All Kinds of News for June 05, 2019
Recognizing Teen Mental Illness Early Reduces Long-Term Consequences.
A recent Ontario Child Health Study proposed that one in five teenagers are struggling with mental health issues; however, only one third of teens with mental illness found help. Rates of anxiety and depression are more common in teenagers than in previous generations, even though the results of this study are consistent with the prevalence of mental illness in adults. It is unclear whether Generation Z is exposed to more triggers for mental health issues in an increasingly global society or if professionals have just gotten better at early identification and intervention.
Risk Factors Contributing to Mental Health Issues
Mental illness refers to a wide range of disorders that affect mood, thinking and behavior, including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors. The most common mental health issues in teenagers are mood disorders and anxiety disorders, which are biological in basis but can be triggered by situational factors, such as loss, rejection, transitions and social pressure. Teenagers may be more likely to appraise situations as stressful, as they often don’t have the skills to regulate their emotions or evidence that they can get through difficult situations successfully.
Common Triggers may include:
- Adverse Childhood Experiences, including abuse, trauma, or neglect
- Family history or conflict
- Bullying (including cyberbullying) and Rejection
- Social isolation or loneliness
- Comparisons to others and unrealistic expectations for self
- Experiencing discrimination and stigma
- Awareness of greater social issues
- Physical health problems, injuries, and periods of hospitalization
- Academic problems and learning disabilities
- Excessive screen time and technology addiction
- Lifestyle factors including nutrition, sleep, medication, and amount of free time
Teenagers with mental illness are particularly at risk for school failure, substance use, risky behavior, and suicide attempts as they struggle to understand the symptoms and implications of their mental health problems. Struggling adults are more likely to reach out for help, try to regulate their emotions, and know how to adapt when stressors arise. Therefore, mental health promotion and crisis prevention are essential for helping teenagers with mental illness.
While the use of technology can give teenagers access to heavier topics and inappropriate information, it can also be used as a platform to connect with other people who are struggling and to role model recovery. Many people use social media to open up the conversation about the prevalence of mental illness in society, especially in teenagers and send the message that sometimes it’s okay to not feel okay.
How to Help:
- Look for signs of mental health issues in your teenager.
- Help them get an accurate diagnosis that will provide more clarity around how to best support them.
- Talk about mental wellness as well as mental illness and encourage healthy coping skills.
- Ask them what they need and how you can help them meet their needs.
- Encourage them to set personal goals and remind them that mental illness does not have to get in the way.
- When reaching out for professional help, look for a multi-modal approach that addresses their issues holistically and acknowledges the relationship between their mind, body and soul in stabilization.
About ViewPoint Center
ViewPoint Center is a psychiatric hospital for young people ages 12-17 with mental illness. Many of our students struggle with depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, substance use, eating disorders, substance use, and autism spectrum disorders. ViewPoint is dedicated to assessment, treatment, and transition planning. By the end of the treatment period at ViewPoint, families have a clear understanding of the child’s diagnoses and are offered full guidance on how to move forward and seek proper treatment. ViewPoint Center is dedicated to helping students and their families seek the treatment and care they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!
From May 15-16, Greenbrier Academy for Girls, a therapeutic boarding school for high school aged young women, attended the School Connections Admissions Summit in Salt Lake City (UT). Greenbrier was able to connect with traditional boarding schools across the country to provide information about our 4 Month Semester Forward Program for students at traditional boarding schools who need therapeutic intervention without falling behind in school. The event went very well, with many traditional boarding schools thrilled to hear about a short term therapeutic boarding school for troubled teenage girls.
The goal of this event is to bring together traditional boarding schools and therapeutic programs to discuss and strategize how to support one another’s efforts to produce successful, confident high school graduates.This was the first School Connections event where Greenbrier was able to share this short term program with traditional boarding schools.
Because Greenbrier Academy specializes as a school with a strong emphasis on academics and therapeutic support, the 4 Month Semester Forward Program can be a great option for students at traditional boarding schools who are experiencing emotional or psychological distress. The team at Greenbrier Academy is looking forward to supporting high school students in traditional boarding schools who need a greater therapeutic support while not risking that they fall behind in their academic careers.
About Greenbrier Academy
Greenbrier Academy is an accredited academic/therapeutic boarding school and a licensed by the state of West Virginia as a non-acute residential treatment center in Pence Springs, WV serving young women 14-18. We offer college prep academics within a therapeutically immersive experience. Our program preserves and protects your daughter's future; emotionally, socially, physically, and academically.
Summit Achievement introduces its Youtube channel, helping educate referring professionals, parents, and students on its hybrid wilderness therapy program and its beautiful location in Maine. Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Thom Pollard filmed the first nine videos that are available for viewing on the Youtube channel. Thom's videos include short interviews with the leadership team and clinicians at Summit Achievement, as well as aerial footage of Summit Achievement's campus and surrounding location. Click here to view the YouTube channel.
Mr. Pollard has long been familiar with Summit Achievement and jumped at the opportunity to film the first videos. "I had known about Summit Achievement as I had and still have many friends who had worked there but filming these videos helped me to see how extraordinary this program is and how amazing the people are that work there as well as how they help troubled teens and young adults." (Mr. Pollard has filmed three Everest documentaries spanning two decades. Notably, he was a high-altitude cameraman during the discovery of the body of lost British mountaineer George Leigh Mallory at nearly 27,000 feet in 1999, 75 years after his disappearance ["Lost on Everest", PBS/BBC]).
Summit Achievement will continue to update its YouTube Channel in the future with new and inspiring stories about the program and how it works. If you like what you see, please consider subscribing to the channel. Updated video content will also be available on Summit Achievement’s webpage.
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.
St. George, Utah: On April 17, 2019, Clay Smith and Erin K. Smith, English instructors at Spring Ridge Academy, presented their curriculum model at the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs Southwest Regional Conference . The “Student-Driven Individualized Learning Models” presentation was developed over two years on work developing an English curriculum that overcomes the challenges of teaching in therapeutic programs, while embracing the advantages. The strategies presented help teachers who work in therapeutic programs meet the needs of diverse students while maintaining academic rigor.
Using these strategies, teachers can build a differentiated curriculum that engages their students while building intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy for all students. One teacher in attendance noted in an email on April 18: “I was hoping to incorporate some of your strategies into my curriculum starting as soon as next quarter. Please don't feel rushed, I'm just very excited about it and wanted to reach out personally. Thank you for giving such a great presentation.”
Therapeutic schools and programs can benefit from student-driven, individualized learning models that meet the diverse needs of learners with various educational foundations and address the issues innate in rolling admissions. Participants learned research-based strategies and how to apply them to the therapeutic environment. Strategies included
- student choice
- individualized class plans
- one-on-one conferences
- project-based learning
- reflective learning, and
- rewarding growth
Clay and Erin have been invited to present these ideas again at the Southern Utah Teacher Summit in July.
About Spring Ridge Academy
Spring Ridge Academy serves young women ages 13-17. We combine a clinically sophisticated therapeutic approach with a rigorous college prep curriculum and an enriching community life to tend to all realms of the student: emotional, relational, spiritual, intellectual, and physical. www.springridgeacademy.com
Whether intended or not, wilderness therapy is one of the oldest interventions to tech overuse. From gaming addiction to simply too much time viewing screens, it is becoming clear that all of us, especially teens, are spending too much time immersed in technology. Research is showing that the consequences can include deficits in the development of fine motor skills, significant sleep disturbance, delayed social skill development, exposure to highly toxic online “relationships” (think cyberbullying and premature sexualization) and, at the very least, time spent with technology at the expense of time engaged in the face-to-face world of relationships and experiences. All too often it becomes an escape to sooth depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other internal struggles. In these cases it provides immediate relief, but worsens what it is soothing. At its worst, overuse can become addiction. The World Health Organization now has a classification for “Gaming Disorder”. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is sure to follow as we develop a better understanding of how tech use can be a process addiction.
