All Kinds of News for February 05, 2020
Reset Summer Camp is excited to announce a new program to serve 18-26 yr olds. Reset Retreat is built on the same therapeutic model as www.ResetSummerCamp.com (digital detox, healthy eating and sleeping habits, social and life skills development, all under clinical supervision). Many of the young adults who enroll find themselves in that "failure-to-launch" middle-ground between high school and adulthood. This 4-week retreat program launches on March 22rd, 2020 in Charles Town, West Virginia.
A Reset Retreat is just that, a retreat. An intentional coming together of young adults all struggling with similar situations to detox and learn how they got here, what to do now and how to proceed. Reset is staffed by clinical and experienced professionals and runs on a 4:1 ratio of participants to staff. Supervised by experienced PhDs, our staff includes near-peer under-grads, Master-level professionals and PhD candidates with practical experience in this area.
“We had been discussing how to build a targeted program for young adults when we were offered a spectacular property in West Virginia, less than an hour from Washington D.C. It’s perfect and the location couldn’t be more conducive to making healthy life changes”, said Reset founder and Executive Director, Michael Jacobus
“As the parent of a recovering online gaming addict, I wanted to create an environment to bridge the space between young adults stuck at home, plugged-in and feeling helpless and the realization of successful, independent adulthood.”
Reset Summer Camp was founded in 2018 and operates 4-week programs on university campuses in Santa Barbara, CA and New Brunswick, Canada. The program is geared toward middle and high school students (and their families) who need more therapeutic intervention and digital detox than is available in the home environment. All programs conclude with a Family Workshop weekend and twelve (12) weeks of follow-up and coaching. Participants typically struggle with unhealthy screen-tine overuse habits and online gaming addiction including; social-media, streaming, porn-addiction, SnapChat/Instagram dependence, depression, thoughts of self-harm and anxiety.
Sophia Buie, staff member at New Vision Wilderness Therapy – Deschutes will be riding her bicycle from San Diego to New Orleans in honor of her brother Stuart, who she lost to mental health issues in September. The ride commences on February 1st, 2020 and will cover over 2000 miles in 23 days. Sophia’s goal is to raise funds for Sky’s the Limit Foundation.
Donations can be made at: Cycle For Stu
Sky’s the Limit works to transform the lives of youth in crisis and their families by providing access to wilderness therapy programs, coaching services to guide families in transition, and outreach to educate the community on the benefits of wilderness therapy.
Sophia and Stuart were more than brother and sister, they were best friends that bonded over a shared love for music. They often performed together at church and weddings. Stuart went onto become an accomplished jazz pianist at the University of Chicago. Despite Stuart's success with music, “You never know how people are. Mental health needs to be more of a conversation, or the people suffering will always feel alone. I am riding to raise awareness and funds because all families should have access to treatment.”
Sophia spent a semester in Yosemite, studying outdoor leadership and the humanities. The experience left a lasting impression of the role of wilderness in healing. While contemplating continuing education for counseling after college, Sophia decided she wanted more clinical exposure. Wilderness therapy offered the perfect marriage of backcountry and therapeutic experiences. Sophia has worked at New Vision for just over 3 years now and in the next year, she plans on returning to school to acquire her masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
“Channeling her grief into generosity, Sophia is an inspiration to us all, a warm light on the path ahead”, Janae Sporrer Field Director New Vision Wilderness shared.
About New Vision Wilderness
New Vision Wilderness (NVW) programs are innovative wilderness therapy programs for clients who require an immediate intervention and intensive mental health treatment. Our programs specialize in treating struggles associated with adoption, developmental trauma, anxiety, depression, and addiction. We serve preteens, teens, young adults, and their parents in three 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.
After several years working in residential treatment, Daryn Reiner has decided to add to her already impressive resumé by accepting the position of Director of Admissions at New Vision Wilderness Therapy.
Reiner’s decision to join New Visions came via firsthand experience with NVW-Deschutes. “While working in residential, I noticed that students coming from New Vision were consistently well-prepared for their transition. They had a deep insight into the progress they made, as well as a broad understanding of the work that still needed to be done.”
Daryn was introduced to wilderness treatment more than a decade ago when she started as a field guide. Since then, her experience covers young adult programming, latency age boys residential treatment, adolescent girls residential, outpatient clinical practice, and educational consulting. Andrew Scott, Director of Operations for New Vision Wilderness Therapy added “I’m especially excited by the diverse background within our field that Daryn brings. Not only is she helping guide families in need to us, she also brings a lot of great experience to the NVW-Deschutes leadership team.”
About New Vision Wilderness
New Vision Wilderness (NVW) programs are innovative wilderness therapy programs for clients who require immediate intervention and intensive mental health treatment. Our programs specialize in treating struggles associated with adoption, developmental trauma, anxiety, depression, and addiction. We serve preteens, teens, young adults, and their parents in three U.S. locations: the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, the majestic Cascade mountain range of Central Oregon, and the lush forest of Georgia. Through the wilderness experience in each of these locations, young people and their parents have the opportunity to heal their relationships and foster personal growth in life.
Open Sky Wilderness Therapy is proud to celebrate Adolescent Boys Clinical Therapist Jonathan “Badger” Mitchell’s 10-year anniversary. For the past decade, Jonathan has shared his extensive expertise serving adolescents, young adults, and families, while delivering an unmatched positivity and passion for his work.
Following his undergraduate education in math and physics, Jonathan changed course and pursued work in wilderness therapy. He gained valuable experience during the next six years as a field guide, field supervisor, and field director. Inspired by the magic of the wilderness in motivating change, Jonathan went on to earn a Master’s in Counseling in 2007 from Naropa University, followed by a certificate in Gestalt Therapy in 2008 from the Gestalt Institute of the Rockies. He brought his extensive field and clinical experience to the Open Sky team in 2009, when he joined as a Family Quest therapist and primary therapist for adolescent boys. He also maintains a daily yoga and meditation practice
“It is impossible for me to communicate in a few lines the tremendous admiration I have for Jonathan’s clinical capability, or the appreciation I have for the life-changing help he has given our son and our family,” said Kathy, Alumni Parent from 2018. “Jonathan is a rare find, unmatched by the other therapists who have worked with our son. He came to understand him very quickly and was so effective in helping him identify and work through issues.”
