All Kinds of News for November 06, 2019
Emerald Arrow: A Bold Path, the Young Adult Wilderness Therapy Program at Blue Ridge is celebrating one year since enrolling their first young adult student in the program. Over the last year, Anne Wilzbacher, LPC has led Emerald Arrow and continues to stay true to her original vision and foundations of the program: Sustainable Health, Vital Living, and A Bold Path. Described in her words, "the essence of Emerald Arrow represents pulling back into yourself, your family system, generational patterns, looking at those things you have not wanted to look at and being willing to be challenged and uncomfortable, to then move swiftly forward on your beautiful and bold path that is this life.” Walking ‘A Bold Path’ asks individuals to look at their roots and family systems, build awareness and insight, and do their own individual work. With courage and vulnerability, Emerald Arrow students have worked to reach toward this essential part of themselves in order to have more inspired clarity on what they want in life and what they are capable of so that they can move forward on a thoughtful, inspired, resilient, empowering, sustainable path.
Emerald Arrow is made up of a mixed-gender group of individuals ages 18-30 who struggle with anxiety, depression, other mood disorders, trauma, disordered eating, substance abuse, screen and technology addiction, attachment issues, and personality disorders.
Through the Program Elements, young adults experience the revealing effects of nature, in-depth clinical insight and intervention, integrated with creativity and purpose-driven experiences, all setting a strong foundation for them to move forward in their lives. These Program Elements are:
- Integrated and Individualized Clinical Work
- Family Systems Focus and Support
- Core Wilderness Work and Primitive Skills
- Intensive Group Psychotherapy
- Integrative and Enhanced Assessment including Campbell Interest and Skills Survey
- Creative Exposure/Expression and Skill Building Intensives
- Thoughtful Transition Preparation and Meaningful Graduation Ceremony involving Family
The team at Emerald Arrow feels grateful and lucky to have worked with so many incredible young adults and their families.
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.
bluefire Wilderness Therapy is excited to celebrate their 5 year anniversary as an adventure-based wilderness therapy program in the mountains of South-Central Idaho. blueFire Wilderness has had the privilege of helping over 700 clients and their families from all over the country find success.
“We would like to thank all of the families and referral sources that have supported and trusted us over the last 5 years,” says Executive Director and Co-Founder, Kathy Rex. “We could not have done it without you.”
Rex explains, “What I learned early on, and continue to learn, is that change is hard.and necessary. One cannot hide from themselves for long when they learn to sit still, observe, and then take action. Trust, Reliance, Vulnerability, Humility, Sacrifice, Acceptance, Confidence, Honesty, etc. The list goes on and on as far as what one is capable of experiencing in a wilderness setting.”
Since 2014, blueFire Wilderness has grown from 1 group to 6 wilderness therapy groups that support different age and clinical profiles.
- Embers Boys ages 11-15 who struggle with low self-esteem, anger, trauma, school refusal, and executive functioning issues.
- Embers Girls ages 11-15 who struggle with low self-esteem, anger, trauma, school refusal, and executive functioning issues.
- Teen Boys ages 14-17 who have begun experimenting with risky behaviors or acting out impulsively.
- Teen Girls ages 14-17 who struggle with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, trauma, and loss.
- Young Adults ages 18-28 who struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma, and failure to launch. The program is called, Pulsar.
About BlueFire Wilderness
BlueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Boise, Idaho that offers teens and young adults ages 11-28. blueFire Wilderness combines clinical expertise, academic assessments, and a family systems approach to help teens struggling with emotional, behavioral and social challenges. For more information, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 or visit our website at https://bluefirewilderness.com.
Pharmacotherapy can be an effective treatment option for psychiatric disorders in adolescents. At the ViewPoint Center, managing psychotropic medications is part of their comprehensive treatment plan. They specialize in acute stabilization and comprehensive assessments.
During the initial assessment, the practitioner completes a comprehensive psychiatric diagnostic evaluation of the adolescent. Prior to initiating medications, parents are informed of the indications, risks, benefits and side effect profile of the medication they are considering.
Starting new medications, adjusting the doses of other medications or discontinuing medications altogether can be a necessary part of this stabilization/assessment process. This has to be done in a timely manner with a thoughtful approach.
Involving the adolescent
The adolescent is included in medication discussions. ViewPoint Center involves the adolescent in their own treatment because it can serve as an empowering experience. Studies show that if adolescents are included in their own treatment, they may be more likely to continue to take medications long term.
Many of the medications used may reduce or eliminate troubling symptoms and serve to improve daily functioning of adolescents with psychiatric disorders.
Ongoing evaluation and monitoring by a psychiatrist is an essential part of the treatment at the ViewPoint Center.
About ViewPoint Center
The 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, the 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, the ViewPoint helps teens focus on the healing process.
Elevations RTC, a residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, provides an all-inclusive tuition rate that covers the cost of a variety of services that other residential treatment programs charge for separately.
“Our all-inclusive tuition means that students and their families get all of the care and support they are looking for at one known cost,” says Judi Jacques, Executive Director of Elevations RTC. “For some families, additional fees at residential treatment programs that come from additional psychiatric, academic, or therapeutic services can be burdensome. Having one fee that covers everything helps reassure families that all of their child's needs are being covered.”
Tuition at Elevations RTC includes medical costs such as:
- Weekly psychiatric care
- 24 hour nursing
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- On-site medical appointments for non-emergent care
The all-inclusive tuition also covers academic costs including tutoring, additional online courses, and school supplies. Additionally, recreation therapy programming is covered entirely by tuition. This includes all activities, both on and off campus, like ski passes and weekly club events. There are no hidden costs at Elevations RTC. For more information about programming and costs at Elevations RTC, please visit https://www.elevationsrtc.com/ or call (855) 290-9681.
About Elevations RTC
Elevations RTC is a residential treatment center that offers guidance, support and relief to adolescents struggling with issues such as trauma, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, behavioral problems, and substance use. Elevations RTC is located in Syracuse, Utah and provides specialized, clinically intensive programs to struggling teens.
Dr. Brad Reedy is a Co-owner and the Clinical Director of Evoke Therapy Programs, an experientially-based therapy program for adolescents, young adults and families. He has served on the Board of the Utah Department of Child and Family Services, the Board of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, and the En Garde Arts Board, a New York-based theatre company. He is a prolific public speaker and has been invited to deliver keynote addresses at conferences, private events, nationally syndicated radio shows, and universities on experiential therapy, mental health, childhood issues, parenting, and organizational health. He is also the host of the Evoke Therapy Programs podcast, which features a wealth of information about mental health topics, and the 250 podcasts are a valuable resource for parents.