It should be no surprise that humans find ourselves drawn into the tech world. In fact, it is difficult to imagine the world without computers and the screens that help people interface with the virtual world. With best intentions, parents put devices in the hands of infants and toddlers to keep them occupied, believing they are giving them a head start in a world where tech is ubiquitous. Researchers are finding that a child focused on a screen rather than reaching, grabbing and exploring the solid world around them is losing the opportunity to develop fine motor skills. Again, with good intention but without evidence, adults encourage children and teens to get a head start in a competitive world by learning as much as possible, as early as possible, about computers. Yet, studies show overwhelmingly that this does not actually result in an advantage later in life. Western culture has grown to believe that it is safer for a teen to be sitting on the couch playing videogames than being out of the house, outside of adult supervision, in an increasingly dangerous world. But what is being discovered is that teens are at far greater risk in the virtual world than they are out exploring the real one. In fact, despite popular belief, the real world is safer for children and teens than it has ever been.
Once the “screen beast” is out of its cage, what are responsible adults to do? It is nearly impossible to avoid technology altogether. But students of relationship and mindfulness are seeing great benefits from “tech fasting” (taking periods of time away from tech) as a way to reset the nervous system and to become aware of how dependent we have become on staring at screens, getting updated on social media, and relying upon technology as a means to cope with stress and loneliness.
Relatedly, professionals are experiencing strides in treating tech overuse in ways that bring about a new and healthier relationship with this “beast” that can be tamed into a useful tool.
Some good news from experience at SUWS: while the vast majority of students describe significant overuse of technology, most of them have little struggle with its absence in the woods. Field instructors and therapists do occasionally see students who experience withdrawal symptoms, including cravings and urges, mood swings, irritability, feelings of apathy, headaches, and lethargy, amongst others. But not most. Of course, the not-so-great news is that a return to overuse is almost guaranteed without a plan to curb it. That is where awareness — the student’s and the parents’ — and a solid home agreement can help continue the momentum towards a healthier relationship with tech. SUWS is talking about this with students in their care. It is important for that conversation to continue when they leave.
If you are a parent whose child rages at the interruption of a Fornite session, stares at a screen rather than attending to the face in front of them, has few in-person friends but hundreds of virtual friends, or cannot fathom a dead cellphone battery, the wilderness experience may be the best opportunity to reset and engage. And while they reconnect, we— parents and SUWS staff—can examine our own relationship with tech. Perhaps we could all benefit from more walks in the woods.
Kardaras, N. (2016). Glow kids: How screen addiction is hijacking our kids--and how to break the trance.
About SUWS of the Carolinas
SUWS of the Carolinas is a licensed, CARF International-accredited mental health facility, committed to helping families rediscover their strengths and fostering growth for young people. Operating in the Pisgah National Forest outside of Asheville, SUWS delivers wilderness based therapeutic interventions for 10-17 year old boys and girls with compassion and excellence.
Over the past four years, Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for young people ages 10-17, has partnered with the Center for Research, Assessment, and Treatment Efficacy (CReATE) and the Arkansas Institute of Developmental Science in conducting a research initiative exploring the therapeutic effectiveness of wilderness therapy. Earlier this year, the data was compiled and Trails Carolina is excited to share its findings.
This study collected clinical outcomes data from Trails students and parents between 2014 and 2019. The research initiative received reports from students about their symptoms, syndromes, and behavioral problems at four stages: their admission to Trails, graduations from Trails, 3 months after graduation, and 12 months after graduation.
At admission, students self-reported the following:
- 44% of students reported clinical symptoms of a substance use disorder
- 33% of students reported significant symptoms of depression/anxiety, suicidality, and peer conflict.
- 25% of students reported clinical elevations in symptoms of ADHD, sleep disruption and disruptive behavior disorders
One year after students graduated from Trails:
- 8% of students reported significant symptoms of substance use disorder
- 7% of students reported symptoms of depression/anxiety, 10% reported symptoms of suicidality, and 8% reported symptoms of peer conflict.
- 12% of students reported symptoms of ADHD, 7% reported symptoms of sleep disruption, and 3% reported symptoms of disruptive behaviors.
“From the study, we were able to see a significant reduction of symptoms across all diagnoses,” comments Salli Lewis, Director of the Research Division of CReATE. “Symptomatic reductions persisted, and in most cases saw continuous improvement, for a full year following treatment at Trails.”
More findings from this study will be reported in the coming months. Learn more about the research initiative and outcomes study by visiting https://trailscarolina.com/outcomes/.
About Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Asheville, North Carolina that offers a multi-dimensional wilderness therapy model to troubled adolescents, ages 10-17. Trails capitalizes upon the profound effects of a student’s wilderness experience, and then combines that experience with strong clinical assessments and therapy. For additional information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303.
At Trails Momentum, a wilderness adventure program for young adults, students put together a capstone project that demonstrates their personal growth. This May, one student used the capstone project as an opportunity to orchestrate a 5K run on campus, getting the whole Momentum community involved.
“The whole point of the 5K run was to help push people outside of their comfort zones and feel vulnerable to change,” said the student. “This is a huge part of the program and I wanted to include that in my Capstone project.”
This student worked with a staff member on campus to brainstorm ideas for his project. Before training for this 5K, he had never participated in a running event.
“It was really important to me to get others in the campus community involved in the 5K,” comments the student. “A 5K run is just three miles, which is something I thought everyone on campus would be able to do. For the month leading up to the event, I was really excited for the day, not just for myself but for everyone involved. We were all experiencing something new and different. I was really happy to see everyone putting effort in and making the most out of it. It was a really rewarding experience.”
Learn more about campus life at Trails Momentum by visiting https://trailsmomentum.com/ or by calling Stacy Barnard or Julia Andrick at (877) 296-8711.
About Trails Momentum
Trails Momentum is an outdoor adventure-based therapy program for young adults ages 18-25 struggling to launch themselves into adulthood. Young adults are guided on a journey of self-discovery where they develop self-concept and are empowered to make the transition into independence. Adventure programming, clinical services, family involvement, college coursework, and social skill development are seamlessly interwoven to maximize the transference of important life skills and address clinical and behavioral challenges.
Nearly one year ago, a programming evolution took place at Telos. Being an all boys' and young men's program for 15 years, the thought of introducing a young women’s apartment was both innovative and bold. The decision was driven by the idea that building a diverse population would enhance the therapeutic outcomes. "A strong therapeutic culture needs diversity to thrive,” remarked Tony Mosier, COO, so to that end, students 18 years and older, working toward “launching” get to live, work and play with a more diverse, coed campus population.
To accomplish such a lofty goal, the young women’s apartment was quickly finished, decorated and made ready, as well as the essential staff and therapists. The Telos model is to live, learn and grow in small groups and use the larger campus group to practice the newly learned skills. The young women’s apartment opened and soon filled. Now, one year later, we are celebrating the young women graduates who are moving on. See related news at https://www.facebook.com/TelosRTC/posts/2677117875638493.
