All Kinds of News for March 06, 2019
Salt Lake City, UT: Eva Carlston, a residential treatment program for teen girls, regularly supports environmental causes by doing things such as volunteering with WasteWise, where they help teach others what and how to recycle. Recently, they have partnered with HawkWatch International to help them investigate and conserve vultures in the Horn of Africa. They have done this by contributing hours of help to HawkWatch's work, and recently, adopting a female vulture.
Eva Carlston students recently attended presentations by HawkWatch, and it got them excited about the cause. “I never knew birds, especially vultures, were so important to the ecosystem. They help recycle rid of dead things, and help prevent diseases from spreading,” one student commented. Another student noted, “I learned so much! Did you know that, unlike most other birds of prey, vultures are social creatures and do lots of things in large groups? And what you call a group of vultures changes depending on what they are doing? They are so cool!”
Eva Carlston is excited to support “nature’s clean-up crew.” And looks forward to following their bird's progress. Additionally, they will continue to look for other ways they can support environmental causes. In doing so, Eva Carlston is working to help their students find a variety of passions in life and introduce them to things they may not have previously considered.
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 explore the arts while working toward continued growth and healing.
Last week, Point School Puerto Rico (PSPR) Coordinator of Business Development, Tracey Bachrach, presented at the annual National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs conference. Tracey’s presentation was on the importance of cultivating well-being in a program setting. The well-being principles discussed in Tracey’s presentation are thoughtfully and intentionally carried out through PSPR’s positive psychology informed program.
According to Martin Seligman, “Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.”
There are five pillars of well-being that can be used as pathways towards a flourishing life:
- Positive Affect: Emotions that have a supportive and encouraging impact on well-being.
- Engagement: The process of becoming absorbed by an activity associated with feelings of fulfillment and joy. Relationships: Studies show that having meaningful relationships is closely tied to happiness and life satisfaction and that feeling connected socially is a major contributing factor to positive well-being.
- Relationships: How you receive and perceive support from others.
- Meaning: The search for, and presence of, a higher purpose in life.
- Achievement: Having goals and aspirations leads to a greater sense of accomplishment which, in turn, leads to numerous positive outcomes.
Point School Puerto Rico uses a positive-psychology-informed model to encourage their young men to develop character strengths, intrinsic motivation, and positive self-identity in order boost themselves into a healthy and flourishing adulthood.
About Point School Puerto Rico
Point School Puerto Rico is a hybrid gap year program for young men, ages 18-22. PSPR integrates traditional gap year components such as cultural immersion, island activities, and volunteer experience with well-being support so that young men have the opportunity to build their positive self-identity through career, interest, and personal exploration based on strengths. PSPR hopes to provide each young man with positive introspection that will boost intrinsic motivation, resilience, and self-efficacy as they transition into college and/or adulthood.
CooperRiis, a residential mental health treatment community in western North Carolina, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Eric A. Levine as its new President & CEO.
Dr. Levine is currently Executive Director of ClearView Communities, a 36-bed residential treatment program in Frederick, Maryland, for adults with serious and persistent mental health challenges. He replaces Michael Groat, Ph.D., who is departing for a new role as Chief Clinical Officer at Silver Hill Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut. Levine joins CooperRiis upon Groat’s departure April 15, 2019.
“With more than 30 years working in education and mental health, Eric brings vast experience helping individuals affected by the challenges of mental illness and disabilities move toward healthy and fulfilling lives,” said Donald R. Cooper, CooperRiis Board Chair & Co-Founder. “We are fortunate to have him joining our healing community and look forward to the positive impact he’ll have on our residents, their families, and our staff.”
Levine began his career as a special education teacher, later overseeing schools for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities. In 2005, he founded Eric A. Levine and Associates, an educational consulting firm that helps children and their families in the Washington-Baltimore metro areas find appropriate services. Levine earned a doctorate in Education Leadership (Ed.D.), an Ed.S. in Career Transition and Assessment, a master’s in Special Education from George Washington University, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Community Integration and is a member of the Frederick County, Maryland, Board of Education Strategic Special Education Work Group.
“I’m a believer in programs that maintain possibility and hope as core values. CooperRiis is a place where people come to heal and learn new skills to help them better manage the challenges they’re experiencing so they can return to their lives,” said Levine. “I’m excited to be collaborating with the highly skilled and motivated staff of professionals at CooperRiis as we work toward improving the lives of individuals impeded by mental health challenges.”
About CooperRiis Healing Community:
Founded by Donald R. Cooper and Lisbeth Riis Cooper, CooperRiis is a residential healing community in western North Carolina, with a rural campus on a 94-acre farm and an urban campus in the heart of Asheville. Since 2003, CooperRiis has been helping adults living with mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, major depression and anxiety, achieve their highest levels of functioning and fulfillment. A personalized recovery approach combines trusted clinical therapies, community work & service, education and integrative wellness practices.
Visit www.cooperriis.org or call 828.894.7140 for more about CooperRiis Healing Community and its approach to mental health treatment
Dr. Sarah Parlier co-presented on the coming post-millennial "Generation Z". She helped to cover what makes them different, what their motivations are, and how we as a therapeutic community can address their needs.
Trails Momentum Director of Student Development Dr. Sarah Parlier co-presented with Drs. Jennifer Wagstaff and Elizabeth Vincent from Campbell University at the American College Counseling Association conference Feb. 7-10 in San Diego, CA. Their session, "Out With Millennials, In with Generation Z" invited session attendees to consider the key differences that distinguish those born after 1995 from members of older generations in order to more effectively meet their therapeutic needs. Sarah and her colleagues specifically discussed Jeffrey Arnett's often-cited theory of emerging adulthood as well as Jean Twenge's 2017 book iGen and her discussion of slow life history, which posits a natural delay of child development and later demonstrations of young adult independence. Lower birth rates, longer lives, war, and a more challenging economy have all impacted the ways that Americans view childhood and raise their children. As a result, adolescence, which at one time ended in early teen years, now lasts long into the twenties. Teens today report fewer independent behaviors, like going on dates, working for pay, and getting a driver's license. Colleges and universities are encountering students who are accustomed to assurances around their physical and emotional safety and who have limited experiences as independent young adults; furthermore, these students are often not prepared for the expectations of higher education. As a result, counseling centers are seeing a dramatic increase in appointments related to anxiety and depression.
Session attendees considered another significant focus: our newest generation of students' most precious commodity: time. Gen Z students are faced with multiple opportunities to engage with high sensory activities in almost every moment of their day. When Generation Z students choose what to do with their time, they are judicious about getting the most from each experience. Their access to an on-demand, high satisfaction service in many of their day-to-day interactions leads them to expect it in every aspect of their lives, including their therapy sessions. Session attendees discussed ways of meeting students in different physical spaces, like dorms, health centers, even classrooms, in order to accelerate the initial therapy experience and help Gen Z students more quickly recognize the value of working with a counselor.
Dr. Parlier and her colleagues also discussed the significance of Generation Z students' online identities. Those born after 1995 are born after the Internet's ubiquity. They have likely had access to the Internet, gaming, and social media since childhood. As opposed to older generations, Generation Z students across all demographic groups may view their online relationships and their online identities as more important than their offline ones. Session attendees considered this characteristic alongside Gen Z's motivation to make authentic connections with others. Many Generation Z students report a desire to connect more authentically, despite having decreasing experiences forming face-to-face friendships. Presenters suggested that mental health professionals address this need for authentic connections with therapeutic groups centered on topics and activities. Session attendees shared successful groups at their colleges and universities, including Harry Potter groups, Dungeon and Dragons groups, crochet groups, mens' groups, and residential hall groups.
Mental health professionals are likely to see a continued increase in client demand as Generation Z's young adults struggle to demonstrate independence and to launch into adulthood. By working together, college counseling centers, therapeutic treatment programs, and private therapists can support Gen Z clients' journeys towards health and well-being.
About Trails Momentum
Trails Momentum is a therapeutic outdoor-adventure program for young adults seeking support in transitioning to independence. Trails Momentum works with young adults age 18-25 looking to grow and transform in a therapeutically supportive community just outside of Asheville, North Carolina. Our sprawling private campus lends to various adventure sports contributing to a truly life-changing experience.
Mental health disorders are on the rise, and consequently, so are medication prescriptions. Polypharm (the prescription of multiple medications) is rampant, as doctors and parents scramble to mitigate the distressing symptoms they witness in their patients and children. This is especially problematic in the United States, where the rates are nearly double that of other Westernized countries. Julie M. Zito, PhD says, “Concomitant drug use applied to 19.2% of US youth, which was more than double the Dutch use and three times that of German youth.” (Zito, 2008. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health.) Increases in polypharm manifests disconcerting side effects, and can be quite debilitating to patients. Many doctors, clinicians and parents are seeking to expand their “treatment pie” by utilizing a diverse toolbox for treatment beyond that of medication.
The US is distinct in that prescribing psychotropics medications to young people often is the first line treatment for mental health concerns. When the first medication is not effective, the next move is to add an additional medication in hopes of some amelioration. Let’s take the example of ADHD psychostimulant medications such as Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse, Concerta and Focalin. A child is struggling in school - unable to complete their school work, acting impulsively, and seemingly ignoring school rules. Doctors too often resort immediately to medications, and in turn, psychostimulants have the common side effects of suppressing appetite, inhibiting growth, increasing heart rate, causing anxiety, and contributing to sleep issues. When these side effects occur, doctors will often add another medication to help these symptoms. This is what we call polypharmacy; the simultaneous use of multiple drugs by a single patient, for one or more conditions. This is a slippery and dangerous slope.
