Effecting Positive Change in Treatment

Turning Winds helps young people learn how to correctly perceive and purposefully engage with the world around them. The program’s holistic approach, relational focus, and emphasis on achieving authentic openness make Turning Winds especially effective at facilitating positive outcomes and long-term change.

“The simple, singular focus of our treatment program is to help each student improve their self-image and their self-confidence and change the behaviors that have been hindering their growth by teaching them to create stable patterns of living through education, process groups, and individualized treatment planning,” says Turning Winds CEO Owen Baisden. 

Therapeutic approaches—many particular to the Turning Winds environment—include character education, health, and wellness of body and mind, outdoor experiential education, evidence-based clinical care, and academic success, along with continuously improving each aspect of our therapeutic program through measuring outcomes in each area. Together, these constitute five pillars of change. 

The “5 Pillars of Change” are the foundation of the treatment program at Turning Winds. The Turning Winds team believes that treatment success is most likely to be achieved through a combination of therapeutic and educational approaches that together provide the best possible outcomes for each teen we treat.

“Many of our clients have a very limited range of activities when they arrive here,”  explains clinical director Jared Sartell, LCSW. “They may be using drugs or are constantly playing video games. At Turning Winds, we expose these kids to all kinds of different ways to cope with stress. We give them the opportunity to experience new things. We expose them to life in a healthy place, an experience they can build on after their return home.”

One of the Pillars of Change to achieve that is exposure to nature. In his landmark book Last Child in the Woods, child advocacy expert Richard Louv suggested that today’s children are suffering from “nature-deficit disorder.” Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

The Turning Winds program counteracts this unhealthy trend with plenty of therapeutic outdoor activities: Backcountry hiking, backpacking, mountain bike riding, white water rafting, fishing, snowshoeing, skiing/snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and many other activities. With a campus situated in the remote northern woods of Montana, Turning Winds offers young people purposeful remove to discover the self-agency essential to leading a purposeful life.

“We use the outdoors to combine adventure therapy, experiential education, and psycho-educational therapy,” says Sartell. “Experiential learning is based on the belief that lasting change occurs when people are placed outside familiar situations of comfort and immersed in new and unique circumstances. In this way, students are participants rather than spectators and learn to appreciate the power of the great outdoors on our beautiful school campus.”

Experiential learning is not limited to Montana, either. Twice a year, Turning Winds organizes international service trips for our clients. It’s not tourism but an uplifting therapeutic experience since the trip is focused on helping other people and experiencing a culture different from our own. Traveling to foreign countries to be immersed in other societies and helping people less fortunate than ourselves affords new perspectives and the ability to learn that all people are essentially the same. 

At Turning Winds, it’s the people who make the difference. Over the course of two decades, we’ve built a team of some of the world’s finest academic and therapeutic professionals, all of whom share the same goal: to help teens re-engage meaningfully with their lives, families, and their futures. 

Contact us online for more information, or call us at 800-845-1380. If your call isn’t answered personally, one of us will get back to you as soon as possible.


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John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden Jr is the father of seven inspiring children, and he is married to Kara, the love of his life. Together they have created a family-centered legacy by leading the way with early childhood educational advancement. John loves to write and is an author of a children’s book, An Unlikely Journey and plans to publish additional books. Show More

John is a visionary in his work and applies “outside-the-box” approaches to business practice and people development. He is the Founder of Turning Winds, along with several other organizations. He has extensive experience launching and developing organizations. His skills include strategic planning, promoting meaningful leader-member movement, organizational change, effective communication, project management, financial oversight and analysis, digital marketing and content creation, and implementing innovative ideas through influential leadership. As a leader, John seeks to empower others and brand success through collaborative work. His vision is to lead with courage, grit, truth, justice, humility, and integrity while emphasizing relational influence rather than focusing on the sheens of titles, positions, or things.

Finally, John is passionate about life and promoting equity among those who are often overlooked because of differences that frequently clash with the “norm.” He lives in Southern Idaho and loves the outdoors and the life lessons that can be learned in such an informal environment.

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