Learning as Therapy

Turning Winds seeks to turn hearts and minds toward a brighter future. We offer a high-quality academic experience for each teenage student. As clients in a residential treatment center with a strong academic program, they are provided with a highly individualized academic experience. 

“Academics is a really important part of our program,” says Turning Winds CEO Owen Baisden. “We have small classrooms with 8–12 students and there is lots of one-on-one instruction.”

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

The process of learning itself can be powerfully therapeutic. The mindful pursuit of education can relate to all areas of life. At Turning Winds, educators help students see parallels between the rigors of academic life and the pursuit of a meaningful personal life. Academics serve the dual purpose of continuing the educational trajectory and training students to successfully transfer critical thinking skills to the pursuit of life goals. 

“Our exceptionally talented teachers and academic counselors meet the educational needs of each student while taking into consideration their school district requirements, grade level material, and academic proficiency,” says Baisden. “They are also adept at identifying and addressing learning disorders as well as working with those students who may have an individualized education program—an IEP. On the other hand, a more challenging learning environment is used to meet the needs of those who are high academic achievers.” 

All of our teachers are fully credentialed, and bring extensive training and experience to their roles. One of them is science teacher Cathy Miller. She is applying her twenty years of teaching experience to bring excellence into the academic portion of the Turning Winds program. “Most of our students come in with gaps in their education, simply because they haven’t been consistent in their school attendance,” explains Miller. “We identify those gaps and immediately start filling in the holes.”

Often, it’s a question of motivation: “Teenage clients arrive with low self-esteem and the notion that they are not good at learning because they have never been exposed to an academic environment like ours,” says Baisden. “Once we show them that they can learn they become more motivated and take ownership of their educational process.” 

Turning Winds employs a hybrid scholastic approach to teaching with one-on-one tutoring, teacher-led instruction, and online schooling. “We utilize APEX for our math and science programs which allows us to line up a student’s education sequence based on their home state’s requirements,” explains Baisden. 

Our research indicates that on average our students earn a GPA of 3.5 while here, and in a 12-month time period our average student completes about 1.5-2 years of school while experiencing a GPA increase of almost a full letter grade compared to what their GPA was before coming to Turning Winds. 

“Our comprehensive curriculum for grades 7–12 provides everything your teen needs to get their education back on track,” says Baisden. Turning Winds offers almost any class our students will need to continue their education. We work closely with counselors from previous schools for each student to ensure that all criteria for graduation are met. 

We can also arrange AP classes and AP testing for students seeking an advanced level of education, and address both SAT and ACT preparation and testing for students to remain on track with educational requirements. More than 90 percent of our teens go on to college or a trade school after their discharge from Turning Winds. 

Our goal is to make sure that each and every student gets the education and support they need for success. We work closely with the counseling departments in every student’s previous school to fill in any gaps in their current educational path.

Over the course of more than twenty years, 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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Picture of 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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