The Healing Power of Character Education and Life Skills Training

The Healing Power of Character Education and Life Skills Training

Turning Winds fosters a therapeutic environment modeling functional family communion to help adolescents achieve better mental health and establish beliefs that support long-term stability and personal success.

Character education and life skills training are crucial elements of this approach. At Turning Winds, clients are provided with the structure necessary to gain stability for the road ahead. Once the phase of residential treatment is completed, they have a strong enough foundation in place to begin the process of functioning without the use of negative behaviors, as well as the use of alcohol and drugs.

Character education promotes personal growth and can help clients improve their self-image and strengthen their self-confidence. It also promotes good decision-making.

Turning Winds is a therapeutic boarding school for teens combined with a full continuum of care for mental health issues. It combines elements of wilderness therapy and a relational treatment approach with a full medical and clinical team while also offering a full academic staff to provide the much-needed support for your child. Peer mentoring is another strong element of the treatment program at Turning Winds.

“The simple, singular focus of our treatment program is to help each student change the behaviors that are hindering their growth by teaching them to create a stable pattern of living through education, process groups, and individualized treatment planning,” says Turning Winds CEO Owen Baisden.

We believe the success of our clients is most likely achieved through a combination of therapeutic and educational approaches that together provide the best outcomes possible for each troubled teen we treat at our school. The therapeutic approaches include health and wellness of the body and mind, outdoor therapeutic experiential education, therapeutic and academic success, and character education. Together, these constitute our Pillars of Therapeutic Change.

We believe that character acts as a vital anchor in the sea of our lives which can be stormy at times. A solid character foundation helps troubled teens grow to be consistent and stand strong against the pressures they face daily. We model strength-based self-management through our character education curriculum allowing the culture in our school to help facilitate positive change. Learning to manage self through character education brings the stability teens require for long-term success.

Our experience tells us that teens who embrace character as a foundational part of their lives experience reduced intensity and frequency of maladaptive behaviors, acting out, impulsive actions, destructive tendencies, and a reduction of inappropriate peer relationships. In addition to our character-building curriculum, each teen attending our school learns and practices social skills including conflict resolution techniques, treating themselves and others with respect, and appropriate social interaction.

Teens in our therapeutic school learn decision-making skills by working to set and attain goals, relying on their own knowledge and skills along with the knowledge and skills of others to address initiatives and projects, and participating in daily therapeutic group sessions dealing with issue resolution.

Teens increase personal understanding by taking accountability for personal actions, planning and working toward personal goals, and recognizing personal successes.

Students ultimately gain insight into their previous behaviors and actions by nurturing a greater understanding of the impact of their actions. An important component in our character education is service. While attending, each teen will engage in the experience of participating in service activities where they will have the opportunity to give back to the community.

At Turning Winds, it’s the people who make the difference—staff and fellow patients. Over the course of more than twelve 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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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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