All Kinds of News for November 11, 2020
Insight Behavioral Health, founded by psychologist Dr. Susan McLanahan in Chicago, is now Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center, part of a national healthcare system. Under the leadership and guidance of recognized experts in behavioral health, Pathlight illuminates each patient’s unique journey to lasting wellness by providing evidenced-based and state-of-the-science treatment; intensive family programs, including support, education and family therapy; and the ability to meet the needs of patients with complex medical and psychiatric conditions.
Pathlight provides innovative treatment programs treating mood, anxiety, and trauma-related conditions for patients age 10+, all gender expressions, and ethnicities. Pathlight offers Residential, Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) levels of care as well as Virtual PHP and IOP telebehavioral health services nationwide.
At their Chicago, Austin, and Seattle area treatment centers, multiple levels of exceptional care and daytime, evening and weekend programming meet the evolving recovery needs of today’s patients and families. And as part of a national network of behavioral health treatment centers, Pathlight has access to specialized recovery resources throughout the country.
Pathlight’s specialists are nationally recognized for their expertise in mood disorders. In fact, many of their clinical experts serve as faculty at prestigious institutions. Psychiatrists, medical doctors, psychologists, mental health counselors, individual, group and family therapists, yoga therapists, art therapists, nurses, and patient support staff collaborate closely to meet each individual’s unique recovery needs.
About Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center is an international center for eating disorders and mood, anxiety and trauma-related disorders recovery providing comprehensive treatment for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and PTSD. We offer the full spectrum of treatment services adults, adolescents and children of all genders, including Inpatient, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Outpatient programs.
Alpine Academy is currently enrolling students at their Lakeview Campus for boys. The campus is located just 30 minutes west of the Salt Lake City International Airport and is just three miles away from their Mountain View Campus which has been serving females for nearly 20 years.
Alpine’s Director, Christian Egan, stated, “Our Lakeview Campus for boys is ready to go. We have the people and resources in place to provide the same level of service for adolescent males that you’ve experienced with us for female students for nearly 20 years. All we need now is an expanded peer group for our current students to associate with and learn from.”
Alpine Academy’s Lakeview Campus is offering introductory pricing for private-pay families who enroll before the end of the year. They serve adolescent males, ages 12-18, experiencing severe emotional disturbances, including anxiety, depression, trauma, attachment and relationship issues, gaming/internet addiction, and social skill deficits. For details, please contact Jill McIntyre at jmcintyre@alpineacademy.
Alpine Academy is a fully accredited school with dual-endorsed teachers at the frog of every classroom. The Special Education Director is able to provide additional assistance to those challenged with ADHD and executive functioning skill deficits. A full-time guidance counselor assists with college and career readiness, including ACT preparation courses and the ability to administer testing in select situations.
About Alpine Academy
Alpine Academy Therapeutic Schools, state-licensed as residential treatment for adolescents, ages 12-18, includes two campuses - one for males and one for females. The 30+ acre, Utah campuses are just three miles apart and are only 30 minutes west of the Salt Lake City International Airport. Both campuses serve students struggling with severe emotional disturbances. Alpine is a fully accredited school with dual-endorsed teachers. Therapy, with master’s level clinicians, is built into the school day. Alpine is a nationally certified Teaching-Family Model treatment program. Students live in homes with married couples who provide a family-like setting and serve as professional house parents. Through a strength-based, trauma-informed, individualized approach, students are taught healthy behaviors in a setting that best replicates family, school, and community life. Contact: Jill McIntyre @ 801-815-4683 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The HOPE Group is thrilled to announce that Dr. Ken Huey has joined its operations as its new Executive Director. The HOPE Group operates three programs--Havenwood Academy, Zion Hills Academy, and, coming soon, Eagle's Rest Ranch. All of the treatment programs serve adopted adolescent girls with trauma and attachment-related issues. Ken, who has been semi-retired for a few years, has decided to go back to full-time work by bringing his expertise to the HOPE Group.
Dr. Huey received his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University in 2002. After graduation, Ken began working in residential treatment as a therapist and quickly became the Business Development Director and the Clinical Director in large respected programs. In November of 2006, Ken founded Calo (Change Academy Lake of the Ozarks), a program for adopted youth with significant trauma histories and attachment-related issues. Calo, under Ken’s leadership, quickly grew and became the leading program in providing effective treatment to this population.
Blaine Hofeling, CEO of The HOPE Group, indicated that “Ken is a key component in helping us continue creating the perfect healing place for our population and in helping us expand our operations without losing sight of the fact that our whole mission is to serve the individual girl.” The HOPE Group would like to publicly thank Eric Allred for his dedication and leadership as the previous Executive Director and we look forward to his continued contributions to the program.
About the HOPE Group
The HOPE Group operates Havenwood Academy, Zion Hills Academy, and after completion of construction, Eagle's Rest Ranch. Our joint commission of accredited programs focusing on helping teen girls with trauma and attachment-related issues. In the last six years of operation, The HOPE Group has helped hundreds of teen girls understand and work through their trauma so they can move on to lead happier and more successful lives.
[Newport Beach, CA, October 22] — Neurologics, a medical technology company that uses advanced imaging to identify and correct problems with brain function, is scheduled to present at the upcoming Fall Conference of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). The IECA is the nation’s largest organization of independent educational consultants, with more than 2,000 members who practice in more than 30 countries.
The presentation, entitled “Advanced Brain Mapping for Data-Driven Outcomes,” will focus on the unique potential for quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) Neurometrics to provide reliable, objective data to inform the educational placement process. The presentation will be led by Dr. Dallas Hack, MD, MPH, who is chairman of Neurologics’ Scientific Advisory Board. The presentation will take place virtually, on Wednesday, November 18 at 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. EST. Participants will have the opportunity to schedule customized follow-up web conferences with Neurologics to learn about the technology in more detail.
Headquartered in Southern California, Neurologics is a brain assessment and optimization company backed by FDA-approved technology and proprietary software. Neurologics Neuroengineering® applies qEEG to build and reinforce neural pathways that improve cognitive performance. Learn more about the IECA at neurologics.com.
The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) is a not-for-profit, international professional association representing experienced independent educational consultants. IECA sponsors professional training and conferences, publishes a directory of qualified independent educational consultants, and promotes the highest ethical and business standards. Learn more about the IECA at iecaonline.com.
Denver, Colorado: Wonder – A Confident Living Company - today announced opening a new market for clinical mental health and coaching services in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metro area. The Dallas/Ft. Worth clinical team is comprised of master’s level therapists with extensive experience supporting teens, young adults, parents, and families in all levels of interventions, assessment, and care. Wonder provides experiential, real-life therapy, and coaching for teens and young adults in weekly outpatient sessions and will also work with parents virtually or in person. Wonder also supports youth transitioning out of an inpatient level of care to come back home and reintegrate with their family, school, vocation, friends, and community - and work with the whole family to help heal strained relationships and create long term change.
“We are very selective with who we choose to be our therapists. They are all master's level licensed and pre-licensed therapists who have experience working with teens, young adults, and families struggling with higher intensity issues. Our therapists are out of the box thinkers and incorporate environment and activity outside of a traditional talk therapy office to help youth engage with therapy. It’s a therapy that feels more like experiencing real life! We are excited to open our programming to Dallas/Ft. Worth families and have built a solid, creative, and adept team to support our clients”, says Dave Herz, Founder at Wonder.
Key Tenets of Wonder Programming include:
- Support for teens, young adults, parents, and the entire family to heal wounded relationships and reach goals for healthy communication.
- Local, community-based therapists in each market to build a home team of support which allows for the continuation of therapeutic work and longer-term healing and growth.
- Experiential, real-world therapy to support engagement with therapeutic work and integration into everyday life.
