All Kinds of News for May 08, 2019
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness is pleased to announce Christine Riley’s return to the woods as Primary Therapist and Clinical Director after a medical leave. Christine has already begun taking on students and her group (“G2”) has reopened, just in time for another busy summer at the North Georgia wilderness therapy program. The team at Blue Ridge could not be happier to have Christine back at work and they feel grateful for her health and continued commitment to her work at Blue Ridge. Through Christine’s recovery, she has experienced firsthand the power of community and connection in the healing process. Intrigued, she dove into the topic and explored how it relates to the families the program works with in wilderness therapy. Christine writes about her own experience and how important it is for humans to come together as a community, while we heal - medically, mentally, or otherwise - in her blog, Healing Through Connection.
Christine is a Primary Therapist for adolescent girls, ages 14-18, who often have conflicting diagnoses and a complicated treatment history due to hospitalizations. Her students struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, complex family conflict, and attachment and adoption-related struggles. Christine believes the true wilderness setting at Blue Ridge provides the safest, most meaningful and powerful setting for students to improve their self-worth, sense of belonging, and connection to self and others.
Please join Blue Ridge in welcoming Christine back to the woods!
About Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness offers clinically driven programs encompassing advanced therapeutic skill, a highly flexible nomadic wilderness therapy model, licensed wilderness therapy assessment and multiple treatment options for troubled teens ages 13-18 years old. Our individualized approach, family support and commitment to service translate to an unparalleled experience and better outcomes for adolescents and families.
Emerald Arrow, Young Adult program at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, launched in October 2018 and has evolved into a thriving full group of individuals, and sophisticated programming that inspired many emerging adults into their successful graduations and transition into their path forward.
Emerald Arrow wants to express immense gratitude for all the support the program received leading up to its launch and since it has been up and running. It was an exciting winter and spring full of growth in Anne Wilzbacher’s group (Primary Therapist, Emerald Arrow) including a large consultant tour, several professional visits, creative expressions and practice, ceremony coming to life, field staff training for young adults, and implementation of yoga and meditation practice. The Emerald Arrow team has infused sophisticated clinical skill and creative interventions and exposure that have instilled investment and inspiration into the young people in the program.
Full family participation in the process: Families work alongside their young adult child with a Blue Ridge Family Therapist, in addition to working with Anne Wilzbacher, Primary Therapist. There is high investment in assignments and delving into their own family work, which has lent to productive field visits and end-of-stay family sessions. The family system shifting has been an important value to the program in order to support highly prepared transitions for young people out of wilderness.
Ceremony: A formal recognition of a young person’s process, courageous openings, and marked accomplishments. There has been intentional implementation and practice of ceremony into the student’s experience and process. Rites of Passage through ceremony caters to a student’s own individual story and work.
Daily Mindfulness Practice: This is a daily practice that happens in many forms as a way for young people to repeatedly practice skills that can translate and be applicable beyond wilderness.
Weekly Yoga and Meditation Instruction: Nicole Borth visits the group weekly to teach yoga and meditation instruction and practice. Her consistency, professionalism and focus have contributed great influence to deepening students’ experience of their own bodies, minds, and heart.
Creativity: Creativity is intentionally infused throughout the program as there is strong research in the benefits it serves in mental health and immune systems, reducing stress, and furthering connection to purpose.
Professional Series Guest Speakers (Skill Building): Emerald Arrow has invited professionals who work in Young Adult Transition Programs to the field to speak on various topics related to emerging adulthood.
James Skelton worked at SUWS as the Recovery Support Specialist from 2015-2017. During that time, he helped transform the Phoenix program by incorporating more 12-Step education and overall recovery knowledge. James was then accepted into the Western Carolina University Social Work program and went on to earn his Master’s. During school, James interned at Mission Hospital’s inpatient Psychiatric Unit and found a passion for the DBT approach. He also conducted research projects on gender and neurobiology of addiction, as well as effective aftercare planning for adolescents in treatment. Now James returns on May 20th as a primary therapist for the Phoenix program – serving adolescents with substance use disorders and co-occurring diagnoses.
About returning to SUWS after two years at school, James says, “It feels like I’m coming home! I’m excited to take what I’ve learned through my studies and research and bring it into the field to benefit these guys.” As someone who already knows the power of wilderness milieu work, he is looking forward to going in-depth into group culture, peer relationships, and examining the magic of wilderness.
Another familiar face returning to SUWS is Valerie Wanamaker, LCSWA. In the past, Valerie was a field staff; after earning her social work degree, she served as seasonal therapist in group Bravo. Now Valerie has returned to help launch new initiatives in the family program. She will be an ally for families - having calls with them throughout their child’s stay and helping them process the experience, their own goals, and their plans for the future. Valerie will also be leading parent workshops and supporting the families during the 2-day graduation process. The Family Program will continue to evolve over the summer, with even more family supports launching in the fall.
About SUWS of the Carolinas
SUWS of the Carolinas is a licensed, CARF International-accredited mental health facility, committed to helping families rediscover their strengths and fostering growth for young people. Operating in the Pisgah National Forest outside of Asheville, SUWS delivers wilderness based therapeutic interventions for 10-17 year old boys and girls with compassion and excellence.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery, an adolescent treatment program for boys, ages 14-17, offers a 60-90 day residential program that treats trauma, mental health issues, substance abuse, process addictions, disordered eating, grief and loss, and adoption and divorce issues. Located an hour outside of Asheville, North Carolina on a 94-acre horse farm with long-range mountain views, adventure therapy and an academic component complement clinically intensive programming where clients work with dually licensed master’s level clinicians.
In addition to traditional group and individual therapy, therapists at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery facilitate therapy utilizing numerous experiential interventions: equine therapy, ropes course, adventure activities, sports, yoga and mindfulness. The clinical team is involved in the day-to-day activities of each client and because this real-time clinical approach takes place in a small, nurturing, home-like environment, there is a transfer of learning to other environments beyond the program.
A designated family therapist works with family members with skills and techniques necessary to improve the relationships throughout the unit, with a focus on how members of the family can move forward by doing their own work while their loved one is in treatment. The family program is designed to help families understand adolescent development, know how to support their child’s growth, and develop a personal skill set to thrive individually and in family relationships.
“We are very excited about Foothills. We have been asked since we first opened Red Oak Recovery® if we would take our innovative trauma focused treatment program and customize it for younger adolescents,” explains Jack Kline, MS, LPCS, LCAS, CCS, CTT-2, MAC, President and Founder of Red Oak Recovery® programs. “We bring the latest research and state-of-the-art clinical approaches to helping adolescents and their families.”
About Red Oak Recovery
Red Oak Recovery® programs are located throughout Western North Carolina and include clinically-driven and gender separate trauma focused mental health and substance abuse treatment for young adult men (www.redoakrecovery.com), young adult women (www.thewillowsatredoak.com), and adolescent males (www.foothillsatredoak.com). Our developmentally specific treatment modalities take into account each client’s unique story, trauma history, gender challenges, substance abuse history, relapse triggers, and mental health issues. Our dually licensed master’s level clinicians integrate research-based practices with complementary modalities to help clients honor themselves, recognize their self-worth, and pursue positive, lasting change.
AIM House participants are actively taking advantage of the creative opportunities at Madelife, a sister company of AIM House located in downtown Boulder, CO.
The first time that Sammi played the guitar was at camp the summer after eighth grade, and she fell in love with it. Throughout high school, she began taking summer classes at Berkeley College of Music. “It is a real outlet for me - both emotionally and creatively,” shared Sammi. In school, she sang with student groups (solos here and there), at various extracurricular programs, with a family friends’ band, and in posts on Instagram. She has also participated in a handful of open mics! These days, you can find Sammi performing regularly at Creative Recovery at Madelife, which offers space for creators to explore and share their art mediums.
Writing her own music has long been something that has intrigued Sammi, however the process of writing original songs has been daunting: “I struggle a lot with over-thinking and comparison issues. Lots of my friends write music and I wanted mine to move me as much as theirs and the work of my favorite artists,” she said. Historically this has been an area where she puts a lot of pressure on herself. At AIM House and Madelife, Sammi is experiencing her first “real attempt” at writing her own material and it is nerve-wracking, but also exciting! “It is something I truly want to master,” says Sammi. Thus, her Creative Accelerator program at Madelife is centered around not only preforming music, but also writing music.
Sammi believes the accelerator program at Madelife has enhanced her experience at AIM House. Sammi said that she needs creativity in her life to function. “On those rough days, I go to my room and sing at the top of my lungs. It helps me process how I am feeling. Having this [Creative Accelerator] makes me feel like I am back at music camp just being myself.” The Creative Accelerator program was, in large part, why Sammi chose AIM House as her transitional program after wilderness. “My music is a part of me. To have a chance to learn and grow within treatment was a major plus when it came to choosing this program."
Sammi is one of the many young adults taking advantage of opportunities to thrive through AIM House and Madelife. Stay tuned to AIM House social media to see what participants are creating!
