All Kinds of News for April 05, 2022
Elevate Academy’s Jessica Saxton will be presenting “Coming Home: Reintegration of Body and Mind in Post-Traumatic Growth” at the NATSAP Southwest Regional Conference being held in St. George, Utah, on Friday, March 25th.
80% of one's emotions are experienced physically. When trauma occurs, emotional pain is stored within the body. Clinicians help their clients tap into “whole body healing” by use of essential bottom-up practices. Breathing and relaxation techniques, clinical trauma-sensitive yoga, and other mind-body connection practices will be discussed in the presentation.
As a licensed primary therapist herself, Jessica’s presentation will be directed toward clinical professionals. “True reintegration for clients in the post-traumatic growth stage comes exclusively from the use of body-oriented practices,” Saxton emphasizes. “Reintegration of body and mind is the critical pathway for successful post-traumatic growth.”
By the end of the presentation, attendees will walk away with a deeper, demonstrative understanding of the physical impacts of trauma, the necessity of a whole-body approach, post-traumatic growth, and the practical application of effective mind-body interventions.
About Elevate Academy
Located in Provo, Utah, the Elevate Academy is a leading youth residential treatment center that serves youth struggling with the effects of depression, mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, adverse childhood experiences, and attachment and adoption issues.
These often overlap with learning disabilities, school avoidance or refusal, self-harm, oppositional defiance disorder, or mild aggression. Students often come disengaged from family and activities they once enjoyed. Many are trying to cope with trauma in unhealthy ways and engaging in risky behaviors, such as school refusal, substance abuse, self-harm, co-dependent relationships, low self-esteem, anger, and defiance. We treat the whole person: psychological, emotional, and physical. Your child learns how to engage in healthy life choices and healthy relationships. The Elevate Academy academic philosophy is simple - engaged students learn better. This engagement is powered by a Social-Emotional-Learning model that immerses the student into a clinical classroom where your child's education is integral to your child's treatment. The Elevate School offers a typical High School Schedule to help students acclimate to their school setting at home. In addition, elevated Academy students live in a home setting of increasing self-managed structure. As with growing weight helps to build stronger muscles. Elevate Academy’s residential neighborhoods add measured and purposeful responsibility so that the residential milieu increasingly prepares your child for a smooth transition to a more normal life. For more information, please contact our admissions department at 801-641-8352.
Martin, GEORGIA (March 15, 2022) - Non-profit organization Shepherd’s Hill Academy partnered with Learning Tree Academy last week to host a Back the Blue BBQ luncheon to show support for local law enforcement. The luncheon was a part of the Give Back Initiative launched by Shepherd’s Hill in August.
The event was held on the Shepherd’s Hill campus located at 2200 Price Road in Martin, GA. “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to serve those who serve us each and every day,” stated Allison Wallace, Director of Program Development and Admissions. “Our goal is to not only be a part of dramatic change within the lives of our students, but our hope is to cause a ripple effect within our community through servant-hearted actions, ultimately creating a hyper-local atmosphere of community camaraderie and support.”
Staff and students of both Learning Tree Academy and Shepherd’s Hill gathered together within the family pavilion to celebrate police officers of Franklin County. Pastor Brent White from First United Methodist Church opened the event with prayer which was followed by a catered lunch provided by Just Right Catering. Officers were showered with handmade cards from The Learning Tree Academy students. The officers also had bracelets as gifts for the students. A group photo wrapped the event.
This was the second Back the Blue luncheon to be held at the campus. The first was for Stephens County law enforcement. “A goal of events like these is to reach out to the community and teach our young people to have a reverence and an appreciation for our law enforcement,” pointed out Wallace. “We want to instill a positive narrative in young people for those who serve and protect.”
About Shepherd’s Hill Academy
Shepherd’s Hill Academy is a residential therapeutic wilderness boarding school for troubled teens. Founded in 2001, Shepherd’s Hill sits upon a sprawling oasis that covers over 200 acres with 24/7 care for ages 12 to 17. The organization is a fully accredited academy. Teens experience an unplugged environment complete with equine therapy, group therapy, one-on-one therapy, hands-on agricultural experiences, once-a-month field trips, Christ-centered weekly chapel, and more. For more information on how to partner with Shepherd’s Hill Academy in their mission to help teens in crisis, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about how Shepherd’s Hill can help your teenager, visit www.shepherdshillacademy.org.
ABOUT Learning Tree Academy
The Learning Tree Academy is a child care center that works to provide quality and unique care and education to ages birth through 3rd grade. The center employs a holistic approach to care for all ages, developing and empowering young individuals through the strengthening of the intellectual, social-emotional, physical, and spiritual being. For more information visit thelearningtreeacademy.com.
The College Parent Survival Network sponsored the 'Alternative to College Fair,' commonly known as the Alt Fair, on March 19, 2022 in Walnut Creek, CA. In attendance at the Alt Fair were parents, high school seniors, and young adults who were trying to figure out a plan, whether they left post-secondary institutions or never went. This event hosted 38 local and national programs and opportunities. As she was leaving, one young woman shared, “I’m so glad I came to this! I have several news ideas for what I want to do and where I want to go. Thank you for hosting this event!”
Alternative-to-college options are becoming necessary for a variety of young adults. For the 150+ families who attended the fair, the programs ranged from residential college entry programs, young adult transitional programs, therapeutic gap year programs, trade programs, summer-based college preparation programs, creative accelerator programs, non-residential young adult support services, and more. The programs in attendance are only a fraction of what’s available out there for young adults who are looking to get creative after they graduate high school. Jake Weld, representing Mansfield Hall, shared “Participating in the 2022 Alt Fair was a great opportunity to connect directly with students, families, referring professionals, and other excellent post-secondary options. Being a part of a curated set of options - and participants - meant that every conversation was productive and each interaction was meaningful.”
Any family or young adult who was unaware of this event or unable to attend, can learn about the participating programs by exploring the CollegeAlternative.org (https://www.collegealternative.org/) website or email email@example.com to ask for guidance.
About College Parent Survival Network:
College Parent Survival Network (https://www.allkindsoftherapy.com/therapeutic-expert/the-college-parent-collective) 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.
Beacon Transitions, a Residential Independent Living Program in Hendersonville North Carolina, is proud to announce the acceptance of their membership into the Young Adult Transition Association (YATA).
Regarding the decision to join YATA, Beacon’s Director of Business Development, Jake Harris said “As a young adult transition program, we have an obligation to our clients and families to engage in conversations aimed towards furthering our understanding of best practices and trends in the greater therapeutic community. We’re excited to collaborate with our partners and other organizations to provide the best possible experience for the young adults we work with.”
Since opening its doors in 2013, Beacon has been helping young adult men with learning disabilities develop and expand their toolbox of independent living skills with which to tackle higher education or vocational pursuits. Beacon hopes that by joining a consortium of programs dedicated to the same mission, it can continue to develop as an organization.
With over nine years of serving Young Adult men on the Autism Spectrum, Beacon Transitions, located south of Asheville, NC brings a novel, collaborative approach to helping their clients achieve targeted milestones of achievement. Using a community based method, Beacon and their professional partners have a proven record of dedication to excellence.
About Beacon Transitions
Beacon Transitions, an Independent Living Program located south of Asheville, NC brings a novel, collaborative approach to helping their students achieve targeted milestones of achievement. Using a community method, Beacon Transitions and their coalition of Mental Health Treatment Providers, Local Business Leaders, and educational professionals support Male-Identifying Young Adults develop the skills to live independently.
On April 6th, 2022 the Governing Board of Havenwood Academy held a ground breaking ceremony on their newest property for an additional two residential homes. Local government officials, media, and other residential programs in the area joined them in their celebration. Havenwood Academy has plans to build an entire campus, with a school, gymnasiam, and several more homes that will serve as the future of its program.
See more about Havenwood's campus by going to havenwoodacademy.org/our-facilities/
Dr. Ken Huey, CEO of Havenwood, spoke about the future facilities: "With these first two homes we will have the beginning stages completed of a world class facility for traumatized teen girls. We will be perfectly situated to continue life-saving mental health care for our clients."
Havenwood Academy is a long-term residential treatment center dedicated to providing a private pay experience to publicly funded families. For the last 8 years, Havenwood has been providing treatment to teenage girls with trauma and attachment-related issues. Havenwood's trauma-informed, relationally based treatment provides a way for struggling teenage girls to heal and succeed. Havenwood works with public payor sources like Medicaid and Adoption Assistance Program Funding to provide high quality treatment to families who otherwise could not afford it.
Jenny Stulck, MS, LCMHC, NCC, returns to lead Seasons' co-ed programing following a three-month sabbatical. While on leave, Jenny was able to hike around some of the most beautiful, preserved mountains in the world in the Peruvian Andes.
"I am extremely grateful to SUWS and my employers for granting me a three month leave in order to replenish my soul," said Jenny. "I value the families I work with and the team at SUWS. It is important to me that I show up with energy and passion for what I do. These last few years have been a doozy for many of us, and I believe it was important for me to take a break from my work, model what self-care can look like and step outside of my routine for a time so I could return fully-present to work with the SUWS community."
Jenny has been working with the Seasons program (students ages 10 - 13) since 2018. She enjoys the versatile nature of working with boys and girls at this age of development and weaves play, ceremony, song, and hard skills into the therapeutic process.
Jenny uses a relational approach with her students. Her goal is to meet students and families where they are at when they arrive in treatment at SUWS. Jenny is currently finding inspiration in the Neuro-Affective Relation Model (NARM) while also incorporating a variety of modalities into her therapeutic approach, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and choice theory. She continues to focus on developing her skills and approaches around working with the neuro-diverse population.
About SUWS of the Carolinas
SUWS of the Carolinas c is a licensed, CARF International-accredited mental health facility, committed to helping families rediscover their strengths and fostering growth for young people. Operating in the Pisgah National Forest outside of Asheville, SUWS delivers wilderness based therapeutic interventions for 10-17 year old boys and girls with compassion and excellence.
March is Women’s History Month.
Initially, it was just International Women’s Day. Later, it became Women’s History Week. Then in 1987, the entire month served a reminder of the accomplishments of women throughout the years to our culture and society. March provides an opportunity to reflect on trailblazing women, who lead the way for change. This year’s theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” SUWS of the Carolinas is highlighting several women, who are helping to providing healing and promoting hope for the future for the families served at SUWS.