A recent study, the Multimodal Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Study (MTA Study) examined the efficacy of stimulant medication. The study initially showed promising conclusions, which were widely shared and used as a justification for increased production of stimulants and marketing by pharmaceutical companies. Looking more closely into the MTA longitudinal follow up studies, it was then concluded that longitudinal data did not support the use of stimulants. At the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) conference in January 2019, Keynote Speaker Dr. Robert Foltz presented on “Psychotropic Medications in Youth: Challenging the Assumptions that Guide this Practice" and demonstrated the lack of longitudinal safety and efficacy studies for the most commonly prescribed psychotropic medications. “We had thought that children medicated longer would have better outcomes. That didn’t happen. There were no beneficial effects - none. In the short term, medication will help the child behave better, in the long run it won’t. And that information should be made clear to parents.” The MTA findings only support the short term (12 weeks) use of medication treatment, as there was a scarcity of data beyond that time frame. (Foltz 2019).
Dr. Britta Zimmer recently presented at the Syncopate Hawaii Doc Talks conference for physicians, and focused on the management of patients prescribed multiple psychotropic medications, and how to discern medical necessity and improve safety within an outdoor behavioral treatment program. Dr. Zimmer shared this in a series of case discussions with over 200 physicians. The core of the issue is that children need an expanded scope, treatment providers who are willing to look beyond the use of polypharm psychotropics. As an Naturopathic Physician and Medical Director of one of the leading Integrative Psychiatric programs in the country, Dr. Zimmer suggest that doctors and parents examine their “treatment pie,” a range of treatments for enhancing mental wellbeing. Examples include improving nutrition, exercise, sleep, relationships, and mental/emotional health. A successful treatment plan is the sum of the parts of a whole. Britta Zimmer, ND, encourages people to read the MTA study and to diversify their treatment pie.
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
“Just living is not enough,” Hans Christian Andersen once said. “One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” In Utah, the sunshine isn’t always guaranteed day in and day out. Flowers are seasonal and sacred. Utah is home to multiple National Parks, National Monuments, state parks and other governmentally managed natural areas. Home to adventurers and nature lovers, there’s something special about Utah which calls to those who love the wilderness. That something is the promised freedom which rings throughout every topographic difference among each and every one of Utah’s landscapes. From ski slopes to desert canyons, lakes to forests, there is somewhere to get lost in Utah which is precisely what people seek because getting lost in nature is, most often, being found in the self once more.
Even among the difficulties of working through a wilderness therapy program, participants often say they have discovered a kind of freedom they’ve never known before. Away from the distractions, demands, and expectations of the everyday modern society, surrounded by the peace, beauty, and serenity of the wilderness, there is a kind of freedom unlike that offered in the small fleeting moments of tranquility at home. The truth is, when young women find their way to a wilderness therapy program, it is common that tranquility, fleeting or not, is not a state of being they've spent much time in recently; neither, for that matter, is the feeling of freedom. Women in wilderness therapy programs do discover a new kind of freedom, happiness, joy, hope, and serenity while also discovering burdens, traumas, pains, and stories they’ve never let go of. What is said about travel, ‘Everywhere you go, there you are’ couldn’t be truer or exposed in wilderness therapy. There’s freedom in being everywhere that you are, especially when you are in beautiful nature surrounded by world-class wilderness. However, there’s also freedom in being so present that you can be with yourself in all of your forms- your best, your worst, your most proud, or your most intimidating. The point being- without all the distractions of daily life, toxic environments, and problematic behavioral patterns, women have the room to be free, find freedom, and live more freely.
About RedCliff Ascent
RedCliff Ascent offers the only women’s wilderness treatment program designed by women, for women, to promote a healthy relationship with the self and the world around her. Serving young adult women between the ages of 18 to 30, the RedCliff Ascent recovery program helps women become more in tune with their most basic needs while developing the foundational skills necessary for living a successful life in recovery. For more information on our women’s wilderness recovery program, visit us at www.redcliffrecovery.com.
Summit Preparatory School is excited to announce the 2019 trek to the beautiful Central American nation of Costa Rica. Plans are in the making for the Annual International Trip. Students and staff will set out May 11-20, 2019. The school is partnering with Breakwater Expeditions, a company that specializes in adventure based trips for youth.
All interested students are writing up proposals to their treatment teams, hoping to secure one of the spots on the trip. A true nature lover’s paradise, Costa Rica offers 800 miles of shoreline and vast stretches of protected rain forest and reserves. Students will stay at an ecolodge and explore the biodiversity of the region, while also leveraging the opportunity for adventure based activities including zip lining and two days of surfing. If you would like more information on this wonderful opportunity please contact Liann Ainsworth at email@example.com.
For the past 5 years, Summit Prep students have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of International Trips. Each trip is designed to be educational, therapeutic, and fun. For more information about other trips that have happened, please click here.
About Summit Preparatory School
Summit Preparatory School is an accredited private, non-profit, co-ed therapeutic boarding school (TBS) 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.
February 27th marked the 18th anniversary of the founding of ScenicView Academy, a nonprofit transitional living program located in Provo, UT. In 2001 the Noorda family founded ScenicView, believing that young adults with Autism and other neurodiversities seeking a more independent life should have access to support. The Noordas endowed and create ScenicView to allow for 100% of all students to receive tuition discounts, and for those who qualify to be offered additional substantial scholarships.
The Noordas' generosity has allowed for hundreds of families to access a level of care that they otherwise would not have been able to afford and the necessary programming for young adults with autism spectrum disorder or a range of learning disabilities. Marty Matheson, Executive Director of ScenicView Academy, said "We are grateful every day that the Noordas had a vision great enough to see the need for adults with Autism and other neurodiversities, and that they were able to make it accessible for all."
The mission at ScenicView is to provide exceptional teaching and programming to all who meet the admissions criteria. Students receive, on average, 2 years of evidence-based residential, vocational, social and educational programming. ScenicView's 60 direct service professionals (therapists, teachers, behavioral specialists, and others) provide the instruction that empowers the students towards independence. The learning environment includes vocational work labs, student internships, classrooms, one-on-one interventions, recreation therapy activities, and community based learning initiatives. Services are prescriptive and individualized, based on a student's transitional living needs and goals.
ScenicView Academy founded in 2001 and located in Provo, UT is a nationally recognized nonprofit school for young adults with autism spectrum disorders, neurodiversities or learning disabilities. Through our residential programming, we empower our students to reach their potential and gain skills to live independently. Scholarships are available to 100% of our students. SVA is accrediated by National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES).
Throughout a patient’s stay at ViewPoint Center, their multidisciplinary team works together to build a full picture of what each patient is going through. By the end of a patient’s stay, ViewPoint Center's teams are able to make specific recommendations about the type of program their patients will need, based on the findings from 24/7 observations and their continuous assessment/testing process.
Keeping Parents In The Loop
Over the course of a patient’s time at ViewPoint Center, the team makes sure parents feel like part of the process. Each week staff provides transparent feedback about how the child is doing, explain what approaches and assessments are being carried out to determine diagnosis, and discuss the findings of those assessments. Keeping families and ECs in the loop throughout the patient’s journey at ViewPoint Center helps keep everyone on the same page about options for next placement before the clinicians present the Multidisciplinary Review (MDR) towards the end of a patient’s stay.
What is the Multidisciplinary Report (MDR)?
The MDR is a full report of the testing and assessments carried out during a patient’s time at the program. It also includes findings about a patient’s diagnosis and provides recommendations for next placement. Prior to the MDR meeting, (ViewPoint provides a preparatory briefing to the educational consultant).
ViewPoint treatment team recommendations for next placement within the MDR come from their observations of the patient and their findings from testing and assessments. For example, the MDR perspective includes:
- The level at which students are performing academically in a classroom setting
- The ways in which their brain is working currently
- How they are doing in therapy and whether or not they do well with talk therapy
- How much support patients need managing their medication
- How patients deal within a structured setting
- Whether they work well with smaller groups of peers or if they can handle a larger group
- If they would do well in a co-ed environment or single gender environment
These are just some of the observations and conclusions from assessments that help us provide the most accurate recommendations for next placement to families.
About ViewPoint Center
ViewPoint Center, a mental health assessment center for teens ages 12-17, is located just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. With a program lasting 6-8 weeks, ViewPoint Center provides superior assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and stabilization for teens struggling with mental and behavioral issues such as suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. In a safe, personalized environment, ViewPoint helps teens focus on the healing process.
Optimum Performance Institute (OPI) recently began working with Brandon Jordan and Rock to Recovery (rocktorecovery.org) as part of their addictions treatment track. Participants meet with Brandon for two hours weekly to write, perform and record original music.
Rock to Recovery is an innovative music program that harnesses the healing energy of music through songwriting, playing as a band, and recording. Rock to Recovery founded in 2012 by Wesley Geer, formerly of the band Korn. The program provides more than 400 sessions each month in 100+ facilities in California, Oregon, and Tennessee. The program administrators are rockstars, professional recording artists and/or touring musicians with significant sobriety. These musicians use the Rock to Recovery program to help non-musicians enjoy and benefit from the healing power of playing music and singing. Music is the medicine.
Brandon Jordan has been a professional musician all of his adult life. He founded the infamous punk band KillRadio (Columbia Records) in 2002 and toured the world with Green Day, My Chemical Romance, and Rise Against, until his drug addiction made performing impossible. He got treatment with the support of MusicCares in 2007 and has been sober for more than a decade. Now, Brandon brings the power of music to those in need through Rock to Recovery. He works nationally with the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) program and in the Los Angeles area with veterans, at-risk teens, and individuals in treatment for addiction or mental illness. He has written more than 3500 songs with those in the Rock to Recovery program. Currently, Brandon conducts 22 sessions a week, serving approximately 250 people. He also engages in solo music projects and plays with the Rock to Recovery band, Sacred Sons.
OPI participants really enjoy having Rock to Recovery and the concept of music therapy as part of their addictions track. One in particular likes the way Brandon Jordan structures the group. He has personally been utilizing music as a therapeutic tool for ten years. He was very enthusiastic about OPI offering this type of therapy, especially in the format presented by Brandon and Rock to Recovery.
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.
