All Kinds of News for July 14, 2021
Pacific Quest earned renewal of its Cognia accreditation for 3 years, the maximum period available. The accreditation process involves a rigorous examination of curriculum, student engagement, alumni family interviews, and implementation of a Continuous Improvement System (CIS). The Cognia review board commented on Pacific Quest’s “deeply ingrained student-centered approach” and “strong culture of collaboration.” Pacific Quest scored an outstanding 334.83 Index of Educational Quality score (IEQ). The average score of similar Cognia accredited organizations is between 278-283.
Cognia accreditation at Pacific Quest ensures continued access to the integrated curriculum of 4 transferable high school credits available to their residents.
Pacific Quest is an integrative behavioral health program for teens (13-17) and young adults (18-24). Founded in 2004, the program is an alternative to the traditional nomadic or adventure-based outdoor behavioral health programs. Pacific Quest focuses on the treatment of youth struggling with patterns of internalized mental health distress.
Students of Pacific Quest participate in individual and group therapy in organic gardens on the Big Island of Hawaii. In addition to clinical services, students benefit from a whole foods diet and a focus on whole-body wellness.
About Pacific Quest
Pacific Quest’s mission is to provide hope to families of adolescents and young adults by facilitating life-changing experiences on the Big Island of Hawaii. Their individualized approach to mental health treatment is focused on anxiety, depression, isolation, low self-esteem, and trauma.
Prepare to Bloom and Meyer Education & Family Services (EFS) has had a total of 60 groups and over 500 log-ins from parents and caregivers attending the weekly Zoom Parent Support Group. The team created a support group in the early days of the pandemic, using Brene Brown's quote, “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” Initially, this group was created to provide information about COVID-19 and its impact on the enrolled students in assessment, and treatment-to-transition programs. This virtual space evolved to allow parents of clients to come together in a time of intense uncertainty to create a group culture that would become a mainstay of their collaborative practices. Steven a parent, said “The parent support group has been a terrific help to me, from the very beginning when I felt somewhat helpless and hopeless, and continuing as my son progressed. Hearing other people’s stories in a safe and confidential place and a string of experienced guest presenters has given me perspective, comfort, and hope.“
Like so many parents in the consulting practices, Prepare to Bloom and Meyer EFS clients were facing unprecedented challenges this last year with a global health crisis, limited mobility, and their children experiencing other challenges that necessitated treatment. On March 17, 2020, the therapeutic experts collaboration in their first Parent Support Group, spawning the concept 'we are all in this together”, said Kathryn Meyer, MA. In addition, to supporting parents, the platform has created education about issues that remain important to families to this day. Topics like
- IEP 101,
- Educational Attorneys 101,
- siblings and treatment,
- technology, young adult life cycle,
- program transition,
- recovery 101.
Specialists and trusted colleagues presented to the support group making it an expansive collaboration. April focused the group on self-care and parents learned a variety of techniques and skills including meditation, journaling, and the practice of putting themselves first. In May the group focused on transitions as many students were returning home after a year like none other.
The collaboration with colleagues and the families has been the pillars of the weekly Zoom Parent Support Group. It is important to mark this milestone by saying, "thank you to those who joined us and shared their expertise with our parents." Carla Shorts, MS, LCMHC. one of the collaborating colleagues shared, "I am delighted to see (education and therapeutic) consultants providing an opportunity for family support and connection! I have found that throughout my career as a therapist, parents who have children that need extra support often find themselves so isolated and siloed in their child's struggle. These types of opportunities allow families to connect with others experiencing something similar is so important."
As the world transitions back to in-person meetings and programs returning to in-person parent programming, Prepare to Bloom and Meyer EFS will continue to provide a digital forum for the parents to learn and support one another through their treatment journeys.
“A silver lining of the pandemic was connecting with the parents we work with on a deeper level and providing opportunities to connect with each other creating natural support system," said Shayna Abraham, MA.
Provided by Prepare to Bloom (CA) and Meyer Education & Family Services (UIT). These two Education and Treatment Consultanting practices collaborate professionally. Both have clients and families throughout the US and the world.
Greenwood System 120-TM is a research-tested, peer-reviewed Career Development System. Partnering with Educational & Treatment Consultants, therapeutic boarding schools, and young adult treatment to transition programs from around the United States. Clients receive 28-page personalized reports that are generated for students (aged 15 and up); the career and educational counseling techniques are proven to be 85% effective with a 95% Approval Rating by the Career Development Quarterly.
Treatment programs, schools, and counselors use Greenwood System across the country. Some of the partner schools and programs receive training that counselors can receive to administer the Greenwood System. This training includes best-practice career counseling methodology. Upon taking the GS120R assessment and going through the process, students narrow their career options to their top few and are excited about finding a direction and focus and having an action plan to follow to realize their career direction. Parents have confidence in the outcomes given the thoroughness of the process. Programs and counselors appreciate the information which helps them design targeted programming and aftercare options for each client.
With over 40 different partners for the Greenwood System, the feedback is consistent, “Many of the young adults have come to TELOS, directionless and after this assessment have a crystal clear idea and passion for what they want to do in the future,” said Toni Mosier, co-Founder, and owner of Telos (UT). Josh White, owner and founder of Red Mountain Programs in AZ and CO says "The Greenwood Assessment has been really helpful for us because it has allowed our students to get a better idea of where their life is headed, not just finishing school or getting an entry-level job but what are school and my current job leading me toward. What’s the big picture vision for my life.”
