All Kinds of News for March 04, 2020
In early January 2020, Ian Petersen, MBA joined the Red Oak Recovery® team as Executive Director of Foothills at Red Oak Recovery. Ian has had an extensive career working with clients with a wide range of mental and behavioral health diagnoses, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorders, oppositional defiance disorder, suicidality or ideation, and other mental health issues.
Working at an adolescent residential treatment center for twelve years, Ian has held a variety of roles, including Program Director, Marketing Director, and Admissions Director. While serving as Program Director, he orchestrated and aligned residential, academic, and therapeutic programming while supervising over fifty team members. Ian has become known for enhancing the client experience and engaging clients through intentional, evidence-based treatment.
“As Executive Director at Foothills, Ian ensures that all team members are delivering the highest quality of clinical care and programming to clients and families,” explains Jack Kline, MS, LPCS, LCAS, CCS, CTT-2, MAC, President and founder of Red Oak Recovery®. “We are thrilled for Ian to be on board with us and join the team to help continue to build on our solid foundation and take Foothills to the next level of excellent adolescent care.”
About Red Oak Recovery Programs
Red Oak Recovery® programs are located throughout Western North Carolina and include clinically-driven and gender separate trauma focused mental health and substance abuse treatment for young adult men (www.redoakrecovery.com), young adult women (www.thewillowsatredoak.com), and adolescent males (www.foothillsatredoak.com). Our developmentally specific treatment modalities take into account each client’s unique story, trauma history, gender challenges, substance abuse history, relapse triggers, and mental health issues. Our dually licensed master’s level clinicians integrate research-based practices with complementary modalities to help clients honor themselves, recognize their self-worth, and pursue positive, lasting change.
Sandpoint, Idaho, February 18, 2020 — Amanda Thomas, MPhEd, LAMFT, founder and owner of Integrative Approach, sponsors the 5th Emotionally Focused Therapy Externship for Residential and Addiction programs. This training is hosted by Red Mountain Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, from Tuesday, May 5, 2020 3:00 PM to Saturday, May 9, 2020 12:30 PM. Amanda is excited to have Jim Thomas, an internationally renowned trainer, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as well as President of the Colorado Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy and an International Center of Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy Certified Trainer leading the externship. Jim, also 32 plus years sober, has extensive experience as both clinician and administrator in residential programs. Over the course of the last year, Amanda and Jim have completed four externships and one level 2 core skills trainings for residential and addiction program professionals affording them the ability to seek certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy.
The Emotionally Focused Therapy Externship for Residential and Addiction Program provides 28 contact hours accredited by National Board of Certified Counselors. This externship integrates the growing body of research on attachment-based therapies (specifically the proven model of Emotionally Focused Therapy) into work with addiction intervention and residential treatment settings. These issues show up at higher frequency in the most difficult cases: adolescents with depression and anxiety, the young adult in a drug treatment facility, or the adult client with complex trauma issues. The attachment lens provides a common thread to understand these difficult issues in our work. Emotionally Focused Therapy model provides a framework of how to effectively work with trauma and adverse childhood experiences which are so prevalent in couples and families seeking residential treatment. We will explore how we can show-up as therapists to best help clients, couples and families and effectively work with relational dynamics to disrupt patterns and create new dynamics within relationships. We will be integrating the attachment lens and Emotionally Focused Therapy treatment model in our work and programming to maximize benefits to our clients and families, specifically in treatment settings.
Over the 4 Day training, professionals will earn 28 contact hours of emotionally focused therapy through didactic and experiential learning to best serve the adult learning styles of the small, intimate learning community. Counselors and therapists working in residential treatment or wilderness programs for adolescents or young adults interested in being part of this training can join by registering here.
Amanda’s commitment to professional development and systemic work has driven the growth of these trainings. “With the rare opportunity to work with families at this stage of their healing journey, I believe we have an ethical duty to be trained and highly competent in working with the systemic patterns our clients possess throughout their life and far beyond their time in residential and wilderness therapy. Emotionally Focused Therapy is a proven systemic model of therapy invaluable to our clients’ success,” said Thomas. A previous attendant clinician who owns and operates treatment program in North Carolina stated “These trainings reconnected me with my true passion of building intimate, healing relationships with my clients and their families.”
About Integrative Approach
Integrative Approach is a premier clinical concierge company providing professional mental health & addiction consulting services via support to families, adolescents, young adults and privately held family businesses throughout the country. Based out of Sandpoint, Idaho and founded 2007, Amanda L. Thomas, MPhEd, LAMFT also has a private clinical practice.
