All Kinds of News for September 12, 2018
Susan Mackert, the Academic Director at Moonridge, recently made some exciting additions to the academic program. New teachers have been hired and a new drama class has been added to the class schedule. Moonridge Academy will now be offering a drama class that focuses on the fundamentals of performing Shakespeare, and more modern works. In addition to classroom teaching, students will attend professional, community, and children's theatrical performances, and participate in workshops at the Utah Shakespeare Festival (founded in 1961), located in Cedar City.
To add this drama class, Moonridge Academy hired drama teacher Taylor Hall. Taylor loves the arts of storytelling and drama. He is deeply involved with several local theatre programs including Cedar Valley Community Theatre, Southern Utah University, and Cedar City Children's Musical Theatre. Taylor also works as an Education Assistant for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, teaching tots and teens alike. Taylor said, “My favorite part about working at Moonridge Academy is watching the students help each other, and even help themselves, to learn and grow.”
Moonridge Academy also hired a vibrant new science teacher. Rebecca “Paul” Macias comes to Moonridge with excellent training and experience. Paul completed her BA at Gonzaga University and her Master's Degree at Whitworth University. Paul has worked with youth in public school, private school, church groups and in-home settings. She loves learning new things and considers it a privilege to help teens learn, too. Paul feels that the best science experience is hands-on with the opportunity for experiential activities in addition to more traditional classroom teaching. This is very much in keeping with Moonridge Academy’s philosophy providing individualized teaching so that all students' needs can be met.
About Moonridge Academy
Moonridge Academy is a premier residential treatment center for younger girl ages 11-15 years located in Cedar City, UT. Moonridge Academy specializes in healing trauma and addressing mental and emotional challenges using different therapeutic modalities including EMDR, CBT, DBT, Play Therapy, Equine Therapy and Adventure Therapy. As a small program of only 16 students, Moonridge Academy allows for a high degree of individualization in both clinical and academic services. By combining a nurturing home-like environment with a sophisticated clinical approach, Moonridge Academy is tailored to meet specific needs and to assist students in developing coping skills and identity.
At The Crossroads staff and clients banded together to form our #BeTheChange committee in early 2017. The goal was to create a collaborative forum to share ideas and formulate plans surrounding giving back to the community. And boy, did it ever take off! With the addition of Dave Foster to Team ATC as Community Outreach Coordinator, the list of service projects our staff and clients have participated in and completed is pretty impressive.
The possibilities to give back to the community are endless - soup kitchens, community clean up, bagged lunches, clothing drives, Special Olympics, senior centers, animal shelters, Senior Olympics, and the list goes on... ATC has tapped into a number of these means of giving back totaling 869.5 hours thus far through June 2018!
A front running favorite for ATC staff and clients alike is our weekly trip to The Meadows, a senior living community in St. George, UT. One of our clients took some time below to share about his weekly experiences at The Meadows and the profound impact they have had on him:
“Prior to my experience with At the Crossroads, I had participated in community service projects ultimately for self-serving motives. Whether it was to get into the National Honor Society in order to boost my college resumé or participating in team projects with my lacrosse team as publicity stunts, service always seemed like a chore in order to reach a personal end goal. It was not until my involvement with At The Crossroads that I was able to realize the true meaning of community service and the positive impact it had. Not only on the people I was serving, but the personal growth and empowerment I attained through helping others helped me to become proud of who I am today. I did my best to immerse myself in the abundance of service opportunities At The Crossroads offers on a daily basis. In doing so, one particular project began to resonate with me and quickly became something I looked forward to every week.
Each Wednesday around 3 in the afternoon, we visit a retirement community known as 'The Meadows' to aid some of their weekly activities for an hour or so. I had some preconceived stigmas regarding retirement communities. having never been to one and frankly wasn’t too excited to be helping. However, as soon as I entered the building and into the particular room where the activity was taking place, I felt an excitement pulsing from the residents and the staff that became infectious, quickly noticing how grateful they were to have us there with them, along with the enthusiasm around whatever task was at hand this week. Considering what we were doing was a simple arts and crafts activity assembling Easter Bunnies, their passion simply amazed and inspired me to take nothing for granted. That moment was one of the first times I was able to think outside of myself and see the situation as it was from their perspective, allowing me to truly appreciate the cards life has handed me. I thought to myself, if a 90 plus year old man or women is able to approach life with that type of focus and appreciation, why shouldn’t I be doing the same?
That instance drove me to do everything in my power to stay present and give these people all I could in the short time I am with them. Seeing the looks of sheer happiness and gratitude on their faces in doing something so simple made me realize how important of a role service can play in people’s lives. Ironically, it led me to notice how influential it could be in my own life as well. In the two pictures below are just a few of the people I was lucky enough to meet and form relationships with. Taking a closer look at those photos, I have honestly never seen a more genuine smile on myself in any other photo. That means a lot coming from someone who can’t smile to save their life, not to mention the joy each person at the table is embodying in the photo as well. Ultimately, I was able to learn I am able to help myself through helping others by participating the service project at 'The Meadows' each week. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing that both parties involved benefit in the ways unforeseeable to the common observer. I continue to look forward to helping out at 'The Meadows' each week and am excited to see what comes next.
Without At The Crossroads, I’m not sure this realization would have happened, fostering me to continue to make service a part of my life.” – ATC Client
About At The Crossroads
At The Crossroads is a transitional program for young adults utilizing a highly individualized and client centered approach to treatment. Upon enrollment, each client is assessed to formulate a treatment plan unique to his or her strenths, challenges, needs and goals. Our multi-disciplinary team comprised of highly trained professionals aims to honor each young adult as a distinctive individual. There are no two pathways to success that will be exactly the same and therefore we, as a team with the client, navigate towards individuated success.
The clinical teams at Red Oak Recovery® and The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® continue to incorporate educational trainings to keep their skillset sharp. and to expand their knowledge on how to best serve those in need. Most recently, they attended a training with Dr. Charles L. Freeman, the San Diego sleep psychologist. Dr. Freeman presented on “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia: The Gold Standard of Treatment".
Stemming from a holistic approach to assist those struggling with sleep issues, clinicians learned about heathy alternative techniques to getting sound sleep and maintaining energy levels throughout the day - without the use of medications. By utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help change thoughts and behaviors, restorative sleep becomes more sustainable for those struggling with sleep issues. Clinicians learned about various foods and essential oil scents that can help aid in getting to sleep and staying asleep. They also participated in a hypnotherapy session that Dr. Freeman utilizes for those clients that he works with who are suffering from insomnia.
When used for long periods of time, sleep and anti-anxiety medications can affect the chemistry of the brain and lead to dependency on sleep medication to fall asleep. For those struggling with substance abuse, trauma, and/or mental health issues, sleep disturbances can have debilitating effects. Sleep deprivation is linked to increased risk of chronic health conditions and can intensify anxiety and depression.
Research has shown that getting a sound night’s sleep can significantly improve quality of life, performance, mood, concentration, and relationships. Better sleep is also linked to a lower risk of relapse and is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Red Oak's teams are well equipped to work with clients to find healthy and natural alternatives in achieving quality sleep to help them put their best foot forward with each new day.
About Red Oak Recovery
Red Oak Recovery and The Willows at Red Oak are located in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains, just north of Asheville, NC, and is the result of extensive experience and research for developing highly effective programming to create a foundation of long-term recovery for young adults. The Willows is dedicated to woman-only programming uniquely blends quality clinical care, adventure and experiential therapy. Both types of programming include 12 Step work and social skills development to create positive and lasting change.
Weekends at Summit Prep are packed full of activities for the students. Montana is a beautiful place to hike, fish and bike. The area is also rich with opportunities to engage in community events.
Recently a group of Summit Prep students participated in the Great Fish Challenge 5k Color Run. This is an annual Whitefish, Montana fundraising event for area nonprofits. The race was called a "color run" because throughout the course participants had the opportunity to be a target for nontoxic color powder. The Summit Prep students did a great job with two of the students placing first in their age category.