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-287-2774. GreenwoodSystem.com.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery serves boys, ages 14-17, with a residential adolescent treatment program that provides gender separate, developmentally specific, evidence-based clinical care for clients struggling with substance use, mental health issues, and trauma. Located between Asheville and Charlotte, NC, Foothills is located in a beautiful home-like environment on a 94-acre working horse farm. This past April, Foothills at Red Oak Recovery celebrated their two-year anniversary.
At Foothills, clients work with Master’s level, dually licensed (clinical additions and mental health) clinicians and receive a minimum of 30 hours of individualized clinical care per week to focus on holistic healing and treating the whole person by putting clients’ long-term health and wellness at the front of treatment planning. Foothills provides trauma-informed care, social and emotional development, academic support, experiential activities, recreation, and life skills. With a unique Lifestyle Medicine approach, Foothills supports the physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing of clients.
Utilizing an emotionally focused family program, families are better able to understand their own family dynamics while also strengthening their relationships and moving towards a future of recovery. This programming is directly related to the value that Foothills places on serving the entire family system as it is an imperative component in moving forward in their lives and achieving sustainable recovery and healing.
“We are grateful to have been of service to clients and families, and we look forward to continuing the important work that we do with this age group,” says Jack Kline, MS, LPCS, LCAS, CCS, CTT-2, MAC, President and Founder of 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 boys (www.foothillsatredoak.com). Learn more by reaching out to: 866.457.7590.
Equinox RTC, a residential treatment center for teen boys ages 14-18, welcomed a Community Health Educator from Planned Parenthood to campus this past month. Students were trained in “Get Real” High School, a comprehensive evidence-informed sexuality education curriculum that empowers high school students to protect themselves from pregnancy and STIs.
This curriculum teaches social and emotional skills as key components of healthy relationships and responsible decision-making. It also provides a comprehensive understanding of sexual health, sexuality, and protection methods.
The program supports parents and other caring adults as the primary sexuality educators of their teens and encourages a dialogue between students and caring adults in their lives. The curriculum is developmentally appropriate, inclusive of LGBTQ+ youth, trauma-informed, and aligned to the National Education Standards using the CDC's Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool.
“We are thankful that our students were able to receive a sexual health education,” said Equinox Founding Partner Bryan Tomes. “We hope that this will properly prepare our students with knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will empower them to develop respectful social and sexual relationships."
Equinox prepares students for their futures with a combination of physical and mental health programs. The program encourages students to find an overall positive mindset towards their physical and mental wellbeing. A comprehensive sexual health education teaches not only the basics of puberty and development but also instills in young people that they have the right to decide what behaviors they engage in and to say no to unwanted sexual activity. Furthermore, sex education helps young people to examine the forces that contribute to a positive or negative body image. For more information about Equinox’s mental health and fitness programming, visit equinoxrtc.com.
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, 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.
Montana Academy is proud to release a new short film depicting life at the academy's 500 acre campus, as well as provide a view into the culture in town at the Sky House, Montana Academy's transitional living program.
Located in Northwest Montana, Montana Academy's campus allows staff and students to take advantage of all of the activities the surrounding area has to offer while providing the structure and support for students to re-orient to who they really are. Once students have completed a tenure on campus, they are then able to move to town and apply newfound skill sets in a more open architecture setting while receiving similar support as they continue their therapeutic work and navigate school, jobs, volunteer and community involvement.
About Montana Academy
Established in 1997, Montana Academy is a non-profit, co-educational, therapeutic boarding school located in Northwest Montana. The leadership and staff at Montana Academy bring more than 175 combined years of cumulative experience to students and their families. Montana Academy's approach places character development at the heart of its developmental model in helping young men and women mature. Montana Academy's community is one that combines an array of therapeutics, college-preparatory academics, and a robust offering of experiential and skill-building programmatic opportunities.
Solstice West RTC, a residential treatment center for females and assigned females at birth ages 14-18, is excited to announce the promotion of Jane Peterson, to Clinical Director, and the addition of Rachel Garner and Kristen Garcia as Primary Therapists. The Clinical team helps provide support for students on their journey toward healing from trauma, loss, and attachment issues.
Jane has been a therapist with Solstice since 2019 and has been a valuable member of the clinical team during her tenure. Her experience, enthusiasm and professionalism make her a perfect fit for the promotion to Clinical Director. The team at Solstice is confident that Jane will do an outstanding job and continue to share her love and passion for the work she does, now by leading the clinical work at Solstice.
"I am happy and excited to start my new role as Clinical Director at Solstice,” Jane said. “We have all been through a year where we have had to be exceptionally flexible. Our team here has been through many changes to adapt to programming during a pandemic as well as having some colleagues move on. This is a real opportunity to expand upon our program and implement some of the things we have learned over the past year. We want to continue to learn and grow as our program needs us to. We have a dedicated and flexible staff, and I feel very lucky to be able to be a part of this transition!”
Rachel started at Solstice West in 2016 as a mentor. She has now returned as a Primary Therapist after completing her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Utah. Rachel has worked in various settings, including community mental health, substance abuse groups and IOP counseling, as well as mobile crisis. Rachel utilizes her training in DBT, self-harm management, exposure therapy, CBT and Motivational Interviewing. She approaches her clients utilizing a strengths-based perspective and brings humor into the therapeutic setting.
“I am so excited to be rejoining Solstice West,” Rachel said. “I have loved my time spent here working as a mentor and look forward to rejoining this incredible team as a therapist. My time spent here as a mentor helped me experience this program in action and see it work. I am excited to continue to be part of this wonderful work in a new position and role.”