About AIM HOUSE
Founded in 1999, AIM House is a transitional living program located in Boulder, Colorado. Young adults come from wilderness therapy programs, residential treatment programs, therapeutic boarding schools and drug and alcohol treatment centers. Mentors and therapists work with each participant to create an individualized program that meets the needs of the participant and their family. Participants have access to a large variety of educational institutions, including the University of Colorado Boulder. AIM House also offers executive functioning support, vocational coaching, and personalized artistic and entrepreneurial mentorship.
blueFire Wilderness Therapy, a wilderness program for teens ages 11-17, is excited to welcome Dr. Paul Goddard as a Primary Therapist on their clinical team. Beginning on May 27, Dr. Goddard will be working with the younger girls group at blueFire, clients ages 11-15.
Dr. Goddard has worked with adolescents in therapeutic settings for decades. After earning his Ph.D in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Child and Family from the University of Missouri - Columbia, he has worked as a wilderness therapist where he learned to further integrate the healing power of nature with psychology.
As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (Utah and NY), he subsequently worked as a testing psychologist, clinical director and executive director for some of the nation’s foremost adolescent treatment programs. He has since returned to positions working directly with young people as a wilderness therapist.
“Dr. Goddard’s ability to balance genuine nurturance with personal accountability has earned him the reputation of being a ‘Giant Teddy Bear’ among his clients,” says Kathy Rex, CTRS, Executive Director and Co-Founder of blueFire Wilderness. “Building trust with treatment resistant young women, who sense his genuine care and concern balanced with his belief in their ability to face their ‘monsters’ and heal, is Dr. Goddard’s specialty. We are thrilled for him to join our team.”
His other clinical specialties include anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, adoption & attachment issues, trauma and abuse, emotional dysregulation, and family systems.
Learn more about blueFire’s clinical programming by visiting https://www.bluefirewilderness.com or by calling 1 (844) 413-1999.
About blueFire Wilderness Therapy
BlueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Boise, Idaho that offers teens ages 11-17 a comprehensive adventure experience. BlueFire Wilderness combines clinical expertise, academic assessments and a family systems approach to help teens struggling emotional, behavioral and social challenges. For more information, please call 1 (844) 413-1999.
Elevations RTC, a residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, welcomes the warmer weather of Spring and Summer by shifting recreational programming from the skiing and snowboarding of winter months to rock climbing and water sports.
During the spring months, students will take part in rock climbing, in both indoor and outdoor settings. The rock climbing unit of recreational programming will focus on technical skills such as belaying and equipment as well as less tangible skills such as grit, resiliency, and trust. During summer, recreation programming shifts to water sports. Students who are eligible to go off campus participate in these outings each week on Friday or Saturday.
“On campus, students have the opportunity to take part in a 1.5 hour weekly after school club of their choosing,” says Amber Boyce, Recreation Director of Elevations RTC. “We always offer multiple options at a time (with both active and non-active options), that occur in 6 week blocks to give the maximum amount of choice to our students. At the end of April our next block of clubs includes the following: Pickleball Club, Painting Club, and Field-Sports Club. These clubs allow our students to learn about healthy hobbies, habits, and build appropriate peer relationships.”
In addition to clubs and off-campus recreation activities, students will have the chance to participate in the annual San Rafael Triathlon. Elevations takes part in this triathlon every year and this activity is optional for students. Students who choose to participate in the triathlon began their gradual training regimen on April 29th and will continue training until the triathlon takes place on July 13th.
“This is a sprint triathlon, and we will be helping our students learn how to swim, run, and road bike over these next couple of months,” says Boyce. “Each year students who complete this activity come away with a strong sense of commitment, follow-through, self-efficacy, and a great sense of accomplishment.”
The recreation team at Elevations RTC works as a part of each student’s treatment team to ensure a truly holistic approach. All the activities offered through the recreation program at Elevations are planned and executed intentionally to ensure students are gaining both the hard skills and the soft skills that can contribute to their success.
“Through our program our students have the opportunity to increase their physical activity, which can improve mental health,” says Boyce. “They also build grit as they work through new and difficult activities, exercise leadership and teamwork, learn about positive decision making, and apply what they have learned in their therapeutic process to a real-world setting.”
Learn more about recreation programming at Elevations RTC by visiting https://www.elevationsrtc.com/our-community/recreation-programming/ or by calling 855-290-9681.
About Elevations RTC
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 or visit our website https://www.elevationsrtc.com/
Throughout a patient’s stay at ViewPoint Center, the 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 is able to make specific recommendations about the type of program clients will need based on the findings from 24/7 observations and continuous assessment/testing process.
Keeping Parents in the loop
Over the course of a patient’s placement, The ViewPoint Center makes sure parents feel like part of the process. Each week they provide transparent feedback about how their 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 they present the Multidisciplinary Review (MDR) towards the end of a patient’s stay.
What is the 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 Center provides a briefing to the educational consultant so they will be prepared with this information.
ViewPoint Center's recommendations for next placement within the MDR come from their observations of the patient and their findings from testing and assessments. For example, they are able to see:
· 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 with their medication
· How patients deal with 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 the ViewPoint Center 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 7-8 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.
Culinary Arts is one of the fastest growing industries of the future. Did you know that the foodservice industry employs 25% of the population in the United States? Chamberlain International School is beginning to incorporate some hands-on experience for students expressing interest in learning more about the trade by having them work in the cafeteria with the school's Kitchen Manager, Trudi Clark.
Trudi has over 20 years of experience, starting out her career in high profile restaurants in the city of New Bedford and Boston. She moved over to the commercial side of things later on in life when family became her priority. In a small school like Chamberlain, the Kitchen Manager wears a lot of hats - Manager, Chef, Dietitian, Baker, Caterer, Inventory Clerk, and more! Trudi is teaching the students working with her about everything it takes to make a kitchen run successfully. Working with one of the schools largest vendors, Sysco Boston, they were recently able to bring a group of students to a local food show to get an inside look at the industry.
And oh yeah, the fun stuff, cooking! From knife skills to proper food storage to meal preparation, they are able to get right in there and grind with the pros. Marie Garfield, a long time Chamberlain employee who has been cooking her signature meatball subs amongst many other dishes at the school for over 20 years, is very excited to see students having the opportunity to work in the kitchen. While this is only being offered as an experiential learning experience, currently the plan is to expand to an accredited course when the studio kitchen is completed.
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.
Judith Sadora, MFT-I, CADC-I has joined the Evoke Therapy team as a therapist. Judith is a Haitian-American therapist who has experience in working with multiracial families, adopted families, and adolescents. Judith provides treatment to adolescents that struggle with substance abuse, attachment, depression, self-harm/suicide ideation, and racial acceptance or oppression. Judith received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Lincoln Christian University and is currently working on her Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy with a focus on applied research for diversity inclusion in Outdoor Adventure.
Judith worked as an outpatient therapist for two years in Las Vegas, NV and then went on to work for KW Legacy Ranch for two years as a therapist. There she worked with families, younger students, and led psychoeducational workshops for parents to attend during their family visits.
Judith is excited about working with younger students and families at Evoke, especially as a black female representative, she says, “my own personal experiences has taught me, more than anything, that I have the power to write my own story and make it as beautiful and empowering as I want it to be, and my desire is to help other people believe that for themselves. I also desire to reflect students of color who attend wilderness therapy in any way I can!” When Judith is not working, she enjoys spending time with her dog and cat, Buffy & Stewy, and exploring Central Oregon with her husband, Jason.
About Evoke Therapy Programs at Cascades
Evoke Therapy Programs at Cascades, in Bend, Oregon provides research-proven Wilderness Therapy treatment for struggling teens, young adults, and their families. and this approach promotes lasting change. They also offer Personal Growth Workshops for individuals, couples, families, and professionals in the mental health field that are looking to create lasting changes in their life.
Trails Momentum is excited to announce that Stacy Barnard has joined their Admissions Team as Associate Admissions Director.
Stacy Barnard will work with Julia Andrick, Director of Admissions and Outreach at Trails Momentum, helping guide young adults, their families, and referring professionals through the admissions process.
Prior to joining Trails Momentum, Stacy spent the past six years working with teens and young adults at Solstice East, Journey Home East, and Equinox RTC. At the Solstice programs, she held various management and administrative positions, but ultimately found her passion in admissions.
Stacy experienced the healing power of the outdoors first-hand after completing a 500 mile hike across Spain.
“I am so excited to help young adults and their families work towards a healthier, happier path in life,” says Stacy.
Learn more about programming at Trails Momentum by visiting https://trailsmomentum.com/ or by calling (877) 296-8711.
About Trails Momentum
Trails Momentum is an outdoor adventure-based therapy program for young adults ages 18-25 struggling to launch themselves into adulthood. Young adults are guided on a journey of self-discovery where they develop self-concept and are empowered to make the transition into independence. Adventure programming, clinical services, family involvement, college coursework, and social skill development are seamlessly interwoven to maximize the transference of important life skills and address clinical and behavioral challenges.
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 10-17, is excited to welcome Amanda Mojave LPC to their clinical team in the role of Primary Therapist.
Mojave will be working with the Trails Carolina’s younger girls group (10-14 year olds) who struggle with challenges such as ADHD, autism, and mood dysregulation. Mojave is licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor and received her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Antioch University New England.