Joanna Lilley, NCC, of Lilley Consulting officially launched the Success is Subjective podcast on February 4, 2020. The podcast includes interviews of adults who experienced a break during adolescence, college, or early adulthood years to seek treatment, to take a needed break or take a gap year. This podcast highlights how success looks differently for everyone and that there is no harm in taking a break to seek professional help or treatment. The podcasts are available through:
Joanna Lilley of Lilley Consulting credits the idea of this podcast to the numerous conversations had during years of touring young adult transitional living programs and recovery programs. “I had heard numerous transition programs' staff say, ‘the client you’re describing was me in college.’ In hearing that exact phrase over and over really had me wondering if we could put these stories out into the world for young adults and families to hear” said Lilley, “If they happen to stumble upon this podcast and hearing someone’s story brings them hope, then all of this was worth it.”
Lilley Consulting specializes in providing all levels of treatment and intervention to young adults, and their families. Joanna spends ⅓ of her time traveling and has visited over 300 different treatment programs, learning these resources for young adults and their families, especially those who are looking for support and guidance into finding a meaningful young adulthood. The Success is Subjective podcast will normalize taking a break and bring comfort to those who fear that if they walk away from their current life, they’ll never get “back on track.”
If you know someone who took a break during their emerging adult years and would be interested in being interviewed, please email email@example.com.
About Lilley Consulting
Since 2016, Lilley Consulting has been helping families and young adults find treatment options during a time of transition or crisis. Joanna dedicates herself to working solely with emerging adults who unravel before going to college, when they land on a college campus, or right after college graduation. Young Adulthood can be messy, but it doesn’t have to be if you find the best treatment resources at the time that you need them.
Benchmark Transitions is pleased to welcome Colleen Callahan, MA to the position of Clinical Outreach Specialist. Colleen is a dynamic and dedicated business development professional with a background in outside healthcare sales and marketing. Colleen brings substantial experience in psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment, having developed relationships with clinical professionals, counselors, therapeutic placement consultants, interventionists, hospitals and other healthcare professionals.
Colleen excels in relationship-based connections and enjoys developing community and professional learning events where she can help programs and professionals learn how to best support patients and clients needing care. Colleen is highly organized and personable, and brings a calm and supportive style to the workplace. Colleen has also worked extensively in healthcare provider relations. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology, so she brings a strong clinical presence to her position.
Colleen will be joining the Benchmark Transitions team during this conference season. With the Benchmark Transitions team, Colleen will be attending School Connections (March 10-11, 2020 in LA) , National Assoicational of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) regional conferences, Independent Educational Consultants Assocation (IECA) conference and the West Coast Symposium (May 28-31st, 2020, in CA).
Colleen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a tour or learn more about Benchmark Transitions.
About Benchmark Transitions
Benchmark Transitions was founded in 1993 by Jayne Longnecker-Harper, M.Ed., and is the longest running young adult specific treatment program in the nation, serving young adults 18-28 years of age with mental health, behavioral health and co-occurring substance use disorders. Benchmark offers a full continuum of care, including sub-acute detoxification for chemical dependency, primary residential treatment, extended care, supportive transitional living and aftercare. Our wrap-around transitional living support services provide young adults with the life skills, social skills and career development skills needed to become independent. For more details, please contact Admissions@benchmarkyas.com or call us at 800-474-4848 x1. Watch our video about accessing Insurance for treatment at Benchmark Transitions.
Angie Shockley, Owner and CEO of Q&A Associates, announces the promotion of Donna Fridley to Assistant Director of Cabin Mountain Living Center and Journey Transitions for Young Men. “Donna has been working with us for a few years, and she has enhanced our direct care services with her training and innate talents with this population,” said Shockley, “We are excited to see what she can bring to the leadership team here at Q&A,” she continued.
Donna comes with experience working with young children, the elderly, and those with disabilities. Donna owned and operated a daycare business from 1998 to 2014. Her passion for helping others, capacity for compassion and desire to help her community led her to be a Personal Development Mentor with Q&A Associates in 2018. She has completed the Symmetry Neuro-PT certification to become a Neuro-Pathway Training Technician. Her natural ability for helping others comes naturally, and it shows in how she works with the clients and families served at Cabin Mountain and Journey. She is currently pursuing her BA in Psychology. Donna’s hobbies include painting, puzzles, crocheting, riding ATV’s, baking and working with horses. She lives in Davis, WV, where she and her fiancé are the parents of six children and the grandparents of one.
“I’m excited to work with Donna in this new capacity,” said Kelly Pennington, Director of Cabin Mountain and Journey, “She brings creativity, passion and leadership to our team.” Keith Bishop, Chief Operating Officer echoed these sentiments, “We are looking forward to the fresh ideas and energy Donna offers Q&A Associates.”
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.
Pure Life Adventure in Costa Rica is pleased to announce that they are accepting applications for an Adolescent Adventure Therapy Group which launches on April 13th, 2020. Pure Life began the process of expanding programming to adolescents in August of 2020 when Allan Capp joined the staff as the new Program Director. Allan’s long experience with adolescent adventure therapy as both a front line staff and a program developer has allowed Pure Life to scale their successful young adult model down to an adolescent student group. The adolescents will be based at a new mountain-top site close to the existing young adult base. Ten adolescents will be working with therapeutic and field staff who are dedicated and trained to work with the clinical, social, and developmental needs of this specific group.
