Wilderness Therapy & Residential Treatment Center Journey
By Andy Goldstrom
This podcast is produced by parents who, like you, are currently or have been involved in this unexpected journey with your child and family. There are a lot of great resources out there, but they are highly fragmented. We want this podcast to be a go to place for information and comfort. We will have engaging topics with guest speakers that will provide good guidance and inspiration as you navigate your journey. Seewww.parentsjourney.net for more information.
In this episode, we have a really interesting discussion with Andrew Taylor, the Founder of Purelife Adventure.
Based in Costa Rica, Purelife is a young adult adventure therapy program. It uses the outdoors and a success plan to help young adults struggling grow.
Pure Life uses a strengths-based, integrated clinical model in which students quickly learn new, healthy coping strategies, behavioral and emotional regulation, leadership skills, and life skills that lead to future success.
A truly interesting part of the discussion focuses on helping young people "bump into the world". You can't learn and adapt without trying, while both succeeding and making mistakes.
You can find out more about this unique program at www.purelifeadventure.com.
In this episode, we talk to Patrick Barrasso, Founder and Executive Director of In Balance Academy Therapeutic Boarding School, in Tucson, AZ.
He is a noted psychotherapist with over 25 years of extensive training and experience in adolescent and adult substance abuse and mental health treatment. He is the "heart and soul" of the In Balance programs. His dedication, direction and personal commitment to helping adolescents and their families is demonstrated in all aspects of treatment. His extensive experience makes him a frequent presenter at both local and national conferences. He has presented at the U.S. Journal Training National conferences, and the FACES, Family and Addiction Conferences and Educational Seminars on a variety of adolescent treatment topics including the challenges of overcoming the culture of adolescent substance abuse.
In Balance Academy is a nationally recognized, Joint Commission Accredited, family owned and operated, therapeutic boarding school developed around a clinically sophisticated model that effectively blends evidence-based, research-proven traditional and non-traditional therapy and the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Additionally, the program incorporates relapse prevention techniques, equine therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, E.M.D.R., family therapy, Positive Peer Culture and an array of experiential treatment modalities. In Balance serves young men, ages 14-17.8, who are struggling with substance abuse and other co-occurring disorders.
For more information about Patrick, his team and the In Balance Academy program, go to www.inbalanceacademy.com.
In today's episode, we are speaking with Raymond Archuleta of Vista Magna, a residential treatment center for boys in Utah. They have a fairly intensive, but well-balanced program, that enables a shorter stay at less overall cost.
We speak about his background, his program, his thoughts on the industry and where to contact him.
For more information, please see www.vistatc.com.
In this episode, we speak to Will White. Will is an author of the book Stories From the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy. He also hosts a weekly podcast that has the same name as his book. Finally, he is the co-founder of Summit Achievement, a wilderness therapy program located in Maine. He has been a luminary in the industry for 30 years and is very well known for his knowledge and perspective.
In this engaging discussion, we talk about:
· History of Wilderness Therapy
· Industry Growth
· Ongoing Controversies
· Where the industry is headed and what are some key priorities
· NATSAP and other industry groups
· Advice to parents
· Contact info.
Information about Summit Achievement can be found at www.summitachievement.com.
Will's podcast can be found here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/stories-from-the-field-demystifying-wilderness-therapy/id1440862416
Today, we dive into parenting and building resilient children. Dr. Borba shares with us the 7 character strengths parents need to develop in their children for them to have the best opportunity to succeed, and more importantly, be happy. Some of the topics we address are:
- Concern about raising children in this current generation.
- Defining a Thriver and the 7 character strengths.
- What parents should know about resilience.
- What the one question parents need to know to raise more confident kids.
- How parents can help their children cope and feel less anxious.
- With the learning environment at schools changing, what parts of childhood development parents should care about most.
- What parents of older children, even young adults, can do differently to help inspire them to be thrivers
- Where you can find and order the book.
Melissa Bernstein is well-known as a co-founder of Melissa & Doug, the national and innovative toy company.
Despite this success, Melissa experienced mental health challenges her entire life. This included Existential Depression or Despair, which is the lack of purpose or meaning in life.
It wasn't until recently that Melissa was able to accept her situation and heal.
