All Kinds of News for November 10, 2021
Meet Aspiro’s Vantage Point therapist, Hannah Eckert. After Hannah graduated college, she discovered Aspiro. She was excited to work at an organization that combines her passion for psychology and outdoor adventure. While working as a field guide, she quickly saw students thriving in the Aspiro program and decided to further her education and become a therapist, obtaining a Master of Social Work at the University of Utah.
Today, Hannah works with students identifying as female who tend to have high anxiety, executive functioning deficits, depression, difficulty connecting socially, and possible neurodevelopmental or learning differences. Hannah utilizes a caring approach paired with effective modeling and firm boundaries. Her approach builds trust with her students, thus enabling them to take feedback from her more readily as she guides them through social pragmatics coaching, emotional regulation techniques, executive functioning skill-building, and more.
Her approach accentuates the primary focus areas of the Vantage Point program that includes social pragmatics and developing reciprocal relationships. Vantage Point students have various shared experiences through adventure activities such as rock climbing, backpacking, mountain biking, and more. Students also increase their inner strength and self-efficacy as they realize they can overcome challenges. Clinical goals are individually created to get students out of their comfort zones. Students engage in life again as they are reintroduced to the world, encouraged to do challenging things, and are provided with multiple opportunities for success. Together with the Vantage Point team, Hannah helps students realize that they can be successful, connect with others, be accepted, and do hard things. Visit Aspiro’s website to learn more about Hannah Eckert and the Vantage Point program.
About Aspiro Adventure:
Aspiro Adventure is an outdoor mental/behavioral health treatment center in Utah with a clinical model based on adventure therapy. This model focuses on introducing clients to high adventure activities in concert with an individualized clinical treatment plan. Adventure activities include skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, and canyoneering and are paired with treatment plans drawn up by licensed mental health professionals. The Aspiro program is designed to be an intensive program to promote long-lasting change for adolescents and young adults.
Martin, GA — Shepherd’s Hill Academy would like to extend a personal thank you to the wonderful communities of Stephens, Franklin, Hart, Habersham Counties, and beyond for making our 20-year celebration a huge success. “From the bottom of our hearts, Thank You! It was such a humbling and encouraging day for us at SHA as we opened our doors to our partners and friends. We could not exist and serve the families that we do without your continued prayer and support.”
The leadership explained, “SHA's 20th Anniversary is a milestone many programs within our field dream to achieve. The journey to twenty years could only have been achieved through the people God has called to serve this organization. During the weekend's event, we were able to reunite with some of the heroes of SHA's history. It was a blessing.”
August was a whirlwind for the team at Shepherd’s Hill Academy. As the program looks back on the 20-year celebration, it is with joy and great expectation for what is ahead. The celebration was historic for Shepherd’s Hill Academy in several ways. Beyond marking two-decades of service, the program hosted the largest event open to the public in program history, with nearly 200 people in attendance. The SHA community showed up ready for a wonderful day of fun including corn hole, jump houses/water slides, axe throwing, and of course, flag football; one of the highlights of the event was the flag football tournament between two community youth groups. Along with the community, SHA alumni traveled from all over the country to be in attendance and share in the celebration. It was truly a very special day.
Shepherd’s Hill Academy would also like to thank those who partnered together to make the event a success: "a special thank you to all of the vendors and the local Chamber of Commerce organizations for helping plan, promote, and for making the day so special for the SHA team and guests! We are also very grateful to NATSAP and all the dedicated residential schools and programs across America who have encouraged and sharpened us for the better. Thank You! "
The team at Shepherd’s Hill Academy would like to extend an invitation to those who may have missed the event (or those who were not able to tour the program) to join folks on campus for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. Private tours can be scheduled at your convenience with their Advancement Coordinator. Please call (706) 779-5766 to schedule.
About Shepherd's Hill Academy
Shepherd’s Hill Academy is a Christ-centered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization offering therapeutic services to teens in crisis. Located in Martin, GA, SHA features a nature-based model combined with accredited academics and therapeutic services to offer hope and healing to teens around the globe.
EDGE Learning & Wellness, a Chicago-based Transitional Living Community for young adult students attending college, vocational programs, certificate programs, and other post-secondary solutions, is excited to announce that Brittany Tolar, LCSW has joined their team. Under the guidance of Dr. David Ventrelle, Brittany is the new Program Director at EDGE Learning and Wellness. Brittany comes to EDGE following a five-year tenure working with emerging adults at Thresholds in Chicago.
Brittany received a degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Master of Social Work from the University of Chicago.
Through her leadership, Brittany will be able to use her skills in evidence-based, body-centered, and relational approaches to creatively guide the students at EDGE towards realizing their goals. "I look forward to bringing my skill set in driving innovation and creativity in order to build upon existing student and staff strengths to provide a more well-rounded, holistic approach to wellness. One of my goals is to normalize some of the everyday struggles our students may have. Collaboration and communication is incredibly important to me and so I look forward to engaging all the key players in students' lives."
Brittany has already hit the ground running. Brittany has initiated a “Town Hall” meeting with the students at EDGE where they have identified the need for both a mindfulness group and a gender identity group for students to explore what this means to them in a safe environment.
EDGE Learning and Wellness continues to build a team that is optimized to provide young adult clients and their families a framework of highly individualized, responsive support in a warm, encouraging community environment
About EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community
EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community is an accredited transitional living program located in Chicago, IL. EDGE offers therapeutically supported residential and non-residential options for post-treatment young adults. The participants, ages 18 -24, are striving to excel academically while creating a life of balance, joy, and wellness.
The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®, a trauma-focused mental health and substance abuse treatment program for young adult women, ages 18 – 35, is excited to announce that last month marked their five-year anniversary of being located on their beautiful gender-specific campus!
Located on a beautiful 38-acre horse farm just outside of Asheville, NC, The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® is a mission-driven team of talented clinicians, leaders, and substance use treatment professionals. Their mission - Rebuilding lives, restoring hope, and inspiring recovery for individuals and families – is at the core of who they are.
Since its inception, The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® has helped over 400 young people and their families. This number is even more impactful considering the intentionally small size of The Willows’ program. Being a small program provides The Willows’ clients with the safety and space to truly work on themselves and focus on the sensitive or difficult topics they may have been avoiding, such as traumatic events that they may have experienced throughout their lives.
At The Willows, clients work closely with Master’s level, dually licensed (clinical addictions and mental health) clinicians and receive a minimum of 30 hours of individualized clinical care per week. This, in addition to complimentary modalities and approaches, has created a healing environment that is rich with connection and community.
“It has been extremely gratifying to be a part of and watch the remarkable work being done at The Willows,” says Jack Kline, MS, LCMHCS, LCAS, CCS, CTT-2, MAC, President, and Founder. “The Willows continues to enhance its clinical sophistication to meet the increasing complexity of its clients in a most challenging and stressful time. It is a program that is run for women, by women, giving women the space and safety of a single-gender campus allows for remarkable healing to take place.”
Red Oak Recovery® programs are located throughout Western North Carolina and include clinically-driven and gender-separate trauma-focused mental health and substance use treatment for young adult men (www.redoakrecovery.com), young adult women (www.thewillowsatredoak.com), and adolescent boys (www.foothillsatredoak.com).
Solstice West RTC, a residential treatment center for females ages 14-18, has recently implemented the MindUP program in order to help students be more successful in the classroom. MindUP is a comprehensive classroom-tested, evidence-based curriculum framed around lessons that foster social and emotional awareness, improve psychological well-being and promote academic success. MindUP promotes and develops mindful attention to oneself and others. It also encourages students to accept the capacity of each member of the community in their growth as a human being and a learner.
The core curriculum of the MindUP practice includes deep breathing for 5 uninterrupted minutes per day. This helps students focus their attention and prepare for learning.
Students will learn about the different ways the brain functions and processes information. As students become more aware of the inner workings of their brains, they can become more observant of their own learning process and practice better self-regulation techniques. The team at Solstice is excited to begin using the MindUP program in the classroom. “We feel that this will help our students’ ability to self-regulate by starting the day with a dedicated time to participate in a grounding experience,” said Jane Peterson, LCSW, Clinical Director at Solstice West.