Northwest Passage, a residential mental health treatment program for children located in northwestern Wisconsin, is pleased to welcome Dr. Jennifer Endre Olson, Psy.D. to the clinical team at their Prairieview campus. Dr. Olson holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Child Psychology with a specialization in child and adolescent psychopathology. She received intensive training in pediatric psychology, developmental psychopathology, and neuropsychology while at LaRabida Children’s Hospital and the University of Chicago. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago with Catherine Lord, Ph.D., widely recognized as the foremost authority in the early diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders. At LaRabida, she became a certified independent trainer on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS, ADOS-2, and ADOS-T) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R). Through continued association with Dr. Lord, the University of Michigan and Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Olson solidified her own sub-specialty on the diagnosis of autism. Now internationally recognized herself, Dr. Olson has spent much of the past two decades teaching and training others about assessment and the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders. With this expertise, she has conducted hundreds of clinical and research trainings across five continents and in more than two dozen countries.
Dr. Olson was recognized in British Columbia, Canada in 2006 with an Award for Service to the Autism Community and again in 2008 with an Education Award as part of the British Columbia Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN) for her work setting up a training-based, province-wide network of diagnostic services and recurring refresher education programs.
In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Olson’s expertise has facilitated involvement in a number of longitudinal genetic and epidemiological studies on Autism Spectrum Disorders, including
- the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Pathways in ASD Project, one of the largest and longest-running longitudinal studies of the development of young children and adolescents with ASD,
- the Epilepsy Phenome Genome Project, a genetic study evaluating de novo mutations in children with epileptic encephalopathies;
- the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), a core project of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) that established the first permanent repository of genetic samples from 2,600 simplex families and
- the Simons Variation Individuals Project which probed phenotypic variation, and in particular the phenotypic expression of individuals with a deletion or duplication of chromosomal segment 16p11.2.
Additionally, Dr. Olson holds positions as a visiting instructor at the University of British Columbia, and Ovspring Developmental Clinic, Singapore. She has also served as adjunct professor at both Ball State University and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Dr. Olson continues to pursue clinical research interests related to the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders in diverse populations, particularly in developing countries such as India where, as a co-project lead of PICAN, the Provincial Autism Resource Center Indo-Canada Autism Network, she maintains a clinical/research Autism Training Autism Network.
About Northwest Passage
Northwest Passage is focused on blending traditional mental health treatment with arts and nature-based therapy to restore hope in their clients. By investing in the lives of marginalized youth, Northwest Passage is influencing and changing how mental health is ultimately treated and viewed. The transformations seen are no less than extraordinary.
Waterfall Canyon Academy is opening an Adult Residential Program on March 1, 2019.
Our Adult Residential Program provides a safe, predictable, structured setting within the community for up to 6 young adult males. Our young adult student profile encompasses the following characteristics:
- Difficulty navigating social situations
- Lacking social and daily living skills
- Mild to moderate intellectual disability
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Specific learning disorders
- Challenges with executive functioning and processing
- Low self-esteem
- Emotional DysregulationAdoption issues
- Family conflict
More specifically our Adult Residential Program was designed for students who:
- Have aged out of a teen residential program and are not ready for a community based transition program
- Would benefit from the structure of a residential program with a focus on community integration
- Have not graduated from high school
While in the Young Adult Residential Program, students live in a home in the community. Community access is an integral part of our program. Participating in physical, cultural, and social events and activities while at Waterfall Canyon Academy helps students learn to use their community as a resource and navigate it safely and successfully.
A four step program encourages advancement and guides student progress in the areas of communication, social relationships, executive functioning skills, self-confidence and self-reliance. Students will focus on improving social and daily living skills, managing emotions, controlling behaviors, and forming habits that will lead them to a less restrictive environment.
Waterfall Canyon Academy offers the following services:
- Weekly individual therapy sessions
- Weekly family therapy sessions
- Group therapy sessions twice each week
- Academic services provided by Waterfall Canyon’s Oakgrove School
- Social and daily living skills classes
- Medication Management
Waterfall Canyon Academy students and their families participate in the following assessments providing data to determine student achievements and program efficacy:
- Youth Outcomes Questionnaires (Monthly)
- Scholastic Math and Reading Assessment (Quarterly)
- Woodcock Johnson Achievement Test (Yearly)
- Oakgrove School Behavior Intervention Data (Daily)
- Classroom Assessments
Waterfall Canyon Academy is a community based therapeutic program that offers a continuum of care and services. Our continuum starts with a highly structured Residential Program and progresses toward Transitional Living, Advanced Transitional Living, and Support Services. The goal for students in this program is to progress through our continuum.
Los Angeles, CA – Ascend Healthcare, premier provider of residential treatment for teens suffering from mental health and substance use disorders, has hired Melissa Argueta, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, to serve as a full-time primary therapist for teen clients and their families. Melissa Argueta Brings 12 Years of Clinical Expertise to Ascend Healthcare’s Adolescent Residential Treatment Center.
Melissa obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Art, and a Master of Arts in Psychology with emphases in Marriage & Family Therapy and Art Therapy. She is an LMFT and has over 12 years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents and adults in outpatient and residential settings. She has extensive experience in the treatment of depression, anxiety, trauma, schizophrenia, grief, suicide, self-injurious behavior, family conflict, parenting issues and addiction.
"Melissa brings an impressive track record of clinical success and nuance with her and we’re thrilled to be able to have her work with our teens and their families on a regular basis. She’s the perfect complement to the clinical excellence we offer every day, and we’re already getting great feedback about the work she’s doing," said Jessica Beck, LCSW, Clinical Director of Ascend’s residential program for adolescents.
If you would like more information about this topic, please call Seamus at 617-869-6552 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Ascend Healthcare
Ascend Healthcare is a 6-bed residential treatment center located in Encino, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles. Ascend offers a 45-90 day, insurance-based program of treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. The treatment center’s program is designed to treat the entire family system and help teach teens to emotionally self-regulate in a healthy manner, helping families evolve into safe and supportive units.
In February, a Shortridge Academy student and his parents served on panel presentations “Reflections On Being In Youth Programs” and “Parenting the Trans/NB child,” at the Annual GEMS (Gender Education DeMystification Symposium) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. GEMS is an annual event designed to offer a clinical and educational perspective regarding gender identity. Educational Consultants, clinicians, educators, and administrators from schools and programs nationwide attend to learn and shape the conversation regarding gender awareness and acceptance.
While Shortridge Academy has always sought to be an inclusive environment for its students, in 2018, through internal policy and external communication, administrators more formally clarified that Shortridge was welcoming to gender fluid and LGBTQIA students. Clinicians participate in ongoing training in gender and sexuality issues and the community has regular discussions regarding kindness, openness and diversity. Consistent with the tenets of the Positive Youth Development philosophy, input from the student and family is strongly considered when determining dorm placements for transgender students, and Shortridge students have organized a regular trip to a local LGBTQIA support group.
“We are proud of “J” who so thoughtfully participated on the panels, and we are proud of our community, that is continuously developing a safe and more affirming environment for LGBTQIA students.” - Audrey Everson, MS, MA, LMHC, Assistant Clinical Director
If you would like more information about Shortridge Academy clinical services, please contact Clinical Director, Christina Smalley at email@example.com
About Shortridge Academy
Shortridge Academy is a private co-ed Therapeutic Boarding School, founded in 2002, emphasizing challenging yet supportive college prep academics within a therapeutic community. Located in southeastern New Hampshire with close proximity to both the seacoast and the mountains, Shortridge’s setting and Positive Youth Development model provides students with an ideal environment to further develop their sense of self and strengthen family relationships in an intellectually stimulating learning environment reflective of a traditional boarding school.
The founder of The Aspire Group, Imy Wax, M.S.released the 14th edition of The K & W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences along with Marybeth Kravets, M.A., (Penguin Random House / Princeton Review Books) in February. The new edition has updated profiles of 338 colleges with programs or services for students with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or learning differences. Each profile provides information on the school’s programs, services, and accommodations for students with learning differences, plus its academics, admission requirements, cost, financial aid, and other topics. In addition to its 338 college profiles, the book includes:
- Guidelines on documentation required to verify a student’s learning disability and to determine appropriate accommodations
- A "Getting Ready” section summarizing steps for the parent and the student to navigate the application process from self-assessment questions and timelines (what needs to happen when) to suggestions for campus visits, interviews, and letters of recommendation
- Insights and advice from learning specialists and an attorney on disability law
- Recommendations of 38 schools offering independent living options for students with learning differences to pursue their education
The K & W Guide, as the book has come to be known among educators and parents, was conceived in 1987 by co-authors Marybeth Kravets and Imy F. Wax when their paths crossed in a suburb of Chicago. At the time, Marybeth was a counselor at Deerfield (IL) High School. Imy's daughter, who had been diagnosed at age two with multiple learning disabilities, was a freshman at the school. Imy reached out to Marybeth to help her daughter succeed in high school, and to recommend colleges that would be ideal for her daughter's interests and needs. Imy knew such timely guidance would position her daughter to apply to and gain admission to appropriate colleges.
Finding no detailed resources listing colleges with programs for students with learning differences, Marybeth and Imy joined forces to research this topic together. Over the next two years, they identified 150 colleges with programs or services for students with learning differences. They collected the key information that applicants with learning differences would need — from admission requirements and application deadlines to program offerings, accommodations, housing options and more.
From their collaboration came this book — a one-of-a-kind college guide when it was first published in 1991. Since then, the book has been updated 13 times. The new edition profiles more than twice the number of colleges as the original one did. The guide continues to be a “labor of love” for Marybeth and Imy and a unique resource for students with learning differences, their families and all who support them in their college aspirations.
Marybeth and Imy remain committed to this field. As advisors and consultants, they conduct lectures and workshops for educators, administrators, parents and students. They have authored articles for professional and parent magazines and they have been interviewed by media from the New York Times to The Wall Street Journal. More importantly, their work has helped thousands of students with learning differences get into college — including the dedicated and determined student who inspired this book. In 1992, Imy’s daughter was accepted at all eight colleges to which she applied. In 1996, she graduated from college with honors and she continued her education in graduate school.