Wonder in Dallas/Ft. Worth is available immediately. For more information on individualized therapeutic programming visit www.TeamWonder.org
Wonder, a Confident Living Company, is a treatment dedicated to providing modern therapeutic support to distressed families, teens, and young adults. Wonder provides a continuum of care from early intervention to helping support transition home from an inpatient level of care or wilderness therapy program. Wonder provides services in Denver/Boulder, Chicago, Atlanta, New York City, Orange County, San Francisco, and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
Aspiro Adventure is an outdoor mental and behavioral health treatment center with a clinical model based on adventure therapy. Adventure activities are paired with treatment plans which are created by licensed mental health professionals. Included in these treatment plans are weeks full of high adventure, weeks of backpacking in the backcountry, and also weeks where students can slow down and process the changes within themselves. This includes times where students focus on primitive skills, creativity, and mindfulness.
During the primitive skills weeks, students learn how to create items made from rustic materials such as wood, leather, twine, stone, and more. They learn to focus, be mindful, be creative, and be safe at the same time. Students appreciate the opportunity to create something they are proud of and can take home after Aspiro. They enjoy having a variety of experiences in addition to the program's adventure component. Examples of student projects include wooden spoons, bowls, leather bags, chess sets, walking sticks, jewelry, skateboards and leather journals. The therapists also appreciate the primitive skills weeks because it provides an opportunity for assessment of students in a different environment and it allows them to help students find and pursue additional talents and interests.
Skills Camp is led by Aspiro's Skills Camp Director, Dave Nessia. He is a professional primitive skills instructor and a dedicated outdoor survival enthusiast. He has over 20 years of experience working with youth at outdoor programs. Dave has extensive knowledge and a contagious positivity, which sets the tone for the fantastic student experience. He has also showcased these attributes on The History Channel's television series Alone. He competed in two seasons of Alone and made it to the top three contestants in season 3, which took place in Patagonia. Dave has made survival his passion, along with sharing and teaching youth. He inspires students to practice mindfulness while making their creations and teaches them how to fully experience the "here and now." Students discover a new side of themselves and create some fantastic pieces of art.
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.
Boulder Creek Academy, a therapeutic boarding school that serves ages 13 through 18, weaves coeducational, fully accredited academics into a relationship-based therapy program and welcomes struggling students. Highlighting one of the programs at BCA, Career & Technology Education (CTE) instructor Warren Hartz, Ed.D. shared some exciting news about community involvement opportunities for BCA students: “We are eager to dive into working on projects, using our hands, learning how to use new tools and connecting with our community. We have several projects ahead of us the next few months.”
First, Boulder Creek Academy thanks a community member who saw a need and wanted to help, a retired engineer and industrial arts teacher who just moved to the Inland Northwest from Connecticut. Having made a connection with BCA’s CTE teacher, the gentleman asked, “What do you need?” This generous man wanted to help teens participate in industrial arts, so he drove back to Connecticut and returned with over $4,ooo worth of power hand tools, an air compressor, a shop size MIG welder and a radial arm saw, and then donated these items to the Boulder Creek Academy CTE program. “It was like Christmas opening up the boxes! Some were labeled with what was inside and some were labeled with, ‘You guess the contents!’”
The staff and students are making a giant thank you card from the school, sharing their gratitude and appreciation for such a generous donation to the developing CTE program. The students share their excitement for future classes such as the next springs’ Woods 1 class, Woods 2, and the Home and Power course.
Finally, this month closes as students complete the Woods 1 course requirements of building a cricket bench and keepsake boxes from scratch. Woodworkers will complete projects in time for the holiday break, and they share their projects with pride.
Therapist Jeanne Racer, LCSW expresses the gratitude felt by the entire BCA staff: “I just want to say thanks to Warren for bringing such cool projects to our students to learn and work on. Thanks for our leadership team for making this a thing on our campus again. I love the conversations the students are having with their parents on what they are working on and the value it brings to their sense of self that they can do these things. Great stuff!”
Boulder Creek Academy is elated for the CTE program taking flight.
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 a 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.
When COVID-19 concerns forced the cancelation of their 2020 Artist-in-Residence program, the experiential teaching staff at Northwest Passage developed an alternative project, Paddles on the Namekagon. Over the ten-week project duration, each student designed and painted an original paddle, as unique as the young artist who created it, using the ecology, history, and novelty of the Namekagon River as their inspiration.
The project took place at the historic Schaefer Cabin, constructed in 1927. Due to its architectural integrity and high aesthetic quality, the cabin, now owned by the National Park Service, was declared eligible for the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Tucked deep in the woods, with a view of the Namekagon River through emerald leaves, it served as a refuge from daily routine and a home base for the Paddles on the Namekagon project.
The students began by exploring the natural beauty surrounding the cabin and practicing their canoeing skills, learning how to steer the canoes with paddles and how to unload and load the canoes as a team. They also learned how to use an underwater camera, which would be an important skill later in the project. When the kids were ready to canoe down the Namekagon River for the first time, they took photos, both above and below the surface, taking special notice of the small plants and bugs that revealed a whole palette of colors that may have gone unnoticed at first glance.
Next, the students prepared their paddles for painting. They learned how to sand and applied that new knowledge to their work. They sprayed the paddles with water from the Namekagon River to raise the wood grain to help the paint adhere to the paddle. After the sanding process, the students began to tape their designs on the paddles.
Finally, it was time to paint using a palette of colors sourced from their own nature photographs taken along the Namekagon River. The painting took several weeks and the kids discovered that the painting process, like life, involves a lot of trial and error. When, at last, the students added the final touches to their paddles and lifted the tape off to reveal their finished designs, they felt a sense of accomplishment and expressed contentment with their finished paddles.
As summer began to fade, it was time to say goodbye to Schaefer Cabin. The students cleaned up their workspaces and reflected on the time they spent along the Namekagon River. They reminisced on their joyful memories at the cabin and shared stories of the moments they were challenged.
Northwest Passage has witnessed the unique power art holds to serve as a mode of expression for children with severe mental health challenges and are leaders in innovatively leveraging nature as a stage for healing. They express sincere gratitude to the National Park Service, the Kohler Foundation, and the Horst Rechelbacher Foundation for their generous support of this project.
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 Northwest Passage 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 is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and has earned academic accreditation through Cognia, Inc. For more information about Northwest Passage call 715-327-4402 or visit nwpltd.org.
Nov. 5, 2020, Raleigh, NC - Green Hill Recovery announced this week that Dr. Sara Koenig has joined the team as their first Medical Director. This is a major step in bringing full-time integrated care to Green Hill's clients, by offering in-house medical treatment within the organization.
Green Hill CEO Tripp Johnson said “I couldn’t be more thrilled to have a true leader and innovator joining the team. We’ve worked together for the past year, sharing a number of clients between Green Hill and Triangle Wellness and Recovery. Dr. Koenig has a nuanced, sophisticated understanding of substance use and mental health disorder and even more importantly, she is aligned with our values and vision for what treatment can look like.”
Dr. Koenig graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill in 2006 and is triple board certified in Addiction Medicine, Clinical Pathology and Transfusion Medicine. She has held various positions as an addiction medicine physician, clinical faculty member at multiple universities, and medical director.
In addition to her work at Green Hill, Sara owns her own private practice, Triangle Wellness & Recovery, which has the vision of providing personalized, evidence-based integrative care for substance use disorders, behavioral addictions, and chronic pain in a compassionate and innovative multidisciplinary setting. She is a national consultant on the topics of addiction and harm reduction and is a member of both the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the American Association of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP).
As the Medical Director at Green Hill, Sara will provide and supervise direct medical care for all Green Hill clients, and help Green Hill to continue to build a true integrated and integrative medicine practice. Sara will be an invaluable asset as she brings years of training and experience in traditional clinical management of addictions and co-occurring disorders to the Green Hill team.
About Green Hill
Green Hill is a nationally recognized treatment provider for young adults grappling with substance use and other co-occurring mental health disorders. Green Hill prepares clients for success beyond their days in treatment through sophisticated addiction, mental health, and executive functioning treatment; intentional community integration, experiential, and wellness offerings; and individualized academic, career, and personal growth curriculum. At its core, Green Hill empowers individuals to live with profound purpose.
For more information, visit Green Hill’s website at https://www.greenhillrecovery.com
Orem, UT November 2020 - Telos welcomes Laurie Laird-Trandum to the role of Education Director at the Geneva Campus. Building a thriving campus for young adults has been a labor of love for Telos. Geneva Campus (Telos U) with Telos High has a unique focus on graduating seniors. This includes catching up on classes, getting grades up and lots of homework, all encircled with caring teachers who help not only academically but therapeutically. Laurie's role will be focused on giving students the love, patience and care needed to help students graduate.