"Pure Life is the only treatment option for adolescents that can provide this out of the box therapeutic opportunity. Our students are immersed in a Spanish speaking culture, participate in community service and cultural homestays, develop leadership skills through grand adventures, all with the strong therapeutic foundation and student-to-staff ratios that are necessary for a struggling teen," said Carrie Weatherhead LCSW, Director of Admissions. "Pure Life’s dynamic adventure-based activities coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness and equine assisted therapy give our adolescent clients a unique opportunity to work through their mental health difficulties,"
Mara Mueller, LCSW CADC 1, has joined the Pure Life team as the dedicated Adolescent Therapist. With 20 years of clinical experience including therapeutic boarding schools, in and out-patient therapy, hospital emergency departments, and wilderness therapy, Maura brings a wide range of knowledge of working with all gender adolescents in an adventure setting. Mara says, “I’m excited to develop this natural progression to allow teens to partake in the robust programming that Pure Life has offered young adults for the past six years. Along with one-on-one and group therapy, our adolescents will be participating in weekly 5-day adventure activities out in the field to help develop the ability to challenge their body and their mind. Our new adolescent base will also provide opportunities for equine assisted therapy with the horses on base, and a private waterfall which is a perfect location for groups, mindfulness, and skill development.”
Pure Life Adolescents will be utilizing a base day model where Mondays and Tuesdays will be dedicated to individual and group therapy, yoga and mindfulness, life skills classes, social relational work, and equine-assisted therapy at our brand new mountain top location. During adventure itineraries, students will travel away from base from Wednesday through Sunday. These activities will include surfing, rafting, rappelling, sea kayaking, backpacking, cultural homestays, and community service. This model allows students to participate in therapeutic interventions in a highly supervised, safe environment. Pure Life staff partners this strong clinical work with the opportunity to challenge the students' cognitive beliefs and constructs that are holding them back through novel adventure activities.
The adolescent student profile at Pure Life will be all genders, 14 -17 year old with primary diagnoses of anxiety and depression. They might also present with: substance use and abuse, screen and game overuse, executive functioning deficits / learning differences, social challenges and isolation, refusal or disengagement from school, low motivation, entitlement, attachment & adoption issues, body image issues, or trauma. Interested candidates can learn more at https://www.purelifeadventure.com/adventure-therapy/adolescent-program or contact Pure Life at: (801) 896 9490.
About Pure Life Adventure
Pure Life is a clinically integrated Adventure Therapy program that focuses on the treatment of various social, emotional and behavioral challenges in adolescents and young adults. Since its founding in the Fall of 2013, Pure Life has served hundreds of families through the powerful healing nature of Costa Rica coupled with a researched-based adventure therapy model. After successfully serving young adults for the past six years, families and professionals have asked us to provide services for adolescents. We are pleased to open our doors to adolescents ages 14-17 in 2020. These students will be able to heal and grow in the beauty of Costa Rica. Our unique model incorporates: nature, mindfulness, cultural immersion, adventure activities, and community service with the strong foundation of clinical support provided by our licensed Masters-level clinicians.
New Vision Wilderness was fortunate to undergo a case study submitted to Psychological Trauma for consideration of inclusion in the special issue entitled “Complementary Medicine and Integrative Approaches to Trauma Therapy and Recovery.”
The scope of the study was to identify that Wilderness Therapy (WT) is an integrative approach for treating struggling adolescents. It uses outdoor adventure activities to foster personal and interpersonal growth/well-being. Empirical support for the utility of traditional WT is emerging, but evidence supporting trauma-informed WT is lacking. This pilot study examines the potential effectiveness of New Vision Wilderness Therapy (NVWT), a specific trauma-informed, integrative wilderness therapy-based program.
The results identified that teens reported experiencing improvements in psychological and family functioning. They also exhibited improvement in psychophysiological functioning (heart-rhythm coherence). Caregivers reported improvements in family functioning and their teen’s psychological functioning. Caregivers endorsed more persisting treatment benefits in their teen’s psychological functioning, whereas teens reported more persisting benefits in family functioning. Changes in psychological and family functioning were related. There were few differential treatment effects based on demographic factors, trauma exposure, and past or current treatment factors.
Results of this pilot study suggest New Vision Wilderness is a promising, integrative intervention for improving the psychological, family, and psychophysiological functioning of struggling adolescents.
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.
Academics are built into therapeutic programming at blueFire Wilderness Therapy, a wilderness program for teens ages 11-17. The academic curriculum at blueFire has been aligned to current Idaho Educational Standards and, in the past few months, has partnered with Dorius Academy, AdvancedED accredited. Students can choose to earn academic credit for participating in the wilderness curriculum, and that can be added to their school transcript.
Many students at blueFire have struggled academically for a variety of reasons, including learning differences, lack of motivation, being bullied, or school refusal. These learning challenges can make a traditional classroom structure feel very overwhelming and frustrating. Changing the way information and assignments are presented to teens can help them fulfill their academic potential.