This group of young women are the beginning of a successful and unexpected culture of diversity, acceptance and learning. Telos has found that both the young women and young men are benefiting from the change. Sometimes the simple task of speaking to someone different is difficult. The campus layout facilitates students meeting in the game room while waiting for elevators; students may also workout in the gym together, which begins breaking down barriers, both perceived and tangible that allow our students to “live principle-based lives characterized by insightful choices”.
You might ask what key accomplishments these young women realized while at Telos. There are too many successes to count, however the following are “ wins” from each of the 7 young women who graduated in the past few weeks:
- First time ever, planning to attend college this Fall.
- New confidence to accept a role of campus committee chairperson, also volunteering at a family support center and an animal shelter.
- Participating in group gatherings and activities. Achieving big accomplishments that she didn't believe she could do, like rock climbing, and succeeding at it.
- Working at one job the longest ever (7 months), navigating public transportation and a personal budget. Firsts, for all of these.
- Attending college and for the first time will receive an A and completed a semester of college end-to-end.
- Retained an on-campus job for 3 months, and was just offered a 2nd off-campus job. She has become more assertive with communication.
- Able to consistently be involved with social activities. She had her first relationship out in the community. Completed her first semester of high school, and holding down a job.
The unexpected magnitude of this change is bringing new life and opportunities to Telos students. Telos wishes the young women the very best as they spread their wings into the next phase of life.
Telos is located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in beautiful Orem, Utah. Available are two campuses specifically designed for teens and co-ed young adults dealing with depression, anxiety, social problems and learning differences. Caring staff use proven clinical therapies coupled with the power of healing relationships to promote deep, lasting change. The aim is to help students live principle-based lives characterized by insightful choices, that promote clarity, healing, and direction. Telos is a unique, clinically-sophisticated, relationship-based treatment center for teens and young adults ages 13-26. For more information: email@example.com or www.telos.org.
La Europa Academy is known for our wide variety of arts activities including visual arts, music, dance, writing and drama. This summer, our visual arts program taught by artist Laura Johnson will be offering some fun and exciting challenges pushing students to find their artistic voice with three diverse classes.
"I want to understand each individual artist and her voice through art,” says teacher Laura Johnson. Plein air, or outdoor, painting will replicate the experience of making a living as an artist. Students will understand the artistic process from real life. They will be delving into the concepts of transition and change as they work outside with changing light, weather and natural conditions. Students will be given similar assignments to those given to artists submitting work for juried exhibits.
Laura will be teaching landscape fundamentals, working with horizon lines and perspective. Many students are interested in fashion design, and fashion design starts with fabric so the fabric arts class will take students through the basics of fabric. Students will be using batik, paper making and elements of nature in their work. They will be learning how fabrics combine through weaving and knitting. Finally, they will put their creativity to work on the sewing machine using the variety of fabrics they have experienced through the semester.
The biggest challenge for many high school art students is building a portfolio for submission to the art school of their choice. The portfolio building class will expand student exposure to a variety of art forms so they can submit a diverse portfolio. Art schools expect a student to be flexible and diverse in her work rather than only being proficient in one art medium. Plein air painting, fabric arts and portfolio building will give La Europa students a chance to expand their artistic vision and find their voice this summer.
About La Europa Academy and Mosaic House Transition Program
La Europa Academy is a residential treatment center for girls ages 14 -18 who struggle with emotional dysregulation, anxiety, depression, school refusal, disordered eating and substance use. Our program, located in Murray, UT, uses a combination of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and clinical expressive arts to help students learn to manage their emotions effectively. Students at La Europa experience expressive art therapies multiple times per week as well as engaging in creative arts in our fully-accredited high school.
Mosaic House Transition Program provides La Europa students with a step-down experience toward the end of their stay in residential treatment, in order to help transition the student to the next step. Mosaic House is a 15-bed home where students can practice the skills they have learned in a less-structured environment.
Valley View School is pleased to announce the development of a new Therapeutic Horsemanship Program. In partnership with a local farm, Valley View has designed a 9-week Therapeutic Horsemanship Program. Students have begun receiving education and exposure to horses, learning the requirements of care and look forward to on-going riding lessons.
Brendan O'Neil, Assistant Director, has been involved with organizing and facilitating experiential learning at Valley View for nearly ten years, culminating in the implementation of this new program. Brendan states, "Students are learning about basic care and relationships associated with the horses. This experience will benefit the farm, the horses, and our boys!"
While working together in teams, students will engage in educative efforts aimed at grooming, feeding, cleaning, and general knowledge of horse breeds and riding styles. Learning how to take care of basic injuries, types of tack, and corralling a horse are the next steps for students to experience. The final phase of the educational program is basic horse nutrition, anatomy, care of hooves and riding lessons.
The first team of students successfully launched the program this spring, and many students are "on deck" to benefit from this experience. In addition to simply enjoying the horses, there is a strong therapeutic value to the relationship and care efforts. With the guidance of farm staff and Valley View staff, students are able to identify and practice gentle and concerted movements and maintain a heightened level of consciousness, as they seek to work well with the horses and each other. Brendan adds, "This program is aimed at assisting our boys in the efffort to build trust with horses before riding. Horses are like mirrors, reacting in kind to human behaviors, and students must be cognizant of their behaviors and interactions with each other."
Encouraging self-reflection and awareness helps students set forth positive behaviors with each other that will ultimately impact their relationship with the horses, their peers, and others they may encounter in future relationships.
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.
Twenty years ago, taking a gap year was only something European high school graduates participated in. It has since become popular in the United States as more and more young adults are not in a hurry to graduate college and get on with their careers. More young people and their families are seeing the benefit of taking a year off of school to focus on personal development and growth through travel, adventure, and unique work opportunities.
While there are a number of traditional gap programs, there are not many options that serve young adults with specific challenges. Young adults who are struggling with depression, anxiety, executive functioning difficulties, or learning differences can find it difficult to find a program to address their specific needs. There is a scarcity of programs that can offer the adventure and culture of a traditional gap semester with the added therapeutic support that may be needed at the time.
Pure Life Adventure has increasingly been used as an opportunity for these students who are looking to start their gap years with a therapeutic focus. To that end, in 2019, we will be focussing a portion of our services to young adults who are looking for a therapeutic gap semester. Young adults transitioning between high school and college or opting to take a semester off of college, can now come to Pure Life to develop the skills necessary for their next steps towards adulthood.
To learn more, https://www.purelifeadventure.com/gap-year/ or contact Carrie at (801) 896 9490
About Pure Life Adventure
Pure Life Adventure is located in the Central Pacific region of beautiful Costa Rica. Relying on decades of experience in the Costa Rican outdoor industry, the bicultural team provides a therapeutically sophisticated and holistic approach to helping young adults with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, executive function deficits, trauma and substance abuse. The students are individuals with very real challenges looking for lasting change. Pure Life utilizes traditional individual and group therapy in combination with outdoor experiential learning and adventure. The Pure Life integrated and dynamic approach includes an emphasis on fitness, mindfulness, life skills and cultural immersion.
Salt Lake City, UT: Eva Carlston, a residential treatment program for teen girls, is providing an unforgettable summer for their students. Summer is often a time when students have completed their necessary academic credits or, if they are ready to graduate the program, they need something that will provide structure until school starts in the fall. To help with this, Eva Carlston planned events that will be both educational and fun for students who need it. The summer is organized into trips and local activities.