Emily Golding, Field Instructor, discovered her passion for mental health, wilderness, and group therapy during her bachelor’s degree studies in social work at Appalachian State. Out in the field, Emily aims to create a container for growth in which the students feel empowered, challenged, and inspired. She often uses poetry, stories, games, somatic mindfulness, and art as tools to facilitate groups with the students. She also brings Athena, her therapy dog to the field, Emily feels strongly that in-group and connection with others is where the magic happens. Emily created a 6-week mindfulness program for adolescents, and developed camp activities for adolescents on the Autism spectrum. She has also authored and illustrated a children's book.
Leyla El-Baba is the primary therapist working with the Luna group. She brings to the field her love of the wilderness, exemplified in successfully completing the Pacific Crest Trail. She understands and appreciates how to support her students while they engage in wilderness therapy. Leyla’s clinical focus is transpersonal and humanistic. Her hope in serving teen girls at SUWS is to empower them to discover and learn to use their voice as they connect to their embodied wisdom and become their most authentic self.
As Clinical Director, Erica Thiessen brings to SUWS a wealth of experience working with families in therapeutic settings, and believes nature, community, and play are powerful players in the process of growth and healing. “One thing that I really appreciate about our team is that we are not asking our clients to do anything we are not willing to do ourselves,” said Erica. “Many on the clinical team came to their position through having first worked in the field. We have hiked through the storms, up muddy hills, and feasted on many nights of beans and rice. We value communication, honesty, and the strengths that come with vulnerability. At SUWS, we are willing to both role model as well as put in hard work to provide healing and promoting hope to the adolescents and their families.”
Medical Coordinator Olivia Holbein has always loved the outdoors. She was a field instructor for two years. During this time, she experienced the transformative power of wilderness. Her desire to help others led earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Olivia worked on a Trauma Care Unit for several years. She was elated to join SUWS of the Carolinas as the Medical Coordinator because the role combined her passion for the outdoors and helping others. Olivia ensures that students and staff are safe in the woods. Olivia’s energetic therapy dog, Belle, often accompanies her to work. Students enjoy playing with Belle, especially by throwing her sticks.
Later this month, Operations Director Camille Edmonds will celebrate her 10-year anniversary of employment with SUWS. Camille arrived at SUWS with a manufacturing background and a love for the outdoors. She immediately set out to understand how the therapeutic and logistical areas of wilderness therapy operated. Her passion is to support this amazing community by taking care of the operations in the background that keep SUWS operating so field staff and therapists can focus on the students and families. “What struck me the most is that SUWS attracts incredible people at all levels of the organization with so many varied skills, interests, and backgrounds," said Camille. "Everyone has more compassion and investment in the families we serve, than in any other type of work I have experienced.”
Kelly Dunbar has been working with referring professionals and families as they navigate their way to a SUWS admissions for the past 6-years. Kelly brings over 30 years of professional experience assisting families and students to residential programming. Kelly enjoys her role as Director of Business Development because she believes in the SUWS team and care the team provides to all students and families. Kelly is honored to be among these "women in wilderness" and looks forward to continuing to share the mission and goals of SUWS.
Admission Director Rachel Vandevoort joined the SUWS team in the summer of 2021. Since then, she has been the positive and comforting voice heard on that first admissions call for many of the families served at SUWS. Initially studying business administration in college, Rachel realized she had an interest in social issues and helping others, and changed her major to sociology. She wanted her career to positively impact today’s youth and her work at SUWS is providing healing and promoting hope.
About Suws of the Carolinas
SUWS of the Carolinas and Phoenix Outdoor is a licensed, CARF International-accredited mental health facility, committed to helping families rediscover their strengths and fostering growth for young people. Operating in the Pisgah National Forest outside of Asheville, SUWS delivers wilderness-based therapeutic interventions for 10-17 year old boys and girls with compassion and excellence.
This month, Finding You: An Evoke Therapy Podcast will hit another major milestone -- its two millionth listen. This comes after a year and a half of explosive growth which essentially doubled the number of listens, up from one million in December of 2020. What started out modestly as another point of contact for Evoke Therapy Programs’ clients and families has become a weekly ritual for listeners from countries as diverse as Oman, Malaysia, Guatemala, Brazil, Israel, Zambia, Japan, India, and Australia, not to mention the US and Canada. In fact, the show has followers on every continent but Antarctica.
“While our original purpose was to serve Evoke families, now the vast majority of our listeners are not parents of Evoke but all kinds of people who are interested in learning more about themselves and their relationships,” says podcast host and Evoke founder Dr. Brad Reedy. “They tune in to find nuggets, tools, insights, and to be reminded of the type of thinking that goes into developing a more whole and fulfilling life.”
With over 450 episodes, the show features a diverse array of topics from interviews with Harriet Lerner, Justin Baldoni, Caitlyn Connolly, Mackenzie Phillips and other thinkers in the mental health arena, to book reviews, to discussions of parenting, marriage, codependency, narcissism, addiction, boundaries, anxiety, and trauma, among its many and varied therapeutic topics. “The principles discussed in these podcasts and my practicing of them is healing. I’m a therapist by profession and I am seeing producing this podcast improve my work in holding my clients’ emotions more effectively now. I have witnessed great healing in sessions by following the principles explained here. I can only hope this podcast helps its other listeners in the way it’s helped me,” says one iTunes listener.
“I’ve been listening for almost three years. I started listening when my family was having serious issues. Whenever I feel like I need support, I just turn on this podcast, go for a walk or do dishes, and I feel much better and clearer. I can honestly say this podcast has improved my life in a major way,” says another.
When asked about his vision for the podcast’s future, Reedy says this: “I’ve been asked about the founding of Evoke Therapy Programs and I tell people that I just want to make a dent in the universe -- to borrow from Steve Jobs. But more simply put, whether it’s through our Wilderness Therapy program, our therapeutic Intensives program or the Finding You podcast, I want to offer people the love, compassion, and wisdom that somebody offered me. I’m trying to create an experience for others that somebody created for me. Where that will lead and how this journey will impact the podcast is yet to be seen.”
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 Saint George, Utah. Evoke Therapy Intensives are based in northern Utah.
About Dr. Brad Reedy
Dr. Reedy is the co-founder and executive clinical director of Evoke Therapy Programs. In addition to hosting the Finding You podcast he has also authored two books: The Journey of the Heroic Parent: Your Child’s Struggle and the Road Home, and The Audacity to Be You: Learning to Love Your Horrible Rotten Self.
Youth who are 17 to 17 ½ years old find themselves in a sort of twilight zone when it comes to finding a place that meets their needs for treatment. Many residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools have a population that clusters around 14-16 year-olds, with a focus on middle school/high school academics and social dynamics. Family therapy work is often focused on helping students reintegrate into their parents’ homes. On the other hand, young adult transition programs tend to work with people ages 18-26 who have already completed high school in most cases and who have passed through some key developmental stages. That includes coming to grips with the reality that turning 18 did not in fact mean that they can “do anything they want.” People who are in that 17 ½-year-old range often find they are on the fringe of both age cohorts in these types of programs, and neither is zeroed in on their unique needs.
What are those unique needs? First, they need a real experience of autonomy and independence while still having an adequate amount of support and structure that is custom fit to their level of emotional maturity. Second, they need help developing a vision of what their adult lives can be by having access to young adult peers, while not plunging them into levels of young adult responsibilities that they are not yet ready to tackle. Third, they need a bridge from their adolescent levels of self-care to the levels of independent functioning that will be required of them as young adults.
These are the needs that the Senior House at Telos U was designed to fit. At the Senior House, young adults aged 17 ½ to 18 are placed in their own sub-program, but still, have interaction with the larger young adult population of Telos U. They are given structure and support that recognizes their need to grow into adult levels of functioning, but also acknowledges the skills that they have not yet developed and are not yet ready to deploy independently. It serves them with a peer group who are all making the same paradigm shift into viewing young adulthood through a more realistic and more hopeful perspective. And, it provides a context for family therapy and interventions that are focused on the shifting relationship between parents and young adult children. This is all-encompassed in a program designed to naturally and seamlessly unfold into a young adult transition program as the student progresses. Within this context, Senior House students have the benefit of a program that was entirely designed for the specific needs of their unique developmental stage.
Telos is located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in beautiful Orem, Utah. Available are two campuses specifically designed for teens and co-ed young adults dealing with depression, anxiety, social problems, and learning differences. Caring staff use proven clinical therapies coupled with the power of healing relationships to promote deep, lasting change. The aim is to help students live principle-based lives characterized by insightful choices that promote clarity, healing and direction. Telos is a unique, clinically-sophisticated, relationship-based treatment center for teens and young adults ages 13-26. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or online at telos.org. Now a proud member of Choose Mental Health.
Eva Carlston Academy Academic Director Kristin Hilman, M.Ed. was one of only 100 teachers in the nation chosen to participate in a training and curriculum development event for the Bill of Rights Institute.
The Bill of Rights Institute (BRI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to provide middle and high school history teachers with a free, quality curriculum for the many aspects of American History. From grants and generous donors, BRI is able to treat educators as the professionals they are and with the respect, they deserve by providing in-depth seminars around the country, a variety of online courses, often covering the cost of meals, hotel rooms, travel, etc. -- in addition to the thousands of pages of well-planned curriculum that is available both digitally and in hard copies. BRI has a network of thousands of teachers nationwide, with about 10% of each state's middle and high school teachers involved.
In March, Kristin attended a 3-day Mastermind event in Washington, D.C. with 9 other educators from across the country, all with advanced degrees in History or Education. There, they planned the general framework for three online courses geared toward current History teachers for professional development purposes. The end result will be that the teachers who complete the courses will come away with deeper knowledge of the topics of "Thinking Historically," "Appreciating Multiple Points of View," and "Evaluating Sources" as well as practical tools and deliverables they can use in their classrooms.
Kristin's particpation in the event was a rare professional development opportunity that not only increased her expertise, but as the Academic Director, she will also be bringing back a wealth of information to further the development of Eva Carlston's academic curriculum. Eva Carlston Academy is dedicated to providing the highest standard of academics available to their students and Kristin's recognition and participation at a national level is representative of this commitment.
About Eva Carlston Academy
Eva Carlston Academy (UT) is a state-licensed residential treatment center located near the urban center of Salt Lake City. The program serves young women between the ages of 12 and 18 in a clinically intense, family-style program which focuses upon creating opportunities for students to explore the arts while working toward continued growth and healing.