Prior to joining the clinical team at Trails, Mojave spent the past four years working with young girls and their families as a Primary Therapist at Asheville Academy for Girls. “I’m really excited to begin a new journey at Trails Carolina,” says Mojave. “Whenever I had students at Asheville Academy who had come from Trails Carolina, they would always say how powerful their experience at Trails was. The group dynamics at Trails have such a positive, meaningful impact on students. Trails provides a chance for students to spend time focusing on themselves and so much growth can happen. I’m looking forward to being part of that growth experience.”
Learn more about therapeutic programming at Trails Carolina by visiting https://trailscarolina.com/ or by calling 800-975-7303.
About Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Asheville, North Carolina that offers a multi-dimensional wilderness therapy model to troubled adolescents, ages 10-17. Trails capitalizes upon the profound effects of a student’s wilderness experience, and then combines that experience with strong clinical assessments and therapy. For additional information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303.
Orem, Utah: The Arise Society is delighted to welcome Shara Preston, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC), to the clinical team as Primary Therapist. Her compassion and warmth, in combination with her extensive experience in the mental health field, lend themselves particularly well to working with students struggling with trauma, depression, and anxiety.
“Shara comes to us with a tremendous amount of experience, both professionally and personally. Her exceptional skills, and commitment to our mission, are an asset to the company,” says The Arise Society’s Founder and Clinical Director, Vaughn Heath, PhD. “Her honesty and authenticity put people at ease immediately.”
Born in California, Shara spent her adolescent years in Washington preceding a period of several years that moved her across the West. She eventually settled in Oklahoma where she earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in Sociology, with extensive study in the area of Special Education. She then went on to earn her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling from Southern Nazarene University.
Throughout her career, Shara has worked with a broad spectrum of clientele, in a wide range of therapeutic settings including programs for former prison inmates and homeless people, children, adolescents and families in the foster care system, and most recently, with teen girls and their families at New Haven Residential Treatment Center, as a Clinical Director.
Given her background as a trained trauma therapist, with a certification in mindfulness, Shara strongly believes in the transformational and healing power of self-compassion. “I was drawn to The Arise Society out of a desire to support students in their emotional, social, and academic developmental processes as they enter young adulthood, a stage of life characterized by revolutionary self-discovery and growth.”
The Arise Society utilizes a unique, relationship-based approach to provide the highest level of personalized care for students and their families. She says, “I am interested in supporting individuation. The Arise Society supports this way of thinking – and I love that.”
About the Arise Society
The Arise Society helps young adults transition into independent college life by engaging them in a vibrant community where they receive individualized therapeutic, academic, and social support. The college experience is a real-life setting that brings relevance to, and helps students move on from, social and emotional issues that they have struggled with in the past. The Arise Society empowers and coaches students on their journey toward independence. www.thearisesociety.com
Contact: Beth Harrison
The Arise Society
On March 31st, a group of students and staff departed from Greenbrier Academy for Girls’ campus in Pence Springs, WV for a week long service trip in the beautiful country of Jamaica. Students served at the Jamaican Christian School for the Deaf, West Haven (a home for disabled children an adults), and the Children’s Bible School where they completed service projects and played with the children. Students gained invaluable knowledge about the resilient people living within this community, despite the disparities that they face on a daily basis.
On day two of Greenbrier Academy’s trip, one of the students wrote home:
“It was very tough work but also rewarding because of the fact that we are doing something which will help more kids get the education they need. Another plus was the smiles we put on the kids' faces. We made friends and played games with them. At the end of a few hours of work we then heard the school director talk about their struggles and efforts to make sure the kids have everything they need. Her words were very heartbreaking and motivating to me. When I heard about how the school could not even afford fruit, it made me realize how much I have and how something as simple as an apple could make someone's day. It was a very great experience and there's more to come. I'm thankful to be able to make a difference in people's lives.”
As a therapeutic boarding school for girls ages 14-18, Greenbrier’s program incorporates international service opportunities for students a few times per year. The educational and therapeutic benefits of gaining a more global perspective and connecting with other youth across the globe are essential to instill purpose and hope in these young women. Students come back with leadership skills, higher self esteem, and a newfound mission to help others. Greenbrier is thankful for the dedicated residential and therapeutic staff that made the girl’s experiences possible and are so proud of the young women who were able to embark on this meaningful adventure.
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.
Digital media overuse and video game addiction are at epidemic levels in current culture. The effects of these behavioral patterns can become destructive, especially for children. Symptoms such as poor sleep and eating patterns, social withdrawal, family conflict, depression and anxiety, and failure to mature can result.
In response, Valley View School has started a pilot project for graduating students designed to prepare them to reintegrate into the world of digital media in a healthy manner. Two and half months before graduation, prospective graduates are moved into a separate dorm where they are given more choices, more responsibilities and intensive digital media education.
Access to digital media is gradually reintroduced with careful monitoring and regular community groups to discuss screen behavior. In addition, all graduates undergo a targeted psycho-educational program focusing on cyber usage, internet safety, appropriate social media use, video game moderation, and the impact of one's digital footprint. Integrating the immediate experience of greater media accessibility with real-time monitoring and discussion affords a meaningful experience. Data will be recorded to fine tune the program for subsequent years.
It is expected that this transitional experience will help inoculate graduates against the excesses of the current digital culture and provide a smoother handoff to their next school.
About Valley View School
Valley View School, founded in 1970, is a private therapeutic boarding school serving boys in grades 6-12. Our non-profit 501(c)(3) school is located in the central Massachusetts town of North Brookfield. The Valley View Program consists of a comprehensive blend of Therapy, Academics, Athletics, Arts and Activities challenging our students emotionally, intellectually and physically. The boys learn self-control and anger management, social skills in order to create and cultivate relationships with peers and adults, while developing compassion, empathy and respect for others and to realize their true potential.
Dr. Bill Miller, expert in empathy, listening, and motivational interviewing, recently hosted a full-day workshop on Oahu. Six members of the Pacific Quest clinical team were able to attend. His presentation, titled "Listening Well: The Art of Empathic Listening," focused on the interpersonal skill of accurate empathy, and captivated a sold-out audience at the University of Hawaii-Hilo. Mental health counselors, substance abuse counselors, nurses, hospice workers, and other island residents all came together for this phenomenal event. Below are the perspectives of three members of the Pacific Quest clinical team who were in attendance.
Mike McGee, CSAC
"As the Adolescent Family Program Manager and Substance Abuse and Addictions Recovery Specialist, and having recently received the internationally recognized credential of Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) from the state of Hawaii, I first heard about Dr. Miller’s workshop when I was invited to be part of the board organizing the event. It was an incredible honor to receive such an invitation, and to meet Dr. Miller in person. I was especially struck by his patience, humbleness, and overwhelming sense of serenity and kindness. I thought that I understood Motivational Interviewing well before this event, but I really appreciated the primary focus on empathic listening. It seems well understood that listening is one of the most important components of therapy, yet it is easy to see how we can sometimes get in our client’s way with our agendas and definitions of growth. I think we can easily focus on the technicalities of a therapeutic approach and miss what actually makes it work - compassion and understanding."
Dr. Elnur Gajiev, Psy.D.
"Dr. Miller, a pioneer in his own right, highlighted the work of the late Carl Rogers and spoke to the tremendous therapeutic power of empathic listening and responding in kind. Though Rogers' work is sometimes thought of as structureless in it’s advocacy of unconditional positive regard, Dr. Miller asserted just the opposite, noting how 'Accurate Empathy' is as much a scientific and clinical approach as it is an art, and cited several empirical studies to support this point. He also noted how Empathic Listening is far more than simply a technique to utilize in sessions in order to build rapport or shift towards some predesignated therapeutic aim, but more so a way of being - a practice founded upon the principles of partnership, acceptance, compassion, and evocation - which changes us in seemingly all aspects of our lives as we continue to enact and embody it. To prove this notion, he led us through a number of experiential exercises in which his instructions fine-tuned our use of our empathic faculties (verbal and nonverbal alike) and understandings of one another. There were many moments of laughter, in which we noticed how often we may trip ourselves up through 'doing too much' rather than tuning into what is already there; as well as moments of deep understanding and shared insights.
Dr. Miller's lessons rippled far beyond the domains of Motivational Interviewing to connect to a foundational element within the art and the craft of what we practice on a daily basis. He imparted a greater appreciation for the role of Empathic Listening in our work and in our lives, and we are incredibly grateful for his visit to our wonderful home here in the Pacific Ocean."
Dr. John Souza, Jr., LMFT, DMFT
"I first became aware of Dr. Miller when I was approached by one of his close friends and colleagues here on the Big Island of Hawaii, who invited me to form a committee with the goal of offering this workshop. I had no idea who Bill Miller was, nor did I necessarily think that a workshop on listening would be well received; I mean, who doesn’t know how to listen?! After 11-months of committee meetings, reading Dr. Miller’s book ("Listening Well"), and realizing how much research Dr. Miller had done on the subject of listening and empathy (including his work on Motivational Interviewing), I came to appreciate what this conference was offering: an opportunity to counterbalance the over-emphasis on specific models of clinical practice; to implement our outcomes data that overwhelmingly speaks to the importance of relationships in improving client’s mental health; and to learn that the art of listening well and accurate empathy can be learned if one is willing to first practice the discipline.