Students will be able to take the skills learned in the MindUP program to other facets of their day. The increased ability to self-regulate will help students continue to grow on their journey toward healing.
For more information on Solstice West RTC, please visit https://solsticertc.com/ or call 801-444-0794.
About Solstice RTC
Solstice RTC is a residential treatment center for teen girls that has helped hundreds of struggling teens on their journey to solving issues like trauma, depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Solstice RTC, located in Layton, Utah, offers a specialized, clinically intensive program based on the specific needs of young women. At Solstice RTC, young women discover their full potential. For additional information on Solstice RTC, please visit http://solsticertc.com/ or call 801-444-0794.
Colleges and universities across the country are experiencing the real epidemic on campuses: the mental health of the student body. Schools are scrambling to provide wellness days, or increased programming and support for students to grieve the loss of their classmates and cope with managing their own academic and emotional stress. October means midterms, shorter daylight, and the honeymoon of the college experience wearing off. This is when schools often see an increase in student suicide.
As a parent, communicating with your college student and educating yourself on how to help is the most important thing that can be done. Adrienne Frumberg, Joanna Lilley, and Shayna Abraham, Co-Founders of the College Parent Survival Network (CPSN), know all too well the stress the students are feeling, and the parents as well. In an effort to provide some relief, CPSN is hosting a 3-part webinar series specifically on topics for parents that feel more pressing right now. Kicking off the webinar series on November 3, 2021, will be Tripp Johnson, CEO of Green Hill Recovery, talking about “The Fear of the College Dropout: Warning Signs Your College Student is Failing.”
When asked “why now?” Joanna didn’t hesitate to state that “collegiate mental health is only partly in the spotlight right now, and we need to shed even more light on how to help students, and how to help parents. That’s partly how this series came to fruition; out of desperation and need. The end of the semester is only a month away. Students are either passing or failing. For the students who are failing, if they can’t separate who they are from what they’re doing (i.e. their academic struggles), then we will continue to see an unsustainable need for mental health services for young adults. We’ll also continue to see a growing number of students attempt college, fail out, and have a hard time getting help and building resilience to return to campus. Knowing how and when to help is key!"
The second presentation will be on November 10, 2021. “When It’s More than Homesickness: what to do when your college student is in crisis” will be presented by Dr. Marcia Morris, author of The Campus Cure.
And closing out the series on November 17, 2021, will be Eric Rosenberg of Rosenberg & Ball covering the topic “Addicted, Convicted, Suspended, Expelled: When to Seek Legal Counsel in College.” With the sensitivity of these topics, each webinar will be hosted in webinar format. Any participant will be able to ask questions anonymously to the presenters.
To attend any of the events, register at College Parent Survival Network.
About College Parent Survival Network:
College Parent Survival Network is the safest online community for parents seeking support, direction, and guidance around helping their child launch into adulthood, whether that includes college or not. Offering parents a platform to ask questions, normalize they aren’t alone, and learn from experts around college and early adulthood. For more information, please check out the community. College Parent Survival Network is owned and operated by two Therapeutic Consultants and one College Consultant. This collaboration was formed in an effort to help parents early, and potentially save the young adult from pain in the future.
The introduction for Season 2 of the Success is Subjective podcast, found at the beginning of Episode 101 with guest Wendy Adamson, included a list of the upcoming guests and their professions. Joanna Lilley of Lilley Consulting and host of Success is Subjective has continued to interview individuals across the world who are interested in sharing their story. With more experience behind the mic, Joanna is hitting her groove with interviewing and drawing out the stories of her guests.
Releasing on November 10, 2021, Episode 105 will include none-other-than Julie Lythcott-Haims. She is the New York Times Best Selling Author of several books including "How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap" and "Prepare Your Kid for Success", and "Your Turn: How to Be an Adult". Julie talks about her own personal journey into adulthood, being the parent of a kid whose young adult journey shifted, and about the content in her books. She gives advice to both young adults and to parents of young adults. This episode is not to be missed.
This podcast was designed to highlight the non-linear paths that people have in their adult life. Each episode includes advice for a young adult audience, however, the content is also relevant to the parents of young adults. If you or anyone you know is adrift in early adulthood, or struggling with changing plans, you can find several episodes on Success is Subjective that will resonate and may bring hope, guidance, and relief.
For those curious about where to find the 105th published episode, it can be found on all podcast playing platforms (Amazon, Apple, Audible, Google, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn Radio). You can also find this episode on the Lilley Consulting website.
About Lilley Consulting:
Since 2016, Lilley Consulting has been helping families and young adults find treatment options during a time of transition or crisis. Joanna dedicates herself to working solely with emerging adults who unravel before going to college, when they land on a college campus, or right after college graduation. Young Adulthood can be messy, but it doesn’t have to be if you find the best treatment resources at the time that you need them.
In Balance Academy are excited to announce that two new professionals have joined their team. Serving young men ages 14-18, In Balance Academy is a therapeutic boarding school nestled between four beautiful southern Arizona mountain ranges in the majestic San Pedro River Valley near Tombstone, Arizona. Since 2004, the Academy has prided itself in helping its clients realize the promises that are held for their lives when they experience recovery from substance use and abuse. The program endeavors to facilitate healing in the individual and in the family, equipping them with the necessary tools to live a healthy, productive, and joyful life filled with active recovery, purpose, and community. To that end, the leadership of In Balance has always sought to curate a team of clinical professionals that is committed to assisting each student and his family on their journey of recovery.
In Balance Academy welcomes Adam Arnold and Kathryn Harra as the newest staff members of their community. Adam joins the team as a Behavioral Health Technician with an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Kathryn joins the Academy as the Director of Therapeutic Equine Services. Patrick Barrasso, the owner and CEO of In Balance Continuum, says this about the addition of Adam and Kathryn to the Academy team:
In everything we do, from scheduling, to personnel, to trips, to family weekends, to school, and equine, we look at the opportunity to improve the quality of our services. With the addition of Adam and Kathryn, we have the best team we have ever had… built piece by piece over the last 18 years. We believe that kids with substance abuse and mental health complexities (who are now more greatly compromised than ever) deserve the best care possible. We continue to be committed to providing it, and Adam and Kathryn are helping us do just that!
The biographies of Adam and Kathryn are below and In Balance Academy heartily welcomes both to In Balance Continuum of Care (https://www.inbalancecontinuum.com).
Adam earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Certificate in Ethics from Arizona State University in 2010. In the course of his studies, he developed an interest in Buddhist philosophy and meditation after hearing the promise of an end to suffering. Adam followed these interests to Taiwan, where he lived for three years, practicing meditation, studying Mandarin and teaching English. Adam’s experience of travel, language and cultural exchange now inform his approach to life and therapeutic work. He aims to treat each encounter with a client and his family as a kind of cross-cultural and collaborative experience.
Adam began his In Balance journey as a Life Coach in 2017. In his first year, Adam opened his eyes to how his family-of-origin story had much in common with the stories of many of the young men at the ranch. His time in the community helped him broaden his understanding and solidify his dedication to studying and practicing the healing arts. To this end, he left the ranch for training at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where he gained experience working with refugee communities and high-needs clients in a community mental health setting. Adam now returns to the In Balance team with a Master of Arts in Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling—a degree that represents a training in traditional western psychotherapy, conducted mindfully and emphasizing mindfulness in the therapeutic relationship. Adam has experience in mindfulness-based interventions, gestalt therapy, and Internal Family Systems-style parts work. He is currently pursuing training in animist psychology, ancestor work and ceremonial work. In his role at In Balance, Adam’s mission is to help each young man reconnect with his own brilliant sanity and worthiness — his own solid ground — so that he may know himself and form more balanced relationships with others.
