Remember to Play!

Today we were out running with Sydney, on Jordan trail in Sedona.  The air was fresh, and wonderfully soft since it had just rained- always a gift in the desert.

As we ran, Sydney, our now 61 pound 9 month old, would stop, find herself a large mound of dirt and begin digging and jumping back and forth, pouncing and playing until she was happily exhausted with the new home she had just dug. Then she would throw herself down, move more dirt with her nose, look at us, and smile.

Reminding us to stop and remember to play along the way!

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Why use an educational consultant to help find a substance abuse treatment program?

Looking for a substance abuse treatment program can be daunting.  Not only because there are hundreds to choose from throughout the United States, but how do you decide what is best for your needs.  Relying on the internet is often how people choose, but just because someone can create a good website, does not mean they can run an effective, professional treatment program.

Whether you are looking for a program for yourself, your partner, or your child, there are many variables that determine what type of program will best suit your particular needs, and help you move from addiction to recovery and healing.

As an educational consultant, and a licensed therapist, I can help you determine your needs and find the right program.  I evaluate and visit programs throughout the United States.  I tour the treatment facilities, and meet with the staff, the clinical team, the clinical and program directors, and the executive directors.  As a therapist, I evaluate the clinical skills and treatment methodologies, and come to understand the philosophy of treatment.   My goal is to match the person who comes to me for help, with the program that will be the most successful. I am employed by the individual who needs treatment, not the program, and therefore do not have a bias to any one program.  I am always looking for the best match for the individual seeking help.

When an individual hires me to help them find a program, I meet with them and discuss at length their situation.  We talk about their history of treatment, what has worked, and what has not.  We sit together, for as long as it takes, to understand the depth of the problem and their desired outcome.   All of the information I gather about your unique situation is considered in determining an effective and healing program for you.

It is extremely difficult to choose among the many programs especially when you are in the midst of a crisis.  How do you choose when you are struggling with your own addiction or alcoholism?  How do you choose when you are worried about the life of your partner or child and their safety?  How do you know what questions to ask?  How do you determine if this is the best program for yourself or your family member?  How do you know how long to stay?  How do you know what type of treatment will work best for you or your family member?

Often substance abuse is associated with trauma, either in adulthood or in childhood.  Some programs address this better than others, and some programs do not address this at all.  Some programs work better with different chemical dependencies than others. For example, some focus on alcoholism, and some focus on treating prescription drug addiction, although many treat poly substance abuse. Some programs follow the guidelines in AA and are strongly oriented towards the twelve step program. Others do not have any 12 step orientation.  Also, some are co-ed and some are single sex.  How do you determine what is best for you?

I have been a therapist working in the field of substance abuse for over 25 years.  Many of my clients come to me to help them become sober, and stay sober.  My experience as a therapist informs me in my job as an educational consultant, and my clinical skills in evaluating and assessing people helps me match them with an effective and healing program suitable for their unique situation.

Please contact me with any questions you may have, and take a step toward finding the help you deserve.



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Advising and consulting parents with Struggling Teens

As an educational consultant working with special needs children, adolescents and young adults, parents often ask me, “What exactly does an educational consultant do?”  Well the answer is complex and detailed, so I will be explaining educational consulting from the view of different populations, starting first with ‘struggling teens’.

Struggling, or troubled teens, are terms used to describe a wide variety of behavioral issues in teenagers ages 13 to 18.  These issues can include, but are not limited to, behaviors such as:

  • Defiance and anger
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Substance Use and Abuse
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor academic performance
  • Suicidal Behaviors
  • Attention Deficit Disorders
  • Attachment disorders
  • Eating Disorders

When parents consult me, it is to help them find out of home placement for their child.  This is probably one of the most difficult decisions for parents to make, and to have me there to help facilitate the process, can take away much of the difficulty and distress of evaluating and determining what is the best program for their child.

Because I am an experienced therapist, I can offer parents more than just my expertise in finding the right placement.  I can evaluate and assess the child and the family’s needs, and speak with programs and schools, using and understand the clinical language.  I become the interpreter for both the family and the program, helping each understand the needs of the other, to create the best chance of success for the child.

Often, when parents contact me, the family is in crisis and action needs to happen fast.  I work for the family and help them get the information necessary to make the best decision during the crisis.

Placement can last from 3 to 18 months, depending on the program and school chosen. Wilderness Programs are usually from 3 to 6 months, and Therapeutic Boarding Schools can last from 6 to 18 months.   Deciding on whether to start with Wilderness and move to a Therapeutic Boarding school is another difficult choice that needs to be considered at the time of placement.  This also depends on having a proper evaluation and assessment of the child’s situation, and determining what will be in the best interest of the child and family.

My job is to help the family each step of the way, from the initial phone call with me, to placement, throughout the program to graduation, transitioning home, and aftercare.  I work for your family and am not employed by or represent any particular school or program.  I support your family by continued contact and updates from the program , following the progress of your child, and offering direction and guidance through, what can be,  extremely challenging times.

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Sydney Rocks

At 7 months and 56 lbs, Sydney, a beautiful sweet golden retriever, is on her way to becoming a wonderful therapy dog.  I can’t wait until she will sit next to me during sessions with clients, and be available as comfort to all.  However, right now, she is still in her adolescent, insane, puppy mode and would probably eat the couch, at least twice a day.  So far she has taken two obedience classes, and graduated with honors. She knows  the basics; how to sit, stay, down, heel, roll over,  and get the newspaper. She is amazing on the trail, even off leash, and loves every stranger she meets, even though she greets them with a loud intimidating bark.  Apparently adolescents go through this phase…. Really?


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Sedona Summer

Summer is always wonderful and full of adventures for my husband Seth and I. As is usually the case, my psychotherapy practice in Sedona slows down, as many Sedonians head out to avoid the heat.  That makes it a perfect time for me to tour and visit therapeutic programs and schools for my Educational Consulting practice, and take a vacation! Continue reading

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