In addition to the race, the event offered a vendor fair where people could get information about the various nonprofits in the area. Summit students talked with many of the organizations and learned how they might be able to volunteer with them in the near future. There were also many experiential activities for everyone to try. For example, the Ravenwood Organization, which specializes in connecting youth and families to nature, offered some fun stations. Some Summit students demonstrated their bow- and hand-drill skills at the fire making stations and others enjoyed working with the giant raven puppet kites.
All in all, it was a great day for Summit Prep students to be out in the community practicing the skills they have learned on campus.
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.
Houston, TX-- AIM House Founder Danny Conroy was honored at the Association of Recovery in Higher Education Annual Conference this July. At the ARHE Awards Ceremony and Gala, the association recognized individuals for their service and commitment to the collegiate recovery movement, recovery schools, and/or raising awareness for addiction treatment in general. Danny received the Community Member of the Year Award, a nomination he has earned through hard work and dedication to the University of Colorado’s Collegiate Recovery Center.
In addition to starting AIM House nearly 20 years ago, Danny has also become very involved in collegiate recovery — another exciting way he and others in the industry advocate for young people’s recovery. After visiting some of the first on-campus recovery programs such as the Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities at Texas Tech and the StepUp program at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Danny was inspired to bring a similar resource to his alma mater, The University of Colorado. In August of 2013, the CU Collegiate Recovery Center officially opened. Now, only five years later, the center has grown into a thriving community, offering on-campus recovery housing, activities and support to students. Danny’s depth of experience has enabled him to support students very effectively and rapidly cultivate relationships with other organizations on and off campus. He is responsible for guiding the vision and growth of the Center and overseeing all staff and programs, and also provides one-on-one recovery coaching.
Accepting his award, Danny named what has been one of the most rewarding parts of his involvement in collegiate recovery and called on others to get involved: “For those of us who are in the private sector, and have been fortunate enough to make a living and be doing well, it’s our responsibility to support the creation and sustainability of collegiate recovery programs, because they work and they are readily available for students. And it’s beautiful — if you do that, the greatest gift that you get back is knowing that.”
The 2018 ARHE conference was held in Houston, Texas. Countless schools, programs, and professionals came together to collaborate and learn from one another, acknowledge the work that so many are doing to advance the relationship between recovery and education, and celebrate the momentum of this exciting movement.
About AIM House
Founded in 1999, AIM House is a transitional living program located in Boulder, Colorado. Young adults come from wilderness therapy programs, residential treatment programs, therapeutic boarding schools and drug and alcohol treatment centers. Mentors and therapists work with each participant to create an individualized program that meets the needs of the participant and their family. Participants have access to a large variety of educational institutions, including the University of Colorado Boulder. AIM House also offers executive functioning support, vocational coaching, and personalized artistic and entrepreneurial mentorship.
ViewPoint Center helps patients develop and practice communication skills throughout their stay. As patients progress, they have the opportunity to earn weekly community outings where they get to practice these skills in the “real world”.
What are the community outings?
Every weekend, patients who earn community outings can go off campus with staff members to take part in fun activities and events. Outings may include:
- Going to the movies
- Community events such as parades and local exhibitions
- The nearby dinosaur park
- Going to the arcade
In addition to providing a great opportunity for patients to practice the skills they’ve learned throughout the treatment process, community outings offer a chance for patients to have fun, relax and enjoy life outside of campus.
About The ViewPoint Center
ViewPoint Center, a mental health assessment center for teens ages 12-17, is located just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. With a program lasting 6-8 weeks, ViewPoint Center provides superior assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and stabilization for teens struggling with mental and behavioral issues such as suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders and eating disorders. In a safe, personalized environment, ViewPoint helps teens focus on the healing process.
Summer at the Chamberlain School in Middleboro is all about making the most of what’s around you. With the school in such close proximity to Cape Cod, a camping trip on Martha’s Vineyard was a fun way to explore the area.
It was a very full itinerary to get as much out the 4 day trip as possible. The students and staff took a steamship to Martha’s Vineyard from Woods Hole in Falmouth. Everyone camped in cabins at the Family Campground in Vineyard Haven. Some of the highlights of the excursion included the famous Gingerbread Cottages, lighthouse tours, Martha’s Vineyard Museum, visiting “The Jaw’s Bridge”, paddle boating and bike tours of the Island's best beaches.
“It was great. The beaches were beautiful I had never been over there before and I was happy I had the chance to go” said a 17 year old student from Manhattan about the trip. "The kids learn so much on these trips. I love being able to experience it with them” said staff Nick who has been to China, Europe and more with the school.
Chamberlain School is already planning their Bermuda trip for October.
About Chamberlain International School
Located in Middleboro, Massachusetts, Chamberlain International School offers a therapeutic residential learning experience for students ranging in age from 11 to 22. Students at Chamberlain International School struggle with a variety of learning disabilities and mental health challenges.
With Telos' newest programs (Telos Senior House for students near-18 years of age, the Telos U young adult program and the young adult program for women), Telos has required the addition of another admissions officer to join Kristin Williams, Becca Jolley, and Jaren Hamel. The Telos team is excited to announce the promotion of Emery Brown, their new admissions contact. She has teamed up with Becca Jolley on the Telos west campus for young adults. Emery is a long-time veteran of Telos and has served as a mentor and advocate at the Anthem House, a transitional step-down setting for students close to returning home. Telos welcomes Emery to the admissions team and invites anyone wanting to learn more about her to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally exciting news over this summer, there has been a tremendous amount of interest in theThe apartment for young women is alive, active, and growing. “The addition of young women to the Telos U program has added a special dynamic to the campus culture. Our young men and women are able to interact with each other in a way that enables deeper social and emotional growth.” The women’s apartment at Telos U will be full at 8 students.
About Telos U and Telos RTC
Telos U and Telos RTC, located in Orem, UT, specialize in small class size and low pressure education systems support. Telos provides a therapeutic boarding school environment for adolescent boys who need help with Processing of Information Disorders, ADD/ADHD, ASD and emotional disorders that prevent them from thriving in a typical high school environment. Telos offers a family systems approach to therapy, working with parents and siblings alongside Telos' students, and structuring a therapeutic mileu around triathlon training programs and other engaging activities outside of school class time.
According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the age of 10-24, claiming 4,600 lives each year. Utah’s suicide rate is 5th highest in the United States and is the leading cause of death for young people 10-17 years old. Drug overdoses claimed 630,000 American lives from 1999 to 2016 with 66% of those involving opioids.
Communities that Care of Summit County [CTC] and the Southern Utah Program Alliance [SUPA] are two Utah organizations leading the way to keep the conversations going surrounding the mental health and addiction challenges facing families by offering two free events for parents this September.
CTC Coordinator Mary Christa Smith wants to provide a springboard for a new conversation. Smith shares, “In 2017, our committee conducted an in-depth, community-wide data analysis of risk and protective factors related to youth mental health and substance use. The issues illuminated in the data are alarming. Nearly a quarter of students report having contemplated suicide. Youth drug and alcohol use is common with nearly 40% of 12th graders reporting alcohol use, and 30% reporting marijuana use. The data illuminated 'parental attitudes favorable to antisocial behavior and substance use' as a priority for focus in our prevention work. These disturbing trends led us to look for new ways to address these issues. The heart of our work is to provide parents with experiences and information to expand their capacity to guide their children in a healthy, whole, authentic, and safe manner.”
“Our work also highlighted the need in our community for more therapeutic resources for parents,” Smith says, “To address this need, we knew we wanted a unique voice, one who has tried to start a movement to better serve parents. Dr. Brad Reedy, Co-Founder of Evoke Therapy Programs and acclaimed author of the book 'The Journey of the Heroic Parent: Your Child's Struggle & The Road Home' is a nationally recognized expert in the field of mental health, addiction and parenting. Our goal for this event is to provide an informative, inspiring and transformational experience for parents, and that is why we are thrilled to have Dr. Reedy coming to share his work and philosophy with our families.”