Windsor, NH; (4/1/22) Wediko recently completed a major renovation of its ; gym facilities, thanks to a generous donation from an alumni family. The gym, originally built in 2001, received a new floor and ceiling-suspended retractable basketball hoops for the full-sized basketball court. Hanging divider curtains were also added, along with floor markings for multiple sports, new wall paddings, wall panel replacements, and fresh paint.
Physical activity is an important part of Wediko's program, helping children cope with and manage challenges while developing healthy habits and having fun. "We know that physical activity correlates to wellness for kids who struggle with mental health, so the newly renovated gym is an important resource. It is an invaluable treatment tool for our kids,” said Greg Stoddard, Wediko School Director. “Physical activity for our kids is about more than playing games; it is therapy for them. It’s a dream come true to have this space for our kids."
The gym facilities at Wediko are a common space where students participate in group games such as four square, badminton, ping-pong, and experience the opportunity to play group sports, like basketball. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wediko School participated in a local basketball league (the Wediko Stars were undefeated in the 2019 season!), giving the students an opportunity to practice teamwork, communication, commitment, and pride in their school community.
The Wediko gym also functions as a community gathering space, not only for Wediko events like Graduation and Awards Day, but also for the greater Windsor, NH community. As one of the largest indoor spaces in the small town, Wediko was pleased to host Windsor’s annual Town Meeting, allowing for greater social distancing than was possible in the local Town Hall.
“We are grateful to our alumni family for their continued support of the Wediko community. Their generosity is giving a new generation of Wediko students opportunities to be their best selves,” added Stoddard.
About The Wediko School;
The Wediko School is a residential treatment center offering therapeutic and educational services for middle- and high-school-aged boys experiencing significant social-emotional, behavioral, and educational challenges. A program of The Home for Little Wanderers, The Wediko School's social workers, psychologists, and special education teachers guide students through an intensive milieu of academics and therapy. For more information, visit thewedikoschool.org.
blueFire PulsaR, an innovative and comprehensive wilderness and adventure-based program for young adults aged 18 to 28, has expanded its programming with the integration of a full-time Milieu Therapist working specifically with this age group.
Liz Santone, LPC and soon-to-be Ph.D., joined the blueFire team in 2021 and since then has become an integral part of the PulsaR programming. Milieu Therapists, like Liz, work to create an immersive, structured community that is focused on helping young adult students develop skills and behaviors that will enable them to live healthier lives in a larger society. Quite a lot of the students coming into blueFire PulsaR suffer from issues such, but not limited to trauma, depression, anxiety, and addictions, most notably of late being tech addictions.
With the rising usage of technology, there have also been rising rates of tech addiction, especially in the young adult population. Researchers have found that those who are addicted to technology show similar brain patterns and neural patterning to those who are addicted to substances. Wilderness therapy programs such as blueFire have been shown to have profound effects on addiction, as they remove the individual from the direct source and place them in the healing environment of nature.
In addition to the wonderful healing benefits of being outside and away from technology, blueFire Wilderness and PulsaR also supports their students through the use and integration of many different types of therapies such as Equine, Art, Recreation, Cognitive Behavioral, and Milieu Therapy.
BlueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Boise, Idaho that offers teens ages 11-17 a comprehensive adventure experience. BlueFire Wilderness combines clinical expertise, academic assessments, and a family systems approach to help teens struggling with emotional, behavioral and social challenges.
About blueFire PulsaR
To learn more about blueFire PulsaR visit https://bluefirepulsar.com or call (844) 413-1999 for more information.
Seattle, WA - The Stream Community, a private, paid membership for moms of teens and young adults with substance use issues has seen significant growth since its launch in 2020 and is adding resources and services to meet the demand.
“Our community launched during the challenges of COVID and it’s clear that moms who have kids struggling with substance use and mental health issues need ongoing connection, education, and support, even as our world opens up again,” said Brenda Zane, founder of the community.
Hosted on a private platform outside of Facebook, The Stream is a confidential and safe space for its members to connect with others who share the experience of having an at-risk son or daughter. With a focus on self-care, positive psychology, and the healing power of community, The Stream currently serves over 130 women in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
To meet the growing demand and provide a high-touch, boutique-level experience for members, Zane has added a roster of Advisor members, a Community Director and a second annual retreat. “Our members are professional, highly educated, passionate women who are thirsty for education and connection during their most challenging times. We provide that through group calls, live chats, workshops, and in-person events and retreats. We see these frazzled, stressed-out moms re-gain confidence, create lasting friendships and start to enjoy life again, even if their child is currently struggling,” said Cathy Cioth, whose role as Community Director grew from her own personal experience.
Zane and Cioth have both parented children through the difficulties of mental health and substance misuse issues and offer membership in The Stream as a way to give back as they themselves recover. The pair believe in healing families and helping youth by getting moms as mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy as possible.
About The Stream
The Stream is a private, positively focused online membership for moms of kids who are struggling with substances, are in treatment, or early recovery. It’s a safe, caring, confidential space where moms receive support and support each other in their physical and mental wellbeing as they deal with the complexities of having an at-risk child. To learn more about the membership plans available please visit www.thestreamcommunity.com or listen to the podcast.
Northwest Passage, a residential mental health treatment program for children located in northwestern Wisconsin, continues to offer innovative programs and opportunities at their residential treatment facilities, including their most recent experiential programming adventure - ice skating!
While many may be rejoicing in the warmer temperatures and melting ice and snow in northwestern Wisconsin, it's definitely a time of mixed emotions for the kids at Northwest Passage. Thanks to donated equipment from the NHL Players' Association Goals & Dreams program, the kids spent many hours on the ice - both indoors and out - over the last few months.
Committed to making an impact on issues that matter to its members and connected by a passion for hockey and community, the NHLPA supports causes that raise awareness, fight disease, and help neighborhoods around the world become healthier places to live and play. Northwest Passage’s grant request resulted in the NHLPA donating 25 sets of equipment including skates, gloves, helmets, sticks, and equipment bags. The grant request was endorsed by Jake McCabe, a defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks who has roots in the Eau Claire, Wisconsin area.
Several Northwest Passage staff members shared their passion for skating and hockey with the kids during trips to area ponds and parks, as well as at the indoor ice sheet that was rented from the local hockey association several times during the winter. For some of the young residents, ice skating was an activity that was familiar and for others, a new skill to be learned and practiced. But without question, time on the ice this winter was fun for all.
About Northwest Passage
Founded in 1978, Northwest Passage is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring hope through innovative mental health services for children and families. Northwest Passage has become a national leader in residential mental health assessment and treatment for youth experiencing severe and complex emotional and behavioral disruptions. The organization has two residential facilities. Riverside, situated on 70 acres of iconic Northwoods landscape and bisected by the winding Clam River in Webster, WI, serves boys ages 12-17. The Prairieview campus is located on 25 acres of rolling prairie in Frederic, WI, and houses females ages 12-17 as well as Northwest Passage’s Assessment Program which serves youth ages 6-17 in a co-ed environment. Northwest Passage is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), QRTP Certified, and has earned academic accreditation through Cognia, Inc.
Trails Carolina is excited to announce the acquisition of a multi-acre property dedicated solely to family services. The new campus will provide private housing, outside community spaces, and access to local wilderness areas. This new addition allows Trails Carolina to continue to expand and develop family programming.
This facility will primarily be utilized for Trails’ post-graduation family program, Common Ground, and for individualized family intensives. Currently, Trails Carolina offers three and four-day intensives for post wilderness families and also five-day programs for non-Trails families that have yet to experience wilderness. These programs are structured and clinically supported experiences for families wanting to work on improving communication, rebuilding trust, and improving the existing family dynamic.
"From the beginning, we've been investing in supporting the whole family system to support long-term change. Acquiring this property is an exciting evolution in family support and programming we can offer, not only to Trails families but for other families needing these services as well," explained Co-Executive Director Jeremy Whitworth.
The new property features a blend of modern amenities such as private single-family housing combined with wilderness features including multiple fire pits and an outdoor kitchen. This addition will expand on the compassionate programming Trails Carolina can offer families.
About Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy for pre-teens and adolescents ages 10-17. The clinically sophisticated and time-tested program engages students through wilderness therapy, mindfulness and yoga, equine-assisted therapy, intentional transitions, and academic engagement. Recent outcome research demonstrates efficacy. Trails Carolina was created to help families reconnect and heal. For additional information about Trails Carolina, located just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, please call 800-975-7303 or contact Julia Andrick at email@example.com or visit https://trailscarolina.com
Herriman, UT. – Sundance Canyon Academy in cooperation with Sundance Canyon Foundation announces scholarship and donation opportunities for students who need Intervention for mental and behavioral health issues. “We recognize the continuous need for therapeutic and educational assistance for struggling youth, especially after the COVID epidemic. So many kids across the country are failing at home and at school. Anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation are significant issues for them. And, most parents who contact us feel helpless and do not know what to do to help their child,” said Simon Timms, Clinical Director of Sundance Canyon Academy.
Sundance Canyon Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides tuition assistance through scholarships and donations from invested individuals, businesses, organizations, family trusts, and program alumni. The mission of the foundation is to build partner alliances, mentors, and maintain fiscal responsibility to donors and recipients.
“The foundation has been instrumental in providing adoption assistance to counties in California who have kids in need of therapeutic services,” said Boyd Hooper, co-founder of Sundance Canyon Academy. “We are looking to expand the foundation’s reach for scholarships and donations from those businesses and individuals who understand the real need to invest in our youth. We want to change the stigma of mental health, especially for our youth who have their whole lives ahead of them. In the right environment, with the appropriate services, and invested advocates and families behind them, our kids do exceptionally well and change their lives,” Hooper concluded.
About Sundance Canyon Academy
Sundance Canyon Academy is a licensed and accredited residential treatment center, founded in 2007. The mission of the academy is to help families in crisis with defiant or struggling teens. The academy provides accredited and professional educational, therapeutic, and life-skill services to young men and their families.
To learn more contact Nickie Molaire, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Focus Academy, a co-ed residential program for neurodiverse teenagers, is a proud sponsor and supporter of the Autism Symposium. Along with sponsorship, New Focus will also be speaking too.
The Autism Symposium was created in order to bring more awareness to the increasing need for services for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and to facilitate conversations on the most pertinent topics regarding these students and their families. The Symposium is in late April in Asheville, NC, and New Focus Academy is excited to connect with families, colleagues, and other organizations whose shared focus is to guide neurodiverse students to personal growth and measured success. The Autism Symposium features workshops by leading experts in the field and an informative panel discussion, as well as collaboration with like-minded colleagues within the industry.