Kathryn is a life-long learner who has spent decades studying the relationship between humans and horses. She started riding at four years of age; through her early years of riding, she was often seen riding her horse bareback or western style through the fruit orchards in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. At age 13 she was able to take her first formal riding lessons from an English-style riding instructor. Kathryn fell in love with this type of riding and, in particular, jumping. She competed in jumping during her teen years. In the years that followed, while working with difficult horses, she discovered dressage training. As an adult, Kathryn owned and operated her own teaching stable for 15 years where she enjoyed working with students of all ages and ability levels, as well as rehabilitating horses suffering from trauma. During this time, she also coached at her local USPC (United States Pony Club) chapter and her county 4-H horse program. Additionally, Kathryn worked with children in foster care in a skills training capacity. These experiences culminated in working in the equine-assisted therapy field where she continues to combine her love of horses with the process of supporting children and teens who are recovering from trauma. Kathryn currently is working towards a degree in counseling to further support her experience in this field. She is looking forward to working with the treatment teams, evidence-based programs, and the horses of In Balance, to give the students the greatest possible chance of personal transformation.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about In Balance Academy, In Balance Continuum of Care, or any of the wonderful programming opportunities available to clients seeking active recovery, please visit www.inbalancecontinuum.com or email daniel.barrasso@ inbalancecontinuum.com.
In Balance Continuum of Care was founded by Patrick and Betsy Barrasso in 1996, and they still own and operate the Continuum today. With the help of their three children and staff, In Balance ensures active recovery for all clients. To help families heal from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, four programs, each with different levels of care, make up the Continuum of Care. In Balance Continuum consists of: In Balance Intensive Outpatient program, an outpatient group which serves the local Tucson community and is designed for men and women 18-80 years old with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders; In Balance Academy, a therapeutic boarding school and accredited high school which serves young men 14-18 years old with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders from all over the world; In Balance Transitional Living, a young adult aftercare program serving young men 17-28 years old post-primary/residential programs from all over the world with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders; and In Balance Alumni Continuing Care Services, an In Balance Alumni support and living community serving our alumni, 17-28 years old with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. All of In Balance Continuum of Care's therapeutic services have earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Care Accreditation. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care.
All In Balance programs are fully licensed in the state of Arizona under licenses CSLG9295, OTC 8767, and OTC9296. All In Balance employees maintain Level One Fingerprint Clearance as issued by the State of Arizona Department of Public Safety and all licensed employees complete all continuing education per licensure requirements, yearly. In Balance currently has over 75% of all employees and 95% of all clients fully vaccinated against Covid-19. To connect with the main office, please call 520-722-9631 or mail 6107 E. Grant. Rd., Tucson, AZ 85712 .
Boulder Creek Academy, a therapeutic boarding school serving ages 13 through 18, weaves coeducational, fully-accredited academics into a relationship-based therapy program and welcomes struggling students. Boulder Creek is excited to share about upcoming events as the seasons change.
With the leaves falling and the temperatures beginning to drop, Boulder Creek Academy is putting away the mountain bikes, the Frisbee golf and getting ready for the snow season ahead.
Jeff Miller, Dean of Students, is already making the plans to be a part of the Schweitzer Mountain ski school activities. As the season begins to take shape, the upcoming goal is to schedule each caseload group, complete with the therapist, teachers and support staff, a lesson, and opportunity to try out the mountain. “Many of our students have never skied/boarded before. This opportunity gives the student a chance to try new things, to work together and to have the support on that first day to make it a successful experience. When students are on the mountain they learn to recognize limits, physically and emotionally. It’s a great opportunity for them to grow, and practice the skills they are learning at school.”
Once the initial visit and lesson has taken place, the ski season is set in motion, and BCA attends every Friday throughout the winter and spring.
As this season approaches, it comes with the excitement of the holidays and the upcoming graduation. Seasons change, students come and go, and opportunities abound.
About Boulder Creek Academy
At Boulder Creek Academy, students rediscover their academic and social confidence. The key to our success is that we reignite our students’ belief in themselves by utilizing time-tested and proven methods. Students begin to experience academic achievement, regain self-esteem, learn to embrace their uniqueness and become capable learners who are confident in themselves. Each day at Boulder Creek Academy is purposefully designed to maximize experiences that allow students to practice social skills, improve self-worth and develop healthy identity, benefit from therapeutic learning and to have fun.
Boulder Creek Academy has been creating a therapeutic learning environment for high school students ages 14-18 with anxiety, depression, untapped academic potential, interpersonal relationship difficulties, limited executive function skills and overlooked strengths and talents for more than 25 years.
Alpine Academy Therapists Gabriella Campbell, Brittany Bitters, and Hailey Cerise recently attended a conference specifically focused on Attachment Trauma. The ATTACh Conference (The Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children) was held last month in Minneapolis, MN.
Attachment Trauma is a disruption in the important process of bonding between a baby or child and his or her primary caregiver. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood and the toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect how the body responds to stress. Approximately one-third of Alpine Academy’s students are adopted. Many have experienced multiple ACEs and need help with attachment and adoption challenges.
The 3-day conference provided training on Attachment Theory and trauma-informed care as well as therapeutic techniques and strategies that enhance attachment, focus on resolving trauma, and assist children with emotional regulation and sensory modulation.
The ATTACh organization was founded in the late 1980s by Dr. Terry M. Levy for the purpose of providing a place for caregivers and professionals to educate and collaborate on the topic of attachment. For more information, visit https://attach.org/. Alpine Academy is a proud participant and supporter of the ATTACh organization.
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.
Journey Home Young Adult (JHYA), a transitional living program for young adult females ages 18-23, has made updates to their life skills programming. The updates include new group topics, as well as incorporating client-led groups taught by clients.
JHYA has started incorporating client-led groups weekly. The goal of these groups is to share skills clients have learned throughout their time in treatment, create new opportunities to share and connect with peers, and encourage new hobbies and interests among clients. “The goal is to help clients learn how to be prepared with new skills, tools, and hobbies, as they are working towards independence,” said Clinical Director Andrea Jones, LCSW. “Having clients teach the group adds an additional level of reinforcement of skills rather than just listening when groups are being held.”
The first client-led group focused on teaching others how to tie fleece blankets and sharing the teacher’s experience in getting to know others through this activity. It also opened up conversations on service and the importance of being connected to a community. The next group will be a baking class. Each class and activity is planned alongside staff.
To learn more about how Journey Home Young Adult helps young people gain the independent living skills needed to grow and thrive, please visit https://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.
Equinox RTC, a residential treatment center for teen boys ages 14-18, expands their standardized testing preparation for students as they see an increase in enrollment of 11th and 12th graders.
Academic reengagement, progress, and success are a priority at Equinox. Many students arrive at Equinox struggling in school but once they have settled into the supportive Equinox classroom and developed trusting relationships with their teachers, they begin to see significant improvement in their grades and progress and feel hopeful again. They start to look towards the future and what comes after high school.
Equinox’s academic department knows the importance of starting early in the preparation for college admissions standardized testing. A student’s 11th-grade year is the most impactful year for a student to take the SAT/ACT. Equinox utilizes Khan Academy’s test prep materials, which is the College Board’s official online test prep program. Students have unlimited access to official ACT/SAT preparation books and other printed materials in their dorms, as well. The Academic Director at Equinox sets time aside each week during study halls for test practice and assigns additional SAT/ACT prep work on weekends. Parents are also updated regularly regarding their child’s progress in preparing for these tests.
Students regularly take full-length practice tests and their scores are analyzed by their subject-area teachers. Teachers and students then discuss both areas of strength and improvement. Teachers then make a plan for targeting those areas of improvement through study guides and further practice tests. Students are also given guidance for general test anxiety and time management during testing.
The Academic Director works with parents to schedule the SAT/ACT test at a local testing center. Transportation is then arranged for students, and a staff member helps them prepare for the test on the morning of, drives them to the testing center, and waits onsite for them to complete their testing. After the test, students then have the opportunity to debrief with staff and their teachers. After scores are received, the student and teachers plan if retesting is recommended.
To learn more about academics at Equinox, visit https://equinoxrtc.com/student-life/academics/ or call (877) 279-8925 for more information.
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.
The Goodale School and Recovery Community is a Cognia-accredited, non-profit therapeutic boarding school for 14- to 17-year old boys with substance use and co-occurring disorders. In one on-site, teacher-led classroom, Ms. Allison Hughes implements innovative programs to inspire and motivate students in her science class. Her creative course content encourages increased engagement and learning.