Dr. Reedy suggests, “Now more than ever parents need our compassion and education on how to deal with today’s societal challenges. In my daily work, I see families struggling to find answers. I try to replace their anxiety and confusion with clarity, insight, and hope.” Further, he states, “While drug abuse and suicide are on the rise, it is shame that is truly killing our young people. The stigma that surrounds mental health and drug addiction prevents families from getting help. I am encouraged that these organizations are promoting conversations that can lead to saving lives.”
CTC and SUPA have created these two free events in September to raise awareness and further the conversation on mental health and addiction. SUPA's event organizer Brandi Wood states, "We are incredibly excited to be bringing this event with Dr. Reedy to the community of Southern Utah. Dr. Reedy's book 'The Journey of the Heroic Parent' is such a valuable touchpoint to me, both as a professional and personally as a mother. His insights and wisdom in helping parents navigate with positive parenting through today's challenging climate are unparalleled."
The CTC event in Park City is part one in a series of lectures. Dr. Reedy will present "Raising Resilient Children Amidst Today's Societal Challenges," at the Blair Education Center on Monday, September 17th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Dr. Reedy's presentation will be 90 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of follow up questions. There will also be local mental health professionals in the audience who will provide information on local resources and answer questions about getting help for children. Please contact email@example.com to RSVP.
The SUPA event, "Parenting Resilient Children in the Age of a Drug Epidemic," will take place on Wednesday, September 19th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Nets on Fire, 1871 W. Canyon View Drive, St. George. This event will follow the same format as the CTC event in Park City, and is sponsored by Evoke Therapy Programs, Hired Power, At the Crossroads, Techie For Life, Moonridge Academy, and Kolob Canyon School in connection with SUPA. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Dr. Brad Reedy is a Co-owner and the Clinical Director of Evoke Therapy Programs, an experientially-based therapy program for adolescents, young adults and families. He has served on the Board of the Utah Department of Child and Family Services and the board of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs. He is a prolific public speaker and has been invited to deliver several keynote addresses and has appeared on several nationally syndicated radio shows. He was also an associate producer with En Garde Arts’ off-Broadway play “WILDERNESS,” which premiered in 2016 at the Abrons Arts Center in New York City.
About Evoke Entrada
Evoke Entrada is a Wilderness Therapy Program located in Southern Utah, operating year round and working with adolescents (13-17) and young adults (18 - 28+). Entrada is a clinically focused intervention that provides comprehensive support for clients and families and is designed to teach accountability, communication skills and healthy emotional and behavioral habits. Entrada is a proud member of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council and believes in the sharing of ideas among programs and colleagues in order to embody and promote best practices in the field of Mental Health and Outdoor Behavioral Health.
As a student here at Turn-About Ranch, I just want to tell you that coming here will be one of the best decisions you or your parents could have made. Here at the program, you get to learn a lot of neat things about yourself that you might not know. Try your hand at different activities we do around the ranch such as hauling hay, hauling wood, taking care of barn animals, fixing fences, and even milking a cow. Some of these things I never ever thought I could do before I came here. You learn so much here and the staff is so amazing. They give great advice and are always trying to bring you up.
It’s pretty amazing how much of a change you can make in such a short time here. I almost guarantee that when you return back to your family, you’ll take some of these habits, activities, and coping skills home with you. Just remember that your parents are doing this because they love you and want the best for you. That’s what I had to keep in mind when I first arrived. Know that no one is against you here. Staff, therapists, and peers are always watching out for you.
I know it’s scary at first, but I promise you that it gets better. Something that really help me when I came here was to start connecting with God. He has really helped me through my times of struggle and need. There will definitely be good days and bad days, but always remember to keep smiling and God is always with you. I’ll be praying for you.
About Turn-About Ranch
Turn-About Ranch is a wilderness therapy and residential treatment program located in the heart of Southern Utah’s canyon country. Students experience life on a real working ranch while undergoing treatment to improve their life back home. Surrounded by multiple national parks and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Turn-About Ranch is the ideal location for youth of today to have the space they need to find healing and purpose.
Dragonfly, a co-ed Young Adult transitional program located in Southern Oregon, is excited to welcome Travis Slagle, LMHC, NCC as Clinical Director. Travis is a licensed clinician with over fifteen years of experience providing direct care services and crisis management for struggling teens, young adults, and their families. Travis has worked as a therapist and program administrator in a variety of settings including wilderness, residential and transitional living.
“I have known Travis for years and have always admired his vision and energy,” said Mona Treadway, Dragonfly Transitions Co-Founder. “His philosophy of celebrating the roots and stability of an organization while also looking at areas of improvement align with the Dragonfly approach. We are very excited to have him join the team at Dragonfly”.
As the Clinical Director at Dragonfly, Travis is focused on motivating change at both the individual and organizational level. He works with the leadership team to help clinicians, families, and students to maximize the unique benefits of the Dragonfly experience.
Travis earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adams State University. He holds a certification in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) and has advanced training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). He completed a year-long training and clinical consultation focused on depth-oriented sandplay and expressive art therapy and was the recipient of a national award from the American Horticultural Therapy Association for his contribution toward developing a neurosequential approach to therapeutic garden design. Travis has also published research and presented at national conferences on the integration of nature-assisted therapy, neurodevelopment, and trauma informed care.
Travis comments, “I’m honored to join an amazing team of dedicated professionals who are going above and beyond to help young adults and their families develop resilience, inner-wisdom, and practical life skills. Dragonfly is leading the way in young adult treatment. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with inspired mentors, experiential educators, and talented clinicians who are committed to helping young adults create meaningful connections and lasting memories. I am excited to be here and am looking forward to embarking on the next adventure at Dragonfly!”
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.
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for teens and adolescents ages 10-17, is thrilled to announce the addition of Elizabeth Chancellor as Academic Director.
“As the new Academic Director at Trails, I am very excited to help students continue to make positive changes throughout the program,” comments Chancellor. “In my role, I will be training new academic staff, performing yearly evaluations of our educators on campus, teaching health and language arts classes, and consulting with schools to meet the academic needs of students.”
Over the past two decades, Chancellor has worked as an educator and supervisor in a variety of residential treatment and academic settings. With a degree in Special Education, Chancellor has held positions as a special educator in the public school system and within residential treatment facilities for at risk youth.
“We are very excited to welcome Elizabeth to our team,” says Graham Shannonhouse, Executive Director and Founder of Trails Carolina. “She has spent many years educating and providing guidance for young people struggling with behavioral challenges. Her experience and passion for teaching are invaluable to students and families at Trails.”
For more information about academic programming at Trails Carolina, please visit https://trailscarolina.com/why-trails/academics/ or call 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.
As summer comes to a close and fall is on the horizon, many households are transitioning back into school-mode. This is a special time of year where the spotlight is turned more than ever onto families – in all their various stages and iterations. In the spirit of building up family and community with actionable tools to help navigate the daily and extraneous challenges of parenting, this fall, The Romeyn Collective wil offer a five-week Parenting Mindfulness Series: Building a Healthy Culture at Home, taught by wellness coach and mindfulness expert, Rebekah Tayebi, MSW.
The series, which begins on September 18th, and will be held at the Launch Center in Los Angeles, consists of five, two-hour courses designed for parents and caregivers who are enthusiastic about their own growth process. Attendees will use mindfulness techniques, experiential skill building, written curriculum and weekly practice assignments to learn valuable parenting and communications skills. The course is designed to help parents build authentic connections with their children, and develop compassionate empowerment through healthy engagement.
Courses are open to all family dynamics. For more information, click here.
About the Romeyn Collective
The Romeyn Collective is an educational consultancy specializing in support for neurodiverse adolescents and young adults. With years of experience and one of the most committed teams in the industry, The Romeyn Collective is dedicated to helping young adults and their parents through difficult transitions and traumas.
This July, nine of Greenbrier Academy's students, alongside staff, went on a Mission Trip to serve others in Puerto Rico. This trip in so many ways represents what Greenbrier's foundations are as a school; Mission, Source and Virtue. This trip gave all participants the opportunity to practice leadership skills, and be immersed in an international, experiential learning environment for a week.