Laurie and her teaching staff will help students not only graduate but find a "clear path" to launch academically. Her talents include college introduction as well as introducing students to Tech School or work-study. Having lots of options is what helps students succeed in a sustainable way, long after being with Telos. "If our work is not sustainable and life-changing, there is no reason to do it," remarked Tony Mosier.
The details of Laurie's bio is on the website and an excerpt, "With a tool belt filled with love and appreciation for her students and co-workers, it is easy to see why Laurie’s department thrives in nearly every way. She brings 20 years in the industry to Telos and is kind of a big deal in the academic leadership circles. As the Education Director on the Geneva Campus, Laurie works with our students who are 18 and older, to find paths that promote launching academically. "
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.
blueFire Wilderness Therapy is excited to announce that its co-founder and clinical director, Jon Worbets,MA LCPC has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Idaho Counseling Association. Jon has spent much of the last 24 years serving his passion for wilderness therapy, melding adventure, and personal development into the lives of individuals and families.
“We could not be happier for Jon,” says Reid Treadaway, co-founder, and director of admissions at blueFire Wilderness. “He has dedicated his career to helping others and has been instrumental to blueFire’s growth and success from the beginning.”
Before joining the blueFire team, Jon was the program director and executive director for a non-profit organization working with inner-city youth. He also worked as the clinical program manager for a wilderness program, founded and worked as the clinical director of a wilderness therapy program for adjudicated youth, and worked as the clinical director at a therapeutic boarding school.
“One of Jon’s many contributions to blueFire’s clinical programming has been the creation of our Family Spark workshop,” says Reid Treadaway. “Jon has helped hundreds of adolescents and their families heal and reconnect. This award is so well deserved and we’re incredibly lucky to have him on our team.”
About blueFire PulsaR
blueFire PulsaR is a co-educational wilderness therapy program for young adults ages 18-28. Adventure therapy, equine therapy, academic opportunities, career counseling, and “family spark” help students open up and look at their life. This program is dedicated to helping students regain a better sense of the world around them while addressing their emotions by developing healthy coping skills and communication skills.
Call (844) 413-1999 or visit bluefirepulsar.com for more information.
Wingate Wilderness Therapy program is thrilled to announce exciting growth on the Admissions and Clinical teams.
Lacey Ely joins with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience spanning wilderness and residential treatment. Her energy and desire to impact real change in people's lives is welcomed on the Wingate team. Her first stop in the industry as a wilderness field guide led her to realize her desire to work in a field that offers such hope and change. Although her time in residential was profound, Lacey never forgot the power of wilderness therapy and wanted to take her skillset back to her wilderness roots. In early 2020 Lacey moved to northern Georgia where she joined a team and developed a new wilderness program. In addition to program development, Lacey supported many roles ranging from admissions, staff recruiter and field staff. With experience in multiple settings working with both adolescents and young adults, Lacey brings an in-depth understanding of not only what kind of support parents and students need but also an ability to support her team. Lacey has developed relationships with professionals across the field that allow her to best serve the students and families she works with.
Kathy Ruiz, LCSW, RYT comes to Wingate with extensive experience in experiential learning and therapy, starting her career over a decade ago working as a wilderness therapy field instructor and subsequently as a backpacking instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Kathy additionally has experience in criminal justice, long-term residential treatment, and hospital social work. Kathy has a deep love and respect for the desert and the way extended time in the wilderness can create unparalleled space for someone to tune into their inner voice and discover their authentic self. Kathy specializes in experiential therapy, cognitive theories, strengths-based approaches, and interpersonal therapy.
Kathy spends her personal time mountain biking, canyoneering, backcountry skiing, and overlanding with her partner and two dogs.
About WinGate Wilderness Therapy
WinGate is a therapeutic wilderness program located in southern Utah, in the Grand Staircase National Monument. The program provides personalized treatment for teens, ages 14-17; and young adults, ages 18 and over. WinGate passionately provides the best clinical service and highest quality of care in treating those who are struggling and need support. WinGate specializes in treating a range of issues, including (but not limited to): depression, anxiety, trauma, attachment, failure to launch, substance abuse, and mal-coping mechanisms. WinGate believes that establishing a respectful, and caring relationship with clients, allows for dynamic and lasting growth.
Neurodiverse young adults, like those with Autism, registered and voted in the recent presidential election while attending TechieForLife (TFL), in St. George, Utah. The US has one of the lowest rates of young adult voter turnout in the world, and neurodiverse young people often struggle with additional barriers that keep them from participating. Mentoring at TechieForLife led several students to take pride in exercising this important civic right and life skill.
Many autistic and neurodiverse young adults care deeply about what is happening in the political arena and plan to participate. Unfortunately, things like confusing voter registration rules or changes to voting locations can create obstacles for these young people who lack confidence in themselves and their ability to navigate the voting process. “Voting wasn’t that hard. I’m stressed about the election but I feel good about who I voted for and I hope he wins,” said Alex, TFL student and first-time voter on election day. Mentors at TechieForLife guided students in overcoming voting hurdles and following through on their best intentions.
To learn more about TechieForLife and its specialized mentoring program for neurodiverse young adults, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, please visit techieforlife.com.
TechieForLife (TFL) is a co-ed, residential postsecondary school with a wrap-around career support program in beautiful St. George, Utah. Students with neurodiverse social, emotional, and academic challenges such as autism receive mentoring at TFL so they can build social connections, confidence and independence. Licensed as a vocational school, TFL offers in-house computer tech training, college or trade school help, apprenticeships, internships and job support for individualized paths forward. At TFL, students have a place to belong and support to succeed.
Despite receiving rave reviews for their company website year after year, College Excel knows that there is always room for improvement. With the aim of creating a more comprehensive, informative, and above all accessible resource, College Excel launched its brand new website.
For many years College Excel has used its website to provide transparency in describing their coaching model, student profile, fees, and services. As a residential college support program, they understand the significance of creating an open and transparent relationship with their students and that starts the moment someone first learns about College Excel from the website. Research has shown that website design can have a significant effect on their accessibility to individuals with learning differences. College Excel's new site is designed to be useful and navigable to those challenged by certain learning and cognitive differences. In addition to its accessibility, the updated website has new tools, news, and resources to serve the greater community of students, families, and professionals. Head to the site to see for yourself.
A local web developer had this to say when asked about the need for change. “We all want the flashiest and most colorful websites but that doesn’t work for everyone. Companies must be willing to look beyond the marketing and create a site that’s viewable by all who want to use it”
As the fall season transitions towards winter, College Excel is grateful to be full and working with an amazing cohort of new and returning students. The families of current students as well as those seeking information about options deserve the highest quality and most up-to-date information. The new website is just one of the many ways they serve those in need of support.
About College Excel
Founded in 2003, College Excel is the nation’s leading residential college support program located in beautiful Bend, Oregon. At College Excel, post-secondary adults (18+) with diverse learning needs requiring extra support are provided the structure they need to move forward, both academically and personally. Using a proprietary, blended coaching model rooted in Harvard research-based neurocoaching and behavioral coaching techniques, College Excel students receive daily support from a team of credentialed and experienced Academic and Student Life Coaches while earning transferable college credits.
Legacy Treatment Center (Legacy Outdoor Adventures for Men & Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women), have hired a full-time, in-house Insurance Director. Sandi Adams will advocate on behalf of clients and their families to make sure they receive the coverage they are due under their insurance policies for mental health and/or addiction treatment.
Legacy Treatment Center was founded with one of the main missions of expanding access to what is known to be an incredibly effective form of treatment: evidence-based clinical work done in conjunction with wilderness and adventure therapy. Rather than simply creating what is commonly called a “superbill” for families to try and receive minimal insurance reimbursement post-treatment (as has been the industry standard for quite some time), Legacy Treatment Center went above and beyond to help families use their insurance policies on the front-end of treatment, therefore greatly diminishing costs. By acquiring the expertise and licensure to pre-authorize and bill insurance, Legacy Outdoor Adventures for Men and Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women have already taken the unprecedented leap towards this goal and have helped numerous families of patients receive more affordable treatment.
