit residential treatment program for teenage boys in early recovery. The program combines comprehensive clinical care for substance use and co-occurring disorders, innovative academics, 12-step facilitation, family support, and a wide range of health/wellness and recreational activities to give students an integrated, individualized, an inspiring recovery experience. Montford Hall is licensed by the State of North Carolina and a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP).
On June 16, Valley View School will hold its 47th Annual Commencement Ceremony. Graduating students will be heading home for the summer and then dispersing to a variety of boarding, day, and public schools. Many challenges face these boys as they embark on their new stage of life. As a means of helping graduates prepare for these challenges, Valley View facilitates a transition group to provide support, information, and anticipatory guidance.
Drs. Thomas Nowak and Jared Tonks co-lead the six-week transition group. The group's original focus was to help students effectively re-enter the world of digital and social media. Dr. Nowak states, "Many of our students arrive on campus with compulsive use of technology. We 'detox' them from these devices and relentlessly engage them in positive, therapeutic activities. The transition group was initially designed to prevent a recurrence of this compulsive use when students leave our school."
As development of the transition group evolved, other important issues were added to its mission. Additional topics being addressed are substance abuse, dating and relationship issues, academic stresses, and family dynamics. Dr. Tonks states that the response from soon-to-be-graduates has been positive. As he points out, "Students are anxious and want to be successful after they leave. We are working to address their concerns and give them the support they need." He further added that the worlds of the graduates will expand considerably upon leaving Valley View, and the transition group works to assure that students will be prepared for the next chapter.
About Valley View School
Valley View School, founded in 1970, is a private therapeutic boarding school serving boys in grades 6-12. Our non-profit 501(c)(3) school is located in the central Massachusetts town of North Brookfield. The Valley View Program consists of a comprehensive blend of Therapy, Academics, Athletics, Arts and Activities challenging our students emotionally, intellectually and physically. The boys learn self-control and anger management, social skills in order to create and cultivate relationships with peers and adults, while developing compassion, empathy and respect for others and to realize their true potential.
Auldern Academy was all abuzz late on Friday May 4th as the entire student body returned to campus after the Spring Experiential Trip to Atlanta. This 4-day trip is one of two extended, experiential trips Auldern takes each year. Students and staff were excited to get the chance to see a familiar city in a new way.
The trip began on May 1st at 5:30am, as sleepy staff and students boarded the charter bus. The first stop was to see the large granite dome at Stone Mountain Park, before heading to the city for other activities, including a tour of Turner Field, “Home of the Atlanta Braves.” Day one concluded with dinner at The Varsity, the world’s largest drive-in.
The rest of the trip involved historic, educational and recreational activities, including a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, a behind-the-scenes tour of the CNN Studios, and a trip to the Georgia Aquarium, which included an instructor-led program that explored oceanic occupations. The students ended their trip with a day of fun and excitement at the Carowinds amusement park.
Despite the power-packed week, many students were up early the next day, excited to attend Out! Raleigh’s 8th Annual Pride Fest. Fourteen enthusiastic students were decked out in glitter, tie-dye and rainbow make-up in order to celebrate equality and inclusivity in their own festive way. The Triangle Pride Band kicked off the event with a parade, and the students enjoyed their day collecting stickers, learning about LGBTQ+ resources and enjoying the festive atmosphere.
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.
HopeWay is pleased to announce that on May 1, 2018, it became an in-network provider for consumers who have insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and its affiliates.
"We are thrilled to become in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina as we aim to increase access to the highest quality of mental health care for adults from across the nation. Our mission is to Make Hope Tangible By Inspiring Mental Wellness For All, and this momentous occasion will help us deliver evidence-based psychiatric and medical care to an even greater number of individuals living with mental health issues. We are grateful for our current clients and alumni, their families and the community for trusting HopeWay and the care we provide as we move toward being in network with all major insurance companies," says Dr. Alyson R. Kuroski-Mazzei, CEO and Chief Medical Officer at HopeWay.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the largest managed healthcare organizations in the country. HopeWay is pleased to be able to provide in-network mental health services for residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient levels of care.