Dr. Reedy authored The Journey of the Heroic Parent, and will publish his second book, The Audacity to Be You: What it is to be a Self and Love an Other, this winter.
Dr. Reedy has hosted several presentations recently for parents looking to provide children with a safe haven in the midst of today’s challenges. He has provided parents with principles and skills critical for a child’s development. Families dealing with issues such as the following have benefitted:
- Anxiety & Depression
- School Problem
- Substance Abuse
- Communication Difficulties
- Defiance and Other Behavioral Difficulties
- Shame & Guilt
For more information about upcoming presentations by Dr. Reedy, or to inquire about Dr. Reedy speaking at your event, please contact Melanie Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evoke Therapy Programs at Entrada, in Santa Clara, Utah provides innovative mental health treatment solutions for struggling teens, young adults, and their families. Their programs foster lasting change utilizing the power of nature and Wilderness Therapy. They also offer Personal Growth Intensive Workshops for individuals, families and professionals that are looking to create dynamic changes in their life or to simply find the balance they are seeking.
Calo's teen boys and girls, along with their Adventure Therapy and residential staff, set and achieved the ambitious goal of cycling 100 miles together.
As the leaves chang color and the weather turned cool in Missouri, the Calo students set out on the Katy Trail, a rails-to-trails path that spans 240 miles across the center of Missouri. Starting on the western side of the trail, the groups spent three days and two nights cycling and camping to Missouri's Capitol in Jefferson City. The trip included 36.5 miles the first day, 50 miles the second day, and finished strong with the last 13.5 miles on the third day with a celebratory dinner in downtown Jefferson City.
While venturing through the Setting and Achieving Goals sequence within the Adventure Therapy Program, students learn and discuss what it means to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound (S.M.A.R.T.) goals. How to plan, prepare, and break down large goals in order to achieve those more audacious goals is also a part of the journey. First, regarding the 100-mile cycling trip, and then applying it to other goals in their lives.
Aside from the physical goal of 100 miles, each staff and student involved in the Adventure Therapy Program focus on three outcomes through engineered experiences:
- Creating self-efficacy
- Stepping out of the Comfort Zone and into the Growth Zone together
- Having positive shared experiences, which lead to experiencing Joy
Learn more about Adventure Therapy at Calo Teens by visiting https://caloteens.com/adventure-therapy/.
About Calo Programs
Calo Programs (www.caloprograms.com) is a unique organization comprised of an extraordinary family of programs, all dedicated to healing the effects of early trauma. Calo is a leading network of clinical and therapeutic programs that offers a comprehensive set of services focused on cutting edge, trauma-based interventions.
All Calo programs implement a unique and truly relational treatment model based on the science of neurobiology and evidence-based attachment and trauma treatment research. Calo’s proprietary Developmental Trauma CASA Treatment Model and Clinical Structure is pervasive throughout the programs. The unique model facilitates establishing, deepening and maintaining healthy and safe relationships that ultimately lead to co-regulation and Joy.
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program located in North Carolina, has recently expanded their pre-teen programming for middle schoolers ages 10-13.
Previously, pre-teen students spent two weeks backpacking on expedition and two weeks at base camps. Now, they are spending one week backpacking on expedition and three weeks transitioning to three separate base camp experiences. In the new pre-teen programming, students will be spending one week at Trails Carolina’s Shuttleworth base camp where they will be participating in adventure therapy activities such as climbing and canoeing and preparing for their week of backpacking on expedition. Additionally, they will be taking day hikes.
“We are always evaluating our programming to ensure our students are receiving the best experience possible. We believe the addition of a third base camp opportunity for pre-teen students allows them to practice transitioning the skills and success they’ve built throughout their time at Trails to more environments, and more frequently,” says Julia Andrick, Director of Admissions and Outreach.
After spending time at Shuttleworth Base camp, students will go off on an expedition for one week where they will be backpacking and learning a variety of outdoor skills, such as how to make a fire using a bow drill. Following their week on expedition, students transition to the Sky Valley Base Camp. There, they take part in Trails Carolina’s health and wellness programming, Trails to Wellness.
In Trails to Wellness, students participate in mindfulness and yoga practices and build wellness skills. In addition to Trails to Wellness programming, students attend art assisted therapy and environmental science classes.
Finally, students transition to the Winding Gap base camp where they take part in academic programming in a traditional classroom setting and equine assisted therapy. On average, students transition through the cycle of expeditions and base camps 2.5 times throughout their journey at Trails.
Trails Carolina offers rolling admissions throughout the year with single gender groups that are divided based on age and the challenges students face. Learn more about programming at Trails Carolina by visiting https://trailscarolina.com/ or by calling 800-975-7303.
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Asheville, North Carolina that offers a multi-dimensional wilderness therapy model to troubled adolescents, ages 10-17. Trails capitalizes upon the profound effects of a student’s wilderness experience, and then combines that experience with strong clinical assessments and therapy. For additional information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303.
Trails Momentum strengthens its Family Programming with the addition of Jacob Thomasen, LPC as their Parent and Family Specialist. Jacob started working in the wilderness therapy field about a decade ago and worked in wilderness programs in both Wisconsin and Utah before moving to North Carolina. Additionally, he has experience working in extended care sober living programs and ran adventure camps while in college.
Having personally had a family member go through treatment, Jacob understands first-hand the value of including parents and siblings in the process. He is passionate about keeping attuned to the wants and needs of parents and siblings throughout the wilderness therapy experience. At Trails Momentum, Jacob not only helps to oversee the development of the weekly Family Programming, but also plays a primary role in the orchestration of the Parent Workshops.
"We provide a two-day Parent Workshop for parents of young adults in our Trails Momentum and Foundations Asheville programs,” Jacob explains. “During the first day, parents spend time connecting with one another and receive some psychoeducation from our clinicians in order to better understand their son or daughter. They're then given the opportunity to apply this new knowledge and skill-base on the second day, when we invite the parents to campus to engage in sessions and experiential activities with the students.”
The goal of these workshops is that parents walk away with the following:
- A more accurate perspective of their child’s neurological, emotional and behavioral skill set.
- The ability to relate and integrate their own experiences and challenges which have led them to this point
- The opportunity to connect and heal with other parents
- A connective and restorative experience between them and their child
Jacob specializes in working with divorced and blended family issues, sibling dynamics, family history of addiction and codependency, adoption dynamics, co-parenting, and intergenerational challenges.
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 and life skills development are seamlessly interwoven to maximize the transference of important life skills and address clinical and behavioral challenges. Learn more about clinical programming at Trails Momentum by visiting https://trailsmomentum.com/grow or by calling 877-296-8711.