About the Authors
Marybeth Kravets, M.A., is President of Marybeth Kravets & Associates, a firm that provides educational and college consulting to students with and without learning differences. She is Director of College Counseling at the Wolcott School (Chicago) for bright, motivated college-bound students who learn differently. Marybeth was the college counselor at Deerfield (IL) High School for 31 years and VP for College Partnerships for Chicago Scholars. She is past President of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the Illinois ACAC. She is a recipient of the Community Service Award from the Harvard University Club of Chicago. Marybeth received her M.A. in Counseling from Wayne State Univ., and her B.A. in Education from the Univ. of Michigan. She resides in Chicago.
Imy Wax, M.S., LCPC, NBCC, CEP, is an educational and therapeutic consultant, and a psychotherapist. She is the founder and President of The Aspire Group. For over 30 years, Imy continues to be that objective voice guiding, supporting, and empowering families in making informed decisions that secure and enhance their children’s futures. She travels over 100,000 miles each year visiting traditional and non-traditional schools, programs, colleges and post-secondary programs, and serving as a guest speaker at professional conferences and workshops. She has appeared on television and radio and been quoted in numerous journals. Imy believes every child’s journey is unique and “there should never be a closed door to fulfilling one’s hopes and dreams.” She resides in Deerfield, IL
THE K & W GUIDE TO COLLEGES FOR STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DIFFERENCES – 14th Edition by Marybeth Kravets, M.A. and Imy F. Wax, M.S. Penguin Random House / Princeton Review • Trade paperback $31.99 (Canada $41.99) On Sale Date February 19, 2019 • 721 pages • ISBN 978-0-525-56789-9 Contact: Jeanne Krier, Publicist for The Princeton Review (212) 539-1350 firstname.lastname@example.org
This month, Elevations RTC, a residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, is highlighting clinical programming focused on attachment issues (or an “insecure attachment” as they are known clinically), the inability of individuals to develop and sustain secure attachments with others. The attachment process may have been disrupted by life experiences such as birth trauma, medical issues, divorce, death of a parent, or abuse by a trusted relative or friend.
“When detecting potential insecure attachments among students, my initial approach has always been to defer to attachment behavior theory,” comments Primary Therapist Phyllis Hawks, CMHC. “This theory explains that attachment issues are caused by certain situations (i.e. adoption, abusive primary caregiver, etc) that create an inability to form a secure bond with the primary caregiver. However, I’ve learned that this is not always the case. I found that some of my clients did form strong bonds with their primary caregiver. Most of the time, attachment issues can come from developmental trauma. This knowledge can be helpful in detecting potential insecure attachments; especially if specific trauma hasn’t been reported in the past and the student is experiencing trauma symptoms.”
For many students, their developmental trauma may include pre-verbal experiences which have contributed to the disruption of the attachment process. This means there are no words, memories, or images to therapeutically process or address.
“I’ve seen students feel hopeless about what the future looks like because they can’t remember anything related to the trauma which caused their attachment issues,” says Hawks. “When I explain how trauma is held in the body, and healing from these preverbal experiences is possible with somatic-based therapy (using physiological sensations as the primary role of reprocessing trauma), I’ve seen their hope surface.”
Hawks also provides students with psychoeducation on how trauma impairs the nervous system’s ability to interpret accurate ‘life threatening danger’; their (insecure attached) brain tends to communicate this danger when an actual threat is not present. “This information helps my clients gain awareness to assess their “window of tolerance” and whether their nervous system is in ‘hyperarousal’ or ‘hypoarousal’ in the moment,” comments Hawks. “With this awareness, they will be able to implement strategies they’ve learned to bring the nervous system back to baseline. I’ve observed that as students gain this self-awareness and psychoeducation, they gain a sense of safety, autonomy, and ‘control’ that empowers them to “dig deeper” in therapy and ultimately experience the needed healing of mind, heart, and body.”
Elevations RTC commonly works with adolescents who have experienced significant histories with mental health struggles and a level of disruption of attachment development.
“The therapeutic process is complex, as is the impact of those life experiences. Relationships heal relational trauma,” says Hawks. “Trust and safety in the therapeutic relationship is foundational to the healing process.”
For more information about clinical programming at Elevations RTC, please visit https://www.elevationsrtc.com/.
Elevations RTC is a unique residential treatment center that works with all students ages 13 - 18. Elevations offers guidance, support and relief to students struggling with issues like trauma, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, behavioral problems, and substance use. Elevations RTC is located in Utah and provides specialized, clinically intensive programs to struggling teens. For more information, please call 1-855-290-9681.
Over the years, SUWS has evolved their model of providing care. It’s widely accepted that each client and family is different, and deserves individualized care. SUWS takes it a step further by having specialized groups, where students are supported by focused programming and staff knowledgeable of their specific therapeutic needs. This system allows for a strong group culture among peers that share common struggles, specialized clinical and practical training for field staff, and clinicians with expertise in assessing and treating specific client populations. With nearly two decades of experience, SUWS has found that small niche groups, limited to eight clients, is crucial for safe and individualized treatment.
To help explain the various groups at SUWS, here are the basics:
Bravo & Luna: Clients are males (Bravo) and females (Luna) ages 14-17 who are often struggling with symptoms related to trauma, attachment, and conflicted family systems. Clients may exhibit signs of depression, anxiety, mood dysregulation, body image issues, suicidal ideation and defiance. Although these groups may have clinical complexities, there is simplicity in the SUWS approach of offering adolescents a chance to overcome struggles and find genuine success.
Phoenix: Clients are 14-17 years and diagnosed with co-occurring substance use issues with anxiety, depression, learning differences, history of trauma, etc. Many Phoenix clients are treatment-savvy, oppositional, manipulative and committed to avoiding life’s suffering. Both Kevin Waller and K. Alice Cennamo, clinicians in Phoenix, believe in utilizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a way to give clients the power to make value-based decisions that will ultimately lead to healthier ways of handling the ups and downs of life. Rounding out the treatment team and deepening the impact for clients and families are Tommy Cook and Cameron Allen. Tommy provides 12-step knowledge and recovery support while Cameron infuses brain scans and neuro-based group and individual processing.
Seasons: Clients are boys and girls 10-14 years. The group can be co-ed or single gender depending on group needs. Seasons clients often have a history of school refusal, defiance, ADHD, and trauma. SUWS provides Seasons students with a chance to be young and energetic, while learning how to connect their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Elizabeth “Liz” Lucarelli is the primary therapist and Colin Walsh provides group support through games, initiatives, and in-the-moment coaching for clients and staff. The Seasons group also benefits from brain scans and neurodevelopmental programming with Cameron Allen.
Approach: Clients are 14-17 year old males often diagnosed with neuro-developmental disorders, learning differences, and significant social struggles. In addition to typical wilderness skills, Approach clients are coached on adaptive strategies for life skills and social interactions, while benefiting from a truly supportive peer group. Taisir El-Souessi is the primary therapist for Approach and Colin Walsh serves as a support with additional group initiatives, social skills training, and meaningful processing.
For more information on our niche groups, please call Kelly Dunbar, Director of Business Development at (210) 540-8437.
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.
Auldern is pleased to introduce their new clinical director, Shannon Draper, M.A., LPC.
Shannon is new to North Carolina, having moved from Boston in early 2017. She has been working with children, adolescents and families for over fifteen years and received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in trauma in children and adolescents from Lesley University. Shannon has a multitude of experience providing outpatient therapy, in home services and community outreach. Her most recent clinical position (as lead clinician on the Trauma Recovery Team of an integrated behavioral health department) enabled her to work with the Boston Public Health Commission to support survivors of trauma, crime and loss.
Although she has enjoyed all of her clinical positions, Shannon's true passion has always been in residential settings. She has worked as a family advocate with young mothers in a homeless teen living program and as a clinician with adjudicated young men in incarceration. Through these settings she has learned that the best clinical work can be done in the moment, while appropriate healthy coping skills can begin to replace destructive thoughts and behaviors immediately. She has been trained in TF-CBT, ARC, DBT, play therapy, triple P and somatic/expressive therapy. The therapeutic approach that she finds most beneficial is a strength-based, person centered approach and believes that the language we use with each other and ourselves is a critical component to positive results. She is excited to join the Auldern team.
In her free time she has been enjoying taking day trips around North Carolina; loves the outdoors, staying active and spending time with her new husband.
In addition, Auldern said so long (not goodbye) to Eileen Antalek, Ed.D., CEP. While it has been difficult to see Eileen leave, her reasons for leaving are personal and the expection is that she will still come around and visit with all the folks at Auldern, staff and student alike.
In her email to Auldern staff prior to her retirement, Eileen wrote, ‘I have enjoyed my time with Auldern, especially with the girls - that is the hardest part about leaving here! I have made some good friends, and I really appreciate the dedication to care that I have seen from staff members.’
Finally, Beth Ragland will take over admissions, in addition to her current role. As many of you know, Beth has worked in admissions and outreach for years and looks forward to speaking to our referral sources about families, and to the families to discuss their daughters. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Beth (email@example.com) or our Executive Director, Angie Fusco (firstname.lastname@example.org) and they will do their best to answer any questions you have and assist you with your families. Auldern hopes you will all take the time to come down and visit Auldern Academy, meet Shannon and see all the exciting things that are happening on campus. Please contact Beth if you’d like to schedule a visit.
About Auldern Academy
Auldern Academy is a college preparatory, therapeutic boarding school for young women ages 14 to 18. We provide a positive platform that helps transform the lives of young women academically, emotionally, and socially.
When Virginia Jreisat, MA, LPC, joined EDGE Learning and Wellness as a Therapeutic Life Coach in late 2018, she knew she wanted to inspire EDGE students to grow with honesty and directness.
“I always remind my students that in order to see changes in themselves, they first have to ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable,’” said Virginia. “This alludes to the idea that hard work is not pleasant, changing past behaviors and negative coping skills is not easy, but every single day that you do something a little different, you start to build a better version of yourself.”