“In a wilderness environment, teens are constantly learning from their experiences in a way that feels natural. Experiential education uses metaphors for students to have a learning experience when they don’t even know that they’re in the middle of it,” explains Admissions Counselor Morri Fager. “With our new accreditation status, students recognize that the lessons they are learning in a wilderness setting can be transferable to other settings."
For example, a therapist might recommend a book from the desert library and ask them to journal about ways they related to the book. This assignment involves the same critical thinking and writing skills as composing an essay, but they are more likely to feel personally invested in it. The same applies to their natural curiosity about the plants, animals, and constellations that surround them in the woods.
blueFire now offers experiential educational credits in Environmental Science, Character Education, Life Management, Psychology of Daily Living, Health Education, and Physical Education. Through these experiential learning opportunities, students with mental health struggles begin to identify their strengths and recognize what has been holding them back from succeeding in a traditional classroom environment.
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.
Seven Stars, a residential treatment and assessment center for teens ages 13-17, is excited to share data points regarding insurance coverage from 2019.
“We often get questions about insurance coverage for services at Seven Stars,” says Dr. Gordon Day, Executive Clinical Director and Founder of Seven Stars. “As we know all too well, the world of insurance coverage, especially coverage for residential mental health services, is very confusing. At Seven Stars, we work with teens who are struggling with a complex mixture of neurodevelopmental, social, behavioral, emotional, psychiatric and academic difficulties. Many times families come to us in crisis, hoping their insurance will cover their child’s stay in residential treatment.”
Over the past few years, Seven Stars has a track record of success in getting insurance coverage for families. Here are some numbers to help families understand what the averages are in terms of insurance coverage for Seven Stars’ services:
- 91.8% of families that had residential mental health as part of their insurance plan had at least some of their child’s treatment at Seven Stars covered by insurance.
- The average number of days covered was 54.5. days with a maximum of 271 and a minimum of 8 days.
- The average length of stay for 2019 was 116 days.
About Seven Stars
Seven Stars is a leading assessment program and residential treatment center for teens ages 13-17 who struggle with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. For more information about programming at Seven Stars, please visit http://www.discoversevenstars.com/ or call 844-601-1167. For more information about insurance and costs of residential treatment at Seven Stars, please contact their admissions team at 844-601-1167.
After working with teenagers and young adults that are struggling with internet and gaming addiction for eleven years, ReSTART recognizes that internet and video game addiction does not happen in a vacuum and will always accompany other mental health struggles. Often these struggles include anxiety, depression, ADHD, and trauma to name a few. Constantly ReSTART is confronted with the statement “yes my client wrestles with video game addiction, but they also have anxiety”. ReSTART has found that mental health struggles will always accompany tech addiction. When working on internet and video game addiction, it is crucial to address and work on those underlying issues WHILE working on their dependence on technology and gaming. If the focus of treatment is just on the anxiety and depression, or if the focus is just on their relationship with technology, a large piece of the puzzle is being overlooked and that will impact the client’s ability to have sustainable growth after treatment.
ReSTART is the premier program in the country when it comes to issues of internet and video game addiction. They are celebrating their 11th year as the pioneers of the industry, creating the model for treatment and supporting teenagers and young adults with this struggle while others in the field were viewing excessive gaming as simply a coping strategy, or even a healthy outlet. ReSTART was able to recognize the issue and provide help to a population that had nowhere to turn and was unable to get, not only the support, but the understanding and validation that was necessary for healing. ReSTART’s services include intensive programs for adolescents and young adults, as well as outpatient and life coaching services.
By focusing on the underlying issues alongside the lack of balance with technology, ReSTART is able to create and foster substantial growth in their clients. Yes, the gaming or tech use is a coping strategy of anxiety and depression, but it is also a cause of the anxiety and depression. These issues are intertwined and they impact each other. Treating these struggles concurrently allows the client to heal as a whole, without missing something that will continue to intensify symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Headquartered in Fall City, Washington, reSTART is a leading advocate of healthy sustainable digital media use (internet, VR, and videogames) for people and the planet. ReSTART offers staffed residential care for youth (13-17) and life sharing retreats for adults (ages 18-30), along with independent living support.
Each clean and sober softball teams from around the country travel to Las Vegas to compete in the CSNSA Wold Series hosted by the Clean and Sober Nation Softball Association. The mission of the CSNSA is "To continue to foster unity across the United States among clean and sober softball players." The Legacy Outdoor Adventures team is heading to Las Vegas to compete in 2020!
Last year (2019) was the first year that Legacy Outdoor Adventures has competed in the Sober Softball Series. Represented by an incredible group of players who competed with honor and integrity, the team - led by Legacy alumni - finished the tournament undefeated. In the championship game they competed against a talented California team and came out on top, winning 19 to 9.