Hiring Sandi to bring this process fully in-house takes this mission one step further: “By hiring an in-house Insurance Director who is as experienced and as engaged as Sandi, we are directly supporting our mission; to provide the most effective treatment by creating the most engaged team of professionals in the field, “ says Executive Director and co-founder Gil Hallows.
Adams is coming into her new role with vast experience in the field. She has had over twenty years experience working in healthcare administration and medical billing. During the past six years, her focus has been solely in the field of mental health and substance abuse therapy. In addition to her passion for her work, Sandi is also a Utah native who believes in the power of getting outdoors. Adventure is a large part of her personal life- and now it’s a component of her professional life too. “The reason I chose to join the team at Legacy is that I have reached a point in my career where I want to dedicate my time to helping advance the field. After a yearlong process of looking at the Legacy Treatment Centers programs, it became clear to me that they are on the cutting edge of providing the most effective evidenced-based treatment in the country. Like the Legacy founders, I am passionate about combining the clinical benefits of licensed Residential Treatment with the healing powers of nature, and I could not be more pleased to be joining the team at Legacy to continue to pave the way forward for the families we serve.”
There is still a long road ahead before this type of hybrid model of treatment is universally recognized by insurance providers for the effectiveness it delivers. “By hiring Sandi to serve in this role for Legacy Treatment Center, we have provided the families who attend our programs in house advocacy and priority. In practical terms, this is resulting in increased services to family members, increased assistance and consultation, and most importantly increased financial coverage for treatment services. The fact that we are licensed not only as a Residential Treatment Center, but also as an Accredited Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Program is simply a game changer,” says Derek Daley, who founded Legacy Treatment Center alongside Gil Hallows.
Legacy Treatment Center is proud to be paving the way as one of the first Accredited Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare programs to receive the credentials and hire the professionals needed to effectively pre-authorize and bill insurance on behalf of the families they work with.
Legacy Treatment Centers
Legacy Treatment Centers is located in Loa, UT and made up of two, gender-specific programs. Legacy Outdoor Adventures for Men is an adventure therapy program for young men ages 18 and up. Juniper Canyon Recovery Center for Women is the premier wilderness recovery program for young adult women 18 and up. Both Legacy programs are licensed as Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Programs. Additionally, Legacy programs are licensed by the state of Utah as Residential Treatment Centers. They are Joint Commission Accredited and treat addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, and dual diagnosis clients.
Oliverian School is a hybrid boarding school located in New Hampshire which balances the best parts of therapeutic and traditional boarding schools. Oliverian provides struggling students a safe, relational, educational community where students can find their place in the world. Since the COVID 19 pandemic continues to severely affect the state of education in this country, Oliverian School provides a unique opportunity for students who would benefit from a community that is academically and socially safe.
As high school students continue to struggle with the challenges of remote or hybrid learning, they are missing traditional milestones. They are increasingly isolated from their peers and are reporting more anxiety and depression. Students with learning disabilities are finding it nearly impossible to access academics remotely.
Oliverian provides a school for students who might be struggling socially and provides the community activities that they so desperately need for adolescent development. Will Laughlin, Head of School, says, “Two things that students struggle with during this time (COVID) are their sense of safety and their sense of connection. At Oli we are a self-contained community/family so we are able to provide safety by being insulated. We also provide a real sense of nurturance and connectedness because we are a community where peers and adults wrap around each other in a supportive way.” Dorms are set up as family units, counselors and staff live close to or on campus, and there is a true, authentic commitment to accepting every student for who they are.
COVID-19 has forced every school in America to examine how to keep their students safe. At Oliverian, prioritizing not only physical safety but also academic, social, and emotional safety. Oliverian admissions focus on admitting students who are willing to attend a small, co-ed, college-prep boarding school. These students may have a diagnosed learning disability, issues with motivation, or emotional challenges in larger school settings. Oliverian students benefit from therapeutically informed teachers and staff and on-site counseling. The students at Oliverian are willing to further their skills and face their barriers safely in a nurturing all boarding community.
About the Oliverian School
Oliverian School, located in Pike, New Hampshire, is a non-profit all gender boarding school with college prep academics and an average class size of five and a one to one faculty to student ratio, including three full-time licensed therapists. Our campus is contiguous with 2000 acres of recreational preserve land. Oliverian is licensed by the state of New Hampshire and accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. For more information please contact our Admissions Department at 888.922.5565
Q&A Associates recently celebrated ten years of service to young adults and their families. The company was launched in October 2010 by Founder and CEO Angie Shockley. Initially, Q&A consisted of one program, Journey to Authentic Self. However, within a couple of years, Shockley realized there was a need for three distinct programs to serve the unique young adult clients who were enrolling. Q&A now consists of Applewood Transitions for Young Women, The Journey Transitions for Young Men, and Cabin Mountain Living Center. To mark this significant occasion, the staff and clients of Q&A Family of programs put together a surprise luncheon for Shockley. "We had planned to celebrate ten years during one of the national conferences," said Keith Bishop, Chief Operating Officer, "but with COVID, that wasn't possible; this was the next best thing."
Bishop reached out to several leaders in the therapeutic field and colleagues of Shockley, along with former employees and asked them to record a video with their congratulations and wishes. Several Q&A graduates also sent in best wishes, sharing memories from their time in the Q&A programs. He then compiled each video into a presentation that was played during the celebration. "It was so humbling to see and hear such kind words from people that I have admired for many years, people who have been mentors and leaders for me," said Shockley, "and hearing from our graduates was just incredible!" The presentation can be viewed on the Q&A Facebook pages.
The staff and clients also surprised Bishop with a framed poster full of photos and handwritten good wishes, celebrating his nine years of serve at Q&A. "We would not be what we are without Keith," said Kelly Pennington, Director of Cabin Mountain and Journey, "so we want to recognize him and show our appreciation for all of his hard work and dedication." Sandy Schmiedeknecht, the Q in the Q&A, also attended the celebration. She helped Shockley launch the company in 2010 and dedicated seven years to the clients before retiring in 2017 and moving to VA to be closer to her family. She is currently completing a doctoral program through Liberty University, and her research has been centered around the clients of Cabin Mountain Living Center.
"I am incredibly grateful for the past ten years and am looking forward to many more," said Shockley. "We work with some of the most difficult young adult clients, helping them find a path forward when they and their families are not sure what to do." Shockley recognized her staff, stating, "none of this would be possible without the people who dedicate their lives to these young adults; our staff is our biggest asset." Bishop agreed, "this is not easy work, so finding folks who can work through the hard times and help these young adults find their highest level of independence is critical to our overall success; we are blessed with great staff."
Applewood Transitions for Young Women and The Journey Transitions for Young Men provide opportunities for young adults to gain independent living skills as well as the real-life experience they need to achieve successful independence. Cabin Mountain Living Center provides opportunities for young adults who need much longer-term care and perhaps even lifetime supports. These young adults can live on the Cabin Mountain farm for as long as needed. Each of the Q&A programs is small and operates as a family unit, giving clients and staff time to build real and effective relationships. "This type of relationship is key to the success of our clients," said Shockley, "having larger programs would not create the correct environment for these young adults."
To learn more about the Q&A family of programs, please contact Anngela Starnes, Director of Admissions and Marketing at 304-704-6383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Q&A Family of Programs
Q&A Family of Programs works with young adults ages 18 and up, providing opportunities for each of them to develop independent, functional, and happy lives with a high level of quality. Our clients have struggled to reach independence for a variety of reasons such as the inability to develop and/or implement the life skills needed to be successful, or struggling to obtain consistent employment. Our goal is to help these individuals find meaning and an authentic purpose for their lives and a practical path to achieve their goals.
Evoke Therapy Programs recently announced the promotion of Lauren Roberts, MS, LPC, as the new Clinical Director of its Cascades location, in Bend, OR.