Ms. Allison, as she is referred to by her students, describes some of their latest projects. “In Biology, we recently made our own kombucha and have been studying its cells under the microscope,” she explains. “In Physics, we’re learning about convection and exploring heat and energy through baking cookies. We also recently took a field trip to our neighboring French Broad Chocolate Lounge to find out how chocolate is made and then conducted a candy density experiment!”
Hughes holds a Bachelors of Outdoor Education and a Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies with years of teaching experience predominately in the mental health field. “I am passionate about the outdoors, team building, and experiential learning. I lived and taught abroad in Brazil which accounts for my deep-rooted love for diversity and community. I love getting to apply my experience here with the students at Goodale,” says Hughes.
About the Goodale School
The Goodale School is named in honor of Bob Goodale, a member of their Board of Directors and a passionate advocate for substance use disorder and recovery services in North Carolina. Goodale, a dedicated and visionary leader, has served non-profit organizations in communities across the United States and has been recognized for his lifelong commitment to the recovery community. The Goodale School is affiliated with Monarch, a leading statewide provider of services to thousands of people with mental illness, substance use disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities in North Carolina. Monarch is a non-profit organization and is nationally accredited by The Joint Commission.
Red Mountain Sedona, the leading mindfulness-based launch program for young adults 18-28, is excited to announce a new program overview video. The video is a compilation of interviews from staff, students, and alumni, sharing how Red Mountain transformed their lives.
“There are so many pieces that are powerful about this program,” said Maggie Pappas, Program Coordinator and Red Mountain Graduate. “The mindfulness piece is so unique because it’s teaching you a way of life,” she said. The program overview video touches on the benefits of mindfulness, one of Red Mountain Sedona’s core values, and discusses the transformative results it provides for students.
“Mindfulness brings you to a place where you can think ahead and make pretty accurate predictions of the consequences of your actions,” said Maureen White, MA, Co-Founder and Executive Program Director.
The video is featured on the homepage of the new Red Mountain Sedona website. In addition to showcasing the natural beauty of Sedona, the video also expands on the importance of aftercare as a continuation of primary treatment, highlighting the risks of returning to old environments without time to practice skills in a supportive and structured setting.
To watch the new video and explore the new website, visit https://redmountainsedona.com.
Red Mountain Sedona is a mindfulness-based, trauma-informed young adult "Launch" program, located in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. Red Mountain specializes in helping young adults between the ages of 18-28, address the social, emotional, and behavioral issues holding them back from successfully transitioning into adulthood. Through a truly holistic program that provides structure, individual, group, and family therapy, life skills training, recovery support and mindfulness-meditation, yoga, and martial arts instruction, Red Mountain Sedona helps students gain the stability and maturity needed to move forward in life. For more information on Red Mountain Sedona call (855) 998-5272.
Long a leader in research in the field of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare, Elements has been compiling data to contribute towards peer-reviewed study for the past eight years. All new participants of the program and their family members are asked to complete scientifically validated questionnaires upon intake, discharge, and again at six months and one year after discharge.
Dr. Neal Christensen, the Chair of the Research Committee for the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBHC) from 2013 through 2020, has been instrumental in his leadership in assisting all the OBH programs to collect this important clinical data. This collaborative effort has been supported and furthered by the University of New Hampshire; UNH houses the OBH Research Center, a collective of seven research scientists, which independently evaluates OBH and its practices. Dr. Christensen guided the OBH Council by providing oversight into data collection, management, and other research opportunities that give evidence to the incredible outcomes that OBH programs provide. He was also instrumental in helping develop the OBH Accreditation standards, further making OBH a safe and effective treatment for its clients and families.
Dr. Christensen and Cullom Cahill, his research assistant and data analyst, are continuously revisiting Elements clinical data to analyze different cross-sections of Elements Wilderness Program’s outcomes, in order to glean additional takeaways to continue improving the quality of care to its clients and families. “Although we are thrilled to see that 95.5% of our participants stated that they were very satisfied or satisfied with the treatment they received while here,” said Dr. Christensen, who also serves as Clinical Director at Elements, “that is something we get the benefit of seeing in person. The real benefit of the latest research we have conducted is the affirmation it gives to our robust clinical and family services. The data show a significant positive impact on the family system with both parents and students, particularly for those who take advantage of all our clinical offerings for the families, and for the client who comes to us with a high acuity in their mental health needs.”
The data demonstrate that although all Elements Wilderness Program’s families on average report their functioning to have improved significantly, those families who participated in Elements Family Services, such as the 3-day Family Focus Intensives, reported even greater gains in their family’s overall functioning. Elements has posted all these new results to its website for public review.
About Elements Wilderness
Since 2008, Elements Wilderness has been providing a specialized therapeutic intervention for adolescent boys aged 13-17. We at Elements envision a world in which everyone has the skills and support necessary to live a full and healthy life. Through innovative therapeutic and psychiatric intervention, a comprehensive outdoor living experience complete with expeditionary backpacking and adventure programming, a robust family program involving the family at every step, and evidence-based substance abuse treatment, we strive to provide our clients with intervention, treatment, and assessment. Elements is licensed and supervised by the State of Utah Department of Human Services and accredited through the Outdoor Behavioral Health Council and the Association for Experiential Education. For Young Adult wilderness therapy clients, there is Elements Traverse based in central Utah.
Summit Achievement is proud to announce the launch of a new website. The site features updated photo and video content, and pages designed specifically to speak to the needs and questions of prospective parents, students, and referral sources. The site went live in mid-October.
When thinking about a website redesign, Co-Founder Will White was determined to make sure that in addition to updated aesthetics and visual content such as photos and video, the Summit website still offered all of the information that prospective families and professional colleagues need while exploring treatment options. One gap he continually noticed in websites of therapeutic programs was content that spoke directly to the prospective student. Since Summit Achievement is unique in that it doesn’t work with transport companies (meaning all incoming students are aware of the decision of their treatment prior to enrollment), young people enrolling at Summit often have the opportunity to visit the Summit page before arriving on campus. Knowing this, Will and the rest of the Summit leadership team wanted to make sure that their new website was accessible and user-friendly not only for the parents researching programs but for the young people who will be entering treatment. “I really wanted to make sure our website reflected our relational model by being both comforting and transparent with young people and their parents, '' said Dr. White.
The “For Students” section of the Summit website features an open letter from the Summit Leadership team, honest stories and accounts from former Summit students, daily schedules, and more. There are Frequently Asked Questions that are aimed at answering the most common questions and concerns of incoming students, including “What Will I Wear?”, “Will I Sleep Outside Every Night?”, and “How Long Will I Be At Summit?”
Summit encourages all to check out their new website. Not only is the “For Students'' section robust and informative, but there is also a thorough section for parents, updated team information, and new photo and video content including breathtaking drone-footage of the stunning fall foliage around Summit’s campus.
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.
Tripp Johnson and Jake Summers of Green Hill Recovery, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based Transitional Living program, have launched their latest healthcare/treatment organization, AIM: Advaita Integrated Medicine and is accepting new patients. Psychiatry, addiction medicine, and preventative primary care can be found all in one place at AIM. “To develop a comprehensive, integrated recovery-oriented system of care we needed to bring psychiatry and primary care into our offering,” said AIM Founder Tripp Johnson. He continued, “like most treatment providers, Green Hill is not large enough to support a full-time medical team, so we had to create AIM to better serve our existing clients, their families, and the broader community.”
AIM offers both in-person and virtual services for individuals throughout North Carolina. AIM was designed to support individuals at a lower level of care than Green Hill, to fill a much-needed gap in North Carolina. While there are many practices that offer a range of mental health services, AIM strives to be a “medical home” for individuals seeking or in recovery for substance use and mental health disorders. The services provided by AIM are:
- Medication management
- Psychiatric evaluations
- Preventative primary care
- Individual and family therapy
- Integrative wellness coaching
AIM is excited to welcome Drs. Matt Bader and Elisabeth Johnson to the growing team. The human condition is complex and ever-changing. At Advaita Integrated Medicine, they leverage an interdisciplinary team to work collaboratively with their patients to help them achieve their goals. They take a values-based approach to their service and they pride themselves on clinical sophistication, care coordination, integrated care, all in the pursuit of human flourishing. If you are working with a client/patient that needs additional support outside the scope of your practice, they look forward to collaborating with you. Please follow the appropriate link listed below and they will get in touch with you as soon as possible!