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.
Brian Carr, MA, LPCC. joined Open Sky as an Assistant Clinical Therapist in January 2017. For the past year, Brian has been immersed in Open Sky’s extensive therapist training and development program. Brian’s training included over a year of shadowing and working alongside key therapists, leading therapeutic groups, providing vacation coverage and facilitating Family Quest experiences at Open Sky.
Brian is a licensed clinical therapist and obtained his master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Central Florida, Brian hiked the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, over 2,000 miles, and has called the mountains home ever since.
“Brian has been a valuable member of the Open Sky Clinical Team for the past year and a half,” notes Dr. Tony Issenmann, Clinical and Family Services Director. “In addition to the comprehensive training he received at Open Sky, Brian also brings to the position his extensive experience as a Senior Field Guide, where he logged nearly 500 days in the field. Brian’s education, field guide experience, and clinical training positions Brian to work well with our adolescent boys and their families. I’m excited for the families and students who have the opportunity to work with Brian!”
About Open Sky Wilderness Therapy
Since 2006, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy has been providing the premier family-centered wilderness therapy experience through its programs in the mountains of Southwest Colorado and the Canyonlands of Southeast Utah.
The Open Sky approach transcends traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family in addition to the individual, and the application of evidence-based modalities with innovative, proven, healing practices such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. When a family partners with Open Sky, they embark on a rewarding adventure of self-discovery and acquire a range of tools that promote lasting success.
The Experiential Healing Institute (EHI) consistently hears parents express curiosity about how programs have created success for their child. Having many years of previous experience in both wilderness therapy programs and residential treatment settings, EHI Trainers recognize that the primary reason programs work is because the therapists and staff have been trained to understand the participants. Staff education or training often includes general understandings of diagnoses, co-occurring disorders, and common presentations of program participants. Staff are further trained to understand how to meet each person in their individual process, symptomology and presentation.
By training parents through the lens of a functioning program, EHI focuses on providing skills and tools to help parents support their adolescent or young adult child. EHI trainers offer skill development to parents and families such as de-escalation, redirection, and common therapeutic approaches such as motivational interviewing and strength-based coaching. Additionally, EHI works with parents to include education on the common interventions that are used in therapeutic settings, such as wilderness therapy and residential aftercare.
EHI has found that the secret to success is for the student and the family to integrate these skills and tools pre-program, during a treatment program, and post-program. The training that EHI offers is much like the mentorship and guidance the senior staff and seasoned therapists offer to new guides and employees in therapeutic programs. It is important for these skills to be practiced under the guidance of someone who’s already been practicing and can provide a reflection on the efficacy of integration with skill building development.
About The Experiential Healing Institute
The Experiential Healing Institute offers Parent Training and Whole Family Support before, during and after treatment experiences through action oriented guidance, training, support and experiential growth for individuals and families. The Experiential Healing Institute brings wilderness therapy skills home and trains families for continued success.
On May 4, Skyland Trail, a primary psychiatric residential treatment organization in Atlanta, hosted the 18th annual Arts in the Garden event to kick off Mental Health Month. More than 500 guests visited the Skyland Trail campus to experience an art gallery, artist market, plant sale, art demonstrations and musical performances, all featuring the talents of Skyland Trail clients and alumni and other individuals from the community living with mental illness.
The annual event is organized by a cross-section of Skyland Trail's multidisciplinary treatment team, and many clients engaged in art therapy, horticultural therapy, and music therapy are encouraged to participate as artists and musical or spoken word performers. The goal of the event is to celebrate the contributions of all members of our community, specifically those living with mental illness, and to confront the stigma sometimes associated with a mental health diagnosis. Community groups were also present to discuss resources available in the Atlanta community for individuals with a mental illness and their families.