New Focus Academy has always and continues to be a supportive member of the neurodiverse community. As a treatment program, its focus is to make sure that up-to-date, research-based practices to better serve our students. Our team works with our students to find the evidence-based approaches that will help to build confidence, social growth, and motivation to become productive and self-sufficient. With the help of the New Focus Academy and programs such as the Autism Symposium, an additional goal is bringing awareness of top treatment approaches and research-based training and insights that will continue to aid professionals that serve this population.
About New Focus Academy
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.
Learn more about New Focus Academy’s program and how it can help your child. Visit https://newfocusacademy.com or call (435) 383-4369.
Greenbrier Academy for Girls is excited to announce two new additions to their academic team: Dr. Michelle Bush, EdD/Cl. has been appointed the new Academic Director and James Erdman will be stepping in as Greenbrier’s new math teacher.
Both have been settling into their new roles and getting to know students over the past week while already proving to be a welcome addition to the Greenbrier family.
Dr. Bush holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, a master’s degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Phoenix and a Doctoral Degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.
Prior to joining Greenbrier Academy as Academic Director, she dedicated 22 years in the English secondary education classroom and continues her dedication to the field of education, her passion for inspiring student success and love of lifelong learning at Greenbrier.
It is Dr. Bush's personal belief that all students have the ability to learn by providing the proper guidance, establishing an appropriate rapport, building a positive support system and fostering a safe and warm learning environment that is conducive to higher-level learning.
Math teacher James Erdman is a big proponent for S.T.E.M. which drives his lesson planning to incorporate the problem-solving process and authentic life-based assignments. He believes that math should be more than instruction and worksheets and his students should know how the math they learn can fit into their lives.
Born in Pennsylvania, James has been working as an educator since obtaining his bachelor’s degree in secondary education in physics in 2020 from the University of Idaho. Before becoming a teacher, he was a corporal in the United States Marine Corps and deployed twice between 2011 and 2015. His experience in the Marines led him to seek out a career where he could make a lasting and meaningful impact in the lives of his fellow Americans
About Greenbrier Academy
Greenbrier Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for girls aged 14-18 located on 140 acres of woodland in Pence Springs, WV. We offer an immersive therapeutic program specifically designed to reestablish core beliefs. This is done through the collaborative effort of our signature programs, therapy and college-prep academics within a supportive community of sisterhood.
Mayer, Arizona, March 31, 2022 —Spring Ridge Academy was recently honored with the 2021 Golden Plate Award by the Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS).
The Golden Plate Awards recognize excellence in food safety in Yavapai County, Arizona. Established in 2004, the award is a joint effort between YCCHS, the Yavapai Count Food Safety Industry Council, and the University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension Office. Spring Ridge’s food safety category is “complex,” the highest Golden Plate designation.
To qualify for a Golden Plate Award, the food establishment must have no critical violations on the quarterly YCCHS inspections for the previous year, implement a food safety plan, and have a person with an accepted and current manager-level food safety certificate. The award recognizes excellence in safety beyond meeting the minimum requirements of the Food Code.
“Healthy, safe food is critical for the healing and education of our students. We are so excited that our cooks have been honored for their hard work and commitment to a clean, safe environment,” said Dr. Erin Smith, Director of Operational Excellence.
Spring Ridge is one of only 231 food establishments awarded and only one of 127 facilities with the complex food safety designation.
Spring Ridge Academy, located 1.5 hours outside Phoenix, Arizona, serves biological females ages 13-17. Spring Ridge, founded in 1997 as a female and family-owned therapeutic boarding school, is licensed by the State of Arizona and accredited by the Joint Commission. In addition, Cognia accredits the academic program. 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 students' emotional, relational, spiritual, intellectual, and physical growth.
As part of its ongoing commitment to providing exceptional clinical services, Foothills at Red Oak Recovery is excited to announce the recent expansion of its family programming. Organizing these efforts has been spearheaded by Bridget Camacho, LCSW, Clinical Director at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery with the assistance of the entire clinical team. The family programming at Foothills now includes:
- Initial therapeutic/program orientation
- Weekly family therapy sessions with Primary Therapist
- Weekly parent coaching sessions with Family Therapist
- Bi-weekly parent webinars with Director of Clinical Services
- Monthly family workshops with Family Therapist and Clinical Team
- Monthly family support groups (this continues after graduation and is open to alumni families as well) with Executive Director
- Family intensive with Primary Therapist, Family Therapist, and Treatment Team
With these updates to Foothills’ therapeutic programming, families will receive a minimum of 2-3 hours of services every week, with an additional two days of programming with each family workshop (occurring once during a client’s stay).
Foothills is also delighted to announce the addition of Cater Davis, MFT, to the team as Family Therapist. Cater will support the further development of family services at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery. "Cater brings fresh energy to the team,” says Bridget Camacho, LCSW, Clinical Director. “Cater's experience in family therapy and family coaching is exactly what this program needs to take our family programming to the next level, and her background in family systems and experience with experiential modalities makes her the perfect fit for our family therapist role. Cater strongly believes in the importance of family support and healing. She has a great way of supporting families through their treatment journey so that they can create safety within their relationships, repair relationship ruptures, and achieve their family goals.”
Implementing the updates to the family program is a team effort, and as such, parents, parent figures, and families have the support of the entire therapeutic team at Foothills. In addition to sessions with their primary therapist, Kurt Arsenault, LCSW, Executive Director of Foothills and Lynn Wadsworth, MS, LCMHCS, LCAS, CCS, CTT-1, Director of Clinical Services for Red Oak Recovery® programs lead two of the monthly support offerings.
“At the core of who we are and how we build relationships is family,” says Kurt Arsenault, LCSW, Executive Director. “It is vital that our programming supports the healing of the family relationship in order to set our clients up for lasting success. With the addition of these programmatic elements at Foothills, all family members can learn, grow, and heal – together.”
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 ages 18-30 (www.redoakrecovery.com), young adult women ages 18-35 (www.thewillowsatredoak.com), and adolescent boys ages 14-17 (www.foothillsatredoak.com).
SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training continues its mission of helping individuals and families better regulate their brains. Onward Transitions is their newest therapeutic program, and Katie Henrie joins the SYMMETRY Neuro-PT team to support families and programs with remote and onsite neurofeedback services.
Onward Transitions (OT) is a “small, non-residential, therapeutic, independent-living program for young adults in Portland, Maine”. Onward Transitions seeks to engage Members aged 18-30 who experience “moderate anxiety, depression, and/or executive functioning challenges'' and want to gradually transition into adulthood with support along the way. Members at OT go to school, work, volunteer, and live alone. Many of the Members experience stress, anxiety, or depression which can be attributed to brainwave dysregulation. After getting a qEEG brain map, Onward Transitions Members receive a detailed report showing where there is brainwave dysregulation. Then, SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training’s team, in partnership with OT, creates a personalized training plan using neurofeedback and traditional therapeutic modalities to help the brain learn to better regulate. Brainwave regulation helps OT Members reach “sustainable independent living, autonomy, and the formation of meaningful reciprocal relationships'' (OT).
SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway understands that families are traumatized when a loved one is struggling and placed in a therapeutic program. @Home Training is designed for family systems who can benefit from regulating their brainwaves. With the assistance of coaches like Katie Henrie, @Home Training is easy-to-use, supervised, convenient, and cost-effective. Scott Morgan, 68, of Mt. Pleasant, SC said, “I’ve always been an angry person.” After using @Home Training for 4 weeks and 48 sessions, Scott showed 75 to 87.5% improvements in symptoms and says, “I no longer feel angry all of the time. I am a happy person.”
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 Jan Sherwood, Business Development Representative - email@example.com or 833-796-6387 ext. 22. Follow or visit the website at www.symmetryneuropt.com.
Group work with adolescents can provide a forum to practice empathy and social skills, engender a positive sense of community, harness the positive impact of peer relationships and enhance the salience of the topics discussed.
Valley View uses a group format in a variety of ways, depending on the goals and maturity levels of the participants. One of the most effective forms of group therapy, especially with younger students, involves experientially-based groups. Experiential group therapy uses games and structured activities that both engage the participants and require communication, cooperation, resilience, and problem-solving. The groups usually end with a brief discussion of how the tasks were addressed and what can be learned from the experience. The tasks and game are enjoyable and less threatening than traditional process groups.
Doreen Neifert, LICSW, and Rhonda Albert, MSW, are clinicians at Valley View School who lead the experiential curriculum. Ms. Neifert states, "Recent activities have included team building tasks such as cooperatively rebuilding a Lego structure to match a model, creating music, constructing art projects, role-playing, engaging in animal care, and various other cooperative tasks." For younger students who may struggle to attach words to feelings or engage in self-reflection, these activities promote age-appropriate processing of important material.
There is enormous flexibility in the use of experiential group techniques. Therapists are able to vividly convey concepts from a wide range of perspectives such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, social skill training, acceptance and commitment therapy, and so forth. In this way, experiential learning functions as a bridge to eventually being able to represent one's inner world with more mature thinking and communication. Valley View clinicians have found that harnessing a youngster's natural desire to play is often the most effective means of reducing therapeutic resistance and fostering emotional learning.
According to Ms. Albert, "It is incredibly helpful to get out of the office and engage the boys in a fun way; after that, the rest is easy. It is quite gratifying to see the insights of our students as they experience and process these fun activities."
About Valley View School
About Valley View School, founded in 1970, is a private therapeutic boarding school serving boys in grades 6-12. Our non-profit 501(c)(3) school is located in the central Massachusetts town of North Brookfield. The Valley View Program consists of a comprehensive blend of Therapy, Academics, Athletics, Arts, and Activities challenging our students emotionally, intellectually, and physically. The boys learn self-control and anger management, social skills in order to create and cultivate relationships with peers and adults while developing compassion, empathy, and respect for others and to realize their true potential.
TechieForLife (TFL) student Ian Kelly founded Utah Tech University’s first neurodiversity club giving autistic and neurodivergent students a voice and social connections on the campus of over 11,000 students. “Club of Diverse Minds” boasts 78 active members who participate in activities and events sponsored by TechieForLife, Utah Tech’s Science, Engineering, and Technology Department, and has included collaborations with the E-Sports Club.