Launched in November of 2021, AIM: Advaita Integrated Medicine is the Raleigh area’s leading provider for psychiatry, addiction medicine, and primary care. AIM: Advaita Integrated Medicine is a sister company to Green Hill Recovery, also based in Raleigh. At Advaita Integrated Medicine, they leverage an interdisciplinary team to work collaboratively with our patients to help them achieve their goals. They take a values-based approach to our service and pride themselves on clinical sophistication, care coordination, integrated care, all in the pursuit of human flourishing.
Solutions Parenting Support has developed a free Transition Planning Resource for parents as they navigate their child’s transition home from treatment programs like wilderness therapy programs or a residential setting.
Solutions Parenting Support's team of eight parent coaches have all had extensive careers as therapists in wilderness therapy programs and residential treatment programs so this resource guide shares their philosophies and approaches in assisting and planning for thousands of parents as the child transitions from treatment to home.
This exceptional tool is easy to navigate, electronically fillable for ease, and is available to any parent or program therapist who wants to use it. According to Jen Murphy, Solutions Parenting Support Co-Owner, “This transition resource we have created allows for parents to really dig in and understand where they are and where they want to be in their own individual parenting and within the co-parenting team to prepare for their child's transition home.”
According to the resource itself, the intention is to advise, inform and offer a creative resource that is totally designed for a family's self-defined needs and values. Based on the team's work with hundreds of families over the past 20+ years, we have developed exercises that invite a parent to engage and participate and that can complement whatever tools, templates, or systems a program professional has in place to help a family prepare to reunite.
About Solutions Parenting Support
Solutions Parenting Support is a parent coaching company that offers solutions-focused guidance to parents who have a child in wilderness therapy, therapeutic boarding school, transitioning a child home from wilderness therapy or longer-term treatment, and/or who are working preventatively to keep their family intact. Through video or phone calls, we work with parents all over the world, helping them with practical, direct, and creative solutions, to confidently sustain personal growth and effective parenting.
Balance House is excited to welcome Claire McElroy, CSW to their Clinical team. Claire is from Mobile, Alabama and received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of South Alabama and her Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Claire has experience working with individuals struggling with addiction and mental health, couples, and families. Before earning her Master of Social Work, Claire gained invaluable experience working as a behavioral tech in a residential treatment center in the Utah Valley. She has a passion for helping her clients re-connect to their authentic selves as well as working with families to help them learn new, healthy ways to communicate and heal.
Claire brings her engaging spirit, dedication to her clientele and their families, and her own passion for recovery to the Balance House team. Claire notes that, “one of my favorite aspects of Balance House thus far is the collaborative approach between Clinical and Programming staff in working together, from all angles, to help young men build relationships, skills, and new lives for themselves.”
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 evidence-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.
Portland, ME: Cornerstones of Maine is thrilled to announce that Melissa Westerman has joined their team as Marketing & Outreach Director. Melissa holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. She has worked in the psychiatric/behavioral healthcare field since 1996. She began her career with The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester (NH), spending ten years serving in various capacities, including vocational counseling. She continued counseling as a care manager at WestBridge, a highly regarded non-profit organization providing evidence-based integrated treatment for mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders.
Melissa eventually transitioned to the WestBridge leadership team as Customer Relations Coordinator, managing the Admissions and Marketing team. Most recently, she worked with the Boston-based psychosocial community integration program Ellenhorn, as the Director of Community Relations. She has had several years of volunteer experience chairing fundraising walks, was a NAMI-NH committee member and Walk Day Co-Chair for the NAMI Walk, “For the Mind of America”.
Melissa is thrilled to bring her diversified background and purpose-driven energy to the dynamic Cornerstones team. In tandem with her experience and enthusiasm, Melissa carries with her the steadfast goal of helping professionals and families navigate the behavioral health landscape and access care that reduces shame and stigma by redefining treatment and identity without labels and barriers.
“We are very excited that Melissa has joined the Cornerstones team and brings with her extensive experience in forming relationships with other programs and professionals in the mental health field,” says Jacob Gelles, Co-Founder and Administrative Director of Cornerstones of Maine.
If you need to find her, she is either listening to music/going to live shows, at the beach, spoiling her rescue Great Pyrenees, Hoyt, or at Fenway Park. Melissa was born and raised in New Hampshire and currently resides on the seacoast.
About Cornerstones of Maine
Cornerstones of Maine is a clinically-driven transitional living program designed to assist men, women, and gender-nonconforming young adults (ages 18 to 28) in their journey to becoming independent. Through transformative therapeutic work and individual and group support, our residents work towards independent living. Our individualized program includes professional development, academic re-engagement, and character-building experiences that teach a myriad of skills and create pathways for successful life habits. These experiences, along with enrichment opportunities, promote emotional growth, personal value, and life purpose.
Solstice East, a residential treatment center for female and transgender students ages 14-17, is excited to welcome Primary Therapist Julia Sanchez to the clinical team. Julia earned her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from New College of Florida and went on to receive a Master of Social Work from Florida State University.
Julia is a clinically-trained, trauma-informed social worker with over a decade of macro practice experience as nonprofit youth development and public health program administrator. She is trained in Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Experiential Sculpting, Exposure Therapy, Ecotherapy, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Julia is also a certified Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor and a certified health coach.
“We are honored to have Julia join our team of excellent clinicians,” says Admissions Director, Bri Anicetti. “Julia comes to us with years of experience in youth development and a depth of knowledge in multiple forms of therapy. She also embraces mindfulness and yoga into her practice which is an excellent addition to Solstice East.”
The clinical model of Solstice East is relationship-based and trauma-informed to promote long-term growth and healing. Students receive a combination of individual, family, and group therapy sessions each week. Specialty groups include addictive processing, social communication, substance abuse, trauma recovery, grief counseling, building positive body image and self-esteem, experiential DBT, identity development, and equine therapy.
Julia and the team at Solstice East look forward to continuing to uphold a supportive space for young people on their journey toward healing. For more information about Solstice East’s clinical model, please visit https://solsticeeast.com/therapy
About Solstice East
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-17 nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Asheville, North Carolina. Solstice East is committed to treating each student through a combination of individual, family, equine, and adventure therapies as well as treating and diagnosing a range of issues including (but not limited to) trauma, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors, attachment, and identity issues. Solstice East assists adolescents and their families in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journey. Our holistic approach acknowledges that mental health diagnoses are only one piece of the puzzle; we strive to help young women succeed in multiple areas of their lives.
New Focus Academy, a residential treatment program for neurodiverse adolescents, is thrilled to announce that its academic program is now accredited by Cognia. Cognia, formerly known as AdvancEd, approved New Focus Academy for 5 years of accreditation with no recommendations or changes to the programming. Recommendations are very common when being under review, but at New Focus the academic model is so strong that it received no areas to modify.
The program was evaluated on the following domains: Leadership, Learning, and Resource. The entire process lasted three days and was conducted by an evaluation team that has 16 years of experience evaluating schools. “We are really excited about the future of New Focus Academy with the results from our recent evaluation,” said Josh DeWeerd, Academic Director.
New Focus’s educational instruction includes face-to-face interaction with instructors that work to meet all students where they are academically. When a student enrolls at New Focus, they take an assessment to understand where they are and place them in appropriate classes based on their level, cognitive ability, and age. The assessments are then used to determine the growth and progress that students make while at New Focus. “We have data to prove our students are improving each and every day,” states DeWeerd.
Instructors at New Focus use Special Education techniques and provide therapeutic support in the classroom to foster a positive learning environment. Additionally, New Focus encourages learning in and out of the classroom. Every week students are involved in the community to give back while developing their executive functioning skills.
To learn more about academic programming at New Focus Academy, click here.