At Open Sky, Jonathan’s areas of clinical expertise include oppositional defiance, treatment resistance, adoption/attachment issues, substance abuse and addiction, navigating non-traditional and complex family systems, anxiety, depression, and trauma. His clinical approach draws on the teachings of dialectical behavioral therapy, Gestalt therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and years of experience as a field guide.
“Jonathan’s exuberance and passion for the power of wilderness therapy is as palpable today as it was a decade ago. His bright spirit and ability to share with compassion and candor inspires Open Sky students, families and staff alike,” said Emily Fernandes, Open Sky co-founder and Executive Director. “Congratulations, Jonathan, we are so grateful to have you as part of the team!”
To learn more about Jonathan, check out his SKYlights podcast episode titled, "Preparing Your Child for the Road (Not the Road for Your Child): How Challenge Cultivates Resilience in Young People" and his many expert blog posts found on the Open Sky website.
To learn more about Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, please visit: www.openskywilderness.com.
About Open Sky Wilderness
Nestled in the mountains of southwest Colorado and the canyon country of southeast Utah, Open Sky transcends traditional wilderness therapy with an approach that emphasizes treatment for the whole family. By partnering with Open Sky, each family member embarks on a rewarding adventure of self-discovery, learning valuable skills that promote lasting success. The Open Sky clinical approach utilizes the latest in evidence-based clinical modalities integrated with innovative, research-driven mindfulness and holistic healing practices. Therapists develop treatment plans, provide individual and group psychotherapy, and update families each week via teleconference. Students participate in daily process groups and a wide range of experiential activities designed to increase awareness and facilitate healing.
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For its commitment to demonstrating data-driven outcomes, Cascade Crest Transitions in Bend has received the Research Designation Program (RDP) Silver Standard from the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP). The RDP designation informs parents and consumers that Cascade Crest Transitions, a program dedicated to helping young people with emotional and behavioral difficulties, has demonstrated valid, data-driven and evidence-based outcomes as determined by a third-party academic institution.
“Cascade Crest Transitions has provided data that evaluate the impact and effectiveness of its school or program,” said Michael Gass, Ph.D., director of the NATSAP Research database located at the University of New Hampshire, who leads the evaluation efforts for the RDP designation. “This data demonstrates that they are deserving of this highly coveted designation.”
“It’s important to note that the RDP designation is not awarded to every NATSAP therapeutic school or program member,” said Gass. “This designation is only granted to those programs conducting an active and valid research program used to guide and evaluate the program’s best practices.
To attain RDP status, a school or program needs to be a NATSAP member, apply for the designation and illustrate that it is supplying data aimed at evaluating its program’s effectiveness. These programs also must prove that they have increased the understanding of the programs’ impact on youth and their families.
“We congratulate Cascade Crest Transitions for achieving this rigorous, highly esteemed honor,” said Megan Stokes, Executive Director, NATSAP. “They demonstrated that they have used data to illustrate outcomes and contributed to the scholarly, professional and practical understanding of the effects of our members’ interventions.”
All 42 NATSAP-member schools and programs receiving the RDP Gold, Silver or Bronze designation will appear on a dedicated NATSAP website page. In addition, they will be listed on a separate page under the RDP designation in the NATSAP Directory. All programs achieving RDP status may use “RESEARCH DESIGNATED PROGRAM” and the logo in their marketing and branding materials.
“We encourage all NATSAP members to consider applying for the RDP designation,” said Stokes.
For more information about NATSAP or the RDP application process, log onto natsap.org/RDP.
About Cascade Crest Transitions
Founded in 2011 Cascade Crest Transitions has been an industry leader in aftercare/transitional programing for young adults. We working with young adults in a co-ed setting between the ages of 18-23. CCT offers continued therapeutic and academic support, sober setting, safe community, along with real life experiences. Cascade Crest is located in beautiful Bend, Oregon.
Sunrise Residential Treatment Center relaunches its YouTube Channel, with new Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills videos. Nine of the full fifteen videos of the series are available, with the remaining 6 posting throughout this year. Some of the DBT skills in the first release include Interpersonal Effectiveness skills (“DEARMAN”) and Distress Tolerance skill (“TIPP").
The videos are for treatment programs or clinicans or familiies to practice and hone their skills. The videos are now being shared on other social media platforms like Facebook. “When users view the videos, they will see examples of skills that work for clients presently in residential treatment," said Sunrise’s Director of Operations, Noel Miller. Treatment programs around the United States are using these videos and sharing them, "Sunrise is constantly facilitating lasting change among students and families because we create as many experiences as possible for clients to practice all the DBT skills - on and off campus, with staff support," Miller said.
The announcement of the YouTube Channel comes as several initiatives at Sunrise have been occuring on campus, and around the country. Zen Master and Behavioral Tech trainer Randy Wolbert hosted a three day Mindfulness and Reality Acceptance training. Throughout the entire year, staff are trained on foundational principles of DBT skills and how to effectively coach students.
In conjunciton with Mindfulness training, Executive Director Brad Simpson, DSW and LCSW does 2-day Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Intensive training courses. In February, his training will take him to Louisville, Kentucky.
Sunrise RTC is evolving, training and leading the way as a integrated DBT residential treatment program.
About Sunrise RTC
Founded in 2000 and located in Hurricane, UT, outside of Zion National Park, 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. As a fully integrated DBT treatment program, licensed by the State of Utah, accredited and certified by Joint Commission, and academically accredited by Cognia, the program combines the warmth of a home, the safety and clinical expertise of a residential treatment program, and the community access of a transition program.
[OREM, UT, February 3, 2020] Telos has opened a new maker space dedicated to student career exploration and wellness. "When the imagination is the only hurdle, beautiful things happen."