In recent months College Excel has put an increased emphasis on service within its community of central Oregon. College Excel students have been participating in monthly service projects aimed at getting them to engage with the world outside of their daily routine.
Recent projects have included maintenance of a community garden, restoration of aquatic habitat along the upper Deschutes river, and construction work with a non-profit low income housing project. Their upcoming event will be maintenance on some local hiking and mountain biking trails alongside the local trail advocacy group.
With all of the demands of a college student’s schedule, College Excel sees it as a priority to compel the student community to look outside themselves and become contributors to the greater good.
About College Excel
Founded in 2003, College Excel is the nation’s leading residential college support program located in beautiful Bend, Oregon. At College Excel, post-secondary adults (18+) with diverse learning needs requiring extra support are provided the structure they need to move forward, both academically and personally. Using a proprietary, blended coaching model rooted in Harvard research-based neurocoaching and behavioral coaching techniques, College Excel students receive daily support from a team of credentialed and experienced Academic and Student Life Coaches while earning transferable college credits.
Wingate Wilderness is excited to welcome Lauren Angerosa as Admissions Director. Joining Chris Black, BSN, RN, on the Admissions and Outreach team, Lauren brings her care and compassion for the work of wilderness therapy and her many years of experience in the industry to a strong thriving team. Chris Black, Outreach Director, said “Lauren brings with her a vast knowledge of the treatment continuum as well as a very personal approach to the families she works with. We are very lucky to have her on the team.” Chris and Lauren will be in the field visiting students monthly to keep the best pulse on the impactful work being done by the Wingate team.
Lauren has been working in the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare industry for many years. Her experience is wide-ranging beginning as direct care staff and then moving into her role as admissions and marketing at a therapeutic boarding school. She has also had prior experience at a wilderness therapy program working with families through the admissions process, and has worked with a leading education consulting firm based out of California. Most recently she came to Wingate Wilderness from a Salt Lake City based residential treatment center.
“Wilderness therapy combines my passion for working with families, my love of the outdoors and my steadfast belief in the power of the wilderness” said Lauren. Lauren lives in Park City, Utah with her husband and two young children. Outside of work, you will find her playing outside, chasing her family and camping as much as she can. Lauren can be reached at Lauren@wingatetherapy.com or 435-659-4625.
WinGate Wilderness Therapy is located in Kanab, Utah and is a premier outdoor treatment program, built on a collection of the best and most effective elements of wilderness therapy available. We work with adolescents starting at age 13 through young adulthood. Based in the beautiful Utah desert, Wingate students experiece life changing growth and change surrounded by the majestic red rock only Utah has to offer. Visit us at www.wingatewildernesstherapy.com.
Orem, Utah: The Arise Society’s current Academic Director, Brittany Chavis, is stepping down due to a relocation to Texas with her husband and kids. The organization has tapped Ryan Roberts, current Academic Coordinator, to move into the Academic Director position.
Ryan grew up in Utah and has had a lot of interests, including competing in dance. and exploring forms of art, as well as playing various sports. But eventually, he found a love for psychology and service. He graduated from Utah Valley University (UVU) with a Bachelor’s in Behavioral Science. Before becoming a Mentor, Academic Coordinator, and now Academic Director at The Arise Society, Ryan tutored for 10 years, did a student professorship at UVU, and even helped create curricula for courses the University now offers.
Obviouisly, Ryan is passionate about education and he works well with students one-on-one. Because The Arise Society dedicates so many resources to making sure they are able to support each student with very personalized plans, Ryan focuses on helping students succeed academically and adjust the plan as needed. “I am really excited about being more involved, as the Academic Director, with the students academically,” he said. “It is inspiring to see students who are struggling in most aspects of their life, and then to see them start to succeed with school. Once they are putting in the effort to do well with school, all other parts of their life improve as well. Academics are often a great catalyst for long-term growth.”
He enjoys being able to spend his time tutoring, creating academic plans, interacting with professors, holding students accountable to their plans, and being involved in other tasks that help students succeed.
“Ryan’s creativity and ability to build rapport in the Arise community outside of his role as the Academic Director allow him to uniquely challenge and support our students in a powerful way,” said Vaughn Heath, The Arise Society’s Founder and Executive Director.
- The Arise Society will host a Coffee Break at the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) conference on Friday, November 8 at 8:00 am. Those attending the conference are encouraged to stop by and introduce themselves.
- The Arise Society has a new (free PDF) eBook: “The College Student’s Guide to Social Anxiety,” which provides supportive, actionable advice for coping with symptoms and overcoming certain behaviors for students to enjoy their time in college and achieve academic success that will pave the way for your future. It can be downloaded from The Arise Society’s website.
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. Visit www.thearisesociety.com or call admissions at (801) 300-9995.
Dr. Nathan Barusch earned his medical degree at Creighton University, his Master's in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and completed his psychiatry residency at the University of California-Davis. As Aspiro’s on-staff psychiatrist, Dr. Barusch will spend time seeing students in the field and will attend clinical and other meetings during the week to ensure comprehensive knowledge of the students as well as availability to the staff. He will be a fully integrated part of the Aspiro team.
Dr. Barusch has worked both as a wilderness therapy guide and as a wilderness therapist, where he had many experiences that led to his own personal and emotional growth. This also created his passion for, and his belief in, the wilderness model. During his time in London, he did extensive research on the impact of technology use on the mental health of adolescents, and therefore is dedicated to helping young people recognize the way technology impacts both brain function and behaviors, and is dedicated to helping them engage in more active lifestyles. Dr. Barusch himself prefers to be outside, rather than in an office environment, and is an avid skier and mountain biker, so wilderness adventure therapy is a good fit for both his personal and professional philosophies.
With a belief that a holistic and comprehensive treatment plan can be more effective than psychiatric care independently, Dr. Barusch likes to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into his practice, as well as his own life. He believes that teaching someone to be focused on one task is something that teens and adolescents don't get enough of, and he feels that Aspiro’s adventure therapy model provides many opportunities for students to do this. Personally, Dr. Barusch enjoys the mindful moments and the state of flow that he achieves when he is skiing or mountain biking. These things are part of what drew him to Aspiro’s adventure model. Having personally experienced the impacts that high adventure activities have on one’s mental and physical wellbeing, Dr. Barusch likes to integrate them into his treatment plans as a means of creating space for emotional growth and healing.
