All Kinds of News for July 13, 2022
Portland, ME.-- Dr. Jeffrey Arnett, a Clark University research psychologist and colleagues theorized a new developmental stage they entitled “established adulthood,” a period in life characterized by significant changes in cognition, relationships, health awareness, and career development in the early 2000s. Prior to its recent publication in the American Psychologist, Dr. Arnett shared the article with Onward Transitions Co-Founder and Lead Clinician Darrell Fraize, M.Ed., LCPC, LADC for feedback on how the theory might be playing out practically among young adults in treatment for anxiety, depression, and executive functioning challenges.
Dr. Arnett refers to a hallmark trait of “feeling in-between” as emerging adults straddle the boundaries between adolescence and adulthood. “I told Jeff that some of the folks who were applying to our program were like ‘twice-betweeners’ because they had made some significant gains but weren’t quite ready to pull it all together without some help,” explained Fraize, a mental health practitioner for 24 years. “The twice-betweeners were somewhere between emerging and established adulthood because they were a bit older, more mature, and had done things like complete college. They just couldn’t maintain a full-time job, live on their own, navigate social contexts, and manage all the other ‘adulting’ stuff that sometimes gets people stuck.”
In response, Fraize and the team at Onward developed a separate treatment track for adults living along the borderline between emerging and established adulthood, and ranging up to age 35. “We’re calling this path ‘establishing adulthood and these folks are really digging deep into figuring out career exploration and greater financial independence while trying to have meaningful relationships. Some are even concerned about being more autonomous so they can take care of their aging parents. Jeff calls this the ‘career-care crunch’ where folks are navigating responsibility not only to themselves but also to loved ones. Very different from the focus on the self and generalized exploration in emerging adulthood,” Fraize explains.
Fraize is accepting new clients for the establishing adulthood track which has both crossover with the emerging adulthood track, and some specialized treatment planning. “The two tracks share a similar profile but with some distinctions. We remember the challenges some programs had when they applied an adolescent model to emerging adult clients. We don’t want to create a situation like that for these folks,” he stated.
Mehta, C. M., Arnett, J. J., Palmer, C. G., & Nelson, L. J. (2020). Established adulthood: A new conception of ages 30 to 45. The American Psychologist, 75(4), 431-444. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000600
About Onward Transitions
Onward Transitions (OT) in Portland, ME is a small, independent, owner-operated program for bright, motivated, emerging adults in the final stages of learning to live on their own. OT supports actual sustainable independent living and autonomy from two city locations. Participants (members) ages 18-29 never live with us; they live in their own apartments, scattered throughout the city. Members' challenges include anxiety, depression, and executive functioning.
Eva Carlston Academy has recently been awarded The Gold Seal of Approval ® from the Joint Commission. This accreditation presented by the Joint Commission is reserved for health care organizations that are committed to continuously improving and maintaining high quality client care throughout their operations.
This achievement is the result of a rigorous review process and detailed examination of organization processes and records of care. The Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with standards such as client safety, individualized treatment, medical care, and use of evidence-based practices. The Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and clients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance.
Now more than ever, programs focusing on behavioral and mental health speak to the profound importance of maintaining high standards that enable clients to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of the world around them. Eva Carlston has focused on the recruitment and development of employees that meet these high standards and have created a therapeutic environment that is clinical sophisticated and responsive to the ongoing advancements in teen mental health. The endorsement of The Joint Commission represents Eva Carlston's commitment to continuous improvement and client-centered care.
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.
In Balance Continuum is proud to announce that it is expanding its services to include a much-needed program for youth seeking the highest quality of care post-primary treatment: In Balance Adolescent Transitional Living. In order to understand the significance of this program, it’s important to know that In Balance has always been committed when seeing a need in the community, understanding that need, and finding a solution.
Founded in 1996 in the community of Tucson, Arizona, In Balance got its start as a much-needed intensive outpatient program for adolescents. Based on the requests of many of that group’s young people asking for help for their parents, an adult program was started in 1998.
From there In Balance’s leadership recognized that some young people (and their families) needed a higher level of care. Armed with the research-based knowledge that longer-term treatment provided better outcomes, In Balance Academy was born in 2004. Further recognizing that, for some of those young people graduating from the Academy, their hometown was not a safe place to continue their journey of recovery from mental health struggles and substance abuse, in 2006 In Balance Transitional Living was opened.
This program was launched so that young adults could pursue their life — getting jobs, going to college, undertaking adulthood — while entering the promises of recovery after their hard work in primary treatment. In 2017, the Young Adult Transitional Living Program expanded and In Balance opened a Collegiate Living Program. This program met the needs of university students who were not receiving substantial enough support services as they tried to continue their lives in recovery at a major university.
In the past two years though, In Balance has seen greater instances of admits who are entering long-term treatment closer to 14 and 15 years old. Parents are becoming more aware, earlier, of the devastating effects of the pandemic on their child's mental health and development. Just like their older counterparts, some of these young people need a transitional living experience after primary treatment. And this has inspired In Balance to open the Adolescent Transitional Living (ATL) Program.
Patrick Barrasso, Founder, Owner, and CEO of In Balance recognized that many adolescents leaving primary care or residential boarding school settings still need the therapeutic, academic, and peer supports provided for in traditional treatment environments. Unfortunately, most typical transitional living settings are developed for clients entering adulthood and 13, 14, 15, and 16-year-olds have different needs than the 18, 19 and 20-year-olds that makeup the bulk of young adult programs. With the Adolescent Transitional Living (ATL) Program, In Balance is extending its aftercare options to meet the unique needs of young men ages 13-17. The clinical, academic, and experiential programming developed for this program have carefully considered the ages and level of care and support that younger clients need to thrive post-primary treatment.
The Adolescent Transitional Living program,” says Patrick Barrasso, “will serve young men who have successfully completed therapeutic boarding or other, similar, programs and need additional support in order to maintain their sobriety while learning how to negotiate the challenges and transitions of adolescence.” The most effective treatment modalities, pedagogies, environmental settings, and developmental “needs of clients still in highschool look very different from those of young adults in the workforce or in college. After a year of searching for the perfect property and meeting diligently to put together the model, we are excited to launch this program.”
The program will open in August of 2022 and will be capable of housing ten clients. JB Yewell, MS, MPA, a primary therapist who has served the clients of In Balance for five years, will take on the role of Primary Therapist and Program Director for the Adolescent Transitional Living Program. JB notes that, “ATL will draw upon many of the strengths we have developed within our two [In Balance] Young Adult Transitional Living programs, such as a 3 phase system, experiential outings, an emphasis on diet and exercise, and therapeutic components, including individual, family, and group work. That being said, we also recognize that there needs to be some big differences for us to both appropriately and effectively serve the adolescent population. Therefore, ATL will have a different structure and more robust schedule, as well as, boundaries, expectations, and rules that are more appropriate for the adolescent student.” The Continuum’s Adolescent Program will incorporate dedicated school hours five days a week, experiential activities that encourage connectivity and fun, and policies that are tailored to ensuring many “firsts” for highschool students (ie. jobs, dating, driving) are available and navigated through the lens of continued recovery and mental health support that makes sense for these young men.
In Balance is looking forward to answering any questions and taking inquiries. We have lots of information about this new part of the Continuum,” says Daniel Barrasso, Executive Director of In Balance’s Young Adult Services. “We will be glad to provide more information if you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the Adolescent Transitional Living (ATL) Program.”