Students with a disposition for electronics have deep seeded talent that is often misdirected. For the first time in the company's history, Telos is taking a proactive role around technology for older students (18 and older); by engaging young women and men who have a propensity towards technology and building skills to help guide them toward a sustainable lifestyle, the future seems brighter.
The maker space is more than a room of gadgets and electronics, Telos has invested in a full-time instructor and innovation expert to guide the projects in a way that career opportunities might be realized. As expected, students are clamoring to sign up for the class. Telos expects that students will find not only the thrill of exploring ideas but develop talents that can become resumé builders.
Telos is located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in beautiful Orem, Utah. Available are two campuses specifically designed for teens and co-ed young adults dealing with depression, anxiety, social problems and learning differences. Caring staff use proven clinical therapies coupled with the power of healing relationships to promote deep, lasting change. The aim is to help students live principle-based lives characterized by insightful choices that promote clarity, healing, and direction. Telos is a unique, clinically-sophisticated, relationship-based treatment center for teens and young adults ages 13-26. For more information: email@example.com or online at telos.org.
Northwest Passage continues to break down walls and stereotypes surrounding mental health issues by offering innovative programs and opportunities at their residential treatment facilities in Northwestern Wisconsin. One of the most unique opportunities allows residents of their Prairieview girls program to compete locally on a Northwest basketball team. The team plays approximately eight games per season against local public and private schools in the area. The “Pioneers” just wrapped up their third season, and they are just that — Pioneers, for their first victory.
The Pioneer team members stepped out of their comfort zones, most of them trying basketball, or any organized sport, for the first time. The team, coordinated and coached by Northwest Passage teacher Taylor Mathias, provides the unique opportunity to bring the girls into the community, allows them to play against other girls their age from local schools and normalizes life for the students.
It took three seasons and 21 games, but recently the Pioneers earned their first win in their treatment program's history. Coach Mathias described the last seconds of that memorable game, “As I watched the final seconds of the game tick down, I knew we had just solidified our first win. I felt like time stood still. I looked around a gymnasium that was full of teachers, therapists, case managers, clinicians, and all sorts of direct care staff that had come out to support their girls. I looked down the bench and saw all of my players and coaching staff trying to hold back their exuberance for just a few more seconds. The clock hit triple zeros; we shook hands with the opposing team, and then the celebrations began. It felt like we had won a National Championship. Fans and family ran onto the court and hugs were given as tears ran down the many proud faces of those who knew just how far these girls have come”.
Another successful season is in the books for the Pioneers of Northwest Passage. Reflecting on the season, Mathias said, “After games, I often get asked, 'Did you win?' With this team, it goes beyond the win/loss column. When I see these girls laughing, high-fiving, and busting some serious dance moves (yes, sometimes they dance during the game), I realize—this is winning! After one of our games this season, I overheard a player tell her teammate, 'Wow, tonight I felt normal'. That is a win in my book any day. “
About Northwest Passage
Founded in 1978, Northwest Passage is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring hope through innovative mental health services for children and families. With over 40 years of rich history, Northwest Passage has become a national leader in residential mental health assessment and treatment for youth experiencing severe and complex emotional and behavioral disruptions. The organization has two residential facilities. Riverside, situated on 70 acres of iconic Northwoods landscape and bisected by the winding Clam River in Webster, WI, serves boys ages 12-17. The Prairieview campus is located on 25 acres of rolling prairie in Frederic, WI, and houses females ages 12-17 as well as Northwest Passage’s Assessment Program which serves youth ages 6-17 in a co-ed environment.
Northwest Passage’s success is due in large part to its high-impact experiential programming. They have implemented a powerful therapeutic arts program, InaNewLight, and showcase their residents’ inspiring artwork to the public at the one-of-a-kind InaNewLight Gallery in Webster, WI. Funded with private donations and grants, the InaNewLight program has provided an opportunity for Northwest Passage’s youth to travel around the country, and even internationally, capturing amazing sunsets, beautiful wildlife, and serene wilderness scenes with their cameras. Along the way, many also captured parts of themselves that were otherwise out of reach.
Northwest Passage has earned academic accreditation through Cognia, Inc., formerly AdvancED. For more information about Northwest Passage call 715-327-4402 or visit nwpltd.org.
Onward Transitions for emerging adults in Portland, Maine and its eight, full-time staff members completed a series of specialized training over the past three months. Chief Clinician Darrell Fraize, M.Ed, LCPC,LADC reported that Onward’s full staff wrapped up a 10-hour training series on the use of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Matrix, a comprehensive visual instrument for illustrating ACT’s deeper processes with Dr. Kevin Polk, of the Psychological Flexibility Group and the originator of the Matrix. Fraize stated that the program’s three milieu coordinators completed a full-day training on “Next Level Executive Function Strategies” with Dr. Nicole Quint of Nova Southeastern University, and then presented that learning to the rest of the staff during weekly in-service training over the course of the next two weeks. The full staff also came together for a live video presentation, with a question and answer session, on the use of Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) treatment with Dr. Jonathan Hoffman of the Neurobehavioral Institute in Weston, FL.
“These three areas were really important to our staff and to the service of our members,” Fraize stated. “Members have been able to use the matrix in their individual and group sessions to dig deeper into what’s working and what’s getting in the way of their goal attainment,” he added. “Breaking down executive functioning into different categories and then targeting those skill sets has been helpful for all of us, as has a heightened awareness of how to differentiate accommodations and reinforcement for those members who are managing OCD symptoms.” Fraize stated that Onward Transitions primarily treats emerging adults with mild to moderate anxiety, depression and executive functioning challenges, and that “this focus on outside training is in keeping with Onward’s philosophy of staff development growth, as well as the mission of the Northern New England Consortium (NNEC) to developing staff excellence through program collaboration.” (Onward Transitions is a founding member program of NNEC.)
According to Fraize, upcoming outside staff training for Onward Transitions includes a human resource workshop to help staff better educate members on employment laws, a SafeZone workshop for increased LGBTQ+ awareness and ally training, continuing education for therapists on helping members with intimacy in relationships, and participation in NNEC’s June staff development conference.
