The Turning Winds Model of Care


The Turning Winds model of care is centered around therapeutic support in a setting that resembles the family environment clients will be returning to. Healthy behaviors are practiced and reinforced in a safe environment. These new habits are brought home and continue to be supported by staff during the transition.

This can only be accomplished by allowing enough time to establish the necessary routines. The energy and natural curiosity of young people are continually focused on building equity in their self-image. Once they truly feel their own self-worth, it becomes something they consider worth protecting.

Time invested by experienced faculty to build trust, honesty, and vulnerability lays the foundation for this rebuilding. These young men and women need to feel understood, but must also have the resilience to become introspective and self-evaluate. For many, this profound change becomes an impossible task when attempted in other environments or through short appointments by a local professional.

Turning Winds offers a full continuum of care for teens with mental health needs. Our clients achieve success through a combination of therapeutic, recreational, and educational approaches that together provide the best possible outcomes. 

Over the past twenty years, Turning Winds has matured into a sophisticated program that blends the benefits of a wilderness program, a residential treatment center, and a boarding school.

“Our mission is to rescue teens from crisis; renew their belief in their own potential, and reunite them with their family on a path to success”

You know your child needs help, but the process of evaluating an array of different treatment options is time-consuming and stressful. How do you know which type of treatment will be the most beneficial? What if you choose the wrong option? You might be wishing you had a team of experts to guide you in this critical decision.  Well, at Turning Winds we are that team of experts that can assist you in determining if we are a good fit for your teenage son or daughter. 

Wilderness programs, residential treatment centers, and therapeutic boarding schools all offer a unique and focused treatment approach, but individually each of these options has its strengths and weaknesses. What if there was a way to incorporate the strengths of each of these treatment options into one comprehensive program for your teen?

Traditionally, residential treatment centers are not set up for long-term care, they focus on short-term treatment, typically 30-90 days. This is great to get patients back on track but not enough time to facilitate lasting change. In our experience, adequate time is a must for the growth and change required for today’s youth; it takes 2-3 months for teens to buy into the process and open up with the treatment team, specifically with the primary therapist, and their peer group. Additionally, while some short-term residential programs offer some academic services (often online), patients are not engaged in full-time academics which leaves them academically compromised.

For teens needing a stable, structured environment, a therapeutic boarding school can also be a sufficient option. However, while therapeutic boarding schools offer quality academic support, they are limited in what they can offer for mental health treatment. 

Wilderness therapy programs can be very beneficial as a treatment option, but these also come with limitations. Again, these are typically short-term programs that don’t last longer than 90 days. During this time patients continue to miss out on education time leaving them behind the curve. The benefits of being immersed in nature are tried and true, but living in remote wilderness can also be dangerous and physically demanding.   

We differentiate ourselves by filling in the gaps left by these leading treatment options and offering a one-of-a-kind hybrid program experience for your teens. Since 2002, Turning Winds has worked tirelessly to develop and operate this hybrid program unique to our organization. We have blended the benefits of three approaches to creating a residential treatment center with a fully accredited academic program while leveraging recreational and activity therapy to promote positive change.  Collectively, our program creates a customizable and unique approach to truly providing a holistic approach to care.  

Our eco-friendly campus runs on solar technology and sits on the banks of the South Fork Yaak river in Northern Montana. Our 150-acre expanse allows for purposeful removal from your teens’ existing environment and gives them a space to rediscover themselves. The picturesque setting allows us to lean into the power of nature and utilize recreational therapy techniques and activities such as various sports, hiking, biking, skiing, skateboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, and much more.

We employ 24/7 onsite nursing staff and 24/7 monitoring for safety and peace of mind. Our serene campus boasts a fully accredited academic program with IEP support and small class sizes to optimize academic success. Class sizes of 6-12 students allow for individualized education and ensure that even during treatment, your teens won’t miss a beat. Many of our students can complete 1.5 – 2 years of school in a 12-month stay and their credits are easily transferable. We even have 98% of our teens go on to college or trade school post-Turning Winds. 

Turning Winds is an out-of-network provider that works with most major insurance payers, including Tri-Care. This allows us to offset a large portion of a family’s financial burdens.  In most cases, we are able to verify insurance benefits for our clients on the same day. Your child deserves the best help possible and it’s our goal to help as many families as we can with a minimal out-of-pocket expense. Nutrition can also play a huge role in a wide variety of issues and we believe in the value of a nutritious diet. Our world-class chef brings high-quality food to the table while providing customized meals for those kiddos that have dietary restrictions. 

Individuals who come to Turning Winds struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues including but not limited to anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, ODD, RAD, suicidal ideation and/or self-harm, mood disorders, personality disorders, substance use, and more. It is not uncommon for our teens to come to us with co-occurring disorders or dual diagnoses, so our specialized team is equipped to handle more complex cases.