In Balance Continuum of Care was founded by Patrick and Betsy Barrasso in 1996, and they still own and operate the Continuum today. With the help of their three children and staff, In Balance ensures active recovery for all clients. To help families heal from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, four programs, each with different levels of care, make up the Continuum of Care. In Balance Continuum consists of: In Balance Intensive Outpatient program, an outpatient group which serves the local Tucson community and is designed for men and women 18-80 years old with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders; In Balance Academy, a therapeutic boarding school and accredited high school which serves young men 14-18 years old with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders from all over the world; In Balance Transitional Living, aftercare programs serving young men 14-28 years old post-primary/residential programs from all over the world with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders; and In Balance Alumni Continuing Care Services, an In Balance Alumni support and living community serving our alumni, 17-28 years old with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. All of In Balance Continuum of Care's therapeutic services have earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Care Accreditation. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care. All In Balance programs are fully licensed in the state of Arizona under licenses CSLG9295, OTC 8767, and OTC9296. All In Balance employees maintain Level One Fingerprint Clearance as issued by the State of Arizona Department of Public Safety and all licensed employees complete all continuing education per licensure requirements, yearly. In Balance currently has over 75% of all employees and 95% of all clients fully vaccinated against Covid-19. To connect with the main office, please call 520-722-9631 or mail 6107 E. Grant. Rd., Tucson, AZ 85712 .
The TechieForLife (TFL) website just received a techie facelift. The newly released, easy to navigate website is an exciting start to TFL’s sixth year of operation, with its visually dynamic design, new video tour with student cameos, and a more intimate look at what life is like for autistic and neurodivergent young adults looking for support with their next steps.
The new website highlights what is possible for neurodivergent young adults when they get the right support from other college-aged mentors who care. “We want autistic and neurodivergent young adults to know they have a place to belong here, and they don’t have to adult alone,” said Debbie Grygla, TFL Admissions & Marketing Director. There is also a Meet Our Students video highlighting the challenges students are overcoming as they receive mentoring and find their best educational/ career path.
Check out the new website, techieforlife.com, and be inspired to learn more about TechieForLife’s specialized co-ed mentoring program that includes school and work training, wrapped in a college living experience.
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. Email GetStarted@TechieForLife.com to learn more.
‘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.
Cascade Academy recently celebrated two years of operations in April of 2022. Since opening at the height of Covid, Cascade Academy has been established as a clinically sophisticated treatment option for adolescent girls struggling with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) related issues. Due to the link between academics and anxiety/OCD-related issues, Cascade Academy has invested heavily in creating a sophisticated academic experience.
“Whatever you plan to do after Cascade Academy you need to practice while at Cascade Academy”. This is a frequently repeated mantra that directs the therapeutic goals of Cascade Academy students. Academic issues such as school avoidance and perfectionism play a significant role in the anxiety profile of Cascade Academy students prior to enrollment.
In an effort to create a “true to life” academic experience, Cascade Academy is eager to announce its new on-site Academic Center.
The new Academic Center at Cascade Academy is designed to provide an academic experience that mirrors a typical academic environment but providing flexibility and adaptability for students who struggle with school attendance. It is the perfect space to participate in academic exposures. The hybrid academic model provides an opportunity for credit recovery for those students who are behind in their academic achievements as well as Honors/ AP classes and online college opportunities for those students who excel academically. Multifunctional classrooms allow group sessions, lecture-based learning from licensed teachers, and team projects as well as private individual spaces where students can work one on one with tutors or online. An impressive arts center, complete with pottery wheels, art supplies and amazing instruction overlooks a well-tended garden space where students participate in a food-to-table nutrition class.
About Cascade Academy
Cascade Academy is a 26-bed residential treatment center treating adolescent girls between the ages of 13 to 18 suffering with severe anxiety, OCD and OCD-related disorders in Midway, Utah. Cascade Academy combines the power of traditional therapy and experiential therapy modalities to create a clinically specialized, individualized residential treatment center. The residential treatment program utilizes evidence-based treatment modalities: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Individual, family, recreational and group therapy along with individualized sequential exposures are a key component to their treatment.
Annette is a Utah transplant who grew up in a military family and lived in many places and countries throughout her childhood. She came to Utah from Texas to attend college and obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Westminster College in 2007. While attending the University of Nebraska- Lincoln she earned a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision. She also has endorsements in theater and English as a second language.
Annette has spent over 15 years in the classroom as a teacher. She has held numerous leadership positions leading School Improvement Committees and PTA. Her education philosophy is to make learning fun and engaging for all students while building rapport so that they are passionate and excited to learn and be part of school. Each student holds a special place to her, and she is committed to their success in life. She is excited to join Cascade Academy and share the passion of helping and supporting students to become the best version of themselves.
Annette has always enjoyed traveling and is taking the time to explore the state of Utah. She lived in Germany for three years and hopes to go back again and travel throughout Europe. She loves cooking, arts, and crafts, and is a big history buff. Annette has four children of her own. When she isn't busy participating in their football, basketball, or baseball activities, she enjoys spending time with her husband, whom she married this past May the 4th (they are Star Wars fans).
Cascade Academy is a 26-bed residential treatment center treating adolescent girls between the ages of 13 to 18 suffering with severe anxiety, OCD and OCD related disorders in Midway, Utah. Cascade Academy combines the power of traditional therapy and experiential therapy modalities to create a clinically specialized, individualized residential treatment center. The residential treatment program utilizes evidence-based treatment modalities: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Individual, family, recreational and group therapy along with individualized sequential exposures are a key component to their treatment.
Hillsboro, NH (7/11/22) – The Wediko School announced today that 4 students (and 1 staff) completed the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) scuba certification. The course involves students spending an entire semester learning the foundations of diving through a STEM-based curriculum in the classroom before applying the skills in a confined pool setting. Once the students master the underwater skills in a controlled water environment, they are required to practice a subset of skills in a lake or ocean. Upon completion, students earn an internationally-recognized certification card that allows them to scuba dive down to 60 feet.
(Staff also routinely enroll in the course along with the students, requiring them to participate in all exams and physical activities as the students.)
“Achieving this goal is a huge point of pride for kids,” said Jason Dawson, who is a certified Divemaster and a lead teacher at the Wediko School. “It gives kids the opportunity to try something new, find pride and confidence in the activity, and have something exciting to work towards. I am proud of our students for working hard and achieving this huge goal.”
Dawson regularly takes certified students and staff on shipwreck dives in Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and ocean dives at Nubble Light House in York, Maine. This serves as a therapeutic tool for children with social and emotional challenges.
To learn more about the Wediko School, visit thewedikoschool.org.
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.
New Focus Academy’s Kirsti Pulsipher, who has been with the company for years as their Science and Social Studies Teacher, has been promoted to Academic Director.
Kristi has been working in the educational system as a teacher and administrator for over 20 years, in both public and private institutions. Her experience in education has helped her develop a passion for providing exciting and challenging academic opportunities for students of all abilities. It was quickly noted that she has strong leadership abilities among peers, and an ability to truly connect with students. Students have consistenly noted their renewed interest in school is due to Kristi’s way of making learning come alive in a safe environment. She will continue to serve as the Science and Social Studies Teacher for New Focus Academy along with her new position as Academic Director.
New Focus Academy is a co-ed residential program for neurodiverse teenagers that prepares them 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.
blueFire Wilderness’ Clinical Director and Co-Founder Jon Worbets has started a parent support group. The decision to send your child to a wilderness program is a difficult one and this group aims to help parents connect with others in similar situations and provide the necessary support.
blueFire’s family systems model of treatment includes the whole family so that when the child returns home, the systems are going to be in place for the whole family to succeed. This parent support group bolsters existing family systems with extra emotional support for family members as their child begins, and continues, on their journey. This is very important to keep parents dedicated to the helpful work this program sets up so that their child and their family will continue to be successful.