As part of the workshop committee, it was difficult to actually participate in the same way as my colleagues. However, seeing so many PQ therapists in the context of a much broader community of local practitioners, I appreciated that what we had done was bridged our PQ world with that of the larger population of providers in Hawai’i. We were all there to learn to improve our relationships. My hope is that this workshop will continue to inspire improved relationships across work environments, professions, and cultures, particularly here on the Big Island."
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
Executive Director Tracy Bailey is pleased to announce the addition of three professional staff to the team at Onward Transitions in Portland, ME. Onward Transitions (OT) now employs eight full-time and three part-time staff and works with up to 15 emerging adults, referred to as members.
Kelly Weisslender joins OT in the newly created, full-time position of Community Connections Coordinator, dedicated to helping members identify social groups, resources and activities that help further each member's identified treatment goals. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and a professional background supporting young people in mental health, education and international travel.
Hope Lanza will serve as Independent Living Coordinator, helping OT’s members strengthen their executive functioning skills through co-creating improved functional systems in their apartments. Hope has a BS in education and a professional background helping young adults synthesize and organize multiple areas of their lives to achieve greater autonomy.
Bailey Knox returns to OT in the role of Expressive Arts Coordinator, setting up individual plans with interested members to hone and refine the techniques of their visual art. Bailey will complete her MA in clinical mental health counseling with an expressive arts concentration from Lesley University this month; she previously served as a clinical intern at OT and has a background in mental health and public education.
About Onward Transitions
Onward Transitions (OT) in Portland, ME is a small, independent, owner-operated program for bright, motivated, emerging adults in the final stages of learning to live on their own. OT supports actual sustainable independent living and autonomy from two city locations. Participants (members) ages 18-29 never live with us; they live in their own apartments, scattered throughout the city. Members' challenges include anxiety, depression and executive functioning.
EDGE Learning and Wellness has always encouraged its students to find interests outside of the classroom. A recent trip to Navy Pier’s third annual job fair further strengthened this encouragement, as students had the chance to discover summer employment options while practicing skills they’ve learned during EDGE coaching sessions.
Nearly 20 businesses across the Pier came out to the fair to fill more than 900 seasonal employment opportunities in restaurants, retail shops, popular Pier attractions, and more. Participating businesses included Ben and Jerry’s, Big Bus Tours Chicago, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Giordano’s, and Shoreline Sightseeing.
“The job fair afforded students the opportunity to interface with various prospective employers,” said EDGE Program Director Jean Hausmann, LCSW. “Most students practiced skills built with our learning coordinator during coaching sessions: getting dressed in business professional clothing, filling out a job application, and setting up interviews.”
During the fair, many students expressed interest in restaurant groups, and most completed several applications before leaving the event.
“The Navy Pier job fair was a friendly environment where I gained a lot of information about various jobs in and around the Navy Pier area,” said one EDGE student. “I was able to use the time to connect with professionals, schedule interviews, and ultimately walk out of the fair with a job!”
EDGE learning coaching helped students like the one above achieve success at the fair. Throughout their time at EDGE, students receive career development support from the EDGE Learning Coordinator during every step of the job search process. This includes help with areas such as creating cover letters and résumés, conducting mock interviews, identifying skills, using proper email etiquette, and navigating networking events. This support is tailored to each student’s individual needs, goals, and past experiences.
“Some students arrive at EDGE with a goal of obtaining a full-time job or balancing school and a part-time job, but many students come into the program with a sole focus on school,” said EDGE Learning Coordinator Anne Walchak. “A job can build self-esteem, which is especially important for students who have struggled with motivation or visualizing a future career after an academic failure.”
In addition to occupational pursuits, EDGE supports its students outside of the classroom by encouraging fitness, recreational, artistic, and volunteer opportunities. The program currently has students practicing art and dance, learning Mandarin, coding, and Brazilian jiu jitsu, joining improv classes, trying boxing, joining rowing teams, volunteering for local political campaigns, and working on yoga teacher certifications — all outside of traditional college campuses.
“Interests outside of the classroom can provide an outlet for physical or creative energy, expands students’ social groups outside of EDGE, allows students to become more comfortable moving through Chicago, and lets students take risks in a safe and engaging space,” said Walchack. “Through our work, we are able to connect students’ pursuits outside of the classroom to any work they may be doing inside the classroom.”
About EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community
EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community is an accredited transitional living program located in Chicago, IL. EDGE offers therapeutically supported residential and non-residential options for post-treatment young adults. The participants, ages 18 -24, are striving to excel academically, while creating a life of balance, joy and wellness.
Summit Achievement’s leadership continues the legacy of volunteer service to the behavioral health care field that began when Summit first opened in 1996. Summit Achievement was the first wilderness therapy program in the Northeast and began with an open door policy to anyone interested, including competitors, in visiting the program. Summit’s culture of collaboration is reflected in past, present and future service to the field and to volunteer-led organizations including NATSAP, OBH Council, and now, NNEC.
Summit Achievement co-founder Dr. Will White was the first elected board member from the Northeast to the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) and served on the board from 2002-2008 and founded and coordinated the first three NATSAP Northeast Regional Conferences. Nichol Ernst, Executive Director and co-owner of Summit Achievement, continues the tradition of volunteering his time and energy to the field after being elected to the NATSAP board in 2018.
Summit Achievement is one of the longest serving member programs of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBH Council), joining the organization in 2000 when there were only 6 OBH Council member programs. Summit Achievement has always had an owner at the OBH Council meetings and currently co-owner and Operations Director Anson McNulty volunteers his time to the OBH Council. Summit Achievement was the second program in the nation to voluntarily complete the vigorous process to achieve OBH Accreditation through the Association of Experiential Education.
Will White wrote the book, “Stories from the Field: A History of Wilderness Therapy” (which is slated for a updated edition in 2020), with all proceeds going to research in the field of outdoor behavioral healthcare. Will is also the host of the podcast "Stories from the Field: Demystifing Wilderness Therapy", interviewing different people involved in the wilderness therapy field, past or present, in order to educate listeners to the long history of the field, different paths in regards to employment as well as evolving trends.
Summit Achievement is now excited to be a founding member of the Northern New England Consortium (NNEC), which is a group of programs committed to the advancement of its members through collaborative efforts fostering the delivery of evidenced-based practices, program management, leadership development and collaborative outreach. Summit continues to believe in the value of service and collaboration in an effort to better assist the families they serve.
To learn more about NNEC check out the website at nneconsortium.org.
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.
“The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in Nature, “We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.”
If you’ve ever spent time in Utah, you’ve spent time marveling at the never-ending horizon which seems to be in most of the state’s open spaces. For first time visitors, the seemingly infinite natural space available to the eye is overwhelming. The eyes can barely adjust to what they see because they can see forever. With every turn of the road, every mile of elevation climbed on a mountain trail, every change of the landscape, every new adventurous activity, the wealth of the world for a woman experiencing the wilderness increases. Just like the boundaries she is pushing in her internal world, the limits of her external world continue to expand. As she gains back her health from the trauma she’s survived, the addiction she has quit, or the mental illness she is learning to live in balance with, she finds that an expanding horizon is what she comes to demand of life.
Something within her has changed drastically. Her limitations have transformed into her liberation, from the depths of her suffering she has been set free. How she sees the horizon changes as well as changes her. Women who have lived through the effects of mental illness can be easily overwhelmed by the idea of too much and the intimidation of how to get through it all. Trying to control, analyze, and predict what will be out there in the world is exhausting. With time, therapy, and recovery, women become empowered by the idea of what lies ahead rather than fatigued by it. The vision of her future, much like the vision of the horizon, becomes a truth she can hold onto rather than a truth she feels she needs to avoid. As Emerson wrote, the demand of the horizon becomes the health of the eye - the demand of living life in recovery and building an ever-expanding world in recovery becomes the health of the woman who is recovering.
Women’s recovery programs created by women, run by women, made for women, are vital to helping women navigate the many layers of their world both internally and externally. Created with the female experience especially in mind, the RedCliff Recovery program has been designed to help women believe in hope, live in joy, and find the freedom they deserve. For more information on women’s wilderness, call us today: 801.370.2274
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.
Salt Lake City, UT: Eva Carlston, a residential treatment program for teen girls, recently took everyone to Moab, UT to visit Arches National Park. This 3 day/2 night trip is a part of the experiential learning Eva Carlston provides their students. While in the park, participants were able to explore some of the most unique rock formations in the world, hike through the beautiful desert, and hone their en plein air painting skills. Translated from French for “outdoor,” painting en plein air gives students the opportunity to really focus on their surroundings as they try to capture it in their work. Additionally, this trip gave students the opportunity to practice the skills they are learning at Eva Carlston in a different setting.
This extended trip is a favorite among the students. Their reactions to this year's trip include:
“Going to Moab was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life! It was my first time ever hiking in the desert and it SNOWED! It was amazing to see the snow and the sand contrast and see the snow through the arches. And finally on our last day was sunny and warm and the double arch was amazing!”