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.
Amid the college-debt crisis and decreasing college enrollment, there is one buzzy trend in higher education that is on the rise: the gap year option. With more students craving career-related experiences and self-discovery after high school, taking a gap year is growing in popularity in the US. Gap Year Exploration Month - celebrated annually in the month of February - is a shared initiative of educators, experiential education experts, program providers, industry groups and others who understand the benefits of a gap year.
“We are seeing more and more students every year making the deliberate choice to learn more about themselves and their academic and personal interests before embarking on higher education, “ says Julia Rogers, Board President of the Gap Year Association, a national nonprofit dedicated to the growth of the gap year movement.
Gap year students can do any number of things with their experience, including group service learning, volunteering, interning, working abroad, national service, studying languages, traveling and more. “Gap year students participate in a huge variety of activities – no two gap years look alike. The benefit of this type of customized, experiential learning to an individual is immense.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, fewer than 40 percent of students enrolling in college in 2020 will finish their degrees within four years. Those that do will emerge from college with an average of $37,000 in student loan debt. For this reason, more and more students are deferring their college enrollment for a year of travel, personal growth, and professional skills development.
"Gap Year students often earn better grades in college [and] the positive effects of taking a gap year appear to endure over all four years of college," according to Robert Clagget, founder of the Gap Year Research Consortium at Colorado College and former dean of Middlebury College.
Students, parents and counselors can get involved with Gap Year Exploration Month by attending in-person or virtual events nationwide, by following the hashtag #explorethegapyear on social media for news and contests and by visiting The Gap Year Exploration Month here for more information.
Board President of the Gap Year Association
This past year Boulder Creek Academy completed the AdvancEd/Cognia Academic school accreditation with flying colors.
According to AdvancEd/Cognia, “Accreditation is pivotal to leveraging education quality and continuous improvement. Using a set of rigorous research-based standards, the accreditation process examines the whole institution — the program, the cultural context and the community of stakeholders — to determine how well the parts work together to meet the needs of learners.”
The accreditation team spent two rigorous days meeting with, observing, reviewing evidence and interviewing everyone; the Administrative Team, academic staff, clinical team, Student Life team, students, parents and connecting with the Academic Learning Center. As a result of the two day evaluation, BCA received an Index of Education Quality score of 335, The AdvancED Improvement Network results report the average benchmark within the network to typically score between 278-283. Boulder Creek Academy was granted a 6-year accreditation. Boulder Creek Academy is very proud to continue to have the accreditation status since 2005, and proud to continue to provide a quality education to the students who are enrolled.
Charla Suppé, M.S., the Academic Director for the past 5 years, attributes this fabulous score and 6 year accreditation to the hard work the entire school did in preparing for this visit. Charla states, “I appreciate the professional manner in which the accrediting team took the time to really see the school and all that it has to offer.”
Since the accreditation, Charla has now stepped into the role of Business Development Director, and Kenton Clairmont, M.S. is being welcomed as the new Academic Director. Kenton is ready to pick up the torch and move forward and in new directions. “Boulder Creek is very excited to have Kenton join the team”, states Executive Director Lisa Hester, “bringing all of the expertise from his vast experience in Physical Education, health and program involvement. We look forward to a future that will continue to flourish.”
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.
EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community, a transitional living program for students aged 18-24 and located in downtown Chicago, has added an 8 week Executive Functioning (EF) skills workshop series to their weekly programming. EF skills are defined as mental flexibility, self-regulation or self-control, and working memory. EF skills manifest in young adults as the ability to initiate tasks, adequately plan and prioritize tasks and information, to comfortably shift between tasks and pivot when something does not go according to plan, stay organized, and to monitor themselves.
During the workshop series, students will learn to define EF skills, classify individual strengths and needs using EF language, explain how EF skills develop and potential barriers to development, evaluate EF skills others possess in order to determine how they might be able to fit into their own routines and practices, and create small scaffolded EF goals that align with individual long-term goals. The workshop series utilizes journaling at the beginning and end of each session. Each week has a focus from “The Role of Technology” to “Embracing the Gray and Winding Path”.
Students begin each session reflecting on past experiences through open-ended questioning or evaluating a statement from relevant news article. Throughout the sessions, different articles and media are used to add dimension and relevance. Media ranges from Ted Talks to clips from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. Each session compounds on the information from the last session. Each session ends with students setting a small goal or completing a small task, each achievable within a week, and sharing with the group at the beginning of the next session.
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.
Fulshear Treatment to Transition, a residential treatment center for adult women ages 18-24, is evolving the Equine Therapy Program, to align more with our trauma and attachment focus. The equine program consists of seven horses and offers weekly recreational riding, equine assisted psychotherapy groups, and individual equine sessions that are available to all of Fulshear’s clients, if they choose to participate. Fulshear is introducing Natural Lifemanship, a trauma focused equine assisted psychotherapy approach, to be fully implemented over the course of 2020. The program is being very intentional with this transition to Natural Lifemanship from EGALA, so as to uphold the integrity of the current equine program. Molly Freemantle, LMSW and certified equine professional through the Equine Growth and Learning Association (EGALA), has spearheaded this change and managed the equine program for six years.
Nikki Garza, LCSW, and CEO of Fulshear Treatment to Transition, says, “Fulshear is always evolving, and we saw this as an opportunity to further develop the program to address the needs of our clients. I am so grateful for the team at Fulshear and their growth mindset to continue to learn, grow, and push the limits to lead the way.” The principles of Natural Lifemanship align with Fulshear’s beliefs about connection with others and the impact trauma has on healthy attachments. Developed by Tim and Bettina Jobe, Natural Lifemanship is being considered the new standard in equine assisted psychotherapy. Based on scientific and medical research, Natural Lifemanship considers the psychological and physical impact trauma has on brain development. The model views psychological, as well as behavioral disorders, through the lens of trauma. Horses help regulate humans through their physiological and psychological composure, making the relationship between the horse and client foundational for healing.