The artist market featured many unique offerings including, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, home decor and bath products. The plant sale included succulents, tomato plants, and hanging plants all grown or propagated by Skyland Trail clients in horticultural therapy. Unique items included fairy homes, succulents in hand-crafted ceramic planters, and large pallets transformed into planters for herbs or spring flowers.
Art, music, and horticultural therapy are part of the holistic treatment approach at Skyland Trail. Clients in residential treatment and day treatment participate in a structured weekly schedule that includes one-on-one sessions with therapists and psychiatrists, evidence-based skills and psychoeducation groups, process and peer-support groups, vocational groups, nutrition and exercise groups, and adjunctive groups like art, music and horticultural therapy.
Arts in the Garden takes place annually on the first Friday of May, Mental Health Month. Photos from Arts in the Garden 2018 are available here: Photos.
About Skyland Trail
Located in Atlanta, Skyland Trail is a nationally recognized nonprofit mental health treatment organization serving adults ages 18 and older with a primary psychiatric diagnosis. Through our residential and day treatment programs, we help our clients grow, recover and reclaim their lives. We’re focused on individuals with complex mental health issues, helping them understand that they can be – and are – more than a diagnosis. We offer expert, evidence-based psychiatric care alongside a compassionate, holistic path to wellness. Our integrated mental, medical, and social model helps clients develop strategies to improve mental health, physical wellness, independence, and relationships with family and friends. Unique therapies offered include music, art and horticultural therapy; workforce and school readiness; primary care services; family therapy; and healthy living and nutrition coaching.
Foundations Asheville, a transitional living program for young men, is pleased to announce the expansion of their program with the opening of a third home environment for students. This new location will provide beds for another five young men to join the program and benefit from the impactful therapeutic supports and life skills experience that Foundations Asheville offers.
“We are very excited to help more young men build the confidence and life skills to launch themselves into independence,” comments Adam Ray, Director of Business Development and Programming. “This new home provides an opportunity for our program to continue to grow and help young people pave the way for success in adulthood.”
The new Foundations Asheville house is within close proximity to the other two houses already occupied by Foundations Asheville students and will allow for new participants in the program to seamlessly embrace the supportive community atmosphere that Foundations Asheville provides.
Located near downtown Asheville, North Carolina, the location is close to city transportation services, the Asheville Yoga Center and a myriad of other job and volunteer opportunities.
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 young people ages 10-17, is pleased to announce that it has expanded their capacity and secured a permanent location for its Common Ground programming, their popular 4 day, extended post-graduation transition program for students and their families.
“Common Ground programming helps families reconnect with one another,” comments Jason McKeown MS, LMFT, CPE, DSS, Family Clinical Director at Trails Carolina. “It allows the entire family system to be a part of the healing journey through intentional, therapeutic, adventure based programming facilitated by Trails staff. Over the course of the four day program, families share meaningful and fun seasonal activities as they put the powerful tools learned during their Trails Carolina experience into practice with clinical guidance.”
The permanent location for Common Ground, located in Lake Toxaway, NC and a short drive from the Trails Carolina base camp, is a home environment with classic mountain cabin ambiance. “This comfortable and homelike property has a beautiful setting nestled into the hills and provides access to the waterfront of Lake Toxaway for scenic views and water activities,” says McKeown.
The house can accommodate up to three families at a time and extends the Trails Carolina capacity for the weekly offering of Common Ground sessions to more of our graduating families. “We are very excited for families to have such a relaxing environment for them to continue the healing process,” comments McKeown.
Learn more about family programming at Trails Carolina by visiting their family therapy page or by calling 800-975-7303.
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 is excited to announce the addition of Mara Mueller LCSW CADC-I as Clinical Director of their Young Adult Hybrid Wilderness Program based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.
Mueller received her Masters in Social Work from Portland State University in 2004 and earned her Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) credentials in 2009. Throughout her therapeutic career, she has worked in a variety of environments including therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness therapy programs, and psychiatric hospitals.