Roberts has been with Evoke since 2006. She began as a field staff and then moved into the role of the assistant therapist while earning her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling. In 2010 she became a primary therapist with Evoke.
“Lauren has an extensive history of working in the field of wilderness therapy, serving in a variety of roles over the last decade,” says Dr. Matt Hoag, an Evoke owner and clinical director of Evoke Entrada. “Her caring and gifted therapeutic approach made her an ideal fit to step into being clinical director. Lauren brings a balanced and clinically sophisticated approach to the team that will support other clinicians well. I am excited to see how she molds the clinical team moving forward.”
Roberts will continue to work with young adults in the Cascades program while assuming her new role. Her background in trauma-informed therapy, yoga, mindfulness, and her straightforward, compassionate approach will serve both her clients and fellow therapists well.
“I am thrilled to be in the role of Clinical Director at Evoke,” she says. “I am especially inspired to work as a clinical supervisor for fellow therapists and help them grow and learn about themselves and deepen the work they do as clinicians. Evoke is a program that is always evolving and I am excited to be part of the team and its leadership.”
About Evoke Therapy Programs
Evoke Therapy Programs provides both outdoor-based therapeutic programs for adolescents, young adults, and families and Intensive therapy programs for individuals, families, and couples. 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.
Evoke Therapy Programs is happy to welcome Annette Pelletier, LCSW, CTRTC as the newest addition to its team of therapists at Evoke Entrada in Santa Clara, UT. “Having the opportunity to be a primary therapist at Evoke Entrada is both exciting and meaningful for me,” says Pelletier. “Wilderness therapy, particularly in the way it is delivered at Evoke, provides a special space to help individuals face their fears, experience vulnerability, and overcome what they thought was impossible. I believe moving through the process of wilderness therapy is empowering, healing, and transformative.”
Pelletier started her journey toward becoming a Wilderness Therapist in 2014 when she received her master’s in Social Work from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. “Passion for both wilderness and helping others runs deep within me,” she says. “I grew up with the wilderness as my back yard and found refuge in the woods during difficult times throughout my life. How wonderful it was when I learned I could combine two of my greatest loves into a career!”
One of her first jobs as a therapist was at ChildSafe in San Antonio, TX as an Adventure Therapy Coordinator, where she provided traditional talk therapy for youth and families, in addition to designing adventure-based programming for them. Most recently, she came to Evoke from a residential treatment center where she worked exclusively with adolescent girls.
Pelletier is a skilled therapist who works best with adolescents and young adults who are considered rough around the edges and armored on the outside. She is very experienced in treating individuals with complex trauma, depression, anxiety, opposition/defiance disorders, and emerging personality disorders, among others. Pelletier is extremely passionate about helping those who have had multiple traumatic experiences in their lives, and is willing to get into the arena with her clients.
“I sought out Annette because of her history working with adolescent females in a variety of settings,” says Matt Hoag, Evoke owner and clinical director of Evoke at Entrada. “Her ability to work with clinically challenging young people and her skill in working with trauma made her an ideal fit for working in the wilderness. Annette is a bright, flexible, and engaging therapist who will bring many gifts to the wilderness. I am excited to see her integrate EMDR, DBT, and experiential creativity into her work with young people.”
About Evoke Therapy Programs
Evoke Therapy Programs provides both outdoor-based therapeutic programs for adolescents, young adults, and families and Intensive therapy programs for individuals, families, and couples. 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.
Summit Achievement launched its Youtube channel over a year ago to help to educate referring professionals, parents, and students on its hybrid wilderness therapy program and its beautiful location in Maine. In the last year, they have released sixteen different videos that include interviews with clinicians and leadership team of Summit, tours of the campus, and topics such as “How Summit Achievement is addressing COVID-19,” and “Summit Achievements Continuum of Care Model.” The video’s on the website and Youtube channel includes stunning drone footage of the surrounding area of the White Mountains in the fall and winter.
“It is critical during COVID-19 that we can continue to tour and educate our families, prospective students and referring professionals to everything we offer and the safest way to do that is via videos,” said Will White, co-founder and Outreach Director of Summit Achievement. Every month Summit Achievement will release a new video on its website and Youtube Channel with upcoming topics including parenting during a pandemic and tips for finding a quality wilderness therapy program. Subscribe to Summit Achievement on Youtube or check out their website.
About Summit Achievement
Summit Achievement is, and always has been, guided by positive reinforcement and the power of choice. Our outcome-focused program employs effective therapeutic and educational principles. Through the process of engaging therapy, classroom academics and exciting wilderness expeditions, students experience the therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure-based activities while learning to manage the demands of a more traditional environment. As an intentionally small, owner-operated wilderness therapy program, we serve adolescent boys and girls, ages 13-20, from around the world.
In celebration of 100 episodes and over 50,000 unique downloads, the host of the podcast, Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy, Dr. Will White shares his story with help of guest host, Jake Weld of Mansfield Hall and former wilderness therapy guide. Will White shares how he became involved in wilderness therapy and the inspiration for the Stories from the Field podcast, “Stories from the Field: A History of Wilderness Therapy” book, and doctoral dissertation, “Stories from the Elders: Chronicles and Narratives from the Early Years of Wilderness Therapy.” Will tells how his family, scouting, college professors, and Buddhist teachers led him to the path of wilderness therapy. Will also reveals how he became involved in starting Summit Achievement in 1996 when there were no other wilderness therapy programs on the East Coast.
The podcast, which began in 2018, is dedicated to educating the listener on the long history of the field and different trends related to this evolving treatment option, by interviewing different people from different programs all over the country and the world.
The podcast has dedicated seasons to different segments of the field including field guides (staff who are with the students 24/7), former clients (students), women who work in wilderness therapy, clinicians, and owners. This season is focused on outpatient practitioners of outdoor therapies. Each person interviewed is asked, what they believe the definition of wilderness therapy is.
Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy is available on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Podcasts, and most podcast platforms. To get in touch with the host about the podcast email Will White: email@example.com
Red Mountain Sedona, the mindfulness-based, young adult transition program, was delighted to welcome Chris Kael, bassist for Five Finger Death Punch, as a special guest speaker in late October. Kael is a national and international touring artist and recorded several million-selling records with the band over the last twelve years.
Kael is also in recovery and has been open with his fans about his struggles with depression and substance abuse. He shared his experience with the Red Mountain community of how he played Wembley Arena one day and was on the brink of complete self-destruction the next. He also shared about how you can have total inner peace even if things are not going your way in a particular situation.
Kael enjoyed sharing his message with the Red Mountain community of overcoming painful situations and learning how to listen to his inner voice. He also signed autographs for students, took pictures, and even brought everyone one of his personal guitar picks. “It was really inspiring having Chris here,” said Josh White, Red Mountain Founder and Executive Director. “We always tell our students that, no matter your external circumstances, your demons can find you and so can your inspiration. The trick is to learn how to stay grounded and tuned into your wise, mind no matter what.”
Kael’s messaged reinforced the principles and practices Red Mountain Sedona uses to help students overcome their own struggles. “Hearing that message from a famous musician they know and respect was very powerful for our student body,” said White. “Chris did an amazing job connecting with our students and was very accessible and engaging. Everyone who heard him speak was left inspired and on fire for their own healing and recovery. We look forward to having Chris visit again very soon.”
About Red Mountain Sedona
Red Mountain Sedona is a mindfulness-based, trauma-informed young adult "Launch" program, located in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. Red Mountain specializes in helping young adults between the ages of 18-28, address the social, emotional, and behavioral issues holding them back from successfully transitioning into adulthood. Through a truly holistic program that provides structure, individual, group and family therapy, life skills training, recovery support, and mindfulness-meditation, yoga, and martial arts instruction, Red Mountain Sedona helps students gain the stability and maturity needed to move forward in life. For more information on Red Mountain Sedona call (855) 998-5272 or visit RedMountainPrograms.com.
outBACK Therapeutic Expeditions is pleased to announce the addition of Derek Cragun, LCSW, to the clinical team at outBACK. He brings with him over 12 years of working with adolescents and families in both wilderness and residential treatment settings and officially joined on November 1, 2020.