The unity and support demonstrated by each team is always inspiring. On Saturday night of the weekend/championship, all the teams gather to share stories and experiences Clean & Sober softball, followed by a sobriety countdown. Last year the crowd totaled 7,500 years of recovery. After each game, opposing teams circle up in the middle of the field to recite the serenity prayer and celebrate one of the tournaments central messages, that "it's possible to have fun while staying clean and sober.”
"We were so proud of them, not only for the win, but for all the hard work they put into their recovery," Derek Daley said of last year's team. Daley will once again travel to Las Vegas to coach and cheer on the team.
“My favorite moment was walking into the Big League of Dreams on Friday and feeling so blessed that there were so many clean and sober people that made it out to this event." said one player.
The CSNSA World Series will be held March 20th-22nd 2020 in Las Vegas Nevada. For more information visit https://www.csnsa.com.
Legacy Outdoor Adventures is located in Loa, UT. Legacy Outdoor Adventures is an adventure therapy program for young men ages 18 and up. LOA is licensed as both an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Program and a Residential Treatment Center.
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program helping young people ages 10-17, is expanding their programming for pre-teen aged students this month.
“We’re always looking at new ways to differentiate programming for our pre-teen groups because there is a marked difference in the developmental needs of these younger students versus older students,” says Amanda Mojave LPC, Primary Therapist at Trails Carolina. “Making changes to better meet the needs of younger students helps us see better outcomes in the work we do with these students.”
Trails' enhanced phase work system now incorporates love languages, universal human needs, and attachment-focused therapeutic work.
Students and parents take love language assessments, facilitated by their therapist during the therapeutic process. These are quizzes that help families better understand how each member of their family gives and receives love. This helps them learn how to communicate more effectively with one another.
Another aspect of the new phase system for middle schoolers is a focus on universal human needs.
According to Mojave, “If a student is exhibiting a challenging behavior, instead of trying to eradicate these behaviors, we want students, staff, and parents to put on their detective hat and ask ‘what need are we trying to get met?’ For example, one universal human need that we see frequently is the need for certainty. If a student is asking a question repeatedly, instead of trying to simply put a stop to the badgering, we invite everyone to be curious. When we establish that the student is trying to get the need for certainty met, we can help foster an environment where they are learning how to meet their needs in a prosocial way.”
Phase work for middle school students will also focus on attachments and relationships. Many students at Trails struggle in their relationships with others. New middle school programming helps students repair relationships with families and peers.
“Part of the attachment-focused work we’re doing with the middle school group is helping train staff to better understand what it means to be a secure base for students,” says Mojave. “We are using recent research to approach attachment-related behaviors with curiosity and playfulness, which is developmentally appropriate for pre-teens. We are also teaching parents about this too. It helps students feel safe in their relationships and allows them to make changes.”
Field staff who work with pre-teen students will now be working solely with this age group. They will be receiving pre-teen specific trainings focused on how middle school students’ brains work. These trainings will also focus on attachment, universal human needs, and love languages so that staff are even better prepared to support students on their healing journey.
Another addition to middle school programming is a parent-child phone call during the process. “We have found this is extremely beneficial in preparing for graduation and next steps after Trails. We are inviting the family to utilize their skills in real time with one another."
“Currently, Trails is the only wilderness therapy program with single-gender middle school programming year round in the country,” comments Mojave. “Our staff are extremely passionate about working with this age group and I think that’s key to the success of our students.”
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.
Craig Nichols has joined the clinical team at Valley View School. Craig received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies with a minor in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 1989. He then went on to receive a Master of Arts, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Child and Family work, from Assumption College in Worcester, MA.
Craig is a master's level clinician with a wealth of experience working with youth of all age ranges, including those who have been separated from their families, and may have experienced neglect, emotional and physical trauma. He has worked in a variety of roles in the field, including direct care worker, clinician providing individual and group therapy, and program director of a group home for boys with emotional and behavioral difficulties.
Dr. Thomas Nowak, Executive Director, shared, "Craig is a welcome addition to our clinical service team. He comes to Valley View with over twenty years of experience working with children and adolescents in residential and school settings. Craig operates from a trauma-informed care perspective and specializes in working with youth experiencing anxiety, depression, anger management, and attachment issues."
An avid sports fan, Craig has been involved in coaching youth basketball and baseball. He enjoys outdoor activities such as fishing and hiking, and enjoys sharing these interests with the youth he works with.
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.
Red Mountain Colorado, a mindfulness-based program for teens, is excited to announce that Matthew Hart will be joining the team as a Family Services Coordinator. Matthew has over 20 years of experience working with adolescents and their families in a variety of therapeutic and academic settings. Prior to joining the Red Mountain team, Matthew was part of Educational Directions, a well-known and respected educational consulting practice in the New England area.
Matthew has served as CEO, Headmaster, Academic Director, Program Director, Teacher, Advisor, and Residential Staff member in various residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools, giving him a unique perspective into planning family programming.