She has created a platform called Lifelines and wishes to share what she has learned that can help parents.
To find out more, click on the attached link www.lifelines.com. To see her interview on CBS Sunday Morning, click here https://youtu.be/eJCUBNgDvKk.
Today, we are going to take another look at the cost of therapeutic services, this time, from a legal perspective.
Mark DeBofsky, a principal with DeBofsky, Sherman, Casciari & Reynolds, joins us to inform us on:
- Types of situations eligible for coverage and impact of ERISA and parity law
- Not taking No for an answer
- How to maximize success if denied by your insurance company
- External review opportunities
- When to seek a lawyer
- Latest trends
For additional information, Mark can be reached at 312/561-4040 and www.debofsky.com.
In this special episode, we provide listeners with our perspective on Paris Hilton and her recent outspoken activity for further regulations in behavioral therapy programs. As with our recent episode highlighting Kenneth Rosen and his book Troubled, we wanted to provide a more balanced view for parents to understand and consider as they make decisions for themselves and their children. Enjoy!
This could be one of our most powerful episodes to date.
As a young adult, Allie was a drug addict who ended up in jail and was a convicted felon.
Yet, she pulled herself up, finished college and just graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgia State Law School. She recently married and is starting a job with a prominent law firm.
From low points to recovery to success, Allie and Belinda share their story as well as lessons learned.
Enjoy this fascinating and inspirational episode.
To read up more on Allie, click on this link: https://news.gsu.edu/magazine/allies-comeback
We are pleased to be able to talk to Jan Rao, who runs Willows in the Wind. In the communities of San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz, California, Willows in the Wind provides safe, structured support groups where parents can share with one another and glean valuable information. Whether you are considering an in-home program, therapeutic residential placement, assistance with transitioning home, valuable parent coaching, Willows can help.
This podcast provides insight to help parents understand how there are various ways to get support and opportunities to connect in your community.
In this special episode, we provide listeners with our perspective on this book and the status of the behavioral treatment industry now as compared to 10+ years ago. The book was recently published and gives a negative view on the industry. We wanted to provide a more balanced view for parents to understand and consider as they make decisions for themselves and their children. Enjoy!
For more information on NATSAP, click on the link below.
We are pleased to be able to speak with Titania Jordan from Bark. Titania is Bark’s Chief Parent Officer. Bark is a technology application that enables parents to monitor, detect, alert and manage their children’s social activities for signs of harmful interactions and content. Bark’s work has been impactful. In partnership with parents and schools, Bark has protected more than 5.2 million children, prevented 16 school shootings and detected 81,000 severe self-harm situations. Titania and her co-author Mark McKee just released an amazing book called Parenting in a Tech World.
Subsequent to launching the podcast and further engaging with parents, I determined that having a professional coaching certification will enable me to help more parents in a deeper and more meaningful way. As a result, this past Fall, I completed not one, but two, certification programs. These include the Parent Coach Trainers Academy, which is recognized by the International Coaching Federation and the JAI Institute for Parenting.
If you wish to explore parent coaching or know someone who may be interested, feel free to contact me at 770-633-2260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We started this podcast to help parents learn and be able to process and implement strategies for themselves and their children. We wanted parents to be more successful as dealing with children who have mental illness is challenging enough, much less having to navigate this fragmented ecosystem.
One person we wish we knew when we were at our depths was Dr. Paul Sunseri. He's a therapist who supports parents and their children and does it with them together as a single unit. Had we done this instead of having separate therapy for Audrey and ourselves, the path may have been much smoother.
Paul can best be reached at www.myiift.org.
In this episode, we talk with Jay Boll, VP of Laurel House and Editor in Chief of Resources to Recover (www.rtor.org).
Laurel House serves mentally ill in Southern Connecticut with practical tools to enhance cognitive abilities and real world skills. The Thinking Well Program is unique and impactful.
Given it is a robust website, Resources to Recover has a broader reach. It is a directory of family endorsed providers that is very extensive.
Check out www.rtor.org and www.laurelhouse.net for more information.
Claudia Christian is an accomplished Hollywood actress. Her accomplishments can be found on her own wiki page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudia_Christian), but that's not why are here today.