Also joining the team as a Primary Therapist is Kristen Garcia. Kristen has experience working with adolescents who come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations and socioeconomic statuses. She enjoys working with clients on a variety of issues and thrives on supporting those more challenging clients by bringing awareness to their needs as well as showing compassion for themselves as they are working, growing, changing and transcending the issues that are causing stress, trauma or dysfunction. She tends to primarily focus within evidence-based practices such as CBT, DBT, and ACT.
“I am so excited and grateful to be joining the staff at Solstice RTC,” Kristen said. I am looking forward to building lasting relationships with my team as well as expanding my experience and knowledge within this promising population. I plan to work diligently to create and promote positive relationships with both students and staff alike. I will invite new challenges and will work to encourage growth within myself, even when I am feeling uncomfortable. I feel very blessed to have been given this new opportunity at Solstice.”
The clinical team at Solstice will continue to work to provide supportive, positive opportunities for students to work toward overcoming their challenges and creating a brighter future.
About Solstice RTC
Solstice RTC is a residential treatment center for teen girls and assigned females at birth 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 people. At Solstice RTC, teens discover their full potential. For additional information on Solstice RTC, please visit http://solsticertc.com/ or call 801-444-0794.
Journey Home Young Adult, a transitional living program for young adults ages 18-23, is excited to welcome Amanda Huaracha as their new Program Director.
Amanda joins the team with over 10 years’ experience in the mental health field industry. Amanda started her journey at an adolescent program that focused on family teaching and behavioral correction practices. She gained much of her knowledge from the family teachers she worked with as well as the experience of creating meaningful and intentional relationships with her students.
Amanda spent almost 4 years as a Residential Director at a program in Texas for young adult women, much like the students at Journey Home Young Adult. She directed day to day treatment with the students as well as encouraging relationship building and bonding, not only with the students, but with staff as well.
Amanda feels extremely grateful to be part of the Journey Home team. “I am so thrilled to be joining this team and cannot wait to help students prepare for the next steps in their lives. I hope to encourage students and staff in our work toward upholding Journey Home Young Adult as a supportive place for growth and learning,” Amanda said.
Amanda is originally from California, but grew up in Utah. She loves graphic novels, live music, art and tacos. She has two younger sisters who she is very close with and a Great Dane, Atticus, who is the love of her life.
To learn more about how Journey Home Young Adult helps young people transition into adulthood with therapeutic support in a community living setting, please visit journeyhomeyoungadult.com or call (855) 918-0032.
About Journey Home Young Adult
Journey Home Young Adult is a transition program for young women 18-23 years old. Our home-like setting provides a place for these young adults to develop independence while still receiving therapeutic support. Clients are transitioning from a previous therapeutic placement into young adulthood. Therapists help them with individual and family issues while clients attend school or work in the community. For more information, visit journeyhomeyoungadult.com or call (855) 918-0032.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Certified Educational Planner and Therapeutic Placement Consultant Gail Curran, MS, MBA, CEP, will host an extraordinary workshop on attachment disorder this fall at the Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh) 33rd International Conference Sept. 30–Oct. 2, in Minneapolis, MN. This year's conference theme is "Together We Heal: Restore. Relate. Educate." All parents of adopted and foster children and professionals in the attachment and developmental trauma and adoption field are encouraged to attend.
Curran owns Optimal Edu Options, an Arizona-based education consulting agency experienced in finding the best educational and therapeutic options to meet a family's needs. She's also a board member for ATTACh, and about 60 percent of Optimal Edu Options' clients are adopted.
Curran will present a touching and enlightening case study in conjunction with two of her clients who saw great success thanks to her assistance: Jessica "Jess" Larsen and her mother, Carolyn. The session, "Flight or Fight: An Adoptee's Journey to Healing," on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 8:30 a.m., will detail how Jessica and her family have fought bravely to get help for Jess and her developmental and physical trauma, to repair their battered relationship, and to ensure Jess will lead a healthy, happy life with support thanks to a correct diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, her family, and effective therapy.
Curran wrote her thesis on attachment disorders in children who experience trauma, loss, and separation from biological caregivers, so she was acutely skilled in knowing how to communicate effectively with clients such as Jess. In 2018, Curran attended an 80-hour, post-graduate online certification course designed to build the capacity of mental health practitioners to repair childhood attachment wounds and trauma. The professional training was developed by Deborah Gray for ATTAch.
However, Jess's story is more complex and heart-wrenching than most. It begins with Jess's birth to a mother who could not care for herself, let alone a child, and her immediate placement into a Russian orphanage, where she was diagnosed with failure to thrive at 11 months.
Jess's childhood and adolescence were marred by emotional deregulation and further trauma — she fell from a second-story window at age ten. As a result, she severed her spinal cord, leaving her permanently disabled. Despite her parents' efforts to find therapy and help, Jess's issues worsened throughout her teens, including when she was using drugs.
Thanks to Gail Curran's help, Jess was able to get treatment, and although there were setbacks, she's thrived thanks to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She graduated from high school, is attending college, and is living at home and feeling the best she ever has. "I've learned so many coping mechanisms, more regulation tools that I've had in my whole life."
Jess added, "Gail was the one person who genuinely cared for me."
ABOUT OPTIMAL EDU OPTIONS
Optimal Edu Options is an Arizona-based education consulting agency whose experienced team has the expertise necessary to effectively support your family and child in finding the best educational and therapeutic options to meet your family's needs. Visit online at optimaleduoptions.com.
Summertime offers an exciting opportunity for students at Turn-About Ranch — a residential therapeutic treatment center for teens in Escalante, Utah— to put their skills into practice as they undertake cattle round-ups on the Boulder Mountain and Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument. The cattle must be moved on horseback between three allotted grazing pastures on the forest service property, each hundreds of acres in size. Students check the well-being of the cattle, making sure they are healthy, safe, and have adequate feed and water. The Ranch calls the process a “Buckaroo” and the students will only have the opportunity to do it once or twice in their 100-day stay. The students prepare for this experience by riding horses on trails and in the arena, and by learning all aspects of the anatomy of their horse, care for it, and the handling of it.