This international service opportunity allowed many of Greenbrier Academy's students to gain confidence in themselves, to connect with peers from a positive and light hearted as well as in deep and meaningful ways. It was and continues to be a beautiful demonstration of building a virtuous relationship. The group was also hugely enthusiastic and supportive as a whole. They were confident in their own beliefs and accepting of others. Girls shouted for support of one another with joy. It was infectious and the girls were able to open up and join.
Greenbrier helped with repairing roofing on homes still damaged from the hurricane. Students and staff assisted with a children’s bible study both playing games, teaching and assisting with crafts. Greenbrier also served in a Food Depot, where those struggling can receive food for their family for the week for the cost of only $3. Students organized food, broke down hundreds of boxes, and deep cleaned several bin lids. Not once did students complain. Rather Greenbrier staff saw the young ladies step up, take care of one another and volunteer to do more. Students showed a clear sense of their purpose and that they could make a difference simply by being willing and showing up. It is hard to give in to a limiting belief of being “worthless” when there is a line out the door, down the block for an entire day of people needing help and volunteers' efforts through the week make it possible to help.
Greenbrier is a therapeutic boarding school; many of their students struggle with non acute anxiety and/or depression. It was a gift to see an international service experience give all participants a strong sense of positive purpose, illuminating new reasons to move forward in new and healthy ways, preserving and protecting the futures they deserve.
Students also had a lot of fun! At the end of the day, students played in the cooling pool, and were able to enjoy a day of souvenir shopping and exploring the fort, El Morro, in Old San Juan. Best of all the ladies all felt accomplished, connected to ourselves, each other, to new healthy friends, and even with something much much bigger.
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.
Q&A Associates is offering a wood working course to clients participating in the young adult transitional living programs. The course provides opportunities for the clients to learn a trade as well as practice independent living and academic skills. The young men and women begin their wood working experience with basic skills such as learning how to use a tape measure, identifying the various hand and power tools in the wood shop, practicing being a member of the team, and learning different types of wood and how they are used.
The course is being taught by Scooter Goldman, a retired cowboy who spent years on the rodeo circuit. He is also a very talented wood craftsman who enjoys honing his skills and creating beautiful wood pieces from flower boxes to intricate tables and decking for houses. The clients really enjoy working with “Mr. Scooter” and respond well to his guidance. “I love working with the young adults, seeing them learn new things and be proud of what they have created,” said Scooter. He also spends a good deal of time helping them understand the importance of organization and neatness, as well as practicing their interpersonal communication skills.
The wood shop was created in the memory of David Bishop, Q&A COO Keith Bishop’s father. When Mr. Bishop passed away, his wood working tools were handed down to Keith who, along with his mother, wanted the tools to be used for a higher purpose. “I can’t imagine a better use for the tools than to help young adults learn vocational skills and develop talents which will take them into their independent lives,” said Keith. “My dad would be very happy to see the wood shop in action,” he continued.
The clients have made some beautiful pieces, including benches made from pine and red oak, bird houses with intricate detailing, a vanity made from wormy chestnut found on our Cabin Mountain property, and large flower boxes. Many of the pieces have sold for top dollar, and the crew is now working on commissioned pieces. Each participating client will receive a percentage of money made from the sale of their products, helping them learn more about entrepreneurship as well as reaping the tangible rewards of their labor.
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.
Students in therapeutic boarding schools have a wide range of academic and intellectual needs, ranging from academic struggles and learning issues to those who are highly intellectually inclined. Therapeutic schools sometimes have difficulty meeting the intellectual needs of gifted students.
For Valley View School, a major advantage of being situated in Central Massachsuetts is the easy access to many top-tier colleges and universities. Worcester, which is home to 9 colleges, is 25 minutes away from Valley View School, while UMASS Amherst and other premier liberal arts colleges are only about 45 minutes down the road. This wealth of cultural and intellectual talent enables Valley View to tap these resources for students.
Some benefits have already been realized. One student developed a passion for the piano. His advisor arranged for a graduate student in classical piano performance at UMASS to provided weekly specialized piano tutoring on Valley View's campus. Another student had been studying Mandarin prior to enrollment. Valley View was able to retain a Mandarin graduate student from a local college to provide regular instruction in the language.
Sometimes the intellectual resource resides on-site. Residential counselor Ted McCarty started an evening discussion group with 6 students entitled Philosphy 101. Mr. McCarty, who possesses a Master of Philosophy, states, "There is a great interest from some of the more intellectuallly-inclined students. Our discussions have been enthusiastic and thought-provoking."
Coupled with the historical and cultural richness of New England, local colleges are a great source of intellectual enrichment for Valley View students. These resources are another key ingredient in Valley View's quest to help boys become "the best versions of themselves".
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.
Many of Alpine Academy’s students had the unique opportunity to rappel off an office building in Utah County’s famed “Silicon Slopes”. This was done as part of a fundraising opportunity with Workfront and Over the Edge.
Alpine’s parent company, the Utah Youth Village, is one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in Utah, serving children and families from around the state in a variety of settings. As a 501(c)(3) organization, Utah Youth Village relies greatly on donations to provide these wonderful services to the underprivileged. The amazing team at Workfront (a tech company based in Lehi, UT) partnered with Utah Youth Village and Over the Edge (a fundraising company) to host this event and allowed Alpine Academy and Utah Youth Village students and employees to go “over the edge” of Workfront's 5 story office building.
It was a wonderful opportunity for many Alpine Academy students to conquer their fear and overcome the anxiety-provoking thought of staring over the side of a building and then taking the plunge. Alpine Academy is extremely grateful to all those that made this event such a success.
About Alpine Academy
Alpine Academy is a licensed residential treatment center for girls ages 12-18 located in Utah. Students struggle with emotional disturbances that are severe enough to prevent them from going to school successfully. Alpine is a fully accredited school with dual-endorsed teachers at the front of every classroom. Therapy is built into the school day. It is a nationally certified Teaching Family Model treatment program. The students live in homes with married couples, Family Teachers.
PQ has partnered with Sky’s the Limit Fund to help raise awareness into the transformational power of outdoor therapy, and invites their alumni, alumni families and colleagues to participate.
Team PQ will be in San Jose on Saturday, October 27th 9:45 a.m to 12:30 pm at Veggielution Community Farm in the Emma Prusch Park, 647 King Rd., San Jose, California.
No experience necessary. DIG: "Dream, Inspire, and Grow" as participants lend a helping hand as an urban farmer and tend the garden. Learn about Sky’s the Limit Fund mission and listen to Mike Sullivan, MA, LMHC, Alumni & Family Services Director at Pacific Quest, speak about horticulture therapy. Most importantly though – get your hands dirty giving back to the community and enjoy some time together.
Space is limited so click to Register today.
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
EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community is thrilled to announce that Anne Walchak, M.A., has joined the program as the new EDGE Learning Coordinator. She is taking over the position from Kyla Cretekos-Gross, who recently left EDGE to pursue career opportunities closer to family and friends in her hometown.
Anne earned her Bachelor of Education from Loyola University Chicago in 2011. She continued her academic career at DePaul University, earning her Master of Arts in Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies in 2013. Anne has since spent substantial time in the world of education. She recently held teaching positions with Chicago Public Schools and University of Chicago’s Urban Teacher Education Program. Through her experiences, Anne has developed a love for helping students understand new concepts and find pride in their academic progress.
“I’ve become really passionate about working with diverse learners,” said Anne. “As a teacher of seven years, I’ve taught students from the general population as well as those in special education. My experiences have exposed me to a variety of learning styles and resources that I can use and adapt for each student here at EDGE.”
As the EDGE Learning Coordinator, Anne provides academic coaching to students both individually and in a group setting. Her support includes collaborating with students to set and discuss goals, select courses and build positive habits. One of Anne’s main priorities as she begins her work at EDGE is to build a strong relationship with each student.
“Students have a lot of voices coming at them from different directions,” said Anne. “I want to create a space where they have someone they can trust and talk to on a regular basis. I’m excited to help EDGE students find greater motivation and start heading down academic paths they can be proud of.”
In her free time, Anne loves to read, travel, cook and explore different Chicago restaurants. When she’s not curled up with the latest memoir or eating Vietnamese food, you can find her helping students achieve success 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.