Fulshear has always involved horses in the therapeutic relationship because horses have the unique ability to mirror, and or react, based on emotions brought in during an interaction with a human. Horses are prey animals and function within a herd, which means that they use their strong emotional sense as a tool to survive in the wild. Their brain stem, the part of the brain responsible for survival, is much larger than other parts of their brain and operates similarly to someone who has experienced trauma or chronic stress. Through this mirroring, clients are invited to look at how they make requests in relationships, seek authentic healthy connections with others, and receive in the moment feedback on which part of the brain is being engaged.
About Fulshear Treatment to Transition
Fulshear Treatment to Transition, founded in 2003 and accredited by the Joint Commission, is located right outside of Houston in Needville, TX and Stafford, TX. Fulshear works with young women ages 18-24 struggling with mental health issues along with accompanying co-occurring disorders, and is known for its development of the Fulshear Adult Attachment Model.
Elevations RTC, a residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, is excited to share findings from the Youth Outcomes Questionnaire collected over the past two years.
The YOQ (Youth Outcomes Questionnaire) is a measure of treatment progress that helps track change in functioning throughout a student’s time in a treatment program. From the YOQ, a total score is calculated that provides a reflection of the total distress in an adolescent’s life on a variety of levels including interpersonal distress, suicidality, eating disorders, social problems, and somatic symptoms (physical manifestations of anxiety and depression). The YOQ is administered at various points during the treatment process at Elevations RTC: at admissions, 30 days post admissions, 90 days post admissions, every 90 days while in treatment and again at discharge.
Upon admission, students at Elevations RTC scored a mean of 85. At other residential treatment centers, the mean score is 61. “Compared to an average of all of the residential treatment centers administering YOQs, Elevations helps students who need a higher level of care,” says Clinical Director Jordan Killpack. “The difference in these scores reflects that.”
For Elevations students who discharge after a typical length of stay (270 days), the mean score is 41. On a community level (teens outside of treatment settings), the mean score is 34.
“Students who discharge from Elevations come very close to the community sample score but are often not quite there yet,” comments Killpack. “Upon discharge, many of our students are in need of an additional step down program like The Approach that can help them maintain all that they’ve gained from Elevations and prepare to go home to a less structured environment.”
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
Evoke’s Therapy Podcast has recently surpassed half a million listens and continues to grow and develop. With this milestone, a new name was given to the podcast: “‘Finding You: An Evoke Therapy Podcast.” Listeners can expect the same content with Dr. Brad Reedy, Evoke’s Co-Founder and Clinical Director. ”I started broadcasting webinars for parents on December 18, 2007, podcasting over 1,100 episodes," said Reedy. Late 2017, Evoke Therapy Programs moved to the podcast format, to reach families who do not have their teens or young adults enrolled in an Evoke Therapy program, to reach a wider audience. "I am clear that webinars and podcasts are not therapy. In my perspective, therapy is not a place you go to hear hard things, it is a place you go to say difficult things," said Reedy. Dr. Reedy is very candid that he has received 30 years of being a client in therapy and has a way of speaking to listeners on the same level of sincerity and discovery that he does his own work.
Evoke Therapy's Podcast is 5 star rated and reaches listeners throughout the United States and around the world (vver 430 thousand listens in the United States). Within the United States, most listeners live in the New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, CA, and Chicago area. The most listened to podcast episodes are "The Identified Patient", and "Family of Origin". Evoke Podcast episodes are regularly released on Tuesdays and Fridays.
About Evoke Therapy Programs
Evoke Therapy Programs provides both Intensive therapy programs for individuals and adults and outdoor-based therapeutic programs for adolescents, young adults and families. Evoke is accredited by the AEE/OBH and is a NATSAP Research Designated Program. Evoke’s outdoor programs are based in Bend, Oregon and in Saint George, Utah. Evoke’s Intensive Therapy programs are in northern Utah.
Equinox RTC, a residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18, has promoted previous Team Manager and Fitness Coordinator Jeremiah Horne to Fitness Director. This advancement is part of Equinox RTC’s ongoing commitment to the research proving a strong correlation between fitness and mental wellness. Horne will lead and manage all fitness programming at Equinox.
Horne graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports Science. Since then, he has worked as a Certified Personal Trainer at both UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University before coming to Equinox. He is a Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Cycle Instructor, and Crossfit Instructor.
Students will participate in Crossfit classes led by Horne 3 days a week. Every weekend, the students will participate in an off-campus recreation activity. This will include adventures like mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, bouldering and various other outdoor activities.
Horne says that the focus on fitness at Equinox is a key part of the students’ overall growth. “[Fitness] has a profound impact because when they are able to find a positive and beneficial way to get that energy out, it ends up making them a little bit more open to the challenges of any given day,” said Horne. “In my experience, it leads to less dysregulation and more ability to pay attention.”
Recreation and fitness have been part of Equinox programming since its inception, and this year the program intends to channel even more focus into fitness programming in order to help students get the most out of the therapeutic process.
To learn more about fitness programming at Equinox RTC, call 877-279-8925 or visit https://equinoxrtc.com/student-life/health-fitness.
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 Crossfit 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.
February is Gap Year Exploration Month, which is a month of awareness used to increase knowledge of the validity and usefulness of taking gap years. Gap Year Exploration Month is organized and sponsored by the Gap Year Association. Point School Puerto Rico is celebrating by spreading the word about the benefits of taking a gap year.
According to the 2015 Alumni Survey by the Gap Year Association, 98% of alumni reported that their gap year experience helped them develop as a person. Over 90% of alumni also reported increases in maturity, confidence, social and communication skills, and respect for others. (Link: https://www.gapyearassociation.org/assets/2015%20NAS%20Report.pdf) According to this data, an organic amount of personal growth develops for everyone participating in a gap year experience.
Point School Puerto Rico uses the organic amount of growth obtained in a gap year experience for an optional positive self-discovery experience. The hybrid gap year programming provides a supportive environment for young people to experience individualized plans around personal strength development in order to boost self-efficacy, self-confidence, and intrinsic motivation.