Virginia has continuously helped students build better versions of themselves by using a variety of evidence-based techniques. She guides and supports students one-on-one as they create and maintain thought patterns and behaviors that encourage healthy, independent living. As an EDGE Life Coach, Virginia also lives with the program’s student community. This allows her to set the tone for a healthy environment where individuals can learn and thrive on a social level. Virginia maintains this milieu with other EDGE Life Coaches by facilitating group check-ins, weekly community meetings and twice-monthly group outings.
“The role of a life coach is always changing,” said Virginia. “Life coaches have to be able to read what their students need in the moment — whether that be an empathetic ear to spring ideas off of, or an intense conversation about program expectations and what may be keeping a student from growing.”
Although Virginia tailors her coaching approach for each student and his or her specific needs, her goal is for all students to improve their dimensions of wellness and foster a sense of self-worth, internal motivation, and intrinsic accountability. She wants students to understand they are capable of achieving their goals with effort, planning and resilience, ultimately transitioning out of the program with the skills necessary to create a balanced and joyful life.
“I like to think that we are all a work in progress, regardless of where we are in life,” said Virginia. “Life is hard, and when we get knocked down, the world often tells us to stay down. I love being in a position where I can encourage students to believe in and foster their own potential, instead of shrinking away from it.”
Virginia graduated Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and International Studies. She continued her education at Northwestern University and earned a Master of Arts in Counseling. When she’s not helping students achieve success in college and beyond, Virginia likes to study languages, specifically Arabic and Spanish. She also enjoys traveling, working out, walking around Chicago, and spending quality time with her family and friends.
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.
An essential aspect of programming at Alpine Academy within the Teaching-Family Model is client satisfaction, including the perspective of the girls who are enrolled in the treatment program. In order for students to get the most out of their treatment process, it is important the girls enrolled in the program are empowered to take an active role in their treatment process. One of ways Alpine Academy accomplishes this is through the Youth Consumer Survey. As the only certified Teaching-Family Model treatment program in NATSAP and part of the Family Choice Behaviorial Healthcare Industry, Alpine Academy is constantly raising the bar in terms of efficacy of treatment for students and families who enroll.
All students at Alpine Academy have the opportunity to fill out an anonymous survey on every staff member a student interacts with including school teachers, therapists, residential team, etc. Questions in the survey ask students to rate the staff members on showing respect and concern, spending time and engaging one-on-one with the student, setting clear expectations, being open and approachable, and many other aspects of quality care. Students are then asked to list ways in which the staff member can improve and things the staff is doing well. Parents of students and other staff members that work with the employee are also given a similar survey. These surveys are collected and sent to the immediate supervisor of the employee, who then can follow up with the staff member to praise and reinforce what he or she is doing well and come up with a plan to correct anything that may need correcting.
Learn more about these surveys and all the research that is Alpine Academy is doing by visiting the Outcomes Data webpage on the Alpine Academy website. Alpine Academy believes that in addition to helping students and parents take a more active role in treatment, this process also facilitates employee growth and overall satisfaction for all involved.
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.
March 1, 2019 - ATLANTA - Skyland Trail is pleased to welcome Allison Nitsche, MD, MPH, as the psychiatrist leading the residential adolescent treatment program scheduled to open later this year. Dr. Nitsche will serve in a consultant role throughout the spring and officially join the Skyland Trail team in Atlanta in the summer.
A native of New Orleans, Dr. Allison Nitsche completed her adult psychiatry residency training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and her child psychiatry and community psychiatry fellowship training at Emory University in Atlanta before moving to Utah in 2010. In Atlanta, she also received her Master of Public Health degree with a focus on Health Policy and Management. For over a decade, Nitsche has provided mental health care to children, adolescents, and adults in both inpatient and outpatient settings in the community. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Utah, where she works with children and their families in the hospital setting at UNI and teaches trainees not only about child psychiatry but also the other systems that interface with mental health including child welfare, juvenile justice, primary care, and education.
The residential adolescent treatment program at Skyland Trail is scheduled to open in fall 2019. The program will provide evidence-based psychiatric treatment for teens ages 14 to 17 with mood and anxiety disorders.
About Skyland Trail
Skyland Trail is a nonprofit mental health treatment organization based in Atlanta. For 30 years, Skyland Trail has been inspiring people with mental illness to thrive through a holistic program of evidence-based psychiatric treatment, integrated medical care, research, and education.
Pure Life congratulates Medical Team member Laura Elizondo for earning her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certificate from North American Rescue. Laura has been an important part of the Pure Life team for three years, starting as an intern, moving to field guide, and now serving as Medical Coordinator.
Laura has added her EMT Certificate to her already impressive resume including: CPR2, WMD - terrorism training, and Swift Water Rescue. This was an especially impressive accomplishment as Laura received this training in the USA, where she was the only participant who did not speak English as their first language. Laura shares, “I was a little freaked out that I was the only Latino in the class, the youngest participant, and the only one who wasn’t already working in the medical field. It was exciting that I was able to keep up with the English; I just broke the ice, jumped in and did it.” Laura was the only participant in the course to receive 100% on her assessment.
Laura is excited to be bringing these new skills to the Pure Life team. She will be enhancing the Pure Life medical team in numerous ways, “Hopefully I won’t need to use my new skills but, having the knowledge will allow us to treat the students in the field more without having to evacuate them for minor issues. I can train the guides better and respond to concerns more quickly.” Laura’s EMT Certification completes Pure Life’s Medical Team which includes Dr. Adam Balls, Medical Director, Brandi Froelich, Registered Nurse and Dr. Juan Umana, Psychiatrist.
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.
Last month, Trails Carolina wilderness therapy introduced their New Trails to Wellness programming. This program centers around a week full of health-focused classes for students to learn about the importance of the mind-body connection and to practice self-care through creative expression, personal health classes, mindfulness, yoga, and culinary arts.
After spending two weeks in the wilderness on expedition, students transition to Trails Carolina’s Sky Valley campus where they participate in science classes each morning and attend Trails to Wellness programming in the afternoon.
“At Trails, we believe students can only be successful if we look at healing in a holistic way, helping the entire person rather than focusing on one specific area,” comments Clinical Director Jeniveve Rollins, LCSW. “It’s not just about having the best grades or being the best communicator. It’s about taking care of yourself as a whole including your body, thoughts and emotions. The Trails to Wellness programming helps students learn how to take care of their body and mind in preparation for life after Trails.”
Throughout the Trails to Wellness week, students will cycle through different focus topics each day.
On Monday, students participate in a mindfulness class. This class helps students build their own mindfulness practice that they can utilize at any time. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety within teens and adolescents. It can provide instant relief for students who struggle with anxiety throughout the day.
Tuesday’s focus is expressive arts. Students have the opportunity to explore the mind-body connection through a variety of art mediums such as visual arts, movement, drama and writing.
The wellness practice that students focus on during Wednesday’s class is yoga. Guided by a trained yoga instructor, students engage in a gentle yoga class that also incorporates mindfulness practices.
“It’s wonderful to see students who struggle with feeling comfortable in their own skin taking part in yoga and enjoying it,” says Rollins. “Yoga provides a chance for students to connect with their own bodies and it can be very relaxing for students.”
On Thursday, students take a wellness class that is focused on experiential self care. Students learn about different activities that they can take part in to engage in self care such as getting manicures, pedicures, making scented play doh and applying mud masks.
During Friday’s wellness activities, students take part in a therapist-led discussion centered around the connection between emotional and mental wellness with physical wellness.
Saturday is focused around exploring the culinary arts with Chef Tyler in a commercial kitchen. Students learn how to make healthy snacks and meals. (For example, recently students learned how to make healthy sugar-free banana muffins.) In addition to their cooking lessons with Tyler, students spend their week at Sky Valley learning how to cook several different healthy breakfasts and dinners. They learn new recipes each day that they can take with them after they graduate from Trails.
“The Trails to Wellness program helps students learn skills that reinforce the mind body connection,” comments Rollins. “They gain an awareness and understanding of how to center themselves if they are feeling anxious or stressed. Students are equipped with these new wellness skills that they can carry with them after they transition from our program.”
About Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapyprogram 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.
Foundation House is pleased to announce the addition of Shane Applegate to the team as our Business Development manager. Shane comes to Foundation House after more than 12 years of experience at Four Circles Recovery Center and Business Development work with Acadia Healthcare, serving the past 3 years as CEO of the program. His relationship with Foundation House over those years was very close, both professionally and on a personal level.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join the team at Foundation House, serving in a role that helps young men find the personal message and lifestyle of recovery that is so important to a life of intent and self-worth,” says Applegate. “The philosophy of everything I have ever done matches perfectly with the Foxhole, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity.”
Shane has a proven track-record of excellence in experiential programming around the country, always committed to the personal benefits of individuals and families that engage the process. A graduate of Kansas State University in Public Relations, Shane has worked in several roles of programming and operations. His experience is going to allow him to not ‘market’ a program, but rather, to speak to the impact of Foundation House, and the long-term success of the young men that attend.
“Over the past twelve years, I personally know and have witnessed countless young men that have joined the Foxhole, and am blessed on a regular basis by long term updates on those young men now thriving in their personal lives. Recovery is more than possible. Foundation House has such a profound impact in showing the way, and it is an honor to support that mission.”
About Foundation House
Foundation House, founded in 2002, operates an extended-care program for young men in Portland and Bethel, Maine. It is built to meet a cross-section of behavioral health needs ranging from co-occurring and acute clinical care, to motivational and executive functioning issues. Our core belief is that growth occurs when young men find their way through experience. We teach our residents how to lead an addiction-free life - that means beginning and maintaining relationships, continuing their education by preparing them for the stresses of a rigorous curriculum, developing practical life skills, using technology responsibly, and learning how to have fun in sobriety.