Ranching brings an important aspect to Turn-About’s program as it is based on meaningful, productive hard work, personal responsibility and individual accountability. Rounding up cattle on the mountain brings a whole new dimension to therapy as the students learn confidence that they can do hard things. One student made the comment she couldn’t round up all the cows by herself. She had to trust her horse, and needed the other staff and students to do their part. It was only together that they were able to accomplish such a hard task.
One visiting mom asked, “How does this translate to coming home?” The teen answered the question by saying she felt she could better communicate and work with her parents after learning to move cattle on the mountain. Having to work, depend on, trust, and communicate with the staff and other students helped her realize that the people she has around her influence her. They can either help her or get in the way. It’s up to her who she puts on her team when she gets home.
Program Director Michelle Lindsey, LCMHC, said, “Much of what students need to learn requires what we call ‘Grit.’… The changes teens want to make in our program can be challenging, yet when interviewed about their experience at Turn-About, the vast majority are proud of their accomplishments and feel the work and accountability portion of the program is essential to its success. Developing grit, self-confidence, an increased belief in their own capabilities and perseverance is life-changing.”
About Turn-About Ranch
Founded in 1989, Turn-About Ranch is licensed as a wilderness therapy program and residential treatment center by the State of Utah’s Health and Human Services. It is nationally accredited by CARF. Located in the heart of Southern Utah’s canyon country surrounded by multiple national parks like Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The admissions office is available for any questions at (800) 842-1165 between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm Mountain Standard Time.
Alpine Academy’s Lakeview Campus for adolescent male students celebrates its one-year anniversary this month. Because the program opened last July amidst the pandemic, many consultants and families have placed students at the new campus-based on virtual tours, Zoom discussions with campus administration, and past experiences with the female campus. Alpine Academy is grateful for the confidence and support received over this past year and is delighted to now welcome referring professionals and inquiring families to experience in-person tours at both the new male campus as well as the established Mountain View campus for females.
An Education Consultant who recently toured the new Lakeview campus said, “It was so valuable to actually be in a home with the students and truly understand the milieu and the youth who would be best suited for Alpine’s program. The facilities are new, state-of-the-art, and beautiful. But it was even more important for me to meet the people who are working with the youth on a daily basis and get a glimpse of the treatment taking place as the students were being taught behavioral skills by the people they have trusting relationships with. It was a great experience.”
Space is currently available for both campuses. The new school year begins July 12 and rolling enrollment is available. Contact Jill McIntyre, email@example.com to schedule an in-person tour.
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.
Colin entered the field of addiction treatment in early 2010 working for a young adult male wilderness therapy program; this is where his passions for being in the wild places of the Western United States and working with newly sober men came together. He spent most of the last decade working with young men at a number of different treatment and recovery programs before he landed at Legacy Outdoor Adventure, located in Southern Utah as Assistant Field Director. After leaving Legacy, he was in charge of recreation therapy at a young adult program in Salt Lake City before joining the team at EVN|SQ to build, manage, and lead the adventuring element for Balance House.
From the inception of The|Outside program at Balance House, Colin has worked diligently to push clients to their limits, both physically and mentally, while empowering them to feel comfortable and confident in the backcountry. Colin teaches young men primitive skills such as fire building, utensil carving, a deeper understanding of plant and animal life in surrounding areas and most importantly, he teaches young men the ethics of Leaving No Trace in the wilderness.
Colin's intentional use of ritual and ceremony both begins and ends each adventuring trip with purpose, meaning, and reflection. He gives young men the opportunity to build deeper meaning from the experiences that he facilitates in the backcountry while helping them confidently navigate a reconnection back to the authentic and unique self. The|Outside Program is a container used to help build trust, comradeship, self-esteem, and a brotherhood between young men as they face and overcome challenges together in the wildneress.
About Balance House
Balance House is a year-long continuum of care for young men ages 18-35 years old. We are located in Salt Lake City, Utah at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. Balance House offers four, distinct levels of care from residential treatment to independent, sober living. Residents of the program are offered a chance to explore the outdoors, and beauty that Utah has to offer, as well as to participate in group and evidenced-based treatment modalities. Our treatment program is different by design. We offer a space in which young men can help make decisions about their treatment plans and goals as well as feel supported as they begin to realize what is important to them outside of the treatment setting.
Onward Transitions (OT) for emerging adults in Portland, ME has maintained a commitment to supervising clinical internships throughout their six-year history. Fall of 2021 Onward Transitions is proud to announce two (2) additional interns. The clinical team is currently four (4) full-time, licensed, master’s level therapists supporting the 14 members (clients)..OT clinical interns serve important roles as helpful adjuncts to the work members (clients) do with their primary therapist. Previous interns have provided additional individual sessions for executive functioning, exposure work, genograms, expressive arts, base wellness, and simply lending an additional, supportive ear for processing growth and challenges in the “adulting” process. Primary therapists schedule two weekly individual sessions of their own and recommend additional sessions for members to work with clinical interns to augment that work.
“Tosh (Chabot) and Cheyne (West) will be interns five and six for us, coming on board just as Kenzie (Keefe) wraps up with us at the end of the summer,” stated Co-Founder and Lead Clinician Darrell Fraize, M.Ed., LCPC, LADC. Keefe is finishing her dual MSW/MS at the University of New Hampshire and has brought her experience with coaching emerging adults and adventure work into many of OT’s 10 weekly groups. Chabot (a specialist in multiple art forms and in serving the LGBTQ+ community) and West (a movement specialist and yoga teacher) will be completing their MA programs in the Therapeutic Expressive Arts at Lesley University next spring.