About Point School Puerto Rico
Point School Puerto Rico is a hybrid gap year program for young adult men, ages 18-22 that integrates cultural immersion, experiential and service learning with positive self-discovery. Each young man at PSPR has the opportunity to build positive self-identity through career, interest and personal exploration based on individual strengths.
An entrepreneur is one who takes risks to garner the rewards of owning a business. A young adult who is stepping into his or her life is really no different. Each young adult participating in the programs of Q&A Associates is taking risks to experience the rewards of living a successful and healthy independent life. They are becoming entrepreneurs of their own lives.
Through the years, Q&A has operated several businesses which provide employment opportunities for clients. This list currently includes The Breakfast Nook, Mountain Market, Cabin Mountain Cottage Industries, Venus Pizza Pies, and Gobs & Gobs of Kabobs Food Truck.
The clients participating in Cabin Mountain Living Center, Applewood Transitions for Young Women, and The Journey for Young Men have the opportunity to work in any of these small businesses. They are given opportunities to learn every aspect of each business. Building the skills necessary to operate a successful small business also allows the clients to develop and practice the personal life skills which will help them achieve independence.
“It can be very effective to coach young adults toward independence when they are active in their own lives, working and building relationships in a community immersed setting,” said Angie Shockley, owner of Q&A Associates. “Many of our clients have spent years in therapeutic settings such as residential treatment centers, wilderness programs, and therapeutic boarding schools, so they are excited to immediately step into job opportunities when they join us,” Shockley continued.
Q&A has also cultivated a cooperative relationship with several businesses in the community, including Canaan Valley Resort State Park and Conference Center. The department supervisors and Human Resources Director of the Resort are always supportive of the Q&A clients, providing various job opportunities and working with Q&A Staff to offer coaching and feedback along the way. Many clients of Q&A have developed workplace skills at the Resort that they have been able to translate to other employment opportunities beyond their time at Q&A Associates.
Becoming entrepreneurs of their own lives means that the clients have challenging situations on a regular basis. They are constantly making decisions and being forced to think through scenarios during their employment shifts. They do not always make the best decisions, but that is simply part of the learning process. “Learning to fail successfully is one of the most critical areas of growth for our clients,” said Shockley; “We have all made mistakes in our jobs, but we have also learned how to recover from those mistakes.” Building resilience is a major part of the program for Q&A clients, and the work place is a wonderful training ground. Each lesson learned allows the clients to become more resilient and successful on their journeys to independence.
About Q&A Family of Programs
Q&A Family of Programs works with young adults ages 18 and up, providing opportunities for each of them to develop independent, functional, and happy lives with a high level of quality. Our clients have struggled to reach independence for a variety of reasons such as the inability to develop and/or implement the life skills needed to be successful, or struggling to obtain consistent employment. Our goal is to help these individuals find meaning and an authentic purpose for their lives and a practical path to achieve their goals.
Montana Academy and the Montana Academy Foundation are pleased to annouce their plan to join organizations into a single not-for-profit entity. Under the leadership of the Head of School, Matt Keenan, and a robust leadership team, Montana Academy remains dedicated to fulfilling the founding mission of providing first-rate academics with a sophisticated clinical program while cultivating creativity and competence for a new era.
Alongside the great work accomplished at the Academy over the last twenty-three years, the Montana Academy Foundation has simultaneously provided a legitimate 501c(3) conduit for parents and friends to support related projects. The mission of the Foundation has supported research in adolescent and character development, creative projects bringing the MA model to a wider population within the community, and grants and loans to MA families facing unforeseen financial crisis. Over the years, Montana Academy and the Montana Academy Foundation have maintained a strong and supportive relationship in order to make progress towards their separate yet closely aligned missions.
From Matt Keenan, Head of School at Montana Academy: "Key cultural values at Montana Academy emphasize integration in a collaborative learning community. We believe that growth and development is best achieved when we work closely together in pursuit of a common goal, and we take this approach in serving our students and families by fostering a program based on forging strong relationships. Montana Academy and the Montana Academy Foundation have been working collaboratively in this capacity for the past two decades, and we believe that by taking this next step of combinining our two entities, we can better serve our collective missions both within our local community and on a larger scale."
From Dr. Rhonda Friedman, Chair of the Montana Academy Foundation Board: "Montana Academy and the Montana Academy Foundation have had a strong and creative relationship over the years in addressing adolescent issues, which is our combined focus. This union of the two organizations with draw upon resources, expertise, and experience of the Academy's professional staff and the expertise and knowledge of the Foundation and its board members. The combination will achieve both the mission of the Foundation and continue the educational and therapeutic excellence that has characterized the Academy since its beginnings."
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.
2020 began Spring Ridge Academy's (AZ) 23rd of service as a female and family-owned and licensed residential treatment center program, founded by Jean Courtney, with a mission and philosophy creating an environment where young women and families can learn, heal, grow, and connect. Spring Ridge's model uses six integrated areas that meet the needs of young women (ages 13 -17): emotional, academic, physical, community, family and spiritual.
"Our goal to heal and assist families has been the same for 23 years. The treatment program's operation, and intervention types have changed," said Suzie Courtney, M.Ed. Owner and Executive Director. "We ask families and girls to change and therefore, we have to, also. The mission and philosophy as the constant guide delivering enriching life skills and experiences and the academic and clinical services have and will continue to evolve. Continuing to integrate current evidence-based clinical modalities including somatic based treatment, brain based modalities like EMDR will always change to ensure that quality of treatment is high enough to meet the needs of the clients."
"The academic program has always been a key piece of the treatment appoach and what has kept me here for 17 years is the connection and relationship with the students and families," said Justin Zych, MEd. The school has been accredited for decades now and always allows for differentiated classroom learning, depending on the needs of the clients in the college prep academics. Over 1000 students have enrolled in Spring Ridge since its founding, allowing for traditions' to permeate and envelope the school. The graduates leave a piece of their healthy identity, revealing their confidence and capability, as they continue their journey and take age-appropriate risks. (For example, in the 'Grad Painting", each girl creates a painting to honor their work and provides a gift for the current girls attending the treatment program.) Fine arts has always been key to the programming and expressive arts programming continue to expanded over time.