Currently, the support group meets every other week over Zoom and usually has a topic or specific encouragement that is then discussed amongst the participants and led by Jon. Since its inception, it has over doubled the number of previous attempts of a parent support group.
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.
To learn more about blueFire Wilderness and their Family Support Systems please visit https://bluefirewilderness.com/ or call (844) 413-1999 for more information.
Red Mountain Colorado (RMC) is excited to introduce Brianna Roselles as a Primary Therapist to the team at Red Mountain Colorado, the premiere mindfulness-based, Community-Integrated Residential Treatment Center (CIRTC) for male-identifying and non-binary adolescents aged 14 to 17.
Brianna has a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Utah with a focus on adolescent development, substance use, and DBT. Her previous work experience includes a therapy preschool, an adult psychiatric unit, and a long-term adolescent RTC. She believes in the healing power and importance of mindfulness, with the confidence-building that comes from therapeutic outdoor adventures and activities and she works to implement and balance that in her clinical approach with students.
Red Mountain Colorado was founded to help struggling teens work through behavioral and emotional challenges, empowering teens to build healthy coping skills and habits that they can use to work through the challenges they face and create a happier life.
Red Mountain Colorado was founded to help struggling teens work through behavioral and emotional challenges. We empower teens to build healthy coping skills and habits that they can use to work through the challenges they face and create a happier life. Learn more about Red Mountain Colorado program at: https://redmountaincolorado.com.
Malibu, Calif., July 7, 2022- Paradigm Treatment (www.paradigmtreatment.com) has launched a new podcast series created for parents and families, professionals, and individuals seeking insight into treatment, mental health, and overall well-being.
In the “Paradigm Talks” podcast series, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Jed Purses and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Emily Armour, along with engaging guests, deliver powerful and actionable insights to encourage more effective functioning as an individual and family member, in Paradigm’s own uniquely supportive and reassuring way.
Paradigm CEO Dustin Wagner shared his thoughts on the choice of Jed and Emily to lead the podcast series, “When we decided to launch a podcast, there was no doubt that Jed and Emily were the team. They are a dynamic duo - professional, knowledgeable, supportive, and they interact really well together. Most importantly, they connect in a deeply meaningful way with the youth and families that Paradigm serves.” Jed Purses leads Paradigm’s highly rated and well-established Alumni Parent Support Group while Emily Armour makes a positive impact within the professional community, leading Paradigm University, Paradigm’s continuing education program.
“Paradigm Talks” was developed as a means to expand resources for Paradigm families and to be a reliable voice in an often confusing and conflicting sea of mental health content and news intended to grab headlines.
Timely podcast topics include depression in adolescents - what it looks like, warning signs, and how to open a discussion with your loved one, and social media - navigating boundaries around it, and having conversations with your child about it. “Paradigm Talks” can be found at https://paradigmtreatment.com/check-out-our-podcasts
For more information about “Paradigm Talks” or for answers to any other questions relating to Paradigm Treatment, please contact Carrie Weatherhead, Director of Clinical Outreach at email@example.com.
With locations in Malibu and San Rafael, CA, and soon in Austin, TX, Paradigm Treatment (www.paradigmtreatment.com) has been helping teens and young adults with mental illness for over 10 years with meticulously thought-through, Joint Commission-accredited mental health treatment. Our medical and clinical teams delve deep to address the root causes of the struggles that young people face in today’s always-on yet disconnected world. We work closely with youth and their families treating anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, mood and personality disorders, and co-occurring substance use. Certified teachers address academic issues so that students may resume studies after residential treatment. Experiential approaches like mindfulness, yoga, and meditation empower clients to transform their lives in authentic, sustainable ways.
Equinox RTC, a residential treatment center for teen boys ages 14-18, is excited to welcome Primary Therapist Chris Murray.
Chris Murray is a licensed clinical mental health counselor associate (LCMHC-A) and a licensed clinical addictions specialist associate (LCAS-A). Chris utilizes psychodynamic theory, which is a background-focused approach that emphasizes the understanding of human behaviors, feelings, and emotions. He holds a strong belief in the development of a collaborative relationship between the therapist and the client, seeing it as vital for the client to develop long-lasting healing and mental health.
“We are delighted to welcome Chris to our Clinical Team,” says Executive Director John Moore, “Chris joining our team is another milestone in the growth and evolution of Equinox. He not only shares our passion for helping people heal from trauma, but has challenged himself to add addictions specialist to his resume to better serve his clients. Truly a growth-minded, driven individual. Perfect for the Equinox Family.”
Chris started out his career working in hospitals and residential treatment centers working with all ages. He specializes in addressing concerns such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem, panic, sleep issues, trauma, and substance use. Chris’ work with adolescents focuses on increasing the client’s insight into themselves, in order to identify new patterns of relating to others and developing adaptive coping mechanisms. Chris strives to provide culturally sensitive treatment to clients of all backgrounds. He believes therapy provides empowerment towards self-acceptance and resilience.
In his free time, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife exploring new restaurants, traveling, and playing cards. He also enjoys painting oils on canvas, writing prose, and playing the guitar.
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.
Since 2012, Positive Youth Development (PYD) has been the guiding philosophy for Shortridge Academy in its work with students. Developed with guidance from the University of New Hampshire, PYD is a true strengths-based approach that offers alternatives to focusing on problems and deficits, engages students and empowers them to build life and leadership skills, provides a rationale and common understanding used in decision making; all the while, PYD is consistent with research on adolescent brain development and authoritative parenting.
In recent months, Shortridge Academy students have embraced PYD in a number of impressive ways that have been celebrated in the community. Three students applied and were hired as Work Study Students, gaining valuable work experience, developing life skills, and earning wages as true Shortridge Academy employees. With support from Shortridge administration and staff, the student-run DEI Committee planned an eventful Pride Month, including campus decorations, facilitating thoughtful and intentional conversations about gender and sexuality, and attending the Pride Parade in Portsmouth, NH.
Numerous students have also shown initiative by submitting proposals (Reps) for their Community Contribution projects, including rationale and detailed budgets. Approved and successful projects include designing and creating a sensory room, supplying each classroom with fidget toys, skill cards, and words of encouragement to help students who are struggling in the classroom, building and installing a greenhouse with adjacent vegetable and pollinator gardens, designing and customizing a piece of clothing for every Shortridge student, redesigning and adding equipment to our campus gym, and remodeling student bathrooms.
“What I have loved about partnering with our students the past few months is their independence, assertive advocacy, and creativity. I have been really impressed with their hard work and organization, and also how much fun they have been having with it!” - Jessa Hobson, Clinical Program Director
Now in its 20th year, Shortridge is considered the most normalized and progressive therapeutic boarding school in the country, whose strengths-based and authoritative approach successfully supports those students struggling with anxiety, depression, family dysfunction and learning challenges.
If you would like more information about Shortridge Academy, please contact Admissions Director, Katie Rainer or Admissions Coordinator, Olivia Therrien at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (866) 828-9243, or visit their website ShortridgeAcademy.com.
Shortridge Academy is a private co-ed Therapeutic Boarding School, founded in 2002, emphasizing challenging yet supportive college prep academics within a therapeutic community. Located in southeastern New Hampshire with close proximity to both the seacoast and the mountains, Shortridge’s setting and Positive Youth Development model provides students with an ideal environment to further develop their sense of self and strengthen family relationships in an intellectually stimulating learning environment reflective of a traditional boarding school.
EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community is dropping one small word from its name to make a world of different for its young adults. That word? Collegiate.
The decision to remove ‘Collegiate’ from the EDGE name was not a decision made overnight, but instead was the result of ten years of operation and observations from the EDGE team, with increasing relevance and importance after the initial 2020 Covid lockdown disrupted higher education plans.