She served as clinical director for The Academy at Sisters and most recently worked as a primary therapist for BlueFire Wilderness, a wilderness therapy program. Over the years, she has gained extensive experience in drug and alcohol counseling for adolescents and young adults.
“We are overjoyed to welcome Mara to our clinical team,” comments Adam Ray, Director of Program Development at Trails Momentum. “Mara brings with her many years of experience and a passion for helping young people build happier, healthier futures for themselves.”
Mueller utilizes an integrated treatment approach that also incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Mindfulness. She is certified in the therapeutic technique Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and holds a certification as a yoga teacher.
In her free time, Mueller enjoys mountain biking, surfing and international travel. She loves all activities that involve time spent outdoors with her significant other Allan and her newly adopted dog from Peru, Mija.
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.
Many people at this point have seen Avengers: Infinity War, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). How the relationships among these superhero characters developed is really interesting when compared to how relationships form during the stage of emerging adulthood. Involuntary and voluntary relationships are two distinct ways of developing social connections. Involuntary relationships happen to us (family, work, school), whereas we choose voluntary relationships (friends, romantic interests).
Some Avengers and assorted MCU characters initially connected through involuntary means: family (siblings Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, parent figure Iron Man and progeny Vision) and work (Captain America, Falcon and Black Widow). It’s not too big of a stretch to go beyond the cinematic universe to Marvel Comics and include involuntary school relationships by way of the X-Men and Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters (many students and faculty would eventually go on to team up with the Avengers). The Avengers embraced a voluntary relationship because they chose to be a team, though now you could make the argument that it is an involuntary relationship because they view being an Avenger as work (Iron Man asking if they could take a day off after the Battle of New York, Thor announcing in the battle arena on Skaar that Hulk was “a friend from work”).
Emerging adults are leaving behind adolescence where many relationships have been pre-fabricated for them (families, high school, extra-curricular activities, and even some friendships organized through their families), and moving forward into a time in their lives where they have less of this type of structure supplied to them. Certainly college and work can provide some of this, however the transitory nature of this age-stage makes this a bit more difficult; for example, an adolescent in high school may have lots of crossover exposure with peers in classes and extracurricular activities throughout the day, whereas a college student may see peers in only one class twice per week. The emerging adult's level of investment has to be higher to sustain their peer relationships than it was in past experiences. Autonomous therapeutic programs can provide the right kind of environment for skill mastery in this area.
Onward Transitions sets up a framework for social community building by providing a “Headquarters” style of meet-up space. Much like the Avengers, Onward Transitions members elected to join the program, come to Maine, live in different locations and assemble together for events like group counseling, meals, and various social gatherings. Some examples of events members venture out into the greater-Portland community to participate in include rock climbing, board games, ski trips, gardening, sailing excursions, dinners at local restaurants, traveling to local beaches, concerts, hiking, ballroom dance lessons, thrift shopping and cooking workshops.
Having been exposed to these activities through their involuntary connections, members have demonstrated a greater proficiency in organizing their own assemblages apart from Onward Transitions programming in many of the activities listed above. Oftentimes these happen with other members, however over time, these events occur with emerging adults from outside the program who members have met on their own. Leaving behind a past that may have included helicopter parenting, play dates and overly structured after-school and weekend schedules, emerging adults can benefit from the challenging exposure of learning experientially how to organically cultivate relationships with same age peers while having a safe headquarters to return to. With this social skill building, members tend to report and demonstrate greater self-confidence and happiness in their lives.
About Onward Transitions
Onward Transitions is a comprehensive, non-residential living service that supports emerging adults ages 18-29 living independently in the neighborhood of their choice in Portland, Maine. Our members choose and live in their own apartment from day one. They do not ever live with us. Members' challenges include anxiety, depression, executive functioning and meeting the requirements of moving towards independence.