Over the years and in these varying roles, Matthew has worked with a wide range of students with therapeutic needs and learning differences. He specializes in working with teens with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and co-occurring mental health issues.
When teens are struggling with dual diagnoses, their entire family is affected by their unhealthy ways of coping and social withdrawal. Red Mountain Colorado recognizes that healing the entire family system is essential to long-term recovery for teens.
Family programming at Red Mountain Colorado is designed to help families and their children address substance-related issues and underlying mental health struggles in order to heal family relationships.
About Red Mountain Colorado
Red Mountain Colorado, located just north of Denver, provides an ideal location for adolescents who would benefit from a mindfulness-based residential treatment program. Red Mountain helps teens heal by working with the mind, body and spirit using various forms of meditation, mindfulness, yoga, martial arts, life skills education, and multi-modal therapies, including CBT, DBT, EMDR and Brainspotting. Call 877-210-0211 or visit https://redmountaincolorado.com/ to learn more about family services at Red Mountain Colorado.
Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-17, is thrilled to announce that they have added Kristin Adams in the role of primary therapist, to the clinical team.
Kristin Adams is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who began her social work journey in child protective services in Kentucky before moving to Utah to live on the trail as a wilderness therapy instructor. These experiences inspired her to pursue a master's in clinical social work from the University of Utah.
For over 10 years, Kristin has served individuals and families in residential, wilderness, and outpatient settings. Her areas of expertise include attachment, family systems, personality development, depression/anxiety, and issues with identity, body image, and self-esteem. She believes that it is a privilege to witness the transformation of the girls she works with, as they are challenged to face their insecurity and fear head-on.
“I am excited about working at Solstice East, as I am passionate about female empowerment, particularly when working with teen girls. My approach involves exploring the factors that have contributed to the high expectations many girls have for themselves and to help individuals realize their inner strength and voice,” describes Kristin.
At Solstice East, primary therapists meet with a comprehensive treatment team weekly to evaluate each student’s individualized treatment plan, using a holistic approach to help teen girls heal their minds, bodies, and spirits and build confidence.
About Solstice East
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with process addictions, substance use, and trauma. This program helps young women detach from unhealthy coping mechanisms by integrating healthy habits into their lives. Students learn to cope with emotions, communicate effectively, form healthy relationships, and build confidence. Their holistic approach acknowledges that addiction is only one piece of the puzzle to be addressed in order to help girls succeed in multiple areas of their lives.
Foundations Asheville, a program for young adults of all genders ages 18-24, is excited to announce that Bethany Shingleton, LCSW, has joined their team as a Primary Therapist.
Bethany has always had a passion for working with young adults and helping them find creative ways to communicate and understand their feelings more effectively so that they can live bright and full lives.
She earned her undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Shortly after, she began her career in mental health working in a public school system to prevent relational aggression in middle school girls and then proceeded to hold direct-care positions in both wilderness therapy programs and long-term residential treatment centers.
Bethany went on to earn her Masters of Social Work from Western Carolina University before becoming a primary therapist at a residential treatment center.
“I am so excited to be joining this team and help young adults explore their interests, navigate new relationships, and work towards their personal goals,” says Shingleton. “Young adulthood can be such an important time and I’m honored to be a part of that journey.”
About Foundations Asheville
Foundations Asheville is a program for young adults of all genders ages 18-24 who are struggling to find the motivation to launch into adulthood. Many of their students struggle with anxiety, depression, social skills, and learning difficulties. This program is committed to helping young adults develop and sharpen the skills they need to be successful in the real world. There is a focus on teaching students how to enter the workforce, develop vocational trades, and functional living skills. Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Foundations Asheville gives young adults the opportunity to gain confidence, find their purpose, and learn useful skills that will help them navigate through the adult years.
Members of the clinical team at Solstice RTC, a residential treatment center for teens ages 14-17, recently participated in an equine workshop, designed to explain the neuroscience necessary for clinical work using horses. This invitation-only workshop taught by Arrowhead Equine Center is designed to help practitioners better understand their work with horses with a clinical understanding of how the equine brain works.
The training included a presentation by a neuroscientist who discussed how equine brains work and how to use this information to inform their practice. Horses are prey animals, so their “flight” instincts often mirror the feedback they receive. Horses can interpret a person’s emotions and thoughts that are conveyed subconsciously through body language and will react accordingly.
Eliza Hitz, M.Ed, LPC, MS, CMHC, EAP, Primary Therapist and Equine Assisted Therapy Director, says the training helped her better understand the relationship between Solstice RTC’s relationship logic programming and equine therapy.
“Horses do best when they get the freedom to explore and express things. It’s important to make them feel safe, just like we would do with the students,” Hitz said. "The same idea is key to effective trauma treatment. Ensuring the students feel safe allows them to work through emotions they may not be able to express verbally."