Clinical groups at the Chamberlain International School rotate through various topics during the year, to include groups focused on different social skills, preparing for transition, understanding the keys to successful independent living, how to utilize coping skills, bullying and prevention. Sometimes the groups are simply about how the students are feeling and creating a safe place to vent. The groups are an integral part to the therapeutic approach of the school. One of the clinical groups running currently is focusing on empathy, compassion and Theory of Mind.
“I presented the topic to the students in my group and It was great hearing the students think about ways in which we can be compassionate and demonstrate acts of kindness,” Nicole Allen, LMHC, Director of Counseling Services, said about her group. Nicole said that this group is great because of the valuable lessons it provides. “By putting ourselves in another person's shoes, it helps us to understand how others think, feel, and perceive things differently than us.” The students came up with some ideas to put their words into action by spreading kindness to others in our school community.
One of the ways the group decided to spread kindness was by setting up a hot chocolate stand in the cafeteria for everyone. The students were happy to report that they dispensed over 100 cups of cocoa! Outside of the school they are participating in "Operation Gratitude" by writing letters and drawing pictures to be sent to our military who are currently overseas. Students spent that particular group session reflecting about how much others do for us and wrote down how special our military is to them. The students ended the month by working on a plan to create toys for the local animal shelter.
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.
Summit Achievement’s clinical team completed a three-day intensive certificate program in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in late February with Dr. John Ludgate. Summit chose this training, as CBT is an evidence-based treatment that has been extensively researched and proven to be an effective form of therapy for many mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.
Summit Achievement’s Clinical Director Caitlyn Cook, LCPC, LCAT, as well as clinicians Meg Paul, LCSW and Mike DeLuca, LCSW joined Summit Achievement’s Executive Director and Clinician Nichol Ernst, LCSW in attending the training. All of Summit’s clinicians had already been trained in CBT in graduate school, internships, and on the job but this certificate training brought their knowledge base to a higher level.
Summit Achievement is committed to providing high quality, evidence-based practices that have stood the test of research and time. To review Summit Achievements' outcome studies, click here to read about the proven efficacy of current treatment at this residential treatment center/ wilderness therapy hybrid.
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.
In early February, HopeWay began incorporating an hour of integrative therapy into the evening Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) curriculum. Integrative therapies are now a core component of HopeWay's holistic approach to mental health treatment. They provide opportunities for clients to express themselves in in new ways, during traditional psychotherapy.
Integrative therapies that are offered are throughout the week include Art Therapy, Recreational Therapy and Music Therapy.
HopeWay's IOP program is designed to help individuals who need more support than traditional outpatient care. The nighttime schedule is a wonderful option for those who need mental health treatment, but who are unable to take time away from home or school. Evening IOP classes are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 - 9:00 pm.
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.
ReSTART is the first ever center for internet and video game addiction. They have been working hard for ten years on, not only supporting and helping struggling adolescents and young adults, but also on spreading awareness and educating the helping community around internet and video game addiction. Through their work, and seeing the devastation that this struggle has had on the young adult population, ReSTART decided to be more proactive and try and tackle this problem at an earlier age, with hopes of having clients avoid the repercussions of a prolonged struggle with video game/ internet addiction. To accomplish this, ReSTART opened up the adolescent program over two years ago with extremely high levels of success.
What ReSTART has found when working with the population of students ages 13-18 is several key behaviors that show the need for treatment. Many of the ReSTART applicatants have experienced a steep decline in grades, or are refusing to go to school at all. School does not hold the same level of importance for these students, as school is not where their friends are located. School is actually where they experience the most “failure” both socially and academically, especially if academics requires them to be on their computer for extended periods of time. ReSTART has also seen clients come in either underweight or overweight, due to lack of exercise and poor diet. These clients are generally not sleeping, or are sleeping during the day, and are showing high levels of defiance in the home, especially when parents try to set limits on their tech use.
The need for recognizing this struggle is wildly important. One of the hurdles for parents is that their children aren’t displaying some of the “dangerous” behaviors that might require immediate action. These students aren’t sneaking out of the house, or doing drugs, or having unprotected sex, or any number of other behaviors that would cause parents to immediately seek treatment. Parents might even believe that even though their child is in their room on devices for 12 hours a day and not going to school, at least they are “safe”. What parents don’t realize is that this struggle is destroying their young folks and preventing them from leading healthy, positive, well balanced lives. This addiction will prevent them from staying in school, holding jobs, living independently from parents, and forming families of their own.
Without treatment these children will be children forever.
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.
The New Haven school offers a unique academic setting for teens in residential treatment. Teacher led instruction is offered to each child in small classroom sizes, allowing for personalized care and engaging discussion around each subject. Every student has the opportunity to take advanced placement (from AP certified teachers), honors and general education courses from teachers with years for experience in their field.
The chart below illustrates how our girls are excelling at their standardized testing. The average teen at New Haven is scoring well above state and national averages. This is pretty amazing considering that most teens enroll at New Haven behind in school.
So what’s the secret? Keeping students' academic experience challenging from day one. Teens at New Haven come in with high levels of anxiety, depression, conflict with parents, and in a lot of cases academics are not a priority. However by continuing to challenge girls academically as they work through mental health issues, emotional triggers that are often seen in school can be worked through in the therapeutic process. Another benefit is that New Haven's high achieving students don’t have to sacrifice a challenging academic experience as they work through clinical issues.
About New Haven RTC
Founded in 1995, New Haven Residential Treatment Center has been an industry leader in treatment for young women since its inception. We serve adolescent females, ages 12-18. New Haven is clinically intensive with an emphasis on family involvement, healthy relationships, academics, love and service. New Haven is a fully licensed professional Residential Treatment Center, located in rural Utah, just south of Salt Lake City.
Montana Academy is spending the first week in March hosting over a hundred parents and families for the first of their semi-annual Family Workshops of 2019. (Montana Academy hosts two three-day workshops each year on its campus in Marion, and two two-day workshops each year for the Sky House located in Kalispell, MT.) These workshops are intentional in welcoming families from around the country and abroad to participate, learn and engage with each other and with the various staff and faculty. Sessions range from psycho-educational lectures that highlight the philosophies of treatment at Montana Academy to more interactive group processes allowing families to engage with each other. Families spend time with their sons and daughters informally throughout the workshops and attend family therapy sessions as well as parent-teacher conferences which provide further connection to student life and progress.
The days are full and productive while providing space to enjoy the company of community. Staff, faculty, families and students share meals together and typically enjoy a performance or two during the evenings. Post workshop is a time for families and students to spend the rest of the week together off doing their own thing and either enjoying the surrounding area or venturing off on a trip of their own.
Families are integral partners to life at Montana Academy and are important members of any treatment team, providing support, limits and direction to their sons and daughters. From the initial meeting during the admissions process and showing up at the time of enrollment, to the workshops, various other visits and trips and finally, graduation, families are following their own "program" and are engaged in the learning process alongside their children. Parents and siblints learn about their role in relationship with the Montana Academy students, as well as serve as mentors for newer families who are just joining the larger community. For families, these lessons are delivered comprehensively in the Parent Curriculum, which guides families through their own "phases" and delivers lessons in written form and in a video series.
Workshops at Montana Academy are times to honor the collaboration of a community. The feeling that one gets while walking around campus is a sense that all are in this together and that each student is benefiting from the warmth, support and encouragment. Montana Academy appreciates famlies taking time out of their schedules, away from other responsibilities and believes that this good work could not be accomplished without their participation.
About Montana Academy
Founded in 1997, Montana Academy is a coed, accredited, privately-owned therapeutic boarding school located in Northwest Montana. Unique in the nation, Montana Academy provides students a robust combination of clincal sophistication, an effective therapeutic program, and a challenging prep school all situated on a 500 acre Montana Ranch. Instead of limiting treatment to symptom relief, (pills or brief therapies), Montana Academy pursues a two-step diagnosis and dual treatment: (a) to identify and remove, in so far as possible, the obstacles to psychological development; and (b) to prod student to achieve new psychological milestones and so to restore the momentum of normal adolescent maturity.
Solstice East, a leading residential treatment center for adolescents ages 14 – 18 located in western North Carolina, celebrated their 25th family seminar on campus in February. Family seminars at Solstice East are multi-day events on campus which include all families who are currently enrolled in the program. The core of Solstice East’s programming is based on healing damaged relationships so that students can restore healthy connections within the family system. These intensive, multi-family experiences are conducted 4 times a year and provide powerful, therapeutic experiences for both students and their families.
During this February's Family Seminar, families came together on campus to engage in the following activities, practicing and refining their skills, bonding with students and other families, and enjoying time together.
- Chinese New Year celebration with Lip Sync Battle
- Family Dragon Art Activity/Processing
- Multi-Family Groups
- Parent Support Group/Sibling Support/Team Support
- Family Strengths Ceremony
In addition to fun, family-focused activities, Family Seminar also provides students the opportunity to do family therapy work in-person. This helps facilitate stronger and healthier relationships with family members. Additionally, spending quality time together and creating new memories helps build positivity and hope for the future.
As Sandra Dowd, Family Seminar Coordinator states, “At Solstice, our hope is that each family sees that this is a supportive practice opportunity. It’s a safe space to try new things, get messy, and make mistakes with the support available in the process. This is also a process, which means putting what is said in therapy to practice in real life. Seminars are so key to this practice of creating a hopeful future for each family member.”
To learn more about Solstice East’s Family Seminars click here, or call (855) 672-7058.
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.
Seven Stars, a residential treatment and assessment program for teens struggling with neurodevelopmental issues, is excited to introduce Sheldon Barlow as their new Recreation Lead.
Sheldon was introduced to the outdoor lifestyle at a very young age and ever since, his love for the wilderness only grew. Sheldon continued to follow this passion, and found joy in helping others discover the wonders of the outdoors. He loves spending his free time climbing, snowboarding, cross country skiing with his dog, and rafting. Before working for Seven Stars, Sheldon was a Trip Leader for Utah State University (USU) Outdoor Programs, and Instructor for Beaver Mountain Ski Resort. After attending USU, Sheldon joined the recreation team at Seven Stars.