Learn more about him by viewing his bio here. https://aspiroadventure.com/about-us/therapists-and-staff/
With treatment-specific programs located in Utah and Costa Rica, Aspiro’s mission is to be the most clinically-advanced outdoor behavioral healthcare program in the world, providing safe, dynamic, highly effective treatment modalities that are backed by empirical research. Aspiro Wilderness Adventure Therapy is a short-term wilderness program serving adolescents ages 13-17 and young adults ages 18-28 with varying degrees of social, emotional and behavioral challenges.
Countless studies have shown the powerful link between physical and mental well being. This is why Pacia Life Salt Lake City partnered with Wasatch Fitness Academy to give their young adults a unique opportunity to realize their full potential. Wasatch Fitness Academy is a tight-knit strength and conditioning community and gym located in Salt Lake City.
Michael Krushinsky, the founder and head coach at WFA, explained, “While we use pushups and dumbbells and jump ropes as tools for fat loss, strength gains, and injury prevention, our dedication to helping people evolve themselves goes well beyond the physical: we use these same tools to drive the improvement of the whole person, because mental and emotional resiliency is as important as strength and flexibility. And this is why we partner with Pacia Life, to provide private coaching, group training, and nutritional guidance to Pacia students.”
Michael began this path years ago as a classroom teacher working with economically disadvantaged students in Baltimore, and students with unique needs in Providence. He brings his concern for the whole individual, trauma-sensitive strategies, and skill as a movement coach to bear when working with clients, and it's already proven effective for Pacia Life students.
One current Pacia Life student, Alanna, has been working with Michael from Wasatch Fitness Academy for the past month, in private coaching sessions. Back pain, due to a congenital deformation of her spine, has been a near-constant factor for the last 8 years. With Michael, she's been working on building strength in the muscles that support the spine to reduce pain and soreness.
The result: yes, she's gotten stronger, and her usual level of pain is reduced, but more importantly, she has changed how she sees herself and her spine. Alanna has learned to take pride in her strength and to enjoy the process of gaining more.
Another student, Andrew, has been training at Wasatch Fitness Academy for just a few weeks, and the coaches are excited to see how quickly he's progressed. From the first week to the second, Andrew found pride in his drive to do hard work, and experienced the "ah-ha" moment of dreading his session, and then loving how he felt immediately after. Andrew started with private coaching to build his confidence and skills. In the near future, he'll start joining group training classes to provide much-needed social engagement. “I feel stronger and more proud of myself,” said Andrew when asked how WFA has helped him grow.
This holistic individualized approach from Wasatch Fitness Academy has proven to be the perfect partnership to meet the unique needs of Pacia Life’s young adult clients.
About Pacia Life
Pacia Life was founded in 2013 with the intention and passion to fill a gaping void in the clinical needs, the transition from therapeutic programs to real life, education, life skills, grit, resiliency and personal needs for emerging young adults. Today, Pacia Life has grown into an international organization serving young adults from 17 and up. We currently offer six full-service locations and two step down locations. Each location is created to meet specific and unique needs.
ATLANTA – On October 10, 2019, Skyland Trail held the grand opening of the J. Rex Fuqua Campus for adolescents, its fifth campus. Nearly 200 mental health professionals and guests joined Skyland Trail leadership to mark the event followed by tours of the campus. The grand opening of the J. Rex Fuqua Campus was one of several events in 2019 commemorating the 30th anniversary of Skyland Trail. “What has been our constant over 30 years is the belief that our clients can get better – that, with effective treatment and holistic care, they can live healthy, productive lives,” says Beth Finnerty, president and CEO of Skyland Trail. “The grand opening of the J. Rex Fuqua Campus is the next chapter in the Skyland Trail story, and I am so thankful for the ongoing support of the Atlanta philanthropic community for mental health treatment and for Skyland Trail.”
The J. Rex Fuqua Campus offers specialized residential psychiatric treatment for adolescents ages 14 to 17 struggling with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The J. Rex Fuqua Campus is one of only a handful of similar programs nationwide and provides a unique treatment experience for clients and families in the Southeast.
Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75 percent begin by age 24. In the U.S., 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 live with a mental health condition. Studies suggest that early diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders can improve long-term outcomes.
The adolescent treatment program and campus facilities is designed to meet the unique mental health needs and socialization styles of teens. The Glenn Family Residential Hall, staffed 24/7 by licensed or license-eligible mental health professionals, features 26 individual living quarters complete with private bathrooms, community living areas, nurses stations, and sun-filled study nooks. The Rollins Family Clinical Building, just across the Cox Courtyard from the residential building, has spaces for group, family, and one-on-one therapy rooms, fitness and meditation rooms, art and music spaces, a learning lab for academic purposes, common areas for socialization (including a game room and adjacent dining hall that opens to an outdoor dining patio) and a covered outdoor sports court.
A multidisciplinary treatment team is comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, masters level therapists, certified educators, nurse practitioners and registered nurses, and experts in experiential therapies like art, music, nature, and recreation to help clients and families find recovery from mental illness. Certified educators work with teens throughout treatment to keep them on track with their academic goals.
Clients typically stay in the residential treatment program for about six to eight weeks before returning home. Day treatment and intensive outpatient programs provide clients and families with important support after completing the residential program. During their treatment, teens learn healthy coping skills to navigate relationships with peers, their families, and in school. Family members are required to participate in family therapy sessions and psychoeducation classes, to create key family dynamics in support of long-term health.
The Skyland Trail adolescent treatment program is led by Dorothy Jordan, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN. The vice president for Skyland Trail adolescent clinical services is Les Cole, D.Min., LPC, CPCS, CGP, and the adolescent psychiatrist and medical director of adolescent programs is Allison Nitsche, MD, MPH.
Development and construction of the J. Rex Fuqua was made possible by generous community support through the Building Resilience, Changing Lives Campaign. Key contributors include The Realan Foundation, Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, The James M. Cox Foundation, The O. Wayne Rollins Foundation, The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation, and The West Foundation. The campus name recognizes the vision, leadership, and contributions of Rex Fuqua, a long-time board member of Skyland Trail who, along with Rand Glenn Hagen and Tom Johnson, was tri-chair of the Building Resilience, Changing Lives Campaign.
“Skyland Trail’s adolescent treatment program will fill an urgent need in our region for evidence-based, high-quality residential mental health treatment for teens,” says Rex Fuqua. “For many years, Skyland Trail has had a national reputation as a world-class mental health treatment organization. This new adolescent program will bring that same level of professional expertise and compassionate care to teens and their families, right when they need help the most.”
Skyland Trail has served the Atlanta community with vital mental health treatment programs since 1989. The four previously existing campuses provide mental health residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services for adults ages 18 and older. Skyland Trail adult mental health treatment programs have been recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for excellence and leadership in providing evidence-based residential mental health treatment services through an integrated care model.