- The summer starts off with a nine day trip to Washington, D.C. where they explore museums, kayak on the Potomac and visit Jefferson’s Monticello.
- In June, they will go to Los Angeles for an art focus trip where they will explore many of the art museums in the LA area, including the Getty and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They will also take a street art tour and an architecture tour.
- In July, students will see seven plays at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, UT and will head to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT for 5 days of volunteering.
- The summer will conclude with a white-water rafting trip from Moab, UT to Lake Powell, over 100 miles, and exploring some of the national parks in Southern Utah.
When not on the trips, groups of students will have experiences around Salt Lake City. Each week has a different theme, including "Women in Leadership", "Art and Adulting", "The Great Outdoors", "Community Engagement" and "Career Development". Each week will have activities related to the theme, incorporating a mix of meeting with professionals and experts in the community and practical activities to build skills in a given area.
Eva Carlston hopes that the summer activities will provide additional opportunities for the students to practice and hone the skills they have been learning and will provide experiences to help students develop new interests to contribute to becoming productive and involved adults.
About Eva Carlston Academy
Eva Carlston Academy (UT) is a licensed residential treatment center located near the urban center of Salt Lake City. The program serves young women between the ages of 12 and 18 in a clinically intense, family-style program which focuses upon creating opportunities for students to expore the arts while working toward continued growth and healing.
Solstice West Adventure Therapy camping trips are in full swing. Solstice West, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-17, will have a total of 8 team camping trips, as well as a total of 3 parent/child camping trips this Spring.
Early this Spring, Solstice West RTC hosted seven students and their mothers on a 4-day, 3-night adventure near Moab, Utah. Misty Mosier (Autumn team therapist), Brittany Harms (Autumn team director) and Stacey Rosenberg (Adventure Therapy Director) joined families on the trip. They hiked, climbed and rappelled in the red rock desert.
“Despite raging winds, cold temperatures, and torrential rain, Solstice families endured, made lasting memories, and rekindled relationships,” says Stacey Rosenberg, Adventure Therapy Director of Solstice West RTC. “The moments of downtime were some of the most powerful parts of the trip. During this time, families were connecting while exploring the boulders around camp, playing Jenga in an 'outdoor living room' or just taking time to sit by the Colorado River.”
During the final wrap-up group, one student reflected back on her experience. She talked about how even though she and her mom fell back into old patterns, the highlight of her trip was finding their way back to each other.
In addition to the 11 different camping trips that will focus on specific skills such as rock climbing, backpacking, whitewater rafting, flat water canoeing, hiking, or mountain biking, Adventure Therapy also consists of off-campus activities every Friday. These off campus adventures often consist of community service, cooking classes, art and community events, marathons & 5k races, volunteering, working with youth, community farming, working with the elderly and working with animals.
About Solstice RTC
Solstice RTC is a residential treatment center for teen girls that has helped hundreds of struggling teens on their journey to solving issues like trauma, depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Solstice RTC, located in Layton, Utah, offers a specialized, clinically intensive program based on the specific needs of young women. At Solstice RTC, young women discover their full potential. For additional information on Solstice RTC, please visit http://solsticertc.com/ or call 801-444-0794.
Journey Home West, a transitional living program for young women ages 16-21, is excited to welcome Lacey King as Primary Therapist.
Prior to starting at Journey Home West, Lacey worked at Solstice West RTC for seven years as a mentor, team lead, and then as a team director. During this time, she experienced what it takes as a staff and manager to create a positive culture where health and healing can flourish for students and their families. Some of Lacey’s favorite memories range from attending camping trips, being a dance coach for a summer at Solstice, and helping lead the Women & Sobriety group on campus.
Being a part of the journey for others is what inspired her to work with the therapists at Solstice West, through her graduate education and then out in the community as a member of the Crisis Team for the Davis County School District for the past two years. Lacey’s experience of the stresses in high school aged kids allowed her to advance her knowledge on what parents face in trying to maintain supportive positive mental health around a growing and some time out-of-control environment that can be seen in public education and in adolescent social trends. From being a member of the Solstice family from the beginning, gaining insight and experience as to what teens face in high school, to now being able to work with the Journey Home West clients, she is able to help support their growing desire to be out in the world and gaining independence.
Lacey received her Master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. She specializes in working with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, substance abuse issues, low self-esteem, and grief and loss. She believes in empowering girls to develop a positive sense of self-worth and identity. Lacey is married and has a two-year-old son. She loves connecting with friends and family and she loves camping, boating, rock climbing, and hiking.
About Journey Home West
Journey Home West is a transitional living step-down program for girls ages 16-21 that have successfully completed a therapeutic program and are seeking further development of life skills before they transition into an independent living setting. Journey Home West is located just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information about Journey Home and if it could be the right fit for your daughter, please call: 801-444-0794.
Red Mountain Sedona, a mindfulness-based, transitional living program for young adults, hired Tim Mullins, CMHC, LCPC, as a primary therapist earlier this Spring. Tim brings to the clinical team a background in wilderness therapy and a wealth of knowledge and experience from a variety of settings, including residential treatment and adventure therapy.
Tim entered the field of psychology and mental health by way of philosophy, and is particularly interested in helping young adults navigate existential crises like identity formation and individuation. Tim incorporates various modalities in treating anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and attachment issues. Tim also has extensive experience working with trauma using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and substance use with Motivational Interviewing, 12-step, and mindfulness-based recovery methods.
Prior to beginning his current doctoral studies in psychology, Tim received a BS magna cum laude from Strayer University and an MA in counseling psychology from Prescott College. In 2005, he completed yoga teacher training in Montana, which uniquely positions him to aid Red Mountain students within the mindfulness-based framework. The integration of science and spirituality is the focus of his counseling philosophy and the basis of his current doctoral work at Cal Southern University.
Tim also has over twenty years of sobriety in personal recovery. For health and fitness, he enjoys yoga, mountain biking, backpacking, skiing, and exploring wild places. For other fun, Tim plays chess, studies topography, dances Argentine tango and reads incessantly.
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.
Vive is thrilled to announce a new chapter in their evolution: Vive Family Support Program and Potomac Pathways are joining forces to turn the tide in the rising rates of adolescent anxiety,depression and suicide. The new company is called Potomac Programs, offering community, outpatient, and home-based care. Potomac's national services will intervene earlier in the treatment process in order to lower healthcare costs and heal families.
Potomac Programs (a division of Embark Behavioral Health) will be designing centers of excellence in major metro areas across the country that will provide the best-in-class, convenient and insurance-reimbursed experiences for young people and their families.
The move combines the former Vive Family Support Program (with community based services in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco) with Potomac Pathways' IOP and PHP programs in Washington, DC. Alex Stavros, CEO of Embark Behavorial Health, stated, "We believe this move better positions the organization to take on the growing epidemic of adolescent behavioral health problems in this country. It's no longer acceptable to sit back and hope that things get better. This movement requires new, bold initiatives and creative partnerships that get at the root of these problems. We can't do this alone. It requires us to collaborate and problem-solve with insurance companies, federal and state agencies, as well as community providers, leaders and stakeholders. We need to provide a comprehensive continuum of cutting edge behavioral health services to all of our communities. This is a national problem. We believe that by creating access that educates and prevents, and by intervening lower in the continuum of care, we will help lower the stigma and increase awareness. "
Potomac Program's in-home based service is a relational and experiential therapeutic support program for families. The program works closely with families to offer insight, implement coping skills, and rebuild trust within the family system.