Fraize explained that the interns who have joined the OT community have previously worked in wilderness therapy, residential treatment centers, outpatient clinics and supporting crisis lines. “We just view being a site for internships through the lens of professional responsibility,” stated Fraize. “Andy (Derstine, LCSW and Clinical Director) and I both feel a duty to help young professionals have the type of experience where they aren’t just thrown to the wolves and instead, get good, consistent supervision as they hone their craft,” he continued. “In some ways, it is similar to our view of supporting our emerging adult members -- empowering them to use their skills while providing a kind and familiar safety net of accountability and oversight to process in.”
About Onward Transitions
Onward Transitions (OT) in Portland, ME is a small, independent, owner-operated program for bright, motivated, emerging adults in the final stages of learning to live on their own. OT supports actual sustainable independent living and autonomy from two city locations. Participants (members) ages 18-29 never live with us; they live in their own apartments, scattered throughout the city. Members' challenges include anxiety, depression, and executive functioning.
Foundation House, an extended care recovery program for young men located in Portland, Maine, is eager to announce that residents and staff will be embarking on an international expedition to Patagonia in January 2022. International travel has always been a vital part of the Foundation House program, offering a therapeutic and educational experience without comparison. This three-week adventure to ‘The Last Wilderness’ will broaden the horizons for residents, promote inclusivity and connection, and show all that is possible in recovery.
In past years residents have summited Mount Kilimanjaro, traversed the battlefields of Europe, provided hurricane relief in St. John, and engaged in the ancient Hindu festival of Holi in India. The connection, perspective, and growth that results from these trips continue to be remarkable. In the upcoming trip to Patagonia, residents will traverse across the Fault Line Trek, providing essential trail maintenance and gaining afirst-hand education into the impacts of climate change. This trip will be led by Foundation House’s Director of Programming Dan Schmader and the Founder and Executive Director Patrick Babcock. Additionally, Foundation House staff clinicians and alumni and the experienced local guides at Patagonia Adventure Expeditions will participate. Following the trek, residents will be immersed in the local gaucho lifestyle, staying on a working ranch and participating in community activities. This trip is designed to smash the idea that recovery is boring and plant the seeds for a lifetime of healthy connection and mindful actions.
Program Director Dan Schmader has been organizing this expedition over the past few months and has the first-hand experience of the value of these international trips. On what makes this trip important, Dan remarks, “it offers all of the benefits of adventure therapy and countless opportunities for connection. Residents learn to live with discomfort, embrace a challenge, and appreciate the little successes along the way. The lessons of the trip are the same skills for lasting, successful recovery.” On why Patagonia offers a unique environment for therapeutic and personal growth, Dan states, “there will be no WIFI, phone service, or any of the everyday distractions people rely on for superficial connection and distraction. This trip requires residents to be fully present, connecting to each other and the natural world around them.”
Foundation House has an adventurous spirit at the core of the program, continuously emboldened to create a more diverse and accessible world for the young men of the program. In Patagonia, residents will reach new heights, learn about the environment, and forge their own path to lasting recovery.
Founded in 2002, Foundation House is an extended care treatment program for young men, ages 17-35, located in Portland, Maine. The comprehensive program transcends the outdated attachment to institutional barriers, offering a path built upon empowering trust, diverse clinical services and authentic connection. For more information regarding Foundation House, visit www.foundationhouse.com or call 207-791-2000.
At Trails Momentum, a young adult wilderness therapy program, students have recently completed new legacy projects for future students to enjoy. Legacy Projects are a milestone before graduation and serve as a way to give back to the community.
Recently, students have broadened the scope of their legacy projects. One recent graduate connected with his peers over the game of chess. When he learned that the chessboard had been damaged, he decided to make a new one using his math skills, some woodworking materials, and some wood stain. Another student spent time refurbishing a campus field site that groups use during Peak and Expo weekends. His efforts to repair benches, clean out the fire ring, and clear out some extra brush has allowed current and future Momentum students to have a more comfortable experience at the site.
After noticing how much he and his fellow group members enjoyed singing together, another recent graduate put together a book of song lyrics to encourage groups to learn even more songs and to sing them together during group activities. The songbook includes multiple genres and is available for use in the campus Lodge.
These projects provide students with the opportunity to create lasting experiences for themselves and others. Students discover and cultivate their passions with the support of staff. With confidence and experience gained, students prepare to launch into the next chapter of their lives.
For more information about Trails Momentum’s student-driven programming, please visit trailsmomentum.com or call us at (877) 296-8711.
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.
Valley View School is pleased to announce that Rick May has been named its new Associate Director. Rick will be in charge of day-to-day operations at the school as of July 2021. This appointment is a culmination of 22 years of exemplary work at Valley View. Rick began his career at the school at age 22 as a residential counselor, spent 7 years as a history teacher, and has been the Director of Academics for the last 10 years.
Dr. Thomas Nowak, Executive Director at Valley View states, "I have worked closely with Rick for 10 years. He relates to students and staff extremely well, has excellent judgment, a thorough knowledge of our program, and a great sense of humor - a necessary trait when working with adolescents, in my opinion. I am delighted to have Rick in this important position and look forward to working with him as we face the challenges to come."
Other roles that Rick has played at Valley View include athletic director, coach, student advisor, staff trainer, and aiding the admissions department. Rick's wife, Shannon, has also worked at Valley View for the last 20 years and is currently teaching science.