About Skyland Trail
Located in Atlanta, Skyland Trail is a nationally recognized nonprofit mental health treatment organization serving adults and adolescents with a primary psychiatric diagnosis. Through our residential and day treatment programs, we help our clients grow, recover, and reclaim their lives. We’re focused on individuals with complex mental health issues, helping them understand that they can be – and are – more than a diagnosis. We offer expert, evidence-based psychiatric care alongside a compassionate, holistic path to wellness. Our integrated mental, medical, and social model helps clients develop strategies to improve mental health, physical wellness, independence, and relationships with family and friends. Unique therapies offered include music, art and horticultural therapy; workforce and school readiness; primary care services; family therapy; and healthy living and nutrition coaching. Learn more at www.skylandtrail.org.
Solstice East, a residential treatment center for girls, recognizes the importance for teens of learning from experiences and therefore integrates experiential components into activities on and off-campus. In addition to adventure activities and equine therapy, Solstice East has recently started to offer weekly Experiential Specialty Groups focused on team-building initiatives for every student on campus.
“Typically, our specialty groups are centered around discussion topics with students dividing into groups based on their individual needs. While this personalized approach is beneficial for teens, students who struggle with learning differences and social communication benefit from a more hands-on approach that helps them understand the value of psychoeducation in their everyday lives,” explains Adventure Therapy Specialist Dan Horseman.
Off-campus outings and adventure activities are divided into smaller groups where teens tend to focus more on their personal experiences and emotion regulation. Experiential Specialty Groups involve every team and multiple therapists, which gives teens the opportunity to focus on broader themes, like communication, teamwork, group dynamics and leadership.
“We’ll choose experiential activities and pair them with a topic, like healthy boundaries, and give students the opportunity to practice those boundaries in a structured way,” describes Horseman. “We start with psychoeducation about the topic for all the teams and then break up into team-building initiatives. Then, we debrief with students and point out what we have noticed, celebrating successes and encouraging students to practice certain skills.”
Many students who have made progress in their daily lives are pushed out of their comfort zone whenever they participate in these experiential activities. When deeper patterns in how they respond to situations and how they feel about themselves are revealed, it gives them insight into topics they may want to work through in sessions. Lessons are then integrated into weekly off-campus activities, community service and adventure camping trips to provide a context for students to apply these skills in real-life settings.
To learn more about Experiential Therapy at Solstice East, visit their website here.
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and addictive behaviors. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. Students learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate through adventure therapy, accredited academics, equine therapy, and various specialty groups. Contact us at (855) 672-7058. We can help your family today!
Equinox RTC, a residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18, integrates physical education and experiential activities into their daily programming to help students practice emotion regulation. This fall, Equinox RTC remodeled the hardwood floors in their gym to establish a regulation basketball court, complete with the Equinox logo at half-court.
While Equinox has a separate workout gym with equipment, this open space is used for basketball, Crossfit, and yoga classes. After the gym reopened, students began a 10-week yoga unit as part of their physical education program.
Whether it is shooting hoops during therapy sessions or kicking around a soccer ball with their peers, physical activity helps boys get out of their heads and into their bodies.
“Many of the boys we work with were introduced to mindfulness practices, like yoga, during wilderness therapy. As they continue to show up to weekly yoga classes and our daily mindfulness practices, they become more engaged and learn a lot of valuable lessons,” describes Admissions and Academic Director, Bryan Tomes. “Introducing boys to different kinds of exercises that aren’t all about competition helps them understand the bigger picture of how physical activity affects wellbeing.”
Incorporating physical activity and play into the therapeutic program helps boys practice how to build skills, communicate and relate to their peers, and find healthy forms of competition. Motion helps them with emotion regulation and encourages them to open up when they face challenges in the moment.
“As you can imagine, getting a bunch of boys in a circle to talk about issues, challenges, and dreams can be challenging. We try to support teen boys by incorporating more physical activity into our therapeutic program to help them feel safe enough to share,” explains Tomes. “Sports are just another version of play and it’s really good for them socially--to participate in these activities in a structured environment with their peers.”
The physical education program at Equinox isn’t just to help boys stay physically active, it is used as a tool to teach them important skills that they can use in a variety of settings, which helps them find long term success.
To learn more about physical education at Equinox RTC, visit their website here.
About Equinox RTC
Equinox RTC is a leading residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18. Equinox is unique in its focus on Trauma, Loss, and Attachment, providing clinically intensive treatment for boys 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-person 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.
Empowering families for over 25 years, Boulder Creek Academy (BCA) remains a trusted name among therapeutic boarding schools. Serving ages 13 through 18, Boulder Creek weaves their fully accredited academics into a relationship-based therapy program that welcomes neuro-diverse students. This program addresses areas of struggle such as:
- ASD Level1
- Executive functioning skills deficits
- School failure/refusal
- Social pragmatics
- Learning disorders
The common thread running through the student population is that all have struggled in their previous settings, usually due to a combination of emotional and academic needs not being effectively met. The therapies BCA incorporates to address some of their social/emotional needs are:
- Cognitive therapy
- Attachment therapy
- Restorative practices
- EAGALA therapy (Equine)
- PAWSitive Works Dog program
BCA’s academic approach carries an excellent reputation for its traditional classroom settings and onsite credentialed teachers. Classroom sizes are purposely kept small and cover all required core content areas, in addition to a variety of elective course offerings. With the support of a special education coordinator, the teachers provide learning accommodations as needed and/or as specified on students’ incoming IEPs.
Much of the school’s success is tied to their continued diligence to educate the whole student and to foster a love for learning that will serve them throughout their high school years and beyond.
About Boulder Creek Academy
At Boulder Creek Academy, students rediscover their academic and social confidence. The key to our success is that we reignite our students’ belief in themselves by utilizing time-tested and proven methods. Students begin to experience academic achievement, regain self-esteem, learn to embrace their uniqueness and become capable learners who are confident in themselves. Each day at Boulder Creek Academy is purposefully designed to maximize experiences that allow students to practice social skills, improve self-worth and develop healthy identity, benefit from therapeutic learning and to have fun.
Boulder Creek Academy has been creating a therapeutic learning environment for high school students ages 14-18 with anxiety, depression, untapped academic potential, interpersonal relationship difficulties, limited executive function skills and overlooked strengths and talents for more than 25 years.
This month, Seven Stars, a residential treatment program and assessment center for teens with neurodevelopmental challenges, is excited to announce that they have added equine therapy to their therapeutic programming, meaning students will be attending equine therapy sessions on a monthly basis.