Solstice East is constantly looking into ways to reduce length of stay for students and have better outcomes. Solstice East has been using the TF-EAP (Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy) as well as EAGALA with their students for years now. This model has proven extremely effective with students with trauma, as it is experiential in nature. Executive Clinical Director Jenny Selent made a goal for the clinical team this year - to learn how to be even better in treating pre-verbal and complex trauma. She was interested in finding more ways to reach those kids and how to do it in a more efficient way.
After researching modalities that would help these students, she settled in on a few different methods. All primary therapists and clinical directors are now trained in Brainspotting and EMDR to help them treat their students in a more efficient and effective way. Another thing that the clinical team is doing together is reading the book “Dare to Lead” and implementing these lessons in a very real, day to day kind of way. “We want our team to be in relationship with each other in a way that we will see reflecting through the milieu. We are using Dare to Lead to guide us through a process of being better in our relationships with each other, for the sake of our relationship with each other and the kids we serve,” Jenny said.
Next on the docket in terms of training is Integration Based Stress Removal, which focuses heavily on the somatic processing and healing of trauma. Jenny added, “We have been in a process of creating more dynamic and experiential groups for our students, which includes adding more clinical support to the groups, more dynamic group modalities, experiential opportunities (e.g., processing with the horses), doing experiential DBT, and doing initiatives with the adventure therapy team.”
Solstice East is proud to bolster a strong clinical program as well as a thriving academic/college prep program. If you would like more information about Solstice East, please contact Kris: Kris@SolsticeEast.com.
About Solstice East
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for adolescents ages 14-18 located just outside of Asheville, NC. Solstice East has helped hundreds of students and their families with issues ranging from depression and anxiety to trauma and behavioral problems. Solstice East is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), and academically accredited by AdvancED and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Additionally, Solstice East is licensed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Dragonfly Transitions, a co-ed Young Adult transitional program located in Southern Oregon, welcomes Ashley Lowry, MSW to the clinical team at the Klamath Falls campus.
Ashley holds a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Bowling Green State University. Ashley has worked in multiple settings, including hospitals, crisis centers, inpatient substance abuse centers and mental health outpatient settings. She has experience as both a case manager and a clinical therapist, which allowed her to partner with clients as they develop imperative life skills in addition to improving their psychological and emotional health.
Ashley has specialized in treating depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorders, trauma and psychotic disorders. She believes in utilizing a holistic and integrative therapeutic approach and incorporating the healing of the body and mind. In her practice, she has utilized CBT, ACT, mindfulness, meditation, and experiential therapies in individual, group and family settings. She is passionate about the importance of a strong therapeutic alliance, built on safety and trust.
Dragonfly's Interim Clinical Director, Devon Priem, LCSW, comments, "Ashley is highly skilled at establishing strong therapeutic relationships with the clients and families she works with. She has great energy, passion and integrity to clients and the Dragonfly team. We are so grateful to have Ashley as part of our clinical team!"
About Dragonfly Transitions
Dragonfly Transitions supports young adults 18-30 on a journey of personal exploration, health, and independence. Dragonfly is designed with progressive phases, college and vocational options, recreation, therapeutic support, and a variety of living environments located in southern Oregon. Students are provided opportunities for hands on experience in a supportive environment where they can flourish.
Journey Home East is a transitional living for students ages 16-21 in downtown Asheville, NC. In the few years it has been open, the Journey Home East team noticed the need for more housing options and opportunities to teach residents skills, but with more freedom. Many residents had been choosing to stay in the Asheville area and would continue to reach out for help.
Journey Home East program director and therapist, Brinkley Stone Werley, has identified two residents who are able to move into their own apartment close by and continue with the program with more freedoms, but still provide the support needed from Journey Home. This service will be offered at a much lower cost, but will include housing, food, transportation, clinical and program services.
"The two residents who chose to move out on their own are excited. They were able to help pick out the apartment and advocate for what supports they would still like to receive while on their own. They will still receive therapy from Brinkley, as well as Wellness Coaching from Joseph and Academic Advising from Tatiana. They still have their whole A-team available to them, but more free time and opportunites to 'adult'. We are excited to continue our services and be able to keep our residents in Ashveille, with their supports still available to them, " said Kris Archer (Director of Business Development).
Journey Home East was also able to add Kaitlyn Keller to the team, who is finishing her degree this Summer to be a therapist. She will serve as the Director of Residential Life and will help the residents in both locations. If you would like to learn more about Journey Home East and their new apartment set up, please contact Kris Archer at Kris@SolsticeEast.com.
About Journey Home East
Journey Home East serves females aged 16-21 and provides structure for students while they learn independent living skills. Much of the structure and support provided by our 24/7 staffed home is managing electronic devices, managing free time and social life appropriately, and budgeting, shopping for groceries, and cooking meals. Clients enrolling at Journey Home have a previous therapeutic placement, where home was not an option afterward. They are provided with a therapist in the home to work on individual and family issues.
Summer is around the corner and Elements Traverse, a young adult wilderness therapy company in central Utah, will soon be moving from the San Rafael Swell up into the cool verdant mountains of the Manti La Sal National Forest. Moving field areas provides a number of benefits to clients: a respite from the warmer desert temperatures, variety in landscape, and the addition of fly-fishing and stand-up paddleboarding to the program’s core adventure activities of rock climbing and rappelling.
Traverse groups typically spend June through September along the Wasatch Plateau where the temperatures may be 20 degrees cooler than down in the desert. The groups hike past high mountain lakes, around deep scenic canyons, and pitch their shelters in shaded Aspen groves. Additionally, clients learn from experienced fly-fishing guides how to tie and use flies to catch fish in the local reservoirs and streams. Clients also learn to stand-up paddleboard with Traverse’s licensed boating guides.
These water adventures add new opportunities to connect the clients’ therapeutic work to real-life experiences. One former client shared that, “My favorite moments were often during the [adventure programming] where I got to bond with the group doing activities I love.” The intention behind every aspect of the program is to support the treatment plan while also offering opportunities for clients to engage in the program and discover new passions and interests.
About Elements Traverse
Elements Traverse is a young adult wilderness therapy program based in central Utah. Traverse clients spend nine weeks backpacking in the San Rafael Swell past petroglyphs and dinosaur fossils. Elements Traverse offers inclusive groups where clients regardless of gender identity work on treatment goals together. They learn Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills to help them navigate life's inevitable ups and downs. They gain a deep understanding of their substance use through the evidence-based 7 Challenges curriculum. As a small owner-operated program, we know each one of our clients well, and their families have access to us at every level. For more information, visit www.elementstraverse.com
ReSTART is the nation’s leader in targeting internet and video game addiction among adolescents and young adults. Through their years of experience and expertise, they have been able to support and help this growing population of young people struggling with this emerging issue. Located near the great city of Seattle, ReSTART has helped students from all over the country battle their addiction and develop a healthy relationship with technology.
This July, ReSTART is celebrating their ten year anniversary of being pioneers in the field of technology addiction. Ten years ago, Dr. Hilarie Cash and Cosette Rae met, connected on the growing need for this specific focus, and created ReSTART. Over the ten years, there has been much growth, including the adolescent program three years ago, and the more recent additions of a working ranch to the young adult program. It has been ten years of not only providing treatment for this growing population, but also ten years of educating the country on the reality of internet and technology addiction / internet gaming disorder.