Solutions Parenting Support recently conducted a survey where former clients were asked to highlight the most useful skills taught through their parent coaching support. The two skills parents felt were the most valuable in developing a healthier parenting style were:
- Developing & maintaining healthy boundaries
- Learning to respond rather than react
Through their coaching services, parents are guided to identify their "parenting position". They do this by looking at their knowledge and values to decide how they want to shape their home from the top down. Learning to develop reasonable expectations includes incorporating their own and their children’s unique strengths and struggles. This is particularly important in shaping the home in ways that are likely to be successful for the long term. By taking this approach, parents can genuinely and consistently follow through on maintaining healthy boundaries. Part of this process also includes:
- Learning to be consistent and flexible, rather than consistent and rigid
- Allowing for a more organic parenting process. This includes learning to make thoughtful and emotionally-balanced decisions as they execute their parenting position through day-to-day situations
Teaching how to respond rather than react was included as one of the most useful tools instilled in parents by Solutions Parenting Support. The process of slowing down and buying time often makes the difference between a negative confrontation and a healthy conversation. SPS also coaches and encourages parents in learning about their own emotional management. Often parents are communicating negative emotions during interactions with their children without realizing it. For children, this can elicit an excessively defensive response. A considered response, rather than a reaction, has a greater chance of success for all parties involved. SPS aims to help parents stay attached through parenting by managing their own emotions effectively. Solutions Parenting Support also helps parents understand what they do and don't have control over and offer ways for the family to work within those parameters.
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.
Those are two very simple words, "Vive Listens", and also very powerful when coming from previous Vive client Katie, when asked what made her experience with Vive successful. She simply said those two words. Katie came to Vive as a 16 year old who had just finished a wilderness program after struggling with school issues, impulsivity, poor peer relationships, family confict, depression, anxiety and substance use. She worked with Kera, the current Vive National Clinical Director as her Mentor.
When asked to elaborate on her statement that Vive listens, Katie stated that she felt heard for the first time in a long time when she started working with Kera. She reports that she was a very difficult client at the time and still very lost and rebellous. This did not deter Kera from getting through to Katie by being consistent with her, listening to her in a way that mattered, setting boundaries, and being very real and honest with her. Katie said she truly felt that Kera was her advocate. She also stated that going out into the community and going for a hike or other activity during their sessions allowed for their relationship to develop in a much more effective way than if they were in an office. As Katie progressed through the program, she also reports that what worked for her was having Kera there to call her out on some of her behaviors and then being very direct and honest in guiding her toward better choices. Katie felt safe and trusted Kera, so when she did make mistakes, she knew there would be no judgment, just support to help her learn from the mistakes and move forward with tools to make better choices.
Katie is currently studying for her masters and hopes to work for Vive one day. She is a firm believer in the Vive model and hopes to help families like hers in the future. Katie can't say enough about how important Kera became in her life. They still stay in touch and get together when their busy schedules allow.
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.
Shortridge Academy is excited to partner with Granite State Adaptive Sports (gsadaptivesports.org/) to offer students the opportunity to volunteer as assistant instructors in snow sports, equine, and cycling programs. Granite State Adaptive provides individuals with disabilities the opportunity to develop independence, confidence, life skills and fitness through participation in sports, therapy, training and recreation programs.
This new relationship began this winter and by all accounts has been a great success for all. Jen Fraser, Founder and Director of Granite State Adaptive Sports said, “We are thrilled to have this growing relationship with Shortridge Academy and have truly enjoyed their students who have been incredibly helpful as volunteer instructors. We have been blown away by their maturity and professionalism and look forward to having them volunteer with our equine and cycling activities.”
Whether it be this exciting opportunity with adaptive sports, jumping into an icy lake to raise money for the Special Olympics, or packing meals at a local food bank, community service has always been an important component of the Shortridge experience. Shortridge students learn through direct experience that volunteering connects one to another, is good for one's mind and body, can advance careers and brings fun and fulfillment to life.