Derek holds a Master's in Social Work, is a licensed clinical social worker, and his expansive work experience includes both private pay behavioral/mental healthcare facilities and nonprofit entities. As a licensed clinician, Derek’s therapeutic approach has been shaped by the belief that the students he works with are driven by a need to be seen, heard, understood, and to connect. When asked about what he believed to be the driving force of the behaviors exhibited by the students he works with, Derek shared “Through a combination of adverse experiences, biological differences that create barriers to being understood, unmet personal needs, and a lack of tools and resources, they slowly fragment themselves into versions of themselves that are no longer whole and authentic.”
Derek is also formally trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Internal-Family Systems, Motivational Interviewing, Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, and Emotion-Focused Therapy. The students Derek works well with have a history of:
- Post-Traumatic Stress
- Learning Deficits / Academic Struggles
- Attention Deficits
- Struggles with relationships
- Autism level 1
- Social (pragmatic) communication deficits
- Academic trauma
- Interpersonal trauma (bullying, physical/sexual abuse)
- Family trauma (divorce, sibling conflict, major transitions)
- Cognitive rigidity
- Numbing behaviors (Excessive tech use/gaming, substance use)
- Suicidal ideation/Attempts
“I am so grateful that Derek has joined our clinical team”, shared Greg Burnham, LMFT, Clinical Director at outBACK Therapeutic Expeditions. “He is someone I have collaborated with as my students transitioned from my group at outBACK to his therapeutic care within a residential setting. I have been able to cultivate a professional relationship with him regarding the continuum of care for the students we serve and am incredibly excited to transition into working alongside him as one of the clinicians here at outBACK and as the latest outBACK family member.”
About outBACK Therapeutic Expeditions
outBACK Therapeutic Expeditions is a highly effective, clinically informed treatment program dedicated to bringing families BACK together. Utilizing the wilderness as an alternative to traditional treatment settings, we guide students (13-17) and families in their process of reconnecting to Self, re-engaging with Family, and recommitting to Purpose. outBACK provides an innovative clinical structure designed to yield the highest clinical value for students and their families by providing access to multiple therapists for each student; Primary Therapists who oversee treatment plan and Associate Therapists who are in the group daily. outBACK is a licensed wilderness therapy program in the state of Utah and helps teens with various areas of difficulties such as depression, anxiety, trauma, family conflict, engagement in dangerous behaviors, neurodiversity, ASD level I, electronic and gaming addiction and more.
For more information, contact the following members of the outBACK team:
Greg Burnham, Clinical Director | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracy Hopkins, Business Development Director | email@example.com
It is with gratitude and joy that this November, Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness celebrates the two-year anniversary of its young adult program, Emerald Arrow: A Bold Path. Emerald Arrow (EA) consists of a mixed-gender group of individuals ages 18-28 who struggle with mood disorders, trauma, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, screen and technology addiction, attachment issues and personality disorders.
In the last two years, Clinical Director and Primary Therapist Anne Wilzbacher, LPC has worked tirelessly to cultivate her original vision: an integrated therapeutic experience where young adults strive towards empowerment and discovery. The mission is to prepare young adults and their families in the best way possible for their life after wilderness therapy. The program elements Anne developed allow Emerald Arrow students to witness the revealing effects of nature, experiencing in-depth clinical insight and intervention integrated with creativity and purpose-driven experiences. Individuals in EA have the opportunity to set a strong foundation so that they may move forward in their lives with sustainable vitality. Anne explains, “The essence of Emerald Arrow represents pulling back into yourself, your family system, generational patterns, looking at those things you have not wanted to look at and being willing to be challenged and uncomfortable, to then move swiftly forward on your beautiful and bold path that is this life.”
When enrolled, Emerald Arrow Students can expect to experience:
- Integrated and Individualized Clinical Work
- Family Systems Focus and Support
- Core Wilderness Work and Primitive Skills
- Intensive Group Psychotherapy
- Integrative and Enhanced Assessment
- Creative Exposure/Expression and Skill Building Intensives
- Thoughtful Transition Preparation and Meaningful Graduation Ceremony
Emerald Arrow’s two-year anniversary also presents the opportunity to celebrate the many students and families who have courageously and vulnerably participated in and helped to grow the Emerald Arrow program. For two years, EA students and their families have worked to build self-awareness, practice resiliency, gain clarity and pursue integrity in their lives. These amazing clients are the beating heart of Emerald Arrow.
As with most components of Wilderness Therapy, the “Emerald Arrow” conveys symbolism and metaphor. The arrow represents the action of pulling back and retreating inwards to learn about oneself with the intention of moving forward with purpose and drive. The emerald is known to be the “stone of the heart”; it represents growth, transformation, and unearthing what is true. As German philosopher St. Hildegaard says, “all the green of nature is concentrated in an emerald.”
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness (BRTW) was founded in 2002 as a licensed wilderness therapy program that offers clinically driven wilderness therapy programs encompassing advanced therapeutic skills, a highly flexible nomadic wilderness therapy model, licensed wilderness therapy assessment, and multiple treatment options for struggling teens ages 13-18 as well as young adults ages 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. Contact admissions for any questions about admissions at (888) 914-1050.
Equinox RTC is a residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18 dealing with issues related to trauma, loss, and attachment. As part of experiential therapy programming, students are taking ongoing trips to local stables to learn more about horses, and explore and build healthy relationship development skills.
Equinox Primary Therapist Angie Curtis, MSW, Natural Lifemanship and Equine Specialist, is guiding the experience. A small team of Equinox students is going for three consecutive sessions, and then they will rotate to a new team. The groups will rotate back around, but the consecutive weeks are important to skill acquisition through experience and repetition. Boys start by slowly building the foundational pieces of interacting with a horse. They begin the day by using different tactics to build trust with the horse in order to get the horse to move. They then move to more physical contact, brushing and eventually saddling the horse. After successfully completing these steps, they climb on and go trail riding. To complete the experience and help teach the boys the importance of responsibility, they finish with mucking stalls and other care activities.
While at the stables, students also have the opportunity to spend time with a farrier to learn about horses and their body language. The farrier explains how to understand what the horses need and, in particular, how to take care of their hooves.
“The students were tasked with getting Hershey (the horse) to stand on an 8’ x 8’ square made of cones,” Primary Therapist Angie Curtis, MSW said. “The students weren’t allowed to use their hands or voices for the first ten minutes, nor were they allowed to bribe or touch the horse. They tried intimidation, intense eye contact, feet stomping, circling around him, raking leaves under him, and trying to play fetch. It wasn’t until one student built trust and another applied pressure from behind that Hershey had the motivation to follow the first student into the square, where the rest of the group waited and welcomed.”
The horsemanship experience differs from traditional experiential learning in that it has all the same elements of experiential but has the addition of relationship development with an animal. Animals, and horses in particular, are an excellent mirror for underlying/unsaid emotions and nonverbal energy. As a consistent part of programming, students will be challenged to build upon their relationship with the horses from week to week.
A relationship-logic approach is the foundation of therapeutic treatment at Equinox. Learning how to communicate appropriately and effectively is part of each student’s process. Experiential horse therapy gives students an animal to nurture and practice their nonverbal skills. Practicing nurturing is critical for students struggling with attachment issues. Building these connections with the horses can help students express their emotional, caring sides appropriately and safely in a supportive environment. And conversely, saying goodbye to the horses and practicing “moving on” as part of life allows them to experience separation, loss, and potentially bereavement in a new, more supported way.
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, a health and fitness 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.
BOULDER, COLO. [July 13, 2020] – Choice House, a residential and transitional program for men struggling with substance use, co-occurring mental health, and trauma, recently purchased and is currently undergoing a beautiful renovation of its Residential Campus, home of “The Lookout”, the Choice for Men 90 day primary treatment program.
In a year of uncertainty, Choice House continues to grow and expand in the pursuit of their mission to help its young men find hope and purpose. “The Lookout” campus, home of their hybrid residential and experiential outdoor program has been leased for the last three years but was purchased by the company this spring. While the program has remained open and fully functional, they now sit halfway through a beautiful renovation in efforts to provide an even more memorable experience to their families and young men.