As ReSTART celebrates their ten years of treatment, they are looking forward to the future. ReSTART is excited about the industry’s growing awareness and acceptance of the role this addiction is playing in the development of our adolescents and young adults. ReSTART remains the ultimate resource for information and guidance regarding how best to treat this issue and support the needed growth of care for the amazing young students of today.
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.
TechieForLife (TFL), a postsecondary vocational school with a wrap-around career support program, mentors many students who struggle with balancing their screen use. To help with this, TFL invited Trine Syverinsen, screen use specialist, educational consultant and parent coach at The Bodin Group, to present to their students on creating healthy screen and life habits.
Trine candidly approached the topic and addressed the habits and obstacles students admitted have been getting in the way of their goals. She invited them to examine and take ownership of their screen use by asking “What role would you like screens to have in your life? How do you feel about the thoughts of creating healthy screen habits?” Trine explained how using compensatory mechanisms can be helpful in remembering and consolidating habits. For many of TFL’s neurodiverse students who struggle with executive functioning, a set of neurological processes that involve self-regulation, this was especially significant.
TechieForLife embraces technology and the career opportunities it affords students while recognizing the importance of using it responsibly to connect, not isolate. “Many of our students with social and emotional challenges have found solace in screen-based activities. Unfortunately, it can lead to overuse that they’re resistant to acknowledge," said Jason Grygla, Executive Director at TFL. “Bringing in an outside expert like Trine effectively backed up what we’ve been working on. We appreciated how well Trine connected with our students and shared useful techniques and tools to create better habits around screen use.”
Trine Syverinsen has extensive experience with individual consultations and public speaking. She is a specialist at engaging her audience as she coaches on how to develop successful parenting strategies around screen use, communication, school avoidance and anxiety, study habits for students with executive functioning challenges and social skills development for students on the Autism spectrum. Trine recently launched a screen use specific parent coaching program. For more information visit: thebodingroup.com.
About Trine Syverinsen
Trine H. Syverinsen, Cand. Polit. has been a consultant at Bodin, located in Los Altos, CA, since 2005. She serves parents of children K-12 who experience social and emotional struggles related to learning differences, school attendance, social difficulties and parent-child relationship challenges. She is passionate about partnering with and helping them create plans for future academic, social and behavioral success. Trine does individual consultations and public speaking engagements on a variety of related topics.
TechieForLife (TFL) is a co-ed, residential postsecondary school with a wrap-around career support program in beautiful St. George, Utah. Students with neurodiverse social, emotional and academic challenges such as autism receive mentoring at TFL so they can build social connections, confidence and independence. Licensed as a vocational school, TFL offers in-house computer tech training, college or trade school help, apprenticeships, internships and job support for individualized paths forward. At TFL, students have a place to belong and support to succeed.
On Memorial Day, AIM House participants had the opportunity to take part in a quintessential Boulder experience: the annual Bolder Boulder, the largest 10k in the United States and fifth largest road race in the world. Over 50,000 racers line up in central Boulder and wind their way around the city to finish at University of Colorado’s Folsom Stadium, where people gather to take part in a Memorial Day tribute.
Ten AIM House participants joined Coloradans early in the morning to run the race. Some walked, some ran, and they all had tons of fun. AIM House staff and participants were also along the sidelines to cheer on Bolder Boulder racers and offer encouragement like it was their job. They made lemon bars to hand out and sprayed racers with hoses as they ran by. Everyone was working hard and enjoying the race.
The Bolder Boulder is a favorite among many in the AIM House community. Staff and participants at AIM House count the Bolder Boulder at the top of their list of Boulder favorites. Reactions to the 2019 Boulder Bolder articulate how energizing and exciting this Memorial weekend event is for everyone:
“I thought it was super cool to be cheering so many people on and then be pleasantly surprised with my friends from this community. It reminded me that everyone running was running for their own purpose just like my peers and me cheering them on might have helped that purpose. The environment in general also felt like home as I am from Boston. I felt very welcomed,” -AIM House participant
“I did the Bolder Boulder just for the experience. Leading up to the event I heard great things about the event and wanted to see what all the hype was about. I also wanted to do it to prove to myself that sometimes it’s not about running the whole way, it’s about walking and jogging with a group of people you care about and having fun in the moment!” - AIM House participant
After reaching the finish line, everyone headed back home to relax and enjoy the weather. The Bolder Boulder is a yearly tradition that is highly anticipated by the AIM House community, and marks the beginning of a fantastic summer ahead.
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.
blueFire Wilderness Therapy, a wilderness program for teens ages 11-17, takes extra measures to make sure clients stay hydrated and cool during the hot days of summer. With the beginning of summer fast approaching, blueFire Wilderness starts June instilling these measures into programming for the days ahead.
Throughout the summer months, blueFire makes sure clients and staff stay hydrated throughout the day. Clients drink at least 4 liters of water a day and replace electrolytes with electrolyte based drinks.
blueFire clients are taught how to dress appropriately for the hot summer weather of Gooding, Idaho. Clients wear long sleeves and pants to keep their bodies cool through insulation.
“At blueFire Wilderness Therapy, clients take part in a variety of excursions throughout the day,” says Kathy Rex, CTRS, Executive Director and Co-Founder of blueFire Wilderness. “However, during the summer months we change our schedule to make sure clients stay cool. We complete all physical activities before the hottest part of the day and clients are back at base camp before noon in the summer months.”
Many of the activities clients participate in during the summer months are water-based.
“We love to get our students on canoes in the water to not only get a good work out, but also to cool off in a designated swimming area,” says Rex.
Another way blueFire helps keep clients cool during the summer months is through seeking higher elevation in the surrounding areas near Gooding, Idaho.
“One of the most important things that our clients do to protect themselves from the sun is to wear a hat and wear sunscreen at all times,” comments Rex. “We think that this is extremely important and our staff makes sure that our clients stay on top of applying sunscreen and wearing their hats.”
Learn more about adventure programming at blueFire Wilderness by visiting https://www.bluefirewilderness.com/ or by calling 1 (844) 413-1999.
About blueFire Wilderness
BlueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Boise, Idaho that offers teens ages 11-17 a comprehensive adventure experience. BlueFire Wilderness combines clinical expertise, academic assessments and a family systems approach to help teens struggling emotional, behavioral and social challenges. For more information, please call 1 (844) 413-1999.
Crossroads High School Graduation has finally come! This Friday, June 7, 2019 many of the adolescent students and young adults will be graduating. This is a milestone for students, family and friends who have supported them on this journey and it is inspiring to be a part of. It is a unique ceremony with a lot of love, laughter and tears. Many students never imagined they would be here at Crossroads and let alone graduating.
Crossroads Young Adult program also participates in this occasion because some young adults come to us not having completed high school. They are lost, frustrated and unsure of what their future looks like. Dorius Academy gives them hope and provides a space for them to dream.
Crossroads works closely with Dorius Academy, a fully accredited private academy to help boys navigate the difficulties of completing their high school education. The academy operates with a self directed study philosophy where students can earn a regular diploma or pursue a different track and earn an adult equivalent, either satisfying the requirements for continuing their education.
Congratulations, Class of 2019. Be inspired and always remember what Michelle Obama said, “It is absolutely still possible to make a difference.”
Crossroads mission statement: To provide adolescents, young adults and their families effective drug and alcohol treatment using genuinely connected relationships facilitated by active and purposeful living. Crossroads Academy and Young Adult is located in Ogden, UT.