New Focus Academy is a therapeutic residential treatment program for adolescents ages 12-18 with neurodevelopmental challenges. Located in Heber City, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City, New Focus Academy prepares struggling teens for a purpose-filled, independent life. New Focus Academy creates an environment of success using a positive reinforcement approach and empowering students to take small steps leading to big changes and overall wellness.
It has been a busy end of the year at all three programs for Q&A Associates. It is exciting to announce that Caleb Johnson has been named Program Director of the Journey WV Transition Program for Young Men. Amelia Preusch is now the Director of Administrative Services.
Caleb Johnson is from Morgantown, WV, but has lived locally in Thomas, WV for 11 years. Caleb comes to us with 10 years of experience working with challenged/disadvantaged youth. Caleb has real-life experience as a former challenged teen, who, with help, turned his life around. Caleb has a passion for using his experiences and skills to encourage other young men to become better, work towards their goals, and succeed in becoming creators in their lives. Caleb's goal for all the Journey clients is to teach them they are powerful and can rise above their troubles with strong mentors to help lead and guide them along the way. Caleb is inspired daily by his wife and six children. In his free time, Caleb enjoys spending time with his kids, being outdoors, hiking, fishing, biking, and giving back to his community while watching his children enjoy sports.
Amelia Preusch, former Executive Assistant to the CEO has been promoted to Director of Administrative Services. In this role, Amelia will be managing all administrative processes as well as working in the areas of marketing outreach, admissions, and student services. Amelia graduated from West Virginia University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Management. Amelia served as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Saddles and Smiles, a non-profit founded by CEO Angie Shockley. At the end of her second year, she accepted a full-time position with Q&A Associates. In Amelia's free time, she enjoys riding horses, hiking, being outdoors, and spending time with her dogs.
"I am thrilled to have Caleb join our team," said Shockley. "He brings a wealth of experience and skills to the Journey program." She continued, "Amelia Preusch has proven to be a valuable member of our team, and I am excited to see her grow even more; watch for her at upcoming conferences."
And last and certainly not least, Sandy Schmiedeknecht, a founding member of the Q&A Associates programs, has recently completed her Ed.D. in Education Community Care and Counseling, Marriage and Family, from the School of Behavioral Sciences at Liberty University. As many colleagues know Sandy retired and moved to Virginia in 2018. However, she continued her doctoral program and dissertation research, working specifically with the Cabin Mountain Living Center program of Q&A Associates. Her final dissertation is entitled Program Evaluation of Life Skills Curriculum for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This dissertation was accepted and approved in her doctoral program and has been published. Sandy holds a master's degree in Human Services, Marriage, and Family. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies: Christian Counseling, Nursing, and Business. She is a Certified Life Coach and holds Coaching Certifications in Addiction Recovery, Professional Coaching, and Christian Coaching and Counseling. She is currently enrolled in an extended course to become a Certified Mental Health Coach.
Sandy has had a stellar career which has included many years serving as a registered nurse. During that time, she helped create the training curriculum for the Certified Nursing Assistant program in Virginia. She also spearheaded the effort to have that certification be transferable from state to state. While operating a business incubator in Davis, WV, she was key in the establishment of Alldredge Academy, a wilderness program that began operation in 2000. She was also an employee of Alldredge Academy for many years, serving in the areas of administration, program development, medical coordination, marketing, and admissions. She established the Alldredge Alumni Association and assisted with many client and family reunions through the years. Post Alldredge Academy, she established an Alumni Association at Eckerd Youth Alternatives. In 2010, she worked with Angie Shockley to develop and establish Q&A Associates Family of Programs for Young Adults. She served as the Lead Life Coach throughout her tenure at Q&A, developing the Life Skills Curriculum to serve a wide variety of needs and performance levels. She also assisted with marketing, admissions, human resources, and business management at Q&A. Even though she is currently retired, she is continuing to serve Q&A, consulting on clients and the ever-evolving life skills curriculum. Sandy enjoys living near her family on a small farm in Huddleston, VA, near Smith Mountain Lake, where they care for cattle, horses, goats, chickens, ducks, and pot-bellied pigs. "Sandy Schmiedeknecht - the Queen as most know her - has been a pivotal person not only in the development and operation of Q&A Associates, but also in the rest of my professional life; she has been a life-long friend, and I'm incredibly proud of her and all of her accomplishments," said Angie Shockley, Founder and CEO of Q&A. Schmiedeknecht stated, "I am humbled and honored to be a part of all the things Angie and I have created together."
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 is pleased to announce that Katelyn BeVard, program director at Evoke Entrada, has been elected to the position of vice-chair of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBH), an organization dedicated to advancing the field of wilderness therapy through best practices, effective treatment, and evidence-based research. She begins her new duties this month. Further, becoming vice-chair means that in two years, BeVard will step into the position of chairwoman of the group.
When BeVard became program director at Evoke in 2017, she also stepped into the role of liaison between Evoke and the OBH. “After I attended my first OBH meeting I had two thoughts,” says BeVard, “One: I can’t wait to keep these conversations going and to keep learning from these humans. And two: We need more women in this room.”
Since 2017, BeVard has held other positions on the OBH Council Executive Committee, participated in many accreditation reviews, and chaired multiple committees. She was also part of the first all-female executive team, realizing her goal of role modeling for other women that there is a seat at the table for them while also fulfilling her initial hope of working to better wilderness programs with more women by her side.
“I care deeply about the work OBH programs are doing and I’m honored to be elected to a position that will allow me to be on the front lines of the Council’s work. Being part of that all-female executive committee was one of the most empowering and powerful experiences I’ve had in this field,” says BeVard. “I definitely have some big shoes to fill, but I’m excited and ready for this challenge.”
Rick Heizer, executive director and owner of Evoke Therapy Programs, is extremely supportive of BeVard’s new role. “Katelyn is a natural leader and able to work with all sorts of individuals on a team through creating a collaborative and supportive environment,” says Heizer. “Now more than ever the Council is needed to further the advancement of our field. Katelyn was elected to this position because she is seen as someone who can do that, and lead the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare field into our next era.”
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.
MAYER, ARIZONA, November 8, 2021. Starting at the end of September, Spring Ridge Academy launched a series of parent groups that include psychoeducation and connection with a variety of Spring Ridge staff. The goal is to support parents in all areas as their family goes through the process of change.
The Parent Support groups, held on Thursdays at 3 pm Arizona, are hosted by different Spring Ridge staff members. “Our employees are experts in their fields and have worked at Spring Ridge for many years. Not only do they have valuable information to share, but they also have a chance to connect with parents in a way that they may not have in the past. This gives the families more resources when they need them,” said Suzie Courtney, Executive Director.
The topics of the group vary from week to week and are based on the feedback that Spring Ridge Academy gets from stakeholders about areas where parents need more information. Leslie Filsinger, Clinical Director, started the series with a group called “Bridging Structure from Spring Ridge to Home.” This group examined how parents can assist their adolescents on home visits and when they transition home after treatment.
Other groups included information from Residential Director Susan Dougherty and Principal Justin Zych and Spring Ridge therapists and other leadership members. Topics vary from setting boundaries to college applications to bottom-up vs. top-down approaches to therapy.
This week’s group is called “Meet the Coaches.” Parents will have an opportunity to meet some of the milieu staff at Spring Ridge who mentor the students with daily life skills and create the structure of day-to-day life. They will provide insight into how they use a firm but nurturing approach to working with the students so that parents can use it on visits and at home with their students.
“Our community is inclusive of so many people beyond the staff and students who are campus every day. We want to make sure we are proactively helping parents so that families are successful. Our goal is to create an environment where families can learn, heal, grow, and connect,” said Erin Smith, Director of Operational Excellence.
About Spring Ridge Academy
Spring Ridge Academy, located 1.5 hours outside Phoenix, Arizona, serves young women ages 13-17. Founded in 1997 as a female and family-owned Therapeutic Boarding School. The program is licensed by the State of Arizona and accredited by the Joint Commission. Cognia accredits the academics. Using evidence-based clinical modalities with a traditional rigorous college-prep curriculum, including fine and expressive arts and team sports, Spring Ridge has created a relationship-based setting that allows the students’ emotional, relational, spiritual, intellectual, and physical growth.