About Shortridge Academy
Shortridge Academy is a private co-ed New England boarding school, founded in 2002, that emphasizes challenging yet supportive academics within a therapeutic community. Guided by the innovative Positive Youth Development model, we support the cognitive, emotional, and social development of bright yet struggling adolescents by utilizing clearly-defined, goal-directed plans, evidenced-based strategies, and a college preparatory curriculum. Joining with families, our trained staff engages students to identify their strengths and encourages the development of skills and knowledge that will prepare them for healthy and productive adulthood.
Newport Academy is pleased to announce the appointment of two new additions to the Newport Academy team, Daniel Melear as its Executive Director, and Joe Procopio as its new President and Chief Operating Officer.
Joe Procopio joins Newport Academy after 16 years with Acadia Healthcare Company (NASDAQ: ACHC) and CRC Health Group, most recently as a Division President. With more than 30 years of experience in the medical and treatment field, Procopio brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to his new position at Newport Academy. In his role as President and COO, Procopio intends to extend Newport Academy’s services to new markets, in order to reach more communities and ultimately help more families in need.
“It is truly an honor to join such an incredible team here at Newport Academy,” said Procopio. “I am looking forward to working with this group of inspiring leaders to keep Newport Academy at the forefront of adolescent mental health treatment.”
David Melear brings to his role at Newport Academy 26 years in the field of mental health, 12 of those in executive leadership. After he entered the mental health field as a direct-care staff, Melear’s career advanced to include executive director positions for the private residential program Innercept, LLC; the CRC Health Group/Aspen Education Center; Island View/Aspen Institute; and Wellspring Academy of California. He also served as chief operating officer for Universal Health Services, Inc., and as CEO of Rivercrest Hospital and Provo Canyon School.
“This is a dynamic and vital organization,” said Melear. “I am excited for all I can learn as a member of this impressive team.”
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, 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, intensive outpatient programming, recovery-based therapeutic day schools and day treatment. 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.
April marked two years of Pacific Quest being Site Certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics© (NMT). As Founder and Senior Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy (CTA). Bruce Perry, MD, PhD has expertise in child and adolescent psychiatry, neurodevelopment and traumatology. He is highly respected internationally and has done extensive neurobiological research on the effects of trauma in young people. Dr. Perry led the Pacific Quest team into certification and maintenance of the NMT.
The Neurosequential Model© integrates neurodevelopment, developmental psychology, traumatology, sociology and other disciplines to understand individuals and the family. Pacific Quest uses this model to inform program design and individualize interventions. Initially, the focus of treatment is developing regulatory capacities to support neurodevelopment and to optimize learning. Next, students strengthen relational health and problem solving abilities.
Pacific Quest’s trained clinicians use the NMT assessment process to collect developmental history, assess current functioning and inform clinical decision making. This approach guides treatment through a selection of interventions and program design.
To support brain development, Pacific Quest utilizes a “bottom up” approach following Dr. Perry’s sequence of engagement: “Regulate, Relate and Reason.” This is the process of moving from the bottom of our brain (brainstem) up to the top (cortex). The sequence is very important. When a person is regulated or feeling emotionally and physically settled, they are more able to relate or feel connected. When a person is connected, they are more able to reason and engage in higher level executive functioning, which is critical for problem solving, prediction, perspective taking, etc.
At Pacific Quest, the garden lends itself to many opportunities to regulate. Regulation involves patterned, rhythmic, repetitive activity. Gardening examples includes digging, weeding, breaking apart lava rock to make room for new gardens, building rock walls and clearing land. Regulation also includes daily exercise, expressive therapies such as art, quiet breathing meditations or cooking, chopping and stirring in the kitchen.
Through this regulatory and relationship support, students practice reasoning. Reasoning skills include being a camp leader and having to schedule an entire day and hold peers accountable to camp expectations. Students often create garden projects or legacy projects in which they have to plan, organize and problem-solve, allowing for a natural method to practice executive functioning. Students often process and reason in their therapeutic work as they reflect, come into awareness and work to shift from their old story (negative behavior) into their new story (healthy behavior).