Tara Maloney, EDGE’s Career and Social Engagement Coordinator, explains what led to this change in name. “For a long time, EDGE has been a place for everyone, no matter where they are with school. We’ve had people stay here before they apply to school while taking a break from school, and after having graduated from school.” Maloney, who joined the team in December of 2019, boiled the decision down to “Making sure our ideology reflects the young adults we serve.”
EDGE also expressed that while the word ‘Collegiate’ is now gone, quality programming surrounding education and academic living - like the Pathways to College program - is not. Because EDGE is a highly customizable program that tailors itself to fit the specific needs of each young adult that joins, academic programming will never go away at EDGE. The program recently welcomed back Brittany Williams as their new Learning Coordinator.
When asked about what changes people could expect to see in EDGE’s programming to reflect the new name, Maloney explained, “We’ve recently implemented a career workshop and now have specific times where all the EDGE students work on their career goals. Obviously, that will look different for each person, because we work to match our young adults where they’re at. We could be working on basic resume writing, practicing interviews, applying for jobs. We also have a full career workshop where all the young adults gather together and work on career skills such as active listening, collaborating, and other transferable skills.”
While many young adults have come and gone through EDGE’s doors at 63 East Lake Street, the impact they leave on the program and the EDGE team is long-lasting. EDGE will continue to adapt to the needs of its young adults and hopes to continue to meet them wherever they are on their path to independence.
About EDGE Learning and Wellness Community
EDGE Learning and Wellness Community is an accredited transitional living program located in Chicago, IL. EDGE offers therapeutically supported residential and non-residential options for post-treatment young adults. The participants, ages 18 -24, are striving to excel academically while creating a life of balance, joy, and wellness.
Wilderness Reboot™ announces Pre-Launch to showcase a new transitional membership platform serving Wilderness Therapy Alumni (ages 18+) as an additional resource for transitional support, Alumni leaving Wilderness Programs, Therapeutic Boarding Schools, or other Residential Treatment Centers, eventually, come together to make up the wilderness Reboot™ Tribe. Serving exclusively Wilderness Therapy Alumni students, Wilderness Reboot’s purpose is to provide support, community, and continued outreach for Young Adults transitioning from Wilderness Therapy Programs. Operated specially by Wilderness Field Guides, Wilderness Therapists, Wilderness Reboot™ Ambassadors (graduated alumni), Wilderness Reboot™ cultivates a positive pro-wilderness culture that serves as an additional support structure to former students who want a sense of community with some trailblazing features. Wilderness Reboot™ is NOT a substitute for Wilderness Therapy, Residential Treatment, Transitional Care or Clinical Counseling of any kind. It is an additional resource – to the incredible and reputable Wilderness Programs that they hope to continue collaborating with.
“I never saw community being the focal point at first with my Wilderness Transition Coaching, however, collaboratively with Wilderness Alumni evolved the idea of a transitional support community - just for us Wilderness folk. I really want to foster a culture that's replicable to what makes Wilderness so special” - said Mark Adamski, Founder of Wilderness Reboot™.
First piloted and developed by a handful of original members, later the conversation continued with Wilderness Alumni, Wilderness Therapy Guides, Parent Coaches, Wilderness Therapists, and Former Program Director at Pure Life Enrique Parrales. Making up the rest of the team, former field guides Jack Sweeny, Katie Kuwahara, Gretchen Gerlach, Fri Lavey, Rubio Carmona, Parent Coach Expert Beth Hillman, and Wilderness Therapist Christian Snuffer.
Helping to form this robust platform, Wilderness Reboot™ is excited to officially open its doors this August.
“I honestly can't wait to be a part of this project because I know how it can feel not having community when coming back home and there are so many people out there waiting to tell their stories of how Wilderness impacted them for the better.” - Wilderness Ambassador (Alumni).
Introducing a lifetime membership to a private, confidential, and carefully vetted community - members inside have access to educational resources, books and video lessons taking Wilderness and Adventure concepts to help bridge the gap transitioning home. In addition to a 12-Week video course series, Wilderness Reboot™ membership site allows for mobile-app integration to help combat addictive screen-use to help promote healthy and balanced screen time that's supplemented with a daily journal/planner to help members not forget a once-loved wilderness staple. Inside a dedicated private server, members are prevented from being sucked back into the app, unlike other social media platforms that steal attention, ad-target and ultimately get you scrolling endlessly. Alongside different discussion threads connected to Wilderness Reboot’s™ curriculum on transition topics, healthy habits, routines, communication, life skills and mindset tools - members can engage and interact with one another in a fun and therapeutically safe environment. Sharing their tools, knowledge and experiences learned in Wilderness, members can join private weekly Alumni Calls, Q&A calls, Guest Speakers or even Morning and Nightly Meetings to support their tribe that is facilitated and modeled by Wilderness Reboot Staff. Supervised to keep the community safe, Wilderness Transition Coaches can time-out, freeze or all together ban members who are breaking community rules and guidelines.
Wilderness Reboot™ recognizes that many families can be financially exhausted after Wilderness Programs or additional treatment services. Their mission is to help give financial support to financially disadvantaged families by contributing to make Wilderness Therapy a more inclusive, diverse and equitable treatment option to those who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity. To do that, Wilderness Reboot™ will be making donations to Sky’s The Limit Fund to help give access to Wilderness Therapy, in addition to launching a Partnership Program to allocate funding to help fundraise Scholarships and Financial-Aid to low-income families who are considering Wilderness Therapy.
About Wilderness Reboot
Wilderness Reboot™ emerged within the Wilderness/Adventure Therapy transitional coaching space to provide affordable transitional support services to Wilderness Therapy Alumni students. Tailored specifically to Wilderness Alumni, Wilderness Reboot’s Virtual Membership Platform is dedicated and committed to providing support, community and continued outreach for Young Adults transitioning from Wilderness Therapy Programs. Wilderness Reboot™ is committed to serving alumni while promoting positive advocacy for Outdoor Behavioral Health. Wilderness Reboot™ believes in the gifts of Wilderness Therapy and makes donations to Sky’s The Limit Fund to help families gain access to Wilderness Therapy Programs. Find us on social media! Youtube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.
Middleboro, Massachusetts – Chamberlain International School has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Home Certification by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality care to the individuals it serves.
The certification recognizes health care organizations that integrate and coordinate an individual’s behavioral health and primary physical health care services to facilitate access to a broad array of behavioral health care, medical care, and community-based social services and supports. These organizations focus on key concepts of individual-centered, comprehensive, and coordinated care and services that support recovery and resilience philosophies.
Chamberlain underwent a rigorous review during the week of May 2 – 5, 2022. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards including those covering the care, treatment, or services provided; environment of care; leadership; human resources; outcomes measurement; and rights and responsibilities of the individual served. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts, and patients. The reviewers also conducted in-depth observations and interviews.
“Behavioral Health Home Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Chamberlain for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for individuals served.”
“Receiving The Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff and leadership. The thoroughness of the preparation and rigor of process has and continues to position Chamberlain as a leader in the industry.”- Scott Davignon, Program Director.
About Chamberlain International School
Located in Middleboro, Massachusetts, Chamberlain International School offers a therapeutic residential learning experience for students ranging in age from 11 to 22. Students at Chamberlain International School struggle with a variety of learning disabilities and mental health challenges.
SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training is attending The 2022 Lowcountry Mental Health Conference & the ACRC 2022 Annual Conference with the founder and CEO Dianne Kosto, SCN.
- The 2022 Lowcountry Mental Health Conference will host its 10th Anniversary event in downtown Charleston, South Carolina on July 27-29, 2022 . Come by the booth for exciting offers on our Neurofeedback services
- The Association of Children’s Residential Centers (ACRC) 2022 66th Annual Conference will be held in Louisville, KY on July 11-14, 2022 and be sure to visit the booth for a free demo Neurofeedback session.
SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training welcomes Dr. Geoff Nugent and his team at Nugent Family Counseling Center as a part of its growing customer base. "The team at Nugent Family Counseling Center supports a diverse community of children, adolescents, adults, and families who are affected by conditions such as addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma, stress, and grief. They strive to provide clients with the tools needed to understand and acknowledge the effects that their emotions and behaviors have on themselves and their personal relationships."
While providing Neurofeedback is not new to Dr. Nugent, finding a way to serve his patients from their homes is. SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training is honored to help Dr. Nugent and his team provide at-home Neurofeedback services.
About SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training:
Our Mission: When people have dysregulated brains, they suffer physical and emotional pain, life is hard, and relationships are damaged. At SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training, we empower people by providing neurofeedback services and systems that help the brain regulate because everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive.
For more research and information about SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training and the different partnership opportunities, contact Dianne Kosto, SCN, CEO & Founder. To schedule an appointment, follow this link: https://go.oncehub.com/DianneKosto. Follow them on Linkedin or Facebook or visit their website, https://symmetryneuropt.com.
Education Resources Unlimited (ERU) and School Connections will be co-hosting a workshop for programs offering services for adolescent and adult students on the autism spectrum. Participating programs will be meeting one-on-one with educational consultants. While program spaces are now filled, interested consultants are still welcome to register.
"ERU is excited to be collaborating with School Connections to bring together both programs and consultants supporting families with students on the autism spectrum," said CEO and owner Lauren Seltzer.
Programs will set up their tables in the meeting space and educational consultants move from table to table over the course of the day, meeting with each program for 20 minutes. To encourage a professional and relaxed atmosphere, the workshop is limited to 15-20 programs and 15-20 educational consultants.
The events will take place at the Water's Edge Resort & Spa in Westbrook, CT, beginning the evening of October 24 with a reception and appointments running all day on October 25, 2022, ending by 5 PM.
Please RSVP to Lauren Seltzer at email@example.com.
About Lauren Seltzer | Educational Resources Unlimited
Lauren is a licensed marriage and family therapist, holding a Master’s in Counseling from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor's in Education from the University of Vermont. She also holds a certificate in Holistic Health Counseling. Her professional focus is in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, Integrative Health and Wellness, and relationship-focused treatment.
It has been a busy summer so far at Triple Divide Lodge with three new members joining the team. Abbi Fetters, LCSW as clinical therapist, David DeBoer as wilderness instructor, and Nathan Wells as a recovery support specialist.
Abbi is a native Montanan with a master's degree in social work. She has worked in outpatient and residential settings with young men from various socio-economical and cultural backgrounds and with their families. From her experiences, Abbi has seen how important relationships between family and their kids are, and the vital role they play in supporting recovery from any mental health and substance use disorders.
Originally from northern Minnesota, David grew up in the Midwest and has had a lifelong love of hiking, camping, snowboarding, and fishing. After a couple of years of college and traveling, David enlisted in the Marine Corps and became a Reconnaissance Marine, learning advanced land navigation skills, survival techniques, scouting, and many other disciplines. He has a heart for working with youth and helping them gain a love for the outdoors and passing on the lessons he has learned. David enjoys spending his free time exploring the wilderness of NW Montana and building a home with his wife.
Nathan Wells has an associate degree in welding technology and has spent the last 10 years working as a welder. Nathan was drawn to work at Triple Divide Lodge, as when he was a teenager, he wrestled with addictive tendencies and habits. During that season of Nathan’s life, he had mentors and people in his life who cared enough to speak the truth and encourage him on his journey. Nathan has been in recovery for 13+ years and has a desire to see young men succeed and make progress where he once struggled. Nathan enjoys mountain biking, hunting, and riding off-road motorcycles in his spare time. He also enjoys fellowship with his church family throughout the week.
These three are excited to bring their wide array of skills to the programming at Triple Divide Lodge. Each person brings with them years of unique experience that will help amplify the already innovative style on campus. To learn more about Triple Divide Lodge, visit https://www.tripledividelodge.com or call (406) 296-5776.
About Triple Divide Lodge
Triple Divide Lodge is a 90-day combination residential and wilderness therapy treatment program for adolescent males ages 14-19. Young men enrolled in the program have a history of substance abuse disorder and possible co-occurring disorders. Our model assists clients in overcoming their substance use issues by getting outside of their comfort zones and experiencing the growth the wilderness inspires.
The inaugural East Coast 'Alternative to College Fair,' commonly known as the ALT Fair, is taking place at The Riverside Church in New York City, on September 10, 2022, from 12-3 pm. In attendance will be school counselors, independent Education and Therapeutic Consultants, parents, high school seniors, and young adults who are trying to figure out a plan. Founded seven years ago in the Bay Area, The ALT Fair is for students deciding to pursue a post-secondary institution, or who have attempted college or university and stepped away, or did not attend. The ALT fair is intentionally limited to 40 local and national programs and opportunities to provide an opportunity to connect for all in attendance.
Alternative-to-college options that have therapeutic support are becoming a necessary option for a growing number of young adults. The Journal of Adolescent Health (jahonline.org/) reported in April that 48% of the Young Adults surveyed reported mental health symptoms in their April 2022 report. "The programs in attendance at this NYC fair are only a fraction of what is available for young adults who are looking to get creative with their post-high school life," said Joanna Lilley, MA, co-organizer of the ALT Fair.
To attend the RSVP-only networking event as a referring professional or school counselor, on Friday, September 9th, 2022 or to become an exhibitor you must register at https://www.collegealternative.org/alt-fair.
About College Alternatives
The ALT Fair is being organized by operated by two Therapeutic Consultants and one College Consultant. If you can not attend, visit the YouTube channel.
Recently Trails Momentum students participated in the annual event known as Trout Day. Every year, staff and students look forward to this spring day when fresh trout are brought in to replenish Momentum’s onsite lake. This year about 500 pounds were delivered and then gently transported by students into their new habitat.
Josh Rood, Outdoor Adventure Educator, explains how this experience ties in with the programming at Trails Momentum: “Our students get to witness the cycle of life play out and then contemplate their place in that cycle. Being able to connect with nature on that level and being able to provide students the opportunity, as well as ample space and time to reflect, is what Trails Momentum & wilderness therapy are all about.”
With so many life lessons being learned, it was also a great opportunity to cool off with some cold water from the lake, have some laughs, and take pride in a positive impact on our shared environment.
At Trails Momentum, young adults are guided on a journey of self-discovery where they develop self-concept and are empowered to make the transition into independence.
To learn more about this experience at Trails Momentum be sure to watch our latest video → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjKhNC5Pb94
About Trails Momentum
Trails Momentum is an adventure-based outdoor program for young adults ages 18-25 who are struggling to launch themselves into adulthood. Students are guided on a journey of self-discovery where they develop self-concept and are empowered to make the transition into independence. Adventure programming, clinical services, family involvement, college coursework, and social skill development are seamlessly interwoven to maximize the transference of important life skills and address clinical and behavioral challenges.
Evoke Therapy Programs is delighted to announce that Cori Wright, MS, ACMHC, SEP has joined the team as a primary therapist in its Southern Utah-based wilderness program.
“Cori comes to us with an extensive background in outdoor behavioral health, with 14 years of experience in wilderness and clinical settings, working as a field guide at multiple programs and as a family services guide/therapist as well,” says Dr. Matt Hoag. “I thought her history and experience made her a perfect fit for the sophisticated clinical approach at Evoke.”