Dr. Sarah Parlier, Director of Student Development at Trails Momentum, was recently featured on Success is Subjective, Joanna Lilley’s podcast. On the episode Dr. Parlier discusses her background, working at Trails Momentum, and her thoughts on young adults and college.
Dr. Parlier talks through the impact of working at Trails Momentum. With a background in academics, Dr. Parlier had a vision for what her career as a teacher was going to look like. When she found wilderness therapy and Trails Momentum, she found a place where she could incorporate all of her passions into one united vision.
“The best teaching that I think I’ve ever done is at Trails Momentum,” said Dr. Parlier while discussing her career journey. Trails Momentum provides experiential learning opportunities for students led by Dr. Parlier.
Dr. Parlier explains how teaching styles impact how young adults learn and absorb information. She states that “students have to like what they are learning, have to find it meaningful, and learn it in a context that they can transfer that knowledge.” Trails Momentum accomplishes this through flexible learning environments, guided field work, and a comprehensive approach that provides additional support for students across their academic and therapeutic needs.
Trails Momentum’s mission is to help young adults successfully launch into the next step of their lives with academic and therapeutic support. With the help of Dr. Parlier, students are ready to take the steps needed to reach their academic goals.
To learn more about Trails Momentum, please visit https://trailsmomentum.com or call (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.
Greeley, CO: This fall,16-year-old Red Mountain Colorado student Jake took to the mat and competed in a local Jiu Jitsu tournament. The tournament included participants of all levels and weight classes, and was Jake's first time competing in this sport.
“I’ve mostly done football, baseball, and a little track,” Jake said. Before enrolling at Red Mountain Colorado, a mindfulness-based, community-integrated residential treatment center for male identifying and non-binary adolescents, Jake was interested in Mixed Martial Arts, but had never trained before. In April 2021 he began taking Jiu Jitsu classes at the local academy as part of his RMC schedule. He quickly discovered a passion for the martial art.
“When I first started, I was horrible,” Jake said. But he didn’t give up. Jake, an accomplished athlete, knew that he had to keep trying if he wanted to grow his skills. “After that first class, I knew I wanted to improve,” Jake said. “So, I started going to Jiu Jitsu almost every day.”
For nearly six months, he trained and eventually decided to compete. His instructor encouraged him and coached him on staying calm during his match despite the odds against him. “The other guy was very strong,” Jake said. “He was out-muscling me in every single aspect.”
Though Jake lost the match, he was not discouraged. “You either win or you learn,” Jake said. “You learn how to correct what you did wrong. It’s about what’s next; how not to make the same mistakes I did before.”
Jake believes that much of what he learns in Jiu Jitsu can be applied to other parts of life.
“We have conversations after grappling,” Jake said. “There are a lot of metaphors for life. Every single person has their advantages and disadvantages.”
Despite his recent defeat, Jake wakes up early to attend 6am classes in addition to classes in the evenings; he, along with several other RMC students and clinical director Dr. Bennett Edgerly, are committed to their training.
“There’s a big sense of relief to go out there and grapple,” Jake said.
He described how Jiu Jitsu has helped him with self-esteem, interpersonal skills, and boundaries.
“It builds a lot of trust in yourself and others.”
Jake’s love of Jiu Jitsu is felt by the entire RMC community. He is actively working to improve his skills and hopes to compete again in the future.
Red Mountain Colorado is a Community-Integrated Residential Treatment Center that provides an ideal setting for adolescent males and nonbinary individuals, who would benefit from a mindfulness-based residential treatment program. Red Mountain Colorado is located in the Colorado Front Range, and helps teens with co-occurring disorders heal by working with the mind, body, and spirit using various forms of meditation, mindfulness, yoga, martial arts, life skills education, and evidence-based therapies including CBT, DBT, EMDR, and Brainspotting.
When people have dysregulated brains, they struggle with physical and emotional pain, life is hard, and relationships are damaged. SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training partners with families and facilities to empower people. Take a look at how SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training is providing neurofeedback services and systems through facility and employee growth this month. These services and systems help the brain regulate because everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive.
SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training is a provider for neurofeedback services for Three Points Center, which is a residential treatment center for adopted teens. Three Points Center exists to address “the importance and necessity of creating a nurturing residential treatment facility solely for adopted teens, geared to address the complex psychological, emotional, and social issues often encountered by adopted individuals and their families.”
SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training is excited to partner with Three Points Center to continue to provide neurofeedback services to Three Point Center’s new location in North Carolina. Three Points Center will begin enrolling youth and their families shortly.
SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training is excited to announce three new Business Development Representatives to the team. Sean O’Conner has come on board to help all aspects of business development across the United States. Jan Sherwood is on board to help with aspects of business development in the western United States. Melodie Hayes has taken over all aspects of organizing and interacting with the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP). NATSAP is an advocate and resource for innovative organizations that specifically devote themselves to society’s need for the effective care and education of struggling young people and their families. You can reach out to Melodie for whatever you may need regarding SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training’s involvement with NATSAP. You can contact Melodie at (833) 796-6387 Ext. 7 or email@example.com
About SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training:
Our Mission: When people have dysregulated brains, they suffer physical and emotional pain, life is hard, and relationships are damaged. At SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training, we empower people by providing neurofeedback services and systems that help the brain regulate because everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive.
For more research and information about SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training and the different partnership opportunities, contact Dianne Kosto, SCN, CEO & Founder. To schedule an appointment, follow this link: https://go.oncehub.com/DianneKosto. Follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook or visit our website: www.symmetryneuropt.com.
Roots Reboot is a mental health tune-up weekend for young adult clients in need of a refresher or reset. Set in the gorgeous red rocks of the Grand Staircase, our weekend workshop offers:
- Peer Connection through outdoor small groups in current events discussion, thematic conversations, and one-to-one mental health coaching for “taking their pulse.”
- Beautiful Lodge Accommodations with wonderful food, healthy movement, and evening campfires, access 24/7 to a listening coach onsite.
- Wilderness Therapists Lead Workshops in reconnection and post-traumatic growth rekindling their wilderness experience, tools, and skills—whether from last year or 5 years ago!
- Student and their Sponsoring Parents Post-tuneup Coaching Package offered in several categories, from health management, college or career re-visioning, (included in event fee)
Roots Reboot meets the needs of young adults who are looking to re-engage the benefits from their wilderness experience. With many wilderness therapy alumni seeking connection and support after treatment, yet already in work or school schedule, WinGate and Roots Reboot have partnered to create this weekend forum for continued health and wellness. The kick-off weekend will be February 2022.
For more information or to schedule a Zoom call with a WinGate Wilderness , contact Josh Gunalda, Admissions Director by phone at (828) 412-1385, or by email at Josh Nelson, Roots Intensive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to connecting with you.
WinGate Wilderness Therapy is located in southern Utah, in the Grand Staircase National Monument. The program provides personalized treatment for teens, ages 13-17; and young adults, ages 18-28, through their young adult program Expanse Wilderness. 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.
Brainspotting is used as part of the holistic adjunctive care practiced at The Forge School to get students out of their trauma and into the present. Brainspotting (BSP) is an advanced brain-body-mindfulness-based therapeutic approach that focuses processing in the parts of the brain involved in regulation, where memory and emotion are stored. It specifically addresses the emotions and memories impacting an individual from a part of the brain that can help them feel better and feel more regulated.
Each clinician at The Forge School is professionally trained in brainspotting and is able to implement when deemed clinically necessary. "Brainspotting is about fixed gaze," says Forge School clinician Brandon Holt, "It is only used in certain situations, and is very effective when practiced." Due to experiences of overwhelming developmental stress, many of Forge School's students have not been able to develop secure attachments, which in turn, has affected their core beliefs about the world and whether or not it’s a safe place. When implemented appropriately, brainspotting has proven a very effective treatment modality in helping teens find healing.