Claudia developed Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in her thirties and struggled with the addiction until she came upon a solution that is 78% effective for users.
In this compelling episode, Claudia shares with us her story and how The Sinclair Method (TSM) can be an effective solution for parents and their children who are alcoholics or even pre-disposed to it. It is a bit longer than our typical episode, but so well worth it.
For more information on Claudia's foundation to help educate and address alcohol addiction, go to www.cthreefoundation.org. And make sure to watch her TedX talk which is on the first page of the website.
In this episode, we address a scary, but important topic, suicide.
Suicide is increasing rapidly, up 60% in the past 12 years.
Covid is putting extra stress on all of us with 25% thinking suicidal thoughts.
How to we understand suicide and address it better?
Frank King, a suicide prevention speaker and comedian, shares with us his perspective in this valuable and informative episode you don't want to miss.
You can find more about Frank at www.thementalhealthcomedian.com.
In this episode, we explore what Mindfulness Based Therapy is and how it can help your adolescent or young adult child.
Josh & Maureen White run two facilities whose programs provide "jet fuel" to traditional therapy in the residential treatment area.
For more information, feel free to go to their websites: www.redmountainsedona.com or www.redmountaincolorado.com
This episode is a bit different, but very interesting.
Today, we shift gears and go into the history of wilderness therapy, residential treatment center and other forms of therapy. Many of the organizations that formed as part of this ecosystem in the 1990’s were faith based. Through a combination of religion and therapy, this was a new and evolutionary solution that helped children.
Now, there are many programs that have Christian foundational elements that serve different purposes for different families. The evangelical outreach programs focus primarily on promoting religion whereas the clinical programs offer therapy in a Christian context.
So, we wanted to explore this and are pleased that Mark Barrentine, Executive Director of Evangelhouse Christian Academy, could join us.
Mark can be reached at www.evangelhouse.com.
Do you think your family and child are well equipped to handle the transition back to Homelife after treatment?
Most aren't and can use a helping hand to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible and that old behaviors do not redevelop and become problematic.
In this episode, we talk with Dave Herz, founder of Wonder.
He shares with us what Transition and Aftercare are, why these are needed services, how they are delivered typically and in the current Covid environment and how to get in touch.
For more information about Dave and his team's services, check out www.teamwonder.org.
In this great and conversational episode, we speak with Karen Fessel, the Executive Director and Founder of the Mental Health and Autism Insurance Project. We talk about the following relating to getting insurance coverage for wilderness therapy and after care programs:
- Why it is so challenging to get insurance to cover wilderness therapy and after treatment programs?
- If parents don’t get covered initially, they need to file an appeal. Can you describe to our listeners how this process works and what they can be most successful?
- What trends do you see today from the insurance companies in this space?
- What is Mental Health and Autism Insurance project? Origin, all services (education, legislation, work with individual families).
- How does the Mental Health and Autism Insurance Project help parents and what is unique about the firm in serving clients?
- What does it cost to work with your firm?
- How can we best reach you?
You can reach Karen at https://www.mhautism.org.
You are not alone.
In this special episode, Lori interviews Audrey about her experiences before, during and after Wilderness Therapy and Residential Treatment.
She describes struggling as a teenager with short term memory challenges, her battle with anxiety and depression and her time away from home where she learned how to cope and prepare herself for being a responsible and stable young adult.
This is unique opportunity for parents to hear and learn about how a child thinks and feels going through this process.
You are not alone.
In this super interesting episode, we spoke with Jake Weld, who is the Director of Business Development and Admissions at Mansfield Hall and is also a co-founder of an organization called Visual Hall.
Jake shares with us how students aren't qualified for college life and what they need to do to succeed. He describes how Mansfield Hall and Virtual Hall offer services to help students make the transition to college.
You can find out more about Mansfield Hall and Virtual Hall at www.mansfieldhall.org and www.virtualhall.org.
The link for the article referenced in the podcast episode is: Rethinking-how-we-assess-college-readiness
We are so excited to launch this podcast! It is produced by parents who, like you, are currently or have been involved in this unexpected journey with your child and family. There are a lot of great resources out there, but they are highly fragmented. We want this podcast to be a go to place for information and comfort. We will have engaging topics with guest speakers that will provide good guidance and inspiration as you navigate your journey.