“We are beyond excited to announce this purchase and will be even more excited to show the finished product to our friends,” said Jordan Hamilton, Executive Director and co-owner of Choice House. “This capital commitment from our team hopefully goes to show our unwavering commitment to providing the absolute best in long-term care for our young men.”
Choice House strives to make addiction treatment as accessible as possible, integrating the ability to work with insurance carriers for its 90-day residential treatment and intensive outpatient programs, which can significantly reduce treatment cost while helping to ensure the comprehensive support needed to achieve lasting sobriety. Men with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders may choose from several treatment options, including a 90-day residential treatment program, an intensive outpatient program (IOP), and a structured sober living community.
About Choice House
Colorado-based Choice House is Boulder County’s premier provider of 90-day residential treatment, long-term structured sober living, and intensive outpatient services (IOP), all paired with world class outdoor adventure and experiential work. The treatment center helps support those on their road to lasting recovery with a strong focus on the beautiful Colorado outdoors. Learn more at choicehousecolorado.com.
Ashcreek Ranch Academy and Sedona Sky Academy (AZ) have combined efforts to host regular three-day 'Action Summits' focusing on Leadership Skills, Empowerment, Understanding Personal Worth, Building Gratitude, and other pertinent topics. The girls from Sedona Sky Academy and the boys from Ashcreek Ranch Academy have joined together to participate in these meaningful summits filled with a variety of experiential activities, group sessions, guest speakers, and educational opportunities. The Action Summits are a part of regular programming for each campus and are held quarterly at either the Utah or Arizona campuses.
As a single-gender school, Ashcreek Academy understands that it is advantageous to provide students with opportunities to interact with the opposite gender. This provides instant feedback on how well they are doing with their self-esteem, treatment plan goals, and any identity issues that may have come up. It is helpful for the young men to receive feedback from the young women at Sedona Sky Academy.
Ashcreek Ranch Academy had eight male students who were identified as leaders in the community and were able to attend. Ashcreek Ranch Academy planned an 'Action Summit' in Page, Arizona where the two schools met in the middle. Both treatment programs participated in therapeutic groups, ate meals together, and learned about each other during free time.
The pinnacle of the trip was being able to go to Lone Rock Beach at Lake Powell. There they had a series of Experiential Therapy groups that they participated in and were able to process afterward. The students from Ashcreek Ranch Academy said how they enjoyed learning about the girls from Sedona Sky Academy and that several of them felt it would be nice to be able to be friends with them outside of this experience, as they felt the girls were really interesting.
One Ashcreek student commented, “I didn’t use to view girls as friends, but just as people to date. I thought it was a great experience for me to grow. One of the girls gave it to me hard with some feedback about some war storying and it made me realize that I didn’t want to be that guy anymore and it wasn’t going to make me the kind of friends I want. I liked the Action Summit a lot and it felt cool to be more like a normal kid, hanging out with the girls at the beach.”
The students at Ashcreek Creek Academy are excited for the next year’s 'Action Summits.' The boys look forward to helping them grow and learn and see the highlights of the trip on YouTube.
About Ashcreek Academy
Ashcreek Academy is a home-like residential treatment center that works with male students ages 13 - 18. Ashcreek Academy focuses on the three C’s: Character, Challenge, and Community. Ashcreek Academy is located in beautiful Southern Utah and helps provide trauma-informed care through experiential modalities. Ashcreek works with the student to rebuild relationships with family and friends while carving a path for success individually. It is licensed by the State of Utah and holds a Joint Commission accreditation. For more information, please call 1-435-841-0704
After six years, Fulshear’s attachment model has evolved. The executive clinical director, Kevin Randall, LMFT vividly recalls the afternoon shortly after Nikki Garza, LCSW began as the Executive Director at Fulshear. After meeting with a group of clients, he went to Nikki’s office to talk with her. He had just met with six clients and asked them how many years of therapy they had prior to coming to Fulshear. The total number of years of therapy they had received was 64 years! What treatment did all of these women receive prior to Fulshear? The same kinds that are often offered wherever you go. Not that this is bad -- the methodologies are proven. Yet, Fulshear was about to offer these women the same treatments that they had their whole lives. Was Fulshear going to be just another stop in the continuous flow of lifelong therapy? As Nikki and Kevin talked, they decided that they wanted to do something different than what was typically offered. They began to brainstorm and then to research. This was the beginning of what is now called the Integrated Attachment Model (I.A.M.).
I.A.M. model is developed to help understand behavior at its core through the lens of attachment. Unmet relational needs to enhance internal distress and leads to symptomology, which in turn enhances the distress of the broader family or social system. Distress can lead to a highly activated internal system, which leads to crisis level behaviors thus activating the family, or the distress can be turned inward and lead to an attempt to deactivate internal systems and distance from family or social supports. Either way, the distress often moves towards unhealthy behavior, and when acted upon, reinforces an already negative worldview of self, others, and the world as a whole.
Fulshear’s work with young adults has been to restore the power of individuals (seekers) to seek healthy connections. In the model, this is done through eliminating secondary attachment strategies, restoring individual power to seek, and treating trauma. At the same time, Fulshear’s team establishes a shift in the caregiver system that allows for attunement to the needs of the seeker. This often entails a shift in the experience of the caregiver to move towards understanding his or her daughter from a “best intentions/deepest needs” perspective and helping to learn to become available, responsive, and secure in ways that have not been done before.
The evolution of this model has been exciting to experience. One of the major shifts in the model was so major that it persuaded Fulshear to shift the name of the model from the Fulshear Adult Attachment Model to the current name, Integrated Attachment Model. The change was when the realization occurred that Fulshear is not taking someone with a misaligned attachment pattern and creating security in attachment -- secure attachment is created over thousands and thousands of experiences of a caregiver being available, responsive, and secure, and the person receiving that care in return starting before birth and throughout life. That is not something that be restored or created.
Instead, Nikki and Kevin realized that Fulshear is able to assist in integrating important attachment elements and targets into the daily experience of a person and a family. Through the therapy work and intentional relationships that are created, there begins to be a shift or awakening in the need for relationships and an awareness of doing something different on the part of the seeker. The client is experiencing these connections daily and it creates an internal alignment. Internal alignment is the knowledge of the importance of healthy, connected relationships. Once internal alignment is experienced, the person may then begin to reach out in ways that have not been done successfully before. It is a risk on their part as they demonstrate a high level of vulnerability with a risk of rejection. But the work that has been done with caregivers leads to new experiences that establish alignment in relationships. This leads to increased personal development of the self over time, and the cycle continues.
At first, the cycle is very rough and not all elements work together well. Over time, it becomes smoother and relationships become more manageable, emotional expression and vulnerability become more rewarding, and connection becomes joyful. Sometimes, there is a pull towards old behaviors or breaks in the relationship. This is to be expected, but when the breaks happen, continued repair leads them back to the new patterns of integrated attachment.
The journey has been long and there is more to go. It is an exciting thing to watch the lives of those Fulshear works with change as they experience the world, themselves and those that love them in a whole new way. What started with a brief conversation in Nikki’s office has now helped in changing the lives of so many young women and their families.
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.
Building Bridges Summer Adventure Program and Family Conference continued creatively during the summer of 2020, moving almost directly to Winter in the Northwest, as the cold weather and snow has settled in. It is a good time to reminisce all that happened this past summer. It was eight weeks of adventure and outdoor activities that culminated with a parent seminar. The beautiful outdoors of Montana provided a great way for the students to get safely outside and not miss a step therapeutically with their adventure program. The summer activities typically end with a four-day family conference at the program but with COVID it was decided the creative solution would be to build a three-day virtual seminar and it was a huge success.