“My favorite part of going on the trip was being able to spend some time with people that I'm not usually around, and being able to create better relationships with them. I also enjoyed being able to see the arches that I've seen in photos. Overall I thought the trip went really well, and I'm glad we went."
This trip is one of three that each student at Eva Carlston will go on during the year. The other trips are to the Utah Shakespeare Festival during the summer and to Yellowstone National Park or Zion National Park in the fall. Eva Carlston is grateful to be able to give their girls the opportunity to experience these places and events. It is their hope that going on the trips will create lifelong memories and aid their girls in finding new interests.
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.
Young Adults benefiting from Gap experiences have an additional resource with Pacia Life: after years of providing this customized service, our last two years have seen a remarkable increase in 18-24 year olds wanting a meaningful cultural immersion or customized internship. Gap Year Association, GYA, has endorsed Pacia Life Personal Gap to be “more than a Gap,” to be a supported, clinically guided, individualized interest-based learning month or semester or year, with peer and coaching communities at the core, no matter what country students choose.
Needing to find purpose, needing a break from sophomore year, wanting to engage in experiential learning to explore what future traditional education can do for career and contribution, these are all components of Personal Gap. Pacia Life takes the core clinical coaching model and for those students who often don’t feel a fit with the known Gap programs or semester abroad, they find instead a curriculum of “matched interests” with custom support. Whether it's studying non-profit enrichment programs for school children in many countries, or practicing study skills and prepping for the fall college semester, or continuing a passion in marine science as a volunteer while abroad, or having 8 weeks of transition after a year or two of therapeutic boarding school, Pacia Life Personal Gap is designed to be the bridge from questioning the path to “hopping on the path with support,” while not risking a messy transcript — in fact Gap Year Association, www.gapyearassociation.org will inform students of the benefits to Gap and the approval of “taking a Gap” that universities promote.
These “time out/time on” experiences continue to be the narratives of young adults who feel back in sync with their lives, renewed with a vision of their ability to contribute. It has been remarkable for so many, whether a hand’s on internship with boats, food drives abroad, marine study and adventure—dynamic and individualized, Pacia Life Personal Gap is becoming a time of dynamic choice and change.
About Pacia Life
Pacia Life is a transitional experience that guides young adults with strong therapeutic and clinical support systems who are seeking to live a results-based life in areas of education, vocational training, apprenticeships, careers, entrepreneurship, personal financial independence, domestic and international GAP year experiences, etc.
Through the Tatori method, students also receive curriculum, support, and coaching in areas of finances, resume building, executive functioning, health and nutrition, wellness, leisure time, social life, relationships, home repairs, and more.
Skyland Trail, a nationally recognized nonprofit mental health treatment organization in Atlanta, has hired Les Cole, LPC, CPCS, NBCC, as Vice President of Adolescent Clinical Services at the J. Rex Fuqua Campus for adolescents ages 14-17. In this role, Les will guide the program’s development and assemble a world-class treatment team for the new program slated to open in the fall of 2019.
Les is a passionate practitioner in the field of mental health, spirituality and psychology. His career has focused on working with adolescents and their families in a myriad of settings including Cobb County’s Juvenile Court, Department of Family and Children Services, and School System in addition to adolescent residential facilities, private practice, and community based therapy. He has provided intensive supervision toward licensure and compliance for over 400 clinicians as they acquired skills to deliver psychotherapy in their own practice. He has consulted with numerous corporate partners enhancing team dynamics. He regularly provides workshops on and seminars for foster parents, parenting, team building, the Enneagram, and trauma.
Les finds it gratifying to introduce clients and therapists alike, to psychotherapy and life-span development. He has had the privilege of witnessing dramatic transformations working with clients with depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal ideation, personality disorders, chronic illness, and addictions. He is eager to apply his experience and compassion with families of teens, as they begin to address issues that will help them to improve their quality of life and attain a sense of fulfillment. A disabled veteran himself, having served in the United States Air Force, Les especially values the privilege to work with our returning men and women in uniform.
Les received his Bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University; Master degree from Phillips University and his Doctorate degree from Columbia Theological Seminary. He completed his clinical psychology internship and practicums through the Center for Pastoral Care at Emory University. Les also taught as Adjunct Faculty at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and Columbia Theological Seminary.
About Skyland Trail
Located in Atlanta, Skyland Trail is a nationally recognized nonprofit mental health treatment organization serving adults ages 18 and older with a primary psychiatric diagnosis. Through our residential and day treatment programs, we help our clients grow, recover, and reclaim their lives. Skyland Trail is focused on individuals with complex mental health issues through expert, evidence-based psychiatric care alongside a compassionate, holistic path to wellness. Our integrated mental, medical, and social model helps clients develop strategies to improve mental health, physical wellness, independence, and relationships with family and friends. Unique therapies include music, art, and horticultural therapy; workforce and school readiness; primary care services; family therapy; pastoral counseling; and healthy living and nutrition coaching. Learn more at www.skylandtrail.org.
TechieForLife (TFL) opened its doors to provide a safe co-ed environment for neurodiverse young adults, like those with Autism, to build social connections, broaden their life experiences and find career paths. Their first female graduate student, Amber Crosby, was recently promoted and joined the graphic design team at Basic Invite, where she has worked for the last year; based in St. George, Utah, the online company provides beautiful custom invitations for weddings, parties, graduations, etc.
Before attending TFL and being mentored, Amber said she had found herself “burning out with school, and directionless.” She was “hitting depression because of that.” She wasn’t really sure what to do. She was struggling and lost on what her next steps should be.
Looking back at her time at TechieForLife, Amber said she appreciated the “welcoming, really chill and fun” social environment and “the opportunities for exploration in different hobbies, careers, and jobs.” The computer coding training she also received at TFL has been “useful in understanding that end of her industry,” she said. While at TFL, Amber sometimes felt resistant to learning or trying new things that didn’t interest her. Now she sees the value in letting oneself be more well-rounded and open to new things. “A lot of times those little things come in handy,” said Amber with a genuine smile.
Amber was recently invited to come back and speak to current TechieForLife students. She encouraged them, “When you hit spots where you feel stuck, in the end there is a light and what you’re working on will pay off eventually.” Amber is looking forward to progressing in her new position at work. She’s hoping to make enough money to move to a new place that will allow her to have a dog. Amber continues to keep in touch with TFL friends, join in on some of their activities and work on occasional design projects for TechieForLife.
TechieForLife (TFL) is a co-ed, residential postsecondary school with a wrap-around career support program in beautiful St. George, Utah. Students with neurodiverse social, emotional and academic challenges, such as autism, receive mentoring so they can build social connections, confidence and independence. Licensed as a vocational school, TFL offers in-house computer tech training, college or trade school help, apprenticeships, internships and job support for individualized paths forward. At TFL, students have a place to belong and support to succeed.
Equinox RTC, a residential treatment center for adolescents ages 14-18 located outside of Asheville, NC, is excited to announce Wes Selent as Admissions Director. Wes brings robust experience to the role with over 11 years of working with adolescents in both residential treatment and therapeutic boarding school settings. Nine of those years were spent as a residential director where he shaped and built residential departments.
As Admissions Director, Wes will work with families to help guide them from referral to enrollment. Equinox RTC uses a relational approach model that Wes will apply to his work with families in crisis. As Wes states, “I’m excited to be the main point of contact for families and referral sources looking to enroll at Equinox. I feel very strongly about the work that we do and I hope to develop relationships with consultants and families to provide them with the best admissions experience possible for a residential program.”
Bryan Tomes, Director of Business Development at Equinox RTC, notes, “We are very excited to add Wes to the intake and admissions team. We have been working together as founders and business partners at Equinox from inception, and his help has been vital in our early success. This move is another positive step forward in Equinox’s growth plan. I could not be happier to be announcing Wes as our new Admissions Director.”
As the former Program Director at Equinox RTC, he trained and supervised the milieu staff and spent time with the students on a daily basis. Wes believes his hands-on experience working closely with students has given him great insight into the student and family needs at Equinox and plans to bring that knowledge to the Admissions process . He is particularly excited to help them through their journey from admissions to enrollment and finally graduation.
Wes holds a B.A. degree in Communications and an M.S. in Sports Administration. Due to his passion for sports and recreation and the positive effect those activities have on the mind and body, Wes is a huge supporter of physical fitness programs. When not at work, he enjoys watching and playing most any sport--especially soccer, which he played in college. Wes also enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family. If you have admissions questions, please contact Wes Selent at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Solstice West RTC, a leading residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 located in Layton, Utah, is celebrating the growth of their equine-assisted therapy program. Solstice uses equine therapy as a powerful experiential therapeutic approach that allows students to evaluate and develop healthy skills for communication and relationships.
Equine-Assisted Therapy is a mode of treatment that utilizes horses, equine activities, and equine environments as a means of healing, teaching, and creating personal growth for teens struggling with mental and emotional health. Horses have a healing presence that creates an environment of safety and comfort for the individual in treatment. This therapeutic approach has been shown to increase personal responsibility and patience in the students as well as improved communication skills and relationship building.