With regard to his promotion, Rick stated, "I have been fortunate to be part of helping make a difference with many of our students and their families throughout the years, and I am honored to be named Associate Director of Valley View School."
About Valley View School
Valley View School, founded in 1970, is a private therapeutic boarding school serving boys in grades 6-12. Our non-profit 501(c)(3) school is located in the central Massachusetts town of North Brookfield. The Valley View Program consists of a comprehensive blend of Therapy, Academics, Athletics, Arts, and Activities challenging our students emotionally, intellectually, and physically. The boys learn self-control and anger management, social skills in order to create and cultivate relationships with peers and adults while developing compassion, empathy, and respect for others and to realize their true potential.
ROOTs Transition Executive Clinical Director Jaime Palmer and Founder and Executive Director Kami Black, LCSW completed NARM Level 2 therapist training. With NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) as the clinical and program foundation at ROOTs, this training, and continued education will enrich the work both in the clinical department as well as the program as a whole.
NARM is a trauma-informed relational approach to the clinical work related to attachment, relational and developmental trauma. In regards to the strength of the model Jaime Palmer said “NARM gives our therapists the framework and tools to access deep therapeutic work with both clients and parents.” Jaime continued by saying “Keeping our clients connected to their body is foundational to our philosophy at ROOTs. NARM helps to create an experience for our clients that lets them explore the connection between their body and their trauma in a way that allows them the power of self regulation.”
With the backdrop of the Wasatch mountains, ROOTs takes the philosophy of the mind-body connection of NARM into the wild of Park City. Fostering daily interaction with the mountains, trails, reservoirs, and local community ROOTs is able to truly integrate the clinical work of the clients and families they serve into real daily life with the intention of creating life-long skills.
About ROOTs Transition
ROOTs Transition is a Utah state-licensed residential treatment center in Park City, UT working with girls ages 14-18. ROOTs Transition is a female-owned and operated program serving clients and families with a history of trauma and mental health challenges. Using a variety of therapeutic approaches, ROOTs helps clients and families heal and move forward with clear goals and renewed hope.
Orem, UT: STRīV is a transitional support program for young adults navigating the challenging landscape of independent living and the college experience. Now in their third year, their clinical team is expanding. STRīV is thrilled to welcome Celesta Jones, CSW to the clinical team. Celesta received her Masters' in Social Work from Fordham (NY). She recognizes that the prospect of “adulting’ can be daunting, and has developed a passion for helping young adults define their own identity and establish a sense of worth as they transition into the rest of their life.
Viewing healing as a collaborative process, Celesta values the team approach in this process. Putting our core values to work, Celesta celebrates the uniqueness of each individual and prioritizes creating an inclusive, open-minded environment for therapy, allowing people the autonomy to live honestly and interact harmoniously. In true STRiV fashion, she has a deep appreciation for the mind-body connection and the role it plays in mental health. As such, she works diligently to incorporate mindfulness, creative arts, and movement into treatment as a method of ensuring whole-person healing and wellness.
When asked about her work with young adults, Celesta had this to say: “I love watching young adults develop into the people they are going to be, defining their own identity, and discovering how their personal attributes and skills can be integrated into society. Everybody needs a sense of ‘place’ in this world and there is nothing like being able to contribute to the process of finding it. I am so honored every time I get to be a part of someone’s life journey.
STRiV (Strive Forward, LLC) is a transitional living and college support program for young adults who have struggled along their journey toward independence. STRiV provides social/emotional/academic support and life skills development through one-on-one mentoring, executive skills coaching, and individual & group therapy within a semi-independent living environment. Located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah County, STRiV provides supported access to Utah Valley University, myriad vocational programs, unmatched outdoor recreation, and a wide variety of community-based entertainment.
Seven Stars, a therapeutic boarding school for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, is proud to announce that Rachelle Steed, LCSW, has joined the team as Clinical Director.
Rachelle received her master’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University and has experience in substance abuse treatment. She also has experience in the education sector from her time spent as a school-based social worker.
Further, empathy and sincere care are foundational to her approach to her role as Clinical Director, “I adore the students and families that I work with and really enjoy empowering the family system as a whole.” As for her clinical interests, Rachelle is passionate about understanding and treating trauma, neurodevelopmental disorders, attachment, and suicidal tendencies.
Rachelle is committed to the mission of Seven Stars and is excited about the work ahead: “Providing quality therapy and interventions has been a long-time passion of mine. As a primary therapist and now Clinical Director, I am looking forward to continuing to help students grow and thrive.”
Outside of work, Rachelle enjoys hiking to as many mountain peaks as she can and spending quality time with her three children.
Everyone at Seven Stars is thrilled to have such a skilled, caring, and experienced professional like Rachelle as part of the team.
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 (ASD) and ADHD. For more information about programming at Seven Stars, please visit discoversevenstars.com or call 844-601-1167.
Evoke Therapy Programs is pleased to announce the hiring of Anthony Salerno MS, ACMHC, NCC as a therapist for male and male-identifying adolescents at the company’s Entrada location in Santa Clara, Utah.
Salerno works well with young people who are depressed and anxious, yet can also be bright and manipulative. His clients can show up as sensitive and thoughtful young people, many of whom have abused substances. His focus on family systems means that parents also play a vital role in their child’s healing and Salerno is able to support families by exploring their challenges through that lens. “I love the direction we have taken at Evoke in amplifying the family work that parallels what our young charges experience in the field,” he says.