Our first episode describes the podcast itself and what to expect. We introduce ourselves, suggest why we created this podcast, what the podcast schedule and content will look like, what topics we will cover and how you, the listener, can best participate and benefit.
Listen and enjoy!
For more information, click on www.parentsjourney.net.
Where do you go if you need great information about all things related to the treatment journey? Well, you can certainly come to our website www.parentsjourney.net, where we feature great podcasts with experts from all aspects of this ecosystem. You can also go to www.allkindsoftherapy.com. It is the most comprehensive website with access to experts, blogs and other resources for parents to explore and research. Today, we spoke with founder, owner and curator, Jenney Wilder about the website and how parents can be utilize all it has to offer. www.allkindsoftherapy.com
In this episode, we are pleased to speak with Mona Treadway, Co-Founder and Executive Director, of Dragonfly. Transitions in Oregon. They are are residential treatment center that focuses on helping young adults build the skills to transition from wilderness therapy, then back to their home environment, school or some other location.
As suggested in this episode, Residential Treatment typically lasts 9-12 months. There's a lot of good and tough work to be done by both children and their parents during this time.
During our conversation, we asked Mona about the following:
- What is your background and how did you become a part of DF?
- What is residential treatment and why is it important?
- You are based in OR. What makes DF unique that parents should know about to send their children there?
- What types of therapy do you employ/embrace with the children?
- How is DF managing through the coronavirus epidemic?
- What is a parent’s visitation weekend like at DF?
- What can parents do to best prepare for their children to transition from wilderness therapy to residential treatment and from residential treatment to come home?
- How is DF managing through the coronavirus epidemic?
- How can people interested in DF best get in touch?
Please see www.dragonflytransitions.com for more information.
We've been broadcasting since April and have learned quite a bit.
So, since this podcast is by parents for parents, we thought it would be great to take a pause, reflect on what we've learned to date and share it to help parents in their journeys.
We created a top 10 list and it is:
1. The Struggle Is Real
2. We Often Make the Same Mistakes
3. Being a Good Parent Takes Muscle Memory
4. Parent Coaching is Something Every Parent Should Consider
5. It's OK to be Vulnerable
6. The Industry Remains Very Fragmented
7. The Approach of Managing Cost is Challenging
8. Science is Evolving
9. There are a lot of Good Choices Out There
10. Do Something with Your Partner that Gives Back
We are excited to discuss the financial impact of sending your child away for treatment and one way to offset these costs. Today, we have an awesome opportunity to speak with Nancy Moore, the Executive Director at Skys The Limit Fund. Nancy and her team are some really smart and generous people who saw this financial burden and decided to find a way to provide grants to parents in need to help them financially during the Wilderness Therapy process.
Parents need to learn and heal just as their children do while away at therapy.
Many parents hope that by sending their children away for help, they will get better and come home more equipped to handle life's stresses.
While this is often true, most parents don't realize that they were also part of the dynamic that contributed to their children's challenges and need to address them through their own therapy.
Krissy's book is well known throughout the treatment industry because it is so insightful and inspiring about the impact parents can have when the embrace the 4 principles she discusses.
This is a do not miss episode.
In addition to her book, Krissy has group and online coaching programs worth checking out. You can find more at:
One side note, our daughter Audrey was a co-presenter with Krissy at The Sky's the Limit Fund annual fundraiser held on 7/22. Audrey's audio presentation was posted on 7/22 on this podcast site. Catch it if you haven't yet listened in.
Our podcast has made a difference. Having listened to Audrey in Podcast episode # 4 (our most popular episode), the kind and generous people at The Sky’s The Limit Fund, asked Audrey to be a keynote speaker at their annual fundraiser. In this special episode, hear Audrey tell her story and how Wilderness Therapy had a tremendously positive impact on her.
In this episode, we focus on how It's really important for parents to learn new skills to communicate and work with one another and with their child.
Parent coaches help address this family issue and enables both the parents and their children to do the necessary work.
As discussed in our earlier wonderful episode with Joe Hall, research has shown that families are far more successful if the parents are engaged and take responsibility for their part of the dynamic.