Solstice West’s equine-assisted therapy director and primary therapist, Eliza Hitz, M.Ed, LPC, MS, CMHC, EAP, facilitates the four weekly equine groups which include: beginner, where all students start, then intermediate, where students can progress into, and finally an advanced group that is more unstructured and incorporates dynamic work often with herds and younger, less trained horses. The central model used in groups is focused on relationship logic which helps the clinical process and equine experience. Relationship-focused equine therapy is an experiential process that allows for practice and integration of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills such as self-awareness, mindfulness, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
One of the main reasons equine-assisted therapy is effective is because horses naturally mirror, react, and respond to verbal and non-verbal communication expressed by the individual working with them. This mirroring response illustrates to the students the direct impact of their behavior, expressions and feelings can have on the people around them.
Additionally, equine therapy director Eliza Hitz also works directly with students to facilitate rhythmic riding sessions. Rhythmic riding is when students are riding on a horse, bareback or mounted, to music that they have selected, which is often favorite songs of theirs or songs that bring back memories. Staff also often select songs with steady rhythm - both faster and slower. This allows the horse to enter into the music, so the student and horse are riding to dance together and find rhythm. Neuroscience research has shown that rhythmic bi-lateral stimulation is immensely helpful in regulating emotions and the mind. In the experience, students are learning to enter into this experience that is both powerful and grounding, and helps build an emotional connection and relationship with the horse.
Finally, Eliza helps organize and run new parent workshops. These seminars revolve around relationship logic and experiential work at the barn. Families participate in three hours at the barn as part of the family seminar experience, using the relationship model and engaging in activities such as ‘press and release’ exercises and mirroring.
The Solstice West equine-assisted therapy program has a continued vision for growth, as Equine Therapy Director Eliza explains their plans for the future, "I am excited to continue to build the equine program and incorporate more service and community roles, where the residents participate in community service at the barn. We want to invite underserved community populations to the barn to give them the chance to participate in equine therapy and our residents would be able to share with the community what they know about working with the horses.”
About Solstice RTC
Solstice RTC is a residential treatment center for teen girls that has helped hundreds of struggling teens on their journey to solving issues like trauma, depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Solstice RTC, located in Layton, Utah, offers a specialized, clinically intensive program based on the specific needs of young women. At Solstice RTC, young women discover their full potential. For additional information on Solstice RTC, please visit http://solsticertc.com or call 801-444-0794.
Journey Home Young Adult, a 6-12 month step down, transition, home-like setting located in Salt Lake City, Utah has seen residents experience personal milestones at the program since their opening. Journey Home Young Adult offers therapeutic support for residents and provides the opportunity for greater freedoms, responsibilities, further education, career development and a healthy lifestyle. Based on structure, support and mentoring, young women emerge from Journey Home Young Adult emotionally and intellectually equipped to successfully launch into a fulfilling life.
The Program Director and Life Coach at Journey Home Young Adult, Folola Finua, helps manage the house and is the shift supervisor along with the other members of the management team. Overseeing day to day operations, Folola also works with residents and the treatment team to make sure all of the resident’s needs are met and that they get the support they need to reach their goals. When residents arrive at the program, they meet with Folola to complete a goals assessment to determine what their needs and goals are. Weekly 1:1 check-in’s help keep residents on track and give them the resources and support they need to meet their goals, create action plans, and manage schedules. Folola acts as a supportive advocate for residents during treatment team and staff meetings, and she is also the parent liaison.
Over the last 6-8 weeks since Journey Home Young Adults opening, residents have already begun to make tremendous strides towards their goals and experience powerful personal growth. Folola explains that one resident that was applying to attend the Westminister College has been accepted and offered scholarship opportunities. This resident is excited to transfer over to dorm living or an apartment to live independently. Already working a local job and finishing up her first semester of community college, she has built a community of friends which will be a great foundation as she transitions into the next step of her life thriving.
Another resident at Journey Home Young Adult is working on finishing up high school while working at a local job in the community. This resident has been focusing on developing life skills like budgeting, scheduling and time management, building more independence for herself, gaining confidence, and getting a driver's license. Her personal growth towards feeling normalized has been extremely impactful, as she is getting ready for a future of independence.
The Journey Home Young Adult program location in Salt Lake City also offers residents the perfect opportunity to experience both the urban aspect of city life, but also close access to explore the outdoors. Only 10-15 minutes away from downtown Salt Lake, the house is located in a safe, suburban neighborhood that is convenient for residents to explore their independence and freedoms by finding their own interests within the community and city. As Folola states, “I am excited to be part of this growing team, and help more residents. I really enjoy seeing the growth of residents and their successes as they go out into the world ready to conquer their journey.”
About Journey Home West
Journey Home West is a transitional living step-down program for girls ages 16-21 that have successfully completed a therapeutic program and are seeking further development of life skills before they transition into an independent living setting. Journey Home West is located just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information about Journey Home and if it could be the right fit for your daughter, please call: 801-444-0794.
Journey Home Young Adult is designed as a 6-12 month step down transition program located in Salt Lake City, Utah for young women ages 18-23 who need ongoing support. The home-like setting offers therapeutic support and the opportunity for greater freedoms, responsibilities, and practice as an independent young adult. At Journey Home Young Adult clients can further education and gain independent living skills. For more information about Journey Home Young Adult, please call: 801-444-0794.
ReSTART is the leader in internet and video game addiction treatment. ReSTART was founded ten years ago and has continued to grow in supporting the deepening struggles of internet and video game addiction, specifically with young people ages thirteen to thirty. Through their expertise and experience, they have created a program that has wielded great success. Their growth is a product of their dedication to this specific focus and their ability to surround themselves with staff that share the ReSTART vision and passion.
ReSTART would like to acknowledge Chris Robison as he becomes one of our lead teachers for ReSTART adolescent program. Chris has been working alongside staff and students at ReSTART for the past year, both inside and outside of the classroom. He has and continues to bring his thirty years experience of working with adolescents to the reSTART program. If he is not in the classroom he is outside modeling appropriate healthy behaviors and positive ways of connection by weeding in the ReSTART garden, playing basketball, or raking leaves to maintain the beauty on ReSTART’s property.
While in the classroom this past year, Chris has been an active participant in supporting and helping students find internal motivation to excel academically. Many of the students at ReSTART come with declining grades or even school refusal. Chris uses his skills in Love and Logic (treatment approach) to build that strong relationship with the students and instill in them the desire to improve academically and grow as students and as young men. Chris has been extremely successful in getting students to repair their transcripts and make up lost credits, getting them on track to graduate when these students and families had lost hope. Improving academic confidence can play a large role in the student’s therapeutic growth.
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.
Seven Stars, an assessment center and residential treatment program for teens with neurodevelopmental disorders, engages students in fun, adventure-filled outdoor adventure programming each weekend.
In April, students had the opportunity to go on a three day camping trip and take in the natural beauty of Utah. Students explored Goblin Valley State Park where they encountered goblin-like sandstone formations. They also went on an 8-mile long canyoneering adventure through Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon. These classic slot canyons have long stretches of “narrows” where the walls are sometimes so close, you have to turn sideways to get through. On their last day, they hiked to Little Horse Cave, a huge cave containing Anasazi petroglyphs.
“Outdoor adventure activities get them out of their element and create opportunities for learning and new perspectives. All of the students expressed how much they gained an appreciation for nature.” says Sheldon Barlow, Outdoor Adventure Leader at Seven Stars. “Some even said that they didn't want to leave! It was a wonderful trip that helped students step outside of their comfort zone.”
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.
Many young adults come to Red Mountain seeking help with a variety of issues, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, trauma and substance use. And in the field, it is commonly understood that there is an inextricable link between trauma and attachment. With this in mind, Red Mountain requires clinicians to engage in advanced trainings to further their competency in these areas.
This Spring, Red Mountain Sedona therapist Marianne Smith will become a fully certified NARM practitioner. The NARM model, developed from the work of Dr. Laurence Heller, addresses attachment, relational and developmental trauma and interweaves traditional psychotherapy philosophy with body-centered approaches. Marianne, excited to learn this cutting-edge approach and complete her certification, says, “This model has deepened my Somatic Experiencing work.”
The core principles and organizing themes of the NARM model incorporate somatic mindfulness, nervous system regulation, identity exploration, connection, attunement, trust and an orientation to the present moment. Students who have experienced complex trauma learn, over time, to rely on resources, both internal and external, to support their recovery and continued development.
Red Mountain Sedona takes pride in the clinically sophisticated services offered in the program. In addition to using the NARM model, Red Mountain also integrates Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Introductory and Advanced Mindfulness Instruction, Trauma-Informed Yoga and Martial Arts practice into the fabric of the program.
About Red Mountain Sedona
Red Mountain Sedona is a mindfulness-based, trauma-informed young adult “Launch” program, located in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. Red Mountain specializes in helping young adults between the ages of 18-28, address the social, emotional and behavioral issues holding them back from successfully transitioning into adulthood. Through a truly holistic program that provides structure, individual, group and family therapy, life skills training, recovery support and mindfulness-meditation, yoga and martial arts instruction, Red Mountain Sedona helps students gain the stability and maturity needed to move forward in life. For more information on Red Mountain, call (855) 998-5272.