To learn more about The Forge School, visit: https://forgeschoolrtc.com
About the Forge School
The Forge School is an emboldened residential treatment center and school developed in response to the neurobiological needs of boys and young men. At The Forge School we combine the immersion of extraordinary outdoor experiences, empathetic and attuned individual and family counseling, and exceptional educational rigor to help build greatness beyond an education. The Forge School also aims to reconnect boys to their bodies through meditation, yoga, mindfulness, fitness, and healthy nutrition.
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for students 10-17, develops programming to best support different age groups. The pre-teen staff team recently convened a retreat focusing on evaluating and expanding our offerings for students ages 10-13.
The program understands that pre-teen groups, ages 10 to 13, require different clinical and developmental approaches than older adolescents and has put considerable effort into creating unique programming for each age group.
“Preteens are in a special place. Remember what it was like to be that awkward middle schooler? They are learning their place in social settings. Many youths today are turning to technology for social interaction which leads them to not getting the very basic social skills. In our program, they get to practice their social skills. They start to learn where they fit into their peer groups and what consequences (positive, negative, and natural) that come from their actions in those peer groups. They also take their first real steps towards navigating good communication skills,” explains Trails Carolina Youth Program Director Brandon Berthrong.
The pre-teens work their way through therapeutic phases while at Trails Carolina and the phasework is uniquely different from that of the adolescent students. Trails Carolina even differentiates the parent education offerings and runs parent support groups for the parents of pre-teens that differs from the approach used with parents of adolescents.
For more information about each of the groups at Trails and the therapists who specialize in working with those students, visit trailscarolina.com or call 800-975-7303.
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, adventure 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.
To provide the most effective and individualized treatment in wilderness therapy, Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness provides multiple layers of in-depth assessment early in a student’s stay. This results in stronger case conceptualization, tailored treatment, and distinct goals for discharge planning. Within days of a student’s arrival, the Blue Ridge treatment team synthesizes observations and clinical assessment from a myriad of specialized roles across the organization to provide a clear assessment and treatment plan for the student’s time in the wilderness.
Field Instructors collect observations from the field and spend extensive time with the Primary Therapist in order to determine how a student is orienting to the program. What is observed in the first several days after arrival is critical in determining a students’ approach to challenges and provides a baseline assessment to help monitor growth.
Blue Ridge’s Psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Braunstein, conducts an initial consultation with every student within several days of enrollment to understand their history. This allows the program to provide a thorough intake and psychiatric assessment with a more targeted pharmacological perspective. Dr. Braunstein’s initial consultation considers the student’s medical and clinical profile to best determine what their needs will be. His assessment and involvement with each student establishes a comprehensive baseline, provides a safe container to safely manage and/or alter medications and builds trusting relationships with students who may be treatment-resistant, all so that the program as a whole can improve how they respond to student needs.
Blue Ridge’s Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Lorena Bradley, Ph.D. administers an in-depth clinical intake assessment within the first 10-14 days of a student’s arrival. Dr. Bradley meets with each new student and provides an assessment report to their Primary Therapist, Family Therapist, and Therapeutic/Educational Consultant. Dr. Bradley’s “second set of eyes” allows the Primary Therapist to begin with even more information at hand as they develop an individualized Master Treatment Plan for each student. Dr. Bradley makes recommendations about the student’s appropriateness, initial diagnostic considerations, and risk areas that should be monitored while they are in the program. This evaluation is vital in providing more information about what might interfere with treatment and gathers information about the history of abuse so that the Primary Therapist can begin to provide trauma-informed care, if indicated, for the student. Dr Bradley’s intake assessment, combined with the psychiatric intake consultation, produces more detailed information to the Primary Therapist and the Blue Ridge treatment team so that they can establish a clearer and more comprehensive treatment plan for the student and family.
In addition to the clinical intake assessment, Dr. Bradley provides young adults in Blue Ridge’s Emerald Arrow program with a skills assessment, personality, and strengths assessment encompassed in the Campbell Interest and Skills Survey (CISS). These evaluations occur near the middle of the young adult’s stay and are followed up by a one-on-one session between Dr. Bradley and the student. The individualized time with Dr. Bradley is designed to help students better understand themselves and inform recommendations for their next steps. With the guidance of Dr. Bradley, students are able to dive into the assessments’ results, receive feedback from Dr. Bradley, and address any questions students may have.
Dr. Bradley’s ongoing long-term collaboration with the Blue Ridge team has led to more comprehensive and in-depth treatment for students. Dr. Bradley, who is an independent contractor with Blue Ridge, has conducted psychological testing in wilderness programs for well over a decade and regularly participates in clinical team meetings. She is accessible to the clinical team to help interpret prior testing, participate in group clinical supervision, and case conceptualizations for all students.
Dr. Bradley is also available to parents and Educational Consultants to provide a more thorough explanation of the student’s cognitive, academic, and personality functioning. This psychological testing provides treatment recommendations while the student is in the wilderness, and can also assist Independent Educational Consultants in determining next steps for maintaining therapeutic gains students have made while at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness.
Blue Ridge and Emerald Arrow’s immersive wilderness setting is especially advantageous for assessment and subsequent tailored treatment because it helps to illustrate an extensive scope of what is happening for each student in a distraction-free environment. An in-depth multidisciplinary assessment helps to guide a student’s time in the wilderness, provide information for treatment planning, and inform recommendations for next steps. The immersive wilderness setting combined with the multidisciplinary assessment makes Blue Ridge and Emerald Arrow the ideal place for an accurate, in-depth assessment and individualized treatment.
About Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness offers clinically-driven programs encompassing advanced therapeutic skill, a highly flexible nomadic wilderness therapy model, licensed wilderness therapy assessment, and multiple treatment options for troubled teens ages 13-18 years old. Our individualized approach, family support, and commitment to service translate to an unparalleled experience and better outcomes for adolescents and families.
All Kinds of Therapy is excited to share that there are now over 220 blogs on the website. These blogs are just some of the reasons that there have been over 150K visitors to the website since 2021 began, over 20% growth in traffic this year. Most of the blogs were created to answer questions of parents' questions to be answered in the middle of the night as they sort through a crisis. There is a subset to create a space for young adults to reflect back on their experiences in teen treatment or choose treatment as a young adult. Then there are opinion/information blogs that are more limited and timely to whatever is happening in Private Pay Behavioral Healthcare or nationally, like COVID or this fall, Oregon State Bill 749: How and Why to Register?, and the questions surrounding should an independent education consultant register with the state of Oregon if they place adolescents or not.
The blogs began to be written in 2014 and many of those are helpful seasonally, like, Keeping Wilderness Therapy Clients Safe in Winter or How Can my Teen Miss Their Favorite Holiday? What Happens in Treatment Centers Over the Holidays? Other blogs have become FAQs for families that have landed on the website and sit in the blog and the FAQs section. Another group of blogs is Interview Questions, like Top Questions to Ask an Educational Consultant or Interventionist. Interviews with Young Adults in search of their own treatment or transition program or enrolling in wilderness Therapy, Questions to guide parents when touring residential treatment programs Questions & concepts to ask when visiting a treatment program that "specializes" in transgender. Many families do not know the difference between Outward Bound and Wilderness Therapy and there are a couple of blogs on this subject.
Since adding boarding schools to the website last year slowly, the blog filter for boarding schools is growing with content like Reasons why boarding schools are a good option post-treatment or wilderness therapy, 10 Types of boarding schools, or most recently, What's a learning difference boarding school? 5 outstanding outcomes. The blog is updated at least monthly, if not more. If you have any ideas about blogs or are interested in Guest Blogging, feel free to reach out to support @ allkindsoftherapy.com with your pitch.
About All Kinds of Therapy
Launched in 2015, allkindsoftherapy.com is a web-based platform that focuses on interventions, assessment, and varying types of treatment to transition programming for ages 30 and under. All the advertisers on the website must answer revealing facts about their treatment model, clinicians' training, licensing, etc, and offer a level of transparency, unlike any other online treatment, boarding school, or professional directory. The web platform allows the visitor to compare side-by-side, residential options, boarding schools. The professionals listed in the ‘Expert section’ are parent coaches, tele-therapy, tele-assessment, therapeutic consultants who reveal details about their practice. The blog with over 200 entries is directed towards the parents and young adults in search of context and support.