For the fifth summer in a row, students at Summit Achievement and Traverse had a wonderful summer learning about organic gardening at the programs' expanded on-site vegetable garden. Jesse Stevens, Summit’s gardener, helped the students learn about the life cycle of a garden from seedling to harvest and oversaw the one acre+ garden, with the help of guides and students. Each week Jesse would educate students about the garden, and then students would help with the maintenance and harvest of vegetables. The whole community would benefit from the amazing vegetables that would go directly from the garden onto the table for lunch and dinner.
Summit’s garden provides another avenue for students to connect with nature, practice mindfulness and increase awareness about where their food comes from. While the garden is rich in nutrients, it is also rich in metaphor and therapeutic lessons to help students process their own growth and nourishment. There is also plenty of research that shows that eating fresh and organic fruits and vegetables helps the mental and physical health of adolescents and young adults.
Summit has been actively increasing the size of its garden in the last five years and growing vegetables from early summer to late fall. This year, Summit’s organic garden has produced over one and a half tons of vegetables and should be close to two tons after winter squash and pumpkins are harvested. Although Maine is not known for its long growing season, Summit is committed to providing students with fresh fruits and vegetables all through the year, as well as keeping processed food to a minimum. Summit feels this commitment to high quality food is in the best interest of students and staff.
About Summit Achievement
Summit Achievement is, and always has been, guided by positive reinforcement and the power of choice. Our outcome-focused program employs effective therapeutic and educational principles. Through the process of engaging therapy, classroom academics and exciting wilderness expeditions, students experience the therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure-based activities while learning to manage the demands of a more traditional environment. As an intentionally small, owner-operated wilderness therapy program, we serve adolescent boys and girls, ages 13-20, from around the world.
When students come to RedCliff Ascent, their families are in chaos. Almost everyone in the family is angry or hurt or scared. Usually, the family has been in that situation for a long time. Often, parents feel desperate. Parents are desperate because they feel like they are losing their child. Kids are desperate because they feel like they can never do anything right.
RedCliff Ascent shows people a different way. RedCliff interrupts that chaos and disrupts the cycle the family is stuck in. When a kid is brought out to RedCliff, they are introduced to structure. RedCliff also works with them on how to communicate how they feel and what they need.
Nature Heals. When teens come to RedCliff Ascent, the chaos that they have experienced in their lives is replaced by a structure. The structure is not only provided by the program but by nature itself. While out in nature, students find other interests and concerns besides whatever is happening on Snapchat or Instagram. They learn new ways of coping, including practicing mindfulness. During this time, they work through the problems that brought them to RedCliff Ascent with the help of a therapist and mentors. They also exchange letters with their parents and begin rebuilding the family relationships.
RedCliff Ascent also provides support to parents. They have the opportunity to attend weekly online meetings with other parents and a therapist. Even if parents are qualitatively the best parent and with the best intentions, there is always something that parents can learn. Typically, one of the most important lessons that parents learn is that they are not alone. Often parents of troubled teens blame themselves. They believe that they have done something wrong and that no one else is experiencing the same struggles that they are experiencing.
"Two of the most potent words parents hear in this process are 'me too'. We hope by having the parents talk to each other we can eliminate some of the desperation that families feel when they come to us.,” said Darcy. Families find reassurance. Most of the time, parents new to the program meet other parents who are further along. The more experienced parents are often eager to provide guidance, in addition to the direction that the program offers.
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. They focus on adolescents ages 13-17 who are struggling with various challenges from anxiety and depression, to school abandonment and the need to reconnect with their family. With over 25 years of experience, RedCliff uses a relational model and narrative therapy to drive an outcome and an evidence-based approach. RedCliff Recovery is a women's specific, 12-step adventure based wilderness program. Designed by women, specifically for women.
Salt Lake City, UT: Eva Carlston Academy, a residential treatment center for adolescent girls, is mindful of the quality of education it provides its clients. In addition to being particular about the qualifications of the teachers they hire, they also pay close attention to how the students are taught. While it is important for students to have a strong grasp of the material in each content area, they find the students do not really get excited about what they are learning until they can understand the practical application of the material they are learning. For example, students have a difficult time seeing how the quadratic equation learned in algebra will have any impact on or application in the future. Unless a student goes into science, engineering or the military, there is a good chance she will not use the quadratic equation again, and students know that. However, when it is pointed out that they will probably never use this again, but that the critical thinking and analytical skills gained by learning this equation will help them not only complete high school, but help in college, the workforce, and personal life, do the students begin to buy-in to what is being taught.
Eva Carlston finds that many students have an aversion to school when they first enter the program. However, after a few weeks, that perception changes. One student commented, "I hated school for a long time and I felt that my teachers did not care about me. But after being here, I can now see why I need to learn what I do and I am actually planning on graduating high school and going to college, two things I never thought I would do.” English teacher Larry Bohne commented, “Knowing I have the expectation to point out the practical application of what I am teaching, I am more intentional about what I choose to teach. If I can’t find a real-world application, then why teach it?”
Part of the real-world application for which Eva Carlston strives includes an experiential element. Students go out into the community to apply what they are learning. Be it an art exhibit, a cultural event, research opportunities, multi-day trips, or a hands-on activity planned by a teacher, students are encouraged to think beyond passing a quiz or test to applying what they learn in other settings. Bohne continues, “When students apply what they learn to other situations, especially cross discipline, not only do they retain the information and skills better, but they begin to see school not as a multitude of unrelated subjects, but as a collective that contributes to preparing them for the future. When they can see that, they are excited to learn. And that makes any effort I make worth it.”
About Eva Carlston Academy
Eva Carlston Academy (UT) is a residential treatment center located near the urban center of Salt Lake City. The program serves young women between the ages of 12 and 18 in a clinically intense, family-style program which focuses upon creating opportunities for students to explore the arts while working toward continued growth and healing.
PRN for Families is pleased to welcome a new clinician, Hannah Rodriguez, NCC, LPCC, to the team of Family Consultants. Hannah earned her Master’s degree in Counseling and Human Services, with an emphasis in School Counseling, from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. She holds licensure from the National Board for Certified Counselors (NCC) and is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in the state of California.
Hannah has experience as a Professional School Counselor, having worked with public inner city and alternative school students at the middle and high school level. Hannah’s intensive work with students and parents focused on helping families come together as a team to work through academic and personal challenges. She believes that helping students identify other trusted adults and mentors in their lives contributes to their successes both in their academic and personal lives. Hannah is also a certified yoga teacher and uses yoga and mindfulness techniques in her counseling practice to help students cope more successfully with their academics, career/college, and social-emotional areas of life.
Hannah is based in Los Angeles, where, in addition to working with PRN clients, she teaches yoga with a mental health lens, connecting mind and body for healing. She specifically teaches yoga for depression and anxiety and works in the community to promote the importance of physical and mental health.
"Hannah's holistic clinical philosophy is a wonderful fit with PRN's wraparound approach," says Charles Elias, PRN for Families' founder and director. "Since many of our Los Angeles-based clients are young adults seeking strategies for greater success in their journey toward independence, Hannah's mind-body focus allows for therapeutic services and support to be woven into their lives naturally and practically, in a manner that simultaneously builds rapport and skills. We are thrilled to have her on the PRN for Families team.” Please join PRN in welcoming Hannah to the PRN for Families team. Hannah can be reached at email@example.com or through their main office at 888-762-5973.
About PRN for Families/TRACKS by PRN
PRN for Families is an accredited, home-based support program that serves families who have children or young adults who are struggling, or for whom an out-of-home placement may be necessary. Since 2003, PRN for Families has offered intensive at-home intervention, crisis support, transition and reunification services that empower and support families so that they may live together successfully and safely.
TechieForLife’s (TFL) Student Committee has been helping to plan a wide range of adventure/trips ranging from river rafting in Moab, Utah last month to attending the FanX comic convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, this last weekend. TFL, a co-ed, residential, college support and licenced vocational school for neurodiverse young adults, located in St. George, Utah encourages students to plan their own activities and trips and help run the different aspects of the program.