21% of students at Utah Tech are from diverse populations. The open-access state university promotes inclusivity and the neurodiversity club has been well received. “I was inspired to start this club so people who are neurodivergent have a voice and somewhere to belong on campus,” said Ian Kelly, Founder and President.
With a goal of bringing like-minded people together, the club is following up their last successful event, a Lan Gaming Party, with a movie theater style night on April 15th, at 7 pm, at Utah Tech campus with popcorn, candy and soda. The featured show- episodes of “Love on the Spectrum” a Netflix original about autistic young adults navigating the dating scene. We hear Brooks the Bison, Utah Tech’s mascot may be making an appearance as well.
TechieForLife (TFL) is a co-ed, residential, postsecondary school with wrap-around career support in beautiful St. George, Utah. Autistic and neurodivergent students with social, emotional, and academic challenges receive neurodevelopmental mentoring at TFL so they can build social connections, confidence and independence. Licensed as a vocational school, TFL offers in-house computer tech training, college or trade school help, apprenticeships, internships, and job support for individualized paths forward. At TFL, students have a place to belong and support to succeed.
‘Autism & Neurodiversity’ podcast- Join Jason Grygla, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Director of TechieForLife, and his wife, Debbie Grygla, Certified Life Coach, every Friday for relevant insights, discussions with leading experts, and supportive tools.
Equinox RTC, a residential treatment center for teen boys ages 14-18, hosts a new and improved experiential week.
Equinox has wrapped up yet another successful experiential week! At Equinox, experiential week happens at the end of each academic quarter. For this experiential week, Equinox focused on serving their community and balancing leisure, recreation, adventure, service, and self-care. Equinox students spent the week “finding their why” for community service. Students were asked to challenge their beliefs about themselves and their value within the community. One of the most common challenges Equinox young men face are negative beliefs about their value and their place in the community and so the school encouraged the students to speak with each volunteer organizations about their “why”, and were gratified to see their perspective on the importance and impact of serving their community shift.
Equinox kicked off the week supporting Asheville Greenworks, a local non-profit organization that describes themselves as “ tree-hugging, river loving environmentalists” who work for a “Clean & Green” environment. The focus was on cleaning up the Hominy Creek area, which is close to the French Broad River, and is often littered with trash. The positive impact on this area will minimize the amount of trash that reaches the river, leaving the water cleaner when students come back to kayak the French Broad in the Summer. Equinox students learned about the “trash trout,” a device set up in the river to catch trash and debris coming downstream. Students got particularly excited about pulling a refrigerator out of the river, recycling an old RV door, and the brand new soccer ball they found in the trash trout.
Day two took Equinox students and staff to a familiar location, with a different intention. Hickory Nut Gap Farms is a local farm that has been serving the community since 1916. Equinox’s primary connection with them is through Equine Therapy. This time rather than the horses working for students... students worked for them. The Equinox family was pleased to support the staff at the barn by helping them dig trenches for the upcoming rain, cleaning stables for the horses they so adore, and oiling up the leather saddles so they would be ready not only for the next equine therapy sessions but for the locals that come to the farm for trail riding and lessons.
On day three, the outdoor rock climbing trip got rained out, so they went to the local rock climbing gym and continued to condition their bodies for outdoor climbing. Students were able to challenge their fears, resiliency, and endurance.
On day four students took the reins of the programming. The primary focus was leisure and self-care. Self-care was broken down into 3 categories: body, mind, and spirit. Students were challenged to find something more than music to rejuvenate themselves. They ended up with face masks, bicycling, meditation, and exploratory conversations about spirituality and higher powers.
On day five Equinox spent the morning with Holmes Educational State Forest, an organization that started as a nursery and blossomed into a living outdoor classroom where visitors can learn about the local natural forest environment. The group did some trail maintenance, and helped get the pollinator garden ready for spring. Afterward, it was a quick ride into Dupont State Forest where students ate a picnic lunch at the base of a waterfall and explored to find two other waterfalls right off of the trail.
It was a lot of work for one week, and all along the way, Equinox students were challenged to balance service to others with service for themselves. It was incredible to hear their perspectives and beliefs develop and to see them practicing their therapeutic skills in the real world.
About Equinox RTC
Equinox RTC is a leading residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18. Equinox is unique in its focus on Relational Trauma, which includes grief, loss, and attachment. Trauma, Loss, and Attachment, providing clinically intensive treatment for boys struggling with anxiety, depression, substance use and abuse, learning disabilities, and other emotional and behavioral needs. Equinox offers a combination of clinically sophisticated support with a whole-person approach including adventure therapy, a health and fitness program, and a whole foods diet. Equinox provides a fully accredited school, with broad course selections taught by licensed teachers in a college-preparatory environment.
Spring is beginning to make its way to West Virginia and the clients at Q&A Associates are eager to begin their projects and activities for the spring and summer months. The clients at Cabin Mountain Living Center have begun the germination process of seeds for the greenhouse and gardens with the help of mentors and the Director of Student Services, Marci Jones. In the next couple of weeks, once the temperatures begin to stay above freezing, the clients will assist in tilling the garden so that when the time comes, they are able to transplant their germinated seeds into the ground. The clients are also looking forward to new and exciting Community Based Instruction (CBI) outings during the warmer months.
Gardening is a very beneficial process for Q&A cleints at Applewood Transitions for Young Women, The Journey WV for Young Men, and Cabin Mountain Living Center. "I think it is an awesome opportunity for our clients to be able to grow and consume their own produce; it gives them a greater appreciation for the process and usually encourages the clients to try new foods," Jones said. Gardens provide a naturally calming environment, and the clients enjoy being able to have their hands in the ground while planting, caring for, and harvesting the fruits and vegetables. The clients also have the opportunity to sell the excess produce they have grown at The Old Mill, which is part of Q&A property. The Old Mill is one of only two working grist mills in West Virginia; the establishment is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Clients can also sell excess produce at the Saddles and Smiles Farm, where they operate a weekly vegetable stand. This has become an opportunity for the clients to learn and practice social skills, business development and operation, and many vocational and academic skills.
Q&A Associates is also eager to announce Donna Fridley as Coordinator of Client Education and Activities. Fridley has been a part of the Q&A staff since 2019, previously acting as Assistant Director at Cabin Mountain Living Center and Interim Director of Cabin Mountain Living Center and The Journey WV for Young Men. Fridley has begun planning Community Based Instruction outings for the clients on a weekly basis. The first activity Fridley coordinated was at Blackwater Falls State Park. The clients had the opportunity to work with the park naturalist and learned a lot of information about flora and fauna around the area. "The clients had a wonderful time hiking, playing educational outdoor games, and learning about nature here in Canaan Valley," Fridley explained. "The clients are very excited to see what the next activity will be," Fridley continued.
Spring is a time of rebirth and new growth, a perfect theme for young adults working toward independence and self-discovery. "We love this time of year in West Virginia," said Keith Bishop, COO; "after a long winter, it is wonderful to begin getting outside more and reconnecting with the earth and all our animals, especially the horses!"
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.
The Therapeutic Consulting Association (TCA) just wrapped up its 5th in-person training. The event took place on March 29th and 30th, 2022 in Denver, CO and was attended by over 40 therapeutic consultants and referring professionals from all over the country.
The training event brought together both members of the TCA and those interested in learning more about the association. Rachel Gutow-Ellis, CPC, a newer member of the association shared, “it was so wonderful to be together in person to learn and reconnect with the group off of Zoom.”
The event started with a roundtable discussion between the referring professionals and wraparound organizations. The organizations shared updates and changes they have seen in the past year. Talley Webb, MA, CRMC commented that “this portion of the event brought amazing energy and excitement to the kick-off of this training.”
The full-day training included Keynote speaker Zach Mercurio, a local-to-Colorado Ph.D. keynote speaker and researcher, who assisted all of the attendees in refocusing their purpose and passion for doing the important work that they do. The conversations held around understanding the current legislation changes in Oregon and Utah helped all in attendance gain a clearer picture of what these changes mean and how to best support and educate clients around this information.
The association's favorite round table conversations focus on the "business of the business." This is a time where those in attendance can discuss their practices, gain the support of fellow referring professionals, and feel a sense of camaraderie in the often intense work the professionals do. As many members are solo practitioners, it is an opportunity to share, and collaborate about the strengths and weaknesses of personal business - honestly and openly.
This event is also when new board members are brought on and board members who have completed their terms rotate off. This year, Joanna Lilley, MA of Lilley Consulting will be taking over as board chair. Jennifer Taylor, JD of JET Consulting will be stepping down and stepping off the board. The organization is grateful for all that Jennifer has done during her term and is excited to welcome Joanna into the chair position. Joanna had this to say “I am honored to be stepping into this position and I have some big shoes to fill.” Additionally, the board welcomed two new members, Tazim Salehani, M.S, and Brittany McKinney, MA.
The mission of the Therapeutic Consulting Association (TCA)
Therapeutic Consulting Association (TCA) is a professional association for therapeutic consultants and other Referring Professionals, dedicated to advancing the field of Therapeutic Consulting through collaboration, training and education, outcome-based research, support of ethical standards, and an ongoing review of best practices of behavioral healthThe organization is grateful to the training committee for putting on such an impactful event. To learn more about becoming a member application information can be found on our website www.therapeuticconsulting.org.
Anaheim, CA ~ Gail Curran, educational and therapeutic placement consultant, and certified educational planner invites all treatment-to-transition programs to participate in the 34th Annual Childhood Trauma and Attachment Conference from September 29 – to October 1, 2022.
As a participant, exhibitor, or sponsor, you can help bring the 2022 ATTACh Annual Conference to life. Support and participation will help ATTACh create an engaging, thought-provoking, and inclusive space for conference attendees where they can network, learn, and share ideas together.
Support and participation will also help provide high-quality, expert-led professional development and training experiences for clinicians, mental health professionals, occupational therapists, educators, parents, families, and others who provide care to children and young people.
Support and participation could be “out front” at one of the best national/international gatherings of professionals and parents dedicated to healing those impacted by trauma.
ATTACh will recognize Conference Sponsors through a variety of channels that offer distinct visibility in recognition of your support including conference marketing, promotions, and during the conference.
The Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment (ATTACh) is a nonprofit global coalition of parents, professionals, and caregivers raising awareness and understanding about attachment and treatment best practices. It is a fantastic opportunity for therapeutic programs to attend, purchase an exhibit booth or invest in sponsorship.