Solstice RTC’s equine therapy programming focuses on helping students work through trauma, build confidence, increase self-esteem, and develop problem-solving skills. Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP) helps students better understand patterns related to communication, boundaries, and how safe they feel around people. These sessions often uncover issues that are difficult to arrive at in traditional talk therapy.
Hitz and the rest of the clinical team at Solstice plan to implement this training in their equine sessions with a better understanding of the neuroscience behind equine therapy.
Solstice RTC is a residential treatment center for teen girls that has helped hundreds of struggling teens on their journey to solving issues like trauma, depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Solstice RTC, located in Layton, Utah, offers a specialized, clinically intensive program based on the specific needs of young women. At Solstice RTC, young women discover their full potential. For additional information on Solstice RTC, please visit http://solsticertc.com/ or call 801-444-0794.
Brightstone Transitions, Vantage Point Aspiro, Black Mountain Academy and Daniels Academy are excited to put on the 9th Autism Symposium in Asheville, NC, on Tuesday, March 31st and Wednesday, April 1st, 2020. The Autism symposium will include an expert panel discussion, breakout sessions by professionals specializing in working with this population, and keynote speakers Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke. Michelle and Pamela will be presenting on their Social Thinking model and how mental health professionals can implement this model in various treatment settings.
The Autism Symposium was created in order to bring more awareness to the increasing need for services for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and to facilitate conversations on the most pertinent topics regarding these students and their families. With this symposium, the hope is to highlight top-notch treatment approaches and provide insights that will continue to aid professionals that serve this population.
This year the conference will be held at the historic and beautiful Grove Park Inn, which was established in 1913 and is quite literally built into and from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. As a five star hotel, The Grove Park Inn has been host to a variety of presidents and celebrities since its opening. The Grove Park Inn features a 6,400-yard championship golf course, an award-winning spa, and numerous dining and nightlife options. Every evening, guests have the opportunity to watch the sun set over the Asheville skyline and layers of blue mountain ridges.
Be sure to mark your calendar and register soon to join us for these incredible few days.
For more information about the 2020 Autism Symposium, pre-conference workshop, sponsorship opportunities or registration please visit: https://theautismsymposium.com
Additional Diamond and Platinum Sponsors are:
About Aspiro Adventure
Aspiro Adventure is a short-term wilderness therapy program located in Utah, serving adolescents ages 13-17 and young adults ages 18-26 with varying degrees of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Aspiro is accredited by the AEE/OBH and is a NATSAP Research Designated Program. For more information about Aspiro, contact us at (801) 349-2740.
Trails Momentum, a wilderness-alternative for young adults ages 18-25, has added new team members and expanded their clinical services for families. Heather Schnoebelen, LPCS, LCAS, CSS, CTT-II, has recently joined the team as Clinical Supervisor and Crystal Nero, LCMHC, LCAS as the Family Liaison.
Heather Schnoebelen is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor and Clinical Addictions Specialist. She completed her master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis in wilderness therapy, from Naropa University. Her clinical experience includes more than 15 years working in inpatient, outpatient and wilderness therapy programs focusing on trauma, mental health, drug and alcohol treatment, and family systems work. Heather has also been a part of developing and starting two Behavioral Health substance abuse programs. As Clinical Supervisor, Heather will oversee the primary therapists and continue to help grow and expand the therapeutic services at Trails Momentum.
Crystal Nero is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a master’s degree from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in clinical mental health counseling, specializing in addiction treatment. Crystal has worked with high-risk youth and their families in community mental health settings, women’s residential treatment facilities, and a men’s criminal justice system before falling in love with the wilderness treatment environment. Crystal works with families using an attachment and family systems approach to explore past experiences and missed opportunities to connect.
On a similar note, Mara Mueller has transitioned out of her role as Clinical Director at Trails Momentum in order to move closer to family. Having been an integral part of the Trails Momentum program for many years, the team will miss working directly with her, but are also so delighted for her next chapter.
“Heather and Crystal have both already proven themselves to be assets to our team and we are so excited to be able to offer our families this additional support as they work to foster healthy independence in their young adult,” says Program Director Todd Ransdell.
About Trails Momentum
Trails Momentum is an outdoor adventure-based therapy program for all genders ages 18-25 struggling to launch themselves into adulthood. Through adventure programming, clinical services, family involvement, college coursework, and social and life skills development, young adults are guided on a journey of self-discovery where they develop self-concept and are empowered to make the transition into independence.
Cascade Academy announces enrolling their first students on March 23, 2020. This new adolescent girls treatment program focuses on girls suffering with severe anxiety. The residential treatment program's approach utilizes traditional outcomes-based treatment like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). In addition to using evidence-based therapeutic approaches, Cascade Academy uses a parallel medical assessment to address genetic issues related to anxiety. Bekah Schuler CMHC, Director of Clinical Services, said “Research shows that 30-70% of anxiety is genetic. We can’t change genetics but by understanding each girl’s genetic profile, we can treat the biological causes of her anxiety.” Cascade Academy works with a local geneticist to determine which diet, exercise, and medical interventions will work best for each girl and her genetic profile. (Cascade Academy is licensed by the State of Utah as a residential treatment facility to provide theraputic treatment to teenage girls 13-18 years old.)
