Where Families Find Support & Solutions


September 10, 2013

The School Solution Newsletter – Fall 2013 Therapeutic Educational Consultant


This summer I toured Idaho and parts of Washington and Montana. I traveled over 2,000 miles and visited 17 schools and programs in 5 days. I was energized and inspired by all of the great work being done with children and young adults. In particular, I visited a range of community-based programs for young adults where they are supported in developing healthy living skills. Some places focused on providing sober support, others supported kids with mental illness or social learning issues in becoming independent in either school or work. In particular, I was able to visit a family farm program which serves a unique niche. It is a place for young men, where they learn by doing, they work side-by-side with the farm owner on over 20 acres. They grow, harvest and cook their own food. The pride the young men had in sharing their amazing home grown dinner was palpable. They were no longer helpless boys; they were young men ready to take responsibility for their lives and their choices.

After my visit, I have more unique programs to choose from when trying to match a student and family to the best place where change and success can begin.

Clinical Update

I was recently reminded of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey (ACE) and how important it is to remember this information as we work with families. I am sure, as mental health professionals, you are familiar with the Survey, but I hope this review will serve as a reminder to you as it was to me. The survey has followed almost 14,000 participants for over 15 years, the participants were from the general public, and they are now followed by the CDC. The major finding of the survey is that childhood abuse, neglect, and exposure to other traumatic stressors which they term adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are common. Almost two-thirds of their study participants reported at least one ACE, and more than one of five reported three or more ACE. The short- and long-term outcomes of these childhood exposures include a multitude of health and social problems.

The ACE Study uses the ACE Score, which is a count of the total number of ACE respondents reported. The ACE Score is used to assess the total amount of stress during childhood and has demonstrated that as the number of ACE increase, the risk for the following health problems increases in a strong and graded fashion: Alcoholism and alcohol abuse, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Depression, Fetal death, Health-related quality of life, Illicit drug use, Ischemic heart disease (IHD), Liver disease, Risk for intimate partner violence, Multiple sexual partners, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs),smoking, suicide attempts, unintended pregnancies, early initiation of sexual activity, adolescent pregnancy.

As a therapeutic educational consultant it is my mission to find a safe emotional place where every child or young adult has the support to tell their story and share their childhood experiences, so we can support their healing.


Shouting at the Sky: Troubled Teens and the Promise of the Wild
by Gary Ferguson
Gary Ferguson joins a group of adolescents in a therapeutic wilderness and shares their story of growth and healing.

The Parallel Process: Growing Alongside Your Adolescent or Young Adult Child in Treatment
by Krissy Pozatek
This is a terrific book for any parents with a child who is struggling. It both supports them and invites them to participate in change and growth for themselves.


About Karen

karenKaren is in her 10th year as an educational and therapeutic consultant. This summer she was chosen to be the instructor for aspiring therapeutic consultants at the Summer Training Institute of the Independent Educational Consultants Association.

Karen is the current Chair of the Therapeutic Committee of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, involved in maintaining the highest standards in the profession.

I am available to discuss any questions you have about therapeutic boarding schools, boarding schools, residential treatment or wilderness programs. In addition, I am available to speak to your group about the scope of residential options and what client families they serve – just call or email.

Contact me anytime.


Our capable daughter was struggling in Middle School. We had tried neuropsychological testing, tutors and therapy to no avail. What was going on? Clearly she was frustrated.

- Boarding school parent



This message is only visible to admins:
Unable to display Facebook posts

Error: (#12) deprecate_post_aggregated_fields_for_attachement is deprecated for versions v3.3 and higher
Type: OAuthException
Code: 12
Click here to Troubleshoot.
  • Get The Latest

    Sign up to our newsletter & blog and stay up-to-date to all things School Solution