The 2022 ATTACh conference theme is Catch the Wave of Hope and Healing and will include workshops falling along seven tracks:
- Parents: the workshops pertain to supporting caregivers in their lived experiences with extra focus and preference for hands-on is an intermediate knowledge base.
- Prevention and Early Intervention: These workshops are for presentations focusing on actions and interventions before the development of severe attachment and trauma issues that will identify these issues in their earliest stages to prevent long-term effects.
- Sensorimotor Approaches: for parents and professionals to understand the link between sensory integration issues in children.
- Child Welfare: Presentations should use evidence-based practice to enhance understanding and practices in child welfare around trauma-informed care.
- Intermediate Professional: Workshops are for those furthering their knowledge of attachment issues that may be broader in scope.
- Advanced Clinical: Workshops provide in-depth coverage of specialized topics.
- Teens and Young Adults, now have their own track. This new track will focus on hearing from teens and young adults who will share their life's journey.
As a board member, Gail introduced the idea of a space for teens and young adults in 2021. A young woman, Jess, and her mom share their story of healing and resilience at last year's conference. "I thought that hearing from a young adult adoptee and her family, how they navigated the trials and tribulations in getting help through some of the most difficult times, and Jess's resilience, would give hope to other families experiencing some of the same challenges," Gail said. "I had no idea of just what an impact the story would have on others attending the conference." They received enormous positive feedback from families, other young people, and professionals in the field, touched by Jess's honest and heartfelt story. The impact of their presentation encouraged the conference organizers to add a new conference track this year dedicated to youth and young adults.
After the 2021 conference, they were approached by Fostering Families Today, a bi-monthly resource magazine, who wanted to write an article about Jess and her journey. The article featured in their March/April 2022 issue, Everyday Heroes: One adoptee's journey to healing with the help of an Arizona Educational Consultant.
Jess and her mom will again join Gail to share how Jess was adopted from a Russian orphanage when she was 11 months old. The family dealt with volatile meltdowns when she was younger. At age 10, Jess fell from a second-story window. She became a paraplegic, further complicating the challenges in her life. The story continues through dramatic teen years with drug abuse and defiance. Finally, it culminates with Jess living in a hotel room and her family turning to Gail for help, and the first seeds of hope and healing began. Added to this year's 3-hour presentation are presentations by Terri Roman, LPC, PLLC, Jess's current therapist, and Patricia Alana Inemer, LPC, discussing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) in borderline individuals. Jess is now a college student studying childhood development and trauma and is increasingly a spokesperson for trauma survivors.
The Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh) is a national and international coalition of parents, caregivers, and professionals working to give all communities the support they need to make healing children more hopeful and more effective.
About Gail Curran
Gail Curran, MS, MBA, and founder of Optimal Edu Options in Arizona, has served as an ATTACh board member since 2020. As an educational and therapeutic placement consultant and certified educational planner (CEP), Curran works closely with families who have children with developmental trauma. Curran spent decades working in residential treatment centers where she became interested in the trauma the children she worked with endured. She wrote her thesis on children with developmental trauma and working with these children and their families is her passion.
In partnership with Roosevelt University – Chicago, EDGE Learning and Wellness is thrilled to offer Pathways to College, an 8-week intensive summer program designed to help students who are preparing to transition into higher education or who are curious if a college path will be the right fit for them.
Kicking off June 20, 2022, Pathways to College will bring students to the heart of Chicago and deliver a carefully designed experience that will guide students through their first college course, PSYCH 203 – Stress, Coping, and Mindfulness. This Roosevelt University course is the perfect bridge for students, providing a college-level academic experience, while also supplying students with the mental health management skills needed to succeed in higher education. Students will earn college credit and have a chance to navigate through the new student orientation experience at Roosevelt. This means students will learn how to utilize university resources like the academic library and digital scholarly journals, get a Roosevelt student ID created, and even practice requesting transfer credits once their time at Roosevelt is complete.
In addition to preparing students for college-level academics, Pathways to College is also preparing students for college-level life. Brittany Tolar, the Program Director over at EDGE, explained that Pathways to College is specifically designed for students to integrate into a learning community and develop “habituation around skills related to executive functioning, mindfulness, independent living, and academic preparation.” Students will also have specialized weekly workshops on specific topics such as career exploration, nutrition and fitness, and social skill development through interactive exercises with EDGE coaches.
Tolar emphasized the importance of creating a strong community for the students. “We know social connection is a significant protective factor for many mental health challenges. To that end, we’re kicking off the first week with a meal in Millennium Park together. We want students to engage socially right away and see Chicago’s famous sites, so they can spend the rest of the summer exploring everything else the city has to offer.” Tolar encourages anyone interested to reach out and see if the program is right for them, but especially noted that Pathways to College is the perfect fit for students who are “collegebound or college curious– but have some anxiety around academics, social support systems, and independent living.”
EDGE is currently accepting applications for their Pathways to College summer program and can be reached through their website at edgelearningcommunity.com/pathways
About EDGE Learning and Wellness
EDGE Learning and Wellness 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.
Elements is pleased to announce the return of the ‘Win 4 Quinn’ annual charity networking event. This ‘Win 4 Quinn’ event initiated by Jenney Wilder in 2016 quickly became a favorite social for local and visiting treatment colleagues attending the annual Utah Regional NATSAP event. It is an evening intentionally planned for connection and celebration with a focus on raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis. Each year 30+ programs chip in with a financial donation to the foundation and with that they become co-sponsors of this fun evening enjoyed by over 150 attendees.
“The war against Cystic Fibrosis became personal when my granddaughter was born with the diagnosis and struggled through multiple hospitalizations in the first couple of years of her life” explains John Karren, Elements co-owner and founder. “Naturally our family embraced the challenge to learn more, raise awareness and to help other families needing financial support for obtaining the specialized equipment needed. But I have been amazed at how many individuals from our professional field, wanting and willingly, jumped on board to support this cause. Because of this annual event, we have been able to really make a difference in so many lives and for that my family and I are humbly grateful” continues Karren.
In 2019, the Win4Quinn Foundation received its official designation as a 501(c)3 charitable entity. Each year the foundation holds two fundraising events, the above-mentioned networking event and an online store for logo wear and a bike kit. The mission of the foundation is to provide financial support to individuals in obtaining much needed specialty supplies and/or to reduce the overall day-to-day financial burden of the disease. “We are not only trying to raise money and awareness for Quinn, but for the entire CF community. Medication costs continue to rise each year, and the expenses at hospitals are always increasing.” says Blair (Karren) Edgington, and she continues, “Quinn fights hard every day, and we want to stand by her side and fight to help find a cure for CF. Quinn has already conquered so many challenges that no child should have to go through, and she does it with a smile and more grit than most. Quinn inspires us every day with her “won’t back down” attitude, she's shown us that the best way for us to help her fight is by fundraising and raising awareness until a cure is found.”
The 2022 ‘Win 4 Quinn’ charity social is scheduled for Monday, May 2 from 6-8 pm and is free to attendees; the charity social is held at the Discovery Day and Discovery Connections Ivy Tower on Center Street in Provo, UT. There will be a taco truck and non-alcoholic beverages provided. Also returning with this event is entertainment by the ‘Center and Main Band’, featuring Elements Traverse own clinical director/co-owner Eric Fawson, on bass guitar and backup vocals. This fun 80’s rock band adds a fun and lively atmosphere for all attendees.
For more information about the Foundation, becoming a donating sponsor of the ‘Win 4 Quinn’ event on May 2, to be added to the Win 4 Quinn mailing list or any other questions please contact Blair Edgington at (801) 230-4786 or Blair@Win4Quinn.org
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.
Passages Alaska has the advantage of being on the beautiful waters of Alaska and uses fishing to take down the defensive walls of therapy. The students fish as part of the curriculum, but there are more specific goals when they’re out for the day. Their days are spent on the water, so individual fishing can be as often that they want for enjoyment, to take space. It’s a chance for a sense of accomplishment when something is caught and a chance to learn how to accept things don’t pan out as you would like when you don’t.
One day a week all this is taken a step farther. Sean Tomkinson LCSW, Owner and Clinical Director, takes the participants out on a fishing boat for the day. It’s six hours of fishing on the open seas with their therapist. The topsy turvy piece is in the student’s eyes, he becomes “Captain Sean.” This allows the barriers of those who want to be resistant to their work, to come down. It allows Sean to reach them on a different level.
It also allows for the very important practicing social skills between peers and authority figures as they must work together in a small space. There are a lot of rules when on the boat that the students must agree to before heading out. They can then learn that following rules are for safety and lead to something fun. There are so many benefits and metaphors to be used in “fishing therapy” that happen naturally while out on the water.
About Passages Alaska
Passages Alaska is a unique wilderness program in Southeast Alaska serving adolescent males and young adults aged 18-28 in gender specific groups. As participants come into the Alaskan Wilderness the coastal waters offer a fresh perspective and a new path. Hands-on therapeutic interventions include paddling, whale watching, fishing, primitive skill building and service to others. Extensive therapy and coaching is built in for those with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and failure to thrive.
Skookum House is an adventure high school with educational support designed to keep students engaged, active, and progressing toward graduation. Skookum House is for high school boys who have not been able to thrive at home or in a virtual school environment. Students may choose to use their home high school platform or another virtual platform. While living at SH, students will benefit from a more normalized social life, participate in outdoor Alaskan adventures while learning unique, confidence-building skills, and gain a respect for serving others.
Alethia Ussher joins the Building Bridges team as Special Education Coordinator. She is a wonderful addition to the state accredited Bridges Academy that the students attend on campus at the beginning of their stay at the program. This is the education piece that prepares the boys to eventually attend Thompson Falls High School, bringing real life to treatment.
Alethia’s most recent position before coming to Building Bridges was the Special Education Director at a Therapeutic Boarding School. After obtaining her Psychology degree in 1995, she worked with kids in both the public and therapeutic setting. It was after working in law enforcement for seven years that Alethia decided to pursue a career in education. She has worked in Education since 2003. Her roles have included paraprofessional, teacher and Naturalist, teaching students with different needs across a large spectrum. Her 7 years at an Outdoor Education School included ropes course facilitation and teaching gold rush history and science programs to students from 4th grade through high school. Supporting kids to challenge themselves beyond their comforts became another passion for her, which led to being a volunteer camp leader facilitating team building initiatives and rock climbing/rappel excursions.
Aletha lives in North Idaho with her husband and daughter. Her family relocated there from California 8 years ago and love the abundance of outdoor activities. Alethia is active in the community by coaching high school cross country.
