October Utah Trip: Day Three and Four Continued & Day Five

Click here for our first post of these two days!

On Wednesday and Thursday, May and Louise attended an Aspen Professional Development Workshop (PDW) hosted by Aspen Education Group, a division of CRC Health. LINK.  After a warm welcome from Andy Erkard, Aspen’s Senior Management team  presented their commitment to a client-centered approach. They are conducting  a long term research study on the quality of their services. Phil Hershmann presented this new data to the audience and talked about the single biggest factor for treatment success: a strong relationship between the therapist and the client. Aspen is committed to training and educating  therapists through the use of quality supervision and coaching.

Top Photo: First day of the snowfall, bottom photo the day we left

We were pleasantly surprised at the early snow in the upper elevations of Utah and were unprepared clothing wise. May had fun taking pictures.

Louise and May attended several breakout sessions which were very informative. Louise attended two seminars on trauma and the neurology of the brain related to trauma. For instance, much of what we know is that  the way the brain  stores traumatic  information is in a non-verbal sensory way; therefore, traditions cognitive therapeutic approaches are often ineffective. May attended a seminar on bullying which led to an interesting discussion on ways to train the victims to respond differently to the person bullying. May also attended a seminar on the benefits of meditation on  helping make the mind, body and spirit healthier. Thank you to all of the Aspen staff who worked so hard to put together a wonderful conference.

On our last day in Utah, we visited a small program for clinically ill adolescents. Youth Care is one of the few programs we know of that can take a pregnant teenager or a diabetic. Adolescents who go to this programoften have a combination of serious mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, thought disorders, or significant attachment/ trauma issues. Sadly, by this point, parents have tried many different treatment alternatives without success. Students often arrive on lots of medications. The  most extreme example we heard about was a young boy who arrived on 22 medications and left on none! Youth Care is one of the best staffed programs we have visited. The staff uses a collaborative and multi-disciplined approach with each client.

 

                                    Left to right staff: Drew Fosse (academic director) Tanya May (program director) Trina Packard (Executive Director) Peggy Jacobson (Nursing Director)                   and Kari Jacobson (Admissions and Marketing)

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