Our licensed therapists develop clinically driven and personalized treatment plans to provide evidence-based care for your teens. Therapy practices include individual, family, and group therapy. As a residential treatment center, we are able to offer a full continuum of care that includes various levels of treatment such as RTC, PHP, and IOP.  Our approach to treatment is unique in that we provide a blended approach, utilizing both outdoor experiences and indoor environments to prevent treatment fatigue and increase engagement.  A big proponent of change is developing a relationship of trust between patient and therapist, and we have a unique ability to foster those connections given our unique “fun” environment at Turning Winds.

We use a strength-based and solution-oriented program that empowers our clients to become the engine behind their recovery. We have been extremely successful with trauma, sexual/physical abuse, depression, anxiety, and various addictions through specific modalities of treatment such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), and more. Our program encompasses equine therapy, recreational, and outdoor activities to enhance your teen’s treatment. We also provide intensive family support through webinars, regular family counseling sessions, and parent workshops to ensure they’re included every step of the way. Post-treatment is extremely important and we have developed a caring and supportive aftercare program to give your child the best possible chance to thrive after Turning Winds. 


It’s easy to talk about what we offer and how we provide for your child, but how are we really different from other programs? The difference comes from our truly unique hybrid experience and our passionate, intelligent, caring, and dedicated team that works tirelessly to give your teenage son or daughter the absolute best care. We help teens rediscover themselves, and leave here with a renewed belief in their own abilities

Our goal is to help teens develop the skills and confidence needed to live a productive and happy life. When they leave here, they leave with goals and aspirations they have set not for us, or for their families, but for themselves and we have given them the tools they need to succeed. The relationships our staff builds with the kids allow them to feel cared for, both physically and mentally. We believe in a positive peer culture where growth is encouraged by everyone, not just staff.

Other programs out there do not offer this unique hybrid approach and that is what truly sets us apart. Our one-of-a-kind hybrid program blends the successful aspects of residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, and wilderness therapy into one life-changing experience. We wholeheartedly believe in this process; we know it works and that change is imminent and growth is forthcoming.

Teens are separated from a noisy environment full of distractions and unhealthy relationships giving them space to focus on their personal growth and development. Mistakes are inevitable, and we allow kids to make mistakes, experience struggles and learn from them. We have a consistent line of sight, staff to keep them safe and plenty of space for them to feel all their emotions and process them in a safe way. Self-worth is a constant struggle among our teens and each aspect of our program is designed to facilitate the growth of each child’s innate self-worth.

We believe in our program and believe in our teens so much so that we incorporate international trips twice a year. We are taking teens who previously couldn’t be trusted home alone and they are thriving outside of the country with us. These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for some teens and these experiences are a catalyst to their growth and healing.


We can talk about how much we believe in our program until we’re blue in the face, but listening to the real stories of teens we have helped is where you can truly see the difference we make in families lives.

For Pat and Heather, their 17-year-old daughter was on the brink of death before they found Turning Winds. Hopelessness enveloped the parents after their daughter overdosed (and not for the first time) one week after coming home from a previous treatment facility. Thankfully, they found Turning Winds and they were fortunate enough to drop their little girl off within a week.

“The communication we received was completely on another level to anywhere else we had ever placed her”

“If I would have known I would have gone straight to Turning Winds, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else”

“She’s a completely different person”

“They opened her eyes to what she had in her life, the value that was there”

“She’s just a completely different person. I am so impressed with the work she did and the work they did”

“They are as genuine as it gets, they truly care, and without them….They made the difference”

“Turning Winds is like a cocoon, and my daughter is the caterpillar. She went in there and she came out a butterfly”

Krissy chose Turning Winds after trying several other programs to get help for her 15 year old daughter struggling with anxiety and depression and exhibiting poor coping skills.

“I think the therapists at Turning Winds are exceptional. They understand youth, they understand the mindset that they’re in and they’re able to work with it”

“My daughter had a number of physical things as well going on with her and Turning Winds went above and beyond on our behalf. They drove her 3 hours to go to a larger hospital”

“I am, and continue to be impressed with the small family-like atmosphere”

“Even after the transition home there is still support from Turning Winds”

“Turning Winds is really exceptional”

A final word…

We are called to do this work. Our community of staff goes above and beyond to ensure that each child understands that we love and care for them like our own. There is no place like Turning Winds; we truly are like a family. We have been on the other side of tragedy and have dedicated our lives to helping teens heal and develop the skills necessary to manage their mental and behavioral health in a positive way, thus achieving a successful path forward.  We invite you to find out for yourself if Turning Winds is the right fit for your child.  Call us today at 800-845-1380 or Contact Us online. 

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