“Recreation programming at Seven Stars is an extremely important part of our program,” says Dr. Gordon Day, Executive Clinical Director and Founder of Seven Stars. “Getting students outdoors and trying new things helps students gain confidence and break out of their shell. With Sheldon’s past experiences as an outdoor recreation instructor and leader, he is a wonderful new addition to our team.”
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.
Allowing natural consequences to be the cornerstone of a program model is frustrating, exhausting, and incredibly successful. At the programs of Q&A Associates, young adults are given the necessary freedom to make decisions and experience the natural consequences of those decisions.
Most young adults participating in transitional living programs have histories of attending therapeutic programs, special schools, and outpatient therapy with structured activities designed to fill down time. They have loving parents and families who wanted to protect them and see them experience success, much like their peers at various ages. However, young adults who have grown up with challenges such as mental illness, substance use or abuse, and/or developmental delays, were often placed in situations where they could not self-advocate or self-regulate, which left them being bullied or feeling left out. They were often rescued from these situations, so now, in striving for independence, they lack the experience of living in real life situations with real life consequences.
As stated, allowing natural consequences to occur is not the easiest way to structure a young adult program model, but it is the most effective. For young adults to truly become independent, they must learn how to assess options, make choices and be prepared for consequences - both positive and negative. They must be permitted the space to fail, survive the failure and learn from the mistake so they can make a different choice next time. Failure is an integral part of growing up, but young adults in transitional living programs have often been shielded from failure in their adolescent years, which means they have not developed the necessary skills to navigate the typical failures of adult life. As they enter the transitional living program, they are going to experience failure for the first time. This is one of the most important opoprtunities for growth they can have.
In order to allow natural consequences to occur, the program structure must be patient, employing staff who can coach clients through failure rather than rescue them from it or blame them for it. This allows the clients time for true growth experiences, ones that will propel them into adulthood with resilience and skills to navigate the world. "We strive to create an environment and program model that partners with the community so our clients can truly make choices in every aspect of their lives, from daily chores to employment challenges," commented Angie Shockley, owner of Q&A Associates. "If one of our young adults makes a choice that results in the loss of a job, so be it," she continued; "learning how to lose a job as a result of a personal choice is one of the best ways to devleop character, resilience, and self-awareness." Failure is an underrated tool in the quest for adulthood. Rather than being feared, it can be embraced and utilized for true growth.
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.
Evoke Therapy Programs is pleased to announce the hiring of their new Medical Coordinator at Entrada, Luke Haws. Luke has worked in an Intensive Care Unit, home health and hospice, medical oncology and has also worked with adolescents at a treatment center. Luke’s professional training includes Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Emergency Medical Technician and phlebotomy.
Luke oversees the health and well-being of the adolescent and young adult participants at the Entrada Utah location and visits the field area regularly. He provides medical instruction to the staff, and he implements treatment plans and evacuations if an injury or medical issue occur in the wilderness area where Evoke operates in Utah.
He earned his first bachelor's degree in Biology from Utah Valley University. Luke was a nursing assistant for several years before graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Utah.
When asked what Luke likes about working for Evoke, he said "I love working at Evoke because of the family/team atmosphere, everyone is committed to helping each other grow and succeed. I love seeing the transformation that takes place in the students as they progress through the program. I truly believe Evoke will have a lasting impact on each participant and employee."
About Evoke Therapy Programs
Evoke Therapy Programs at Entrada, in Santa Clara, Utah provides innovative mental health treatment solutions for struggling teens, young adults and their families. Their programs foster lasting change utilizing the power of nature and Wilderness Therapy. They also offer Personal Growth Intensive Workshops for individuals and families that are looking to create dynamic changes in their life or to simply find the balance they are seeking.
Co-founder of Elements Wilderness Lynn Smith, LCSW had the opportunity to reflect on the evolution of wilderness therapy over the past 25 years as a guest on Dr. Will White’s podcast, Stories from the Field. In episode 17 of the podcast series, Lynn reached back to his early days as a field staff in 1994 and reflected on how far the wilderness therapy field has evolved. Although hard to imagine now, Lynn recollected times as a group lead where he would call off individual therapy sessions, “so the group could hike more”. Similarly, he noted the first changes to the work were the evolution away from consequence-based programming, citing how programs like Elements developed clinical foundations for cognitive therapy and DBT-based skills development. He also saw adventure therapy as once a new evolution that was at first seen as antithetical to “true wilderness,” but can be now utilized as an integral complement to an expeditionary program. He and Will shared their obvious pride in how a treatment modality such as wilderness can develop and evolve to a place where the entire field of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare can be given the legitimacy that it now deserves.
In 2008, Lynn helped Karen Scrafford and John Karren found Elements Wilderness Program, where Lynn first served as Clinical Director. As Elements grew and evolved in its own right, Lynn handed his job to his partner Dr. Neal Christensen and took the helm of Elements family programming as Director of Family Services. Lynn has maintained a group of adolescent boys since the founding of Elements Wilderness.
Elements Wilderness Program is one of the first wilderness therapy programs to be nationally accredited through the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council’s partnership with the Association for Experiential Education (AEE). Elements Wilderness Program and Elements Traverse, its partner program for young adults, serve clients in Utah’s red rock country of the San Rafael Swell in central Utah.
Click here to listen to Lynn Smith's 38 minute interview on the podcast.
About Elements Wilderness and Elements Traverse
Since 2008, Elements Wilderness has been providing a specialized therapeutic intervention for adolescent boys aged 13-17. We at Elements envision a world in which everyone has the skills and support necessary to live a full and healthy life. Through innovative therapeutic and psychiatric intervention, a comprehensive outdoor living experience complete with expeditionary backpacking and adventure programming, a robust family program involving the family at every step, and evidence-based substance abuse treatment, we strive to provide our clients with intervention, treatment and assessment.
Open Sky Wilderness Therapy is thrilled to introduce Sebastiaan Zuidweg as Clinical Director and Clinical Therapist. Sebastiaan is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has a Master’s in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Wilderness Therapy from Naropa University. He brings years of clinical and managerial experience in wilderness therapy, community mental health and higher education.
During his graduate studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, Sebastiaan worked as a school counselor for an expeditionary learning school and provided treatment at a therapeutic foster home in Denver. He also volunteered at the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center and Adaptive Adventures, supporting individuals with disabilities.
Following graduate school, Sebastiaan served as a lead therapist for Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Programs. He worked with adolescents providing clinical assessment, individual and group therapy, and aftercare planning. His belief in the wilderness therapy model solidified and his enthusiasm grew as he witnessed adolescents and their parents reunite and transform from dysfunction into emotionally expressive, articulate and integrated families.
Sebastiaan’s career path then transitioned to the community mental health arena. He worked at The Center for Mental Health in Gunnison, Colorado as an Emergency Crisis Clinician and later, the Regional Manager. In these roles, he carried a clinical caseload, provided community support and education, and assumed responsibility for administrative and clinical oversight of the community mental health clinic and local university counseling center. Sebastiaan also worked as a clinician and Program Manager for Step Up on Second, a housing and mental health service for the chronically homeless and severely mentally ill population of San Bernardino, California.
At Open Sky, Sebastiaan returns to his passion for counseling youth and families. As a Clinical Therapist, he works from a solution-oriented and strengths-based philosophy, utilizing techniques stemming from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Sebastiaan’s approach is to create authentic therapeutic relationships with youth and families to help motivate change.
As Clinical Director, Sebastiaan will utilize his skills and experience in leadership and management, leading the Clinical Team in Open Sky’s holistic family systems approach. “I share Open Sky’s foundational belief that every individual has the capacity to thrive and I’m grateful to be part of this work,” Sebastiaan said. “It’s exciting to lead such a competent and passionate team of clinicians, working with students and families toward healthier lives and relationships.”
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.
PRN for Families is pleased to announce increased flexibility in the levels of care they are able to provide. Because PRN's approach is based in a family systems model that considers the role of each family member in the wraparound support plan, the program has always customized services to meet the unique needs of each family. Meeting families where they are means offering greater flexibility in options for support and budget.
PRN's Comprehensive Family Intervention package is designed to meet the needs of clinically complex families who will benefit from the highest level of home-based support. A PRN Family Consultant will provide a three-day in-home evaluation, full case management and case consultation, parent coaching utilizing Love and Logic parenting curriculum and individualized support, plus weekly clinical support for the identified young person in the family. Weekly family sessions are included. This package also offers up to 5 hours per week of in-person mentor support.
The Family Re-set package offers similar levels of clinical support, while mentor support is provided remotely. This option is designed for families with schedules that are not as conducive to in-person mentoring, or who may already have access to local, supportive community resources. Clinical services are provided by a licensed PRN for Families' Family Consultant, including three days of in-home evaluation, case management and case consultation, parent and family coaching, and bi-weekly family sessions. PRN's custom-matched mentor is able to connect with the identified young person in the family on a daily basis, or as needed.
PRN offers a Family Maintenance package of services for families who may need a lighter touch of support, perhaps following a more extensive and successful residential program. This includes two days of in-home assessment, case management and case consultation, weekly parent coaching and a weekly call with the identified young person, as well as a weekly family session. All services are delivered by a licensed PRN Family Consultant.
PRN for Families continues to offer our In-Home Family Assessment as a standalone service, providing a five-day home and community-based evaluation and assessment of the family system. Families who are stuck and unsure about residential placement, or who would like to determine if home-based support services are an appropriate level of care for their family, may benefit from this evaluation process.
PRN for Families is committed to providing customized support services to all clients, and can create a more individualized plan of support as may be needed by various family situations.
About PRN For Families
PRN for Families and Tracks by PRN are home and community-based support programs that serve families who have children or young adults who are struggling, or who may be reuniting following an out-of-home placement. 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. Tracks by PRN offers concierge-level services for young adults who may require additional support in order to find success in their efforts to live independently. For more information on our family support services, or on our Tracks by PRN support for young adults, please visit our website at: www.prnforfamilies.com, or reach out to our admissions team at: email@example.com.