Students take turns serving on different assignments like food, cleaning and activities committees supported by mentors. For some, this is the first opportunity they’ve had to participate in any type of leadership position. When they get together for the weekly committee lunch meeting, they practice and learn to plan and work through issues and concerns.
Joseph, who co-chairs the student committee, admitted, “I enjoy trying to keep people in line and on topic when we run the meeting.” He shared that he feels like he made some good changes when he was on the food committee and liked scheduling laser tag once a month (his favorite) when he was in charge of the activities. The other co-chair, Carlos said, “I’ve learned from the other students and gained some responsibilities in communicating issues.”
Entrusting students with helping to run the TFL program allows them to feel more invested and included in the program. Students learn from each other and the mentors. Plus, “It feels good to choose where we’re going to eat,” as Carlos said. The student committee is just one of the many ways TFL helps prepare students with the life skills to be successful in careers and in life. To find out if TechieForLife might be the right fit or to request a free career interest and aptitude assessment for a neurodiverse young adult, email GetStarted@TechieForLife.com.
TechieForLife (TFL) is a co-ed, young adult, residential and licensed vocational school located in St. George, Utah. Dubbed "Silicon Slopes South," beautiful Southern Utah is home to one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the U.S. Neurodiverse students who need a safe social and emotional environment gain important life skills, mentoring and a college track or marketable technology training, leading to internship/job placement through TFL's close private sector partnerships. TechieForLife gives students a place to belong and the supports to succeed.
Little Keswick School (LKS) is excited to announce a new addition to the admissions team. With its new status as a non-profit school, Terry Columbus, Admissions Director, will move into a new role as the Director of Development to help the school begin to raise funds. Melissa Dagitz, who has been the Assistant Director of Admissions with Terry for the past five years, will move into the role of Director of Admissions. Terry will continue to work closely with the admissions team as she assumes her new role.
Tessa Boutwell joined the admissions team in June, 2018. Tessa received her teaching license and first Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. After teaching in elementary classrooms for three years, Tessa moved to Charlottesville to complete a graduate degree from the University of Virginia in Educational Psychology. Tessa’s experience working closely among children with diverse learning needs, and her child psychology background, make her an exceptional candidate for the position of Assistant Director of Admissions at Little Keswick School. Tessa’s many experiences in educational settings have given her the skills needed to effectively evaluate prospective enrollees, while working closely with parents, families, staff and Educational and Therapeutic Consultants to understand and communicate the specific learning profiles of our students at LKS. Her passion for special education and working with children and families is aligned perfectly in Little Keswick School's community, and LKS is so excited to have her.
When not at work, Tessa enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and exploring the Shenandoah National Park.
For the past decade, reSTART has worked with emerging adults in early recovery, specifically focused on helping those struggling with Internet and video game use. However, from day one, clients are immediately asked to engage in an assessment process, attend multiple group meetings daily, build a sustainable use plan, and engage in intensive psychotherapy. While ReSTART has seen many successful outcomes, ReSTART recognizes that this faster pace may sidestep the time needed to ground, slow down, de-tech (detox) and focus on the foundation of health first and foremost.
Rise-up Ranch will allow clients to slow the process down at a time when they need it most. The ranch will offer a healthy meaningful place to ground, reflect, renew, and ready oneself for building a well thought-out plan once they’ve moved to the Heavensfield campus.
By focusing on a strong beginning which includes healthy eating, proper sleep hygiene, social and emotional connections, 12-step, and a thorough assessment, clients will be ready to engage in intensive counseling, and building a long term plan that will be prepared with a clear head, mind, and heart.
Daily activities will involve caring for animals on the ranch, such as goats, chickens, kittens, dogs and horses and the day to day responsibility of ranch living.
ReSTART is excited about the potential this new shared community will offer in helping people reSTART life.
Headquartered in Fall City, Washington, reSTART is a leading advocate of healthy sustainable digital media use (internet, VR, and videogames) for people and the planet. reSTART offers staffed residential care for youth (13-17) and life sharing retreats for adults (ages 18-30), along with independent living support.
Boulder Creek Academy is excited to welcome Katie Jochum to their team in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. As Director of Outreach and Business Development, Katie will work directly with referring professionals to help them better understand the diverse offerings at Boulder Creek Academy.
For over two decades, Katie has been working with teens and their families and understands that each teen or young adult is unique. As a former school director turned educational consultant, Katie’s compassion coupled with her extensive knowledge of the therapeutic field has helped countless teens and young adults thrive. This, as well as her longtime working relationships with many other programs and referring professionals, makes her a perfect fit for the Boulder Creek team.
Katie holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business and Marketing from Idaho State University. Her knack for marketing, her love of travel and her passion for helping others have all been her guiding light in her career.
“I am delighted to be back at Boulder Creek Academy, where I started my career in the therapeutic field over 20 years ago,” states Katie. “It is inspiring to see the innovation and progress of the mental health field over the years and I am honored to continue to be a part of it.”
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.
Seven Stars, a residential treatment and assessment program for teens with neurodevelopmental disorders, encourages students to have fun and explore their creativity throughout the school week.
On a weekly basis, students engage in enjoyable activities that build upon their creativity. For example, in July, students celebrated Shark Week. At the beginning of Shark week, they watched educational videos about sharks, drew sharks on the whiteboard, and ate Jello shark treats. At the end of the week, students went on a field trip to the local aquarium where they saw a shark in real life.
“Students were treated to a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium,” comments Sara Hair, Academic Lead at Seven Stars. “They learned how to make shark chum and accompanied the aquarium staff during feeding time. Students were also able to pet stingrays and learn about many other aquatic species during this trip. I think these sorts of trips are very meaningful to students. They get to have a ton of fun while having an educational experience.”
In addition to occasional field trips off campus during the school week, students take part in a variety of art projects such as self portraits and bubble art. Each day, they attend physical education classes which often include fun team building exercises.
“We break up each school day with enjoyable activities for students to do,” says Hair. “School work is completely individualized and self paced. If students are feeling overwhelmed, these fun activities can help them refocus and lift their mood.”
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. For more information about programming at Seven Stars, please visit http://www.discoversevenstars.com/or call 844-601-1167.
Red Mountain Sedona is excited to announce the addition of Deara Ball, MS, to the outreach team. As the new Director of Outreach, Deara brings her wealth of experience in admissions and marketing, clinical training and background in journalism to the dynamic RMS team. This vast experience along with her background in Mindfulness-based programming and yoga, make Deara the ideal person for this role. Deara will be the east coast anchor for the Red Mountain Sedona team, maintaining her homebase in Asheville, NC. Stay tuned for more news on Deara’s travel plans.
Along with the addition of Deara Ball, other changes are afoot at Red Mountain Sedona. Mary Hickey, M.Ed, will be taking on the new role of Director of Family and Community Services. Mary began facilitating parent workshops at Red Mountain this spring and with this new position will take on a larger role communicating with and coaching parents. As a Certified Parent Coach, and with many years of experience in admissions, workshop facilitation and program administration, Mary is eager to further develop this area of programming at Red Mountain Sedona.
With a busy fall conference season approaching, Deara and Mary will share outreach and travel duties. Deara will focus her attention on referral relations, conference attendance and program communication. Mary will look to develop local resources and opportunities for students and staff, while also participating in regional travel and conferences.
Red Mountain Sedona is thrilled about these exciting changes, and looks forward to continuing to provide the highest quality of care.
About Red Mountain Sedona
Red Mountain Sedona is a mindfulness-based, trauma informed young adult “Launch” program, located in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. Red Mountain specializes in helping young adults between the ages of 18-28, address the social, emotional and behavioral issues holding them back from successfully transitioning into adulthood. Through a truly holistic program that provides structure, individual, group and family therapy, life skills training, recovery support and mindfulness-meditation, yoga and martial arts instruction, Red Mountain Sedona helps students gain the stability and maturity needed to move forward in life. For more information on Red Mountain Sedona call (855) 998-5272.