Equine therapy is a form of experiential therapy that consists of interactions between students and horses. Students participate in equine therapy that consists of grooming horses, playing games with them on the ground, and eventually, riding them. “During equine therapy, students learn how to interpret the behaviors that they see in the horses and apply it to their own lives,” says Dr. Gordon Day, Executive Clinical Director and Founder of Seven Stars. “Horses are social creatures that are greatly affected by the emotions and behaviors of those around them. They give constant feedback based on their surroundings, which can help students on the spectrum build an understanding of social cues.”
Students will be working with the same horse each time they attend an equine therapy session. This allows students to form a bond with an individual horse, helping them build relationships and communication skills. “So far, students have taken part in an orientation process where they have learned how to carefully approach, halter, and lead a horse to its stall. Students have also learned how to groom the horses,” says Dr. Day. Soon, students will be participating in ground games that help build trust with the horse. Eventually students will take part in therapeutic horseback riding activities.
“We are very excited for the recent addition of equine therapy programming because it can be an extremely powerful experience for students,” comments Dr. Day. “For many students, interacting with horses is something they’ve never done before and can be intimidating at first. As they build a relationship and sense of trust with their horse, it can be a wonderful confidence booster.”
For more information about therapeutic programming at Seven Stars, visit https://discoversevenstars.com/ or call 844-601-1167.
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 https://discoversevenstars.com/ or call 844-601-1167.
Red Mountain Sedona, a mindfulness-based, transitional living program for young adults, celebrated its fifth year in existence on Friday, October 11, 2019. Over 60 staff, students, alumni and guests from across the country mingled together on campus to mark the occasion. The vision for Red Mountain formed many years ago, when founders Josh and Maureen White met as master’s students at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. They soon discovered that they shared a dream of creating a safe environment for young adults to receive therapy, learn meditation and develop their full potential.
In the years following their meeting, Josh and Maureen worked in various therapeutic settings and meditation centers, gaining experience and honing their vision. On October 12, 2014, Red Mountain Sedona officially open its doors and enrolled the first young adult. Over the last five years, Red Mountain Sedona has grown in capacity, clinical sophistication and service offering. From one apartment, one student and one van, Red Mountain now houses 40 student beds, employs over 35 staff and operates programing that includes trauma-informed therapy, yoga, meditation, martial arts, life-skills coaching and mentoring, among other offerings.
The celebrations for Red Mountain’s anniversary did not stop with the on-campus event last month. On November 6th at the IECA Conference in Atlanta, GA, Red Mountain will host a reception to honor this milestone and express gratitude to the numerous individuals who have supported the program over the years. Founder Josh White, MA, LCMHC, CGP will be present at the celebration and will talk about the future of Red Mountain Sedona and its new sister program for adolescents, Red Mountain Colorado. The event, held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis is open to any who would like to attend. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Red Mountain Sedona is a mindfulness-based, trauma-informed young adult “Launch” program, located in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. Red Mountain specializes in helping young adults between the ages of 18-28, address the social, emotional and behavioral issues holding them back from successfully transitioning into adulthood. Through a truly holistic program that provides structure, individual, group and family therapy, life skills training, recovery support and mindfulness-meditation, yoga and martial arts instruction, Red Mountain Sedona helps students gain the stability and maturity needed to move forward in life. For more information on Red Mountain Sedona, call (855) 998-5272.
Sunrise had the opportunity to host a research team from Duke University on campus for a few days. They immersed themselves in our program, sitting in on Treatment Team and DBT Consultation. The Duke team conducted trainings on Emotion Regulation & Mindfulness, as well as Exposure Principles & DBT. Their visit brought collaboration on clinical services and research, while building excellence in education and training. Both entities are looking forward to working jointly for years to come on projects that will enhance treatment for adolescents and raise the bar of clinical effectiveness.
The staff gratefully shared some of their takeaways, which were: "Mindfulness doesn't always have to be therapeutic. If you are doing mindfulness you can utilize it however it works best for you." Another nugget was "DBT doesn't have to be so formal, and that the importance is to use function over form."
Sunrise wholeheartedly believes in continuous educational opportunities. They realize that the girl they treat morphs on a monthly basis. Creating a learning environment for their staff and clinicians ensures that they are at the forefront of treatment.
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.
For twenty-two years, the academic department at Montana Academy has devoted itself to continually offering students opportunities to challenge themselves as well as offer support in a variety of areas helping students to meet their aspirations.
Classroom-based academics at Montana Academy continue to evolve to meet the demands of incoming students and to prepare students for their next step, be it traditional boarding, private or public school or college and university.
Realizing that students arrive with different levels of academic preparedness, Montana Academy uses a mastery learning approach in order to meet each student where they are. To personalize the learning process, the faculty offers standard curriculums for each course they teach as well as honors options for a more robust learning experience. Montana Academy offers students a college preparatory course catalog that covers all core classes as well as offering a prolific list of electives in each subject area. Montana Academy offers fine arts, both visually and muscially and challenges students with AP coursework in literature, calculus, biology and chemistry.
Twice per year, the academic faculty break from the normal four period school day and team up with one another for two three-week interdisciplinary terms where students and faculty immerse themsleves in subject areas that often take them out of the classroom and are typically more experiential in nature and often incorporate travel near and far.
Montana Academy's academic faculty of course spends their time in the classroom but each faculty member also opens their office each afternoon for tutorial time and each sits on a specific treatment team, either young men or young women, serving as the liason between the schoolhouse and the rest of student life on campus. Integration is paramount as student performance or lack thereof is influenced by many factors and the mission at Montana Academy is to accurately recognize a student's process so as to be able to provide the correct type of support at any time.
Academic faculty members coach interscholastic sports, soccer and basketball, they facilitate student council, they guide students through the college application process and it is not uncommon to see them at our winter formal or prom.
Montana Academy has long been recognized for its academic prowess and after twenty-two years, the academic faculty is still seeking out ways to evolve its offering as well as entice its incoming and future students.
About Montana Academy
Founded in 1997, Montana Academy is a coed, accredited, privately-owned therapeutic boarding school located in Northwest Montana. Unique in the nation, Montana Academy provides students a robust combination of clincal sophistication, an effective therapeutic program, and a challenging prep school all situated on a 500 acre Montana Ranch. Instead of limiting treatment to symptom relief, (pills or brief therapies), Montana Academy pursues a two-step diagnosis and dual treatment: (a) to identify and remove, in so far as possible, the obstacles to psychological development; and (b) to prod student to achieve new psychological milestones and so to restore the momentum of normal adolescent maturity.