Sarah Fairbank, Academic Director and Owner, has her Master’s in Education, and Andy Burwig, Academic Coordinator, have previously coordinated the IEP needs of every student and accommodations for students who require special attention have been supported through Alta Independent and the public high school. Now there will be another person to help oversee and follow the students through their time at the high school.
Building Bridges is a Therapeutic Boarding School in Thompson Falls, MT for boys 14-18 with substance and behavioral issues. The passion is creating a structure that mirrors real life with the goal to have the boys attend public school. Building Bridges seeks to bring real life to treatment through redirection and empowerment. They strive to teach the young men to see how substance has created behaviors that have gotten in their way of pursing their passions. By teaching them how to have self-confidence and create a more positive manner they are able to see their growth through using what they learn in a normalized safe environment that will transfer to wherever their next step is.
Mike Bodrero has been an integral part of the Logan River Academy team for over 11 years. In 2011, Mike began his career with Logan River Academy as the adventure learning coordinator. In 2017, his dedication to helping teens overcome their mental struggles led him to become a therapist while continuing to serve as Adventure Learning Coordinator. His dual role allowed him to develop his skills as a clinician and hone his leadership skills as he balanced his therapy caseload with leading the adventure learning team. His tenure at LRA and astuteness as a leader made him the perfect candidate to take over the position. Last year, Mike took on the role and has been leading the clinical team with the utmost skill and professionalism.
Mike grew up in Cache Valley, Utah, and has spent most of his life playing in the mountains of Northern Utah. He earned a bachelor's degree in Recreation Resource Management from Utah State University and later received a Master of Social Work. "My overarching goal as the Clinical Director at Logan River is for no one ever to feel like they are alone and unsupported in this process," Mike says. "This includes every one of our students and their families as well as each member of our team. I believe life can be very challenging, and the ability to develop resiliency and skills to manage hard circumstances feels a lot more possible when we have someone with us to do that."
The Logan River team is optimistic about the future of the program. They continue to adapt and progress in these unprecedented times. About his team and new role, Mike says, "I am very confident and pleased with our team and feel humbled to be in a position to help guide our program. Our clinicians are incredibly empathetic and passionate about their work and demonstrate appropriate boundaries, healthy relationship-building skills, and an appreciation for the responsibilities they face."
About Logan River Academy
Established in 2000, Logan River Academy has over 22 years of experience providing high end therapeutic care for adolescents and young adults. Our goal is to help each student develop the necessary skills to live successful and fulfilling lives. We provide a sophisticated approach tailored to each students’ individual needs. Through the concerted efforts of the family, the treatment team, and an individualized treatment plan, we help our students down the path of developing lifelong healthy habits that will lead to their success and prosperity. For more information call (435) 755-8400 or visit our website at Loganriver.com.
A group of Alpine Academy students attended a Transgender Day of Visibility event held at the Utah State Capitol on March 31st. The students made signs, marched with those gathered, and attended a rally. Nearly 30% of Alpine Academy students identify as transgender or non-binary. They are a vibrant and important part of the community on both campuses.
Transgender Day of Visibility was created in 2010 by trans activist Rachel Crandall. It is a day to celebrate the existence, resilience, and accomplishments of transgender people everywhere.
The students participated to show their support of the transgender community as a whole, and especially to show solidarity with transgender youth who play high school sports. This year’s Transgender Day of Visibility occurred just days after an announcement that legislation negatively impacting trans youth in Utah is set to become law.
As the students joined the others gathered on the Capitol Building steps, the excitement, support, and community spirit were palpable. Mike Slade, a therapist at Alpine Academy working with several trans youth, recalls, “This was an amazing experience for our youth and for me as a clinician. As we were approaching the steps of the State Capitol Building, where the march started, one of the youth was practically jumping up and down with excitement and with tears of joy on his face said, ‘This is so affirming. I have struggled with accepting I'm trans and this is so wonderful. I am so thankful I am here.’"
Another student remarked, “We are a community. It’s basically like a brother or sisterhood. This is another step closer to finally getting the world we wanted, and the world we deserve.”
A third student attending expressed that there is a severe lack of representation for transgender people, and she was at the event to change that. “If no one else makes us visible, and we don’t present ourselves, they might as well not see us. If they won’t show us we will show ourselves.”
Alpine students appreciate the opportunity to participate in events like this because it helps them feel more supported and accepted in a world where they are often discriminated against.
The students were supervised at the march and rally by therapist Mike Slade, Family Teachers Levi and Amanda Neely, and Associate Family Teachers Gio Giavanni, MickiAnne Harris, and Ashlynn Mackay. All expressed their support and pride for the students who attended as well as for the LGBTQ community as a whole. Speaking of his experience at the march, Levi Neely, Family Teacher, said, “I am incredibly grateful that my students had the opportunity to see that they are not alone, that there is a whole community that is thriving, and that they too can lead happy and fulfilling lives.”
Following the march, a rally at a local park provided the opportunity for individuals to address a crowd of over 500 people. More than half of the Alpine students who attended spoke at the rally and shared their stories of being trans youth. They were met with applause and messages of support by the crowd. Amanda Neely, Family Teacher, was particularly moved during this part of the event, “It is a beautiful thing to see someone find their voice. Being able to see so many of our kids overcome anxiety and speak about their experiences was transformative. I hope they can always remember the love, confidence, and acceptance they felt in that moment.”
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.
Please join the Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness team in celebrating Dana Williams as the program’s new Director of Business Development. On January 1st 2018, Dana joined the Blue Ridge team as an Admissions Director and has always been a steadfast advocate for the clients and families she has supported. She has spent nearly 15 years working in admissions for various therapeutic settings. In her career, Dana has learned from some of the most experienced and talented professionals in the field and has witnessed the evolution of therapeutic wilderness programming, personnel and clients.
Dana first stepped into the industry in 2008 as an Admissions Coordinator, where she familiarized herself with the admissions process while assisting 4 different programs. She was then promoted to the role of Admissions Counselor, and began directly supporting parents and families in crisis. In 2012, Dana was presented with the opportunity to work with an Educational and Therapeutic Consulting Firm. She spent the next five years growing the depth of her knowledge of the clinical issues that present for adolescents and young adults as well as the different types of available treatment.
Families, students and others who have interacted with Dana in the past 15 years have been able to witness her respect and compassion. Blue Ridge Executive Director, Danielle Hava LCSW, speaks to her experiences with Dana: “I’ve known Dana professionally for over 10 years, and from the minute I met her I instantly felt connected to her. If you know Dana, you know you could easily find yourself telling her your life story and walking away from that meeting feeling like you just made a new close friend. Her ability to engage and connect with families, referral partners and professionals with genuine curiosity and enthusiasm is both uplifting and contagious.
Blue Ridge has been so lucky to have Dana in our admissions department. She has enrolled hundreds of families and worked with countless Consultants over the last 4 years. Her step into the Director of Business Development role is a natural and exciting evolution for us and I can’t wait to see how she will approach the work while embodying our mission of helping all families and individuals thrive.”
As Director of Business Development, Dana will use her experiences and passion for connection to nurture relationships with referring professionals, manage Blue Ridge’s outreach efforts, and support the Blue Ridge Admissions Directors in providing sincere and thorough guidance to each individual. As a leader and role model, Dana will continue to contribute to Blue Ridge’s positive and supportive culture, ensuring the highest level of customer service in each department and helping ensure that marketing, admissions, and clinical efforts are in alignment with organizational values. Dana shares her thoughts on her new position and responsibilities:
"I am beyond excited to represent Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness as the Director of Business Development. This role will allow me the opportunity to be able to share our mission, our talented team, and current program information with our amazing referring partners in an even bigger way. I cannot wait to build more relationships, collaborate, and learn more from the amazing talent in our industry. Since joining this dynamic team of professionals on January 1st, 2018, I've been inspired by the desire to provide the absolute best care we can for every client and family. The authenticity and heart Dan McDougal and Danielle Hava exude for this work is felt in every department, every interaction, and every decision — and I just can't be prouder to be a part of it!”
About Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and Emerald Arrow are honored to participate in the healing and recovery process for individuals and families like Dawn’s. To read the full story, purchase a copy of Chasing Carson online by visiting Amazon or Barnes and Noble. To learn more about Emerald Arrow: A Bold Path for Young Adults, visit the program’s website at www.blueridgewilderness.com.
Other Parents Like Me (OPLM) was founded to address the worldwide crisis of teenage substance use and mental health issues by creating an empowered online community of parents supporting parents with help, hope, and healing. The OPLM site allows access to information for prospective families and referring professionals. The website includes two unique logins per membership, daily zoom meetings, speaker and expert panel events, a resource-rich hub, parent stories and blogs, and a support directory.
The Other Parents Like Me membership, peer-led Zoom meetings, and resources support parents as they share their stories and create connections as the antidote to the trauma experienced when a child struggles. Other Parents Like Me believes we can find healing together.
To learn more about Other Parents Like Me (OPLM), visit https://oplm.com/.
About Other Parents Like Me
Other Parents Like Me (OPLM) is an online platform and virtual community, designed to create a safe space with the access and support parents need as they move from crisis to healing. For more information, visit https://oplm.com/.
Emerald Arrow, a Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness program for young adults 18-29, announces the addition of its student retreat property, Anchor Point. Designed to be a point of consistency for students to experience connection, and community and to ‘anchor’ in their work, the introduction of Anchor Point supports Emerald Arrow’s mission to provide emerging adults opportunities to deepen their capacity to thrive in lasting, sustainable ways.
Nestled in the mountains of Franklin, North Carolina, Anchor Point spans 110 acres and features amenities such as cabins, running water, hot showers, toilets, electricity, a commercial kitchen, hiking trails, a creek, and grassy fields. During intermittent retreats to the property, students engage in a range of unique activities which are directly relevant to real-world young adult experiences such as self-care days, cooking classes, skill-building workshops, creative intensives and visits from professional guest speakers. Through these encounters, students have access to foundational habits, skills and resources for living with more confidence, vitality, and independence.
Beyond its facilities, Anchor Point offers students access to a constant point of connection and community in an otherwise nomadic wilderness therapy environment. When retreating to the property, students are afforded time and space to focus on grounding and reflecting upon their personal journey and therapeutic process.