The Aspiro Adventure Therapy Program recently set out to create a comprehensive overview of Wilderness Therapy Programs. “We know it can be confusing for families researching wilderness therapy programs. We’ve tried to compile all the research on wilderness therapy into a single resource for the families” said Josh Watson, CMO at Aspiro.
The article discusses topics like:
1. What is Wilderness Therapy?
2. Is Wilderness Therapy Safe?
3. Benefits of Wilderness Therapy
- Improved Mental, Emotional & Behavioral Health through Intensive Clinical Assessment & Intervention
- How effective is wilderness therapy?
- Healthy Coping Strategies & Skills
- Strong Self-identity & Self-esteem
- Improved Family Connections
4. Types of Wilderness Therapy Programs
- Nomadic Wilderness Therapy Model
- Why/How Wilderness Therapy Works
- Basecamp Wilderness Therapy Model
- What is Wilderness Adventure Therapy?
- Why/How Adventure Therapy Works
- What is the difference between Wilderness Therapy and Adventure Therapy?
5. Who is a Good Fit for Wilderness Therapy?
- Exclusionary criteria for a wilderness program
- Challenges that wilderness therapy is successful in treating
6. Getting Started: How to Find the Right Wilderness Therapy Program for Your Family
- Working with an Educational Consultant
- Questions to Ask Wilderness Therapy Programs
- Program & Group Specializations
- Navigating Wilderness Therapy Programs’ Reviews
- Certifications, Accreditations, & Affiliations: What to Look For
- Where are wilderness therapy programs located?
Josh Watson continued with an invitation to the community, “We know that we won't be entirely comprehensive on our first attempt. Please look if you see anything that is missing or inaccurate. We'd love to hear what resonated with you, and what we need to improve. If you have feedback for us, please call me or Shannon Weaver at 801-349-2740 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think.”
About Aspiro Adventure Therapy
Aspiro Adventure Wilderness Adventure Therapy Program was uniquely crafted to assist students and their families in creating lasting, life-long emotional changes through compassionate, intentional, research-backed, and safe outdoor adventure therapy programs. The licensed professionals at Aspiro Adventure understand individuals don’t come with instructions, and every student is unique, capable, and amazing in their own right.
Based in Utah, Aspiro Adventure focuses on helping adolescents, young adults, and their families through difficulties that occur when various behavioral, cognitive, or developmental issues are present. Research shows that engaging individuals on a personal level with strategic and intentional activities will aid in developing the tools and skills necessary to engage life in a healthy and positive way.
Open Sky is pleased to launch a new adolescent boys group with Clinical Therapist Brian Leidal, MA, LPC. Brian is a seasoned veteran at Open Sky, having served in the role of Family Services Therapist since he joined the team in 2016.
In his work as a Family Services Therapist, Brian facilitated over 133 Family Quests for parents and families and is inspired by the transformational work that occurs in the field during these multi-day intensives. He appreciates the importance of parents working in parallel with their children. As both parents and students become more attuned to their emotions and patterns, the entire family system becomes healthier.
Brian grew up in Michigan, where he learned at an early age to love and respect the outdoors. After earning his Bachelor’s in Parks and Recreation from Michigan State University, Brian took on various outdoor seasonal jobs as a trip leader and outdoor educator for youth. He eventually moved to South Dakota and worked on the Native American reservations of the Great Plains. In 2010, he accepted a position at a residential treatment facility for male youth in Western Pennsylvania. He facilitated team building initiatives and climbing activities for the residents at the high ropes course, which was the beginning of his journey into experiential therapies. This cultivated a desire to attend graduate school for counseling. He completed a Master’s in Community Counseling with a specialization in addiction in May 2014.
Brian’s post-master’s work in inpatient drug and alcohol rehab helped him to hone his clinical skills with young adults and families struggling with addiction. Brian returned to facilitating team building and climbing with youth at a residential treatment facility, where he refined his group counseling skills and helped the young people empower themselves through their experiences in the ropes course.
In his work as a Clinical Therapist with adolescent boys, Brian utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with an emphasis on the student's current somatic experience. He helps his students to understand how thoughts and thought patterns influence emotions, which then influence behaviors.
About Open Sky Wilderness Therapy
Nestled in the mountains of southwest Colorado and the Canyonlands of southeast Utah, Open Sky transcends traditional wilderness therapy with an approach that emphasizes treatment for the whole family. When a family partners with Open Sky, they embark on a rewarding adventure of self-discovery and learn a range of strategies that promote lasting success. The Open Sky clinical approach utilizes the latest in evidence-based clinical modalities integrated with innovative, well-researched mindfulness and holistic healing practices. Therapists develop treatment plans, provide individual and group psychotherapy, and update families each week via teleconference. Students participate in daily process groups and a wide range of experiential activities designed to increase awareness and facilitate growth.
Two of Pacia Life's locations, Salt Lake City and New Perspectives, both in Utah are excited to announce the inclusion of Neuro-Pathway personalized training programs to strengthen and guide brainwaves. The end goal is to help the brain better regulate, focus, and communicate, thus often alleviating unwanted symptoms and behaviors.
The process begins with extensive qEEG brain mapping and is followed up by 30 to 50 brain training sessions. Each brain mapping session is relaxing as the client watches something on YouTube while the neurofeedback technology uses operant conditioning of positive auditory and visual reinforcement to encourage the brain to self-regulate and improve communication within the brain and central nervous system. Neurofeedback is known to help with ADHD, autism, brain injury, chemo brain and memory, depression, addiction, anxiety, PTSD, academic focus, insomnia, and peak performance.
Currently, three staff from the Salt Lake City team are certified through Symmetry Neuro-Pathway Training. In addition, two other staff members were trained to assist in the process. The plan is to bring Neuro-Pathway training to all Pacia Life locations in 2020.
You can learn more about this by visiting pacialife.com/peak-performance-1080
About Pacia Life
Pacia Life was founded in 2013 with the intention and passion to fill a gaping void in the clinical needs, the transition from therapeutic programs to real life, education, life skills, grit, resiliency and personal needs for emerging young adults. Today, Pacia Life has grown into an international organization serving young adults from 17 and up. We currently offer six full-service locations and two step down locations. Each location is created to meet specific and unique needs.
Dr. Janet Martin is one of OPI's in-house psychiatrists, a bright, enthusiastic, and observant member of the team who meets one-on-one with clients to provide individualized care and medical insight. She was originally drawn to Optimum Performance Institute (OPI) because of a vested personal interest in young adult psychiatry. Having difficulty finding such a specialization during her residency at Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Martin was surprised and pleased when OPI’s founder reached out to her regarding a position. Dr. Martin returned to OPI in 2016 after a hiatus and has been with OPI ever since.
Dr. Martin grew up in San Pedro, CA, to a father who fought in WWII and taught high school biology, and a mother who immigrated from Japan. She has been practicing psychiatry for 13 years since completing her residency at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Martin joined an MD/PhD training program at UCI to do research on brain aging, but fell in love with medicine while in medical school, and so completed the PhD, studying neuropathology of frontotemporal dementia. She had some difficulty finally choosing between neurology and psychiatry (having an interest in any field “brain-related”) but decided on psychiatry in her fourth year of medical school, as she found it more rewarding.