About Pacific Quest
Pacific Quest is an outdoor therapeutic program, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, for struggling adolescents and young adults that offers a clinical, yet holistic, approach to treatment. Our neurodevelopmental approach, combined with horticultural therapy, integrates evidence-based therapeutic methods, whole-person wellness and organic gardening to sustain a healthy community and motivate change. www.pacificquest.org
Newport Academy knows that treatment financing can make all the difference in receiving quality treatment. Advisors and insurance companies sometimes push families towards low-cost, poor-quality treatment options. As a result, this sets young people up for exposure to negative and even traumatic experiences. Short-term thinking costs more in the long run, as families dedicate energy, time, and money to ameliorate symptoms without addressing underlying concerns.
In order to support families in their effort to access quality adolescent treatment, Newport Academy has expanded its insurance coverage to accept a wide range of insurance plans including PPOs, HMOs, POS, EPO, and every type of private insurance policy.
As of May, Newport Academy can provide in-network coverage with Anthem Blue Cross of California. All Blue Cross members in California can receive treatment at Newport Academy. In addition, all Blue plans across the country will be recognized as in-network at California campuses. Blue Cross family’s out-of-pocket cost is now significantly lower in California, and their copays and deductibles are as much as half the price, as a result of in-network coverage with Anthem Blue Cross.
Newport Academy takes great pride in the fact that they have a full-time, in-house team dedicated to supporting families through the insurance coverage and financing process. Their insurance review experts act on behalf of patients daily, in an effort to lower their share of cost as much as possible. The success of their dedication is shown in the fact that 95 percent of fees are covered by insurance. Newport Academy's team will also file appeals for any denials and bill the insurance company directly. Newport Academy is committed to assisting families with this process. While other facilities charge for this service, Newport Academy feels it is their responsibility to help their teens and families receive the highest-quality treatment.
If you’re interested in exploring treatment at Newport Academy for teen mental health, behavioral health, or substance abuse issues, Newport Academy can begin the insurance verification process immediately. For additional information, please contact one of Newport Academy's admissions counselors at 877-954-4071.
About Newport Academy
Newport Academy (CT & CA) 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, Newport Academy offers gender-specific, individualized, and comprehensive teen treatment programs that encompass clinical therapy, experiential modalities and academic excellence.
Offerings include inpatient residential treatment, intensive outpatient programming, recovery-based therapeutic day schools, and day treatment. 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.
TechieForLife (TFL), located in St. George, Utah, is pleased to be celebrating the two-year anniversary of opening their doors, June of 2016, to serve neurodiverse young adults. TFL began from a desire to address the needs of students with learning differences who experience a "services cliff" post-high school. It has grown into a program that identifies and builds on individual innate strengths to move them forward into adulthood and careers.
Students at TechieForLife, whether developing marketable tech skills to proceed directly into the workplace or receiving comprehensive support to pursue a college degree (or doing both), greatly benefit from connecting and belonging to a positive peer culture that they identify with. "We're finding that when our students start getting more of their social and emotional needs met outside of their home, they begin to find their own identities. Then educational and life skill development starts to come together for them," said Jason Grygla, Founding Partner and Executive Dirctor at TFL.
Jason and his wife Debbie adopted their son from foster care at age eight, who was then diagnosed with high functioning autism at age 13; they experienced firsthand the dread of what would happen to their son as he transitioned into adulthood and many legally mandated services for minors suddenly ended. Knowing their son had some great strengths among his many challenges, they were motivated to help him find a career path and not just settle for living with them his entire life. This motivated Jason to find business partners that understood the needs of emerging adults and who wanted to make a difference for this vulnerable population who learn differently. The resulting solution was a post-secondary school specifically designed for these unique learners.
Two years after beginning with their son as the first student, TechieForLife is growing and thriving. "There are few things more rewarding than mentoring others to find their place in life," said Jason. They are encouraged by the successes their students are experiencing.
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.