Sunrise Residential Treatment Center was honored to welcome two days of psycho-education and one full day of silent meditation practice.
Mental health professionals from all over the world came to learn new ways to incorporate mindfulness into their personal and professional practice. Randy Wolbert, who was personally trained by Marsha Linehan (founder of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), shared years of insight and experience ranging from the history of mindfulness practices around the world to personal stories of his own daily practice. Connie Wood, an educational consultant from Detroit, Michigan, stated "The event was a solid combination of continuing education on the mindfulness aspect of DBT [Dialectical Behavioral Therapy] and opportunity to participate in an in-depth mindfulness experience. I found it benefited me both personally and professionally."
"My biggest take away from this training", says Laura Smith, Sunrise Residential Director, "is that the only real time we have is right now - this very moment. The past is just that the past and the future is yet to be. I appreciated the simplicity of this and how it grounded me in that moment. I have caught myself reflecting on this when I feel overwhelmed and just that simple thought has really helped me be more present and grounded in the moment. I look forward to being able to put this into practice as I work with our students and families." Sunrise looks forward to collaborating with Behavioral Tech more in the future.
About Sunrise RTC
Sunrise is a residential treatment center for adolescent girls ages 13-17 aimed at uncovering the academic, social and emotional potential of girls who have been held back by emotional or behavioral struggles. Sunrise combines the warmth of a home, the safety and clinical expertise of a residential treatment program and the community access of a transition program.
New Haven RTC is excited to announce Kristen Buck as the new Admissions Director. Kristen has been with New Haven for almost 11 years and has worked as an Admissions Counselor for the past six years. Kristen's experience in working at New Haven has given her the ability to understand the program and work we do, and to be able to communicate that to our families and referral partners.
Kristen has a unique ability to connect with families and give them the hope that they need within a crisis situations. She is committed to the highest standards of quality and excellence and how to create a home like environment for our students and families. If you know Kristen, you know how passionate she is about the work that happens at New Haven. Her drive, creativity and love of the girls and families here are felt when you meet her and when she interacts with those around her.
Kristen was born in Canada and is the oldest of six. Her original career plan to become a Pediatric Nurse changed when she became a mother. She started at New Haven in 2007 and her love for New Haven and the feeling of family grew. Kristen has played a tremendous role in where New Haven is today. She worked for 5 years in the Residential Department and almost four of those years spent as the Eleanor Roosevelt House as the Residential Director. Being the mother of five children herself keeps her connect to New Haven's passion of healing families.
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.
Chrysalis School recently took 8 students, along with a handful of staff and parents on an international trip to Thailand during Spring Break. One international trip is included in each student’s tuition at Chrysalis because they believe that the rich and often life-changing experiences that these trips offer is invaluable to each student’s personal growth.
A key component to each international trip is working on a project that leaves a positive impact on a community in that country, which often has an even greater impact on the Chrysalis students. For this trip, Chrysalis worked alongside village community members on building water collection tanks. Executive Director Corey Hickman said “Our time providing service in the Karen Village was perhaps the most powerful service experience I have ever had with our students. The girls worked extremely hard and despite the language barrier, they were able to connect and engage with the villagers in a very meaningful way.” Chrysalis students recognized how the village seemingly had so little in terms of conveniences and modern amenities, but the people were all genuinely happy. They bore witness to the strength of community. which was felt in a very real way. In the words of Chrysalis therapist Autumn Bendetti, “Watching Chrysalis students make friendship bracelets, weave baskets and fabrics, carve bamboo kitchen utensils, and share a song and dance with the Karen hill tribe community was a wonderful demonstration of overcoming cultural barriers and differences and finding similarities and commonalities in being human and on this planet together.”
The trip was so packed full of amazing experiences that the students had difficulty naming what their favorite memory was. They visited temples in Chiang Mai, explored local markets, hiked in the national park and swam in waterfalls. One remarkable experience that everyone enjoyed was caring for elderly elephants who have experienced a lifetime of maltreatment by bathing and feeding them.
One student said of Thailand, “This place was magical. It now has a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to go back someday. The opportunity was life changing!”
About Chrysalis School
Chrysalis is a small therapeutic boarding school for girls ages 13-18, located in Montana. Our mission is to provide the best quality therapeutic services, education and experiential opportunities to adolescents and their families in the context of a warm and nurturing residential boarding school environment while maintaining a commitment to integrity in all that we do.
Ascend Healthcare located in Encino, CA, a premier provider of residential treatment for teens suffering from mental health and substance use disorders, has expanded its footprint by adding a second treatment home with six additional beds. WIth a total of 12 beds available. this allows for a each treatment home to serve a particular population - Primary Mental Health and Dual-Diagnosis/Substance Use Primary Diagnoses.
The second home is located five minutes away from the original Ascend Healthcare location. With the addition of this beautiful new facility, Ascend Healthcare will be able to split its milieu between primary mental health and primary substance use/dual-diagnoses. Previously, the program would ethically have to decline enrollment depending on whether its milieu at the time was primarily one or the other, and this new home will help Ascend treat both diagnoses consistently throughout the year.
"We saw a need, and we're addressing it. Now even more families will have access to our innovative program and extraordinary therapists. I'm extremely enthusiastic about adding a second location - it was heartbreaking to have to say no to kids in need because they didn't fit our milieu at the time, especially when we could have taken them just a few months prior," said Effie Goldberg, Managing Director of Ascend. Jessica Beck, LCSW and Clinical Director at Ascend, said, "This was the logical next step for us as a treatment center. With such a sophisticated and diverse set of clinicians, we're excited to offer even more intensive evidence-based treatments to our teens and to be able to serve two different milieus separately and concurrently."
Ascend Healthcare is a residential treatment center located in Encino, CA, in the San Fernando Valley 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, supportive, and cohesive filial units.
About Ascend Healthcare
Ascend Healthcare is a boutique12-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.
If you would like more information or schedule a tour, Seamus can be reached via cell - 617-869-6552 or email email@example.com. And Effie Goldberg can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elements Traverse, a young adult wilderness therapy program based in Utah, welcomes Eric Rydzewski, ACMHC, to the treatment team. Started in 2016, Elements Traverse is proud to have built an exceptional treatment team and a robust program curriculum. Under the guidance of Clinical Director Caitlin Tharaldson, Rydzewski’s addition will allow Elements Traverse to expand its groups and serve a wider array of young adults.
Rydzewski has over 1000 field days as a wilderness field guide (staff), and an extensive background working with adults in recovery and transitional treatment facilities. Rydzewski truly believes in the power of the nature/outdoors as a healing and treatment medium. According to Rydzewski, “having worked in both traditional inpatient settings and non-traditional holistic healing modalities such as wilderness therapy, I am joining Elements Traverse to get back to my roots and bridge my indoor lessons to the wilderness therapy realm.”
About Elements Traverse
Elements Traverse is a young adult wilderness therapy program based in central Utah. Clients spend 8-10 weeks backpacking in the San Rafael Swell past petroglyphs and dinosaur fossils. Elements Traverse offers gender inclusive groups where clients work on treatment goals together. They learn Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills to help them navigate life's inevitable ups and downs, while also gaining a deep understanding of their substance use through the evidence-based 7 Challenges curriculum. Furthermore, clients discover what they are truly capable of through guided adventure activities such as rock climbing, rappelling, stand up paddle boarding, fly fishing and more. For more information, visit www.elementstraverse.com
In April, Shortridge Academy administrators and clinicians met for a two-day training and curriculum consultation with Dr. David Greenfield, founder and Medical Director of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, author of “Virtual Addiction,” Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and one of the world’s leading voices on process and behavioral addictions. Dr. Greenfield’s training focused on the most recent research on the neurobiology and psychopharmacology of compulsive Internet and technology use, behavioral addiction medicine and compulsive Smartphone use. Dr. Greenfield provided consultation focused on methods of assessment, psychoeducation, intervention and transition planning, to support Shortridge clinicians in their work with students.
As a therapeutic school focused on preparing students for traditional educational settings as well as healthy and productive lives, Shortridge Academy has chosen to embrace technology in order to help students learn how to use it in productive and sustainable ways. Shortridge continues its commitment to being both progressive and intentional, rather than permissive, with technology, individualizing access and supports in each student’s Positive Development Treatment Plan, and overseen by the respective Shortridge Counselor and full time Technology Director.
“Dr. Greenfield’s visit was incredibly valuable. His training only strengthened our commitment to helping students who historically have found balancing technology and important life skills problematic. There is no question that young people face real challenges as they navigate the digital world and all of its complexities. It is our goal not only to help Shortridge students achieve healthy relationships with technology, but also within other important areas of their lives. We look forward to sharing our authoritative approach to technology with you in the near future.”
Adam Rainer, Executive Director
If you would like more information about sustainable technology use at Shortridge Academy feel free to contact any member of our leadership team:
Executive Director, Adam Rainer at email@example.com
Clinical Director, Christina Smalley at firstname.lastname@example.org
Medical Director, Kay Patch at email@example.com
Technology Director, Aaron Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Academic Director, Anne Downey at email@example.com
COO, Mik Oyler at firstname.lastname@example.org
Admissions Director, Katie Rainer 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.