From February 8th-11th, Greenbrier Academy for Girls facilitated one of our Young Women’s Healing Village Retreats. As a licensed, all-girls college preparatory therapeutic boarding school on the east coast, Greenbrier incorporates a curriculum that’s specific to the needs and unique experiences of teen girls in our Village Retreat. Located in a serene mountain setting directly above campus, students engage in therapeutic exercises and discussion.
Young women are drawn to narratives and stories. The Young Women’s Healing Village Retreat implements the Archetypes of the famous psychologist Carl Jung. Many students' negative beliefs and energies are tied to real-life experiences which they’ve stored away in narrative form. By incorporating Jungian Archetypes, students connect to the stories and characteristics of each archetype and were able to identify their characteristic strengths, as well as Archetypes that they need to embody more.
At the Retreat’s completion, facilitators and therapists asked students to reflect on the experience. Students shared:
- "The most useful part of this weekend at Village was learning how to trust my struggle."
- "I was moved by the feedback I received from the other girls while learning about the Archetypes. It felt good to hear how I was showing up as a Mother Archetype and it was helpful to hear some of my Shadows so I can now be aware of them and work on them.”
This retreat is a place for our students to witness shared success and struggles as young women. It’s a place to hold one another; the pain, the surrendering, and the transformation that takes place can last a lifetime.
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.
Equinox RTC, a residential treatment center for adolescents ages 14-18 located outside of Asheville, NC, is excited to announce the expansion of its academic and clinical facilities on campus. This expansion includes three new classrooms for a total of six classroom spaces, twelve new therapist offices and a treatment team meeting hall.
The improvements made on campus tie together six individual buildings now into one larger building space. Last year at Equinox, the initial expansion opened three classrooms and a study hall. The expansion this year built upon that space adding partitions, a complete rewiring of the building, converting the building to four seasons including insulation and heat and air, refinishing floors, and many more updates. Basically a full retrofit of summer camp bungalows to six classrooms with the full technology complement to run accredited academic courses and a mobile computer lab.
The expansion also includes an impressive addition of twelve new independent therapist offices, all of which have sound-proof insulation to keep conversations from traveling from one space to the next, giving both therapists and students a safe and private space for therapy sessions. Within the clinical building, a treatment team meeting hall was also created for the weekly treatment team meetings for therapists, residential mentors, and teachers to all come together to meet and talk about the treatment plan for each student.
Each new space on Equinox’s sprawling 145-acre campus is equipped with the technology infrastructure needed for academic and clinical teams to thrive, including phone, wireless internet access, video conferencing.
These new spaces will further Equinox’s mission of inspiring young men and their families to live in the moment, embrace the journey, choose happiness, respond with love, and lead by example. The expanded clinical and academic spaces also offer the convenience of being close to each other so that the transitions are smoother for students and staff for meetings, therapy sessions, and day-to-day school activities.
As Carlos Barnes, Facilities Director at Equinox RTC, states, “Having one place for clinical meetings, treatment team meetings, and academic meetings helps to promote communication between the departments. With everyone working in the same general area, staff at Equinox are able to witness first-hand what is going on with students. This makes work with students much stronger, and allows us to connect with our students on a deeper, more personal level.”
About Equinox RTC
Equinox RTC is a leading residential treatment center for adolescents ages 14-18. Equinox is unique in its focus on Trauma, Loss and Attachment, providing clinically intensive treatment for young adults struggling with anxiety, depression, OCD, ASD, learning disabilities, and other emotional and behavioral needs. Equinox offers a combination of clinically sophisticated support with a whole child approach including adventure therapy, integrated Cross-Fit program, and a whole foods diet. Equinox provides a fully accredited school, with broad course selections taught by licensed teachers in a college-preparatory environment. Learn more about Equinox’s mission by visiting their about us page, or by calling (877) 279-8925.
Journey Home Young Adult, a 6-12 month step down, transition, home-like setting located in Salt Lake City, Utah, offers therapeutic support for clients and provides the opportunity for greater freedoms, responsibilities, further education, career development and a healthy lifestyle.
The Journey Home Young Adult program has a team of experts, who are passionately dedicated to helping young adults emotionally and intellectually launch into a fulfilling life following their time at the program. The program is now open in Salt Lake City, Utah, with upcoming open house dates, including:
-April 3, 2019: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
-April 5, 2019: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Director, Rachael Groves, has over 15 years of experience working with young adults and their families. Rachael received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Utah and has a certification in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT). Her work with students at prior residential treatment centers sparked a passion inside of her for the therapeutic process, seeing how powerful it could be for anyone and that therapy transcends a person’s background, economic status, race, and gender - that it can truly help everyone.
Rachael worked with the Solstice and Journey Home West teams in the past to develop and build both programs and created industry-leading transition programming. She describes the team at Journey Home Young Adult, “Our team members all have really great specialities, different things they are passionate about and want to pass on to residents. As Program Director, I am really trying to utilizing all or their strengths, and collaborate with the team to see how we can help our residents get what they need at our program.”
At the new Journey Home Young Adult program, Rachael explains, “Safety is our biggest concern. Our residents need to be safe, but also need to be able to have those young adult experiences; where they figure out life, what they want, where they want to go in life. We hope to give them those opportunities to try and fail, try and fail all while having that supportive environment.”
For Journey Home Young Adult residents, Salt Lake City provides a really exciting opportunity for getting involved in a variety of activities, community groups, education options and hobbies happening within the city. Rachael describes one opportunity where residents will help a charity group in Salt Lake, “We’ve partnered with a community group helping refugees, where residents will have the opportunity to mentor students from other countries. It is very exciting being in Salt Lake and having these experiences to help others, give back to community, have larger options for jobs, and growth that will happen naturally as we move into a larger community.”
Folola, Program Director at Journey Home Young Adult, has worked in the residential treatment field for over 12 years and is excited to be part of this new program. She looks forward to growing and learning alongside the amazing individuals at the Journey Home. Folola is from Utah and enjoys spending spare time outdoors exploring. She loves a good book, movies, biking, trying new and different foods, but mostly, loves having family dinners and game nights with her extensive family.
Latu has 6 years of experience working in the residential treatment field. Latu believes that everyone deserves to live their best life, and gives her best to help make that manifest for everyone she comes in contact with; she is currently working toward her Associate Degree in Marriage and Family Studies.
Latu lives in Utah with her husband and three children, two boys and one girl. She is from a big Polynesian family and loves spending time with them, being outdoors and playing volleyball, and laughter is a must in her life.
Kate has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology and has worked in various modes of mental health treatment for 4 years. Kate has a passion for working with young adult women, especially in recreational therapy and trauma recovery. Kate believes in a relational approach, in which genuine connection and relational modeling provide a powerful atmosphere for healing and personal development.
Kate was born and raised in Northern California, but now finds it hard to leave Utah because of the greatest snow on earth. Kate enjoys skiing, playing music, working with refugees in her local community, hugging strangers and is fiercely loyal to grocery shopping at Trader Joes.
To learn more about Journey Home Young Adult located in Salt Lake City or to RSVP for an open house date, please contact the program at 801-444-0794 or visit www.journeyhomeyoungadult.com.
All Kinds of Therapy is excited to reveal four new young adult advertising partners: Bridge House (UT), Foundations Asheville (NC), Foundation House (ME) and Trails Momentum (NC). These additions to the website are further developing the young adult treatment section of the website.
All Kinds of Therapy requires all advertisers to answer a series of questions that reveal facts about their program, hiring practices, insurance, accreditation, therapist licensing, and so much more. The level of transparency required by the website allows website users (like families and/or young adults in search of treatment, as well as therapeutic professionals) a level of insight that is not seen elsewhere in the intervention, treatment and recovery industries. To advertise on AllKindsofTherapy, a treatment program must share significant, granular details of treatment, demographics, cost, parent involvement; in other words, every treatment program is interested in clarity for the client. Users can sign up for a free account and compare facts about treatment side-by-side
It is only the most transparent teen and young adult therapeutic programs that become advertisers.
Bridge House, located north of Salt Lake City, offers a level of individualized care and assessment that is not found in young adult assessment settings. It requires a longer length of stay to ensure quality of care and support.
Foundations Asheville is a transition community located in Asheville, NC for 18 - 24 year olds, specifically looking for an opportunity to get real life experience with therapeutic supports, but outside of a higher level of treatment.
Foundation House with locations in Portland and Bethel, Maine is working with young men in search of recovery. They have varying levels of care to support the client's journey.
Trails Momentum located in Hendersonville, NC is a therapeutic adventure program (wilderness therapy program) that offers a transformative, student-centered growth experience in the mountains for 18-25 year olds. "Young adults come to the website to research interventions or treatment programs or assessment options while providing community to the young adults that they serve," said Jenney Wilder, Founder of All Kinds of Therapy.
About All Kinds of Therapy
Launched in 2015, All Kinds of Therapy (located in Salt Lake City, UT) is an advertising-based online directory of treatment options focused on Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare, substance abuse industries and supportive Gap Year programs for troubled teens and young adult. This web portal provides families the ability to ‘search and compare’ the broad options of programs throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, with the helpful ability to ‘favorite’ treatment options. The website allows consumers to review treatment models, different intervention types (in and out of the home). AllKindsofTherapy.com provides this newsletter, monthly, a jobs listings and a curated blog that compliments the user experience.
All Kinds of Therapy could not let this newsletter go out without taking a moment to mention Bill Lane losing his fight with cancer. Bill’s superpower was that he gave to everyone he interacted with - his being present in the relationship. He made you feel like there was no one else in the world that mattered. He did that for All Kinds of Therapy when he became an early advertiser, back when there was barely traffic. He also gave us an important interview/blog about Teen Transport because he was the original. His stories about Synanon, teen treatment, and his Facebook feed were legendary. His family has lost a husband, father, and grandfather. As a community of treatment and recovery professionals, we have lost the uncle, mentor, and friend that we counted on for a hug and a smile.
Thank you, Bill Lane, for giving us you.