Executive Director Brad Gerrard said “Anxiety is the number one mental health disorder in teenagers, and girls are twice as likely to suffer with severe anxiety as boys. By focusing on anxiety, we are treating the root cause of many other mental health disorders a teenage girl may be experiencing.”
Cascade Academy offers a unique approach to treatment and transition home:
- Ongoing community engagement and electronic devices are introduced at the beginning of treatment. This allows students to practice what they will experience in their home environment and allow for healthy teen development.
- Clinical and medical teams work in conjunction to assist in the creation of assessment and treatment planning.
- Holistic approach to treatment includes diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, and additional genetic testing specific to the genes associated with anxiety.
- Transition Home: Students graduate from Cascade Academy only after they have been able to demonstrate success in their family's home. They will practice their new skills at home for a period of 6-8 weeks. While practicing at home, students are still enrolled at Cascade Academy and their spot in the program is reserved. If a student struggles while practicing at home, she can come back to the to the Cascade Academy campus for additional treatment. This process continues until a student is able to navigate the transition to their family's home.
There are two families enrolling their daughters the first week of operation. For any questions about the treatment program or admissions please contact Alta Swarnes (Director of Admissions) at (801) 301-1935 or email@example.com.
About Cascade Academy
Cascade Academy, located in Midway, Utah, an hour from Salt Lake City International airport, enrolls their first students March 23, 2020. This residential treatment center is licensed by the State of Utah and will be working towards national accreditation within the first year. The founding onsite management team is comprised of professionals with a total of over 40 years in the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare industry. Brad Gerrard (Executive Director), and Caleb Cottle, MBA, TRT (Director of Business Development), and Carol and John Probst are the owners and founding members.
Wisdom Ranch admitted its first students in February. Located in Idaho, Wisdom Ranch’s Vocational Gap Year program provides young adult men age 18-24 intensive instruction, training, and real-world experience in skilled trades. In addition to formal vocational training, each student serves as part of the team that runs the 4000-acre cattle ranch located in Idaho.
Winter is a great time to be on the ranch. “Our new students will be jumping in headfirst. What’s really exciting is that our cows are getting ready to give birth. We’ll need all hands on deck to care for each mother and calf,” says program founder Monte MacConnell.
Students have begun their initial training in carpentry, welding, and auto mechanics. Program Director Matthew Macconnell states, “It’s been great to see them apply these skills so quickly. We’ve been installing tongue and groove panelling in the Lodge, and the guys are working on a couple of metal tables to assist with welding instruction.” Wisdom Ranch is currently accepting new students.
About Wisdom Ranch Vocational Gap Year
Wisdom Ranch opened in 2020 to provide an immersive vocational gap year experience for adult men age 18-24. Wisdom Ranch is located outside of Arco, Idaho.
MAYER, AZ (March 2, 2020) -- Spring Ridge Academy welcomed two new team members last month. Jay Lowden joins the clinical team as a masters-level therapist and is excited to be building a caseload. Kelly Ellegard joins the academic faculty as an English instructor, replacing Dr. Erin Smith, who has moved into the role of Director of Operational Excellence.
Jay, a U.S. Army veteran, attended Chaminade University in Honolulu, earning a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. Later, he received a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from South University in Savannah, GA. Jay has worked in both in-patient and out-patient clinical settings, including at a local VA. Jay uses an integrative approach in therapy that focuses on client-driven change, and he specializes in trauma therapy using EMDR.
Kelly transitioned from sales to education in 2016, working with the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community near Phoenix, AZ. She earned a Bachelor’s in English from Wesleyan College in Macon, GA, and received her teacher certification through TEACH-NOW. Kelly is excited for the opportunity to co-teach the distinctive English curriculum developed by Clay and Erin Smith that meets the specific needs of Spring Ridge Academy Students. “She is eager to teach and is a welcome addition,” said Justin Zych, principal.
Erin began her transition into the position of Director of Operational Excellence at the beginning of this year. Erin has served as a teacher at Spring Ridge since August 2008 and the vice principal since January 2016. “I have loved being a teacher at Spring Ridge, and I already miss being in the classroom every day, but I know that this transition is the right choice and that Kelly will do a wonderful job in the classroom,” said Erin.
In July of 2019, Erin completed her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with a dissertation focused on building a positive culture among stakeholders in therapeutic boarding schools. Erin will be taking on some of Susan Coatney’s administrative duties as Susan transitions into retirement. Susan has been a key member of the Spring Ridge Academy team for the last 17 years and has served in a variety of roles, including in admissions and administration.
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 a traditional rigorous college-prep curriculum, including fine and expressive arts and team sports, Spring Ridge has created a relationship-based setting that allows the students’ emotional, relational, spiritual, intellectual, and physical to grow.