Polaris Teen Center is thrilled to announce that our Clinical Marketing Manager, Wendy Adamson’s debut memoir, Mother Load, will be released this Mother’s Day, May 5th, through the ROTHCO Press.
With over twenty years of experience in the mental health and drug and alcohol rehabilitation field, Wendy is a seasoned professional who possesses a comprehensive understanding of the recovery process and psychiatric issues. Wendy’s initial training came from working on the front lines in a detox center where she successfully honed and perfected her skills. Wendy later went on to work in some of the most prestigious treatment centers in Los Angeles.
Wendy has lived many lives, and thankfully she has decided to write and share them with the world. As a riveting story teller, Wendy believes that only by telling our personal stories of recovery can we heal the shame associated with mental illness and addiction. Wendy is a passionate communicator whose goal is to invoke social change by destigmatization.
While Wendy once seemed destined to end up another sad statistic of drug addiction, the fact that she not only survived but is a thriving, productive individual is a testament that transformation is possible. Polaris Teen Center is not only proud of her writing success, but immensely grateful to have her on their team.
Look for Mother Load is available on Amazon, and meet Wendy at the Polaris sponsored Adolescent and Young Adult Collective (AYAC) at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, CA on June 26th and 27th.
To schedule a time to meet with Wendy and tour Polaris, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Polaris Teen Center
Polaris Teen Center is a residential mental health treatment center for adolescents and teens in Los Angeles, California. The Polaris treatment team is committed to providing sophisticated, innovative, and compassionate treatment of major depression, bipolar, anxiety and trauma, gender dysphoria, co-occurring substance abuse and eating disorders, attachment disorders, autism spectrum disorders and self harm.
Ellenhorn is proud to announce it will host its second annual New Perspectives on Treatment Series in New York, N.Y. The theme of this year’s series is “Before the Dawn: The Therapeutic Target of Hope.” This year-long series aims to investigate the influence of hope on personal change and therapy.
The next talk in the series is at Ellenhorn’s New York office from 12-2 p.m., Thursday, May 30, and titled, “Have Hope, But If You Can't, Definitely Have Humor: Helping Families Move Away From the Negative Narrative” presented by Teri Bryant, M.Ed., LMFT. This talk will bring Bryant’s personal and professional experience to helping families look at the importance of having hope in treatment.
Following the talk in May, there will be two more sessions in the series:
● “A Safe Place to Hope: Engaging Creativity to Shift the Narrative of Stuckness,” presented by Maya Hormadaly, M.A., RDT, LCAT-P in September (date to be determined);
● “The Clinician’s Role in Creating the Room for Hope in Addiction Recovery,” presented by Zoi Andalcio, LMHC, CPT in November (date to be determined).
Two continuing education credits will be offered for social work, psychology and counseling. Lunch will be provided and events are free to attend.
To register for the second annual New Perspectives on Treatment Series, please visit the series website.
Ellenhorn New York
370 Lexington Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10017
Ellenhorn was founded in Boston in 2005, with the belief that psychiatric recovery and recovery of a sense of purpose, hope and faith in oneself go hand-in-hand. In 2016, Ellenhorn opened a second office in New York which treats adolescents and adults. Ellenhorn provides psychiatric care while supporting clients’ pursuit of life goals and their connections to the larger community. As an alternative to traditional residential settings and hospitals, Ellenhorn is the most intensive program in the U.S. focused on a “treatment without walls” approach to psychiatric needs. Ellenhorn serves clients in the metro Boston and New York areas.
New Focus Academy, a residential treatment program for adolescents ages 12-18 located in Heber City, Utah, works with students with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as those on the Autism Spectrum, with Attention Disorders (ADHD, ADD, etc.), Executive Functioning Deficits, and Learning Disorders by using coaching-based methods to help students develop valuable life skills and progress through the program. Dedicated coaches use a consistent positive reinforcement system in all aspects of treatment to provide the necessary feedback and support students need for social and academic growth.
Coaching Coordinator at New Focus Academy Brandon Phelps works with students and the coaching team to focus on coaching students to learn to make healthy decisions. Coaches work with students individually and also have weekly meetings with the treatment team to discuss progress and needs for each student. At New Focus, coaches give students many opportunities to learn and grow and give them a safe environment to make mistakes and thereby learn from them.
Another really unique and exciting part of New Focus Academy is the Vocational Development program. The team of exceptional coaches work closely with students to help them learn the fundamentals of getting a job and being a valuable employee. They learn how to write a résumé, how to handle themselves in a job interview, and how to prioritize their activities, and follow directions while on the job, and then how to manage the money they earn from working hard.
As students prove themselves in this environment and their employment experience grows, coaches then help them find, apply for and acquire jobs in the community. Giving students the opportunity for employment gives them a sense of real accomplishment and greater independence. When students experience that, their self-esteem improves, their resiliency increases, and their quality of life grows as they prove to themselves that they really can make healthy decisions that lead to positive results.
To learn more about the Vocational Development and Coaching program at New Focus Academy, visit https://newfocusacademy.com/coaching/ or call the program at (844) 313-6749.
About New Focus Academy
New Focus Academy is a therapeutic residential treatment program for adolescent boys ages 12-18 with neurodevelopmental disorders. Located in Heber City, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City, New Focus Academy prepares struggling teen boys for a purpose-filled, independent life. New Focus Academy creates an environment of success using a positive reinforcement approach and empowering students to take small steps leading to big changes and overall wellness.
Aspen, Colorado: Jamie Blume, founder and CEO of Along Their Way will present at Aspen Connect's "Helping Our Teens Through Family and Community" at the Aspen District Theatre on May 20, 2019. Aspen Connect offers live-streamed inspirational conversations of global interest, bringing communities and businesses closer together. The goal of this conversation is to get a clearer perspective on the issues teens, young adults and their families face today and to provide the tools and resources to help them cope and thrive within their communities.
Jamie Blume is a professional mentor and a holistic wellness coach. She is also a parent of a teenage boy whose prior struggles brought him through a wilderness program in Utah and a therapeutic boarding school in Montana. Jamie and her 19 year old son Eli will both speak at Aspen Connect and will share their perspectives, stories and experiences. They will candidly discuss the parallel parth of challenges associated with Eli's journey through depression, anxiety, substance abuse, treatment and recovery. Speaking together for the first time, Jamie and Eli hope to shed light on the struggles so many teens, young adults and their families face today. The live streamed event can be viewed on www.aspenreallife.com and it will be featured on www.alongtheirway.com.
Jamie's personal experiences led her to create Along Their Way, from her understanding that for those struggling, and for their families, the road toward healing can feel overwhelming, draining and lonely. But as Jamie explains "Real change can and does happen when families work together."
About Along Their Way
Along Their Way, LLC, is dedicated to helping parents nationwide navigate their way around and through the circuitous path associated with a teen or young adult in crisis. Based in Denver, Colorado, Along Their Way offers parents nationwide mentoring and wellness coaching support. Jamie mentors parents by phone, Skype, or in person to help navigate the daily challenges, assignments and expectations associated with having a child in treatment. She also supports clients on their own path to better self-care, self-discovery, and self-acceptance through her holistic coaching program.
With new and refreshed insight, Liz Deardorff, LCSW, is rejoining New Vision Wilderness-Bend as Director of Young Adult Programming. New Vision was able to witness their own, Liz Deardorff, go on a growth and self-care experience this winter. Liz embarked on her own personal journey to Thailand as a growth and renewal experience. With time for reflection and healing, New Vision Wilderness welcomes Liz back to her passion for wilderness therapy.
At New Vision Wilderness, growth is one of our core values - a value that is encouraged with each employee and student. Liz Deardorff has been with New Vision for 9 years and has been involved in many therapeutic roles. These therapeutic roles encompass responsibility of being a holder of pain, suffering, stress and discomfort. Therapists are not immune to pain. It is only natural that the pain and anguish heard on a daily basis affects the human spirit. Therefore, mental health providers need to be brave. Providers need to step into humility, honesty and a self-reflective process. Liz states, “My time away was exactly what I needed. The experience was grounding, spiritual, heart-warming and eye opening. It allowed me to re-connect with my purpose and passions.”
Liz explained that her own personal journey gives inspiration to help young adults with addictions, pain, and traumatic life experiences. Liz is able to meet young adults with empathy and expose them to the peaceful healing power of nature. Liz is stepping into this role returning to her passion since the beginning of our Oregon young adult programming at New Vision Wilderness. Liz states “I am committed to ensuring NVW is a leader in addressing addictions, loneliness and other suffering that we find infesting our young people today.” Drew Hornbeck and Steve Sawyer, Founders of New Vision Wilderness, want to congratulate Liz on her journey and are excited to see her ignite her passion for healing young adults.
About New Vision Wilderness Therapy (NVW)
NVW serves preteens, teens, young adults and families in three (3) U.S. locations: the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, the majestic Cascade mountain range of Central Oregon and the lush Nantahala National Forest of North Carolina. NVW is a specialty wilderness therapy treatment program that is clinically intensive, highly specialized and trauma-informed. To learn more, go to www.newvisionwilderness.com or contact Admissions at 855-689-8326.