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett first theorized the developmental phase known as “Emerging Adulthood” in May 2000. Arnett argued that emerging adulthood is a distinct phase of life “demographically, subjectively and in terms of identity explorations” for those between the ages of 18 and 25 years old. Now May 2018, the theory itself has reached the age of maturity, bringing us to one important question: Was Arnett right to propose such a stage? EDGE Learning and Wellness answers with a resounding “Yes!”
Over the last 18 years, society has seen greater diversity in young adult living situations, with an even greater degree of independence from social roles and norms. While more 18 to 24-year-olds are going to college, it is in an increasingly non-linear fashion — broken up by periods of work and non-attendance. Additionally, society continues to see an increased delay in what has historically been defined as hallmarks of adulthood: accepting responsibility for one’s actions, independent decision-making skills and financial independence. The overlap between these three hallmarks is crucial. It’s difficult for emerging adults to achieve financial independence when many fail to maintain employment due, in part, to a lack of personal responsibility and poor decision-making skills. With all of these factors in mind, it may actually be fairer to call this period “Exploring Adulthood.”
Should this be surprising? Many young adults feel they live in a grim world and are pessimistic about the future of society. The prevalence of mood disorders and anxiety has also increased. In spite of this trend, EDGE students are optimistic about their potential and ability to reach their goals with the appropriate support (just as Arnett observed with young adults 18 years ago).
EDGE continues to support students as they explore adulthood through coaching and mentoring. Guidance and accountability give students the opportunity to launch as independent young adults with increased confidence, self-determination and experiences, cementing the fact that they can meaningfully contribute to the world 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.
Vantage Point offers a very focused method of treatment which addresses the behavioral, cognitive, and relationship challenges that are often present with learning disabilities and level one autism. These challenges include academic difficulties, cognitive rigidity, limited friendships, parent-child conflict, poor organizational skills, technology and gaming overuse, impulsivity, verbal aggression, anxiety, depression, and unhealthy hygiene or eating habits.
These struggles require a more focused method of treatment than what standard wilderness therapy programs provide. Vantage Point, offers a more comprehensive opportunity for assessment and treatment for students with learning differences. Vantage Point therapists are highly trained in working with these learning differences and treatment modalities, and they focus solely on students in the Vantage Point program. The guides also have specialized training in use of techniques and best treatment practices for working with this population.
The Vantage Point program utilizes adventure therapy, as well as numerous executive functioning training techniques and social skill building activities. Some of these include art therapy, group sports, ultimate frisbee or kickball, social games, cooking lessons, brain puzzles, team building on a challenge course, and relay races. These things provide an opportunity for students to strengthen social skills, develop the group milieu, build confidence, increase awareness of themselves and others, and more. The Vantage Point program also employs Aspiro’s research-based model to exemplify healthy relationships, increase self-esteem, and foster a sense of autonomy through skill enhancement.
To learn more, please visit our new website at: https://vantagepointaspiro.com/
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.
New Haven RTC has a new all-female executive leadership team that has been busy working to update and reinvigorate a solid treatment program. The mission continues to be serving young women and their families in seeking healing and change.
Some of the updated changes include:
- The executive team is first rooted in residential quality. Each of our leaders have roots in direct care with years of additional experience as directors, clinicians, and administrators.
- The social-emotional health of young women still show that 94 percent of 2018 discharges report no longer suffering from thoughts of self-harming or wanting to commit suicide.
- The academic program re-emphasized honors and AP courses.
- Professional development has lead to hundreds of hours of advanced clinical training by senior clinicians both on campus and through professional associations.
- Re-modeling one of the residences and are updating other facilities to continue to reflect our excellence in care.
About New Haven RTC
Founded in 1995, New Haven Residential Treatment Center has been an industry leader in treatment for young women since its inception. We serve adolescent females, ages 12-18. New Haven is clinically intensive with an emphasis on family involvement, healthy relationships, academics, love and service. New Haven is a fully licensed professional Residential Treatment Center, located in rural Utah, just south of Salt Lake City.