Salerno earned a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Villanova University, which included time spent working at a community mental health facility in Philadelphia. Earlier in his career, his deeply challenging, yet satisfying work at Evoke Entrada for more than four years is what led him to eventually pursue his graduate-level degree. During his time as a field staffer at Evoke, he was honored with the Jumping Mouse Award at the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council's Wilderness Therapy Symposium for his outstanding performance in the field. This inspired him to move over to Evoke’s clinical department where he worked under several therapists as a clinical assistant.
Anthony returns to Evoke with a wealth of experience and awareness of how to support young people and their families in doing therapeutic work in the wilderness. His insight and clinical sophistication make him a great fit for the family-oriented treatment approach at Evoke,” says Matt Hoag, owner, clinical director, and therapist at Evoke.
For his part, Salerno is also happy to be back. “Accessing the power of the outdoors as a conduit for growth and change has become an incredibly meaningful facet of both my personal and professional development, and it is an honor to share this gift with young people and their families at Evoke,” he says. “I love providing participants with powerful opportunities to work through their defenses as they develop new coping strategies and helping families reignite pathways of communication that were on the verge of being extinguished. Evoke is the consummate environment for the clinical work I hope to accomplish throughout my career.”
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.
Shortridge Academy created and piloted a Work-Study Program in November 2020. It provided the students opportunities to gain valuable work experience, develop life skills, and earn wages as Shortridge Academy employees. Due to the success and popularity of this new program offering, Shortridge is excited to announce work-study is now a permanent program opportunity for students going forward. Students build knowledge, skills, and self-confidence, leading to success in education, in the workplace, and in life. In order to participate in this program, students must meet their existing academic, therapeutic, and community leadership expectations.
Options for work-study include being employed in Food Services or Facilities Maintenance. “What I love most about our Positive Youth Development philosophy at Shortridge is that students are exposed to real-life experiences while learning and benefiting from the support and scaffolding received by staff. The Work-Study Program is an excellent example of the school’s philosophy, as students formally apply with CV and references, interview for the position, and are hired - W-4 and all!” - Mik Oyler, Head of School & COO
“This was my first time applying for a job and being hired. It helped my confidence, kept me busy in a good way, and I liked being paid, too.” - SA’s first Work Study Student
In its 20th year, Shortridge Academy is considered the most normalized and progressive therapeutic boarding school in the country, whose strengths-based and authoritative approach successfully supports those students struggling with anxiety, depression, family dysfunction, and learning challenges.
About Shortridge Academy
Shortridge Academy is a private co-ed Therapeutic Boarding School, founded in 2002, emphasizing challenging yet supportive college prep academics within a therapeutic community. Located in southeastern New Hampshire with close proximity to both the seacoast and the mountains, Shortridge’s setting and Positive Youth Development model provides students with an ideal environment to further develop their sense of self and strengthen family relationships in an intellectually stimulating learning environment reflective of a traditional boarding school.
The adventure program at blueFire Wilderness Therapy includes excursions to several remarkable locations in southern Idaho that have been gaining recent national attention from media outlets like CNN and CBS.
One of the most effective treatment models for teens and young adults in wilderness programs is one with ancient roots: adventure therapy. But adventure therapy is far from outdated; in fact, a large body of contemporary research confirms the therapeutic efficacy of the adventure model in the treatment of issues ranging from depression and anxiety disorders to trauma and eating disorders.
The team at blueFire Wilderness Therapy has championed the effectiveness of adventure and experiential treatment, with teens and young adults leaving the program transformed into better versions of themselves.
Located amid the stunning landscape of scenic southern Idaho, blueFire’s adventure therapy program takes full advantage of the area’s many opportunities for outdoor excursions and thrilling activities.
Whether canoeing to the pristine waters of Blue Heart Springs, mountain biking in the Idaho wilderness, gazing at the Milky Way from the first Dark Sky Reserve in the U.S., or scaling the craggy granite formations at the City of Rocks, students at blueFire learn to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and build self-esteem.
With guidance and support from blueFire staff and licensed therapists, students gain a new perspective on approaching challenges, form relationships, and experience a sense of accomplishment that boosts confidence.
The research on adventure therapy speaks for itself, which is why blueFire Wilderness continues to offer a wide variety of exciting excursions in some of the most beautiful environments in the country.
About blueFire Wilderness Therapy
blueFire Wilderness Therapy is a state-licensed & comprehensive adventure-based intervention for pre-teens, teens & young adults who are struggling in their current home or education setting. They provide state-of-the-art, unprecedented treatment approaches by incorporating a multidisciplinary treatment team to provide the most robust treatment planning and implementation for every child and family who enrolls.
Foundations Asheville, a transition program for young adults, recently partook in whitewater rafting as a summer outing for students. Students traveled down the French Broad River full of excitement, as many of them have never been rafting before. Foundations provides experiences for students to push them out of their comfort zones in a supportive, challenge-by-choice environment.
The whitewater rafting trip was met with some hesitation and uncertainty before embarking. This provided a great learning opportunity for students who are working on anxiety and self-esteem issues. Once the crew got on the water, students and staff enjoyed the excitement and adventure. As a team, they navigated the boat in a variety of current conditions, all with giant smiles on their faces while responding to the commands and prompts of the raft guide.
Whitewater rafting and the other summer adventures in which Foundations students participate provide in-the-moment practice of their therapeutic skills. Students get a chance to identify their emotions, self-regulate, and be resilient. Foundations teaches students how to meet their personal goals and overcome obstacles out in the world. The Foundations Asheville team is committed to helping young people launch into adulthood with the skills they need to be successful.
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 our 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 academic institutions and the workforce, develop community, and gain needed 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. For more information about Foundations Asheville, please call (828) 604-6570.