Wright got a BA in Biological Anthropology and Mexican-American History at the University of New Mexico where she also conducted research in forensic anthropology. She then received her MS in Clinical Mental Health from Prescott College, with an emphasis in Somatic Psychotherapy. While she pursued degrees, Wright worked in adventure therapy and wilderness settings. Wright has also completed the three-year training in Somatic Experiencing and is an SE Practitioner. Most recently, Wright served as an Adjunct Faculty member at Western New Mexico University in the MSW program, and taught Outdoor Behavioral Health and Adventure Therapy. She has, over the course of her studies and career, worked with populations in jails, shelters, and refugee camps doing crisis work.
For her part, Wright is excited to be back in the field. “I have worked in almost every environment possible; jails, shelters, wilderness, offices, etc. And while those other methods are needed for some populations, I would often sit staring out the window wishing I was back in the wilderness. It is where I feel at home,” she says. “What drew me to Evoke was the nomadic model and the core belief that the wilderness does a lot of the work. Of course Evoke would not be what it is without its team, however, the foundation is built upon is the premise that given the space, time, hard skills, and soft skills, wilderness works.”
About Evoke Therapy Programs
Evoke Therapy Programs provides outdoor-based therapeutic programs for adolescents, young adults, and families, Intensive therapy programs for individuals, families, and couples, and an extensive roster of mental wellness coaches. 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 & Coaching are based in northern Utah.
The Dorm, a mental health treatment community in NYC and DC, is now offering an expanded in-person experience of care. The move to extended hours is in response to their young adult clients’ changing and fluid needs on their path to independence. Highlights of their updated schedule include:
- 6 days/week of in-person treatment
- Extended daily hours (9 am - 8 pm)
- Virtual & hybrid treatment options for continuity of care as-needed, cross-site groups and family sessions
The Dorm's clinical team designed this new extended schedule in consideration of two typical client profiles: high acuity clients who may need more structure into the evenings; and lower acuity clients who have sought additional flexible clinical hours to accommodate daytime classes or work hours.
Additionally, after over two years of a hybrid care model during the pandemic, including virtual and in-person days, The Dorm is responding to clients' evolving needs as the country moves to more in-person experiences.
In consideration of the ongoing threat of COVID-19, The Dorm continues to enforce advanced health and safety measures including visitor pre-screenings, masking onsite at all times, community vaccination requirements, and continued onsite testing.
About The Dorm
Founded in 2009, The Dorm is a mental health treatment community in NYC and Washington, D.C., serving young adult clients aged 18-30+ with a range of diagnoses, offering wraparound clinical, nutrition, health & wellness, academic, and skill-building services.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch directly with our admissions team.
Solstice East’s on-site high school, Timbersong Academy, takes a short summer break over the 4th of July, allowing many students to go on home visits. During this time, with a decreased census of students on campus, the clinical and leadership teams are able to orchestrate a week of intensive pieces of training and workshops for all staff to come together to learn and collaborate on best practices.
Throughout this week-long training intensive, mentors, nurses, teachers, adventure therapy staff, clinicians, and administrative staff arrived on campus to workshop and review the following:
- Back to the Basics - A review of the ‘why’ students are referred to residential treatment and prioritizing physical and emotional safety.
- Alumni Panel - A group of graduates reflected on their time at Solstice East, what helped them the most and life after graduation.
- Role-Playing - A workshop allowing staff to practice the relationship-based pressure continuum in a variety of day-to-day situations with students regarding empowerment, accountability and role-modeling.
- Equine & You - An equine group for staff to experience their own patterns, as our students do, through interaction with our 9 horses on-campus.
- Motivational Interviewing & Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) - A training on two modalities to help you attune and support students in empowering ways.
“We want to take every opportunity that we can to collect ourselves as a community, to assess the work we do, and to ensure we are providing the best services possible to our students and families,” says Executive Director Danielle Andrews MA, LCMHC, CFTP. “While this is certainly ongoing, these week-long intensives allow us the chance to dive in deeper and to further strengthen our team.”
About Solstice East
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for students ages 14-17 nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Asheville, North Carolina. Solstice East is committed to treating each student through a combination of individual, family, equine, and adventure therapies as well as treating and diagnosing a range of issues including (but not limited to) trauma, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors, attachment, and identity issues. Solstice East assists adolescents and their families in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journey. Our holistic approach acknowledges that mental health diagnoses are only one piece of the puzzle; we strive to help students succeed in multiple areas of their lives.
outBACK Therapeutic Expeditions, a purpose-driven wilderness therapy program, is honored to announce that on July 7, 2022, Judith Sadora, MA, LMFT joined the outBACK team as the Family Therapist. As an intention-based program that draws deeply on its mission of bringing families BACK together, outBACK is excited to shine a spotlight on the commencement of the co-creation process of enhancing the family and alumni program at outBACK Therapeutic Expeditions.
Judith holds a Masters in Marriage and Family and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She comes to the team with extensive experience and knowledge of family systems work which allows her to successfully navigate and honor both the individual process of self-discovery, while helping them engage and understand the magnitude and power of collective healing. When asked about Judith Sadora joining the team, here is what Business Development Director, Tracy Hopkins, MSW, CPDC had to say, “I have been a part of this private pay behavioral healthcare world for over 20 years now and phrases such as ‘meeting clients where they are’ as well as ‘relationship-based programming’ are often commonplace. What I want to convey to others is how Judith not only embodies the phrases, but she translates the phrases into action.” Tracy further explains, “Her education, practice, and keen understanding of how things operate at a macro level (systems work) coupled with her dedication, ‘boots on the ground’ focus of how individuals move through the world on a micro-level (personal work), lends itself to working effectively and compassionately with our families and the myriad of obstacles they interface as a unit.”
Kjrsten Walters, MA, LMFT will continue her work as the parent support therapist for current outBACK families throughout the month of July 2022. This will give space for Judith Sadora to utilize this month to assess and evaluate the current family programming as well as work as an active co-creator in the process of enhancing both the current family program and alumni family services. Here is what Judith had to share about joining the team at outBACK, “I am excited to work with the team at outBACK because of their genuine desire to support students and families. I have always appreciated the relationships I have had with some of the team members over the years and have been impressed with the level of humility in the way they do the work. As a family therapist whose lens and approach are rooted in systems work, I am grateful for the opportunity to utilize my areas of expertise and passion and incorporating them into a robust and inclusive family /alumni programming at outBACK. I am looking forward to seeing how the work we do with families leads to long-lasting, sustainable change.”
Please join the outBACK Therapeutic Expeditions team in welcoming Judith Sadora, MA, LMFT to the team. For more about Judith contact Tracy Hopkins, MSW, CPDC, at email@example.com.
About outBACK Therapeutic Expeditions
outBACK Therapeutic Expeditions a highly effective, clinically informed treatment program dedicated to bringing families BACK together. Utilizing the wilderness as an alternative to traditional treatment settings, we guide students (13-17) and families in their process of reconnecting to Self, re-engaging with Family, and recommitting to Purpose. outBACK provides an innovative clinical structure designed to yield the highest clinical value for students and their families by providing access to multiple therapists for each student. As a growth mindset and forward-thinking organization, outBACK offers the highest number of training hours each week for field guides compared to any other wilderness therapy program. outBACK is a licensed wilderness therapy program in the state of Utah and helps teens with various areas of difficulties such as depression, anxiety, trauma, family conflict, engagement in dangerous behaviors, neurodiversity, ASD level I, electronic, and gaming addiction, and more.
Since April, Ironwood Maine has committed to making formative changes in the structure and programming of its Mid-Coast Maine residential treatment program for adolescents.