Barb and Colin share with us the following:
- Their backgrounds
- Why parents need coaching
- When is the best time to engage a parent coach
- How Barb and Colin work with parents
- What does an engagement looks like - how long does it last and how is it paid for
- Contact info
What an episode this is! Did you know the difference between joy and happiness? We didn't.
Rob Gent, Chief Clinical Officer for Embark, which owns and runs 16 programs nationally, including Wilderness Therapy, Residential Treatment, Young Adult and Intensive Outpatient Programs.
Rob shared the Embark business model and programs, their CASA Developmental Trauma Treatment Model, the difference between chronological and emotional development in children and what parents should know and can do and how children and their parents can re-establish trust and unconditional love.
This episode was really full of great information and really fascinating. We could have gone on much longer for sure.
For more information, Rob and his team can best be reached at www.embarkbh.com or email@example.com.
We wish we heard this episode before we unsuccessfully filed our claims with our insurance provider.
This amazing episode highlight's Joe's story and what he recommends to give you the best chance to ensure you can get covered by your insurance company.
We will discuss Joe's recommended and extremely valuable 10 point check list that can be found at https://www.thekennedyforum.org/blog/10-steps-to-securing-insurance-coverage-for-mental-health-care/.
You can also find out more information about the organization where Joe volunteers and advocates. https://www.thekennedyforum.org.
This is another interesting article relating to insurance coverage. Appropriately called Hiking and Camping for $500/day. Let me call my Insurer. ConvergenceArticle
If you want to reach Joe directly, his email for this specific type of help is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are excited to share this great episode where we speak with the co-founder of Pacific Quest. They offer wilderness therapy for adolescents and young adults with a unique program given it is located in Hawaii and is focused on horticulture.
Suzanne shares what wilderness treatment is and why it is important, what is horticultural therapy and why is it effective, what it is like to visit Pacific Quest as a parent, how parents can best prepare their children for transition to residential treatment, coming back home or another situation.
You can find more about Pacific Quest at www.pacificquest.org.
We are really excited to share this information packed episode with you.
John Hall, Primary Therapist, Chief Quality Officer and Director of Research at Telos Residential Treatment in Orem, UT joins us today.
Middle of treatment and transitioning timeframes - child regressing, parent involvement, safe landings, resources, etc.
NATSAP and his role there
Trends and Research parents should know about and where to find it - ex. family involvement vs. non-family involvement and golden thread
Evidence based treatment discussion (one of Telos' 10 pillars)
Effective parent discussion (another one of Telos' 10 pillars)
Telos offering and what makes it unique
John references a few resources and contact points:
- National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs
- Outdoor Behavioral Health Council
- Independent Educational Consultant Association
We are excited to be able to share with parents some really important information about adolescent intervention and transportation services. When a child and family are in crisis, you can't always just drive or fly with them to get off-site therapy. They may resist or being in physical or emotional danger if this isn't properly handled. Companies like Right Direction have the experience, training and ability to make this difficult time an easier and more productive one. Right Direction transports over 600 adolescents per year. We would know as we used a transportation company and are so glad we did.
In this episode, we talk with Brian about:
- What is adolescent transport?
- How do parents know when to use a transportation service vs. doing it themselves?
- How does a transportation service work?
- How much does it cost?
- What suggestions does Brian have for parents to be handle the experience?
You can find out more about Right Direction at www.rdas.net.
In this episode, we speak with BJ Hopper, an educational consultant (EC) focused on therapeutic focused solutions for parents and their children. BJ has been in this field for 30 years and brings a wealth of knowledge that will benefit parents wherever they are in their journeys. Topics we discuss include:
1. Her background
2. Typical scope of services an EC provide
3. Accreditations and skills required to be an EC
4. Keeping current on all the solutions
5. Cost to hire an EC
6. Coping with Covid-19
7. BJ's contact info.
We are pleased to be able to talk about mental illness and how it affects parents and their families while their children are at wilderness therapy, residential treatment or other locations. Kim Jones, Executive Director - National Alliance of Mental Illness, joins us to discuss how parents can best cope during times of stress, especially in the midst of this pandemic. She shares her story and also all the resources available through this organization to help parents and their families. This is an engaging and informative discussion. Enjoy!