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for adolescents and teens ages 10-17, is excited to announce that their parent workshops will be held in person once again. Parent workshops are part of the family therapy programming at Trails Carolina that also includes a dedicated family therapist, weekly support groups and mindfulness classes, alumni support, and the Common Ground experience.
Successful family therapy can help parents and siblings feel supported in their own journeys while their loved one is in treatment. Often, families need to work through their own issues and learn new skills in order to best support the long-term success of their child. A few weeks into a child’s stay, Trails offers parents a workshop in which they’ll learn about healthy family systems, how to support their child and new tools they can use to create a healthier, happier home life.
"The in-person workshops create an unmatched ability for parents/participants to be able to connect and build a supportive community that truly understands what you have endured prior to Trails," said Family Therapist Erin Cantalini, MA, LPC. "Being in-person also allows a more meaningful (and paralleled) experience of being in the physical space that your child has been in, and practicing the very skills that they are learning and doing."
At the end of treatment, parents can opt into the Common Ground experience, a four-day family program that invites parents to reunite with their child with the support of staff. Common Ground activities are designed to help families practice communication skills, conflict resolution, and strengthen their bonds.
About Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy for pre-teens and adolescents ages 10-17. The clinically sophisticated and time-tested program engages students through wilderness therapy, mindfulness and yoga, equine-assisted therapy, intentional transitions, and academic engagement. Recent outcome research demonstrates efficacy. Trails Carolina was created to help families reconnect and heal. For additional information about Trails Carolina, located just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, please call 800-975-7303.
Triple Divide Lodge is a new 90-day combination residential and wilderness therapy treatment program for adolescent males 14-19. They are accepting clients in August 2021. Located in Marion, Montana on 338 beautiful acres accepting to focus on chemical dependency and co-occurring disorders.. Triple Divide Lodge provides treatment in a residential, boarding school campus setting, combining conventional residential treatment with wilderness therapy expedition.
Patrick Hawkins, Owner & Co-Founder stated, “Watching young men initiate and get excited about recovery, overcome challenges and begin having a life worth living is the bright spot in our lives.” Anthony Geraci, Owner & Co-Founder stated, “There is nothing better than seeing a young man learn to love himself, sober and start to set goals aligned with his passions and strengths.”
Triple Divide Lodge’s primary goal is to help your young men with their substance use disorder, identify their challenges, find healthy coping skills and learn how to lead a happier, healthier life. The program offers clients clinical sophistication with individual, group, & family therapy. Additionally offering 12-Steps, trauma-informed, and mindfulness practices, combined with the conventional residential treatment and wilderness therapy expedition model. Although the program is new to open, the owner-operated management team has years of experience working with this population. And therefore, providing clients a well–rounded experience that builds the foundation for long-term recovery.
If you have a client for August 2021 or have questions about the residential treatment model with wilderness expeditions contact Admissions Director Anthony at email@example.com or call 406-369-6563.
About Triple Divide Lodge
Triple Divide Lodge is a Montana State licensed inpatient chemical dependency facility in Marion, MT working with young men ages 14-19. Triple Divide Lodge is an owner-operated program serving clients and families with a history of addiction and other co-occurring issues. Using a variety of therapeutic modalities, Triple Divide Lodge helps clients and families build the foundation and skills needed to live a healthy, fun and sober life. For more information contact Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 406-369-6563.
Sandpoint, Idaho, July 12, 2021— Amanda Thomas, MPhEd, LAMFT, founder and owner of Integrative Approach, is launching a new training with Jim Thomas, LMFT Becoming an Attachment Therapist. This training will be in Sandpoint, Idaho at the new Integrative Approach Yurt from Thursday, September 23, 2021, 9:00 AM to Saturday, September 25, 2021, 5 PM. Amanda is excited to train with Jim Thomas, an internationally renowned trainer, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and an International Center of Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy Certified Trainer. Jim, also 32 plus years sober, has extensive experience as both clinician and administrator in residential programs. Together, Amanda and Jim have completed multiple trainings for professionals working in residential and addiction programs affording them the ability to apply attachment theory and heal relationships.
Becoming an Attachment Therapist for Residential and Addiction Program provides 24 contact hours accredited by the National Board of Certified Counselors. This training integrates the growing body of research on attachment-based therapies 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 science provides a common thread to understand these difficult issues in our work. The 3-day training provides a framework of how to effectively work with negative relational patterns of 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 disrupt patterns to create new dynamics within relationships. The course will be integrating the attachment lens and multiple treatment models in our work and programming to maximize benefits to our clients and families, specifically in treatment settings.
Over the 3-Day training, professionals will earn 24 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. “Our past clinicians have inspired us to develop a more specific training to meet their needs and we still believe we have the rare opportunity to work with families at a pivotal time in their healing. I believe we have an ethical duty to be highly competent in working with the current science of attachment. Healing our clients and their families interactional patterns is critical to their lives far beyond their time in residential and wilderness therapy. Our new training is an experiential approach to therapy and invaluable to our clients’ success,” said Thomas.
Madolyn Liebing, Ph.D. psychologist, LMFT stated, “What I really value and appreciate from Amanda and Jim’s trainings is the practical application of attachment theory and models, specifically in the treatment settings and their ability to focus on addiction and how attachment wounds run the gamut of our clients’ experiences. Learning to heal attachment wounds enables us to facilitating long-term recovery.”
About Integrative Approach
Integrative Approach is a premier clinical concierge company providing professional mental health and 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 in 2007, Amanda L. Thomas, MPhEd, LAMFT also has a private clinical practice.
Integrative Approach has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No.7010. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Integrative Approach is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.