Evangelhouse Christian Academy has opened its doors to international students through the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), organized through the Department of Homeland Security. Historically students wishing to attend ECA from abroad had to be U.S. citizens. With the new approval, Evangelhouse can now accept students of other national citizenship.
The Evangelhouse therapeutic boarding school was established in 1995 to serve Christian families with a quality residential treatment for girls. Evangelhouse pioneered a treatment model that blends licensed behavioral healthcare with the structure of a boarding school. Since then, it has evolved to become the premier non-denominational Christian option among teen residential treatment centers. This specialized approach has shown to have international appeal.
The ECA administration believes that hosting international students be a valuable experience, and has taken steps to thoughtfully integrate them into the peer culture of the school. Evangelhouse limits its enrollment to 14 students, but several of those openings are now available for international students. Please visit www.evangelhouse.com for more admission criteria information.
Evangelhouse® Christian Academy is a boutique, fourteen-bed therapeutic boarding school for girls ages 12-18 in St. Martinville, LA. The academy offers a unique integration of licensed clinical therapy in a non-denominational Christian environment. To learn more, visit www.evangelhouse.com
In October, Shortridge Academy became an NCAA approved high school. NCAA approval allows student athletes to pursue their aspirations of college athletics through NCAA eligible credit. To play college sports, each student athlete is required to pass 16 core courses from an NCAA approved high school. Unfortunately, many students hoping to play collegiate athletics enroll, only to learn that they are ineligible due to unapproved credits on their transcript.
While proud to be a therapeutic boarding school, Shortridge Academy has always emphasized its identity as a school with strong academics, accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Shortridge students are intelligent, talented, and most are college bound. In its 17-year history, many students have gone on to play collegiate sports, prompting school leadership to identify the benefit of NCAA school approval. Mik Oyler, COO explains “We are proud to have been approved by the NCAA for the benefit of current and future Shortridge student athletes. We know that athletics are beneficial physically and mentally to students. We also know that student athletes are not immune to mental health issues. Therefore, as a therapeutic school, we strongly believe that we should do whatever we can to support our students in their athletic and academic endeavors.”
If you would like more information about Shortridge Academy academics, please contact Academic Director Anne Downey at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Elements Wilderness Program has long sought a way to offer academic credit while recognizing that most “academics” offered to 13-17 year olds in a short-term program can be a distraction from the true work at hand. In efforts to build the most clinically robust program possible within an 8-10 week timeframe, Elements has always chosen to focus on clients’ most immediate needs: identifying their maladaptive coping mechanisms, and equipping them with adaptive skills to confront life’s hardships. As such, the 7 Challenges and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy hold the most crucial spots in a student’s day in the field.
“Offering academic credit to our students is certainly valuable to us, but in order to invest in academic credit, the academics would have to support those two pillars of our clinical program instead of distract from them. That is why we are so happy to partner with an AdvancED accredited program that can see the value in the work our clients already do, and help us offer credit to our clients for all their hard work out here,” says Dr. Neal Christensen, Clinical Director and co-owner.
Elements now offers a two-term credit in Physical Education, and a one-term credit in Psychology, Character Education, Life Skills, and Health. Each student who earns at least partial credit will receive a transcript upon completion of the program.
About Elements Wilderness
Since 2008, Elements Wilderness has been providing a specialized therapeutic intervention for adolescent boys aged 13-17. We at Elements envision a world in which everyone has the skills and support necessary to live a full and healthy life. Through innovative therapeutic interventions, a comprehensive outdoor living experience complete with expeditionary backpacking and adventure programming, a robust family program involving the family at every step, and evidence-based substance abuse treatment, we provide every client and family with excellence in assessment and treatment. Elements is licensed and supervised by the State of Utah Department of Human Services, and accredited through the Outdoor Behavioral Health Council and the Association for Experiential Education.
Juniper Canyon Recovery Center is thrilled to announce that in their second year of operation, they have continued to expand their team with experienced, passionate women. The clinical team now consists of three female clinicians, led by Dr. Madolyn Liebing. Dr. Madolyn “Mady” Liebing oversees the therapeutic program at Juniper Canyon in her role as Clinical Director. Her wisdom, experience and innovative role in building the field of wilderness therapy are a tremendous asset to the Juniper Canyon/Legacy family.
Dr. Liebing is a Licensed Psychologist and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As one of the foremost professionals and leading experts in the field of wilderness therapy, Dr. Liebing has had a profound influence on the development of wilderness therapy. As a licensed psychologist, she developed the foundational model for therapy in wilderness, including the implementation of accurate mental health assessments and the development of individualized treatment plans. Dr. Liebing has had a significant influence on the entire field due to the number of therapists who trained under her leadership and the many programs that adopted the high level of psychotherapy she established as the norm for quality programs.
In addition to the clinical team, Juniper Canyon has also brought on exceptional women to work in operations. One of these women is field/program director Kim Belair. Kim is an experienced outdoor professional with nearly a decade in wilderness therapy. She has worked and guided in many different landscapes ranging from the deserts of the American Southwest, to the coastal rainforests of SE Alaska, and a multitude of places in between.
As Juniper Canyon finishes their second full year since opening, the team continues to grow and flourish. They strive to cultivate a culture in which women lead and empower other women, and in doing so are helping female clients recover in the only gender-specific wilderness program for young women.
About Juniper Canyon
Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women is located in Loa, UT. Juniper Canyon - A BRAVE SPACE - is designed to help women recover from substance abuse, trauma, and mental health issues. Licensed as an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Program and a Residential Treatment Center, Juniper Canyon leverages the best of both worlds to provide a “one of a kind” experience for women.
STRīV is growing, and the young adult college support program is pleased to announce the addition a few amazing key members to their team.
Primary therapist Joel Wallis, CSW is the newest member of the Clinical team. While working with adolescents and young adults in residential treatment, it became clear that he wanted to become a therapist, and he completed his Masters in Social Work from Brigham Young University. Joel brings a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for life into his work with students, and is all about the “off the couch” experiential aspects of the therapeutic process.
As STRīV’s resident “Spartan Racer,” Joel inspires others to work hard & play hard by choosing courage over comfort. Outside of work and Spartan races, Joel’s true joy comes from his wonderful wife and two beautiful daughters.
Kaitlyn Rodriguez has also joined the STRīV team, as the health and wellness mentor. With a focus on “the whole” – mind, body, heart, spirit – STRīV sought someone special with that expertise, and is pleased to welcome Kaitlyn to the team.
Kaitlyn earned her degree in Exercise & Wellness from Brigham Young University; whe is a yoga instructor and personal trainer, and the one-on-work and group activities she provides has already made a tremendous positive impact. When asked what she likes most about working with the students at STRīV, she stated, “I enjoy seeing them get motivated to improve their fitness and enjoy what they are capable of.”