While many changes have already been implemented, perhaps the most notable and noticeable will occur in July, as the program will move on from its color-coded level system to a more therapeutic model of care. The young people at Ironwood will receive new gear to signify this change in philosophy and approach. The color system was a remnant of the past history of Ironwood, dating back to opening day in 2006. Over time, clinicians have seen that the uniform colors eclipse the real therapeutic goals of their clients. The color system was an outdated “behavior modification system of care” and is a change the new leadership was eager to make. As Ironwood moves to a Collaborative Problem Solving model, little changes signify a sea-change in their therapeutic care.
The leadership team has worked hard on adding choice in many areas of the program to give students a sense of empowerment and individuation. As a result, there is a greater emphasis on treatment goals versus feelings of shame and discouragement accompanying the one-size-fits-all approach. For example, students can choose their hairstyle, bring some personal items from home, and are encouraged to have a voice in developing their goals and treatment plans.
The first Ironwood student council was formed in May. Students have reported feeling valued and heard. When asked which change has had the most impact on them, a majority said the choice in haircut and style has been important to them.
Ironwood has adopted trauma-informed and evidence-based interventions and uses outcome studies to evaluate progress. The clinically-based therapeutic approaches empower residents and staff to engage in a validating and solution-focused process to problem-solving. Providing choices while maintaining expectations creates personal accountability and fosters long-term change.
"It has been an honor to be a part of Ironwood’s transformation and witness firsthand how empowerment and collaboration can impact a student's experience and growth. Our team is not done! We remain committed and excited to continue to improve our program and outcomes for our students and families." ~ Megan Ryan, Executive Director
“There are few feelings, working in this industry, that can compare to taking an idea and following it through the planning, training, and implementation stages to then see it have a positive impact on the treatment of the individual and, ultimately, the culture of the program. The therapeutic approaches that we have implemented have stimulated more growth and significantly decreased the amount of time spent on staff interventions and have stimulated conversations and even more new ideas that have kept the excitement and progress moving forward.” - Matt Hendry, Clinical Director
Located on Maine's beautiful mid-coast, Ironwood Maine is a licensed residential mental health treatment program and fully accredited school designed specifically for adolescents, ages 13-17. Our 9-12-month program offers intensive therapy along with customized and accredited academics via three interconnected programs focused on stabilization and assessment, treatment, and transition. Ironwood’s program structure and therapeutic modalities include equine-assisted therapy, outdoor experiential learning, family therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and more.
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, a wilderness therapy program for adolescents ages 13-18, emerging adults ages 18-29, and their families, is committed to offering families the tools and skills necessary to thrive in lasting ways. With leadership from Blue Ridge Family Programs Director, Dr. Tony Issenmann, Blue Ridge has developed a robust catalog of family services to support parents and families during and after their time in the program, including weekly calls with a Family Therapist, peer, and alumni parent support, access to resources like the Parent Pathway and Alumni Network, the Transition Program, and the Family Intensive.
Now, Blue Ridge has extended the Family Intensive as a service to alumni families as well as current ones. Following their stay in the program, current and alumni Blue Ridge families have the opportunity to unite for the first time in, or return to, the wilderness setting for 3 days and 2 nights. To maximize effectiveness, the Family Intensive is customized and specific to each family system. With the guidance of a licensed Master’s or Ph.D. level Family Therapist and a Family Intensive Field Instructor, families have the unique opportunity to reconnect, witness each other’s growth, dive into therapeutic conversations, and practice the new interpersonal patterns and skills they have been developing. The Family Intensive can also serve as an opportunity for alumni families to reinforce and freshen up on skills they learned while at Blue Ridge.
One participating parent shares: “The Family Intensive is a great capstone to the wilderness experience. It allows you the opportunity to hear about your child's experience and learnings [in the program] while also allowing you to reflect on and communicate on your own recent growth. It also allows the family the opportunity to set intentions for communications and relationships moving forward.”
Each Family Intensive is designed to help families thrive through individualized goals unique to the attending family. These goals are developed by the student’s Primary Therapist, with input from the Family Therapist. In addition to being customized, the Family Intensive is also individually facilitated: One Family Intensive Therapist and one Family Intensive Field Instructor are devoted to supporting one family for the duration of the experience. This dedicated time and space allows for deeper conversations, intensive family therapy, and guided practice with new family patterns. Many Blue Ridge alumni families have shared that the Family Intensive was an invaluable part of their process, stating that it’s not only "helpful and effective" but also "necessary for navigating the family issues that we need to work through":
“The Family Intensive was a moving experience, greatly adding to our family's healing and progress. It is hard to imagine beginning this new experience any differently. This was a job well done; professional and compassionate. It added to my confidence moving forward.”
To learn more about Family Program offerings at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and Emerald Arrow, visit www.blueridgewilderness.com or call (888) 914-1050.
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.
Elements Wilderness is delighted to announce the addition of Kaylie Corrigan, LCSW, to the Family Services Department. within the Elements program.
“We have been committed to expanding family services for a while now. When Dagney Strossner returned to us last fall, she was charged with focus to that program and building her team. This effort has proven key in furthering the development of and refining that program,” says Andrew Powell, owner, and CEO.
The robust family services program at Elements, dubbed the Family Element, is a parallel program during a loved one’s stay, designed to help the entire family system move into lifelong change and healing. This program includes five components created with the intention of enhancing healing, communication, and connection for the whole family. Powell continues, “At Elements, our growth is conditional to finding the right fit. We are very selective in adding team members who embody the talents and values trusted under Element’s brand. That said, Kaylie is a perfect fit for us.”
“I am thrilled to be part of the Elements team! Being one of the clinical facilitators of Family Focus workshops allows me to stay closely involved in the work that I am passionate about and flexibility to enjoy my off time,” states Corrigan.
The Elements Family Focus is a 2-night, 3-day family therapeutic intensive tailored to each family’s individual needs. Each participating family camps in the field area for their own private experience and works with a Family Focus team to identify the pressures within the system and start rebuilding their foundation. Family Focus is a time to draw more understanding and meaning out of the family system and connect on a deeper level.
If you would like to know more about the Family Element, or any other part of our program, contact Brandi Bradbury at (435) 231-3961 or Brandi@ElementsWilderness.com.
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.
SUWS of the Carolinas is excited to announce the Expanding Recovery for Young People Conference returns this year for the 6th annual conference live and in-person at Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center located in Hendersonville, NC. The conference will take place September 21-23, 2022.
This year's focus will lean towards the family system and how treatment providers can support the family while they navigate addiction and recovery of their child/loved one. Keynote speaker Jim Thomas will explore how programs and participants can "find our hearts and bring our hearts to recovery work". Jim Thomas, LMFT, founder of the Colorado Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, inspires therapists to show up more in the work with a different lens for looking at addiction and trauma.
This conference brings together clinicians, residential and outpatient treatment staff, and referring professionals for a time of collaboration, learning, and self-care. All meals including Wednesday dinner and Friday lunch are included as a part of the conference fee, which varies based upon room accommodations, or Thursday-only attendance.
For questions or more information (including sponsorship opportunities), please contact Kelly Dunbar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Skookum House, an adventure high school, based in Southeast Alaska for boys 14- 17 years old who have not been able to thrive in their current situation, has their first student currently enrolled in Passages Alaska. He will transition to Skookum at the completion of his wilderness experience. The boys will have coach mentoring and therapy when needed. Skookum House is a small private school with educational support designed to keep students engaged, active and progressing toward graduation.
Alaska’s Southeast Island School District, based in Thorne Bay has agreed to allow Skookum House students to join their virtual homeschool program. AK-Trails Correspondence/ Homeschool Program is designed to be flexible and adaptable to student needs with electives that include Kayaking, Fishing, Kayak Repair, Ceramics and Music. The program itself allows for Academic Freedom with self-paced lessons and Special Education Support with extra teacher support is available when needed. It also allows for the boys to participate in Basketball, Volleyball, Wrestling, Cross Country, Archery and many more extracurricular activities associated with the high school experience.