Susan Dougherty, Residential Director, said, "What has kept me at Spring Ridge Academy for 23 years is that the staff and training are valued equally with the academic and clinical departments. It is a true community of colleagues." Spring Ridge employees serve as the most valued asset key to the ability to deliver top-notch services. In testamonial to the value students create at Spring Ridge, three current employees of Spring Ridge are former participants at Spring Ridge Academy.
Graduates and families continue to have a lasting connection to the treatment program. Traditions of lasting community and giving back are key to Spring Ridge Academy's 23 years of operation. "Three times a year alumni families come back to assist in "Peer Support Groups" at Parent Workshops and this tradition began within a year of of the schools founding," said Courtney.
About Spring Ridge Academy
Spring Ridge Academy, located 1.5 hours outside Phoenix, Arizona serves young women ages 13-17. Founded in 1997 as a female and family-owned Residential Treatment Center. It is licensed by the State of Arizona. The academic program/school is accredited by AdvancED. Utilizing evidence-based clinical modalities with traditional regorous college prep curriculum, with fine and expressive arts and sports teams that allow for pieces of the students: emotional, relational, spiritual, intellectual, and physical to grow in a relationship based setting.
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness is thrilled to announce Tony Issenmann, Ph.D., LMFT as Director of Family Programs. Under Tony’s leadership, Blue Ridge and Emerald Arrow will grow and evolve their Adolescent and Young Adult Family Programs. Blue Ridge and Emerald Arrow’s Family Program team will continue to provide individualized support to parents, caregivers, and siblings and they will expand by creating more meaningful experiences to help family systems grow and heal.
Tony is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 15 years of experience in various treatment settings. He earned his Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Appalachian State University and his Ph.D. in Human Development from Virginia Tech. Tony is returning to Blue Ridge, where he was a Primary Therapist for adolescent boys from 2008-2013.
In addition to overseeing Blue Ridge and Emerald Arrow’s Family Programs, Tony will be working directly with parents. It is Tony’s belief that to most effectively help one family member, the entire system must be engaged. He will take on a parent caseload and will help facilitate bi-monthly Parent Workshops hosted in Clayton, GA. Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness offers multiple support options and resources so families can choose what will work best for them at various stages of the therapeutic process. Family Therapists work closely with the Primary Therapists to offer truly integrated, whole-family care. Their team is excited and grateful to have Tony’s clinical expertise and leadership as they continue to expand their Family Program offerings.
About Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness offers clinically driven wilderness therapy programs encompassing advanced therapeutic skill, a highly flexible nomadic wilderness therapy model, licensed wilderness therapy assessment and multiple treatment options for struggling teens ages 13-18 and for young adults 18-30 in their Emerald Arrow program. Their individualized approach, family support and commitment to service translate to an unparalleled experience and better outcomes for adolescents and families.
Trails Momentum, a wilderness alternative for young adults ages 18-25, offers a hybrid model where students spend half of their week on campus and the other half off-site doing various adventure and outdoor activities. Students sleep on campus in the Dorm 11 out of 14 nights. During their on campus days, students attend two academic seminars, learn to cook in the commercial grade kitchen overseen by our Nutrition & Wellness Specialist, have daily group therapy and meet individually twice a week with their primary therapist. Expanding their on-campus amenities, Trails Momentum most recently renovated a brand new shower house with five showers which the students utilize each night while on campus.
Trails Momentum provides an alternative to traditional wilderness programs that solely focus on the nomadic camping experience. As a program that primarily works with young adults struggling with social anxiety and depression, a schedule with more variety and daily transitions allows our staff to help students overcome a multitude of challenges during their stay. Students are able to receive a residential experience while also incorporating the outdoors as a way to alleviate anxiety and boost confidence. A relationship-based program, Trails Momentum values creating a safe and nurturing community to help these young adults grow towards independence.
About Trails Momentum
Trails Momentum is a wilderness-alternative 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.
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 10-17, is expanding their family therapy programming with the addition of two new family therapists. Sarah McGahran, MSW and Russell Murray, LMHC will be joining the family programming team this month. Both bring years of therapeutic experience working with both teens and adults.
Sarah McGahran, MSW has spent the last few years working with adolescents and families in a variety of therapeutic settings including a youth advocacy group and as a clinical intern at Trails Carolina.
Prior to joining the family programming team at Trails, Russell Murray, LMHC worked as the embedded clinician for the Asheville Police Department, Asheville Fire Department, and the Buncombe County EMS. He has also spent time as a mental health clinician working with middle and high school students.
“Throughout the history of Trails Carolina’s family programming, we have constantly sought to add new elements to our work with families,” says Graham Shannonhouse, Executive Director and Founder of Trails Carolina. “With the addition of Jacob Thomason late last year and our two new family therapists, we are excited to continue our enduring legacy of helping families restore and rebuild their bond with their child. We are very excited about what family programming in 2020 will offer families. ”
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.
Legacy Outdoor Adventures and Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women are thrilled to announce that they will be collaborating with other therapeutic programs and companies in their effort to spread awareness about wilderness therapy and the efficacy of outdoor and adventure-based therapy.
The February 2nd Cityscape Adventure kicked off the series, with a group of professionals ice skating at Wollen Rink in New York City. The group discussed the change in mood when getting outside, seeing the sun occasionally pop through the clouds, and sharing in a fun experience. Attendees talked about getting out of negative head spaces while laughing to silly pop songs and skating around in NYC's central park. Attendees also discussed challenges and fears prior to skating and body’s ability to remember how to skate (even if it’s been years), as well as old skating memories. More experienced skaters naturally took to teaching and supporting those skaters with less ice time.
The ten programs who have signed up to be National Sponsors of the entire series are aligned in their belief in the power of experiential therapies such as nature-based mental health and wellness initiatives. While not all of the programs are “wilderness” programs, all of the National Sponsor programs support the mission of Cityscape Adventure Series.