Solutions Parenting Support reintroduces Jen Rapp-Sheridan, with an inside look into what makes her a great parent coach. Jen has extensive experience working with youth and the young adult population, taking on many different roles in therapeutic programing over the last 17 years, ranging from wilderness field staff, to residential management, and as a primary therapist.
She is eager to begin her parent coaching work and would like you to take a look into why she is passionate about her work with children and families and the skills and tools she hopes to offer families in need.
1. What drew you to Parent Coaching and transition work?
I believe when a child enters treatment, it is a symptom of struggles in the family system overall. Therefore, you can put any family member through treatment, and if they return to the same environment, even with a new skill set, the gains will be limited. When I started working in wilderness and residential, there seemed to be a gap in the amount of services the child in a program was receiving versus the amount the parents were getting at home. Parents struggled to implement their new tools once their kids returned home, and creating some support system for parents seemed as important as the treatment program itself. Helping parents learn to reconnect with their children and parent with confidence is a privilege, and something I believe helps the entire family system maximize the gains made throughout the therapeutic treatment process.
2. What experience do you bring to the Solutions Parenting Support team?
I have had many roles in several therapeutic programs over the last 17 years, ranging from wilderness field staff, to residential management, and as a primary therapist. I understand both sides of the day-to-day operations in a variety of settings. I believe the parent child relationship, albeit challenging at times, has the power to help us grow and work towards the best versions of ourselves every day. Because of this, I am direct with feedback and guidance, while being understanding and non-judgmental. I understand most parents are exhausted and defeated by the time they are reaching out to an educational consultant for help. I try to normalize their emotional responses and help them heal from the turmoil they have been experiencing.
3. What are the top 3 tools or skills you would like to see parents walk away with after you have worked with them?
A greater ability to slow down and look at the Big Picture. Kids are great at making parents feel like their emergency is also their parent’s emergency. The more parents can slow down, the easier it becomes to make well thought out decisions about how to respond to their children in stressful times. I would also hope parents to leave with a sense of confidence in their parenting and decision making. It is not easy to disappoint our kids, but sometimes when we look at the long term picture, we have to make hard decisions and stick with them, even when it might make the short term uncomfortable. Finally, I hope parents leave with a more reciprocal rewarding relationship with their children. I think this comes from forgiveness of past actions, a deeper understanding of who our children are as individuals, separating actions from the person, and learning to live together again as a family without fear.
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.
Sarah Schwartz has been a Vive Family Support Program team member for over 2 years and has been Regional Director in Chicago for 6 months; Sarah recently added our Denver region to her responsibilities. She is a Clinical Social Worker and has a diverse background with a concentration in work with children and family systems. Her experience includes time working in residential treatment, wilderness programs, schools, as well as in-home, community based treatment. In addition, Sarah has a dynamic and engaging way about her that allows her peers, clients and colleagues to easily connect with her.
When asked what is most rewarding in her role as Regional Director, Sarah responded that she enjoys supporting the clinicians from beginning to end in their clinical journeys with the families they serve. Engaging in clinical consultation with the team to explore the work that they do on multiple levels, including the important role they play in the lives of the families, is an especially powerful experience.
Sarah also carries a small case load and when asked the same question about what is most rewarding in her role as a Clinical Mentor, she said she finds supporting clients when they transition home from a treatment program highly rewarding. Specifically, she enjoys being part of the fresh start for the client in supporting them to develop healthy social circles, re-engage in extra-curricular activities, and assist them is setting their short and long term goals.
Lastly, Sarah was asked in her own words to describe what about the Vive model is key to a successful outcome for families. She states that the relational aspect is what enables success with her clients and families. Without a solid relationship between client and Mentor and Parent Coach and parents, success is limited. She also described how the work with Vive clients does not occur in a fishbowl. Going out into the community and having the opportunity to support the client by applying their skills in the moment, is pivotal.
Vive Family Support Program is a relational and experiential therapeutic support service for pre-teens, adolescents, young adults and their families. With our unique approach and roots in the community, Vive works closely with families, to offer insight, implement coping skills and rebuild trust within the family system. Our goal is to ensure lasting positive change.
Sunrise Residential Treatment Center creates many opportunities for students to practice their DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) skills in as many contexts as possible in order to normalize what they are learning in therapy in the real world.
One of the ways this is done is through Sunrise's Student Leadership Group. The leadership group is a group of students who have been showing leadership traits in the residential community in which they live. They are invited by the residential director and residential managers to join the group and learn additional skills that will help them offer more support to their residential community - how to give constructive feedback appropriately, how to advocate for one's needs, how to ask for and give support effectively, etc. Every week, the students gather with the residential directors and managers to discuss a new skill and plan activities in the local community.
Every few months, the students go on a Leadership Experiential Retreat where they are able to use these skills in different contexts. This month, the students went to Yellowstone National Park for a week of camping. Mackenzie Little, Hurricane Residential Manager, said this of the outing: "Watching the students get unique experiences outside of Sunrise is a wonderful thing. It was so exciting to see the students marvel at the herds of bison, or mistake a log for a moose. The girls loved seeing the geysers and different pools. They were specifically interested in the Depression Geyser. It was amazing to see each student show initiative, whether it was setting up camp, prepping our meals, or planning fun things to do in the car. They each got to soak in natural lava hot springs before coming home! It was a great way to end our long journey."
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.
Corner Canyon is working with Geneus Health to provide DNA testing for addiction to all clients and any interested family members. A simple cheek swab results in lab results within 10 days, and the information is used clinically to aid clients in reducing denial, understanding the genetic components of addiction that they are predisposed to biologically, and in taking neuro-nutrient supplements that address deficiencies, improve outcomes, and reduce recidivism.
Geneus Health’s reports identify an individual’s genetic predisposition towards addictive, impulsive, and compulsive behaviors. 8 possible variants are examined, listing the drugs (or alcohol) the variant predisposes the individual to crave and use, as well as the behaviors that are likely dysfunctional coping mechanisms (risk taking, inattentiveness, impulsive decisions, etc).
Psychoactive drugs and some behaviors produce a surge of dopamine in the mid-brain, and are the biological predictors for addictive behavior. Individuals who are genetically predisposed to addictive behaviors are at higher risk for "Reward Deficiency Syndrome" due to the combination of genetic and environmental factors. High risk individuals seek substances including alcohol, cocaine, opiates, nicotine, and/or glucose, as well as certain behaviors. These are all substances known to cause preferential release of dopamine at the Nucleus Accumbens in the brain to activate dopamine release in order to offset their genetically low dopamine receptors.
The treatment for RDS (Reward Deficiency Syndrome) is boosting dopamine function at the reward site of the brain. Scientists in the pharmaceutical industry found ways to increase dopamine function with very powerful drugs known as dopamine agonists, however long-term consumption results in a reduction rather than a boost of brain dopamine function.
However, following 40 years of research and 37 clinical trials, Geneus developed a natural complex known as restoreGen™, which works as a pro-dopamine regulator that decreases substance and non-substance behaviors and cravings. Geneus also makes recommendations for specific milligrams of nutrients which work the same way if an individual prefers to take their own supplements. Some of the benefits include:
· Improved recovery rates
· Prevention of relapse
· Reduction of craving
· Increased energy
· Improved focus and attention
· Enhanced feelings of well-being and happiness
Evidence it works:
One recently published study, utilizing qEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalography, a procedure that processes the recorded EEG activity from a multi-electrode recording using a computer) showed that one hour after administering restoreGen™ to psychostimulant addicts, alcoholics, and heroin addicts, resulted in smoothing out of disregulated PFC cingulate gyrus. In essence, it was found that restoreGen™ increased alpha and low beta waves in this important brain region. By doing so, the neuro-nutrient compared to placebo (triple blinded), induced a regulation of brain electro-activity at a site that has been linked to reward relapse (e.g. drugs, smoking, sugar indulging etc.)
“Neurogenetics and Nutrigenomics of Neuro-Nutrient Therapy for Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS)”. Blum K1, Oscar-Berman M, Stuller E, Miller D, Lohmann R, Borsten J, Hauser M, Han D, Lie Y, Helman M, Simpatico T Giordana J, Morse S, McCormick L, Downs WB, Waite RL, Barh D, Neal D, Braverman ER.