Summer equates to new experiences for the boys at the program. They spend eight weeks doing a variety of outdoor activities and reacquainting with passions they had before their struggles began and discovering new ones. Generally, the trips are eight to fourteen days with a few days back on campus to have some recreation on the water, do some laundry, make some calls, and prepare for the next trip. The adventure starts with a bike trip where the students get to rock climb and take in the beautiful scenery of western Montana. They continue with a back-packing trip in the Kootenai forest where they get to experience breathtaking scenery and majestic views. The third trip is into the Bob Marshall Wilderness to do volunteer work for the organization. It is unique because “The Bob,” as it is typically called, is a non-motorized wilderness area, which means there no combustion engines so there are no vehicles or power tools. This allows the boys to use tools such as a crosscut saw and creates a way to work together to accomplish the task. Because the “Bob” is non-motorized and roadless, it is some of the most pristine wilderness in the lower 48 states and wildlife is abundant. The students enjoy world class fishing while giving back through volunteering. Our Lead Therapeutic Counselor comes in on horseback to resupply and do sessions. The last trip of the summer is the river rafting trip. This trip is a slower paced float down the Clark Fork River and allows the students to fish, swim and have fun! The Adventure Program concludes with the Family Workshop and family sessions.
The Family Conference is designed to create a time for learning, sharing and building a better relationship within the family. This year instead of being on campus, the workshop was done virtually. It began with an overview of the conference and an introduction to the Building Bridges team. There was also an opportunity for the families to introduce themselves and share. There were several interactive discussion portions and small group breakouts. A few of these discussions included: “Your Part of the Process,” “Resumes and Reminders.” And “The ABC Process.” Each family meets with the academic team to create a plan for the upcoming semester. One of the more popular pieces is the Alumni Parent Q & A discussion. In keeping with safety protocols family visits were scheduled for later in the month in small groups so be able to stay in line with our Covid protocols.
Building Bridges is a licensed Chemical Dependency Treatment Center with the structure of a Therapeutic Boarding School. Located in Thompson Falls, MT Building Bridges is for boys 13-18 with substance and behavioral issues. The team's passion is creating a structure that mirrors real life. Students are involved in the community and it is our goal to have each student eventually attend public school. Building Bridges seeks to bring real life to treatment through redirection and empowerment. We strive to educate our students to see how substance use has created patterns of unhealthy coping which have gotten in the way of pursuing their life in healthy ways. By providing students the tools to increase their self-confidence and create a more positive outlook they can generate growth in a normalized safe environment that will transfer on in their lives.
Since June, Foundations Asheville has been using the Greenwood System (GS-120) career assessments to help students determine which paths they’d like to pursue. “What is great about the Greenwood System is that it is uniquely adaptable to the individual,” says Natalie Bryenton, Foundations Asheville’s Director of Education and Career Readiness. The comprehensive tool is specially designed to evaluate students’ personality traits, interests, values, abilities, and challenges as a whole to suggest career options where they are most likely to find success.
“Our students also get to set preferences, such as the highest level of education desired for a job, and details about their strengths and challenges,” says Natalie Bryenton. “Selections can also be adjusted during a student’s time at Foundations, which means that our young adults can shift gears in an informed way if they decide to pursue a new pathway.”
After completing the testing, students receive one hundred top career suggestions, scored and ranked to include a top ten, in their online portal. Students can then click on career links to learn more about the recommended positions. The portal includes videos on daily life in each of these jobs, as well as useful information about career advancement and the likelihood of obtaining a job opportunity in that field.
The Greenwood System is research-tested, peer-reviewed, and has proven to be 85% effective with a 95% approval rating. The students fill out their evaluations at Foundations, with the help of Natalie Bryenton, who is a certified Greenwood counselor. “By filling out the assessments at the program, we can ensure that our students get the most accurate results,” says Natalie. “We have the advantage of knowing them so well, which means that we can include very specific information about each student’s personalities and values.” So far, the Greenwood System has been a great asset to Foundations Asheville’s career development program. It has helped their students get to know themselves better and learn more about the many opportunities available to them.
Trails Momentum, a wilderness therapy program for young adults, is beginning to offer Wilderness First Aid training for all students. After completion of this training, students receive wilderness first aid certification. Trails Momentum is collaborating with the Red Cross to facilitate these trainings.
Todd Ransdell, Trails Momentum Program Director, states, “In our efforts to continue to build skills and confidence in the young adults we serve, we are now adding wilderness first aid training for all of our students.”
Wilderness First Aid training teaches advanced skills to prepare students for emergencies.
Examples of topics that are included in this training include, but are not limited to wounds and wound infection, burns, altitude-related illnesses, hypothermia, and heal-related emergencies.
“We often think about first aid as being useful for helping others,” says Ruby Compton, Wilderness First Aid trainer. “More importantly, in my opinion, is the knowledge it gives to participants for how to keep themselves safe and respond to their own needs. It is empowering to know that if something doesn't go as planned, you have a toolkit of options for how to problem solve the situation. Every emergency is unique and I think any first aid certification does a good job of teaching effective patient assessment. The course teaches participants to ask lots of questions and, then, to use the data and their own observations to make smart decisions.”
Trails Momentum offers life skills training for their students to set them up to be successful and independent. For students who have struggled to launch into adulthood successfully, gaining life skills such as first aid response helps build confidence. Momentum helps students learn personal responsibility and gain the tools needed to thrive in young adulthood.
Trails Momentum is an adventure-based outdoor program for young adults ages 18-25 who are struggling to launch themselves into adulthood. Students are guided on a journey of self-discovery where they develop self-concept and are empowered to make the transition into independence. Adventure programming, clinical services, family involvement, college coursework, and social skill development are seamlessly interwoven to maximize the transference of important life skills and address clinical and behavioral challenges. For more information about Trails Momentum, please call (828) 457-8840 or visit https://trailsmomentum.com/.
For countless reasons, 2020 has been a very important year to learn the value of civil discourse. At Elements Traverse, young adult clients are getting ample opportunities to hone their skills around owning one’s opinions while respecting others’ personhood despite differing points of view. “Respecting others while holding healthy boundaries for ourselves is one of the most important lessons we can all learn in today’s society,” said Andrew Powell, CEO at Elements Traverse. “Our clients come from all over the country and bring many points of view to the table. As with everything we do, we try to lean into some of these uncomfortable conversations while maintaining a baseline of emotional and psychological safety. I believe this aligns perfectly with our DBT-informed Interpersonal Effectiveness skills development, and it’s one of the best things young people can take out onto the world when they leave our program.”
Elements Traverse worked with home family systems and other contacts in the young adult's resident states to facilitate absentee voting. Depending on the laws of each client’s resident state, ballots were mailed out over the past weeks to ensure that the results of clients’ efforts would be realized.
About Elements Traverse
Elements Traverse is a young adult wilderness therapy program based in central Utah. Our clients spend nine weeks backpacking in the San Rafael Swell past petroglyphs and dinosaur fossils. We offer gender-inclusive groups where clients work on treatment goals together. Clients learn Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills to help them navigate life's inevitable ups and downs. They also gain a deep understanding of their substance use through the evidence-based 7 Challenges curriculum. Furthermore, clients discover what they are truly capable of through guided adventure activities such as rock climbing, rappelling, stand up paddleboarding, fly fishing, and more. As a small owner-operated program, we know each one of our clients well, and their families have access to us at every level. For more information, visit www.elementstraverse.com
Veterans Day was originally created for the veterans of World War I and called Armistice Day. November 11th marketed the end of World War I, formally recognized on the “11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month” in 1918. In 1954 the holiday was changed to honor all veterans of all conflicts and wars.
Encouraged by his father to go and serve the country, my grandfather volunteered to serve as an ambulance driver with the American Field Service and then became a corporal in the Army's 17th Field Artillery of the 2nd Division. A year after he died, his final book was published about his experiences in WWI. My grandfather's brother also enlisted in World War I, and later served in Army Intelligence in World War II. Now my cousin, Army Colonel Thornton Mu, a doctor, serves. I am lucky enough to stand witness to the strength and power of he and his family, as they struggle through the intense emotions caused by multiple deployments. Likewise, I am reminded that these anxieties and transitions are real for all individuals and families who have served and are serving, and also know that the memories and experiences of war never leave the body and mind.
On this Veteran's Day, All Kinds of Therapy pauses to acknowledge the sacrifice of all those who gave and give to keep the United States safe, and we want to remind everyone that there are resources available to help veterans who may be struggling with mental health challenges, be they related to their service or not.
Producer, All Kinds of Therapy