National Sponsors will be attending many of the adventures throughout the year and are also helping to spread the word about each event. In addition, each event will provide an opportunity for Legacy, Juniper Canyon, and the National Sponsors to network with programs and professionals locally to further the spirit of collaboration.
The ten National Sponsors are Choice House (CO), EDGE Wellness (IL), In Balance Continuum of Care (AZ), The Grounds (CA), Skyline Recovery (OR), Northstar Transitions (CO), Summit Achievement (ME), Hired Power (CA), Videra Healthcare (UT), and PACE Recovery (CA).
About Legacy Outdoor Adventures
Legacy Outdoor Adventures and Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women are on a mission to connect people to the healing power of nature and to educate on the current trends in outdoor behavioral healthcare. This is an endeavor that goes beyond traditional marketing and networking and truly works to incorporate all programs and individuals who also support this mission. With this in mind, it is truly an honor to for Legacy and Juniper Canyon to welcome the National Sponsors to the 2020 Cityscape Series. Let the adventures begin! Follow along: #RXoffthecouch. www.junipercanyonrecovery.com.
Visions Adolescent Treatment Center is excited to announce the open house of the newest facility – a Mental Health and Wellness Center in West Los Angeles, CA.
Join the #vteam for confections, connections and community this February 14th for the Open House and be among the first to tour the beautiful new space. This has been a labor of love so what better day than V-Day to extend and share that with all of you. The party kicks off at 11am and goes till 4pm with lots of good eats, music and fun surprises in between. Come check the vibe while seeing all that Visions Mental Health and Wellness Center has to offer.
“We could not be more excited and inspired about the Mental Health and Wellness Center. The team is assembled and we are ready to provide even more specialized care for teens and their families. Our new set of offerings provides local outpatient care ranging from first assessment session to full IOP/PHP. We found a new home for our Mental Health and Wellness Center and we welcome you. We thank everyone for their support over the last 18 years,” said Amanda Shumow, CADC III, PsyD, Founder of Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers.
The Visions Mental Health & Wellness Center in West Los Angeles offers a range of services including:
- Visions Day School
- PHP/IOP/OP Services
- Specialty Clinic
- Parent Workshops & Support Groups
- CEU Events
Click here to RSVPand become Visions' Valentine.
About Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers
Visions Teen Treatment Centers offers a comprehensive clinically- based treatment option for teens and their families. Visions’ multi-modal approach to treating complex issues relies on a team approach including family, previous treatment professionals, teachers, community experts and Visions’ team of unparalleled clinicians.
From intervention to continuing care, we are committed to the family… committed to the future.
In 1970, Dr. Philip Spiva brought to fruition a dream that he had long nurtured; he purchased a 215-acre farm in Central Massachusetts and opened one of the first therapeutic boarding schools in the nation. Dr. Spiva saw that certain boys struggled with the demands of adolescence and were ill-served by mainstream schools. They needed a structured, supportive and normalizing environment within which they could grow, mature, and address their issues. From these core principles, Dr. Spiva and his associate, Philip Bland, developed an exceptional therapeutic school, named Valley View School, which has helped hundreds of boys and their families over five decades.
Dr. Spiva was an ardent advocate of milieu treatment - the concept that a therapeutic environment can be constructed that would be the primary source of change for struggling teenagers. Valley View was constructed with this concept as the centerpiece. Many societal changes have occurred since 1970, such as social mores, parenting styles and technological omnipresence. Not surprisingly, the issues that adolescents present have evolved over those 50 years, with increases in school avoidance, anxiety, depression, undeveloped social pragmatics, and digital addiction. Valley View also has evolved since its inception to take advantage of all that we have learned about adolescence and neuroscience. Current students are offered an array of individual, group, and family therapies, special education services, psycho-pharmacology, mindfulness/meditation, virtual reality anxiety treatment, and in-house clinicians who engage students daily.
And yet despite all of the years and changes, the foundations of Valley View School remain solid, seemingly tireless: positive and nurturant relationships; a normalizing, but firm structure; a growth mindset; and broad opportunities to engage in intrinsically healthy, ego-building activities. On the 50th Anniversary of Valley View School, the staff look forward to many more years of helping boys become "the best versions of themselves that they can be".
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.
blueFire Wilderness Therapy, a wilderness program for teens ages 11-17, recently welcomed milieu therapist Micaela Cypher to the team. blueFire stands out from other wilderness-based therapy programs, as they have a milieu therapist in the field as well as an individual primary therapist to help support the process. As a dance and movement therapist, Micaela integrates mindfulness, creativity, play and exploration to help clients use their bodies to express how they are feeling in the moment and integrate their past somatic experiences.
Micaela received a Bachelor’s in Performance Art from Goddard College before getting her Master’s in Dance and Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute in New York. Micaela fell in love with wilderness therapy as a field guide and worked in several wilderness programs as a guide and clinical intern. Based on her experience in the experiential field, Micaela is a great fit as a milieu therapist, as she also spends time with teens during adventure activities, not just individual therapy sessions.
“We have become alienated from our bodies and equally from our natural world,” says Cypher. “The integration of Wilderness Therapy and Dance/Movement Therapy has huge implications for healing these deficits and creating a return to the earth as home, to the healing power of the wilderness, and to the body as home as well.”
Dance and Movement Therapy is just one of many types of expressive therapies and recreation activities that students participate in while at blueFire Wilderness. Participating in a variety of adventure activities gives teens an increased sense of self and resiliency which is translated to their work in individual and family therapy. Providing students the option to try different activities that they wouldn’t normally choose to try on their own often exposes them to activities that they didn’t realize they would connect with.
Many of the students that come to blueFire Wilderness have struggled with depression and losing interest in activities they used to enjoy. Dance/movement therapy brings the clients of blueFire into their bodies for a deep somatic experience. It promotes self-discovery, mastery, and command of space that will often result in greater self-esteem, self-expression and an overall greater sense of wellbeing.
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 with emotional, behavioral and social challenges. For more information about the clinical team and their specialties, please call 1 (844) 413-1999.