Corner Canyon Recovery seeks and provides the most current, research validated treatments available to aid our clients in creating long term recovery. DNA testing is just one of the differences between Corner Canyon and other treatment centers.
About Corner Canyon Recovery
Corner Canyon Recovery, a 16 bed, trauma informed, adult, co-ed with gender specific programming, dual-diagnosis, holistic Residential Treatment Center in a large attractive home in Draper, UT opened in November, 2017.
Pasadena Villa Orlando is pleased to announce the opening of the Transitional Living and Learning Center (TLLC), a social mentoring program focusing on academic and life skills development. The TLLC is designed to assist young adults in reaching their full potential, by offering a safe place to learn and practice new skills for application in the real world. The program revolves around a complex skills-building curriculum that allows students to work in individual and group sessions. In the curriculum, there is a wide range of important key life domains. These evidence-based approaches provide the students the best chance of living fulfilling and productive lives, to apply what they learn to future living environments. Also, students will nurture their experience by volunteering. Students are not required to be enrolled in school or working before entering the TLLC, however they are encouraged to enroll in school or work if they are not already.
Kimberly Denis, Program Manager, says, “We are excited to be involved in the lives of these young adults as they develop these skills. In doing so, we hope they experience the freedom and confidence to become self-sufficient and productive in whatever they pursue after leaving the TLLC.”
Located in Orlando, Florida, the TLLC is designed to help guide students toward more independent and productive living, while at the same time building coping skills necessary to handle adversity and life stressors that are sure to occur. The ultimate goal is to build skills and patterns of successful, healthy living that are transferable to any setting, anywhere. TLLC students live independently in a TLLC apartment near the center, or their local apartment or home. The staff provides personal coaching to assist students in learning how to maintain their living environment.
About Pasadena Villa
The Pasadena Villa Psychiatric Network of Services is one of America's premier residential psychiatric treatment providers for adults with complex psychiatric disorders. As recognized visionaries in mental health treatment and transitional living services, we offer compassionate, comprehensive, individualized psychiatric and psychotherapeutic care. Using Pasadena Villa's Social Integration Model®, we create a socially active treatment experience by immersing our residents in community activities, assisting them in achieving the highest levels of independent functioning. All Pasadena Villa facilities are proud to be Joint Commission (JCAHO) accredited.
One of the vital lessons taught in HopeWay's Learning Kitchen is the often-overlooked connection between nutrition and the brain. Ellen Jones, the Health & Wellness Specialist at HopeWay, structures each week around specific themes related to healthy eating, including "Digestion and the Mind", "Intuitive Eating", "Specific Vitamins, Minerals & Nutrients for Brain Health", etc. Clients walk away knowing more than the importance of ingredients like leafy greens; they are able to fully understand how each nutrition element contributes to the health of the brain.
Instead of setting up rigid meal plans, which can lead to feelings of failure if not fully completed, Ellen encourages clients to compile a list of good breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas. This approach makes it easier to incorporate healthy food choices into everyday life, which, combined with other behaviors like consistent exercise and maintaining a good sleep schedule, can greatly improve one's mental health. Many of HopeWay's clients talk about how proud they are to become more involved in meal preparation at home, confidently applying the tools they've learned at HopeWay to their personal kitchens.
Feeling inspired to feed the brain through the belly? Enjoy this fun recipe for Carrot Cake Energy Bites from Ellen:
1/4 cup almond butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons ground flax
2 tablespoons shredded, dried coconut
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup shredded, fresh carrot
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Mix all ingredients in large bowl
- Roll into 8 balls
- Allow to sit so that oats absorb flavors
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.
In April 2018, Polaris Teen Center in Los Angeles, California introduced their Family Intensive Weekend.
Family Therapy is a cornerstone at Polaris Teen Center. When a family decides to send their child to Polaris, they are also committing themselves to a process where they will be regularly participating in family therapy sessions and therapeutic groups throughout the week.
Polaris families know that their participation is just as important as their teen's involvement, because it greatly enhances positive outcomes for their child. The Family Intensive Weekend is designed to further strengthen families and their teens on a personal level, while also providing support for lasting recovery.
Polaris Family Therapists have been trained by Jean Campbell, LCSW, TEP, a renowned Board Certified Trainer, Educator and Practitioner of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy, and a Fellow of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy. During this largely experiential weekend, families integrate much of the work they are doing in their bi-weekly sessions, which helps strengthen their relationship with their child and each other.
One parent was compelled to tell Polaris about her recent participation in our family intensive. “Thank you for a life altering weekend. Our family gained so much healing and hope from it... We are very grateful to you for creating such an amazing program,” she said.
About Polaris Teen Center
When Ari Brown, CEO and Dr. Michelle Waters-Butler, COO launched Polaris Teen Center in 2014, their goal was to provide the best Residential Psychological Care to teens and their families. Today, with two locations in the Los Angeles area, Polaris Teen Center is at the forefront of adolescent mental healthcare – offering innovative programming and evidence-based care traditionally not found in the industry. To learn more about the Polaris program, their team of mental health experts and their progressive treatment options for adolescent depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and trauma, visit Polaris on the web at https://polaristeen.com/
Polaris is the leading choice for families in need of residential psychological care for their teen.
In Balance Collegiate Living program, located right across the street from the University of Arizona, just celebrated its first year open. It has been full since its inception, with 14 young men who are going to college either at Pima Community College or University of Arizona. It is a structured aftercare program that has the same structure and principles as the Transitional Living program, which has been open since 2006, except that In Balance Collegiate Living has added academic support in the form of a full time academic advisor, 5 subject specific tutors, 3 study sessions/week and an integration with the University of Arizona’s recovery program Wildcat’s Anonymous. Just like the Transitional Living program and the Sober High School, these young men will have weekly life skills, weekly healthy eating classes, 12 step immersion, weekly individual therapy, every other week family therapy, 2 process groups a week, 11 clubs and recreational activities offered a week, multiple trips a year, and 24/7 awake staff (60% of which are alumni of the program).
In Balance Young Adult is an aftercare community serving young men, 17.5 to 28 year olds with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders who have successfully completed primary care. In Balance’s young adult services include In Balance Transitional Living Program for young men seeking employment, internships, volunteer positions while gathering extensive life skills, clinical support and 12 step recovery. It also includes In Balance Young Adult Sober High School, which allows young men, who are ready to experience some independence but still need to graduate high school while living in the Transitional Living program. These young men track as young adults but go to our specially designed sober high school four days/week for individualized assistance from our academic director and 3 other teachers. In Balance also has 5 affordable Young Adult Sober Living houses where young men can step down for 30 days, 3 years or however long they need. These houses provide structure, support with independence and the opportunity to stay connected with the In Balance program and their community.
Lastly, the newest addition to the In Balance Young Adult continuum is In Balance Collegiate Living program. In Balance Collegiate Living has partnered with the University of Arizona’s Wildcat’s Anonymous program, which is their Collegiate Recovery Center. In Balance young adults have season tickets to the Wildcat’s football games and basketball games. In Balance is hosting the University of Arizona every week, for sober tailgates on In Balance’s campus. This is to promote healthy, college experiences while sober and while safe. One student remarked “I did not think I was going to be able to enjoy college football, tailgating or really anything in college sober, now I know I was completely wrong, I can.” In Balance continues to cultivate this relationship with the University of Arizona, resulting in joint recovery endeavors, sober college experiences and even joint recovery trips.
About In Balance Continuum of Care
In Balance Continuum of Care is a family owned and operated group of programs opened in 1996. It consists of In Balance Intensive Outpatient program, which serves adults with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, three days a week in Tucson, AZ, In Balance Academy, a nationally renowned therapeutic boarding school for young men (13-17.5 years) with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, and In Balance Young Adult, which serves young men, 17.5-28 years of age who have substance abuse and co-occurring disorders and need a structured aftercare program following primary care.
All of In Balance’s therapeutic services are licensed and Joint Commission accredited.