When asked about what she considers her greatest personal and professional achievements, Dr. Martin said she values helping patients and seeing them improve in their lives. She also stated she feels good about being in a healthy relationship with her spouse and having a sense of teamwork that allows her to work part time so they can raise two wonderful kids. As well, she is proud of generally being able to maintain a balance between work and play, a skill she also encourages our OPI participants to develop and maintain.
As for her greatest strengths (particularly in a residential setting), Dr. Martin believes coming from a multicultural background has made her more understanding of different cultures and perspectives, a very valuable asset to any residential program, but especially salient in our Los Angeles location. She also said she has been "accused of being a combination of intelligent and caring."
Dr. Martin has the following advice for families seeking residential care for a loved one:
“It's important to support family members who are struggling and need inpatient care. It's also important to seek support for yourselves, as it can be very stressful to live with a loved one who needs that level of support. Becoming educated about your loved one's condition(s) and learning how to reduce stress in the home environment are important to understanding what your loved ones are going through and trying to reduce exacerbations of such conditions. “
When she’s not gracing colleagues with her intelligence and warmth at OPI, Dr. Martin can be found helping patients in her private practice, volunteering for the art docent program at her child's elementary school, riding her mountain bike in the Santa Monica mountains, or skiing in Mammoth.
About Optimum Performance Institute
Optimum Performance Institute (OPI) was founded in 2003 and Joint Commission (JCAHO) accredited and located in the San Fernando Valley. OPI offers treatment focused on complex mental health diagnosis and challenges for young adults ages 17-28. Participants engage in real life experiences in an urban setting and work with a multidisciplinary team to forge the path to lasting independence.
Sunrise Residential Treatment Center is constantly amazed at how talented, dedicated, hardworking, and generous their girls are. Sunrise students' study of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) not only helps them learn skills to regulate their emotions, but also helps them learn skills to build a life worth living.
One of the ways Sunrise assists its girls in building a life worth living is by creating as many opportunities as possible to help students give back to the community through various volunteer activities. From playing with the animals at local animal shelters, passing out water at the many races and triathalons that come through town, to painting fingernails and toenails at the rest home near by, the girls are out and about contributing to the local community. This generosity enables our girls to recognize the positive impact they can have.
"We are so proud of our girls," says Maria Simpson, Sunrise Adventure Director. "In this first quarter alone, our girls logged over 1,000 hours of service volunteer hours. It is truly amazing to watch them work so hard on their individual therapeutic journey and to see them want to give back to those around them. We truly appreciate their effort and willingness to go the extra mile for others."
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.
Assuming the role of Boulder Creek Academy’s Clinical Director was a natural transition for Lynn Marshall, PsyD. Lynn’s specialties include anxiety, depression, self-harm, childhood trauma, psychological assessments and differential diagnosis. She has specific training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), parent-child psychotherapy and suicide assessment.
Lynn uses her extensive experience to bring optimism, humor, and kindness to the treatment environment at Boulder Creek Academy. She appreciates the challenge of understanding each student’s unique life story and finding the key components that can support them in building a life they want to live.
When not at work you can find Lynn playing with her son and daughter. Lynn and her husband they strive to be outside; they take their kids hiking, climbing, camping and skiing, just to name a few of their biggest passions.
"We are so pleased to have Dr. Marshall on our team! She brings such warmth and genuine care for our students, in addition to a wealth of clinical knowledge," notes Lisa Hester, Executive Director.
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.
Monday, June 1st, Lake Ozark Mo; Calo Teens and Calo Preteens hosted its 9th annual conference at the Four Seasons Resort in Lake Ozark, Missouri last month. The "Interventions in Action: Attachment, Adoption and Trauma-Informed Care" Conferenece brought more than 100 professionals together from across the country including educational consultants, psychologists, clinicians, schools, social service agencies and programs to interact and learn from thought leaders in the field. Guest speakers included Brainspotting developer Dr. David Grand, Authors Dr. Julie Lopez and Mary DeMichele and attachment specialist Deena McMahon.
According to Nicole Fuglsang, Vice President of Calo Admissions, “The goal of the conference was to go beyond theory and provide attendees with an opportunity to see what different interventions look like in an applied setting. We think that’s where the learning takes place”. Examples include a David Grand Brainspotting demo to a panel discussion and role playing highlighting the differences in attachment theory, adoption competency and trauma informed treatment interventions. Mary DeMichele also facilitated an improv group where everyone had the opportunity to experience one of her most impactful programs from her book, One Rule Improv, which not only helps students overcome self-limiting beliefs, but helps build confidence in life.
The three-day conference held annually in May is also an opportunity for referral partners to tour the Calo campuses (www.caloteens.com) and meet the world class Calo canines. Attendees were also treated to paddleboard yoga, a roof top reception and a dance party.
To learn more about the Calo Conference or about how Calo Programs works to improve compassion, understanding and sensitivity of the impact of early life adverse conditions, contact Nicole Fuglsang at 877-879-2256.
About Calo Programs
Calo Programs (www.caloprograms.com) is a unique organization comprised of an extraordinary family of programs, all dedicated to healing the effects of early trauma. Calo is a leading network of clinical and therapeutic programs that offers a comprehensive set of services focused on cutting edge, trauma-based interventions.
All Calo programs implement a unique and truly relational treatment model based on the science of neurobiology and evidence-based attachment and trauma treatment research. Calo’s proprietary Developmental Trauma CASA Treatment Model and Clinical Structure is pervasive throughout the programs. The unique model facilitates establishing, deepening and maintaining healthy and safe relationships that ultimately lead to co-regulation and Joy.
Shane Phillips, MSW, LCAS, is grateful for the opportunity to return to Red Oak Recovery® as Executive Director of the men's campus. Shane is a founding member of the team and helped Red Oak open its doors in 2014. He is passionate about working with young adults and their families. Shane has worked in a variety of treatment settings serving adolescents and young adults with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Most recently, he worked as a clinician at Duke CAST program, an outpatient clinic at Duke University Medical Center.
While getting his MSW at UNC-Chapel Hill, Shane was a recipient of the Governor's Institute Scholarship, and he received a SAMHSA fellowship through the NAADAC National Minority Fellowship Program for Addiction Counselors. He was a member of the collegiate recovery community at UNC and served for a year as the President of the Carolina Recovery Group. After completing his master's program, Shane supervised the development of a grant-funded initiative to provide peer support services to overdose survivors in Wake County.
Shane believes deeply in a young person's capacity to initiate and sustain long-term recovery from addiction. In his current role, he manages the young adult men's campus and works to ensure that clients and their families receive compassionate, evidence-based treatment.
"Shane re-joins our team with over a decade of experience and specialization in treating the young adult population," says Jack Kline, LPCS, LCAS, CCS, CTT-2, MAC, President and Founder. "He brings with him a depth of knowledge in collegiate recovery, research, and the latest trends in treatment for young adults struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. We could not be more pleased that Shane has returned to share his talents with our team and clients."
About Red Oak Recovery
Red Oak Recovery® programs are located throughout Western North Carolina and include clinically-driven and gender separate trauma focused mental health and substance abuse treatment for young adult men (www.redoakrecovery.com), young adult women (www.thewillowsatredoak.com), and adolescent males (www.foothillsatredoak.com). Our developmentally specific treatment modalities take into account each client’s unique story, trauma history, gender challenges, substance abuse history, relapse triggers, and mental health issues. Our dually licensed master’s level clinicians integrate research-based practices with complementary modalities to help clients honor themselves, recognize their self-worth, and pursue positive, lasting change.