STRīV is a social, emotional, and therapeutic support program for emerging adults struggling to navigate the challenges of college life and the road toward independence. Located in the heart of Utah County, STRīV students have access to traditional academics as well as vocational training opportunities through Utah Valley University.
Martin, GA — Shepherd’s Hill Academy (SHA) has a distinct mission to offer hope and healing to teens in crisis and their families; an integral part of that healing is education. The team at Shepherd’s Hill believes that hope and healing go hand in hand as students discover their passions and purpose.
Because every day, students are learning more about themselves and the world around them, the educational experience at Shepherd’s Hill Academy is unique, offering hands-on projects and real-life applications.
In 2019, the Academic program at Shepherd’s Hill created a plan of growth and expansion, spearheaded by Gail Dickerson, Ed.S (Dickerson was named Principal/Academic Director of Shepherd’s Hill Academy earlier in this year.) Dickerson brings to Shepherd’s Hill Academy a wealth of knowledge and experience from the public school system. “I started my teaching career fresh out of college in 1986. I taught in many different situations over the course of my 33-year career. In addition to my 30 years of teaching in a regular classroom, I also worked with teens in summer school for 20+ years and an alternative school for 2 years. The past 6 years I taught in an evening public charter high school. In all of these situations, I had the opportunity to work with teens from various backgrounds. All needed a little extra help, encouragement, and love in order for them to be successful academically.”
Dickerson also instructed as an adjunct professor at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, GA and Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, GA.
Under Dickerson’s guidance and direction, Shepherd's Hill is working towards developing additional services, experiences, and opportunities for the students. “[My goal] is to help the academy enrich the exceptional therapeutic program at SHA by cultivating a rich program of core academics and electives geared specifically to support student growth and healing.”
Dickerson boasts the academy’s small class sizes, citing that this is a unique opportunity for students at Shepherd’s Hill. “The small student to teacher ratio in our classes sets us apart from most schools. Teachers at SHA are able to present deeply rich lessons and hands-on learning simply because of the small class sizes.”
In addition to small class sizes, the academic program works in tandem with the therapeutic team, cultivating an environment of healing and life-change. “I tell parents that our academy works in unison with our therapists. I also tell parents about the sustainable development program and how students participating in the classes benefit from working with their hands, and being outside. Students are assigned projects called supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs), based on their individual therapeutic needs. What the students do and learn here translates directly to the classroom.”
Dickerson explains that the unique components of Shepherd’s Hill Academy truly lend themselves to optimal success. “I believe what I call the trifecta of student support is what makes SHA unique. During their stay at SHA, students experience equine, group, family, and individual therapy sessions. The residential staff works with each student to help them navigate the breakthroughs unlocked in the sessions. And the academic staff operates the same as residential while delivering a thought-provokingly rich educational experience. True differentiation at its best! We meet every student where they are and work with them holistically to help them realize their true potential.”
About Shepherd's Hill Academy
Shepherd’s Hill Academy is a faith-based residential therapeutic boarding school offering hope and healing to teens ages 12-17. Located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, SHA is a haven of hope to teens dealing with mental health, behavioral, addiction, family, trauma and other issues in life.
Lake House Academy is delighted to welcome Erika Mackey, M.Ed., who has joined the team as Director of Admissions.
Erika attended the University of Connecticut and earned a Bachelor's of Science in Human Development and Family Relations. She continued on at Georgian Court University and earned a Master of Arts degree in Education. From there, she began a thirteen year career working as an educator in both private and public schools. In 2013, she was drawn to assist families seeking guidance in treatment for their children, and worked independently as an educational consultant specializing in therapeutic placements. Most recently, she has worked as an Admissions Associate for New Vision Wilderness.
Erika brings a strong background of knowledge and experience working with children, complex family systems, and diverse academic and mental health histories to her new role at Lake House Academy. Her commitment to providing families and referring professionals a high standard of quality care, responsiveness and collaboration are evident in her relationships throughout the industry.
With regards to her new role, Erika stated, "I am thrilled to be joining the energetic team at Lake House Academy. It is the perfect union of my educational and professional backgrounds, and I am excited to continue to grow in my work supporting families."
Erika lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children. In her free time, Erika can be found volunteering with her daughter's theater company, spending time with her family and watching college basketball.
About Lake House Academy
Lake House Academy is a therapeutic boarding school meeting the needs of girls ages 9-14. Younger girls require different care from older teen girls and so Lake House helps these girls find healing through play. By combining this play with superior academics and a healthy, home-like environment, these girls are able to develop the resiliency and confidence needed to thrive throughout life. To learn more about Lake House go to https://www.lakehouseacademy.com or call Amanda at 877-267-5888.
Litchfield, CONN: Adventure Recovery today announces enrollment for the AR Guide Training Certificate is now open. The Adventure Recovery Guide Training is a powerful recovery coaching mentorship course that offers a new way to approach recovery and skills-based learning.
“We're thrilled to offer this life-changing training again,” says Tim Walsh, Founder and CEO at Adventure Recovery. “The Adventure Recovery Guide Training course provides opportunities to bond with a like-minded community, immerse in outdoor leadership skills, and gain prowess in adventure-based modalities. The AR Guides learn valuable skills and knowledge to be facilitators and mentors in the field. Our alumni are currently working in the outdoor industry as guides, instructors, and coaches,” adds Walsh.
Adventure Recovery Guide trainees:
- Gain professional skills and learn to teach in the outdoors.
- Learn conscious communication skills including compassionate awareness, tools for self-care, and how to build a growth-oriented mentor/mentee relationship.
- Develop mastery in group dynamic awareness, experiential education methodologies, and wilderness activity management.
The complete training includes full competency and industry-standard certifications in the field: Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA), Mental Health First Aid and River Rescue Certification (RRC).
“The Adventure Recovery Guide Training is a truly powerful experience. Going through this training and becoming an AR guide was one of the best things I ever did, not for only my recovery but for my life as a whole,” says Josh Flaherty, Adventure Recovery Guide and Director of Business Development. Adventure Recovery Guide Training will be available starting December 13. For more information on the training, visit https://www.adventurerecovery.com/events or contact Josh at 917.687.2476, email@example.com .
Adventure Recovery is an adventure guide service that leads clients through the external and internal wilderness. We provide one-on-one mentorship, group experiences, and guide training. Adventure Recovery empowers individuals and groups with the motivation, training, and accountability to achieve optimal recovery, wellness, and purpose. We are recovery-focused, but you don’t need to be in recovery to join us outside. https://www.adventurerecovery.com/