“It’s amazing that the school district has developed a program that fits so well with the way we like to do things. It really provides an opportunity for young men to develop to their full potential,” says Passages Alaska Executive Director, Sean Tomkinson. “We feel very fortunate to be able to offer AK Trails to our students.”
The weather for the school year will be similar to that of Seattle - a bit wet with temperatures around 35 degrees with seven hours of daylight during the shortest day of the year. The students will benefit from being able to participate in outdoor Alaskan adventures as wells as service projects, learning unique, confidence-building skills, and gain a respect for giving back.
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-Ak Trails - https://www.sisd.org/o/aktrails
Trails Carolina Founder Graham Shannonhouse created the first youth wilderness therapy programming for students ages 10-13 in the nation, more than 20 years ago. Today Trails Carolina continues to evolve its youth programming by adding enhancements that meet students' unique developmental needs.
Assistant Youth Field Director Hannah Busis is a member of the Trails Carolina team and was instrumental in implementing the enhancements. She explained, “These new and unique aspects of our youth program are designed to allow students to experience the pride and accomplishment of completing an expedition.” At Shuttleworth, the program’s youth-only expedition base camp, new facilities have been added including a remodeled cabin, shower and laundry facilities. This enables youth groups to have more hygiene days, even on weeks when they are participating in the wilderness therapy expedition. This allows for more enhanced hygiene practices that help to create and reinforce habits that translate when students return home.
Youth students at Trails are also benefitting from having some of the weight removed from their packs when they are on their weeklong backpacking expedition. This empowers youth groups to complete longer hikes and benefit from the pride, success and therapeutic growth that comes from the experience.
Trails Carolina is proud of the number of youth ages 10 to 13 they support in addressing issues such as emotional dysregulation, anxiety, depression and trauma. Plus, the work the program does on behalf of the entire family from parents to siblings to heal and restore healthy family dynamics. Year-round the program runs single-gender youth groups focused on support and inclusion.
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy for youth and adolescents ages 10-17. The clinically sophisticated and time-tested program engages students through wilderness therapy, mindfulness and yoga, equine-assisted therapy, adventure therapy, intentional transitions, and academic engagement. Recent outcome research demonstrates efficacy. Trails Carolina was created to help families reconnect and heal. For additional information about Trails Carolina, located just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, please call 800-975-7303.
Two groups of Building Bridges students will spend 16 days in the Bob Marshall Wilderness doing volunteer work and experiencing world-class fishing.
The groups will be doing trail work in the Great Bear Wilderness, which is the northern section of the Bob Marshall wilderness and shares a border with Glacier National Park. The area is just across Highway 2 from Glacier National Park and just west of Marias Pass. They will be working around the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, primarily focusing on clearing blow down and brush and will clear trails branching off from several different major trailheads.
Each group will make a loop, spending time on the Middle Fork where they can swim and flyfish for cutthroat trout during their downtime. The two groups will meet in the middle of the trip and Kurt Fairbank, owner and clinical director, will ride in on horseback with a pack train for resupply and therapy.
Considered by many to be the “crown jewel” of the Wilderness system, the Bob Marshall Wilderness ("the Bob"), a majestic wilderness complex in Northwestern Montana that sits on both sides of the Continental Divide, was named after early forester, wilderness preservation pioneer, and Wilderness Society cofounder Bob Marshall. The Bob is designated as a non-motorized wilderness area, which has kept the area pristine and has drawn outdoorsmen from across the world. The Bob consists of the Great Bear, Bob Marshall, and Scapegoat Wildernesses and forms the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, an area of more than 1.5 million acres. The foundation relies on volunteers to help maintain trails throughout this vast area.
This is a favorite trip among students and many plan their own trips into the Bob, years after they have graduated the Building Bridges program. Immersing themselves in this beautiful area and experiencing the satisfaction of completing the service work while getting to swim and fish in some of the most sought-after places in the lower 48 states is life changing for many.
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.
First Light Wilderness Therapy employs two therapeutic canines, Rush and Springer, who live with the student groups in the woods and provide a critical clinical service to students during their time in treatment. Rush and Springer are almost 2-year-old golden retrievers, a breed that is specifically selected for this role, due to their ability to thrive in a pack-bonded living situation. These canines joined First Light in February 2021, and have participated in ongoing training throughout their time with the program in order to ensure that their role and participation are aligned with First Light's commitment to a model focused on Commitment, Attunement, Security and Attachment (CASA).
While it would seem intuitive to many people that animal-assisted therapy has inherent benefits, it is important to note that current research on the actual benefits of animal-assisted therapies identifies integrated canine therapy in the treatment of childhood trauma. As a program focused on attachment and trauma, First Light Wilderness utilizes its therapeutic canines for safe touch, cuddles, affection, comfort and unconditional acceptance. As importantly, the canines in the program are also handled on a daily basis by students, which allows students to experience their direct impact on the connection-break-repair aspects of relationship. This assists in building empathy and understanding, and subsequently allows students to transfer these experiences to their understanding of attachment in human-to-human relationships. For adopted students or those who experience issues with attachment, the child-canine relationship often brings awareness of what parental love looks like, a process known as "transferable attachment." In the group milieu, students can observe that their level of emotion regulation is mirrored by the group's canine, which provides the opportunity to actively practice co-regulation, a skill that is taught and measured as a desired outcome of the treatment process.
Rush works specifically in Wayah and Etowah, our identified-female student groups, and is named after the first U.S. gold rush, which took place in Dahlonega, Georgia in 1829. Springer works with Yonah, our identified-male student group, and is named after Springer Mountain, a location in First Light's field area which is the start of the famous Appalachian Trail. Each canine has its own unique personality, strengths and skills, as well as its own tent. Students at First Light take turns handling their group canine based on their readiness, interest and ability to safely manage this caretaking in their therapeutic process.
As the First Light Wilderness program grows, it is expected that additional canines will join the team. The program's canines are treated with the same understanding of the CASA model of treatment and are taken out of the field regularly for care and rest as needed. The core lesson involved in utilizing canines as part of the treatment process is that traditional talk therapy can be powerfully supplemented by the experience of vulnerability that takes place in the context of a relationship with a safe, loving animal.
First Light Wilderness Therapy provides high-impact, evidence-based outdoor behavioral healthcare for teens ages 12-18 and is based out of Dahlonega, Georgia. Utilizing a nomadic wilderness model, First Light Wilderness focuses on treating issues related to early developmental trauma, adoption and attachment, as well as depression, anxiety and co-occurring addiction. First Light Wilderness Therapy's goal for every student is to achieve meaningful change by creating an environment of adventure where joy is rediscovered and nurtured, where adventure leads to self-discovery, and where relationships heal and grow. To learn more about First Light, visit www.firstlightwilderness.com.
Young adults at Foundations Asheville are demonstrating more initiative than ever before and are creating community-focused activities such as forming a creative writing group, participating in a contra dance and having bake-offs. The activities broaden students’ horizons, allow them to work independently and collaboratively and develop leadership qualities that foster a healthy and robust future.
“We work individually with students to support them in exploring their interests and values. By encouraging students to share their passions with others, we find, builds confidence and leadership qualities that support their growth as independent young adults,” explained Admissions Director Natalie Bryenton.
Foundations Asheville is a transitional living community for young adults ages 18-24 seeking to find direction and social connection. Students engage in college or vocational training, community service, work, and participate in activities designed to build strong social skills. The program is phased allowing students to practice supportive independence and eventually move towards independent living. For more information about Foundations Asheville, please call (828) 604-6570.