Emerald Arrow Primary Therapist and Clinical Director, Anne Wilzbacher, LCMHC, explains “In archery, when preparing to release an arrow, the anchor point is the location at which one keeps their hand while at full draw. This point is used as a reference for consistency — having a clear anchor point can greatly increase your accuracy... We believe in opportunities for individuals to slow down, to ‘anchor’ in new mindsets, patterns and experiences, and to gain clarity on what the next step forward will be. For our young adult students, Anchor Point will be a place which to return, a place to understand and be understood. We are anchoring in what we’re discovering and learning so that we have more consistent points of reference for ourselves, which will support further sustainability and lasting change. We are instilling the idea that it is constant and imperative that we continue, no matter what stage of life we’re in, to come back to ourselves, re-align our intentions with our actions, and assess what our needs are. Anchor Point represents getting to know this part of ourselves.”
Emerald Arrow: A Bold Path is a Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness program for young adults. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Emerald Arrow provides a safe, holistic, and clinically sophisticated environment for struggling young adults to reflect upon themselves, their family systems and their futures, and to work through challenges in an immersive wilderness environment.
The Dorm, a mental health treatment community for young adults, has expanded their services in Washington, D.C. with a move to a new location. On May 24th they will welcome colleagues, friends and industry professionals to tour the space, meet the team and get their photo taken at an exclusive headshot cafe during their Open House celebration.
“There is an urgent need for young adult mental health resources not only at home here in D.C., but also across America.” said Sarah Harte, LICSW and Director for The Dorm, D.C. “We are proud to serve and welcome more young people into our community in the weeks to come.”
The larger, newly renovated space features enhanced telehealth technology, three dedicated floors of therapeutic facilities including 14 clinical offices and two spacious communal areas, a modern chef’s kitchen for cooking groups and nutritional programming, a bright movement studio for wellness and mindfulness modalities and multiple learning labs and group rooms for studying, creative arts, cognitive remediation and more.
“Our team is thrilled to offer such a forward-thinking and comprehensive range of treatment options through this new location,” shared Robert L. Johnson, MC, MCAP, CMHP, CST and Assistant Site Director at The Dorm, D.C. “We look forward to leaving a bigger clinical footprint in the community and expanding our mission of promoting diversity, openness, and safety for all clients seeking care.”
To RSVP for The Dorm’s Open House event, please visit: https://thedorm.com/rsvp/
About The Dorm
Since 2009, The Dorm's mission has been to guide young adults towards independence through evidence-based clinical therapies, community support and practical skill-building. As a full-service treatment community with locations in New York City, NY and Washington, D.C., we offer a unique approach to caring for young adults that is both therapeutic and holistic. This includes comprehensive day and evening services with individual and group therapy, wrap-around academic support, independent living opportunities and individualized life skills training. Our holistic health and wellness services span weekly mindfulness, meditation, yoga, nutrition and fitness training. The Dorm’s expert therapists and practitioners support the community with tailor-made treatment plans that meet them where they are today - virtually, at home, at school, or out in the community. www.thedorm.com.
Milpitas, CA - Sky’s the Limit Fund (STLF), a nonprofit transforming the lives of youth/young adults in crisis and their families by providing access to wilderness therapy programs, coaching services, and educational outreach, has received over $2.5 million in donations to assist adolescents, young adults, and their families since July 2021.
Founded by Rochelle Bochner and Lani Dorff in 2010, STLF provides support to youth/young adults from families with financial need who attend one of their fourteen wilderness therapy and youth-oriented therapeutic partner programs. The combined support from STLF and a reduction in tuition from partner programs allows families to focus on the treatment and wellness of their youth/young adults in times of crisis.
In addition to funding transformative wilderness therapy treatment, STLF provides wrap-around family-oriented services including young adult and parent coaching, outreach and education, and a Local Continuum of Care for students returning home.
Through the Local Continuum of Care program, a family and/or young adult can receive up to $2,500 as reimbursement for treatment in their community post-wilderness therapy. This provides a mental health and substance use “safety net” for students after they leave the care of the STLF partner program.
“We continue to receive applications for support daily. The need for wilderness therapy is real and the cost prohibits so many from accessing this effective treatment. The financial support STLF provides for wilderness therapy combined with our coaching service and local continuum of care gives youth, young adults and families access to effective treatment and hope for a healthy and better future,” said Bochner. “COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of youth and young adults and the financial stability of so many families, and we are honored to be in a strong position to help those who’ve been especially impacted.”
The generous donations from organizations and foundations like WoodNext Fund have allowed STLF to welcome Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and Trails Carolina to their Partner Program, thus expanding STLF’s reach and ability to serve more youth and young adults in crisis. This breadth and variety of partner programs allows STLF to provide assistance to diverse families from across the United States.
With over a decade of working with families in crisis, STLF’s Family Support Managers have a seamless and hands-on process that surrounds a family during the application, approval, and treatment process. STLF’s average support of $10,000 per family can be approved in as little as 24 hours and young people can start to benefit quickly from the therapeutic services offered.
“My son is very excited about college…His love of the outdoors has just gotten stronger since wilderness therapy. I couldn’t be any prouder of how far he’s come. 2 years ago, it seemed like it would never happen. You guys have all been amazing from start to finish and I will be eternally grateful,” shared a mother who received STLF support.
About Sky’s the Limit Fund
Sky's The Limit Fund was co-founded by Rochelle Bochner and Lani Dorff. After experiencing the life-saving impact that wilderness therapy had on their son, Rochelle and her husband determined that wilderness therapy should be available to ANY youth in crisis. Joining their endeavor, Lani worked with Rochelle to form STLF to raise funds to support youth in crisis and their families. Unfortunately, wilderness therapy is very expensive and rarely covered by health insurance companies.
About Wood Next Fund
WoodNext Fund is the philanthropy of tech innovator and Roku CEO/Founder, Anthony Wood, and his wife Susan. In collaboration with the Fund’s director Nancy Chan, their philanthropic efforts are guided by their overall mission to advance human progress and remove obstacles to a fulfilling life.
The Fund’s priorities include mental health and related issues, scientific and biomedical research and economic opportunity with a focus on addressing the root causes of poverty.
(Redlands, CA) Benchmark Transitions is pleased to announce the successful completion of the re-accreditation survey with The Joint Commission for Behavioral Health. "As we approached our renewal with The Joint Commission for a virtual survey this year," states Darren Longnecker, Chief Information Officer at Benchmark Transitions, "we felt it was important to be as prepared as possible. To that end, we partnered with Jennifer Flowers and the team at Accreditation Guru," continues Longnecker.
In a letter to Jennifer Flowers at Accreditation Guru, Darren complimented the partnership, "We completed our virtual survey this week. We are thankful to Accreditation Guru for providing Yvonne Rockwood, MBA/MHA, CPHQ, our consultant with Accreditation Guru. Our survey went very well, and we appreciate Yvonne's support in preparation. Her professionalism, knowledge, and supportive words are unmatched by any consultant we have ever worked with for accreditation. She has responded and availed herself day and night, whenever needed! We are truly blessed to have found Accreditation Guru and Yvonne Rockwood," concluded Longnecker.
Benchmark Transitions has been fully accredited by The Joint Commission for Behavioral Health, for all levels of care, including detoxification, residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and supportive transitional living since February 2018. Benchmark is the longest-running young adult specific program, serving the needs of young adult men, ages 18-28, since 1993. Benchmark is licensed and certified by the California Department of Health Care Services. Benchmark accepts most PPO insurance plans and is in-network with Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, First Health, Kaiser Permanente of Southern California, MHN, Tri-Care West, and Quantum Health.
For additional questions, please contact Benchmark Transitions at (855) 537-2172.
Benchmark Transitions is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to residential treatment and supportive transitional living for young adult men. Benchmark provides an evidence-based and compassionate approach to treating mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders, community-based supportive transitional living, education, and career development and life skills for long-term independent living.
Gainesville, GA, The owners and operators of Brightstone Transitions, in Gainesville, GA, Wisdom Ranch, in Arco, ID, and Point School Puerto Rico, in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico are pleased to announce the promotion of Jill Allen to CEO. Jill now oversees all aspects of operations, marketing, and admissions in all three of these innovative young adult programs. Prior to this announcement, there was no CEO position. This family of programs serves over 100 different young men.
“We would not be nearly as effective or efficient in overseeing our diverse family of programs without Jill’s vision, insight, and organizational expertise,” says Tim McMahon, Founder of Brightstone Transitions. “Jill’s passion for this work, coupled with her excellent organizational skills, has been critical in helping to grow and expand the family of programs beyond its roots in Georgia to include both Wisdom Ranch and Point School Puerto Rico. We are incredibly fortunate to have her at the helm as we look forward, into our next decade of creating and implementing high-quality programming for young adults seeking to transition into healthy forms of independence.”
Jill began her career working in therapeutic boarding schools, where she found a passion for working with those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She then focused her efforts on becoming a Behavior Specialist, helping middle and high school students improve their behavior in the school setting. With extensive experience in direct care for both adolescents and young adults, Jill has also worked with families and in integrated community settings.
Jill joined Brightstone Transitions, in Gainesville, GA, in 2016, working first as a Case Manager, and eventually taking on ever-increasing responsibility, including critical roles in Marketing, Admissions, Staff Development, and Executive Leadership. Jill has a proven track record of not only working with young adults, their families, and other critical stakeholders, but also leading and training staff, and creating sustainable systems which facilitate programmatic excellence.
For questions about any of the programs, please contact Jill Allen at email@example.com. This new position is still based out of Gainsville, GA.
About Brightstone Transitions
Brightstone Transitions is an innovative residential program providing coaching and mentoring to young adults on the autism spectrum ages 17.5 to 26. With the motto “Independence Through Application,” it is the desired outcome that each young adult enrolled at Brightstone live a meaningful and independent life. Founded in 2011, Brightstone is an owner/operated program located in Gainesville, Georgia. Serving men, women, and gender non-binary young adults, Brightstone is home to 50 total residents across varying stages of programming.
About Point School Puerto Rico
Point School Puerto Rico is a hybrid gap year program for young adult men, ages 18-22 that integrates cultural immersion, experiential and service-learning with positive self-discovery. Each young man at PSPR has the opportunity to build positive self-identity through career, interest, and personal exploration based on individual strengths. It provides participants an opportunity to have a cultural immersion, experiential learning, volunteering, and self-discovery
About Wisdom Ranch Vocational Gap Year
Wisdom Ranch opened in 2020 to provide an immersive vocational gap year experience for adult men aged 18-24. Students master carpentry, welding, or auto mechanics while living on a 4000-acre ranch in Arco, Idaho.